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Passions in Poetry

Curiosity vs Belief

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Digital_Hell
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0 posted 08-06-2006 04:36 PM       View Profile for Digital_Hell   Email Digital_Hell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Digital_Hell

Yes another vs thread for us to argue, knock heads and contend about  

The question i pose is simle and yet disconcerting and deep at the same time (at least to me). Can i Curious and inquisitive mind ever settle firmly in a belief? Can you have a deep interest in the world that lies around you, a burning passion in how everything works, why everything works and settle down in a faith? The question is exactly what the title suggests. Also i wound like to continue here the Knowledge is power idea that we have in the Religion vs Reason thread.

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The Shadow in Blue
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1 posted 08-06-2006 07:33 PM       View Profile for The Shadow in Blue   Email The Shadow in Blue   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit The Shadow in Blue's Home Page   View IP for The Shadow in Blue

I think that at points you can have curiosity and faith (at the same time), but it is spread out inbetween long lengths of a)curiosity or b)faith. Both of these (curiosity/faith) are sort of contradictory if you think about it. Curiosity is about thirsting for knowledge and evolving your thoughts and ideals. While faith is about firmly believing in the set rules and teaching of whatever that spirital avenue is.
Ron
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2 posted 08-06-2006 09:57 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Not only are they not contradictory, but, indeed, you can't have one without simultaneously having the other.
The Shadow in Blue
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3 posted 08-06-2006 10:11 PM       View Profile for The Shadow in Blue   Email The Shadow in Blue   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit The Shadow in Blue's Home Page   View IP for The Shadow in Blue

hmmmm...well they may not be contradictory (in some instances). Curiosity can lead to faith, but you still can have curiosity and faith seperate. Faith  needs curiosity, but you don't necessarily need faith for curiosity all the time...not that I know of...But you probably are in the right in this instance Ron.
Essorant
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4 posted 08-06-2006 11:11 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I think it is impossible for a human to remove curiosity or belief from his Human Nature.  They are immortally fastened in its fathoms and therein also, I think, fastened to each other.
LeeJ
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5 posted 08-07-2006 09:57 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

I believe I can remain curious, but also stand like a rock on my personal constitutions...with an open mind to change and grow, if need be?  

Digital_Hell
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6 posted 08-07-2006 12:36 PM       View Profile for Digital_Hell   Email Digital_Hell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Digital_Hell

quote:
Not only are they not contradictory, but, indeed, you can't have one without simultaneously having the other.
Well id have to disagree. To have a burning interest in knowledge and a keen interest in increasing your understanding of the world and everything is contradictory to saying This is the absolute truth and it is the only way.

quote:
to remove curiosity or belief from his Human Nature
And yet we have those amongst us who have no need for faith or belief. They hold no absolute belief. What of them?

SO to stand on personal beliefs with absolute conviction but still be willing to have an open mind towards them?

I for one believe that to havea keen interest in all things, a burning desire for knowledge, i developed sharp intellect is directly at odds with a belief system which is absolute and allows for no discussion on its laurels

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Ron
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7 posted 08-07-2006 01:41 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
And yet we have those amongst us who have no need for faith or belief. They hold no absolute belief.

Are you sure of that? Absolutely sure?

quote:
I for one believe that to havea keen interest in all things, a burning desire for knowledge, i developed sharp intellect is directly at odds with a belief system which is absolute and allows for no discussion on its laurels

A burning desire for knowledge would allow no time for eating, for drinking, for sleeping, or for any of the other things that makes life possible. Like a flame, it would consume you.

See what happens when your own words are carried to extremes?

A belief system, even an absolute one, doesn't necessarily preclude room for discussion or adaptation, just as a burning desire for knowledge doesn't necessarily preclude time to eat. Everyone has faith in something, else they could not function. Everyone believes in something, else there would be nothing about which to be curious.

Belief is the foundation upon which reason and intellect are built. Mathematicians call them axioms, scientists call them Laws, but every human endeavor, whether it names it or not, depends on faith.


Stephanos
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8 posted 08-07-2006 04:04 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"Neque enim quaero intelligere ut credam, sed credo ut intelligam. Nam et hoc credo, quia, nisi credidero, non intelligam."

Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand. For this too I believe, that unless I first believe, I shall not understand.



"Negligentiae mihi esse videtur, si, postquam confirmati sumus in fide, non studemus quod credimus, intelligere."

I hold it to be a failure in duty if after we have become steadfast in our faith we do not strive to understand what we believe.



-Anselm Bishop of Canterbury
XOx Uriah xOX
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9 posted 08-07-2006 04:54 PM       View Profile for XOx Uriah xOX   Email XOx Uriah xOX   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for XOx Uriah xOX

Whatever you believe is belief.   Even if you believe you don't have one.   The belief in not holding to a belief is a belief.
::smiles::   I believe.
Grinch
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10 posted 08-07-2006 06:23 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Ron,

quote:
Everyone has faith in something, else they could not function. Everyone believes in something, else there would be nothing about which to be curious.

Belief is the foundation upon which reason and intellect are built. Mathematicians call them axioms, scientists call them Laws, but every human endeavor, whether it names it or not, depends on faith.


I agree that faith in certain circumstances is necessary, faith that when I breath my lungs will fill with air, faith that gravity will pull me back to earth if a leap in the air, faith in all the axioms and laws that shape my interaction with the world. I also agree that without these faiths we would find life extremely difficult however there is one specific type of faith that isnít a universal faith, one that is neither required nor necessary Ė religious faith.

After all I function without it, as do many people.

I read the original question as being about the compatibility of curiosity and religious faith in particular. If my reading was correct Iíd have to say that curiosity was still compatible but only up to point.

To explain what I mean I can use the broader definition of faith.

I have faith that when I leap in the air Iím going to be pulled back down to earth Ė thatís an effect and as such it has to have a cause Ė in this case my belief is that the gravity is the cause. Now letís introduce curiosity, suppose Iím led by curiosity to examine gravity and find that gravity isnít the cause, it is in fact caused by bubbles of luminisant ether bursting due to changes in altitude above sea level. Let us further suppose that I have evidence that clearly supports my claim Ė the scientific method allows for this, the cause can be replaced but my faith that when I leap in the air Iím going to be pulled back down to earth (effect) remains unchanged.

Now letís try that with religious faith.

I have faith that Christianity is the one true faithĖ thatís an effect and as such it has to have a cause Ė in this case my belief is that God is the cause. Now letís introduce curiosity, suppose Iím led by curiosity to examine God and find that God actually doesnít exist, the cause is in fact due to a misinterpretation of the Bible by early Christian scribes. Let us further suppose that I have evidence that clearly supports my claim Ė religion has no way to deal with this (unless you count claims of heresy), the cause cannot be replaced without my faith that Christianity is the one true faith (effect) falling apart, one is mutually incompatible with the other at this point.

If I was going to argue against this Iíd suggest that it isnít curiosity thatís incompatible but knowledge gained through curiosity though Iíd be hard pushed to separate the crrelation between the two.

Ron
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11 posted 08-07-2006 08:06 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Grinch, all you're really doing is substituting one faith for another and, indeed, in doing so, have introduced us to the one belief shared by all sane people. No, not a belief in gravity, though I might point out it, like God, seems to defy any clear understanding. I'm talking, rather, about your faith in cause and effect. Generally, when we find people who have lost their faith in cause and effect, we throw them in an institution.

Your analogy, I think, is flawed because your comparisons are flawed. If you want to use falling and gravity, then you should use creation and God as counterpoints. Just as falling will remain an effect even should you discover it has a different cause, creation, too, would withstand any denial of God.

If you want to, instead, talk about Christianity being the one true faith, then I think you need to compare it to your own faith, i.e., compare it to your conviction that cause and effect mandate you will continue to fall to Earth even in the face of new discoveries. You contend that religion is an effect and must have a cause, but offer no real proof of that. Is cause and effect an effect, too? What, then, is the cause of cause and effect? Your faith in the way the Universe is (not an effect, simply a reflection of reality) isn't all that different than a Christian's faith in the way God is. And, like the Christian, you can't simply substitute a new faith should the old one fail and continue to function in the same way you have all your life.

