Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent Meeker writes:
>>> This cannot be explained away by
>>> "faith" in the sense that one can have faith in the gravity god or a
>>> deist god (because no empirical finding counts for or against such
>>> beliefs): rather, it comes down to a matter of simultaneously
>>> believing x and not-x.
>> Seems like "faith" to me - belief without or contrary to evidence.  What is 
>> the "x" you refer to?
> There is a subtle difference. It is possible to have faith in something 
> stupid 
> and still be consistent. For example, I could say that I have faith that God 
> will answer my prayers regardless of whether he has ever answered any 
> prayers before in the history of the world. However, I think most religious 
> people would say that they have "faith" that God will answer their prayers 
> because that it what God does and has done in the past. In so saying, they 
> are making an empirically verifiable claim, at least in theory. They can be 
> invited 
> to come up with a test to support their belief, which can be as stringent as 
> they 
> like; for example, they might allow only historical analysis because God 
> would 
> not comply with any experiment designed to test him. I suspect that no such 
> test would have any impact on their beliefs because at bottom they are just 
> based on blind faith, but given that they do not volunteer this to begin 
> with, it 
> shows them up as inconsistent and hypocritical.
> Stathis Papaioannou

OK.  But I'd say that in fact almost no one believes something without any 
evidence, i.e. on *blind* faith.  Religious faith is usually belief based on 
*selected* evidence; it is "faith" because it is contrary to the total 
evidence.  Bruno seems to use "faith" somewhat differently: to mean what I 
would call a working hypothesis.

Brent Meeker

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