Types of Faith Spectrum

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deacon blues
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Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by deacon blues » Sun Jul 17, 2022 2:23 pm

As I was driving home from Bear Lake I was thinking about what a "Types of Faith" spectrum might look like. At one end would be blind faith. Next could be biased faith. Balanced faith could come next. The opposite of blind faith would be honest faith.
TYPE OF FAITH SPECTRUM
Blind Faith---- Biased Faith----- Balanced Faith----- Honest Faith
Faith could be in an individual or organization (One's spouse, Donald Trump, LDS Church, US govt, etc.) and Faith could be described as strong, medium or weak, but the "TYPE of Faith" Spectrum would be like the one I describe above, describing the nature of a person's faith, with faith describing our trust in things we haven't experienced. Because a single person can't experience everything Faith is how we deal with reality.
Faith can change. I had strong faith in the Covid vaccine, until I got Covid, after I had been fully vaccinated, and had the boosters. Now my faith in is medium, but my TYPE of faith is still what I might call balanced. If they have a new booster next year, I will get it, but if I continue to get Covid year after year a balanced faith would tell me to eventually disregard scientists advice, and trust me own experience.
From my perspective, TBMs TYPE of faith would probably range from blind faith to biased faith, with a relative few leaning towards balanced faith. If they had Honest faith, they would welcome, and even seek discussion about the evidence (facts/data) regarding LDS truth claims.
I think NOM's range all the way from one end of the spectrum to the other.
Has anyone met a TBM with TYPE of faith that would be described as honest? I can't think of any; not even Jim Bennett would qualify.

(Later addition) I should add here that TBM's can be strictly honest in everything else, but in matters of faith they promote bias, because that's what they are taught to do. which is an example of blind faith or biased faith, itself.
Last edited by deacon blues on Sun Jul 24, 2022 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by wtfluff » Sun Jul 17, 2022 4:27 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Sun Jul 17, 2022 2:23 pm
Has anyone met a TBM with TYPE of faith that would be described as honest? I can't think of any; not even Jim Bennett would qualify.
I think the vast majority of true believers would tell you that their faith is completely honest, and I believe them. They honestly believe the things they've been taught. There's no "dishonesty" whatsoever amongst any of the believers I know when they get up and bare testimony that they "know" things. Their version of "knowing" is completely logical according the the epistemology they have been taught.

What sort of quantitative differentiation do you have to define the differences between the different "types" of faith on your spectrum?

I can't really see faith on a spectrum TBH...
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by Angel » Mon Jul 18, 2022 7:38 am

Interesting idea. I think a faith spectrum might be similar to learning spectrum - like Perry levels
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_G._Perry
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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by deacon blues » Mon Jul 18, 2022 8:57 am

wtfluff wrote:
Sun Jul 17, 2022 4:27 pm
deacon blues wrote:
Sun Jul 17, 2022 2:23 pm
Has anyone met a TBM with TYPE of faith that would be described as honest? I can't think of any; not even Jim Bennett would qualify.
I think the vast majority of true believers would tell you that their faith is completely honest, and I believe them. They honestly believe the things they've been taught. There's no "dishonesty" whatsoever amongst any of the believers I know when they get up and bare testimony that they "know" things. Their version of "knowing" is completely logical according the the epistemology they have been taught.

What sort of quantitative differentiation do you have to define the differences between the different "types" of faith on your spectrum?

I can't really see faith on a spectrum TBH...
Great point. TBM's would say they were honest, but if they refuse to investigate opposing opinions they would meet the blind faith criteria. If they can't rationally defend their faith they would meet the biased faith criteria.
In my mind if they can explain an opposing point of view rationally they are probably in the balanced faith criteria. And if their actions demonstrate they are following where the evidence leads, whether they agree or not, they are in the honest faith category.
My ideas are vague, and I appreciate the input- it helps me clarify them, at least in my own mind. ;)
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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by wtfluff » Mon Jul 18, 2022 12:36 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 8:57 am
Great point. TBM's would say they were honest, but if they refuse to investigate opposing opinions they would meet the blind faith criteria. If they can't rationally defend their faith they would meet the biased faith criteria.
In my mind if they can explain an opposing point of view rationally they are probably in the balanced faith criteria. And if their actions demonstrate they are following where the evidence leads, whether they agree or not, they are in the honest faith category.
My ideas are vague, and I appreciate the input- it helps me clarify them, at least in my own mind. ;)
Ok...

Next question: What is your definition of "Faith". (No preceding qualifiers.)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by deacon blues » Mon Jul 18, 2022 2:34 pm

Faith- confidence in a thing that one hasn't directly experienced.

