Can we dispense with Belief?

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

Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby hyksos on September 1st, 2018, 7:29 pm 

Can we dispense with Belief?
----
The answer is likely , yes.

The use of the word "belief" and questions that start with "Do you believe that ...?" appear to organize a conversation in such a way that skeptics get an automatic advantage. Belief comes with a built-in danger. "Belief" threatens the the danger of swaying a conversation intentionally towards incredulity.

We might ask if you could reach a place where we dispense with "to believe" and replace it with the verb "to know". Can we continue this displacement until "believe" vanishes from our vocabulary entirely?

Today I feel this is entirely possible more than ever. To see an example of the caustic effects of "believe" , consider the following questions.

  • Do you believe in Evolution?
  • Do you believe in the Big Bang?
  • Do you believe that global warming is caused by human activity?
  • Do you believe in the existence of psychic powers?

Here is how the displacement can proceed.

Do you believe in Evolution?
I know that there is a theory of evolution by natural selection. I know that science creates theories to explain and predict a body of evidence. I know that evolution by NS is successful at describing the body of evidence to which it is applied. Natural selection is a cornerstone --a unifying principle-- to modern biology. I know that the theory does not explain all processes seen in earth-based life forms (e.g. epigenetics). I "believe" nothing. I prefer not to "believe", but instead to know these facts.

Do you believe in the Big Bang?
I know that the Big Bang is a theory from the discipline of cosmology. I know that cosmology produces theories to explain a body of evidence measured by telescopes. I know that the Big Bang has theoretical support as solution to Einstein's Field Equations. I know that the theory assumes that General Relativity describes the whole universe ( I know that this is an assumption.) I know that many scientists suggest that the Big Bang is the best theory to explain and predict the CMBR. I know that science has methods for dating stars, and dating other celestial objects like globular clusters. I know that such dating methods yield conclusions which are consistent with the theory. I don't believe anything, but prefer instead to know.

Do you believe that global warming is caused by human activity?
I know that climatology has isolated and quantified many factors that can change the earth's atmosphere and its climate. After having ruled out many other sources of warming, climatology has narrowed its focus onto carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere as a kind of "final" (last left standing) cause of the warming trends. I know that global warming is consistent with data collected from bubbles in deep ice shelves. I do not believe.. I prefer to know.

Do you believe in the existence of psychic powers?
I know that anecdotes of miraculous clairvoyance are the driving interest in this question. For example, psychics are employed by forensics experts to help find bodies of victims of murder. I know that there exists a parlor trick called "cold reading" that is used by people who pretend to talk to deceased loved ones. I know that studies of psychic powers under controlled conditions have never yielded data that suggests that psychics know things beyond the statistics allowed by chance (In essence, they are guessing well). I do not accept that a belief in psychic powers is prerequisite to those powers operating well -- as if prior disbelief disables or 'blocks' the powers. I know some things about this topic -- and believe nothing.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby wolfhnd on September 1st, 2018, 8:16 pm 

The devil is in the details. Knowing something is supported by evidence and determining the significance there of are very different things.

You are going to dig a deep hole defining what the word fact means. I would simply let it go, and say I believe in evidence and reason, knowing that from a scientific perspective facts are approximate. Terms like evolution fall into the realm of self evident linguistically constructs once the evidence is presented. It's just semantics in the sense of "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet".

There is a long thread here titled something like is there a scientific method which I found to be largely a waste of time. Philosophy of science shouldn't be about entertainment but rather a practical endeavor. It may be that what is practically comes very close to being a matter of belief because there are a near infinite number of ways to define it. On the other hand as animals are value systems are somewhat restrained.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Serpent on September 1st, 2018, 9:40 pm 

hyksos » September 1st, 2018, 6:29 pm wrote:
Do you believe in Evolution?

