Sign in to follow this  
Suzie

Faith vs. Knowledge

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Suzie said:

Well, what is your definition of knowledge within this context?

Well, remember, I get paid in part to pick apart testimony and illustrate that a witness didn’t really “know” the things they thought they knew. ;)   In that context, I would echo Korihor (of all people!):  “knowledge” comes via the five senses, and no man can “know” of things which are to come.

 In a theological context:  as someone who is still skeptical but acknowledges a) that God does reveal Himself to at least some humans in a way that can be perceived through the five senses, b) that He knows the future, and c) that He cannot lie;  I would acknowledge that someone to whom God had communicated the future by visual, aural, or tactile means (or, for the sake of rounding out the senses—I suppose also through smell/taste, though I can’t imagine how that might work!) can reasonably say they “know” what God will do.  

But for the rest of us, who are going on feelings/intellectual extrapolation:  we don’t know that God will do something; we believe He will do it.  We may believe it very strongly, but it’s still belief (or faith), not knowledge.  

“Knowledge” is not merely a superlative form of of faith; it’s an entirely new thing—the product of a union between faith-borne action, and experience through the five senses.  To say that faith is not really faith in the absence of knowledge, is like saying that a sperm is not really a sperm unless it can also be called a fetus.  It’s not only nonsensical; it’s potentially dangerous because the notion can  induce people to dismiss the value of their genuine-but-unappreciated faith and, very often, to throw it away completely in pursuit of some promise of “knowledge” that may or may not come in this life.  It’s fundamentally the error that the Snufferites have made, for example. 

Edited by Just_A_Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Suzie said:

I saw this at a client's house today. Definition of faith or definition of knowledge?

<Faith is not believing that God can- it is Knowing that He will>

I would say neither.

Knowledge is the learning of truths.

Fatih is belief/trust/hope, especially in God.

 

Part of faith is submitting to the will of the Father.  That will doesn't always go to what we want or expect.  For me, there's been a big lesson is learning to accept that difference.  God *can* save a person whom is being burnt.  And some He does, but some He doesn't.  And we mortals usually don't know in advance what His course is.   But God is with Abinadi and much as He is with Shadrach.  Just because God did not protect you in the way you wanted don't mean He's not still with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hebrews 11: 1-3

Quote

11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.

3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Alma 32: 21

Quote

21 And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.

Alma 32: 26-34

Quote

26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.

27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than adesire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.

30 But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.

31 And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness.

32 Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.

33 And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good.

34 And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand.

For an even better understanding between the relationship between faith and knowledge I would say read all of Hebrews 11 and Alma 32...and then if you desire an even greater extrapolation, read further in both.

Edited by JohnsonJones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

But....but.....I sent this to you as a Christmas present! 

Live-Laugh-Love-Quotes-111.jpg

The irony of these sayings is that they often give somewhat good advice, but the very nature of such sayings and platitudes cause them to go over everyone’s head.

We make platitudes to teach lessons, yet because they are what they are, the lesson is never learned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Fether said:

The irony of these sayings is that they often give somewhat good advice, but the very nature of such sayings and platitudes cause them to go over everyone’s head.

We make platitudes to teach lessons, yet because they are what they are, the lesson is never learned.

I totally agree with you, even though I think they are harmless. It's fortune cookie philosophy but there are worse things in the world .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Mores
14 hours ago, Suzie said:

I saw this at a client's house today. Definition of faith or definition of knowledge?

This is akin to people pointing out that Neil Armstrong misspoke about his footprint on the moon.  Yes, both missed a proper phrasing, but they both "convey" a message that was meaningful, even if it was literally worded incorrectly.

If the sign allowed for an entire essay, the wording would have been more accurate.  But given limited space of the medium in question, words will be imprecise.

Edited by Mores

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Suzie said:

I saw this at a client's house today. Definition of faith or definition of knowledge?

