On 5/10/2013 12:11 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
On May 10, 2013, at 1:24 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
On 5/10/2013 10:58 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Fri, May 10, 2013 at 12:03 PM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com
On Fri, May 10, 2013 Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be
> How could a pseudo-religion, fake by definition, be superior to
Well, I'd rather be a fake moron that a real moron, wouldn't you?
> And why should a religion be illogical?
Because if it deals with big issues as religion does and it is not
the word for that is not "religion" but "science".
Religion is a set of beliefs which cannot be proved. Science is a means by which one
might arrive on such a set of beliefs. Life requires making decisions but as science
never provides 100% certainty on any idea, science can never tell us what course of
action is correct. For that we must fall back to our beliefs and hope our decision
That's a very strange formulation? Yes, science is a means of arriving at a set of
propositions that cannot be proved, but so is astrology and numerology and even just
making stuff up. But science is right much more consistently than other methods and
that's what distinguishes it - not the fact that it's not certain.
My point is that even with good methods of arriving at beliefs (such as science) we
never get certainty.
Sure. It's even true in mathematics and logic, which unlike science do purport to prove
Yet any time we make a decision we must base that decision on some belief as if it were
true, which is not scientific (but religious), as it depends on unprovable beliefs.
You're creating a false equivalence between science and religion (maybe so you can tell
John Clark he's really religious; he likes to hear that. :-) ). This wrong in two
respects. First, it is not necessary to assume some proposition is true in order to act.
If I bet on a poker hand I'm betting it's better than my opponents hand - but I'm not
assuming or believing or depending on that that. I know I may lose. Second, basing a
decision on some belief doesn't make it either religious or scientific. What makes it
scientific is that it is supported by the preponderance of the evidence. What makes it
religious is that it is based on the dogma of some religion, i.e. is based on faith in
some supernatural revelation.
E.g., if a doctor asks you if you want a digital brain prosthesis, you must answer yes
or no. Science may lead you to believe CTM is true and the substitution level us right,
but you cannot know. Making the decision involves a leap of faith.
No necessarily. I can bet CTM is more likely true than an alternative, without leaping to
faith in either one. If I said "yes" to the doctor I wouldn't cancel my life insurance.
I'm not sure what you mean by religion provides beliefs which cannot be proved.
I did not say that it provides them. I said a religion is those set of beliefs. How
you got them is another matter.
Of course they are not part of an axiomatic system, so they cannot be proved or
disproved in that sense. But they can certainly tested in the ordinary sense of
"preponderance of the evidence". For example many religions include a belief that
pious and sincere prayers will be answered. Double blind tests of this belief show it
is not true. So maybe the reason they can't be proved is that they are false.
Another reason is that nothing can be proved.
I don't think believing is just an act of will that can be applied to any proposition
though, at least that's not what I'd call believing. You seem to implicitly assume
that we need certainty in order to act - which is obviously not the case.
No, we never have certainty, so certainty is not required to act. But all decisions we
make (consciously or not) are based on beliefs, which for the sake of the decision, we
assume/hope to be true.
No, we don't assume they are true. In fact we make many decisions subconsciously; so to
say we believe some proposition is true in order to act is stretching the meaning of
It ain't so much what you don't know that gets you into trouble, as what you know that
--- Josh Billings
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