Monday, June 19, 2006

Doggerel #16: "Faith"

Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless. This version updated, following Dave's largely civil commentary.

Many woos of all stripes talk about having "faith" in their preconceived conclusions. The most vehement promoters of this doggerel are, of course, the fundies. How they use the term is seldom consistent.

Abuses:

First, many refer to their preconceived conclusions as their "faith." The problem with this is that a conclusion must have a line of evidence that leads to it. Calling an unsupported conclusion "faith" is essentially an admission of jumping to said conclusion. For some reason, however, they expect us to nod and smile politely, rather than question. That's some double standard. Welcome to Moonside!

Second, they sometimes refer to "faith" as a means to determine the truth. If that's the case, they should explain why it leads to so many contradictory results. Science usually doesn't have that problem. When experimental results do conflict, the experiment is refined and repeated until an explanation can be reached for the results. If science is wrong about something, we can tell: All scientific theories are falsifiable. "Faith," as far as I've been able to tell, doesn't have that feature. If you've got the wrong one, there'd be no way to tell.

Third, they sometimes talk about "faith" in a way more consistent with the word, "hope," as in, "I hope that X is true." In this form, they're dealing with wishful thinking. A little wishful thinking isn't bad. When you base your life on wishful thinking, it's a very bad thing. I'd also rather struggle for confidence or certainty than live in hopeful ignorance. If there's something about reality I don't like, I'd rather learn about it: Identifying a problem is the first step in solving it.

So, let's review: Woos, and especially fundies use faith to arrive at their faith and have faith that they aren't wrong about their faith. Got it? No? Well, you will. Have faith.

Misuses:

In many cases, some people use "faith" in a manner more consistent with "confidence" and "trust." A scientist can claim that he has "faith" in the Big Bang, but he's more likely guilty of poor word choice than he is of religiousity. A scientist confident in a theory or a hypothesis has evidence to support his conclusions. Faith is uninvolved, or at least unnecessary. For it to be a matter of faith, there would need to be either an absence of evidence, or evidence that contradicts the hypothesis.

I don't have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow: I have confidence. All the experimental data we have supports the heliocentric model of our solar system thus far, along with the sheer repetition. I don't have absolute certainty, but 99.99999999999%+ confidence will do.

Some woos and fundies, however, like to deliberately confuse the matter.

See also: Skeptico's take on this equivocation of the term.

Ver. 16.1, Updated 7/11/2006

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Doggerel Index

25 comments:

Dikkii said...

The best argument against faith is Pascal's Wager.

In it's simplest original form, Pascal says if I gamble on faith I don't lose anything, but if I gamble on no faith I could lose everything.

Unfortunately for Pascal, his underlying assumption of only one faith isn't borne out by the plethora of others out there.

Which, of course infers that as more of those other faiths get identified, Pascal's probability that nothing gets lost if one gambles on a particular faith rapidly approaches a probability almost equalling that of losing everything through having no faith at all - although I'm sure Mark CC would probably pull me up for my maths in this statement.

Which kinda makes Pascal's argument look more and more like a rather obviously false dichotomy.

Bronze Dog said...

I recall a scenario called the "Philosopher God" who stays unfalsifiable and sends anyone who claims certainty about his existence or nonexistence to Hell. Those of us with uncertainty or probabilistic arguments are fine. Pascal wouldn't like him.

Dave said...

Hi :-)

Sorry, couldn't work out how to send you a trackback. Here is a link to some thoughts on this piece. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

So it is my understanding that you fully understand the proper scientific protocols invovled in verify the validity of say,the Big Bang theory, to the capacity that doctorate and above level scientist do? That through diligent study and analysis you are confident in your knowledge and understanding as well as theirs and that you trust that they have come to the proper conclusions based on your understanding of the facts and theirs?

Wow, your puttin a helluva lot of faith in them and yourself.

But that's ok, faith is wonderful thing. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I may be a little more cynical as I do not have the time or wherewithal to become as educated about the Big Bang Theory or the origins of our universe as these scientist have. I've weighed out the relevance of it in my life and find it to be outside my circle of concern.

So I guess I'll have to take their word for it, but I put little faith in their conclusions, given the elapsed time since the Big Bang and the infinite variations of microwave radiation patterns in space I find it a stretch to think two scientist in need of grant money found the precise microwave signature of the Big Bang that confirms the theory in to fact.

anywho,

my point being

Unless you are at the same level of understanding as these scientist by taking the time and effort to review the scientific protocols they employed to reach their conclusions.............you have to take their word for it and those that endorse them and their theories.

