1. Shetland Primary
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    28 Apr '05 13:40
    Faith. It is something that I believe can determine where we will spend eternity.

    Here's the analogy:

    A certain guy is wondering through the desert. This poor chap is very thirsty. He has not had anything to drink for a day or two. He is very close to death. He is on his hands and knees crawling down a dune when he spots something. It is a rundown shack with a pump. He crawls over to the pump. (It is one of those old pumps with a lever). He pumps the lever up and down, but only hears a squeaking sound. He finds a box next to the pump. He opens it. Inside it is a letter. It reads as follows: "My friend, you are probably thirsty. If you dont have anything to drink soon, you will probably die. Now you have to listen very carefully to what I am going to tell you. If you don't you will probably die. If you look over to your left you will see a large rock. If you lift this rock, you will find a bottle of water underneath it. You must not drink a single drop of this water, or else you will die. You have to go to the pump and pour half of this bottle down the opening at the top of the pump. Then you must pump on the lever for thirty minutes. After that you have to pour the rest of this water down the pump. If you carry on pumping the lever for about five minutes you will have enough water to quench your thirst and to take along on the rest of your journey. Remeber if you drink some of this water, you will not have enough to get the pump going. If you drink all of the water you will probably live for another day, after which you will die of thirst.

    He holds the bottle of water in his hands and thinks to himself. This guy is a rotten sneak! He is playing a mean joke on me. I'm going to drink this water. He calls me a freind, but he doesn't even know me!

    He then thinks to himself, what if this guy is right. He walks over to the pump. He yanks on the lever. There is only a squeacking sound. No water. He pours half the bottle of water down the pumps opening. He uses the last ounce of strength that he has to pumps on the lever for half an hour. There is no water. He thinks to himself, let me at least drink the last half of this water. I'll be a fool if I throw the rest of this away.

    He then pours the last half of water. He pumps for five minutes. Sure enough, five minutes later cool, refreshing water gushes out of the mouth of the pump. He buries his face in the water and drinks it while his shouts of joy echo through the dry desert. He fills his own water bottle and the other bottle. He places the other bottle under the stone for the next guy who might come on the same way. he continues his journey, a happy man.
  2. Standard memberjimmyb270
    Top Gun
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    28 Apr '05 13:49
    Originally posted by dj2becker
    Faith. It is something that I believe can determine where we will spend eternity.

    Here's the analogy:

    A certain guy is wondering through the desert. This poor chap is very thirsty. He has not had anything to drink for a day or two. He is very close to death. He is on his hands and knees crawling down a dune when he spots something. It is a rundown s ...[text shortened]... he stone for the next guy who might come on the same way. he continues his journey, a happy man.
    That's actually a good analogy.

    I think he was extremely lucky indeed that it wan't a cruel joke. He made an irrational decision (probably delirious from dehydration). The sensible, logical thing to do would be to drink the water. I would rather definitely have a bit of water than run the risk of having none at all.
  3. Joined
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    28 Apr '05 13:57
    It's a very good analogy.

    Of course faith is the linchpin of Christian practice but faith is required in other traditions too.

    Why do we have faith? Because, to our own minds anyway, there has been some demonstration of certainty within our chosen path to cause us to proceed with surety to take each successive step towards a fuller, deeper understanding.
  4. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    Royal Oak, MI
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    28 Apr '05 14:28
    Originally posted by jimmyb270
    That's actually a good analogy.

    I think he was extremely lucky indeed that it wan't a cruel joke. He made an irrational decision (probably delirious from dehydration). The sensible, logical thing to do would be to drink the water. I would rather definitely have a bit of water than run the risk of having none at all.
    No, you are incorrect. The amount of water he found in the bottle was insufficient to sustain him. If followed the instructions and they were false he would die. If he drank the water he would die a little later. His logical choice lay in following the instructions and hoping that they were true. That is the only solution that would sustain him throughout his journey.

    Of course the example is a completely ridiculous one. The christian would have you believe that life without their particular god is like dying of thirst in the desert. But only christians would ever find themselves in that desert. If you don't believe in god, then there is no desert to be rescued from.

    A more accurate example would be:

    A man is sitting comfortably on his sofa at home. In his kitchen is a sink which is connected to the city water supply and in his refrigerator he has bottled water galore. He is happily reflecting on how modern science and the inventiveness of mankind has rescued his species from having to live a precarious life in the desert. But there soon comes a knock on the door. The man answers the door and finds a christian there who tells him that he is really living in the desert and that he should accept Jesus so he can have an endless supply of water in the hereafter. Of course the man declines the offer and returns to his sofa with a nice big glass of water that he has poured for himself.
  5. Standard memberColetti
    W.P. Extraordinaire
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    28 Apr '05 14:35
    Originally posted by eagles54
    It's a very good analogy.

    Of course faith is the linchpin of Christian practice but faith is required in other traditions too.

    Why do we have faith? Because, to our own minds anyway, there has been some demonstration of certainty within our chosen path to cause us to proceed with surety to take each successive step towards a fuller, deeper understanding.
    I think any decision made would be reasonable (logical). But logic alone could not answered the question. The data was not sufficient to determine the best solution.