With apologies to Paul and Alma/Joseph Smith :D
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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by wtfluff » Mon Jul 18, 2022 3:21 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 2:34 pm
Faith- confidence in a thing that one hasn't directly experienced.
How does evidence play into this definition?

I don't have any personal "experience" with cancer. I believe firmly that it is real. In fact, I would say that I know it is real.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by deacon blues » Mon Jul 18, 2022 3:36 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 3:21 pm
deacon blues wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 2:34 pm
Faith- confidence in a thing that one hasn't directly experienced.
How does evidence play into this definition?

I don't have any personal "experience" with cancer. I believe firmly that it is real. In fact, I would say that I know it is real.
I like the question. My definition is different than Paul's. I would say faith is not the evidence. Faith is confidence/trust in the evidence.

Maybe I'm straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel, but- How did you learn about cancer?
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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by wtfluff » Mon Jul 18, 2022 4:41 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 3:36 pm
wtfluff wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 3:21 pm
deacon blues wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 2:34 pm
Faith- confidence in a thing that one hasn't directly experienced.
How does evidence play into this definition?

I don't have any personal "experience" with cancer. I believe firmly that it is real. In fact, I would say that I know it is real.
I like the question. My definition is different than Paul's. I would say faith is not the evidence. Faith is confidence/trust in the evidence.

Maybe I'm straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel, but- How did you learn about cancer?
Learn about cancer? Just like everyone else - there's no way to define how I learned about cancer.

I've had relatives die of cancer. I have relatives who are currently in remission when it comes to cancer. I've done plenty of research about types of cancer I'm prone to because of family history. I'm sure if I wanted to, I could find hundreds/thousands of peer-reviewed scientific journal articles where I could learn more about cancer.

deacon blues wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 3:36 pm
I like the question. My definition is different than Paul's. I would say faith is not the evidence. Faith is confidence/trust in the evidence.
"Faith is confidence/trust in the evidence." I would say if one has evidence, one does not need "faith."
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by stuck » Tue Jul 19, 2022 11:26 am

I am curious to know why we noms experienced a faith crisis but why some of our spouses or family have not. Is it because our faith is based on evidence? Mine started with the Blacks and the priesthood essay. It just didn't make sense to me that the former prophets would be wrong on this unless they were not true prophets. My wife's faith and probably many others in the church base their faith on perceived miracles right? I think another reason why tbms stay tbms is because they are afraid to look at sources that are not church approved. The church has told them not to do so. I learned about the priesthood essay when listening to npr. That peaked my curiosity so I looked into it more. Curiosity killed the cat :lol: Maybe if more tbms listened to npr there would be more who would doubt their faith or curiosity would cause them to do so.

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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by deacon blues » Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:03 pm

stuck wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 11:26 am
I am curious to know why we noms experienced a faith crisis but why some of our spouses or family have not. Is it because our faith is based on evidence? Mine started with the Blacks and the priesthood essay. It just didn't make sense to me that the former prophets would be wrong on this unless they were not true prophets. My wife's faith and probably many others in the church base their faith on perceived miracles right? I think another reason why tbms stay tbms is because they are afraid to look at sources that are not church approved. The church has told them not to do so. I learned about the priesthood essay when listening to npr. That peaked my curiosity so I looked into it more. Curiosity killed the cat :lol: Maybe if more tbms listened to npr there would be more who would doubt their faith or curiosity would cause them to do so.
My faith growing up was more evidence based, than others I knew. I wrestled with the the typical 1960-70's issues: Priesthood ban, BOM archaeology, etc. Others expressed 'feelings' that they had that the Church was true. Perceived miracles were a part of the basis for my faith, until evidence in other areas tipped the scales in other directions. My brother had an experience in Viet Nam that he and the rest of my family interpreted to mean the Church was True. I felt it could be a coincidence, or that God worked in mysterious ways. The meaning of the experience was not up for discussion with my brother, however.
The fear of looking at unapproved sources shows a blind faith approach, as far as I see it. To have a balanced faith, or an honest faith you have to approach a topic from more than one perspective.
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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by deacon blues » Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:38 pm