By the way, Grinch, I didn't interpret the question exactly as you did, but that's probably because I don't think of religion the same way you appear to think of it. Religion isn't necessarily just about God. I think we are subject to many religions, from the scientific method you mentioned in your own post, to democracy, to human rights, to a belief in the sanctity of human life. Religion isn't a four-letter word.


Grinch
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12 posted 08-07-2006 10:15 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Ron,

quote:
Your analogy, I think, is flawed because your comparisons are flawed. If you want to use falling and gravity, then you should use creation and God as counterpoints.


Iím not sure it is but Iím willing to go with the flow.

If I believe that creation, as laid out in the bible, is an effect and the cause was God and then prove that God did not in fact exist my belief in biblical creation is untenable.

If I believe that creation, as laid out in the bible, is an effect and the cause was God and then prove that God was not the creator (the cause) God may still exist, the creation theory may still hold up (though youíd need a substitute creator) but Christianity as a religious faith would then become untenable.

Which was my point, in science gravity (the source) can be replaced without losing faith in science or faith in the effect, scientific faith is amended not replaced completely. Religious faith is reliant on the existence of God, the whole God and nothing but the God. Take away God or Godís hand in creation and religious faith cannot be amended, it must be replaced completely.

The difference between the faiths of science and religion can be seen in other ways. Science for instance sees an effect and offers the best explanation, Religion sees an effect and offers one explanation, if someoneís curiosity leads him or her away from that explanation, theyíre said to have lost faith. If a scientistís curiosity leads them to a better explanation theyíre given a medal and congratulated on keeping their faith in science. So which faith is more compatible with curiosity?

quote:
You contend that religion is an effect and must have a cause, but offer no real proof of that.


Religion did not exist and then it did, a sane man would take that as evidence that there was a cause.

quote:
Your faith in the way the Universe is (not an effect, simply a reflection of reality) isn't all that different than a Christian's faith in the way God is. And, like the Christian, you can't simply substitute a new faith should the old one fail and continue to function in the same way you have all your life.


But my faith in science doesnít stand or fall on one underlying belief itís a multiplicity of single beliefs all of which can be amended and none of which are key to the existence of science as a wholeĖ removing gravity would be the equivalent of swapping a psalm or two in the bible removing God would require scrapping the whole book.

quote:
I think we are subject to many religions, from the scientific method you mentioned in your own post, to democracy, to human rights, to a belief in the sanctity of human life. Religion isn't a four-letter word.


It depends on the definition of religion, as simply a belief or faith Iíd agree all the above fall within the definition but when narrowed to a belief or faith in a God or Gods Iím not so sure.
Ron
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quote:
Religion did not exist and then it did, a sane man would take that as evidence that there was a cause.

If you equate religion with God, as you did earlier, then there was never a time religion/God did not exist. If, instead, you insist religion was created, then it was created by Man, not by God. I'm willing to accept either perspective for the sake of discussion, Grinch, but not a mix of the two.

quote:
But my faith in science doesnít stand or fall on one underlying belief ...

Sure it does, Grinch, which I thought I already demonstrated. As long as we're playing If/Then ...

If I proved that cause and effect was but an illusion, perhaps a means of "training" humanity implemented by magical beings, your faith in science would become just as untenable as a Christian's faith when you proved God didn't exist. Science, and indeed, our entire interaction with the physical universe, depends on unbridled faith in cause and effect.

(What does a lab rat think about cause and effect, I wonder, when we train it push a lever for food? Does the lever always cause the effect of food? Or only when an unseen human makes it so? It's the kind of short story premise Asimov would have loved to write.   )


(Here's another one. Let's suppose that every effect is a completely random event, but we can only experience and remember those effects that are preceded by something we can perceive as a cause. Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound? We perhaps see only a tiny sampling of all that happens around us, only those events we can associate with a cause, and all else, the random ghosts and UFOs and psychic gobbledygook, goes largely unmarked and unquestioned.   )

Grinch
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14 posted 08-08-2006 02:16 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Ron,

quote:
If you equate religion with God, as you did earlier, then there was never a time religion/God did not exist. If, instead, you insist religion was created, then it was created by Man, not by God. I'm willing to accept either perspective for the sake of discussion, Grinch, but not a mix of the two.


Iím not sure I did equate God with religion Ė I did say that one was an effect and the other the suggested cause but equating one with the other would be a mistake. God is to religion what Elvis is to Presley fans.

