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Safeholdians don't have faith

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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Bluesqueak   » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:41 am

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Bluesqueak wrote:
ywing14 wrote:
And, philosophically, proof is the both the purpose and the end of scientific enquiry. That's why Langhorne, Bedard and their 'archangels' provided Holy Writ, after all.

If you already know the answer, there's no need to go looking for it, is there? :D


Depends on the type of person. I know the answer to a lot of questions doesn't mean I know how we got there.


But if you don't know the 'how', you don't have proof about the 'how'. That's basically the line of attack that the Brethren of St Zherneau's have taken; yes, God and the Archangels have arranged these things, but how?

Sneaking the scientific method back in.

Incidentally people seem to be confusing the scientific method with systematic enquiry. Safehold has systematic enquiry - Duchairn uses it when he has his moment of insight and rediscovers his faith. He has an idea, he goes and looks up the evidence to support his idea (the Writ), he considers (by praying) whether the evidence does support his idea - and then he acts.

If the evidence hadn't supported his idea, he'd have adjusted it.

It's systematic, but it's not scientific. The Royal College, however, teach their fellows and students a more scientific method. You have an idea, you go and look up the evidence/previous studies/the Writ, and then, then you devise an experiment to consider the 'how'. Then you proceed to make further hypothesis based upon the experimental results, not on the sources.

Langhorne sent Safehold back to a pre-scientific era, but among the many things he doesn't seem to understand is that scientific enquiry developed out of systematic enquiry. The problem Merlin and co have is how to teach that scientific method (which partly developed when people investigated authoritative sources like Aristotle ) without yet attacking the Writ itself. What they don't have is a problem in teaching people how to be systematic about it.

Safehold isn't Hogwarts, where the wizard born generally don't have a clue about order and system. :)
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Borzoi313   » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:48 pm

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About your river analogy the scientific method would correctly arrive with many possible ways to cross the river (as there is not just one way) while the faith base solution could simply take the position: They can just walk across. If walking across did not work then they lacked the proper amount of faith.
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Bluesqueak   » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:28 pm

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Borzoi313 wrote:About your river analogy the scientific method would correctly arrive with many possible ways to cross the river (as there is not just one way) while the faith base solution could simply take the position: They can just walk across. If walking across did not work then they lacked the proper amount of faith.


Nope.

Sorry, you have just failed Faith 101. Please report to the Inquisitors - oh, lucky you, Grand Vicar Duchairn has abolished them. :D

And yes, I realise the walking on water gag is a joke, but - evidence. The documentary evidence suggests that if you plan walking on unfrozen water, you'd better have the Messiah on hand to haul you out. :) In Safeholdian terms, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if there's some lovely story about the Archangel Langhorne taking a quick stroll across Lake Pei, but it's probably one of those 'reserved for Archangels' things.

Yes, you could use the 'scientific method' to arrive at possible ways to cross the river. But you don't have to - I'd point out (keeping this discussion on topic) that most people on Safehold don't. They use the Archangels' instructions, and rule-of-thumb. Essentially, they're in the same position as ancient and medieval bridge builders, who didn't have 'the' scientific method, but did have 'rule-of-thumb'. Bridges predate the scientific method; quite a lot of civil engineering does.

I doubt Merlin is going to introduce the scientific method for selecting bridge sites, because by the time Duke Delthak's gone through the investigation stage, the rule-of-thumb-ers will have built the darn thing.

Tunnels, maybe. Now, I could see a use for the hypothesis-experiment-adapt hypothesis according to results-predict-test predictions-formulate cycle when it comes to tunnels, because they'd be a very new thing. No previous rule of thumb.
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Borzoi313   » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:31 pm

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Well everyone knows one's faith is stronger in the winter (when the ice is about 10 CM (No 4 Inches damn it). So that is why it is easier walk across the river when your faith is stronger. (I guess I am saying faith = ice I may need to double check this logic) LOL

But to the post topic I would say it is missing context, and we are adding our cultural bias to it. Here on old earth knowing things on faith 'tends' to be a reference to religion. But as discussed above it is faith is simply a belief without proof. If I am going to pay to have a ship built for me in a ship yard I have to have faith in the business to pay a ship builder up front to build a ship for me, or the ship builder will have to have faith I will pay for the ship once built. The buyer/builder has no proof the other party will uphold their part of the transaction until the ship is built and the transaction is completed, so until then they have to take the business deal on faith. So yes Safeholdians do have faith.