To do that you would need have confindence in the protocols and the scientist employing them and trust that they performed and interpretted their findings correctly.

again

Faith

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing:

there is also this definition in places

6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc

which may be more accurrate at times

Call it what you want , unless your claiming the same understanding and education at the same level as the scientist and the protocols they employ, your putting your faith in their findings.

King of Ferrets said...

Did you read the post? He's talking about faith in terms of something unsupported by evidence or in the face of evidence. If you have confidence or trust in something, then it's not faith in the fashion he's talking about; confidence, despite the fact that most fundies would say they have confidence they are right, generally means that you have evidence. Where did you get those definitions, by the way? We can't really check them if you don't give a source.

King of Ferrets said...

Oh, and the comment policy here requires that you not be an annony. Leave a name!

Bronze Dog said...

Anonny who hasn't read the new comment policy at the top of sidebar said:

So it is my understanding that you fully understand the proper scientific protocols invovled in verify the validity of say,the Big Bang theory, to the capacity that doctorate and above level scientist do? That through diligent study and analysis you are confident in your knowledge and understanding as well as theirs and that you trust that they have come to the proper conclusions based on your understanding of the facts and theirs?

Wow, your puttin a helluva lot of faith in them and yourself.


You don't understand. I'm not claiming that at all. There's a difference between the type of faith that's blind assertion and trust in the likelihood of scientific consensus being accuracy.

Unless you are at the same level of understanding as these scientist by taking the time and effort to review the scientific protocols they employed to reach their conclusions.............you have to take their word for it and those that endorse them and their theories.

You speak as if science is wrong because we can't all be omnidisciplinary scientists. Using "faith" to mean trust in a self-correcting process isn't a doggerel usage. That type of "faith" doesn't have anything to do with those IDiots and such who use it to mean another "way of knowing" or try to equate experimental rigor with blind assertion.

It seems to me that you're trying to argue that we all revert to personal experience because trust is always bad.

Wrestler/Judoka said...

Faith, by any definition, is just what it states above. confidence or trust in a person or thing, a desire to believe.

To have confidence in scientific fact you must first have faith, or a desire to believe its validity and an understanding of its processes.

Science has been wrong as we all know. (and as for your point on the Big Bang Theory, it is still a theory and relying on MSNBC and the Nobel Prize Committee to evaluate the vailidity if these scientist findings would be putting your faith in the abilities of the scientist themselves, MSNBC and The Nobel Prize Committee. Other than the scientist themselves, whom I do not know, the latter two of the three have had their short comings in endorsement.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm no Bible thumping zealot. The creation of earth and life is outside a realm of understanding most people have the intelectual and spiritual ability to expound on.

Science provides a cerebral rationale of explination for most tangible things, but it can not explain everything and there are things that need not be explained scientificaly.

Science more often than not, (and I think this is more in the individual) attempts to take the spirituality out of or debunk the spiritual attributes of explination. But it can not explain the intangible. So instead of exploring the intangible, science or more accurately, some scientists, dismisses it.


Using the Big Bang Theory as an example, to have the undertanding of the scientific processes it would take to reach the conclusions these two scientist have about the scientific origins of our universe, would take countless years of dedcated, study, and analysis of mathmatical and scientific theories and processes even the most learned of our recent generations would have the ability to accomplish. They are undoubtably the tops of thier fields and are more than likely well deserved of their accolades.

But to believe them and believe in thier conclusions, one would have to put faith in thier abilities to make these conclusions. Faith in their ability to understand the scientific processes involved in coming to these conclusions. One would be in need of a desire to believe in them.

Unless one has the education, experience, and understanding of the scientific processes invovled in reaching the conclussions to equal that of the scientist who reached them, then those people are at the mercy of their faith in the purveyors of the conclusions.

Faith of course, as it is defined above.

I would venture a guess there are but a handful of Docterate (or above) level scientist in the world that would have an understanding of the scientific processes invovled in coming to the conclusions these two scientist have.

That being said, all others would need to put their faith in the two scientist and the science invovled.

Bronze Dog said...

Wrestler said:

Faith, by any definition, is just what it states above. confidence or trust in a person or thing, a desire to believe.

You're using a different definition than the people using it as doggerel. It's that simple. We're talking about trust. They're talking about blind assertions. The fact that those two very different concepts get linked by a word doesn't affect my arguments at all. A common word doesn't magically erase the fundamental difference.

