Monday, December 2, 2013

Problems with Faith

I've been developing an online Philosophy of Religion course.  This is one of the lecture/videos I created recently for it.  A discussion of the problems with Craig's view on faith.


Brad Lencioni said...

Great video! Is it for an online course at Sac State, or are you developing a free online course (by any chance)?

I have become a big fan of sites like Khan Academy, Complexity Explorer (led by Melanie Mitchell through the Santa Fe Institute; provides very cool info on complexity science!), Coursera, etc. However, such sites, while becoming enormously popular, are greatly lacking in the philosophy departments--which I think is unfortunate.

Do you have any thoughts on these kinds of sites and this evolution of education, McCormick?

Patrick said...

I think you misunderstand Craig’s view. In the following link Craig explains what he means by the witness of the Holy Spirit and its role as a foundation of one’s Christian faith:

I think that in this contribution Craig illustrates his point very well by the example of someone who is accused of a crime based on much evidence pointing to his guilt, but who knows that he is innocent and who, based on his subjective knowledge about his own innocence, refuses to take into consideration a change of his view in view of the seemingly overwhelming evidence against it. Such an attitude certainly isn’t irrational.

As for your objection that people of other faiths could appeal to the witness of the Holy Spirit as a confirmation of their religious convictions as well is in my view ungrounded, as to my knowledge most religions don’t have anything comparable to the witness of the Holy Spirit. There does seem to be something of the sort in Mormonism, a kind of “feeling in one’s bosom” that Mormonism is true, but I think that such a feeling is much different from the witness of the Holy Spirit.

In my view the witness of the Holy Spirit is more than just a feeling. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life as described in Romans 8,1-9 or Galatians 5,16-18. said...

Often discussions of what faith is gets a bit out there.

I think understanding faith as "belief and trust in God" is sufficient.

The bible is full of examples where faith is brought to people through reasoning ("As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures.." acts 17:2)
and proof.(The author of John's gospel is clear the miracles were proof that Jesus was from God.)

The whole notion that faith must be against the evidence etc is just fashionable among some people. The bible has a different view.

Hasnain Mohammed said...

Islam demands from its followers to believe in God, the Creator of the Universe, but it does not advise them to base such a belief on the statement of any religious book or any authoritative words, not even the word of the Holy Qur'an or of the holy Prophet.

Our belief in a holy book, such as the Qur'an, or in a holy prophet, such as Mohammad, must be preceded by our belief in God. A religious book is holy because it is introduced by a man whom we consider a prophet. Prophethood is conceivable only if there is God, because a prophet is a messenger of God. Our belief in God, therefore, must come before our belief in a religious book or a prophet, not vice versa.

No religious book is believed by all people, and no prophet is universally recognized. Therefore, it would be futile to rely on an authoritative statement of a prophet or a holy book when dealing with an atheist who disclaims all heavenly revelations and denies the whole concept of God.

How could some of the scientists permit themselves to make a claim that would necessitate knowledge as extensive as the scheme of the universe, when their knowledge of the total scheme of being is close to zero, when confronted with a whole mass of unknowns concerning this very earth and tangible, lifeless matter, let alone the whole universe?

Do scientific discoveries and knowledge cause such a scientist to conclude that matter, unknowing and unperceiving, is his creator and that of all beings?

Some people regard matter as independent and imagine that it has itself gained this freedom and elaborated the laws that rule over it. But how can they believe that hydrogen and oxygen, electrons and protons, should first produce themselves, then be the source for all other beings, and finally decree the laws that regulate themselves and the rest of the material world?

What is called science by the science-worshippers of the present age and regarded by them as equivalent to the sum total of reality, is simply a collection of laws applicable to a single dimension of the world. The result of all human effort and experimentation is a body of knowledge concerning a minute bright dot comparable to the dim light of a candle-surrounded by a dark night enveloping a huge desert of indefinite extent.