Faith-based thought vs thinkers Re: [extropy-chat]IntelligentDesign: I'm not dead yet
russell.wallace at gmail.com
Mon Jan 30 08:39:55 UTC 2006
On 1/30/06, Brett Paatsch <bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
> By not answering the question I asked you are making it difficult to
> communicate with you.
I was trying to, but maybe I didn't do a good job of it; I'll try again.
I was trying to find out what *you* meant by "faith" remember?
Okay, I'll define it as belief in the absence of evidence.
I wondered if you were defending some right of religious people to be
> "faith-based thinkers" perhaps because you were yourself a religious person
> or if instead your objection was coming from a different place.
Different place; I have no belief in God or the supernatural. Nor do I
suggest that faith can replace reason in science, law or philosophy. But nor
can reason entirely replace faith. Reason can tell you that B follows from
A, but it can't tell you whether to believe A in the first place; the chain
has to start somewhere.
I'm not a religious man, but I believe in love and life and laughter. I
believe in beauty and truth and goodness, and I believe these things are
worth protecting, even though neither I nor anyone else can prove it; at
some point I, like any civilized man, must resort to belief in the absence
of evidence; for people who don't believe in beauty produce ugliness; people
who don't believe in truth produce falsehood; and people who don't believe
in good produce evil.
And if I were to draw a dividing line in the sands of philosophy and choose
one side to make a stand against the other, I wouldn't draw it between those
who believe in God and those who do not. I would draw it between those who
believe in beauty and truth and goodness - whether or not God is part of
their belief system - and those who do not.
Does that answer your question?
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