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Page history last edited by Andrew Alder 1 year, 4 months ago

A page of theology


Faith, like judgement, is a theological concept that can be approached from a zero base.


According to the writer to the Hebrews, faith is belief in things unseen. I offer that not as  reason for having faith, but simply as an explanation of what I mean by the term.


We all have faith. A mind without faith simply cannot exist. Fighting words!


What is more, all sound minds have a certain amount of faith in common. An even more challenging claim! So let me explain it.


For example, we assume that other minds exist. To lack this faith would place one well to the non-functional end of the autism spectrum. But we have, and can have, no evidence supporting this. It's just a premise on which a good human life is based.


(Philosophers call this the Problem of Other Minds.) 


Many years ago I had my life all planned. I would do a medical degree, taking an extra year to add a computer science degree to it, and go into brain research. One of my boyhood heroes was Dr Grey Walter. I read and re-read his book The Living Brain and was not deterred by the knowledge that not all of his conclusions were true. I already knew that science was like that!


My first project (and perhaps lifework) was to be to simulate the development of the human mind using a rules-based computing system that these days is called a neural network. Then having that working, to remove one rule and see whether I could diagnose the resulting mental disease.


What I did not realise at the time was that another way of looking at some, perhaps even all, of these rules was that each was an article of faith. 


Articles of faith are the presuppositions or axioms on which our minds are based. And so without them, a mind simply cannot exist.


Food for thought? 


Faith in Jesus is mentioned in 1 Corinthians12:9 as a gift of the Spirit. But no form of faith is to be taken lightly! 


See also



A work in progress. Watch this space.



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