From: Kate Distin (email@example.com)
Date: Mon 16 Jan 2006 - 17:57:25 GMT
Chris Taylor wrote:
> And sure there are many non-religious nutters out there, but are their
> reasons any less valid? What is the proof that supports faith when faith
> necessarily eschews proof? An 'experience'? I dunno. There's that guy
> that can tweak a 'god spot' with EM, epilepsy etc.
No, no, no! That was my whole point (last refuge of a less-than-clear
writer: blame the reader). Faith does *not* eschew proof, necessarily
or otherwise. I wouldn't place my faith in anything that I didn't
regard as being proven, whether deductively or (as is more usually the
case) on the basis of evidence, experience, reason, etc. You can argue
about whether the evidence/proof is valid, of course . . . (see your
> An overanalysis of an interesting set of coincidences (remember the coin
> toss experiment with enough people for one to get ten heads in a row)
> could also lead one astray, or believe that _this_ guy really is a
> prophet not like all the other 100s of 'nutters'. Jericho is in an
> earthquake zone; it wasn't the trumpetting...
> This actually tallies nicely with the reason I was so 'up for' Ted's
> unceasing battery of all that we hold dear scientifically speaking; as
> Kate says (paraphrasing) orthodoxy is like a constitutional law (i.e.
> one that takes a bigger-than-50% vote to overturn as a rule) his major
> challenge was that we did have core beliefs that we were loath to really
> examine (whether that was accurate or not is not the point). And I do
> avoid abandoning a previously valued tenet until the evidence mounts. In
> behavioural theory this equates with the advantage of being a resident
> over an invader for a niche -- adapted over time to all the intricacies
> of filling it, increasing fitness.
Right - and it seems like there's a mememetic equivalent, too.
> But I just can't help myself with the religious variant of this.
> Earthquakes? Comet strikes? Still births? Pedophile rings?
> Hyperparasitoid wasps ffs. It is a merry dance to try to keep God as
> 'good' in this world to be sure (and what _is_ _purely_ good eh --
> sounds like a make-work scheme for some of the biggest landholders ever
> and their philosopher mates). My Dad died of cancer when I was eight and
> my brother was five; he was a little bit racist living in the 70s as he
> did but he also did lots of nice things for people at the drop of a hat.
> Death sentence? C'mon... Did god get more tolerant by allowing the
> advent of better oncotherapy?
> Spare me.
I'm sorry to hear about your Dad, Chris.
I think the problem of evil is a bit big even for the ambitions of this
> For once I'd like to hear Keith's main suit played. I think that we have
> a real love as a species of group cohesion, and in the world best
> described by Marx (in full below for the hell of it) religious groups
> provide the closest modern approximation of the tribe we pine for, both
> in church and as part of God's family.
Maybe. But this doesn't tell us anything about whether the claims of
any given belief system are valid or not.
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