And here we go into deeper woo:

Science provides a cerebral rationale of explination for most tangible things, but it can not explain everything and there are things that need not be explained scientificaly.

Define "tangible" and "intangible." Science is about studying everything that has observable effects. I suspect you're just doing like the "supernatural" crowd and just hiding behind nonsense words.

And what doesn't need to be explained scientifically?

Science more often than not, (and I think this is more in the individual) attempts to take the spirituality out of or debunk the spiritual attributes of explination. But it can not explain the intangible. So instead of exploring the intangible, science or more accurately, some scientists, dismisses it.

You're demonstrating no knowledge about how science works. Science explores everything that has observable effects. If it has no observable effects, how can anyone know it exists at all? It's Carl Sagan's invisible, intangible garage dragon breathing heatless fire all over again.

But to believe them and believe in thier conclusions, one would have to put faith in thier abilities to make these conclusions. Faith in their ability to understand the scientific processes involved in coming to these conclusions. One would be in need of a desire to believe in them.

Again, you use an inaccurate word because it's convenient for you. Trust is a more accurate word than "faith" because it doesn't carry the baggage you so conveniently attach.

Unless one has the education, experience, and understanding of the scientific processes invovled in reaching the conclussions to equal that of the scientist who reached them, then those people are at the mercy of their faith in the purveyors of the conclusions.

Bullshit. It's experimentation and data that backs it up. Not authority or credentials. Try reading some basic skeptical literature on the scientific method.

King of Ferrets said...

Wrestler, you know there is such a thing as a plural of the word "scientist", right? Btw, "theory" does not mean what you think it means. Look through the Doggerel list for It's Just A Theory, should be in there.

Dunc said...

Ooh, goody, this gives me an opportunity to whip out something that occurred to me last night whilst watching a docu on the history of the Big Bang Theory. Not strictly on-topic, but I hope you'll indulge me...

When the BBT was originally proposed, it was bitterly opposed by most of the scientific community because it seemed to them to be a form of creationism - and it was welcomed by creationists for exactly the same reason. Then over the years, all sorts of lines of evidence built up, until eventually all but the most entrenched scientific opponents of the idea were forced to accept it as the most likely explanation. Yet at the same time, it started being rejected by creationists.

The scientists changed their opinions because they were presented with compelling evidence. But why did the creationists change their opinions? The only explanation I can see is that they rejected it solely because it became accepted by scientists.

Therefore, creationists are not motivated by evidence, or even good-faith arguments, but simply by a knee-jerk cultural opposition to science. QED. ;)

Wrestler/Judoka said...

Trust and faith are interchangeble in their intrinsic nature.

Trust

1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2. confident expectation of something; hope.

Faith

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing.

There are key words iand ideals in each definition that link both words in thier connotation in common usage and understanding. These common connotations can not be altered to fit ones ideosyncrasies.

The fact that faith has a more spiritual connotation than trust does not discount the fact that the words are interchangable in common venacular.

The context of each given the subject matter at hand, one would think, would denote usage. One would think that in the context of tangible things, such as science, trust would be the expected word of choice, but that is not the case.

As opposed, one would think, faith would be the word of choice when the context of the dicussion is of intangible things, such as theology, but again that is not always the case.

Where I think people err, is in thier desire to dismiss the word, definintion, ideal, intrinsic nature and context of the word faith as it pertains to tangible subject matter. But in actuality, having trust IS having faith given the context of each word and its meanings.

You can say what you want Bronze Dog, faith is trust. The intrinsic nature of each word and is meaning is a desire to believe.

Whether its a tangible idea or an intangible ideal, the desire to believe is trust AND faith.

Tom Foss said...

Trust and faith are interchangeble in their intrinsic nature.

You talk about "intrinsic nature," and then you quote dictionary definitions. There's a disconnect there. Words do not have "intrinsic" anything--meaning is assigned to words by the societies who use them. Dictionaries describe how words are used; they do not prescribe meaning. Dictionary definitions change over time as the words' meanings change in the society--"girl" used to be a gender-neutral term, for instance.

These common connotations can not be altered to fit ones ideosyncrasies.

We're not talking about "common connotations," we're talking about clarity and specialized language. Words may mean different things in common parlance than they do in specialized jargon. "Colon" is one word, but what it means is going to differ wildly depending on whether you're talking to a medical doctor or an English professor. "Theory" in common parlance may mean "a vague guess," but in science it means nearly the opposite.

