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Author Topic: Between Delusion and Faith  (Read 3286 times)

dionysiandame

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Between Delusion and Faith
« on: January 18, 2012, 12:19:16 pm »
While engaging in a, rather heated, debate about scientific illiteracy, I used the word "delusional." (Okay I called someone The White Knight of the Delusional (tm). I'll send myself to the flogging thread asap.)

After responding I began thinking about the difference between delusion and faith,mainly because I realized I, myself, could be called delusional for believing in gods, magic, and a host of other things with no scientific proof.

Assuming we all know the definitions for faith and delusion, I'm sharing a philosophical viewpoint of the differences; which could end up just being a delusion in and of itself.

Faith, to put it bluntly, does not need outside validation for its existence;only solid, concrete, evidence against it can hold any kind of sway. It doesn't need reinforcement from others, doesn't crumble when challenged, and is capable of admitting its fallacy. Good, bad or indifferent, faith doesn't require outside stimuli to survive.

Delusion however does require outside stimuli and will actively seek it or create it as evidence for the delusion in question. Delusions have to be reinforced because, somewhere, deep down in the conscious/subconscious the individual knows they are/could be wrong and seek to mitigate that reminder at all costs. Government/Media sanctioned Islamaphobia post 9/11, the modern "post racial" society, and the various positive thinking movements could all be examples of delusions.

The reaffirming has to be constant, differing viewpoints are instantly silenced and or individuals insulate themselves by only remaining around those who feed the delusions they possess.

Sure, this is probably very simplistic, not explained very well, heavily written in my favor, and a host of other negatives that will insure I don't win a Peabody any time soon (or anytime ever) but what are do you guys think? Is there a difference between faith and delusion?

Or is my attempt to separate the two merely proof of my own delusion?  :confused:
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HeartShadow

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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 12:31:42 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;39260


 
Well, there's always the level of "what I believe is faith, what you believe is delusion".  Which is a regular trap.

That said - delusion really does require we ignore the reality of something.  Like "creation science" - it skews everything that is already there to a point that's just crazy, then argues that it's correct and that everyone else should just shut up.  It claims equal status on the basis of "fairness" and changes the definition of what it's talking about depending on the audience.

Faith doesn't require external validation.  I believe, and I don't see a need to prove it.  Delusion requires and creates validation out of anything it can find.

treekisser

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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 12:36:23 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;39260

Assuming we all know the definitions for faith and delusion, I'm sharing a philosophical viewpoint of the differences; which could end up just being a delusion in and of itself.


Maybe you should set out those definitions. Right now I'm not sure the distinction you draw between faith and delusion hinges on something else.

dionysiandame

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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 12:47:01 pm »
Quote from: treekisser;39273
Maybe you should set out those definitions. Right now I'm not sure the distinction you draw between faith and delusion hinges on something else.

 
Delusion-
1. (Psychiatry) Psychiatry a belief held in the face of evidence to the contrary, that is resistant to all reason

Faith
1. strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence


I think the key difference between these two definitions is delusion being "resistant to all reason."

 For example, The Cauldron is very good about differentiating between UPG and fact; a testament to the faith (or lack thereof for Atheists) of the board moderators. Because they are secure in the knowledge of individual gnosis being experiences that cannot be, easily, duplicated by another there is no need for mass validation to insure order.
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Nachtigall

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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 01:13:00 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;39275
Delusion-
1. (Psychiatry) Psychiatry a belief held in the face of evidence to the contrary, that is resistant to all reason

Faith
1. strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence


I think the key difference between these two definitions is delusion being "resistant to all reason."

 For example, The Cauldron is very good about differentiating between UPG and fact; a testament to the faith (or lack thereof for Atheists) of the board moderators. Because they are secure in the knowledge of individual gnosis being experiences that cannot be, easily, duplicated by another there is no need for mass validation to insure order.

By that definition belief in existence of God/Gods cannot be called a delusion - since there's no proof that some kind of higher power cannot exist, there is simply no evidence to the contrary. Belief in magic, on the other hand, can be verified or disproved in some cases - the spells either bring results or they don't.

Mata

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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 09:51:46 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;39267
Well, there's always the level of "what I believe is faith, what you believe is delusion".  Which is a regular trap.

That said - delusion really does require we ignore the reality of something.  Like "creation science" - it skews everything that is already there to a point that's just crazy, then argues that it's correct and that everyone else should just shut up.  It claims equal status on the basis of "fairness" and changes the definition of what it's talking about depending on the audience.

Faith doesn't require external validation.  I believe, and I don't see a need to prove it.  Delusion requires and creates validation out of anything it can find.

I feel similarly.


[general reply] My religious faith I have no need or desire to prove to anyone. I use logic and critical thinking, and my faith does change in accordance with my thoughts and learning. But it's not dependent upon proof or validation outside of myself.
And the way a faith is handled is important in distinguishing between it and delusion. Delusion is when faith is brought out of the personal sphere and an attempt is made to force it upon people or reality. Then it's a matter of delusion. I don't mistake my faith for reality, in a critical sense. Trying to bend facts and science to suit one's preconceived notions is when faith, no matter how vague it is, crosses into definite delusion.

I think. I could be much more articulate. But that can wait until morning. Heh.
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treekisser

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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 10:05:12 am »
Quote from: dionysiandame;39275
Delusion-
1. (Psychiatry) Psychiatry a belief held in the face of evidence to the contrary, that is resistant to all reason

Faith
1. strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence


I think the key difference between these two definitions is delusion being "resistant to all reason."


These are not distinct definitions. An "unshakeable" belief is resistant to reason. Having a strong belief without evidence is certainly non-rational.
 
Semantics aside, I've always felt less interested in whether I'm delusional and more into whether my life feels meaningful.