This is a poorly (or dishonestly) phrased question.
To believe in supposes, or at least implies faith.
Do I believe that evolution-theory is a true explanation of how life on earth developed.
Yes.
Not only do I respect the science, the millions of data that have gone into building the science as it stands today, and the meticulous accuracy with which it has been recorded and compiled; I also see it as evidently the best explanation. My personal observations support the theory in every detail.
I know some of the facts first-hand, and am convinced that the received facts are also correct.
Do you believe in the Big Bang?

In this instance 'believe in' is an appropriate question.
Do I believe?
Ye-es; tepidly. Until something better comes along. I don't know enough cosmology, astronomy, maths or physics to support or dispute it. It seems to me absurd - just like all other theories of the origin of the universe. The subject itself is too inaccessible and irrelevant for me to care...
... just so long as BB doesn't interfere in my culinary or marital life.

Do you believe that global warming is caused by human activity?

Relevant question. Legitimate form.
Yes, I believe that to the point of certainty.
I have reviewed quite a lot of the evidence and checked quite a lot of its source. Like evolution, it also accords with my direct observations and reasoning.

Do you believe in the existence of psychic powers?

The question could be phrased either way, but the very phrasing of the questions slants the viewpoint.
Do I have faith in psychic powers?
No.
Do I believe that such a thing is possible?
Yes, I am open to reasoned argument; I do not absolutely discount the possibility.
This is not an area where much reliable scientific data is available for study; the evidence is often disputed and much of it, discredited. I have not made a study of the experimentation that has been done, and by whom; I have not enough expertise to evaluate whatever conclusions have been drawn.
On the whole, I'm inclined to I disbelieve.

But none of this means that we need to discard either the word or the concept for which it stands. In both forms, belief is valid in personal life.
I believe in the artistic talent of my son. I'm biassed; he may yet wash out, but I support his effort in the strong, though as yet unproven, expectation of his accomplishment.
I believe, on the basis of 36 years' solid evidence, that my life-partner is devoted to me. But I believed in that same person's sincerity 36 years ago, when I had very little evidence.
I believe, on no evidence at all, just on precedent that I know will inevitably run out, that I'll wake up tomorrow morning.
I believe, although I have seen nothing, just on the basis of past experience, that the nocturnal noises inside the south wall indicate that we have rats again. I believe that we will trap these latest squatters, as we trapped several previous waves.

There are occasions for believing, logically, statistically or instinctively.
There are occasions for believing in, emotionally or instinctively.
The words are serviceable, so long as we don't let ideological manipulators hijack them.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Brent696 on September 1st, 2018, 10:47 pm 

Is this a complete list, I'm thinking extraterrestrials, humans one days moving faster than the speed of light, visiting other systems or galaxies, surviving in any way the collapse of our solar system, extending life average to beyond 100 years, and if Elvis is alive and living in Maui.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby BadgerJelly on September 2nd, 2018, 3:53 am 

The English language is rich in terms. Simply ask people to use them properly rather than creating Newspeak? Just saying.

In scientific papers they don’t tend to use the term “belief” so why worry about this? Educated people can negotiate the subtle differences of use of the term themselves, no need to disgard it completely.

Funnily enough it’s a problem on the side of science to frame any use of “belief” as being religious only.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby wolfhnd on September 2nd, 2018, 10:31 am 

I never use the word, I sometimes say it seems to me which is I guess a related problem.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Brent696 on September 2nd, 2018, 12:26 pm 

hyksos » September 1st, 2018, 7:29 pm

Can we dispense with Belief?
The answer is likely , yes.


The answer would be absolutely not, unless you are moving from science to Scientology.

Knowledge, knowing, always incorporates a subjective acceptance, that is what is known as Belief. You cannot know something without believing it, unless you are trying to change all the rules of linguistics and logic.

hyksos » September 1st, 2018, 7:29 pm

The use of the word "belief" and questions that start with "Do you believe that ...?" appear to organize a conversation in such a way that skeptics get an automatic advantage. Belief comes with a built-in danger. "Belief" threatens the the danger of swaying a conversation intentionally towards incredulity.

