Is Faith Enough? - page 3

I use to think that faith was enough- that if I had enough faith, I could accomplish anything. Faith is something that I think can lead us into the belief of being able to have a stronghold on life.... Read More

  1. by   ChryssyD
    Wow, Phil, you've really drunk the Kool-Ade!

    Again, the hostility of atheists to believers, no matter HOW compelling the argument, is a continual mystery to me. Because, most likely, I'm on your side, in any other way than belief in something higher than ourselves.

    I do apologize, because I know the question will anger you, but, what are you so angry about?

    And no, although most of the people operating the gas chambers probable weren't true believers (although some of them undoubtedly were), the fact that they were terrified of the evil regime they knew they were subject to, and understood the consequences of disobedience, is reason enough--I think--to give them, if not a pass, at least a grudging "OK, I understand"?

    Can you not deal with the argument as it was intended without concerning yourself with petty details? You understand what was being said even if the facts weren't totally accurate? (And I'll have to look into it, no doubt, although, really, to the people who died at Pearl Harbor it really doesn't matter whether the Japanese pilots were bombers or suicide bombers--random murder is random murder no matter how it's done) Who CARES if the attack at Pearl Harbor didn't include kamikaze pilots? (And if you weren't there, how do you know for sure that it didn't? Not trying to make a point, but seriously--were you there?) They (Japanese suicide bombers) existed. Do you dispute that? The argument that their faith had little if nothing to do with their actions still stands. Whether you like it or not.

    Do you really not accept that mass-murders are abnormal? Or do you think that they're sometimes justified? I happen to think war is wrong, no matter what the supposed justification. You?

    This isn't the debate team, where stuff is completely theoretical. This is reality, where caring more about whether the method of murder is suicide bombing or just plain bombing is just beside the point. Whether you want it to be or not.

    I'm sorry, Phil. I'm not angry...just disappointed.

    And me, I don't volunteer anywhere--but my dog was the puppy of an abandoned pregnant female, my cat was a stray living behind the prison where I worked, and my horse was a badly abused (he still isn't able to tolerate men after 16 years) rescue. Thank you, though, for your service to the animals--they so need friends in this world!
    Last edit by ChryssyD on Mar 22, '17
  2. by   ChryssyD
    I had to add, I really am not the sort of person to push an argument. But I like your style, Phil, and it just kind of bothers me that you can't deal with the substance of the argument rather than trying to lawyer the particulars. Prove me wrong--give me something meaningful. Please!
  3. by   Phil-on-a-bike
    I may have to break the 'no text-speak' rule long enough to say... LOOOOL!

    Attack ad hominem ? So early? From someone who reckoned they could 'do this all week'?

    Heheheh... never mind that my tone has been civil, amiable... jocular even. That I slipped in subtle hints like "chewing the topic over in a (here's the clue) friendly way".

    No... I disagree with you, therefore I must be angry. It's the only possible conclusion. Priceless!

    Here's a little reality check for you: it is possible for someone to examine the same information as you - and draw a different conclusion from it - without getting worked up about it.

    Anyway, moving on:

    I did indeed deal with the substance of the argument, as intended, in the first statement of my first post:

    "Is faith enough? Far from it, in my view."

    Which I went on to state my rationale for.
    That's... y'know... how it's done. Fairly basic, I thought. Not too hard to get a handle on.

    The 'gas chambers' example is a broad and troubling one. It's a tar-pit for believers and non-believers alike, and the only certainty is that there are no easy answers.
    My feelings, though?
    We're considering a situation in which one group of people whose motto is "God With Us" is herding another group of people wearing yellow stars onto cattle trucks.
    When a rational person tries to tell me, straight-faced, that it had nothing to do with religion, my instinct is to sit back and let that person keep digging.

    Who cares about "Petty details" re. Pearl Harbor? Well, my post makes it kind of obvious that I do.
    If you don't, then what the heck, let it go.

    But no... instead, you present not one, but two strawman arguments!
    (Ah, the strawman - your posts are like an 'I-spy' of spurious debate techniques. Have you even done this before?)