When we're discussing matters of philosophy, theology, and science, clarity is absolutely fundamental to successful argumentation. In order to communicate, we need a common language, and that requires common definitions. When you're talking philosophy or theology or science, as opposed to just chatting with someone on the street, the words "faith" and "trust" become very distinct in what they mean. Try taking a look at the Oxford English Dictionary on the subject; you'll notice that your definition is the first given (albeit with the note "In early use, only with reference to religious objects"), and refers to the same common parlance. Third down on the list is a definition marked "Theol. in various specific applications," in other words, the specific definition of the term when used in theological (and similar) discussions. Said definition reads "a. Belief in the truths of religion; belief in the authenticity of divine revelation (whether viewed as contained in Holy Scripture or in the teaching of the Church), and acceptance of the revealed doctrines.
b. That kind of faith (distinctively called saving or justifying faith) by which, in the teaching of the N.T., a sinner is justified in the sight of God. This is very variously defined by theologians (see quots.), but there is general agreement in regarding it as a conviction practically operative on the character and will, and thus opposed to the mere intellectual assent to religious truth (sometimes called speculative faith).
c. The spiritual apprehension of divine truths, or of realities beyond the reach of sensible experience or logical proof. By Christian writers often identified with the preceding; but not exclusively confined to Christian use. Often viewed as the exercise of a special faculty in the soul of man, or as the result of supernatural illumination."

What we're talking about, specificially, is the definition under "c." there, which is the one that crops up most frequently in discussions about science, religion, and gods. It's the definition that's basically described in Hebrews--"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Your discussion of "intrinsic" meanings utterly misses the mark with regard to how language functions, and your post seems to miss the point entirely. You're acting as though there isn't a specialized, agreed-upon definition of the terms, and that equivocation is the only option. You're mistaken, and I suspect that you realized as much, or you wouldn't have posted only one definition for the word "faith". The second definition, from Dictionary.com, where your first definition appears to come, verbatim, reads as follows: 2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact. Your talk of "intrinsic" meaning is undermined by your willingness to cherry-pick definitions to fit your flawed point.

Argumentation, as I said, requires a common language, and Bronze Dog's post serves as an outline for how the word faith is used and abused, its jargon and vernacular meanings casually interchanged in order to deliberately cause confusion and break down the lines of communication.

Bronze Dog said...

Thank you, Tom.

Wrestler/Judoka said...

You've basicaly said the same thing I did, albeit a bit more long winded and with a few more $10.00 words as opposed to $5.00 words.

Argueing over word association is what I would expect.

Believing is believing.

You can associate what ever word you want to with it.

Both theology and science are fallable and ever changing.

If theology was not there would still be those sacrificing virgins at the temple mount.

Believe what you will. I believe 95% of what science tells me is true.

I question both science and theology, but I do not dismiss either, as both can have a profound effect on the human spirit.

Wrestler/Judoka said...

First

You would have to trust what you were being told was fact, to do this you would need to believe in the person or people relaying this information to you.

It's my opinion that trusting in the information being relayed to you by those that purport to be more educated than you is essentialy the same has having faith in their word.

Second,

All I did was align the words trust and faith in describing Tim's belief in science proving the Big Bang theory, two words with very similar definitions, connotations, and usage in common vernacular. (which to me makes perfect sense scientificaly, if that's all there is to the origins of life as we know it, the Big Bang theory that is)

Tom did not like me using the term faith to describe how some trusted science. Not sure the what the big deal was but he took offense to it just the same. Since then I've been explaining to him that faith and trust are the same. But Tom does not have faith in his belief of science, he has trust, which to me is splitting hairs. That is the crux of our discussion.

I'll save my personal opinion of why.

Bronze Dog said...

Wrestler said:

Argueing over word association is what I would expect.

You are taking two very different processes and improperly associating one because they happen to be described by one word with multiple definitions.

Both theology and science are fallable and ever changing.

Theology has no demonstrable subject. It changes only based on people's moods, and often centers on claims of infallibility.

Science is fallible and knows it. That's why any theory or hypothesis must be falsifiable and able to be overturned if contrary data is found.

If theology was not there would still be those sacrificing virgins at the temple mount.

That's just one reason why I'm in favor of spreading atheism: No stone idols to sacrifice those virgins to. All I've seen from theology on that front is word games to twist "inerrant" books to say they support enlightenment values and make flimsy excuses when it doesn't.

I question both science and theology, but I do not dismiss either, as both can have a profound effect on the human spirit.

If you can think of a better way of knowing than science, do tell. Give us this alternative method.

