To be the Dutch Uncle for a moment:Moonwood the Hare wrote: ↑Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:02 amThere are some issues where you can examine the evidence and reach a conclusion. I heard a well known scientist Michael Reiss give an example a few years ago. He asked whether people thought trees get most of the material for their growth from the air or from the ground. He was surprised to find that most of his non-scientist audience said from the air because people usually think it is from the ground, I thought that. His point was that if you thought it was from the ground, for most people you can go through the evidence and they will change their minds. He compared that with people abandoning a belief in creationism and explained that this is much more like a worldview and people tend to take longer to modify that kind of belief. And when you get to core beliefs like materialism or theism then I think it is less a matter of looking neutrally at the evidence and more a matter of making a personal judgement. That judgement will have to take account of the evidence so it is not purely subjective but neither it is this a purely objective matter; there is not some algorithm that will lead all honest people to either the conclusion that there is or is not a God.
"You say that because you are an arborist."
"I believe that we are all climbing the same branches."
"I think that both views have some merit."
"There is no tree."
"I prefer not to think about trees."
"Artificial Christmas trees can be made in a factory. So why do you think that your tree is real?"
"Do you really believe that of all the trees in all the world, *yours* draws minerals from the ground?"