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Old 10 January 2013, 06:29 AM
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Mickey Blue Mickey Blue is offline
Join Date: 01 February 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 17,571

But whether you think they are valid (or reasonable) they still demand faith.

I personally like the color-blind example better than the others (just cause it's more realistic). A society of color-blind people would assume the world as they saw it was true but in fact there would be much that they could not see.

I think where the issue comes up is how those things are used; yes like it or not there are things we all take on faith, you can say you don't have faith but really we are just splitting hairs on different definitions of words (calling it, for example, core assumptions rather than faith, it means the same thing in this context).

One thing that is different about the 'brain in a jar' style of faith being used by the bigfoot enthusiasts however is that it makes no sense to have faith in it because there is no evidence to support it. The problem I see with how faith often works in the world particularly where religion and the like are concerned is they take the opposite stance. Instead of saying "I don't believe there is a God because I have never seen any evidence to suggest there is one" they say "I believe there is a God because I have never seen any evidence to suggest there isn't one".

Or to go back to the above example; yes we cannot know for certain if we are brains in jars creating the world around us or if we aren't.. However given that it makes far more sense to me (and to science) to assume we are not until evidence arrives to suggest that we are, and you can say the same thing about bigfoot (though there is more evidence there I guess, there is also far more evidence against it, but that's a whole other discussion). The "faith" is that we are not brains in jars, and that is a reasonable faith to have, but at some level we must acknowledge that we do have that faith and that the assumption that we are not brains in jars is not rooted in science but in belief.

I don't think that makes us weaker or less rational, nor do I think it cheapens or limits science, quite the opposite in fact, I think it is a sign of intelligence to be able to admit the limit of the things you can know as 'truth or fact' and accept that there are some things you are willing to take on faith or assume.

Ultimately, to me, if you are ever assuming something is true without any evidence to support that assumption you are taking something on faith; the word itself has a lot of baggage which is why I think we get these semantical nit-picks over calling them 'core truths' or 'core assumptions' or what have you but realistically, and in the context of the discussion and in the Extra Credits videos, faith means the same thing.
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