Castus

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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 01:13:00 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;39260
While engaging in a, rather heated, debate about scientific illiteracy, I used the word "delusional." (Okay I called someone The White Knight of the Delusional (tm).)

*snorts*

That's awesome. Anyway faith, by virtue of being faith rather than reason, doesn't need outside confirmation. You know the gods are real; why need anything else? The Religio has a tradition of rationality associated with it. The philosophers of ancient times knew there were gods and yet tried to find out why. We live in a world full of gods but that does not mean we live in a world without reason. That's why miracles are investigated by the Vatican, etc.
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r2squared

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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2012, 01:26:53 am »
Quote from: dionysiandame;39260
Sure, this is probably very simplistic, not explained very well

 
Actually, you hit the nail quite on the head! I, too, have been annoyed at the delusions of people around me. I'm a person that craves a balance between logic and idealism, but some people take idealistic ideas way too far.

My generation, for example. Everybody was raised by television to think they're gonna be some fabulous model, a famous actor, or a talented musician. When odds are, they're not. Many a friendship I have had to terminate simply because I can not handle a person who refuses to accept reality for what it is.

Sharysa

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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2012, 03:30:15 am »
Quote from: r2squared;60753
Everybody was raised by television to think they're gonna be some fabulous model, a famous actor, or a talented musician. When odds are, they're not. Many a friendship I have had to terminate simply because I can not handle a person who refuses to accept reality for what it is.

A consistent problem I find with these people is that they think it's going to happen instantly, and on their own. The overnight successes stories were all down to being in the right place, at the right time, with the right person. But most successful people need to... you know, go to school for a few years, work for a few more years, and do as much extraneous stuff to have the biggest network possible.

Of course, that's not so much deluded as it is naive/inexperienced.

I personally define delusion as someone refusing to accept reality, while faith is continuing with full knowledge of reality.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 03:31:24 am by Sharysa »
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GiveWingstoHope

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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2013, 01:21:58 pm »
Quote from: Sharysa;60766
A consistent problem I find with these people is that they think it's going to happen instantly, and on their own. The overnight successes stories were all down to being in the right place, at the right time, with the right person. But most successful people need to... you know, go to school for a few years, work for a few more years, and do as much extraneous stuff to have the biggest network possible.

Of course, that's not so much deluded as it is naive/inexperienced.

I personally define delusion as someone refusing to accept reality, while faith is continuing with full knowledge of reality.

 

I quite like the way you differentiated the two ^.^
But then where does delusion end and simply being ignorant, naive, or socially conditioned begin?
I think it's something of this nature:

Delusion is having seen every side of something, looked into it from every possible angle, and refusing to accept it, despite knowing it.
Unfortunately, a lot of people take what they're spoon fed from school or TV or the media as if it's the undeniable whole truth, and then seem disillusioned, when in reality they just didn't bother to look into it themselves.
How do you separate those people though?
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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2013, 02:16:50 pm »
Quote from: GiveWingstoHope;105437
I quite like the way you differentiated the two ^.^
But then where does delusion end and simply being ignorant, naive, or socially conditioned begin?
I think it's something of this nature:

Delusion is having seen every side of something, looked into it from every possible angle, and refusing to accept it, despite knowing it.
Unfortunately, a lot of people take what they're spoon fed from school or TV or the media as if it's the undeniable whole truth, and then seem disillusioned, when in reality they just didn't bother to look into it themselves.
How do you separate those people though?

 
FYI, delusion and disillusioned are not the same thing. Was that some kind of autocorrect fail?
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yewberry

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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 01:10:33 am »
Quote from: Jack;105468
FYI, delusion and disillusioned are not the same thing. Was that some kind of autocorrect fail?

 
It's some kind of fail.

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Re: Between Delusion and Faith
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 07:24:16 pm »
Quote from: GiveWingstoHope;105437

Delusion is having seen every side of something, looked into it from every possible angle, and refusing to accept it, despite knowing it.
Unfortunately, a lot of people take what they're spoon fed from school or TV or the media as if it's the undeniable whole truth, and then seem disillusioned, when in reality they just didn't bother to look into it themselves.
How do you separate those people though?

 
I think the delusional and the disillusioned can be separated, or distinguished from each other (because they do often have overlapping types of reactions) by a waiting period to see what is done with the disillusionment. The people under a delusion will find ways to justify/rationalize their delusion regardless, and the disillusioned only may change or assimilate the dissonance in another way and then perhaps be more prepared and self prompted to check things out before believing as freely in the future.  

But then there are those who will never investigate further and lose memory of past learning easily. For example, I have an acquaintance who suffered a traumatic head injury and as a result has a limited short term memory. She's been called delusional because she experiences the same disillusionment over and over sometimes; however, in her case she does not manipulate what she has learned to support some prior belief. She simply cannot remember.

And of course those who are unable to comprehend or assimilate what they've experienced in expected ways due to having innate different cognitive abilities may be called delusional in maintaining certain beliefs even once disillusioned, and unless one is familiar with their cognitive functioning, their reactions may seem like delusion.  I think with these types of people it would be a matter of getting to know the individual to figure things out. In the school aged it is somewhat easier to figure out (there are tests etc.), but often in the big untracked world many people assume others are as cognitively skilled as they are and in the same ways. Add to that a huge intellectual bias toward specific types of intelligences and I suspect there are myriad people who are regarded as delusional rather than beings who think differently. (And there is a huge range of abilities, so at one point a person may seem "on the ball," and at another, under a different circumstance, delusional.)

Because the intellectual (and frequently emotional) bias toward certain ways and levels of knowing in most societies is so deeply embedded, differentiating types of people (if it must be done), IMO, takes some deft interpersonal skills, time, a willingness to understand, and of course, kindness.

Not sure if that was what you were looking for as an answer, but it's what I got. :)

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