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Re: Rationality and Logic vs Blind Faith » Dr. Bob

Posted by IsoM on October 17, 2002, at 16:09:53

In reply to Re: Rationalism and Philosophy, posted by Dr. Bob on October 17, 2002, at 14:29:24

I’d like to make clear, Bob, that I’m not talking about rationalism, a philosophical belief, but about rationality & logical thinking from gathered evidence of the world around us, & the resulting faith.
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“…but it does seem to me that if evidence enters into it, so does interpretation of that evidence. Maybe what's being "demonstrated" is something else?”

Yes, it’s possible that it is something else but it wouldn’t be so very off target. Let’s get back to the black hole analogy (not the best one but I grabbed it out of the air quickly). Because there’s no real proof that there’s black holes, in the future as more evidence is gathered (& possibly a grand unifying theory is reached), we’ll find that this phenomenon that was believed to be black holes isn’t. But if it isn’t, it won’t be radically different. What’s discovered will still fit the data that’s been gathered & the math describing it. If it’s not a black hole, it’s going to be something awfully similar. We won’t find that it’s some huge orbiting dog in space.

Evidence should lead to a logical conclusion. The ancient Greeks knew that the Earth wasn’t flat. They used evidence about of what they could see & study – the Moon & Earth. They noticed the different phases of the Moon, & how the shadow of the Earth looked on its surface. During half-moon phase, the demarcation between lit & unlit was a straight line down. If the Earth was just a flat disc, it would’ve thrown a shadow of the curve of the disc on the Moon, but it didn’t. Any child with a flashlight & two spheres can check it out for themselves to understand. Ancient societies that thought the Earth was a flat disc didn’t take the evidence before their eyes into consideration. We find it amusing now how evident certain things were that primitive societies didn’t bother checking out.
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“And what about blind faith, anyway? Is that necessarily a lesser kind of faith? Wouldn't belief despite a lack of evidence be a *stronger* belief? Leaping farther?”

Blind faith doesn’t mean a stronger belief – it means shutting your eyes to evidence, hence the term blind, rather than unseen faith. There’s very little that doesn’t have some sort of evidence about; it just depends on whether people will bother checking it out or not.

Blind faith is about insisting that the Earth is still flat:
Or saying that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS.
Or saying that Man has never landed on the Moon & it’s all a conspiracy.
Or believing every urban legend or piece of gossip that comes along. I could offer sites on all these ideas but I doubt that anyone would get much out of it other than a good laugh. Why? Because we know better than that. We don’t have their blind faith.
And that’s where blind faith leads!

And if you say that everyone’s views & opinions should be given equal credence, then why isn’t an equal amount of money used to back these theories too? Because it’s obvious after reading what’s shown, that it’s illogical & ridiculous. For something to be taken seriously & believed, there should be some basis, some *sensible* reason to believe in it. If we have no evidence, then maybe each of us should just make up any silly fairy tale as the basis of our belief system.
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What bothers me is the fact that faith has become a ‘dirty’ word. People’s opinions have become clouded about faith because it’s been presented over & over that there doesn’t have to be a rationale for it. Faith NEEDS rational evidence to be real (though not necessarily everything is completely understood, but then we don’t completely understand everything around us yet, let alone the universe). The word blind is an adjective to describe a faith without logic or reason – it’s a set of credulous beliefs.




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