From what I've seen theology doesn't do anything any sort of secular cultural change could do. Usually, it's just retrofitting an old, savage religion to prevent it from being outright rejected by more civilized generations.

You would have to trust what you were being told was fact, to do this you would need to believe in the person or people relaying this information to you.

We can trust them because they have to go through an extreme series of hoops to get anywhere. Also, much of science inevitably leads to practical applications. GPS receivers work because Einsteinian relativity and nuclear physics work, for example. Scientists have to do a lot to earn our trust.

It's my opinion that trusting in the information being relayed to you by those that purport to be more educated than you is essentialy the same has having faith in their word.

And THAT is where the massive straw man comes in, demonstrating that you haven't listened to a word we've said about the scientific method. "Educated" is Doggerel #27. Education is not the basis of our trust, except in snap decisions. Data is what matters. We reject authoritarian models of "science."

All I did was align the words trust and faith in describing Tim's belief in science proving the Big Bang theory, two words with very similar definitions, connotations, and usage in common vernacular. (which to me makes perfect sense scientificaly, if that's all there is to the origins of life as we know it, the Big Bang theory that is)

And you have yet to justify that word game.

And here it goes deep, deep troll:

Tom did not like me using the term faith to describe how some trusted science. Not sure the what the big deal was but he took offense to it just the same. Since then I've been explaining to him that faith and trust are the same. But Tom does not have faith in his belief of science, he has trust, which to me is splitting hairs. That is the crux of our discussion.

I'll save my personal opinion of why.


In other words: You have chosen to not discuss the central point of this whole thing!

All you've done is throw out undefined words like "intangible", cookie-cutter disinformation about the scientific method in the face of people who reject the authoritarian "science" you're talking about, and word games for your proof-by-dictionary.

You should consider posting that opinion you've built up to since comment 1 and suddenly withheld.

Tom Foss said...

You've basicaly said the same thing I did, albeit a bit more long winded and with a few more $10.00 words as opposed to $5.00 words.

Yes, exactly, except for the part where I disagreed with you entirely.

Argueing over word association is what I would expect.

Who's arguing over word association? I'm talking about how language works.

Believing is believing.

You can associate what ever word you want to with it.


Um, no. Not all beliefs are created equal. People arrive at different beliefs for different reasons and believe them with different amounts of fervor. And no, you can't associate "any word you want" with it, you can associate the appropriate words in the appropriate contexts. I can't say "I food in God" or "I bazaar the Big Bang Theory" and expect anyone to understand what I'm trying to say.

Both theology and science are fallable and ever changing.

Both non sequiturs and non sequiturs are non sequiturs.

If theology was not there would still be those sacrificing virgins at the temple mount.

What the fuck are you talking about?

Believe what you will. I believe 95% of what science tells me is true.

Well, aren't you special. What's your point?

I question both science and theology, but I do not dismiss either, as both can have a profound effect on the human spirit.

Whether or not it has "an effect on the human spirit" (whatever that means) has nothing to do with whether or not it is useful or true. Theology is neither. It's the same navel-gazing, flame-war-fighting, rationalization-building junk that you can find on any halfway-populated Star Trek message board, with exactly the same connection to reality. Theology is fanwankery clad in tweed and conducted in a university.

You would have to trust what you were being told was fact, to do this you would need to believe in the person or people relaying this information to you.

I have this feeling that you're responding to someone that no one else can see or hear. What are you talking about? Who is being told what, and by whom?

See how clarity and common vocabulary are necessary for communication?

It's my opinion that trusting in the information being relayed to you by those that purport to be more educated than you is essentialy the same has having faith in their word.

And what do you mean by "faith" in this instance?

All I did was align the words trust and faith in describing Tim's belief in science proving the Big Bang theory, two words with very similar definitions, connotations, and usage in common vernacular.

Who is Tim? The name Tim is used nowhere on this page.

And yes, the words have similar usage in common vernacular. And as I said in my previous post, we're not talking about the common vernacular, except when talking about how said usage is invoked in equivocations like yours.

(which to me makes perfect sense scientificaly, if that's all there is to the origins of life as we know it, the Big Bang theory that is)

The big bang theory is only very indirectly related to the origins of life. And glancing over your previous posts (I admit, I hadn't seen them when I wrote my initial response to you), I see that not only do you not understand the big bang theory, you also don't understand the basic fundamentals of science--for instance, the definition of the word "theory" in scientific contexts. You seem to have a real problem with words, Wrestler.

Tom did not like me using the term faith to describe how some trusted science. Not sure the what the big deal was but he took offense to it just the same.

