Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:15 am

SEG wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:42 pm
Is faith a reliable pathway to the truth? Polanyi (the former Jew converted to a Roman Cathlolic) thought so, is this your belief too? Is there ANY belief that can't be justified by faith?

If scientists come to different conclusions using reason, logic, and evidence, then these conclusions are tested under the peer review process to filter out faulty conclusions.

If different faiths disagree on what is true, nothing comes of it. They are all stuck in the cement of ignorance.

Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Lakatos don't agree with Popper's views according to a critical paper on how he deals with theories in scientific method.
I am not sure why you have brought up Polanyi's Jewishness unless you want to include anti-Semitic prejudice among your approved methods.

I don't think faith taken in isolation is a reliable pathway to truth and I don't think Polanyi thought that. He calls his approach post-critical not anti-critical. What he is arguing, and argues very cogently with many examples from all fields of science, is that science is not a purely rational enterprise and has what he calls a fiduciary element.

Yes, peer review is an important additional method but it cannot verify a theory or attest to its formal probability. Polanyi gives a very good account of the structures that enable peer review and they are not formal logical structures but rather structures of interlinked, branching collegiality. They enable to people to judge the validity of a theory rather than prove it. Collegiality as a method is well developed in most religious traditions, and though inter faith collegiality is a rather new matter it certainly exists.

Kuhn, Feyerabend and Lakatos do not argue against Popper's rejection of rational verification or assessment of the formal probability of theories being true; they argue against his case for rational falsification. Kuhn and Lakatos do this by looking at theories as complex structures and not simple generalisations. They also look at the social factors involved in falsification. Feyarabend especially is utterly clear on this. He says that there is no method by means of which we can determine that any general theory is true, probably true, probably false or false. He says in so many words that you can have science or you can have reason but there is no way you can have both. He also shows that many of the most successful scientific theories were established in spite of the evidence not because of it and proposes a method of counter-inductivity, that is going against the evidence not with it. He is an anarchist not a rationalist as you seem to have imagined.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:08 pm

SEG wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:55 am
Claire wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:50 pm
Now, you've claimed God doesn't exist. Next:

Step 2. Follow up with evidence
Step 3. Provide reasoning
OK, from an anti-theist POV: You can prove a negative even if it is something like a Russell's Teapot. If someone claimed the teapot was made of 100% stainless steel and at the same time 100% porcelain, that teapot can't exist because it has contradictory properties. Just like your god with all its omnis. Could he create a rock so big he can't lift it? Or could he build a prison so secure he can't escape from it?

Such a god does not only not exist, it cannot exist.
Of course you can prove a negative and that kind of claim makes me think you have still not grasped basic logic. Some of the classical proofs in Maths and logic prove negatives such as the proof there is no highest prime. Think of proofs in reductio ad absurdum form: if the positive implies a contradiction the negative must be true.

If either p or not-p and p implies both q and not q then not-p. That is a formal proof for a negative.

The reason you cannot argue prove that Russell's teapot does not exist is empirical not logical. The form of the claim is a specified existensial claim i.e. 'not there is an X at Y'. It is the same form as 'not there is a duck on the pond' (I am expressing these in the logical form they would take in propositional calculus with the negation before the clause rather than inserted in it because I think it makes it clearer). If the pond is small enough you can go and look if there is one there. There is a teapot in orbit round the Sun between Mars and Jupiter cannot be proven to be negated not because of a logical problem but because it is too much space to search for something that small given our current technology.

I think you would be interested in an essay on the presumption of atheism that Flew published in 1970. I think he is wrong in really interesting ways. His attempted redfeinition of atheism was ignored until the early twentieth century when people suddenly started saying Flew's definition was the 'real' meaning of the word atheism.

captain howdy
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by captain howdy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:03 am

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:08 pm
If either p or not-p and p implies both q and not q then not-p. That is a formal proof for a negative.
Okay....Now insert the following values:

p = "Jesus was fully God"

q = "Jesus was fully human"

therefore

If either "Jesus was fully God" or not "Jesus was fully God" and "Jesus was fully God" implies both "Jesus was fully human" and not "Jesus was fully human" then not "Jesus was fully God".


Cool

Claire
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Claire » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:12 am

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
SEG wrote:
Claire wrote:Now, you've claimed God doesn't exist. Next:

Step 2. Follow up with evidence
Step 3. Provide reasoning
OK, from an anti-theist POV: You can prove a negative even if it is something like a Russell's Teapot. If someone claimed the teapot was made of 100% stainless steel and at the same time 100% porcelain, that teapot can't exist because it has contradictory properties. Just like your god with all its omnis. Could he create a rock so big he can't lift it? Or could he build a prison so secure he can't escape from it?

Such a god does not only not exist, it cannot exist.
Of course you can prove a negative and that kind of claim makes me think you have still not grasped basic logic. Some of the classical proofs in Maths and logic prove negatives such as the proof there is no highest prime. Think of proofs in reductio ad absurdum form: if the positive implies a contradiction the negative must be true.

