Re: virus: Logic and Purpose

Brett Lane Robertson (
Mon, 20 Oct 1997 17:36:35 -0500

At 11:32 AM 10/18/97 -0700, Marie Foster wrote:

>I understand you are a married man from comments on the list and it
>appears you are pretty happy with your spouse. If you manage your goal
>to destroy "faith" what happens to faithfulness?
>Or again, am I totally off the mark?

Totally off the mark.

I wish to bring attention to the dangers of <belief without evidence>.
This is not the same "faith" that is used in "faithful to your spouse".
I have no problems with marital fidelity (any way you look at it :-).

I call <belief without evidence> "faith" because that is what other
people call it. Contrary to what some have said on this list, I am
not making this up.

I guess there is an underlying assumption here that there is a
positive correlation between beliefs held without evidence and
bad beliefs (given most common definitions of "bad"). If that is
not a reasonable assumption, I might have to withdraw my
condemnation of faith.

David McFadzean

How many beliefs do we hold *without* evidence? None, though what is
considered evidence ("I read it", "Someone told me", "My mind invented it",
"It was on the news", "Someone I respect told me", "It was in a respected
journal", etc.) varies widely. So, the definition of faith as "belief
without evidence" is a bad definition (even if "that is what other people
call it"). Faith might be "belief without proof (justify this one)", or
"belief with conflicting evidence" or "belief against the evidence" or
"belief with little evidence" or "belief with non-traditional evidence" (and
I like the last one...for how long can we maintain a belief in the other
situations, yet "faith" seems to maintain beliefs for a long time).

I think faith is a is a belief that is awaiting evidence; and,
EVERYTHING is accepted on faith until a level of proof--one way or
another--is internalized. Because a respected book says that "there will
come a time when grace is not sufficient...", I see faith, hope, and charity
all eventually being replaced by something stronger or the beliefs that they
uphold would have to be abandoned.

But, it is obvious that accepting the permanence of a relationship
(fidelity) is a form of faith...and it is obvious that the term faith is
related to faithfulness (the condition of being full of faith, I might
define). Destruction of faith (in oneself, for in others,
etc.) is fairly likely to lead to a destruction of faithfulness (grace,
hope, charity...). So, bad definition of "faith" and poor judgment call in
the assumption that the destruction of faith is unrelated to faithfulness.

I would suggest finding another definition of faith that fits the facts
better (including the fact that it takes faith to be faithful) and then
using this new understanding to dispell the biases one must have to
continually discredit the foundation of all growth.*

*I might add that Maslow's (sp?) hierarchy of needs places security needs at
the bottom of the pyrimad as the basis of all development and that a good
definition of faith would probably include that it is a security in the idea
that one's basic needs are being met...a point which can never be "proven"
short of death and which must therefore be accepted on faith


Rabble Sonnet Retort
It is better to kiss an avocado than to get in a fight with
an aardvark