But because of the lies of Langhorne they do not have to take their belief in God, and the Church of God awaiting on Faith. They are more then satisfied they have the 'proof' in the holy writ, and the testimonies. Merlin's job now is to separate the Church of God awaiting from God and then pull down the Church and holy writ to get rid of the proscriptions. He does not need to pull down God but in some people he may very well end up doing both. (After this feat defeating the Gbaba may be anti climatic).
Last edited by Borzoi313 on Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Bluesqueak   » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:03 pm

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Borzoi313 wrote:Well everyone knows one's faith is stronger in the winter (when the ice is about 10 CM (No 4 Inches damn it). So that is why it is easier walk across the river when your faith is stronger. (I guess I am saying faith = ice I may need to double check this logic) LOL

But to the post topic I would say it is missing context, and we are adding our cultural bias to it. Here on old earth knowing things on faith 'tends' to be a reference to religion. But as discussed above it is faith is simply a belief without proof. If I am going to pay to have a ship built for me in a ship yard I have to have faith in the business to pay a ship builder to build a ship for me, or the ship builder will have to have faith I will pay for the ship once built. The buyer/builder has no proof the other party will be withhold their part of the transaction until the ship is built and the transaction is completed, so until then they have to take the business deal on faith. So yes Safeholdians do have faith.

But because of the lies of Langhorne they do not have to take their belief in God, and the Church of God awaiting on Faith. They are more then satisfied they have the 'proof' in the holy writ, and the testimonies. Merlin's job now is to separate the Church of God awaiting from God and then pull down the Church and holy writ to get rid of the proscriptions. He does not need to pull down God but in some people he may very well end up doing both. (After this feat defeating the Gbaba may be anti climatic).


To be honest, I think we could defeat the Gbaba in an epilogue. ;)

Yes, 'faith' can often be translated as 'trust' - and Safeholdians do have 'faith' in the sense of trusting people. For that matter, I demonstrate my ability to have faith most days - by standing at a bus stop and believing that a bus will arrive.

Looking at the books, I'd say that while Safeholdians don't have the same kind of religious faith that is most common in our culture, Clyntahn's War did require all too many of them to demonstrate that they had faith in things not proved. One of the tenets of their faith is believing in God's Plan - and believing in God's Plan in the face of the monstrosity Zhasphar Clyntahn was making of the Church must have taken one heck of a lot of faith.

Merlin, of course, doesn't want to pull down God, because Merlin believes in God. I suspect he has some ideas about how to pull down Church and Writ (RFC mentioned a few times that the Writ plagarises quite heavily from the Bible and Qu'ran) without completely destroying belief in God, but I think the essential point is that he reckons God will find His own way through.

After all, it's demonstrated quite a few times in the series that a number of characters find their way to God even through a fake Writ and the prospect of an agonising death.
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Borzoi313   » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:59 pm

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Bluesqueak again you are showing your cultural/religious bias. You want to reserve the word "faith" for "faith in god", as indicated by your substitution of faith with trust. I never used the word trust I did not need it as faith is a totally accurate word in the context I gave, I can have faith in my fellow man I do not need to reserve faith for god. So yes there is faith on Safehold.

As faith, trust and confidence are all synonyms you could use any of them in this sentence "I have <faith,trust,confidence> in the ship builder that they will deliver the ship I prepaid for." Because I cannot prove the builder will deliver the ship I want I had to take it on faith that they will. I had to have trust in the builder to give them my money before they built the ship, and I had to have confidence in the ship builder to select them for the construction job. Again because of our cultural bias there is a sense of strength in these three words with faith being the strongest, to trust with confidence bringing up the rear. But Faith is the correct word to use because I do not have the proof until the ship is built and the transaction is completed.