The second perspective is more acceptable

quote:
If I proved that cause and effect was but an illusion, perhaps a means of "training" humanity implemented by magical beings, your faith in science would become just as untenable as a Christian's faith when you proved God didn't exist. Science, and indeed, our entire interaction with the physical universe, depends on unbridled faith in cause and effect.


You mean youíd prove that the EFFECT was an illusion by reference to the CAUSE, would your method not disprove your hypothesis? (I knew reading Heller would come in handy at some point).

quote:
(What does a lab rat think about cause and effect, I wonder, when we train it push a lever for food? Does the lever always cause the effect of food? Or only when an unseen human makes it so? It's the kind of short story premise Asimov would have loved to write.)


I think Asimov may have found that the rats had formed an association between pushing the lever and receiving food, you could call it a low level recognition of cause and effect but they have no interest in the mechanics surrounding the effect. The rats are playing the same game a baby plays when it cries to be fed Ė it doesnít work every time but as long as it works some of the time theyíre happy. However science could help both of them discover the true correlation between the two events if they were curious enough.

quote:
(Here's another one. Let's suppose that every effect is a completely random event, but we can only experience and remember those effects that are preceded by something we can perceive as a cause. Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound? We perhaps see only a tiny sampling of all that happens around us, only those events we can associate with a cause, and all else, the random ghosts and UFOs and psychic gobbledygoook, goes largely unmarked and unquestioned.)


Now this I believe would sound more promising to Asimov, a world where only a small percentage of the things around us can be perceived. Even here there is a problem though, for cause and effect to be recognised by science it would need to be repeatable, if the effect is completely random in relation to the cause the association wouldnít be perceived Ė if the rat pushed the lever and random effects occurred there would be no cause and effect Ė Asimov could ask Heller but I think Itís that catch again.

Thanks for making me think though, even if Iím wrong the exercise is good.


Ron
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15 posted 08-08-2006 08:02 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
You mean youíd prove that the EFFECT was an illusion by reference to the CAUSE, would your method not disprove your hypothesis? (I knew reading Heller would come in handy at some point).

LOL. See, Grinch, like you, I can't help but think in terms of cause and effect. It's nice to know, I guess, that my sanity is still intact?


Essorant
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16 posted 08-09-2006 12:24 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Does existance have a cause?  


If you say it does, then methinks you are contradicting yourself.  For how can existance have a cause, if there isn't already existance for a cause?

Ron
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17 posted 08-09-2006 09:15 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

First Cause has been explored and argued for thousands of years, Essorant. It's nothing new, and certainly not intuitive.

Whether First Cause is divine or natural in origin, it always comes down to the same thing. When you roll the clock back far enough, the clock ceases to have any meaning.

God exists outside the constrictions and limitations of time, and so, too, must have the singularity we would eventually come to name the Big Bang. Without space and something to occupy the space, time no longer flows, and just as science depends on cause and effect for its meaning, cause and effect depend upon time. Without time, cause is necessarily concurrent with effect (though simultaneity, itself, becomes a concept that makes no sense in the absence of time) and becomes effect as much as cause.

Anything outside time, outside years and minutes and seconds, is eternal. It cannot have a beginning, because the very concept of beginning is time-dependent. First Cause has no meaning when first and second and third can no longer be measured by the passage of time.

The natural flow of time is just one of the many, many things in which we put our faith every day. Interestingly enough, that which you are questioning, i.e., existence itself, is something else that cannot be proven but only accepted through faith.
Essorant
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18 posted 08-09-2006 07:16 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

My opinion was said best in a few poetic lines I wrote quite a while back:

"Powers and weights, densities and amounts
all are the core, all are the perfect cause
compounded any way - everything counts
and is a maker and breaker of laws."

Kitherion
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19 posted 08-11-2006 07:58 AM       View Profile for Kitherion   Email Kitherion   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kitherion

Truely Digital, another interresting thread. Not only does the curious mind continually wonder to different paths but it also forces people to "follow the path not taken" if you will. I know this from personal expeiriance.
Blessed Be

Within the path of the Goddess I walk, she guides my every step.. into the oblivion called life.

 
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