What? I was talking about language, not science. In fact, I barely mentioned science. I didn't take offense, except to your blatant cherry-picking and lame equivocation, and your complete ignorance of how language works.

The big deal is that words actually mean things. They don't have some kind of intrinsic meaning, their meanings are derived from context and consensus. And when we're talking about "faith" in the context of "science and religion," it most certainly does have a specific definition that is different from "trust." If you hadn't skipped from definition 1 to definition 6 in the dictionary you pulled definitions from, you would have seen it. That you deliberately ignored it--because it was detrimental to your argument--speaks to your lack of intellectual honesty.

Since then I've been explaining to him that faith and trust are the same.

Yes, and you're wrong, in anything outside of common vernacular. Such as, for instance, discussions of science and religion.

But Tom does not have faith in his belief of science, he has trust, which to me is splitting hairs.

Actually, I have knowledge, which is justified true belief. But that's neither here nor there. I haven't said anything in this thread about my "belief" in science up to this point, so I'm not sure what you're talking about.

As far as splitting hairs, it isn't. It's a matter of details, certainly, but they're significant details. We're talking about the difference between "reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. (trust)" and "belief that is not based on proof (faith)." Those are distinct concepts; the word faith (in the specific context of religious/scientific/philosophical discussions) is useful because it has that specific definition, which sets it apart as a specific subset of belief, distinct from "trust" and "knowledge."

I'll save my personal opinion of why.

I won't: you're an arrogant moron who understands neither language nor science as much as you'd like to think.

Wrestler/Judoka said...

That is my personal opinion and has been from the start.

You'r seemingly empassioned opposition as to the interchangability of the two terms was curious to me.

I was not sure why you made such a exhorbitant stand against it, and am still not sure given your elaborate well thoguht out "post downs", although it was a bit "telling" if not intrigueing to read your posts and their tacit undertones.

That I substituted a word you found to be, in your opinion, grossly inaccurate if not offensive in discribing your "trust" of science as opposed to faith was quite revealing.

I found it interesting to debate you on the subject. As far as I'm concerned you'r not capable of understanding my point of view, although the stance I took may have been false or inaccurate you've done a pityful job of convincing me of that. You've only incinuated at my lack of intelegence, education and understanding of common word usage. Which may or may not be true, as the stance I took was hypothetical or conjectural, depending on the usage.

I find intelegence and education to be relative.

The opinion you imply is that its the ignorant that is ruining the world. If everyone, including world leaders and movers and shakers would only believe what you believe, what you trust in and its relevence to the greater good, the world would be a better place. It appears to frustates you at the amount of ignorance that pervades the world and your on a mission to spread the knowledge to the groveling masses who wallowing in your pity for them.

When challenged, your rebuttle is condicending, and you imply that if you are not agreed with, then the other person must be of lesser intelegence or education and you craft elaborate "post downs" proving the fact, if only to yourself.

Of course all of that is meaningless as I am underqualified, under-educated, ignorant and not capable of forming intelegent opinions of the word around me.

Bronze,

I like you buddy. You're a stand up guy. I think your well educated, well read and have a solid understanding of the world around you.

It's just unfortunate that your put yourself on an intellectual pedistal and talk down to others. You missing the point of educating when you do that.

Take it easy, bro, I'm outy.

Cordially,

Eric

Tom Foss said...

You'r seemingly empassioned opposition as to the interchangability of the two terms was curious to me.

I care about language; so sue me. Incidentally, "You'r" is not a word.

I was not sure why you made such a exhorbitant stand against it, and am still not sure given your elaborate well thoguht out "post downs", although it was a bit "telling" if not intrigueing to read your posts and their tacit undertones.

I made a stand against it because you're demonstrably wrong, and you're arguing from a position of mixed ignorance and dishonesty.

Incidentally, what "undertones"? I thought I made sure that there were really only tones left. And maybe a few overtones.

That I substituted a word you found to be, in your opinion, grossly inaccurate if not offensive in discribing your "trust" of science as opposed to faith was quite revealing.

I haven't said anything about my trust/faith/belief/knowledge/food in science. Chalk "reading comprehension" up on the list of things you lack. Both of the posts I've made here have dealt almost solely with the simple fact that the terms "trust" and "faith" have distinctly different meanings in the context of science/religion/philosophy.

As far as I'm concerned you'r not capable of understanding my point of view, although the stance I took may have been false or inaccurate you've done a pityful job of convincing me of that.

