Can we dispense with Belief?

Discussions on the philosophical foundations, assumptions, and implications of science, including the natural sciences.

Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Fuqin on October 12th, 2018, 5:14 pm 

It would be nice to dispense with belief IMHO however consider how intrinsically it is tied into our social constructs, I rather think belief might be the lungs as it were to our astounding capacity for co-operation , simple team work at some level requiers us to trust our team members, thats belife! Unfortunately the pardox of this is we are so well wiered for this that we can.as easily go from being a football supporter to being a blind nationalistic patriot, or religious fundamentalist extremists, I guess the point im trying to make is we are stuck with belife, but we need some rational managment.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby BadgerJelly on October 13th, 2018, 2:24 am 

If we dispense with “belief” do we also dispense with “questions”?

Can I ask a question without any applicable belief? Meaning, if I have only apodictic knowledge, lack the capacity to doubt - to view my view as a possible misrepresentation - then how can I ask a question? If all I have is exact knowledge then I know everything without any need to question anything. If so, then we’re essentially talking about dogma.

Of course I realise the OP is not actually looking at belief as a term used in various ways in the English language. If you pick a term and define it as “redundant” then who cares?

Some may argue that an “idea” is impossible without the semblance of a “belief” within which to ground it. Simply because all “beliefs” are necessarily framed in experential knowledge it doesn’t mean they are without natural grounding - such an argument would be of the religious dualistic kind (which I find misleading, yet it does open up our thoughts to the seemingly impossible to be taken as a remote possibility even if we’re unable to refine our words at the moment to capture it - and if we never can then we’re in the realm of delusional thoughts thinking that what cannot be done ca be done.)
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby -1- on October 18th, 2018, 5:03 pm 

This has been touched upon, but not quite this way in this thread:

There is no knowledge of reality. It is a belief that our senses relay to us the status of the real world.

It is a belief that our perception of reality is reality itself.

Without this belief there is no science. Philosophy would trump science if this belief was decried of validity.

Thus, the basis of all knowledge is belief. (Not in a religious sense but in a philosophical sense.)

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Of course some could argue, and argue successfully, that to know, belief is not needed. Simply the ignorance that this belief is needed is enough to base science on the senses.

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However, once one is acquainted with the notion that true reality and that thing that the senses report to us are not necessarily fully congruent with each other, then one can't know without an initial belief.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby -1- on October 18th, 2018, 5:12 pm 

There are other areas where knowledge depends on belief. That belief is in the integrity of the reporting media. There is a belief that a scientific paper that publishes a repeatable and successfully repeated experiment does not fudge the details.

This is crucial in medical, and all other statistical or measurement-based experiments.

To know that arsenic is poisonous, I believe the media that states that. I have never taken arsenic, I have never witnessed anyone (living or dead) taking arsenic. Thus, to me it is believed knowledge that arsenic (an amount of it) kills humans.

Even if I saw someone take arsenic, all I would know is that they took an amount of some stuff, but I have no way of knowing if it was arsenic or not. I don't know how to test for arsenic.

This can be extrapolated to almost the entire knowledge one learns in school, from kindergarten to post-doctorate degrees to practical learning in the sciences or in any other human endeavour.

I say belief, because of how this plays out, is much more important in acquiring skills and know-how than knowledge is. Learned but not proven knowledge is believed truth.
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