WTF, You're experience with cancer is a lot like mine. Cancer is real, but the subject is very complex, with multiple causes, cures, and continuing research. Fifty years ago I knew people who said smoking didn't cause cancer because they had smoked all their life and they were still alive. Their experience, for them outweighed science, probability, and the experience of others. They had what I would categorize as biased faith. They are saying: "My experience is more important than science or the thousands/millions of other cancer victims."
I naively believed that if I had all the Covid shots I would not get Covid. I got Covid, and I felt angry because of my expectation. Others got the shots and still got covid. I reviewed that evidence, and decided the vaccine was not as effective as the polio vaccine, for example. But my faith in science, based in part on my experience with polio, says don't overreact. If new boosters and vaccines are made available, I will study the situation and probably still take them.
This example may not be the best but I'll try it. Polio vaccines proved to be safe and effective. Thalidomide effective, but proved to be unsafe, especially for fetuses. People who had faith that it would be effective took it. Some just took it because it was available. (blind faith) Some, who were involved in producing it tried to maintain that it was safe. (biased faith) Some looked at all the evidence, which was growing and didn't use it. (balanced and/or honest faith.)
Ironically it may still be used to treat cancer. See thalidomide in Wikipedia.
My understanding of faith is based on an observation that possibilities and probabilities are as a big a part of reality as certainties.
I know when the light turns green that I have the legal right to drive through the intersection, but I still look both ways before I go.
I have faith that I have spelled correctly in this post, but I will pay attention if someone responds that I have made a mistake.
Thanks again for responding. :D
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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by wtfluff » Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:25 pm

So back to my original question:
wtfluff wrote:
Sun Jul 17, 2022 4:27 pm
What sort of quantitative differentiation do you have to define the differences between the different "types" of faith on your spectrum?
Anything quantitative?

Do you come to a point on your spectrum where you no longer need "faith" at all?


deacon blues wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:38 pm
I naively believed that if I had all the Covid shots I would not get Covid
I'm going to go ahead and quantify your "faith" here on your scale and say you had blind faith in the vaccine. I personally never read/heard anyone promoting the vaccine say that it was 100% protective against COVID. In fact, if I remember correctly, from the beginning "they" were saying that with since COVID is caused by a virus similar to the flu virus, COVID vaccines would probably end up being a lot like the flu vaccine with new versions of the vaccine, and possibly yearly shots like the flu because of the way coronaviruses mutate. Nowhere near 100% protective.
deacon blues wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:38 pm
This example may not be the best but I'll try it. Polio vaccines proved to be safe and effective.
Were the polio vaccines 100% safe and effective?
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by deacon blues » Tue Jul 19, 2022 8:20 pm

"Type of Faith" suggests qualitative not quantitative to me.
I agree tht I had blind faith in Covid shots.
The online sources I found said polio vaccine ranged fom 90% to 99% effective.
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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by wtfluff » Wed Jul 20, 2022 6:33 am

deacon blues wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 8:20 pm
"Type of Faith" suggests qualitative not quantitative to me.
No way to quantify the differences?

I'll shut up then, and just stick with Mark Twain's definition of faith, mingled with a little fluff.



EDIT: Look at that. I was actually able to shut up for what, 5 minutes?

One more question Deacon, and I can't believe It didn't hit me yet: How do your "Types of Faith" relate to Fowler's Stages of Faith?
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jul 23, 2022 10:09 am

deacon blues wrote:
Sun Jul 17, 2022 2:23 pm
Has anyone met a TBM with TYPE of faith that would be described as honest? I can't think of any; not even Jim Bennett would qualify.
Honest faith is nonsensical if you break the concept down, starting with the definition. Alma defines faith as "hope for things which are not seen, which are true." It's a problem of circularity. "I believe it, even though I can't see it, because it's true." That can be restated as, "I assume it is true, therefore I believe in it." As far as I can tell, there's pretty much nothing in Mormonism that is "true." Therefore, there can be no faith as it is defined. A more accurate definition would be "belief in things for which there is no evidence, which I hope are true."
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by deacon blues » Sun Jul 24, 2022 2:47 pm

In reviewing Fowler's Stages of Faith I picked this version because the simpler language made it easier for me to understand.


Fowler’s Stages of Faith Explained in Plain Language
https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/w ... 7602.shtml

Pre-Stage: Undifferentiated Faith

Generally children from birth through about 2 years of age.
Have the potential for faith but lack the ability to act on that potential.
Through loving care from parents and other adults in their life young children start to build a lived experience of trust, courage, hope and love.
At this stage, children experience faith as a connection between themselves and their caregiver.
Stage 1: Intuitive-Projective Faith

Generally pre-school aged children.
The cognitive development of children of this age is such that they are unable to think abstractly and are generally unable to see the world from anyone else’s perspective. As Robert Keeley writes: “These children cannot think like a scientist, consider logical arguments, or think through complex ideas.”
Faith is not a thought-out set of ideas, but instead a set of impressions that are largely gained from their parents or other significant adults in their lives. In this way children become involved with the rituals of their religious community by experiencing them and learning from those around them.
Stage 2: Mythic-Literal Faith