We might ask if you could reach a place where we dispense with "to believe" and replace it with the verb "to know". Can we continue this displacement until "believe" vanishes from our vocabulary entirely?


Data is data, the human brain takes such data and formulates it into a context, a set of relationships, in short we Interpret the data. Belief has to do with what interpretation we ACCEPT. Even in science as different theories compete, many scientist belief one way while many other scientist believe in another interpretation of the data (facts).

What you are proposing is Intellectual Tyranny, or at the very least a dishonest dismissal of your Selective Interpretation. "I believe this way, but by denial I am going to assume there is no other possible interpretation", WELCOME to Scientology, you have now entered the world of doctrine driven religious zealotry.

hyksos » September 1st, 2018, 7:29 pm

Today I feel this is entirely possible more than ever. To see an example of the caustic effects of "believe" , consider the following questions.


Caustic??? And yet you believe we should do away with the word belief? Well, my belief is that your belief to do away with the word belief-believe is unbelievably naive, but just so as to show it is not my belief alone, I will present some data.

(Wiki)Belief
Main article: Belief
In common speech, a "statement of belief" is typically an expression of faith or trust in a person, power or other entity—while it includes such traditional views, epistemology is also concerned with what we believe. This includes 'the' truth, and everything else we accept as 'true' for ourselves from a cognitive point of view.

Truth
Main article: Truth
See also: Criteria of truth:
Whether someone's belief is true is not a prerequisite for (its) belief. On the other hand, if something is actually known, then it categorically cannot be false. For example, if a person believes that a bridge is safe enough to support her, and attempts to cross it, but the bridge then collapses under her weight, it could be said that she believed that the bridge was safe but that her belief was mistaken. It would not be accurate to say that she knew that the bridge was safe, because plainly it was not. By contrast, if the bridge actually supported her weight, then the person might say that she had believed the bridge was safe, whereas now, after proving it to herself (by crossing it), she knows it was safe.

Epistemologists argue over whether belief is the proper truth-bearer. Some would rather describe knowledge as a system of justified true propositions, and others as a system of justified true sentences. Plato, in his Gorgias, argues that belief is the most commonly invoked truth-bearer.


Not sire how to get this image to transfer into this post but here is the site, it simply shows how belief is inseparably from knowing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Clas ... of_Kno.svg
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby wolfhnd on September 2nd, 2018, 12:47 pm 

For those of us who don't believe in believing everything is questionable and their are no meaningful absolutes. The danger of course is that such a position can lead to moral relativism how large a problem that is depends on how likely you are to be liberal in your behavior.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby hyksos on September 2nd, 2018, 5:10 pm 

Data is data, the human brain takes such data and formulates it into a context, a set of relationships

Do you know that the human brain takes such data and formulates it into a context, or do you believe that the human brain does this?

in short we Interpret the data.

Do you know we interpret the data ? Or do you just believe we interpret data?

Belief has to do with what interpretation we ACCEPT. Even in science as different theories compete, many scientist belief one way while many other scientist believe in another interpretation of the data (facts)

Do you know that scientists have multiple interpretations, or do you believe they have different interpretations?

but just so as to show it is not my belief alone, I will present some data.

Why show me any data, if I am allowed to interpret it however I want?

If I know that x3 - 7x = 36 , do I know that x = 4? Or in accord with your standards, should I just believe that x=4?

Not sire how to get this image to transfer into this post but here is the site, it simply shows how belief is inseparably from knowing.

Do you know that belief is inseparable from knowing, or do you just believe they are inseparable?
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby wolfhnd on September 2nd, 2018, 5:45 pm 

Math is a poor example because it is a unevolving language who's definitions are fixed. All abstractions can have this property but it isn't clear anything in nature does.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Serpent on September 2nd, 2018, 6:26 pm 

Is there any reason you can't put belief on a scale?
We do it for hunger, affection, art appreciation - all kinds of mental, emotional and physical properties of a living organism. In life, we change states and degrees of states all the time.
Say you qualify believing, from simple credulity to giving the benefit of doubt, to skeptical acceptance, to provisional application, to conviction to taken-for-granted certainty (knowledge).
It works in practice.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Event Horizon on September 2nd, 2018, 7:03 pm 

There will always be people to choose belief over reality. It may be worth considering that faith also applies in science. We just can't use it in lieu of hard facts. We just have to accommodate this. It's no big thing. We can do that.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Brent696 on September 2nd, 2018, 7:05 pm 

hyksos » September 2nd, 2018, 5:10 pm

Do you know that the human brain takes such data and formulates it into a context, or do you believe that the human brain does this?