    For the uninitiated: a strawman argument is when somebody can't answer, or wishes to avoid, what you actually said, so sets up an argument based on something which sounds similar to what you said, But, crucially, is a bit easier to refute.

    Here we have "were you at Pearl Harbor?" and "do you dispute that there were Japanese suicide bombers?"

    Not biting. Flimsy strawmen, clumsily presented.
    Suffice to say that everybody sees what you did, there.

    "This isn't the debate team, where stuff is purely theoretical"

    LOL again! We're talking religion! My whole point is that it is entirely theoretical!
    (In fact, I'm being generous with the definition of 'theory' there.)


    "I could do this all week" and "I'm not the sort of person to push an argument"?

    What?! Make your mind up - which is it?

    In conclusion: you appear to be out of your depth here.
    You are demonstrably unfamiliar with basic religious terminology such as the concept of faith.
    You have resorted to personal attack and attempted to present strawmen.

    Speaking as someone who has an actual grounding in theology and who enjoys "chewing the topic over in a friendly way", I feel let-down in all departments here.

    (Insert sound of mic dropping)
  4. by   ChryssyD
    Awww...don't be like that! I'm the menopausal one here!

    First: About the kamikazes, etc.--rebuke accepted. You're right, of course--the fact that a statement seems maddeningly irrelevant to me does not make it so. I now see the insensitivity of my remarks. Thank you for educating me. As for the hysterical screeching, I can only plead temporary insanity. I truly apologize.

    Second: I must say, in my own defense, that the accusation of ad hominem attack is a bit odd coming from one who asserted that the "kind of person" who sees "omens" in ordinary events (in reference to me) makes him think of "medieval peasants" right out of the gate!

    Third: I have also tried to keep this light. I really am sorry I hurt your feelings, but it doesn't necessarily follow that I'm not playing fair. I don't use straw men--they make my hands itch; and also because I don't have to--the arguments stand on their own. We differ in opinion, that's all.

    So, if you choose to pick the mic back up, I'll be thrilled. If not, then peace out!
  5. by   GrumpyRN
    Quote from ChryssyD
    Awww...don't be like that! I'm the menopausal one here!

    First: About the kamikazes, etc.--rebuke accepted. You're right, of course--the fact that a statement seems maddeningly irrelevant to me does not make it so. I now see the insensitivity of my remarks. Thank you for educating me. As for the hysterical screeching, I can only plead temporary insanity. I truly apologize.

    Second: I must say, in my own defense, that the accusation of ad hominem attack is a bit odd coming from one who asserted that the "kind of person" who sees "omens" in ordinary events (in reference to me) makes him think of "medieval peasants" right out of the gate!

    Third: I have also tried to keep this light. I really am sorry I hurt your feelings, but it doesn't necessarily follow that I'm not playing fair. I don't use straw men--they make my hands itch; and also because I don't have to--the arguments stand on their own. We differ in opinion, that's all.

    So, if you choose to pick the mic back up, I'll be thrilled. If not, then peace out!
    Whoa.....Back up there.

    You were abusive - "Kool Ade?" Yes it was an Ad Hominem attack

    Ad hominem | Define Ad hominem at Dictionary.com

    You went straight to abuse of Phil who it appears is British so that particular insult is wasted.

    He very politely took apart your arguments and told you why. You are now talking menopausal - are you looking for special treatment because you are female or because you are older or both?

    Medieval peasants - I would have gone further back, stone age man looking around and seeing tree gods, water sprites etc. all the stuff that has hindered us for years.

    I personally find it offensive that I cannot do something good or right unless some magic sky person is doing it through me - utter contemptible nonsense.

    You have demanded Phil "prove" things but you are the one making claims (Russell's Teapot?).
    "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."
  6. by   britt85w
    Quote from merlee
    You apparently don't fully understand the 'mustard seed' reference. I am not Christian, but know that parable.

