On Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 5:23 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru> wrote:

>> Insofar as religion makes no predictions about the world it cannot
>> be proved or disproved. But when it does make predictions, for
>> example that the Earth is 6000 years old, usually believers cannot
>> say what evidence they would accept that this belief of theirs is
>> wrong.
>
> Religion is based on beliefs and it says it explicitly. Many of your
> statements are also based on your beliefs. The difference is that you do not
> want to list your beliefs explicitly.

Do you mean faith? Faith is irrational belief that is stubbornly
adhered to despite evidence that it is false. We probably all have
such beliefs but religions are actually proud of it rather than
ashamed.

>>> Do not also forget what what Bruno says about theology. I
>>> personally agree with him because as long as we leave the empirical
>>> basis, we start using our beliefs.
>>>
>>> Finally imagine that you are a boss of a company. Could you be
>>> successful if you believe that everything is determined by the
>>> initial conditions of the Universe?
>>
>> Yes, of course, it shouldn't influence your decisions at all.
>>
>
> This statement is a good example of a belief, as you cannot prove it
> empirically. You cannot employ it for predictions as well. Hence what is the
> difference with a belief in the God?

It's not faith. You asked if I could be successful as the boss of a
company if I believed that the Universe is deterministic, and I said
that such a belief should not influence your decisions. As Brent says,
this is a normative statement, not a statement about facts. But we
could test whether determinism affects business decisions by doing a
survey of businessmen's beliefs. If it turns out that the ones who
believe the world is random do better then this says something about
the effect of beliefs on business success but nothing about whether
the world is actually random or determined.


-- 
Stathis Papaioannou

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