Do you know we interpret the data ? Or do you just believe we interpret data?

Do you know that scientists have multiple interpretations, or do you believe they have different interpretations?


Well I was expecting a thoughtful response, but I can work with this.

I don't know, you don't know, no one can really know, so accordingly all we have left is Belief. Thanks for the support....

hyksos » September 2nd, 2018, 5:10 pm

(brent) but just so as to show it is not my belief alone, I will present some data.


Why show me any data, if I am allowed to interpret it however I want?


That does seem to be the path you are on already

hyksos » September 2nd, 2018, 5:10 pm

If I know that x3 - 7x = 36 , do I know that x = 4? Or in accord with your standards, should I just believe that x=4?


Statistically it might be a possibility, you would need to speak to the Mathematicians, they can be quite creative at times. But you and I both know this, along with all the above, is merely a diversion.

hyksos » September 2nd, 2018, 5:10 pm

Do you know that belief is inseparable from knowing, or do you just believe they are inseparable?


I know what I believe, I believe a lot of science junkies try to draw some imaginary line between science as if it perfectly based on facts, and "belief" as it might reference religion possibly. Hyperboles are often applied as if belief (accepting) something is true to be "Caustic", "magical", and "superstitious", while denying any benefit at all the other might offer. If a scientist is seeking truth, I find such arguments irrational, but if they are somehow emotionally investing in such an argument, it is better solved in private.

Science is here to stay, religion is here to stay, be glad you live (I believe) in a country that does not force you to believe (accept) something.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby hyksos on September 2nd, 2018, 10:24 pm 

wolfhnd » September 3rd, 2018, 1:45 am wrote:Math is a poor example because it is a unevolving language who's definitions are fixed. All abstractions can have this property but it isn't clear anything in nature does.

As far as the mental action of knowing goes : fixed definitions may be an advantage rather than a weakness.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Brent696 on September 2nd, 2018, 11:05 pm 

Classical_definition_of_Kno.svg.png
Classic definition of knowledge
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Serpent on September 3rd, 2018, 12:39 am 

hyksos » September 2nd, 2018, 9:12 pm wrote:Why should I speak to a mathematician? Do they know something that you don't know? Or do they just believe stuff that you don't believe?

They're just as subject to having their belief-system shaken up as anyone else.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Hindu-Arabic-numerals
https://phys.org/news/2017-09-modern-mathematics.html

Post a stupid question, get a stupid response.

It wasn't a question; it was an opinion, which left it open to all kinds of responses.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby hyksos on September 3rd, 2018, 3:36 am 

The graph shows a knowledge circle and a Truth circle. That would be a difficult graph to square with the assertion that nobody knows anything, and "all is belief."
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Brent696 on September 3rd, 2018, 12:21 pm 

hyksos » September 3rd, 2018, 3:36 am

The graph shows a knowledge circle and a Truth circle. That would be a difficult graph to square with the assertion that nobody knows anything, and "all is belief."



hyksos » September 2nd, 2018, 5:10 pm

Do you know that the human brain takes such data and formulates it into a context, or do you believe that the human brain does this?

Do you know we interpret the data ? Or do you just believe we interpret data?

Do you know that scientists have multiple interpretations, or do you believe they have different interpretations?

Do you know that belief is inseparable from knowing, or do you just believe they are inseparable?



I realize Hyksos your response was meant to be sarcastic and dismissive, but it was you and not me that began to play games about "knowing".