    Your entire article is an affront to those who are non-believers. Without faith there is no reason to live???

    Sorry that I read this.
    Oh well. Get over it.
  7. by   khminh
    Quote from ChryssyD
    Kudos, Phil--don't worry, be happy!

    For me, THAT is the essence of faith. It's not about "sky-gods," or flawed mathematical sums.

    I had the "When injury or illness strike, the faithful may well pray...but they also seek medical treatment" idea explained to me thus: There was a great storm, followed by a terrible flood. One man climbed up on his roof to escape the waters. After a day, a man in a rowboat came by; "Come down, and get into my boat! The waters are still rising!" "No," said the man on the roof. "God will save me." The waters continued to rise. On the second day, a woman in a motorboat roared up to the house: "Quick, climb down and get in--you can't stay here! I'll get you to safety!" she cried. "No, thanks," said the man on the roof. "God will save me." Still the waters climbed higher. On the third day, with the water lapping at his feet, the man on the roof heard a helicopter approaching. Over the loudspeaker he heard, "Grab this rope and get in the basket, or you will drown!" "Nope," said the man, "I know God will save me!" On the fourth day, the man drowned. When he got to heaven, he cried out to God, "Why didn't you save me?" God shrugged and said, "I tried--I sent the rowboat, the motorboat, and the helicopter, but you wouldn't get off that %#@&ing roof!" Life isn't a movie, where miracles happen by magic; this is reality, and God works miracles through people.

    Like the OP, I too wonder whether I believe the "right" things. I don't see this as a weakness, but rather as a strength; humility is almost always good, arrogance almost always bad. When I reach into that bag and pull out my lump of coal, my tendency isn't to pretend it's a diamond: I tend to look for other people who also have a lump of coal so we can combine them and grill something tasty! Or maybe just stay warm. Faith isn't supposed to be a glowing jewel jealously guarded; it's meant to be shared.

    And I must respectfully disagree that it is faith in the minds of the devout that justifies flying airliners into skyscrapers; it is ignorance and hatred in the minds of psychopaths that justifies such actions.

    I'm a believer, but I'm also a rational person! Please don't call faith irrational--it's simply a matter of perspective. Those who are red-green color blind have to take it "on faith" that such colors actually exist. How many other colors are there that humans simply can't perceive? My dog can hear a dog whistle, but I can't; does that make me less rational than my dog? He definitely hears something--the fact that I don't hear it is not de facto evidence that his hearing is more or less "right" than mine...it just encompasses a wider range.

    Food for thought?
    According to Christians, if people call out to Jesus, they will be saved from eternal damnation. If they don't accept Jesus, they will be suffered in the lake of fire for eternity. Regardless of one's characters, they would be burned over and over forever if they don't profess their love in Yahweh and Jesus.

    This is the faith that you want to share with your patients?
  8. by   ChryssyD
    I don't discuss my faith with my patients unless they specifically ask, and even then in only general terms. Boundaries!

    Personal faith is another matter. There is a range of interpretations regarding the meaning of hell, whether it is literal or figurative, so you needn't take the smoke-and-brimstone talk of Christian fundamentalists seriously. Unless you want to, of course.

    You don't have to fear God. God is good. I know the Bible is confusing, because so many Christians thump the Old Testament. But Christians live under grace, which is God's love and forgiveness. You are free to reject it--that's OK. God is bigger than we are. He has room for all kinds of people in His house. Even atheists, I think. Peace.
  9. by   khminh
    Quote from ChryssyD
    I don't discuss my faith with my patients unless they specifically ask, and even then in only general terms. Boundaries!

    Personal faith is another matter. There is a range of interpretations regarding the meaning of hell, whether it is literal or figurative, so you needn't take the smoke-and-brimstone talk of Christian fundamentalists seriously. Unless you want to, of course.