Which part has been unconvincing? The simple fact that "faith" and "trust" have specific and distinct definitions? Your dictionary can attest to that. The fact that you deliberately ignored the definitions provided by your dictionary in order to make your argument look stronger? Thankfully, anyone can click to see that the source for your definitions includes the specific science/religion/philosophy definition of faith, in-between the definitions you provide in your early post. The fact that you know nothing about science? The phrase "just a theory" is something of a shibboleth, Wrestler. You won't find scientists saying it, because scientists (and anyone who knows an iota about basic science) can tell you that scientists use the word theory to mean "an overarching explanation for a variety of observed phenomena, which has been confirmed through verified prediction and further observation." See, like many other words, the "common vernacular" usage of the word "theory" isn't remotely the same as the specific scientific usage.

Or maybe you're unconvinced that your grasp on the English language is paltry. By the way, "pityful" isn't a word either.

You've only incinuated at my lack of intelegence, education and understanding of common word usage.

Again, your reading comprehension skills are lacking. I've not said anything about your education (except that you know nothing about the science you're talking about), and I've done more than insinuate about your lack of intelligence. Your understanding of common word usage is admirable, but irrelevant. We're not talking about common usage here--except in the specific context of its use to equivocate--we're talking about contextual usage. Once again, in big bold letters, the meanings of words are context-dependent. "Theory" means something different to a scientist than it does to a layperson. "Faith" means something different when used to discuss religion than it does in common vernacular, and different still when used to discuss "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Which may or may not be true, as the stance I took was hypothetical or conjectural, depending on the usage.

Again, as a wise man once said, "specificity is the soul of all good communication." What are you talking about?

I find intelegence and education to be relative.

There's irony here, I can smell it.

The opinion you imply is that its the ignorant that is ruining the world.

What?

If everyone, including world leaders and movers and shakers would only believe what you believe, what you trust in and its relevence to the greater good, the world would be a better place.

What? Where are you getting this from? Because I'm pretty sure it's out of your ass. I could give a damn what the "movers and shakers" believe; I wish more people would base their beliefs on reason and evidence, and I'll do my part to help that happen. And yeah, I do think a heavy dose of critical thinking would make the world a better place. It's a long way, though, from "people need to be more careful with their thinking" to "EVARONE MUST THINKS LIKE MEES!"

It appears to frustates you at the amount of ignorance that pervades the world and your on a mission to spread the knowledge to the groveling masses who wallowing in your pity for them.

No, what frustrates me is when people pretend to have knowledge that they do not have, talk condescendingly about subjects they clearly do not understand, use clear intellectual dishonesty to strengthen their weak arguments, dodge all criticism, and then engage in armchair psychoanalysis rather than defend or revise their points.

Guess what, chachi: regardless of what my motivations are (or what you think they must be with your arrogant psychobabble), my points stand. Folks around here don't fall for blatant ad hominem fallacies.

When challenged, your rebuttle is condicending, and you imply that if you are not agreed with, then the other person must be of lesser intelegence or education and you craft elaborate "post downs" proving the fact, if only to yourself.

You seem to think that this "post down" label is pretty cute and clever. It's not. Wrestler, you've been condescending from the start, and arrogant to boot; if you can't take it, don't dish it out. If you're going to insult other people's intelligence by talking out of your ass about things you don't understand, then don't be surprised when you get called on it. If you're going to dodge questions and criticisms, don't be surprised when your opponents stop playing nice. My first response to you was nothing but polite (with the possible exception of exposing your dishonesty); don't play the "I'm so hurt/you're so rude" card like you've not been given a chance to engage in civilized debate.

And yet, I've still addressed each and every bit of your arguments--at least since I entered the conversation--and you have yet to provide any substantial response to the contrary. As soon as I demonstrated your dishonest cherry-picking of dictionary definitions and your ignorance of how language works, you handwaved it away and started in some kind of meta-conversation about the conversation.

Of course all of that is meaningless as I am underqualified, under-educated, ignorant and not capable of forming intelegent opinions of the word around me.

You are underqualified because you haven't bothered to do even basic research before spouting off as if you know about anything. I have no idea about your educational background, and couldn't care less about it. Ignorance is easily corrected, if you'd pull your head out of your ass, learn to take criticism, and do a little actual research. I'm sure you're capable of forming intelligent opinions of the world around you; you just need to recognize that intelligent opinions are typically based on things like "facts" and "reason," not "stuff I pulled out of my butt."