First you question whether our brains are actually interpreting data, you should realize that those who don't are usually suffering from the Dunning–Kruger effect.

"In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is."

You keep giving them raw data about how they are wrong and they just don't get it, "rightness" becomes part of their mental makeup, in short, if one does not take responsibility for their own insertion of context as they interpret information, they lose the ability to conceive of even the possibility they MIGHT be wrong.

Science is filled with two scientists looking at the same basic data and yet interpreting it different as they consider it in different contexts. You want to question if I know this and I am wondering how in great Caesar's ghost you don't. And then there is this....

hyksos » September 2nd, 2018, 5:10 pm

If I know that x3 - 7x = 36 , do I know that x = 4? Or in accord with your standards, should I just believe that x=4?


As if now, the certainties of math, can be applied to archaeological speculation, global warming, why don't all evolutionist believe exactly the same thing, do all physicists agree on everything, astrophysicists????

You wanted to just simply dispense with "belief" as if such a thing is possible, I get it, if you did not have to confess to believing something, then you could just pretend you are always right.

"Belief" is required to KNOW anything.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby hyksos on September 3rd, 2018, 2:20 pm 

As if now, the certainties of math, can be applied to archaeological speculation, global warming, why don't all evolutionist believe exactly the same thing, do all physicists agree on everything, astrophysicists????

Could you expand a little more on your meaning of the "certainties of math"?

Could you explain to the forum, in your own words, the distinction you are making between certainty and mere belief?
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Brent696 on September 3rd, 2018, 4:18 pm 

hyksos » September 3rd, 2018, 2:20 pm

(brent) As if now, the certainties of math, can be applied to archaeological speculation, global warming, why don't all evolutionist believe exactly the same thing, do all physicists agree on everything, astrophysicists????

Could you expand a little more on your meaning of the "certainties of math"?


Could you explain to the forum, in your own words, the distinction you are making between certainty and mere belief?[/quote]

But since this is your thread, I insists your assertion should come first, so kindly,

Please explain to me how you can accept something as being true, thus achieving a state of knowledge, without also Believing that knowledge to be true.

Then we can talk about how we can know 2+2=4 with more certainty than whether Ötzi in closer to 3100 or 3400 years old or maybe even what is the true shape of the universe.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby hyksos on September 3rd, 2018, 6:28 pm 

Please explain to me how you can accept something as being true, thus achieving a state of knowledge, without also Believing that knowledge to be true.

I shouldn't have to explain something I never asserted.

Then we can talk about how we can know 2+2=4 with more certainty than whether Ötzi in closer to 3100 or 3400 years old or maybe even what is the true shape of the universe.

Dispensing with the cynical sarcasm for a minute, are you claiming that certainty is different from belief, or not?

You have only made some remarks that certainty and belief may co-occur in a single person. But I don't see anything here about their difference.

"The planet neptune exists." vs. "I believe that the planet Nibiru exists."
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Braininvat on September 3rd, 2018, 7:52 pm 

This is where we read up on the history of epistemology, right? A priori versus a posteriori. Necessary versus contingent. Synthetic versus analytic. To define our state of knowledge, we need to understand how a proposition lies on those maps, and what sort of truth it is asserting. For instance, I would be less apt to ascribe "belief" when asserting a necessary analytic truth like "all triangles have 3 sides. "
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Event Horizon on September 3rd, 2018, 8:15 pm 

Can we dispense with belief? No more than we can dispense with disbelief I think.. Neither need to be rational. Keep it skeptical as all good scientists should. Belief is not a tool to apply to hard science in my view.

But then one could ask, is it belief that drives us towards our sacred goals? Instils dedication, hard work and a belief they will get there. The drive.

Can science do without this passion? I think yes, but it would be a negative and costly route to go.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Brent696 on September 3rd, 2018, 8:22 pm 

hyksos » September 3rd, 2018, 6:28 pm

Dispensing with the cynical sarcasm for a minute, are you claiming that certainty is different from belief, or not?


