PHILOMADRID

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fwd: Re: from Lawrence Pub Philosophy Meeting, 6PM, sunday: The necessity of Fa

--- In philomadridgroup@yahoogroups.co.uk, "philomadrid"
<philomadrid@...> wrote:

Dear Friends,


After that unexpected break, we are meeting next Sunday as usual: 6pm
Molly
Malone's.


It was intentional that the subject we are going to discuss is connected
with religion: The necessity of Faith. It is certainly a topic of the
day;
let's hope we can say a few interesting things about it. As usual!


See you Sunday.


Take care

Lawrence


SUNDAY 6.00pm START at Molly Malone's Pub, probably downstairs,

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Pub Molly Malone, c/ Manuela Malasaña, 11, Madrid 28004
metro: <Bilbao> : buses: 21, 149, 147


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The necessity of Faith.


Faith is sometimes used as a synonym for religion. And a very special
meaning of ''belief'' is used as a synonym for Faith.


Religion and god/gods feature prominently in some people's lives, and in
turn religions affect the lives of the rest of humanity whether we
like it
or not. Moreover, religions have been around for a long time and will
certainly continue to do so.


Main stream religions can be seen as the administrators of a moral code
which is supposed to have been set out by god/gods. Some, if not all
religions, interpret their administrative duties to mean imposition of
the
moral code with consequences both in this world and beyond if the code is
not followed.


However, what should be asked is why do we need an administrative body
for
the moral code in the first pace? In the same way that we don't need an
administrative authority to make sure that we are born with two legs
and two
arms, why do we need an authority for the moral code? Why couldn't we
inherit the moral code genetically in the same way we inherit the
colour of
our eyes genetically? After all, the origin and source of both our
body and
the moral code is the same.


Central to faith and religions is the age old question, "what is the
meaning
of life?" Since the advent of genetics and the credit card, this question
has more or less fallen out of favour with philosophers. Once again,
we are
here dealing with synonyms, for ''meaning'' read ''purpose'' and for
''life'' read ''human life''.


We can easily see why this question is still central for religions. If
god/gods created us, he or she or they would not have created us just for
the fun of it or on a whim. One thing we can be sure of about god/gods
and
it is this: nothing is done without a good purpose. I mean, human beings
might abuse other creatures or do things for no apparent reason or
because
we feel like it, but not god/gods.


However, I suspect that the question about the meaning of life
reflects more
our weaknesses than god/gods's intentions. If I see my neighbour chipping
away at a stone, it would be reasonable for me to ask him why is he doing
that? And if he tells me he wants a sharper arrow-head to kill the
buffalo
quicker next time he went hunting, I might even admire him for it. One
thing
is clear in all this: my neighbour has a good purpose for his arrow head.
Could it be that in reality we are projecting our rationale and reasoning
onto god/gods? Just because we expect to find purpose in things, why
should
god/gods need to have such qualification? What's wrong with god/gods just
wanting to give us life and that's it? Why should life have a meaning? In
fact, I would go so far as to suggest that if one is a believer in
god/gods
and asks about the meaning of life, one might sound a bit ungrateful.


On the other hand, we are now faced with the very philosophical question,
how can something be justified if it does not have a purpose? Is it
possible, both metaphysically and epistemologically, for something to
exist
without a purpose? And even more important for our question, can
something
be necessary without a purpose or justification?


We are often told we need to have faith, not for what

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