<Faith is not believing that God can -- it is knowing that he will>

This is utterly preposterous to me. For many of the same reasons JAG brings up. 

14 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Don’t know why, but one of my new-ish pet peeves is people who suggest that faith without “knowledge” is no faith at all.  

I slap this one down as often as I hear it. I went on a big rant sometime ago when someone said we shouldn't use the words "I believe" and pointed out that all I, personally, can do is believe. I don't know much of anything in the gospel, and still have a lot of doubts. And I don't consider that a sign of weakness. I had to also point out that it's okay if a person says they "know." I don't know what their experiences are.  But we should at least give others to room for their doubts. Fortunately, my current status in my ward lets me get away with such rants.

One of my favorite lessons I ever taught was about faith and knowledge. I started with the question "How many of you know that, algebraically speaking, x * 0 = 0". Every hand in the room went up.  I then asked someone to come up and prove it to me. There was a lot "but it just is! I learned it in school! you can't prove that it isn't!" 

At some point, I would write the mathematical proof on the board. Very few understood it.  And then I would discuss how understanding the concepts and demonstrating how to use them built knowledge. But until I could put all those pieces together, I didn't know that x*0 = 0, I only operated on a strong belief; a belief that persisted because it was so useful.

Faith in God often works the same way. We feel like something is true. It makes sense to us. and it is useful to operate as if it is true. At some point, we may extend that belief, go through some exercise that pushes us into knowledge. And that's great.  But not everyone progresses from faith to knowledge. And some people that claim knowledge don't actually know (I believe). 

Anyway, my point is that we do a disservice to faith (and belief) when we try to place it in a position that is inferior to knowledge. Faith is what opens the door to salvation. There's no reason to talk trash about it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Mores
28 minutes ago, Fether said:

I disagree

I'd tend to think that diarrhea on a long road trip is worse than a poorly worded platitude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mores said:

I'd tend to think that diarrhea on a long road trip is worse than a poorly worded platitude.

Platitudes come from Hell. They are Satan’s main tool in taking us from the path. They numb us of truth. A saint in word and deed would not be found with any cute sayings written in their walls, if one is found, one can assume the occupants are of the home are less than dross and are destined to an eternity in the Telestial kingdom... assuming they aren’t immediately cast into outer darkness, stripped if all they are and have.

 

 

But that is just my opinion

Edited by Fether

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Suzie said:

I saw this at a client's house today. Definition of faith or definition of knowledge?

Knowing what God will do is foreknowledge, which is faith. Alma 32, to me, shows that faith and knowledge are interdependent and expressions of truth. Where truth is knowledge of things as they were, as they are and as they are to come, faith entails the acts attendant to truth. Otherwise both faith and knowledge are as dead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Mores
16 minutes ago, Fether said:

Platitudes come from Hell. They are Satan’s main tool in taking us from the path. They numb us of truth. A saint in word and deed would not be found with any cute sayings written in their walls, if one is found, one can assume the occupants are of the home are less than dross and are destined to an eternity in the Telestial kingdom... assuming they aren’t immediately cast into outer darkness, stripped if all they are and have.

Yeah, I guess you're right. We ought to stop saying brief messages of truth because we simply say them too often.

Quote

If any man shall do his will, he shall know of the doctrine.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of god.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Choose the right.

Remember who you are.

I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

You might be making some kind of semantic argument about what a "platitude" is.  But conceptually, I don't see much difference.  The only thing that matters is if the saying relays a true message.  I don't see how a true message can numb us of truth or take us from the path.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faith, belief, and knowledge are all different things.  I wasted 2 years of college life pursuing a minor in philosophy trying to figure out the definitions, only to stumble across it in Alma 32:

Quote

26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.

27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

...

29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.

...

34 And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand.

35 O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is alight; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good; and now behold, after ye have tasted this light is your knowledge perfect?

