Daniel Peterson: Exploring how 'Faith is Not Blind'

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  • Cory Atkin Boise, ID
    Jan. 2, 2019 7:06 a.m.

    Observations on faith and science:

    Faith is a belief in something based on evidence (faith without evidence is magical thinking).

    Science is a belief in something based on evidence.

    Good faith and bad faith are distinguished by the quality of the evidence.

    Good science and bad science are distinguished by the quality of the evidence.

    Good faith demands that the evidence be reproducible (study it out for yourself, get your own witness).

    Good science demands that the evidence be reproducible (rerun the experiments and verify the results).

    Bad faith says, “trust us, we are experts.”

    Bad science says, “trust us, we are experts.”

    In this infinitely large and likewise complex universe we inhabit, coupled with the primitiveness of our observational instruments (our brains), it isn’t surprising that we end up with far more bad faith and science than the converse.

  • Terry29 Gadsden, AL
    Dec. 19, 2018 6:03 a.m.

    The thesis/antithesis/synthesis paradigm applies to science as well as religion. An irrational faith in science stems from being stuck at the thesis level, just like an irrational faith in religion, and also a refutation of religion or science stems from being stuck at the antithesis level.

    I have worked with medicine, a field of science and its application, for the last 49 years. Many areas have been reshaped and reformed from moving through the antithesis level into the synthesis level.

    I have also moved through levels in religion. We are still discovering what Joseph Smith started two centuries ago. I have learned that religion is rational, because living it makes us happier, healthier, more educated, and longer lived than otherwise.

    The definition of insanity isn't an absence of hallucinations, but the inability to hold a job or have healthy relationships. If faith helps us be better educated, better companions, better providers, better parents, better citizens (which social studies have shown), then more power to it. If something works, like quantum theory, then apply it. It just might be right no matter how crazy it appears at the antithesis level.

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    Dec. 18, 2018 5:44 a.m.

    Stubbornly holding on to faith in things that are not true can lead to blindness and delusion.

  • Chungman St George, UT
    Dec. 15, 2018 6:30 p.m.

    I agree with Kimball on what Level A would look like, "good, true, and harmonious." However Level A would also include a faith promoting and sanitized narrative, a narrative that also discourages believing members from looking outside Mormonism for answers.

    The problem with Level B is exactly what Kimball states! That anti-Mormon accounts are "bad, false and chaotic, also that Church leaders are deceitful and evil and the Church's account of their story is a lie. Church leaders have labeled any account that is not "faith Promoting" or which does not support the Church's true narrative of accounts as being Anti-Mormon Propaganda. Perhaps the term "Anti-Mormon" needs a new understanding.

    Four years ago, the LDS Church put out a series of Gospel Essays that can be found on LDS.org. Using Kimball's definition of anti-Mormon literature, many would conclude that a majority of those essays would now fall into that category.

    Thanks to search engines like GOOGLE, yesterday's anti-Mormon propaganda is now becoming the Church's new narrative. Books like "Rough Stone Rolling" and the new "Saints" book would definitely be anti-Mormon propaganda back in Kimball's era.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 14, 2018 4:50 p.m.

    >>It is a possibility, perhaps worth exploring, with some promise of discovery...

    The possibility of eternal existence isn't worth exploring?

    >>Religion is theory with no evidence of reality, It is a dream.

    That is where the skeptics are wrong. You *can* experiment with religious teachings to see whether they deliver on what they promise. But that requires putting them into practice. Skeptics prefer instead to demand that God be a version of Pavlov's dog, reacting the same way on demand under reproducible conditions. "Prove it and I will believe." He prefers "believe and I will prove it," because He's trying to teach us something.

    >>However, there may be a scientific possibility that string theory will be proven.

    String theorists have been working for decades and have yet to come up with a single testable prediction, must less a viable experiment. I won't say "never," but we can't even get past the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to discern all of the relevant properties of quantum particles. And we're supposed to probe the sub-quantum realm to find vibrating energy loops no bigger than the Planck Length? Can't wait to see how they figure that one out.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 14, 2018 12:15 p.m.

    Theory is just that, theory. It is conjecture, it is not a believe or faith. It is a possibility, perhaps worth exploring, with some promise of discovery of scientific evidence and physical reality. Religion is theory with no evidence of reality, It is a dream. Could it be a dream come true, perhaps. Organized religion super succeeds in selling dreams, and there are thousands to choose from. But you will never know in this life time on earth if any of them are true. However, there may be a scientific possibility that string theory will be proven.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Dec. 14, 2018 12:03 p.m.

    If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
    (Matthew 17: 20)
    What! Make a mountain literally relocate before our eyes by telekinetic force of will without lifting a finger? There’s no documented case of that ever happening that I know of.

