Belief and acceptance
Posted: 30 May 2009 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Are they the same thing? My religionist family members and friends always say that evolution or science is my religion because thats what I ‘believe in’ I try and explain to them that no, I don’t believe in these things but I accept them as real. They say it is the same thing and it takes as much ‘faith’ to accept science or evolutionary theory as it does to believe in a supreme being.

When I talk about empiricism and evidence they just laugh it off and say that scientific evidence is a human construct and it finds what it wants to find and that is is just another belief system.

It gets rather frustrating at times.

So is ‘belief’ the same thing as accepting something as real or true?

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‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 30 May 2009 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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eudemonia - 30 May 2009 12:02 PM

Are they the same thing? My religionist family members and friends always say that evolution or science is my religion because thats what I ‘believe in’ I try and explain to them that no, I don’t believe in these things but I accept them as real. They say it is the same thing and it takes as much ‘faith’ to accept science or evolutionary theory as it does to believe in a supreme being.

When I talk about empiricism and evidence they just laugh it off and say that scientific evidence is a human construct and it finds what it wants to find and that is is just another belief system.

It gets rather frustrating at times.

So is ‘belief’ the same thing as accepting something as real or true?

Obviously you will never get such people to understand your point, try this one on them: are they willing to change their belief if there is evidence to the contrary?  Or will they just explain it away as temptation by the devil?  There is a distinction between “evidence” and “instance.”  Closed belief systems take everything as an instance of the belief and use reason to explain how it fits into the system, or to explain it away.  That can get pretty convoluted.  In science, relevant events, experiences, or data is taken as evidence that can count either for or against a theory (i.e., a tentatively accepted explanation).  If the evidence against the theory is sufficient, it is changed and reason is used in an attempt to construct a more fitting theory (which can be pretty difficult).

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Posted: 30 May 2009 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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With reason the evidence dictates the theory, without reason theory dictates the the evidence.

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Posted: 13 June 2009 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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eudemonia - 30 May 2009 12:02 PM

Are they the same thing? My religionist family members and friends always say that evolution or science is my religion because thats what I ‘believe in’ I try and explain to them that no, I don’t believe in these things but I accept them as real. They say it is the same thing and it takes as much ‘faith’ to accept science or evolutionary theory as it does to believe in a supreme being.

When I talk about empiricism and evidence they just laugh it off and say that scientific evidence is a human construct and it finds what it wants to find and that is is just another belief system.

It gets rather frustrating at times.

So is ‘belief’ the same thing as accepting something as real or true?

I’d council you to jettison the whole ‘truth’ business. I think that it’s been on balance a huge negative for our species for at least the past 80,000 years.

As to why belief in religions requires ‘faith’, while belief in science doesn’t: All religions consist of proposals that are logically excluded by all of our on-demand-repeatable observation based proposals; while science is exactly the current summation of those proposals. It’s easy to believe in the latter. You can check most of its basic claims for yourself, with stuff that you can find in your kitchen or local hardware store. To believe in the former you have to convince yourself that a lot of the observation based stuff is just plain wrong. [If we accept that our planet is about 4 billion years old - as is consistently born out by every relevant physical observation that we can make - then we can’t also and simultaneously accept that it is 6,500 years old]. In short, you only need faith if you wish - for emotional and ‘strength in numbers’ ‘reasons’ - to embrace as knowledge proposals that you can actually see to be wrong. This is what your friends and family are doing, and they want you to come on in and join them. It’s kind of like ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’.  cheese

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