So with that and the topic as is 'Safeholdians don't have faith' I would say it is false there is faith all over Safehold. If the topic was 'Safeholdians don't have faith in god' I would say that is true because they do have the 'proof' to accept the existence of a God they do not have to "take it on faith". And so all Safeholdians would probably be considered Deist. The question is how well will it go over when Merlin tries to take away the 'Proof' by showing the writ is a lie, then each safeholdian will have to do some soul searching and see if they can put their faith in a god or not if they accept "The Book of Merlin" (The Musical), or do they reject what Merlin presents and stay with the writ.
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Bluesqueak   » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:11 am

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Borzoi313 wrote:Bluesqueak again you are showing your cultural/religious bias. You want to reserve the word "faith" for "faith in god", as indicated by your substitution of faith with trust. I never used the word trust I did not need it as faith is a totally accurate word in the context I gave, I can have faith in my fellow man I do not need to reserve faith for god. So yes there is faith on Safehold.

As faith, trust and confidence are all synonyms you could use any of them in this sentence "I have <faith,trust,confidence> in the ship builder that they will deliver the ship I prepaid for." Because I cannot prove the builder will deliver the ship I want I had to take it on faith that they will. I had to have trust in the builder to give them my money before they built the ship, and I had to have confidence in the ship builder to select them for the construction job. Again because of our cultural bias there is a sense of strength in these three words with faith being the strongest, to trust with confidence bringing up the rear. But Faith is the correct word to use because I do not have the proof until the ship is built and the transaction is completed.

So with that and the topic as is 'Safeholdians don't have faith' I would say it is false there is faith all over Safehold. If the topic was 'Safeholdians don't have faith in god' I would say that is true because they do have the 'proof' to accept the existence of a God they do not have to "take it on faith". And so all Safeholdians would probably be considered Deist. The question is how well will it go over when Merlin tries to take away the 'Proof' by showing the writ is a lie, then each safeholdian will have to do some soul searching and see if they can put their faith in a god or not if they accept "The Book of Merlin" (The Musical), or do they reject what Merlin presents and stay with the writ.


Of course I have a cultural/religious bias. Everyone does. :)

But you're wrong that I want to 'reserve' faith for 'faith in God'. The reason I substituted 'trust' is twofold. The first, and most important is that the Greek verb pisteuo means trust, believe in - as well as 'faith'.

The second can be seen in earlier posts, where the OP, for example, confidently proclaims that Safeholdians don't have faith because they have evidence. When you're tackling that particular false meme ('faith' means belief without evidence), it's best to sometimes elaborate that 'faith' can mean 'trust'.

If you don't like me using the word, that's okay. We're talking about Safehold, not the possible English translations of a New Testament Greek word that the Safeholdians don't even realise exists.

And so all Safeholdians would probably be considered Deist.


No, Safeholdians are not Deists. Firstly, their 'proof' is 'sacred writings', not reason - and Deists generally reject revelation. Secondly, the Deist rejection of direct intervention is clearly not a Safeholdian belief, because we see several characters praying for exactly that intervention.

The funniest is Rayno's prayer in At The Sign of Triumph, where God (in the person of the author) makes his opinion incredibly clear by having the massive Fist of God explosion go off just as Rayno's finished praying for a sign. :D

As well, several characters see Cayleb and Sharleyann's very existence as evidence of direct divine intervention - they're so perfectly the Emperor and Empress that Charis needs that God must have caused them to be born at this precise time.

Divine intervention in Safehold is usually portrayed by the author as coming through characters who become aware of God's true will and then act to carry it out - and because the Writ is the only 'word of God' they know, it usually comes in the form of the perfect, most applicable section of the Writ coming to the forefront of their minds.

But, God's authorial interventions can be stopped by human action. In Samuel and Howard Wylsynn, God/the author created two humans who would have prevented this ten year long religious war (mainly because they'd have never dreamt of starting it in the first place). But - human action. Rayno cooks the vote to make it appear Clyntahn has won - and by so doing, plunges Safehold into Hell.


My personal theory about what Merlin is going to do is that he's going to reintroduce source criticism to Safehold. Once there are enough people who know that the Writ has been faked, he's going to reintroduce the Tanakh, the New Testament, the Qu'ran, the other sacred writings - and ask Safeholdians themselves to determine Chihiro's sources.
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by jmsr   » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:16 am

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Bluesqueak wrote:
Borzoi313 wrote:My personal theory about what Merlin is going to do is that he's going to reintroduce source criticism to Safehold. Once there are enough people who know that the Writ has been faked, he's going to reintroduce the Tanakh, the New Testament, the Qu'ran, the other sacred writings - and ask Safeholdians themselves to determine Chihiro's sources.