 

Edited by NeuroTypical

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like concise, brief truth.   The more it's dumbed down for me, the easier to remember, the better.  And you can make things easier to remember by using rhyme, witty phrase turns, alliteration, and a bunch of other language tricks that really have nothing to do with the truthfullness of the thing being remembered.

I dislike stuff that looks like concise truth, but is really just using those language tricks and don't really have any truth there. 

John Taylor (back when he was an Elder), coined the phrase "fried froth".

Quote

I was walking about one day in the Jardindes Plantes—a splendid garden. There they had a sort of exceedingly light cake. It was so thin and light that you could blow it away, and you could eat all day of it, and never be satisfied. Somebody asked me what the name of that was. I said, I don't know the proper name, but in the absence of one, I can give it a name—I will call it philosophy, or fried froth, whichever you like. It is so light you can blow it away, eat it all day, and at night be as far from being satisfied as when you began.
...
I believe in the solid bread, and I do not care if it comes in big chunks; for then it is better than when there is not enough to satisfy the appetite. Truth and intelligence have a tendency to enlarge the capacity, to expand the soul, and to show man his real position—his relationship to himself and to his God, both in relation to the present and the future, that he may know how to live on the earth and be prepared to mingle with the Gods in the eternal worlds.

 

"Fried Froth".  Brief, concise, alliterative wittiness to help you remember the concept, and it illustrates truth.  +1 John Taylor!

Edited by NeuroTypical

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Well, remember, I get paid in part to pick apart testimony and illustrate that a witness didn’t really “know” the things they thought they knew. ;)   In that context, I would echo Korihor (of all people!):  “knowledge” comes via the five senses, and no man can “know” of things which are to come.

 In a theological context:  as someone who is still skeptical but acknowledges a) that God does reveal Himself to at least some humans in a way that can be perceived through the five senses, b) that He knows the future, and c) that He cannot lie;  I would acknowledge that someone to whom God had communicated the future by visual, aural, or tactile means (or, for the sake of rounding out the senses—I suppose also through smell/taste, though I can’t imagine how that might work!) can reasonably say they “know” what God will do.  

But for the rest of us, who are going on feelings/intellectual extrapolation:  we don’t know that God will do something; we believe He will do it.  We may believe it very strongly, but it’s still belief (or faith), not knowledge.  

“Knowledge” is not merely a superlative form of of faith; it’s an entirely new thing—the product of a union between faith-borne action, and experience through the five senses.  To say that faith is not really faith in the absence of knowledge, is like saying that a sperm is not really a sperm unless it can also be called a fetus.  It’s not only nonsensical; it’s potentially dangerous because the notion can  induce people to dismiss the value of their genuine-but-unappreciated faith and, very often, to throw it away completely in pursuit of some promise of “knowledge” that may or may not come in this life.  It’s fundamentally the error that the Snufferites have made, for example. 

As I read this I thought that this may be a wonderful opportunity to discuss this topic - because I have come to quite a different conclusion.  Even though I am very much an empirical evidence kind of guy I have come to believe that there are flaws and limitations to empirical senses.    First off - scientifically we do not actually sense things - we only think or believe we sense things.   Information is sent to our brains which attempts to logically interpret the information.  There are two possible errors in this process.  The first is that our central nervous system can corrupt or miss send information to the brain and second it is possible for the brain to miss qualify the information it receives.   

I have a son that is very involved in virtual reality - "VR" (leading edge experiments) and it is amazing how the line between reality and virtual reality can be blurred by artificially stimulating the senses - even on a mass scale.  I honestly wonder from my experience with my son's work in VR if it is possible that our mortal experience is not as real as it seams from our senses of our experiences.

