Hmm, I don't think we are communicating clearly. You were talking about approaches to understanding reality, and mentioned that science is no better than philosophy, etc. etc. I am claiming that in the vein of understanding reality, the scientific method produces better answers than other methods. This is not to say that science produces predictable outcomes for each individual case. That's not true at all. Science is all about the average, the mean. Also, note that I was very careful to use the words "scientific method" rather than science. Science might be characterized as physics, chemistry, geology, etc. but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the method, which by design, produces repeatable outcomes, predictable outcomes, and adherence to observable reality.Heber13 wrote:I know you have a greater appreciation for science than I do, since you work with it everyday. But I still think there are things out of the realm of science, and trying to cram those elements through a science shaped hole doesn't seem to fit, and therefore doesn't seem to me to produce the best answers or predictable outcomes for an individual situation.
Of course it is. It doesn't matter whether it's on a personal basis or not, the method works. In fact, it is likely better on the individual basis (as long we don't always end up thinking we're the exception to the rule). The huge variable is that people's standards of evidence are vastly different. Yes, people move ahead without knowing the outcome for sure. But think about this - you're basically saying "we don't know the future." Of course we don't! If I walk across the Golden Gate bridge I have no idea if it's going to collapse, and I can't "prove" that it won't beforehand. In fact, the only completely reasonable thing I can say, after I crossed the bridge, is that this bridge, during this span of time, in this place, in this universe didn't collapse. Nevertheless, I have confidence that the engineers used proper techniques, that the bridge is inspected and cared for, and that there is a high probability that it will not collapse should I walk across it again. The big difference between this and "faith," as we are talking about it, is the standard, and kind of evidence. What I really think you're saying when you say "move ahead without knowing the outcome for sure" is that people have different standards of evidence for accepting risk.Heber13 wrote:Perhaps that is a form of the scientific method, such as Alma 32 where you test things...but you do it through personal experience and some people benefit from spiritual guidance to move ahead without knowing the outcome for sure.
This is why I think faith, as meant in this context, is not a very good definition. It presumes an arbitrary standard and level of evidence, and it is easy to judge another for not being faithful if their standard of evidence is different than yours.
Perhaps this is too off topic and we need a new thread on faith. I think your definition is kind of close, but lacking. What can be proven? I know of nothing that can be absolutely proven. After all, we could be in the "matrix."Heber13 wrote:I think that is faith...confidence in something when you can't prove it...but you just have confidence it will be for the best for you, and when you have proven it, then you continue learning and having confidence in the next thing that is unproven. And so knowledge and faith coincide and feed off of each other.
What I think you're really saying is "faith is confidence in something when you're less confident in it than you might otherwise be." So, this means that walking across the bridge doesn't require faith because you have a high level of confidence in it not collapsing. I could almost buy into this definition were it not for the fact that most Mormons "know" the church is true? If you "know" or are very confident that God exists, have you diminished your faith just like in the bridge example? If Joseph was visited by God, and hence is extremely confident in his existence should we conclude that Joseph no longer had faith in God's existence? That doesn't seem quite right either.
I could not agree more. I think we're on the same page, but talking past each other. I'm not advocating that science has the answers to all of life's problems. Far from it. As I've said before - it's a tool. I never said I thought spiritual witnesses were worthless. I have just stated that for me, I do not find them reliable in telling me about observable reality. Like Hawkgrrrl said, I believe they are intensely personal, and for individual consumption, and they are very valid in that context.Heber13 wrote:If we are talking my relationship to my wife...there is little scientific approach to how I develop love for her, IMO. She is so unpredictable...I have to try to move away from "If..then.." thinking, and turn to charity and feelings to establish a strong relationship. Even psychology can only go so far in helping, because the individual feelings are unique to the individual circumstance and person, and while there is value in studying psychology to help my relationship...it still comes down to my actions. There is no book to prove how to be a great husband, parent, or friend. My relationship to God is even more complex.