Hrm, okay maybe i should jump back in here. When i said that Safeholdians don't have 'faith' i meant that they didn't have beliefs that they were required to hold in the absence of supporting evidence or in the face of contradictory evidence.

David Weber hasn't said much about the details of Safeholdian beliefs except that for each of their beliefs they can point to something to support it within the Writ which talks about consequences, e.g. don't do this because this will happen. He has also stated that their belief system is a closed system with nothing to grab on to as a possible problem in need of explanation, as Merlin has lamented at various times.

The thing is, i don't see how that is possible without employing 'faith' by which i mean embracing beliefs without evidence or that are to be held anyway in the face of contradictory evidence. Many of our holy books contain such injunctions as well as situations in which skeptics are criticized for not "just believing;" I'm sure we can all think of several off the top of our heads.

Anyway, that was my only point. From what the author has said, Safeholdians have a closed belief system but the details that he has given seem to indicate the opposite.

And FWIW i think that reintroducing source criticism is probably unnecessary, possibly pointless but maybe worthwhile to do anyway. They're actually pretty intelligent and likely have compiled reference texts and other associated stuff already; but likely there aren't any contradictions to generate doubt; but given the other skills they've lost they may have lost this skill too.

Personally, i'd just as soon have the Empire Of Charis or Merlin himself put out a public declaration requesting that anyone holding ancient artifacts or unpublished works forward them to Merlin for examination. They could do it by putting up posters everywhere that were actually made of smart paper and had microscopic cameras attached to them so they could infiltrate the 'secret' meetings of other co-conspirators like the Wylsynns or the Brothers of Zherneau.

jmsr
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Annachie   » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:36 am

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Bluesqueak wrote:
Serious question: have you studied history at graduate or upper undergraduate level?


Nope I studied science.
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You are so going to die. :p ~~~~ runsforcelery
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still not dead. :)
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by PeterZ   » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:07 am

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jmsr wrote:
Hrm, okay maybe i should jump back in here. When i said that Safeholdians don't have 'faith' i meant that they didn't have beliefs that they were required to hold in the absence of supporting evidence or in the face of contradictory evidence.

David Weber hasn't said much about the details of Safeholdian beliefs except that for each of their beliefs they can point to something to support it within the Writ which talks about consequences, e.g. don't do this because this will happen. He has also stated that their belief system is a closed system with nothing to grab on to as a possible problem in need of explanation, as Merlin has lamented at various times.

The thing is, i don't see how that is possible without employing 'faith' by which i mean embracing beliefs without evidence or that are to be held anyway in the face of contradictory evidence. Many of our holy books contain such injunctions as well as situations in which skeptics are criticized for not "just believing;" I'm sure we can all think of several off the top of our heads.

Anyway, that was my only point. From what the author has said, Safeholdians have a closed belief system but the details that he has given seem to indicate the opposite.

And FWIW i think that reintroducing source criticism is probably unnecessary, possibly pointless but maybe worthwhile to do anyway. They're actually pretty intelligent and likely have compiled reference texts and other associated stuff already; but likely there aren't any contradictions to generate doubt; but given the other skills they've lost they may have lost this skill too.

Personally, i'd just as soon have the Empire Of Charis or Merlin himself put out a public declaration requesting that anyone holding ancient artifacts or unpublished works forward them to Merlin for examination. They could do it by putting up posters everywhere that were actually made of smart paper and had microscopic cameras attached to them so they could infiltrate the 'secret' meetings of other co-conspirators like the Wylsynns or the Brothers of Zherneau.

jmsr

My quibble would be that having faith is holding a belief absent definitive proof, not absent evidence. All beliefs have some variety of evidence supporting it or no one will ever come to hold those beliefs to begin with. One might argue the persuasiveness of the evidence, but not that some are persuaded by said evidence.

Safehold theology is predicated on proof of God's Creation as experienced by the Adams and Eves. Everything afterwards was revealed by the Angels and Archangels whose extra human nature was believed by the Adams and Eves. Safeholdians are taught to use evidence and not faith since Langehorn and Bedard have provided proof of the authenticity of their semi divinity.
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