Interesting discourse, indeed. Brent, I would add to:

    *"usually believers cannot say what evidence they would  accept
that this          belief of theirs is wrong."*
the *scientific  BELIEF  (sic!) which is*  also a belief, based on
prerequisite evidences BELIEVED to be TRUE. Those precursors of such
evidences, however, come from the human mind's sweat(?) to explain what has
been misunderstood if at all. (Then, later, changed - if...).
This is the millennial-old mental 'evolution' leading to our conventional
sciences (including IMO - sorry!) math and QM as well). We know only part of
the TOTAL and pretend that it is  *A L L* . That leads to arguments between
soul and mind etc. Between the 'bible-truth' and calculated 'evidence' with
constants invented to make it a match. The Physical World figment.
We do not have the details and mechanism of the infinite complexity of the
WORLD, we work in models formulated from the little we know of (topically).
We BELIEVE they are true and 'evidenced'.

As Copernicus could not know about distant galaxies' supernovae or genetics,
etc., we cannot predict what will be the image of the average teenagers
about the world 500 years hence.
May I refer to the great Cohen-Stewart book's (Chaos) aliens
(Zarathustrans?) with a different math and logic from ours? It is an
excellent try.


On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 4:13 PM, meekerdb <> wrote:

>  On 9/5/2011 12:23 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
>> On 05.09.2011 07:59 Stathis Papaioannou said the following:
>>> On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 4:32 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi<>
>>> wrote:
>>>  Hence you could take the existence of people in the USA who
>>>>>> "believe in an immaterial spirit, distinct from brain
>>>>>> processes" positively. After all, they are working hard and
>>>>>> contribute to prosperity.
>>>>>> In any case, I do not think that the ideology should affect
>>>>>> reasoning.
>>>>> It does affect reasoning, that's the problem. A religious person
>>>>> usually can't say what evidence would make them change their
>>>>> religious views, because they are views they hold without
>>>>> evidence.
>>>> A dialog from lectures of Prof Hoenen:
>>>> A physicist comes to a theologian: "You know, I have checked
>>>> everything from an elementary particle to the Universe. God does
>>>> not exist, as I have not found him."
>>>> A theologian: "You have done your job well. I would be really
>>>> surprised if you could find the God."
>>> 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.
> That's the problem with religion - it's based on beliefs.  Science is based
> on evidence, which changes; so there is no such thing as "what science
> *believes*".
>>  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.
> As a normative statement it's not even empirical.  But probably Stathis
> also meant that some bosses successfully run companies while also believing
> that the universe is deterministic (and that others run companies thinking
> that some things are random and still others that there is libertarian
> free-will, either human and/or divine).  It might be interesting to survey a
> sample of successful businessmen, but one problem I forsee is that they will
> likely not have any well defined opinion on the question.  When surveyed
> about religion there are plenty of successful businessmen who are not
> religious: Richard Branson,  Mark Zuckerberg,  Steve Wozniak, Warren Buffet.
>  But when asked about religion they say things like, "I'm an agnostic or an
> atheist.  I'm not sure what the difference is."  Businessmen natrually tend
> to think about business, not philosophy.
> Brent
> You cannot employ it for predictions as well. Hence what is the difference
>> with a belief in the God?
>> Evgenii
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