[lit-ideas] Re: Censorship

  • From: "Phil Enns" <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 11:53:15 -0400

Andy Amago wrote:

"If a belief is based in [X, here, faitih] and an individual has that
belief, that individual is based in [X, here, faith]."

Oh my.

That leap from belief to individual is a curious one.  Is my right hand
based in faith?  And what if I lose my faith?  (That's for Mike.)

Being generous, perhaps what is meant is that all of the beliefs held by
this individual are based in faith.  But I also believe that, at sea level,
water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.  Surely that belief, and its being true,
is independent of my belief in God?

But there is a fundamental problem here.  It is accurate to call me a person
of faith.  However, I am this person because of the beliefs I hold as
opposed to holding my beliefs because I have faith.  That is, I don't know
what it means to have faith except holding particular beliefs.  It doesn't
make sense to say that someone holds a set of beliefs because they have
faith since having faith _means_ holding beliefs of a certain kind.  It is a
common mistake to take faith as something independent, and usually
foundational, of belief-holding.  Not unlike taking the will to be something
independent, and usually foundational, of acting.


Phil Enns
Toronto, ON

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