On 2/19/2011 9:17 AM, John Mikes wrote:
Dear Bruno,
let me reply in fragments - your two responses are too comprehensive for one post for me.
So for now:  T R U T H .
/"I am a neoneoplatonist believer, John, I believe *_in truth_*, and that is the motor of my research."/ is IMO very different from your: /"Now what is *_a truth_*?..."/ you go on with. All I referred to is "a" truth (yours or mine etc., from which you emphasized 'mine' only) and that gives a difference what I wanted to point to. In my worldview of only partial knowledge, in an unlimited complexity of everything (beyond our limitations and imagination) your plain 'truth' cannot exist, but everybody is entitled to his or her (personal?) cut-truth to believe (in). I would not argue against your neoneoplatonist (??) "truth". Your father was a wise man. I don't think there is much difference between the stance of the two of us in this topic (if we discount your misreading on the exclusivity of 'my truth'). I even tried to 'touch' the SHARED part of all individual solipsisms into a common belief what many misunderstand as a communal knowledge of the world. Beside such shared views everybody has personal aspects - maybe not expressed all the time. The 'accepted' and shared knowledge is the basis of our conventional sciences (math included?).
Then Brent interjected:
/"It isn't faith if it's based on evidence (even if it's wrong)."/
/(/with - I think - Bruno's addition:
/"It is faith when you lack proof. You are confusing faith and blind faith.")/

Just to be clear, I didn't mean that evidence implied certainty of belief. One never reaches certainty. Yet some beliefs are better than others; some are supported by evidence and others are undermined. You always lack "proof" in the mathematical sense. Mathematical proofs are contingent. They are of the form, "If X and Y and....then Z". Bruno refers to Orwell's "2+2=4", but this is not a fact about the world, it is a fact about our definitions of words. Two players constitute the world's best mixed doubles tennis team. And two players constitute the world's best women's doubles tennis team. If both teams are on court together, how many players are on court? Three.

Brent is close to my position: _*there is no evidence*_, only excerpts of our restricted (limited) view (knowledge) - the partial topical 'model' of the totality that entered our 'solipsism' so far. The same applies to Bruno's *_"proof"_* - it also can be drawn only from our personal and so far acquired 'model' of the topical knowledge we already carry. In view of our steadily increasing information about more and more from the totality (from Copernicus, through Mendel to Watson-Crick, or J.S.Bach and L.DaVinci, etc. etc.) 'old proof' is no 'evidence' at a later stage of increased knowledge. So 'faith' seems discredited - at least not durable.
I 'think' this is Brent:
/"But faith is exactly what religions forbid one to "reset"./
(Without the 'but') yes, it is essential for the survival of formal religions. To keep the old hearsay alive and within the 'faith' the believers carry. And (I think) Bruno's paragraph compares some theocratic and scientific beliefs in the spirit as I wrote in my essay. We DO believe in tenets of conventional science. Use them as proof, as evidence, base conclusions upon them, construct instruments and measurements (comparison) showing similarities between those details we included into our explanations to give some understanding to phenomena we only partially glimpsed. At our present primitive state we cannot encompass the comp[lexity of 'them all' and the relentless change in which our world - what? - exists? works? stagnates (as in ontology?) or just exceeds our mental capabilities?
A *BIG*, religious(!)  -- */_A M E N_/*  --  to the 2 statements:
/"I am certainly a bit anxious about that. But it is not the fault of religion per se that humans pervert the original inquiry." /
/"That is far too generous.  Religion is the perversion of inquiry./ "
(Meaning of course the traditional theocratic ones).

And nobody, except Bruno, uses the word "religion" for the serious, unconstrained inquiry into what's true. Everybody else calls it science or philosophy. But that's why Bruno can easily get a Templeton grant.


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