Sunday, October 18, 2009

Just Link-Surfing

Some time ago I read somewhere an explanation about how one can choose beliefs that struck me as extremely silly. The author claimed that since "believe" is a verb, and since verbs are actions, and since we have to choose to act, that it just stands to reason that we can choose to believe things. I've been writing about that argument as I remember it, but since I can't find it I don't feel comfortable sharing my argument yet. It could be that I misremember, or that I've invented a memory. I don't know. I thought it was in Paul E. Little's Know Why You Believe, but a quick flip-through hasn't even revealed a sensible section of the book for that to appear in.

So I was tooling around the internet trying to find some references to that argument when I came across another at a site called 1 in Faith: A Christian Bible Study. The sentence I liked about this argument was this:
In English the verb for faith is "to believe," as faith does not have its own verb.
The author's right of course. If I have a belief about something, I believe it, but if I have faith in something I don't faithe it. This contributes to the confusion in our discourse about belief. There's more to their argument that I don't appreciate as much--such as trying to completely separate faith in something from the belief that the something exists--but this is a useful nugget.

Now I just need to find that original bit I was looking for.

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