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Old 10 January 2013, 07:20 AM
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erwins erwins is offline
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,332

Originally Posted by Mickey Blue View Post
That is the strength of science and weakness of religion; science changes quickly and often with less bloodshed when compared with religion and science demands that the things we put our faith in be tested and stand up to scrutiny rather than just state them and be done with it. But at some point when you dig down deep enough in any given science it's rooted in faith that the most deepest understandings we have about how the world and universe work are on faith in some scientific theory. Faith supported by evidence, sure, but still faith.
So the words are the same, except for this tiny way that they are different--which happens to be the distinction we're all talking about--but that's just semantical hair-splitting. I think this might be called begging the question.

Having "faith" that a chair won't collapse isn't the same sense of the word that is used for religious faith. I believe that my chair won't collapse based on a plethora of evidence, mostly based on having many many experiences with chairs, and I will only believe it up until the point at which there is enough evidence to the contrary to make me doubt it. IOW, I know what my chair is made of, I know those materials have in the past been capable of holding my weight, I know it's in reasonably good repair, and has not been abused. I don't, however, rule out that it could collapse due to some factor that I'm unaware of. It's true that I don't reevaluate it each time I go to sit down, but I would notice if, say, one of the legs were missing, and I would cease to believe that it would not collapse. It's the opposite of faith in the religious sense.

More importantly, however, the building blocks of science are not taken on faith. They are taken as provisionally true. If evidence contradicts something that was assumed as a premise, it gets rejected or reevaluated. Evidence is sought, not eschewed. Those are real differences, and they are the differences between what those words mean, and the concepts that they represent.
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