    It’s tempting to dismiss Jesus as a charlatan preying on superstitious rubes in a way he never could today with our advanced knowledge and superior intelligence. What’s challenging but rewarding is considering Jesus’ words as a metaphor for being able to accomplish things you never thought possible.

    What’s difficult is laughing at ourselves for ever being dumb enough to insist he meant it literally.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 11:57 a.m.

    RE: Craig Clark Satan at work to lead me astray. That is an awful burden for an adult to place on the mind of a child.

    Jesus, we should pray, "Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from the evil one(Satan)" (Mt 6:13.

    we need protection from Satan "who prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). And we need protection from overwhelming temptations and "lusts that wage war against the soul" (2:11).

    What's the bottom line in the damage that these enemies can do? What is the one thing that cuts us off from heaven? The answer is unbelief. Not trusting God. Not living "by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us" (Gal 2:20).

    God’s elect are "protected [from losing our final salvation] by the power of God through faith"? It means that God's power protects us for salvation by sustaining our faith. The only thing that can keep us from heaven is forsaking our faith in Christ, and turning to other hopes, other treasures. So to protect us God prevents that. He inspires and nourishes and strengthens and builds our faith. And in doing this he secures us against the only thing that could destroy us; unbelief, lack of trust in God.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 14, 2018 11:15 a.m.

    >>Truth is not based on strong feelings. It is based on credible evidence.

    And yet scientists are perfectly willing to believe ideas for which there is no credible evidence. Dark matter, string theory, reality is a simulation, etc etc.

    Dark matter is the fun one right now. "Gravity's behavior on very large scales doesn't match our theories, so 95% of the universe must be a strange form of matter that we can't see, touch, or detect because it doesn't interact with matter or energy." But to create a gravitational effect, you must have a particle with mass; mass requires interaction with the Higgs Field via the Higgs Boson; but if dark matter doesn't interact with normal matter or energy, it can't interact with the Higgs Boson and therefore can't have mass and...oh, bother, where's that theory of quantum gravity when you really need it?

    Maybe it does exist. Maybe someday scientists will find some. But right now, insisting on the reality of something they can't see, touch, detect, or produce when doubters ask for proof sounds like faith to me--"A hope in that which is not seen which is true."

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 14, 2018 10:02 a.m.

    Religious faith is believing that others will be blind enough to benefit you and believe your balderdash.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Dec. 14, 2018 8:44 a.m.

    In my religious upbringing, any doubt that entered my mind on any matter taught in Sunday School was simply Satan at work to lead me astray. That is an awful burden for an adult to place on the mind of a child. Parents, think when you teach your children.

  • CMTM , 00
    Dec. 14, 2018 8:07 a.m.

    RE: Karen R, demonstrable evidence that Gospels supernatural claims are true. 1 E.g,,,

    Isaiah the Fifth Gospel" The Dead sea scroll Isaiah contains all 66 chapters of the Hebrew version of the biblical Book of Isaiah. 125 BC, in. Isaiah 53, " In Matthew, Mark, Luke, John ... The prophet Isaiah, 7 centuries before Christ’s coming to earth, wrote the essence of the Christian message in what many have called “the fifth Gospel.

    About 150 times in the O. T. the word “salvation”The Hebrew word Yeshua Jesus is the Greek-anglicized form of Yeshua=Salvation. Yeshua never heard the name “Jesus” in His lifetime which is very similar to Joshua a common Hebrew name at the time.

    "The name ‘Jesus’ did not yet exist during the his time on earth . It did not come into existence until it was configured by the Council of Nicea." Messianic Judaism .

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Dec. 14, 2018 5:50 a.m.

    Level A: What you get taught as a child during a period when children are hardwired to believe what grown-ups tell them.

    Level B: The cognitive dissonance experienced by many when they reach the age of reason and begin to think for themselves.

    Level C: What it looks like after people have come to terms with what they discovered at Level B. The results vary and the reasons are myriad, but none of them - none of them - include demonstrable, falsifiable evidence that religion's supernatural claims are true.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 13, 2018 8:26 p.m.

    Contrary to some I think too many who write on Church history ignore the hand of the Lord. I see it in building the Church in Ghana, New Zealand, Nigeria and many other places. I see it in the leaders the Lord rises up to do his work in each time. We need to be more open about it and reject Arringtonian humanism in writing Church history.

  • Silver Stingray St George, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 11:14 a.m.

    People who sit around a campfire in the woods are convinced there are ghosts. Scientists and the educated do not.

    Truth is not based on strong feelings. It is based on credible evidence.

  • Red Corvette St George, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 11:12 a.m.

    Faith is believing what you know ain't true." -Mark Twain

  • Tyler D Prescott, AZ
    Dec. 13, 2018 8:45 a.m.

    “Faith is the license religious people give themselves to keep believing when reasons (and evidence) fail.” – Sam Harris