Debate: Answering Questions


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Commentary:

The questions below are Ydemoc’s questions. In fairness I must admit that I do not answer all of his questions here. The one’s I did not answer I either didn’t have time for or may not have had an answer. I’m OK with the fact that I don’t know some answers. This last reply to Ydemoc marks the end of my part of the debate. Ydemoc may have further comments, but they are at his convenience. Remember, most of us have jobs and a life, and don’t have much time to dedicate to debates. But, for now, enjoy this Q & A.

Dan O’Brian:

“According to Christianity, Satan acts. Would you say this character has faith?”

It’s possible.

“According to Christianity, Judas acted. Did he have faith?”

Yes. He had faith in the wrong thing though.

“Christians tell us all the time that their god acts. Does it have faith? Can it doubt?”

No. God is not dependent upon anything for his actions or his knowledge. Therefore, he has no faith.

“Christians allege that the Holy Spirit is a “person” who actually acts in their lives. Does it have faith?”

No.

“Even though they weren’t Christian, would you say that the 9/11 terrorists who flew planes into the World Trade Center had faith when they took this action?”

Yes.

“Does one act on faith when committing an evil act? When thinking about committing an evil act?”

Yes.

“What is the difference between acting on faith to do good vs. acting on faith to do evil?”

One difference is the goal to be attained. But, insofar as they think it can be attained and act on it, they have faith.

“When you imagine heaven and being face-to-face with the Christian god, do you imagine that it will take faith to perceive him? Why or why not?”

I don’t know that one. If I am still placed within the limitations of my senses and my cognitive functions, then I think the answer would be yes. But if I can “see” God without the use of senses, that is to say, directly, then maybe faith would not be involved.

“If I get into my car, having faith that when I drive down the highway, I will not get into a crash — but then I do get into a crash — would you say that it was an act of faith which was responsible for my getting into a collision?”

Yes. You either act or you sit back and do nothing like a coward, never living your life.

““Faith” and **what** are “two opposite methods of knowing the world”?”

It’s faith and evidence. But, you’re misunderstanding me here. This is not what I say. I say they are not opposed to each other but work together to let us act in the world and believe in certain things.

“If I act on doubt, does this mean that I am really acting on faith?”

If you are in doubt about whether or not you will safely cross the street but do it anyway, you overcame your doubt with faith. So, yes, you are acting on faith. And let me just say, it seems to me that faith is not a concept. It is not a factual thing. It is not an object that I perceive and therefore not possibly made into a concept. Rather, I assent to the accuracy and validity of all objects through faith. Faith is not of the physical world. We cannot grasp its substance. Yet, things in this world seem to be made true by something not of this world, faith. In this way, God is not a concept whose substance is derived from the universe either. But, this is not anything new. Christians have always said that we can never wrap our minds fully around God. The substance of God is so utterly unlike anything in this world, and since our conceptions are entirely worldly, God’s substance is not fully knowable. His substance can be known by means similar to my argument I used above, but that is another discussion.

“I would really be curious to know what you would say faith’s role would be in one’s acceptance or rejection of such a notion as square circles.”

I see you’re still working with an incorrect notion of faith. When one comes to understand squares and circles, it’s not hard to see how each exclusive shape cannot be made into one another. This understanding constitutes evidence, at which point we can form a belief, by faith, of the impossibility of forming a square circle. There are those who might violate logic and say it is possible for A to equal B, and such, but this is a statement not made of faith and evidence, but only faith. I do not follow such ways.

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