Certainly I believe that I can only be certain only if I believe in that certainty. How could I be certain if I did not believe I am certain.

I am saying without belief, it is impossible to come to a state of certainty.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby wolfhnd on September 3rd, 2018, 9:18 pm 

Braininvat » Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:52 pm wrote:This is where we read up on the history of epistemology, right? A priori versus a posteriori. Necessary versus contingent. Synthetic versus analytic. To define our state of knowledge, we need to understand how a proposition lies on those maps, and what sort of truth it is asserting. For instance, I would be less apt to ascribe "belief" when asserting a necessary analytic truth like "all triangles have 3 sides. "


Triangles having three sides is a trivial fact that doesn't rise to the level of truth. Although it is technically true.

It may even correspond to the The coherence theory of truth as follows "A belief is true if and only if it is part of a coherent system of beliefs."

I prefer the pragmatic approach. "Truth is the end of inquiry." I would restate it as what is sufficiently accurate and precise. That determining sufficiently is subjective is irrelevant if the truth is sufficient for a stated purpose. It is a matter of practicality that eliminates a lot of unnecessary philosophical wrangling.

The pragmatic approach is troubling when a true statement doesn't necessarily correspond to empirical facts from objective reality. I would assert that such true statements are trivial facts.

Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris have been discussing the nature of truth if anyone is interested. Peterson seems to suggest that mere facts are insufficient in so far as evolved living systems have their own internal logic or something to that effect. Primarily because life is meaning and facts are insufficient to impart meaning.


https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/truth/
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Brent696 on September 3rd, 2018, 9:22 pm 

"The planet neptune exists." vs. "I believe that the planet Nibiru exists."


At one point I was certain Pluto was a planet, all the books said so, all the scientists said so, we had gobs of data and facts as to its orbiting the sun, I was certain, or at least I thought I was.

Apparently what can be held as a certainty in one context, is not always a certainty in another.

The relationship between content and context, facts and interpretation, truths and higher truths, is not always so easy to pin down. We thought the world was made out of particles, lots and lots of data, but someone probed a little deeper, noticed something that didn't quite fit.

Some paradoxes are meant for this world, one of them is that you can be right, and still be wrong.

As for "belief", it is true you can believe in something which is true, or you can believe in something which turns out not to be true.

As for certainty, you can be certain that something is true, and you can also be certain that something is true that is not true after all.

Science is simply a tool, nothing more than a rock tied to the end of a sturdy stick, the only real truth is in the heart of the man who wields it.

Is there truth in this universe, or is everything a wave or a particle, depending upon who is observing it, which one is true.

"Belief" is a necessary function of the mind, unless you are a Scientologist (clear), which means you can never make a mistake (or possibly just admit to one), or a man who had chosen to live in some irrational fantasy world where... "things are just true, just because they are, and you are dumb if you don't get that"(paraphrased).

If you dispense with belief, tyranny rules, not truth.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Event Horizon on September 3rd, 2018, 9:37 pm 

Mathematical truth is unerring. It doesn't matter what one believes, the equations are logically sound. Would seem to make belief irrelevant in this case.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby hyksos on September 3rd, 2018, 9:47 pm 

As for "belief", it is true you can believe in something which is true, or you can believe in something which turns out not to be true.

As for certainty, you can be certain that something is true, and you can also be certain that something is true that is not true after all.

So certainty and belief are the same thing. Did I misunderstand something there?

Is there truth in this universe, or is everything a wave or a particle, depending upon who is observing it, which one is true.

The particle-versus-wave issue only arises if you presume that quantum mechanics can be explained in classical terms. That is, holding on to a lingering idea that if you pile enough classical ideas on top of one another, you can build a pile to walk up to quantum mechanics. If you realize that QM cannot be explained in classical terms, no matter how you arrange them mentally, then this paradox vanishes.