If either p or not-p and p implies both q and not q then not-p. That is a formal proof for a negative.

The reason you cannot argue prove that Russell's teapot does not exist is empirical not logical. The form of the claim is a specified existensial claim i.e. 'not there is an X at Y'. It is the same form as 'not there is a duck on the pond' (I am expressing these in the logical form they would take in propositional calculus with the negation before the clause rather than inserted in it because I think it makes it clearer). If the pond is small enough you can go and look if there is one there. There is a teapot in orbit round the Sun between Mars and Jupiter cannot be proven to be negated not because of a logical problem but because it is too much space to search for something that small given our current technology.
SEG, it's good you've acknowledged that a negative can be proven, and you go beyond the teapot analogy to focus on the particulars of the teapot, but what Moon says to you regarding the teapot's existence not being unprovable because of logic, but rather the limits of our current technology, also applies to our understanding. Just because you don't understand how God could accomplish both sides of these theoretical paradoxes, such as creating a rock so big that He can't life it, it does not mean God doesn't have the ability to do so.

Consider God the Father is a Spirit, thus cannot be killed by humans. Does His inability to die by human hands make Him not all-powerful? So, in order to physically die for humanities salvation, He had to become human Himself, and He accomplished this through Jesus, God the Son. God being all-powerful can exist simultaneously in multiple states of being, which allows Him to both do and not do different activities all at once.

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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by SEG » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:01 am

SEG wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:42 pm
Is faith a reliable pathway to the truth? Polanyi (the former Jew converted to a Roman Cathlolic) thought so, is this your belief too? Is there ANY belief that can't be justified by faith?

If scientists come to different conclusions using reason, logic, and evidence, then these conclusions are tested under the peer review process to filter out faulty conclusions.

If different faiths disagree on what is true, nothing comes of it. They are all stuck in the cement of ignorance.

Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Lakatos don't agree with Popper's views according to a critical paper on how he deals with theories in scientific method.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:15 am
I am not sure why you have brought up Polanyi's Jewishness unless you want to include anti-Semitic prejudice among your approved methods.
No, I don't have anti-Semitic prejudice. How kind of you to make that assumption. I have a few Jewish friends that would resent that remark. I was merely making the point that he comes from a faith based position of bias. He would be very used to using and trusting faith as a lens in his world views. It would be a base and where he makes his assumptions right from the start. God not existing for him was never an option.
I don't think faith taken in isolation is a reliable pathway to truth

Cool, neither do I. I'm glad that we finally agree on something.
and I don't think Polanyi thought that.

I'm sure he would, just like you, when there is nothing left to cling to. It's the last standing post for believers.

I'm sure the other Christians here would not agree that if all they have left is faith, then that is NOT reliable pathway to truth.
He calls his approach post-critical not anti-critical. What he is arguing, and argues very cogently with many examples from all fields of science, is that science is not a purely rational enterprise and has what he calls a fiduciary element.
Well nothing is absolute is it? I don't think you can prove anything positively or negatively, there has to be a certain amount of trust that something is true. Basing your beliefs mainly on faith or trust is not a good avenue of discovering the truth.
Yes, peer review is an important additional method but it cannot verify a theory or attest to its formal probability. Polanyi gives a very good account of the structures that enable peer review and they are not formal logical structures but rather structures of interlinked, branching collegiality. They enable to people to judge the validity of a theory rather than prove it. Collegiality as a method is well developed in most religious traditions, and though inter faith collegiality is a rather new matter it certainly exists.
So what are the procedures within collegiality to discovering the truth? Are they as robust as peer review?
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:15 am
Kuhn, Feyerabend and Lakatos do not argue against Popper's rejection of rational verification or assessment of the formal probability of theories being true; they argue against his case for rational falsification. Kuhn and Lakatos do this by looking at theories as complex structures and not simple generalisations. They also look at the social factors involved in falsification. Feyarabend especially is utterly clear on this. He says that there is no method by means of which we can determine that any general theory is true, probably true, probably false or false. He says in so many words that you can have science or you can have reason but there is no way you can have both. He also shows that many of the most successful scientific theories were established in spite of the evidence not because of it and proposes a method of counter-inductivity, that is going against the evidence not with it. He is an anarchist not a rationalist as you seem to have imagined.
Oh no, you are defending a defender of astrology and creationism!
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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SEG
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by SEG » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:15 am

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:08 pm
The reason you cannot argue prove that Russell's teapot does not exist is empirical not logical.
No, you misread what I said. I said like a Russell's Teapot, not the traditional teapot. It looks like the good Captain understood what I was saying. " If someone claimed the teapot was made of 100% stainless steel and at the same time 100% porcelain, that teapot can't exist because it has contradictory properties."

Just like some of the contradictory properties of your Abrahamic god.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:56 pm

SEG wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:01 am
SEG wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:42 pm
Is faith a reliable pathway to the truth? Polanyi (the former Jew converted to a Roman Cathlolic) thought so, is this your belief too? Is there ANY belief that can't be justified by faith?