You talk in vague phrases as though they have profound meaning; you take a fallacious position of "it's all faith, therefore all beliefs are equally supported" or "I can't possibly know to a perfect degree, therefore it's not reasonable to claim any specified knowledge" as though it's some middle road between extremes; you condescend to claim knowledge of our "undertones" and hidden motivations, and the unethical motivations of various scientists, and then you have the audacity to criticize others for "putting themselves on intellectual pedestals and talking down to others"? Good riddance.

Bronze Dog said...

Thank you again, Tom.

Again, I'd like to point out his straw man of an authoritarian model of "science." Our troll friend here has yet to acknowledge our position is different from the one he tries to slap onto us.

Bronze,

I like you buddy. You're a stand up guy. I think your well educated, well read and have a solid understanding of the world around you.

It's just unfortunate that your put yourself on an intellectual pedistal and talk down to others. You missing the point of educating when you do that.

Take it easy, bro, I'm outy.


Look in the mirror, pal. You came in that way. Aside from the word games Tom has done an excellent job of shooting down, I've tried to give you an education in the model of science we really use and believe in. When I did so, you completely ignored it and parroted a lot of anti-science propaganda that involves lying by proxy about our position.

I tried to tell you my real position, and you just brushed it off, continuing to spout the myth of authoritarian science and try to pin that rejected system onto me. Apparently it's "talking down" or whatever to claim I have a position other than the one you assign me.

You should try comprehending someone's position before you dispute it.

Dunc said...

Isn't this all edging rather close to another Doggerel classic?

Wrestler/Judoka said...

Tom,

Your right, and we were not discussing religion, or Buffy, so faith would have been appropriate choice of words to describe Bronze's belief in science.



"Which part has been unconvincing? The simple fact that "faith" and "trust" have specific and distinct definitions? Your dictionary can attest to that.

The fact that you deliberately ignored the definitions provided by your dictionary in order to make your argument look stronger? Thankfully, anyone can click to see that the source for your definitions includes the specific science/religion/philosophy definition of faith, in-between the definitions you provide in your early post."

Yeah, my dictionary is the one I "pulled out of my arse".




"The posts I've made here have dealt almost solely with the simple fact that the terms "trust" and "faith" have distinctly different meanings in the context of science/religion/philosophy."


You're right, we were in the context of science, so having faith in science would not be the same as having fatih in religion. The word faith there would be more align with trust, having no religions meaning at all.

That's why I was wondering why you went off the deep end.

Bronze Dog said...

Sooooo... What's your point, then?

And why then, do you insist on using a particular word that we all agree has connotations that are very much in conflict with my view on science? It's equivocation of that word that makes it doggerel.

Tom Foss said...

You know, I realize that woos have a severe problem with following through on their claims, but why is it that the one they most consistently fail to meet is "I'm leaving and never coming back"?

Your right, and we were not discussing religion, or Buffy, so faith would have been appropriate choice of words to describe Bronze's belief in science.

Your reading comprehension isn't getting any better, Eric. Science and philosophy use the same definition of faith that religion and theology do: namely, "belief that is not based on proof." It is not, therefore, appropriate to use the vernacular definition of "faith" with regard to science or religion in actual discussions thereof.

Moreover, Bronze Dog's confidence in the findings and efficacy of science is based on proof. The evidence for science's utility, its self-correcting nature, and its power to accurately describe the universe we exist in, is all around us--in your computer, in the medicine that keeps my allergies under control, in the satellites that predict the path of the hurricane heading in BD's direction. Belief in science is based on the simple fact that it works, and reliably.

So, no, you're wrong on both counts. As usual.

Yeah, my dictionary is the one I "pulled out of my arse".

No, your dictionary is Dictionary.com. A quick Google search of the definitions you provided turned up that much. What you pulled out of your arse--besides your inane amateur psychoanalysis--was the primacy you attached to the first and sixth definitions on that page, and your willingness to totally ignore the second definition--the relevant definition--because its existence demolished your point before you ever made it.

You're right, we were in the context of science, so having faith in science would not be the same as having fatih in religion. The word faith there would be more align with trust, having no religions meaning at all.

Except, again, that science defines "faith" the same way that religion does, and so its use in that context is inaccurate and incorrect. You're trying to equivocate on terms; why not just go the accurate route and describe BD's belief as confidence in science? Playing the "oh-ho, that's what I meant all along" game isn't accomplishing anything. You're still mistaken, for the same reason that you've been mistaken the whole time. And the worst part is, your ultimate point here is precisely what the main post was addressing--namely, the equivocation of the various definitions of "faith."