The Church Courtyard > Non-Catholic Discussion Subforum

What proof is there for faith?

(1/11) > >>

The Church's dogmas can be (deductively) proven only by the virtue of faith. I would like to know, is the existence of the virtue of faith also something which is only (deductively) proven by the virtue of faith? Or is there some way that the man without faith can come to know (for sure) that there is such a thing as faith?

Michael Wilson:
I cannot speak for other men, but for myself, I have no problem believing in the teachings of the Church, and the practice of the same religion has brought great peace to me and those who also practice it, especially those of my family. So I guess the peace and consolation that religion brings, would be a big proof.

But even false religions can bring a sense of peace, right? The peace the false religions bring is a false peace, but it still appears as peace. How do we know that the Christian religion, and no other religion, is right?

But anyway, when I say "proof", I'm looking for deduction, not induction. Induction is unreliable. All the evidence in the world cannot "prove" that the world is more than 5 minutes old (cf. Bertrand Russell's thought experiment). If we don't even know that the world is more than 5 minutes old, how can we possibly know that anything the Church says about what happened 2,000 years ago is true? (Further, how can we even know that the Church exists? For all anyone knows, maybe solipsism is right.)

But "faith" is supposedly what frees us from our ignorance, bringing us true knowledge.

But what I want to know is, how does the man without faith know that there's even such a thing as "faith"? Maybe there is no faith. Maybe the people who claim that faith exists--the people who claim to have faith--are mistaken or lying. (Or in the case of solipsism, maybe such people don't even exist.) Maybe there simply is no way of knowing whether the Church's teachings are true.

Faith, as a virtue (habituation) has nothing to do with how one feels. You need to 1st ask yourself what is Faith, what is its purpose and then extrapolate from there. Gravity can be deduced by its effects, as can Faith.

The purpose of faith, as far as I'm aware, is to give us theological knowledge. Without faith we have no knowledge, and without knowledge we cannot practice religion. The man without faith can conclude that the Church's teachings are probably true, and he could choose to believe them... but he could still be wrong. But the man with faith knows that the Church's teachings are right. He cannot be wrong. But I'm not sure how this works exactly.

I'm not sure we're on the same page. The existence of gravity is not deduced but induced. And as I said before, induction isn't reliable. Nobody knows for sure whether or not gravity exists. We all hold that gravity probably exists, and so we don't go jumping off of buildings or doing anything else that will probably get us killed. But we don't know for sure that gravity exists, or that we'll die from jumping off a building. Maybe gravity doesn't exist after all. Maybe there's some other explanation as to why a lot of objects seem to move downward when dropped and why planets orbit the sun.
Further, the effects of faith are invisible. So even if induction was reliable, a person without faith could not come to any conclusion about faith, even if he observes a million people who have it.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

There was an error while thanking
Go to full version