If scientists come to different conclusions using reason, logic, and evidence, then these conclusions are tested under the peer review process to filter out faulty conclusions.

If different faiths disagree on what is true, nothing comes of it. They are all stuck in the cement of ignorance.

Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Lakatos don't agree with Popper's views according to a critical paper on how he deals with theories in scientific method.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:15 am
I am not sure why you have brought up Polanyi's Jewishness unless you want to include anti-Semitic prejudice among your approved methods.
No, I don't have anti-Semitic prejudice. How kind of you to make that assumption. I have a few Jewish friends that would resent that remark. I was merely making the point that he comes from a faith based position of bias. He would be very used to using and trusting faith as a lens in his world views. It would be a base and where he makes his assumptions right from the start. God not existing for him was never an option.
I don't think faith taken in isolation is a reliable pathway to truth

Cool, neither do I. I'm glad that we finally agree on something.
and I don't think Polanyi thought that.

I'm sure he would, just like you, when there is nothing left to cling to. It's the last standing post for believers.

I'm sure the other Christians here would not agree that if all they have left is faith, then that is NOT reliable pathway to truth.
Polanyi's parents were secular Jews. Arguing against what someone would have said because of who their parents were while ignoring what they actually did say is, frankly, pathetic.
So what are the procedures within collegiality to discovering the truth? Are they as robust as peer review?
They are not alternatives. Peer review depends on collegiality. That is what the term 'peer' means in this context. It is not someone who is an expert on reason or evidence in the abstract but someone who has appropriate qualifications and experience in the same discipline. The exponents of religious colegiality can be very robust. Look at the process of thought and review behind something like the Chalcedonian definition. Look at the rigorous questioning some Buddhist monks have to go through.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:15 am
Kuhn, Feyerabend and Lakatos do not argue against Popper's rejection of rational verification or assessment of the formal probability of theories being true; they argue against his case for rational falsification. Kuhn and Lakatos do this by looking at theories as complex structures and not simple generalisations. They also look at the social factors involved in falsification. Feyarabend especially is utterly clear on this. He says that there is no method by means of which we can determine that any general theory is true, probably true, probably false or false. He says in so many words that you can have science or you can have reason but there is no way you can have both. He also shows that many of the most successful scientific theories were established in spite of the evidence not because of it and proposes a method of counter-inductivity, that is going against the evidence not with it. He is an anarchist not a rationalist as you seem to have imagined.
Oh no, you are defending a defender of astrology and creationism!
Right try to follow the flow of this argument.
Moonwood: the article you link to says reason and logic can show scientific theories to be likely to be true. Popper argued, soundly, that this can not be dome.
SEG: Feyarabend disagreed with Popper.
Monwood: He did but not on the matter of whether reason and logic can show that scientific theories are likely to be true. In fact he went further than Popper and argued that they cannot be shown to be false or probably false either.
SEG: You are defending a defender of astrology and creationism.

Do you understand what a non sequitur is?

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:03 pm

SEG wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:15 am
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:08 pm
The reason you cannot argue prove that Russell's teapot does not exist is empirical not logical.
No, you misread what I said. I said like a Russell's Teapot, not the traditional teapot. It looks like the good Captain understood what I was saying. " If someone claimed the teapot was made of 100% stainless steel and at the same time 100% porcelain, that teapot can't exist because it has contradictory properties."

Just like some of the contradictory properties of your Abrahamic god.
You arecorrect I don't know what 'a Russell's teapot' as distinct from 'Russel's teapot' is. Perhaps you had better explain.
But this is misleading " If someone claimed the teapot was made of 100% stainless steel and at the same time 100% porcelain, that teapot can't exist because it has contradictory properties." The teapot has properties that we know on empirical grounds are mutually exclusive but no logical contradiction is present. There are many case where something can be 100% one thing and 100% another thing without their being any contradiction. For example a person can be 100% male and 100% human without any contradiction.

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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:05 pm

captain howdy wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:03 am
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:08 pm
If either p or not-p and p implies both q and not q then not-p. That is a formal proof for a negative.
Okay....Now insert the following values:

p = "Jesus was fully God"

q = "Jesus was fully human"

therefore

If either "Jesus was fully God" or not "Jesus was fully God" and "Jesus was fully God" implies both "Jesus was fully human" and not "Jesus was fully human" then not "Jesus was fully God".


Cool
I'm sorry Cap I haven't the faintest idea what you mean. How does "Jesus was fully God" imply both "Jesus was fully human" and not "Jesus was fully human"?

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SEG
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Re: Why Faith Isn't a Reliable Pathway to Determine the Truth

Post by SEG » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:45 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:03 pm
The teapot has properties that we know on empirical grounds are mutually exclusive but no logical contradiction is present. There are many case where something can be 100% one thing and 100% another thing without their being any contradiction. For example a person can be 100% male and 100% human without any contradiction.
Now that is a Non sequitur! Being 100% male and 100% human is not mutually exclusive because being male and being human are not different attributes.

However being 100% God and 100% human IS mutually exclusive, just like being 100% Pixie and 100% human.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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