    You don't have to fear God. God is good. I know the Bible is confusing, because so many Christians thump the Old Testament. But Christians live under grace, which is God's love and forgiveness. You are free to reject it--that's OK. God is bigger than we are. He has room for all kinds of people in His house. Even atheists, I think. Peace.
    Well, I don't want to engage in a religious conversation with Christian fundamentalists. They initiated it, and they actually believed that non believers would suffer for eternity simply for not believing in Jesus.

    Their action doesn't come out of nowhere. Thanks to these people that I educate myself more about the Bible. It does have verses that specifically condemn non Christians. The book of Revelation is such a book.

    This is the reason I wonder if it is possible for a Christian nurse to put her belief aside and try to walk in her patients' shoes. Empathy is a human trait, but it can be clouded by dogmas. Until Christian nurses sort that out, I really feel uncomfortable being under their care.
  10. by   ChryssyD
    Quote from khminh
    Well, I don't want to engage in a religious conversation with Christian fundamentalists. They initiated it, and they actually believed that non believers would suffer for eternity simply for not believing in Jesus.

    Their action doesn't come out of nowhere. Thanks to these people that I educate myself more about the Bible. It does have verses that specifically condemn non Christians. The book of Revelation is such a book.

    This is the reason I wonder if it is possible for a Christian nurse to put her belief aside and try to walk in her patients' shoes. Empathy is a human trait, but it can be clouded by dogmas. Until Christian nurses sort that out, I really feel uncomfortable being under their care.
    I'm sorry you feel so uncomfortable with Christians. They should not be making you feel uncomfortable. Christ taught that all who are not against us are with us. This is significant for atheists and pagans--whoever is not anti-Christian is under grace as well, and is not counted as an enemy of God.

    However, there is no need to try to draw people away from God--if you do not believe in God, that is OK. We Christians need not force our belief on you, and you need not force your beliefs on us. Atheism is OK, but you should not push it on others, just as you would not wish religion of any stripe (I'm assuming) pushed on you.

    This is something that many are unwilling to confront--pushing religious beliefs is wrong, but pushing atheism is perfectly OK. Double standards? Be fair. That's all I ask.
  11. by   khminh
    Quote from ChryssyD
    I'm sorry you feel so uncomfortable with Christians. They should not be making you feel uncomfortable. Christ taught that all who are not against us are with us. This is significant for atheists and pagans--whoever is not anti-Christian is under grace as well, and is not counted as an enemy of God.

    However, there is no need to try to draw people away from God--if you do not believe in God, that is OK. We Christians need not force our belief on you, and you need not force your beliefs on us. Atheism is OK, but you should not push it on others, just as you would not wish religion of any stripe (I'm assuming) pushed on you.

    This is something that many are unwilling to confront--pushing religious beliefs is wrong, but pushing atheism is perfectly OK. Double standards? Be fair. That's all I ask.
    I cannot answer for atheists since I'm not one. I am a Buddhist transcendentalist.

    I'm selective of what my spiritual practice should be as long as it benefits myself and others. That is just my personal preference. I don't want anyone to follow my footstep just because they perceive what my belief has done for me.

    If you ask me "is it possible that dharma doesn't work for everyone?", my answer will be "Yes". There is evidence that mindfulness and meditation help people in healing process. That doesn't mean it works for everyone. I am willing to admit that even though Buddhism is the tradition I grew up with.

    Do you think Christians are capable of doing so? If someone tells you "I tried, but I don't think that having faith in Jesus helps me", would you accept that? Many Christians will say it's the person's fault, his faith is not strong enough, he's not sincere,... It's always about blaming people.

    No body should force atheism on religious people. I have yet met such an atheist, but I have met many Christians who want to bring me to Jesus. They are not aggressive like street preachers, but they have that ulterior motive when they do things for me.

    If that is what Christian nurses think, I don't want to be under their care. If they cannot take care of my well being for my sake but for Jesus' sake, I don't need them.

    I personally don't believe the word tolerance in healthcare. I only believe in acceptance. I will accept patients for who they are. I will be willing to do things that are uncomfortable but within my capability to help them achieve their health. I realize that sometimes I have to have courage to put aside my conviction for someone's sake.

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