    The analogy is an excellent way of seeing faith. When the information can not prove right answer, a decision must be made in faith.

    And we make decisions on faith on mundane things every day. No-one constructs an iron-clad deductive argument. And usually there's not enough data to build anything approaching a scientific inquiry.

    In the example, the situation was life and death - but that is not always the case.
  6. Not Kansas
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    28 Apr '05 15:01
    Originally posted by rwingett
    No, you are incorrect. The amount of water he found in the bottle was insufficient to sustain him. If followed the instructions and they were false he would die. If he drank the water he would die a little later. His logical choice lay in following the instructions and hoping that they were true. That is the only solution that would sustain him throughout h ...[text shortened]... he offer and returns to his sofa with a nice big glass of water that he has poured for himself.
    Very good, but I'll have a beer, invented by Man for the enjoyment of Mankind. One rec for you.
  7. Standard memberColetti
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    28 Apr '05 15:34
    Originally posted by rwingett
    No, you are incorrect. The amount of water he found in the bottle was insufficient to sustain him....
    The man in the story could not know that the water in the bottle was insufficient to sustain him. And decision he made would have been ultimately one of faith - either in the letter or not.
  8. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    28 Apr '05 15:40
    Originally posted by Coletti
    I think any decision made would be reasonable (logical). But logic alone could not answered the question. The data was not sufficient to determine the best solution.

    The analogy is an excellent way of seeing faith. When the information can not prove right answer, a decision must be made in faith.

    And we make decisions on faith on mundane things ...[text shortened]... quiry.

    In the example, the situation was life and death - but that is not always the case.
    Actually, I have to agree with rwingett on this one. (did I say that?) I think he was rather rude in his presentation, but essentially he is correct. However, I am confused on one point: what exactly is the water supposed to symbolize in this analogy?

    ... --- ...
  9. Standard memberColetti
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    28 Apr '05 16:01
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Of course the example is a completely ridiculous one. The christian would have you believe that life without their particular god is like dying of thirst in the desert. But only christians would ever find themselves in that desert. If you don't believe in god, then there is no desert to be rescued from.
    "... The christian would have you believe that life without their particular god is like dying of thirst in the desert. "

    This is consistent with the Christan belief.


    "But only christians would ever find themselves in that desert. If you don't believe in god, then there is no desert to be rescued from."

    That does not follow logically. Either the Christian is correct, or he is not. It is not the case the it can be correct for the Christan and incorrect for the unbeliever. If the Christan is correct, the unbeliever is in the dessert whether he know it or not. And if it is incorrect, then none-one is in the dessert. It's that simple.
  10. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
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    28 Apr '05 16:06
    Originally posted by Coletti
    The man in the story could not know that the water in the bottle was insufficient to sustain him. And decision he made would have been ultimately one of faith - either in the letter or not.
    The difference is that the water proposition is testable. If you follow the instructions you will know within 35 minutes whether it is true or not. Since you have to perform some action, its a simple matter of probability assessment. You think action X has the greatest likelihood of being true. You therefore perform action X and see if it is, in fact, true. There is no need for faith.

    Faith would only come into play if the proposition is untestable. If you choose to believe it as an established fact, then it falls within the realm of faith.
  11. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
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    28 Apr '05 16:11
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    Actually, I have to agree with rwingett on this one. (did I say that?) I think he was rather rude in his presentation, but essentially he is correct. However, I am confused on one point: what exactly is the water supposed to symbolize in this analogy?

    ... --- ...
    Rude? How was I rude? Because I said his example was ridiculous?
  12. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    28 Apr '05 16:14
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Rude? How was I rude? Because I said his example was ridiculous?
    Let's not be silly. Your counter-example with a fridge full of water and a running tap was meant to be a mockery, and we all know it. I've never known of a polite mockery.

    ... --- ...
  13. Standard memberColetti
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    28 Apr '05 16:18
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The difference is that the water proposition is testable. If you follow the instructions you will know within 35 minutes whether it is true or not. Since you have to perform some action, its a simple matter of probability assessment. You think action X has the greatest likelihood of being true. You therefore perform action X and see if it is, in fact, true. ...[text shortened]... e. If you choose to believe it as an established fact, then it falls within the realm of faith.
    That's a great answer! I wonder how many people will get it. 😉
  14. Standard memberRBHILL
    Acts 13:48
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    28 Apr '05 16:20
    Originally posted by dj2becker
    Faith. It is something that I believe can determine where we will spend eternity.

    Here's the analogy:

    A certain guy is wondering through the desert. This poor chap is very thirsty. He has not had anything to drink for a day or two. He is very close to death. He is on his hands and knees crawling down a dune when he spots something. It is a rundown s ...[text shortened]... he stone for the next guy who might come on the same way. he continues his journey, a happy man.
    Billy Graham said it is Faith that proves the existence of God.

    Faith is what pleases God, and Faith is what justifies you.
  15. Joined
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    28 Apr '05 17:58
    Originally posted by RBHILL
    Billy Graham said it is Faith that proves the existence of God.
    In what way do you think that Mr. Graham meant faith proves God's existence?




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