Re: virus: Belief and Knowledge (was: The truth about faith)

Eric Boyd (
Sun, 29 Jun 1997 18:32:43 -0500

David McFadzean wrote:

> I've been giving this quite a bit of thought this past week, trying to come up with
> a good response to Prof. Tim's message about if and when faith is justified (the
> terminal illness scenario). I came to the same conclusion, that it can have a good
> effect in the situation where there is a possibility of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
> The place where I get stuck is in trying to figure out the mindset of the person
> after they have succeeded believing what is not true (or at least what the evidence
> does not support). Would they say "I know it is not true, but I believe it anyway"
> or would they say "I know it is true because ..." and provide some bogus reason, or
> would they say "I don't need a reason, I just *know* it is true", or...?

This here comes right down to the "core" of the issue in my mind.
Faith. One of the things that the Bible says again and again is that
with true faith, one can "will" anything. God will do it. Like the
story where Jesus wills the shriviling of a tree, and it is done the
next day, "right from the roots". The trouble is that one really has to
have "*FAITH*". One can't just say: Jee, God said if I beleive it, it
will happen. So I'll just kneel and pray and hope it does... won't
work. One must *know* and *feel*[1] before it will happen, and this is
a very difficult thing. "God's upside down Kingdom": where evidence
comes *after* you already beleive. In your words, "I don't need a
reason, I just *know* it is true"

Faith. I've been thinking some more, and have actually decided that the
Bible (and Christianity) *does* meet the first criteria after (a *valid*
worldview) after all. Since the Kingdom of God is decidely *above* and
*beyond* this world, it makes sense that there would be no evidence
*here*. Of course, I still don't think I need that worldview, simply
because it doesn't provide any benefits[2] (criteria #2), and because it
fails the "level 3" criteria: it claims to have an *ultimate* truth.


[1] You asked about the Heart, and the Spirit (=Soul, for me). I
travelled down this road a while back, and the closest to an anwser I
got was this riddle:

The Great Riddle!
Is he not a body, that from toil doth he bring forth sustenance?
Is he not a heart, that from anguish doth he glean understanding?
Is he not a mind, that from choas doth he wrest order?
And is he not yet more than this, that from emptiness doth he
harvest creation?
Think well upon this, for this be thine only key to the great riddle.

Let me know if you ever come up with an answer...

[2] Christianity provides no benefits. I'm not interested in eternal
life (thanks, but I'd rather *not* live in eternal bliss. Happiness
makes it hard to think...), and I don't beleive in the so called
"Original Sin" so Christs death on the cross means nothing to me...
I do, however, think that Jesus had a lot of good things to say about
*how* to live ones life. Great morals! But I can adopt them without
any of the spiritual rubbish. And I will