But there is another dimension to truth that I believe confuses the difference between faith and knowledge such that the only truth that we can realize or have knowledge of; is that truth that we have faith in and vice versa - the only truth we can have faith in is that truth that we have has some experience with to give us knowledge.  So I will attempt to demonstrate this thought with example.  But first a little background leading into the example:

I have often wonder what I know for sure.  I have had enough experience with illusions to realize that it is impossible to always know the difference between and illusion and reality.  So it is that I must believe something in order to know it.  I realize that not all things that I think I believe remain consistent with what I know - especially over time.  So here is my example of something that I do know.  I know I love my wife.  But this sure knowledge comes without any empirical evidence that I can point to as proof for anyone else.  Sometimes I do something stupid that someone else could isolate and claim that I do not love her - but that only convinces them concerning what they believe and thus try to define or defend what they think they know.  But it does not change what I know or believe.  I can lie about what I believe or know and thus confuse others such that they cannot know what I know but that does not change the reality of what I believe and know concerning my love for my wife.  

So how do I know I love my wife?  Especially if I cannot prove it?  The only possibility I can come up with is that I came to such a conclusion by first believing it to be so and then in believing - experiencing many circumstances of love.  Somewhat like Alma's explanation in the Book of Mormon.  That I planted a seed of faith (or hope if one is to argue that point) and in cultivating such hope and faith the seed grew into knowledge through experience (or test if one is to argue that point).

I do not understand many things that I think I know - but I do know I love my wife such that if there is any empirical evidence that seems to contradict this knowledge - I may feel emotional pain and sorrow but I still love her.  My love for her is still true.

And so it is that I have come to believe that all things that I "KNOW" to be true have followed exactly this same pattern.  As with all things for which I have doubts - to any degree - have not followed this pattern.

 

The Traveler

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mores said:

Yeah, I guess you're right. We ought to stop saying brief messages of truth because we simply say them too often.

You might be making some kind of semantic argument about what a "platitude" is.  But conceptually, I don't see much difference.  The only thing that matters is if the saying relays a true message.  I don't see how a true message can numb us of truth or take us from the path.

I’m mostly joking 🙃I had a coworker a while back that had every platitude ever at his disposal. He would give trainings and they would be almost entirely anecdotes and platitudes... it was the most nauseating thing I had ever experienced.

Since then I have been strictly anti platitude haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Fether said:

Platitudes come from Hell. They are Satan’s main tool in taking us from the path. They numb us of truth. A saint in word and deed would not be found with any cute sayings written in their walls, if one is found, one can assume the occupants are of the home are less than dross and are destined to an eternity in the Telestial kingdom... assuming they aren’t immediately cast into outer darkness, stripped if all they are and have.

But that is just my opinion

Twenty or 25 years ago, a popular LDS-oriented poster featured a representation of Jesus with the words, "I never said it would be easy; I only said it would be worth it." I complained to fellow members of a private discussion list that the saying was stupid and dishonest. The reasoning I provided was that Jesus never said that. Several agreed with me, giving variations of my reason.

As I considered the matter, I  realized that the words actually gave a fundamentally true message. My criticism was weak. I didn't like the poster because I found it distastefully trite, but at the time I couldn't see that and didn't know how to express it.

Finally, a friend mentioned that he disliked the poster because the sentiment read like something you would find on a Hallmark greeting card.

Bingo. That was it.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with platitudes, but too often they greatly oversimplify what they're talking about. This dumbing down clouds the issue and usually results in less critical thinking and more eye rolls.

Albert Einstein is supposed to have said that an explanation should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. When I read such platitudes, that's what comes to mind for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Suzie said:

I saw this at a client's house today. Definition of faith or definition of knowledge?

faith.jpg

I personally don't think this quote is an either/or statement of faith or knowledge. Faith precedes the miracle because "we know" God can heal, or we have substance (scriptural healings) where God did in fact heal. There is knowledge given, not a perfect knowledge, as we haven't yet (or maybe we have) experienced it ourselves.

I also personally don't think this is a fully accurate explanation of faith. Let me change a few words:

Faith is not believing that God can - it is [accepting] that he [won't].

 

Edited by Anddenex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this