Generally ages 6 to 12.
Children at this age are able to start to work out the difference between verified facts and things that might be more fantasy or speculation.
At this age children’s source of religious authority starts to expand past parents and trusted adults to others in their community like teachers and friends.
Like the previous stage, faith is something to be experienced. At this stage it is because children think in concrete and literal ways. Faith becomes the stories told and the rituals practiced.
Later in this stage children begin to have the capacity to understand that others might have different beliefs than them.
Stage 3: Synthetic-Conventional Faith

Generally starts about the age of 13 and goes until around 18. However, some people stay at this stage for their entire life.
Unlike previous stages, people at this stage are able to think abstractly. What were once simple unrelated stories and rituals can now be seen as a more cohesive narrative about values and morals. With abstract thinking comes the ability to see layers of meaning in the stories, rituals and symbols of their faith.
At this stage people start to have the ability to see things from someone else’s perspective. This means that they can also imagine what others think about them and their faith.
People at this stage claim their faith as their own instead of just being what their family does. However, the faith that is claimed is usually still the faith of their family.
Issues of religious authority are important to people at this stage. For younger adolescents, that authority still resides mostly with their parents and important adults. For older adolescents and adults in this stage, authority resides with friends and religious community. For all people in this stage, religious authority resides mostly outside of them personally.
Stage 4: Individuative-Reflective Faith

This stage usually starts in late adolescence (18 to 22 years old). However Robert Keeley points out that “people of many generations experience the kind of dissonance that comes with the real questions of faith that one begins to address at this stage of development.”
People in this stage start to question their own assumptions around the faith tradition.
Along with questioning their own assumptions about their faith, people at this stage start to question the authority structures of their faith.
This is often the time that someone will leave their religious community if the answers to the questions they are asking are not to their liking.
Greater maturity is gained by rejecting some parts of their faith while affirming other parts. In the end, the person starts to take greater ownership of their own faith journey.
Stage 5: Conjunctive Faith

People do not usually get to this stage until their early thirties.
This stage is when the struggles and questioning of stage four give way to a more comfortable place. Some answers have been found and the person at this stage is comfortable knowing that all the answers might not be easily found.
In this stage, the strong need for individual self-reflection gives way to a sense of the importance of community in faith development.
People at this stage are also much more open to other people’s faith perspectives. This is not because they are moving away from their faith but because they have a realization that other people’s faiths might inform and deepen their own.
Stage 6: Universalizing Faith

It is a rare person who reaches this stage of faith.
James Fowler describes people at this stage as having “a special grace that makes them seem more lucid, more simple, and yet somehow more fully human than the rest of us.”
People at this stage can become important religious teachers because they have the ability to relate to anyone at any stage and from any faith. They are able to relate without condescension but at the same time are able to challenge the assumptions that those of other stages might have.
People at this stage cherish life but also do not hold on to life too tightly. They put their faith in action, challenging the status quo and working to create justice in the world.
Robert Keeley points to people like Gandhi and Mother Teresa as examples of people who have reached this stage.
Home

Fowler attempts to analyze and understand a very complex subject. This is not a black and white dichotomy. That's what I'm trying to do also. Perhaps all of us started with blind faith, because our survival was so tied up in what our parents taught us.
At some age many, perhaps most, saw differences between what their parents or primary culture taught them, and what they observed, read or heard about. I think Fowler says this can happen at different stages/ages.
For whatever reason, some of us explored, and maybe experimented with different world views. In the 1960-70's I read things like The Greening of America,(Reich) Atlas Shrugged,(Rand) and Spiritual Roots of Human Relations.(Covey) They all taught divergent and conflicting views of reality. I put some faith in each and "tried them on" through mainly mental experiments.
I never picked one to the exclusion of the others. In retrospect, I think I took a reasonably balanced perspective of each. Some would probably disagree.
They each influenced my life, some "Greening" only very briefly. I re-read Atlas Shrugged a couple of time, and became less enchanted with it. Spiritual Roots had the most profound influence on my thinking. I always felt like Covey was holding back something, but I could be wrong.

Geez, this post is too long. :? Thanks for reading, and helping me winnow my thoughts. 8-)
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Re: Types of Faith Spectrum

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Jul 25, 2022 12:00 pm

stuck wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 11:26 am
I am curious to know why we noms experienced a faith crisis but why some of our spouses or family have not. Is it because our faith is based on evidence?
For us, it might have been that I'm a very emotion-driven person and always had a lot of empathy for others (sometimes to a fault). Even strangers. When I saw the damage that the church and it's teaching were doing to people it started a faith crisis for me. I would try to talk to my wife about it but it just wouldn't sink in because overall she was having a good experience. She is very pragmatic and logical (sometimes to a fault). However, once there was conclusive evidence that it was damaging our children then it finally hit her. It had to hit close to home enough to shake up her own experience which was mostly positive.
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Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

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