S/R Suffering, Challenges, Doggish Materialism etc.

 Suffering is a form of adversity. The coefficient of adversity when too high precludes the development of civilization. Alternatively when it is too low societies tend to stagnate. Arnold Toynbee’s paradigm of challenge and response is a parallel of stimulus and response. With no stimulus the mind and body atrophy (as in a sensory deprivation chamber for example), with too much stimulus the mind and body can break down I suppose; imagine stimulus as fire or heave weights (a couple of tons) or a dozen loudspeakers blaring one of the worst songs of the 1960s in an endless loop. An appropriate and high level of suffering such as a distance runner or a football player might use to build up stamina, endurance and strength is a golden mean.

Morality is a description of what people socially actually do behaviorally. Cultures repeat certain behavioral norms/patterns. Deviations from those are said to be immoral. A religion or re-allegiance is a horse of a different color. People have allegiance to certain objective ensembles for various reasons; some good, some bad and some ugly.

 I am not sure that materialistic minded people value relationships less than intelligent people. Materialistic minded could mean a behavioral doggishness regarding the bones of the world for-oneself and snarling or dog-fighting to keep control instead of thought about macro-social circumstances or philosophic reflection. Materialistic minded people can regard people as quite important too; for good people might have material value to the materialistic in that they bring good material things or security. Dos a dog love his master? Those that are energy minded (E=MC2) may also have a fair regard for people and relationships. Jesus; the spiritual minded sine qua non is said to have said; (Luke 14-26; “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

An assumption is an unverified classification made with inference from similar cases/instances. Faith is nothing like assumption. Faith may be construed to be trust, yet faith may arise from any number of causes with none being an inference. Faith may be trust in witness accounts, and faith may occur outside a religious context obviously. An example would be faith that the world economy won’t collapse because President Trump is good at business. An assumption might be that if the U.S. economy has a recession it would recover in due time because it always has. One could assume that any Democrat Presidential candidate would support some illegal drugs being made legal, abortion, homosexuality and illegal immigration, is cold to Christian fundamentalists etc, yet have faith that eventually a right-thinking Republican could be elected to right a few wrongs. One could assume that any given Democrat presidential nominee would want to add trillions to public debt, eliminate private gun ownership and would tailor environmentalism and environmental remediation to appeal to socialists because it has a large element of the commons to it. One might assume that some Republican candidates and President Trump would disregard the harm fossil fuel burning causes to the atmosphere, yet have faith that in some way an environmental economist would run for and be elected to office in time to curtail planetary mass extinction while there are a few rhinos, tigers and Kodiak bears remaining alive. One can assume candidates from both parties increase the concentration of wealth. A run-of-the-mill assumption can be made easily about future events- Faith requires more than that.

If most ideas were a form of propositional or syllogistic logic it would be easy to say that the premises of faith were verified when the conclusion verified the premises. If one has faith that a tenth planet exists beyond the Oort Cloud though the evidence is sketchy presently, the discovery of that planet would verify the accuracy of faith in that planet existing. Socrates discussed belief and problems of it in The Meno, I believe it was. 

https://www.coursera.org/…/knowledge-vs-true-belief-CG5vh