(QM is a terrible example of "truth". To be honest, what we really have with QM is a calculating device that is brutally accurate at predicting the behavior of particles. Whether the theory tells us something true about reality is an issue for for another thread. Alas, digress. )

Outside that technical tidbit -- I'm a little bit worried about where you were going with this example. You seem to be saying that "facts are impossible because everything and anything can be a paradox". Is that an accurate summary of your position?

At one point I was certain Pluto was a planet, all the books said so, all the scientists said so, we had gobs of data and facts as to its orbiting the sun, I was certain, or at least I thought I was.

Apparently what can be held as a certainty in one context, is not always a certainty in another.

Science is simply a tool, nothing more than a rock tied to the end of a sturdy stick, the only real truth is in the heart of the man who wields it.

It was just a switch to a new category of object. But that thing which we are calling "Pluto" did not stop existing, right?

Your response to my "Neptune exists" example was to talk about the re-categorization of Pluto to ice body status. Was your point that we will some day find that Neptune does not exist?
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby Brent696 on September 3rd, 2018, 11:30 pm 

hyksos » September 3rd, 2018, 9:47 pm

So certainty and belief are the same thing. Did I misunderstand something there?


Oh well, you continue to run this game with selective editing, always avoiding this issue.

You have asked, "Can we dispense with Belief"

be·lief
bəˈlēf/Submit
noun
1. an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
"his belief in the value of hard work"

2.trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.
"a belief in democratic politics"
synonyms: faith, trust, reliance, confidence, credence
"belief in the value of hard work"


If you would dispense with belief, then you dispense with

the ability to submit to the truth,
the ability to accept that a statement is true,
the ability to Trust in any outcome,
the ability to have Faith (hope) in what might only seem possible,
the ability to have Confidence in anything,
the ability to rely upon anything

I don't know, perhaps you already have.
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Re: Can we dispense with Belief?

Postby hyksos on September 5th, 2018, 2:58 am 

Nothing that I am saying to you is a "game". Every question I have asked you I expected clear answer, because every question I was asking was supposed to clarify your position. I detect an inability or undesire to answer clarifying questions about your own posts. You have used words, and then been unable to define them.

You are posting in a philosophy forum. If in you ever take a philosophy course at a university, the first person you will be introduced to is Rene Descartes. From him you gain the foundations of philosophy as a discipline. Namely, you see that philosophy -- as a human activity -- is all about whether and how our knowledge can be certain. It's about certainty in what can be known. Descartes was quite obsessed with the topic on a personal level.

There are clear differences between
1) Belief
2) Certainty,
3) Knowledge and
4) Evidence.

My string of questions has completely failed to draw out , whether or not you even find these four items different. The normal differences between these things is about evidence and how it is treated and collected.

Evidence
The word "evidence" occurred 3 times in my original post.
"Evidence" : occurred 3 times in wolfhnd's post.
"evidence" : occurred 5 times in Serpent's post.
Brent696 used the word "evidence" zero times in this thread.

Science is simply a tool, nothing more than a rock tied to the end of a sturdy stick, the only real truth is in the heart of the man who wields it.

We can compare and contrast how evidence functions in these two scenarios:
(A) The evidence that Jesus is God.

(B) The evidence that the planet earth is very old.

The english word "evidence" appears in both these scenarios, but the way it operates in (B) is very different and alien to how it operates in (A). In the case of a publication about the age of the earth from geology, the measured data is presented with statistical "error bars" and something called the "level of confidence" (often called "sigma confidence" or "sigma" for short). That's a bunch of jargon, but long-story-short, they quantify the uncertainty in their measurements. If the published paper required that the reader have to believe in something, that geology paper would never make it through peer review. Hard science is not about imposing an interpretation, it is about presenting evidence that cannot be denied. At least one person in this thread already knows this ( his screen name is Event Horizon ).

The relationship between content and context, facts and interpretation, truths and higher truths, is not always so easy to pin down.
Speak for yourself.


Here is a question:
""Look at all these times in the past that the scientists have been wrong. Why should you believe them now?""
If you were wanting to ask this question, go ahead and ask it. I will answer it sincerely.
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