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RE: offtopic helmet polishing (was Re: rm fails to remove symbolic links to directories)

> On Wed, 20 Apr 2005, Robb, Sam wrote:
> > >   In science, we have this wonderful concept, called "evidence".
> > > Observation generates evidence; faith does not.
> >
> > Nonsense.  Faith is based on evidence.  Tell me - do you think that
> > the sun will come up tomorrow?  Yes?  That's faith.  You have your
> > observations, some evidence, and you extrapolate from that to reach
> > a conclusion about something you have yet to observe or experience.
> Sam, with all due respect, I believe you're addressing the 
> later point by
> this rejoinder, rather than the lines you quoted.

It took me a couple of re-readings to see what you were saying, but
yes, you're right.  My apologies.  I was trying to point out that
while (as Dave said) faith doesn't create evidence, accepting that
evidence requires faith, and basing an expectation on that evidence
requires faith.

> You can hardly argue
> with the fact that observation does indeed generate evidence (in fact,
> "evidence" is just "observation" translated), and that faith 
> is generally
> associated with lack of evidence (because otherwise it would 
> be called a
> "scientific conclusion").

No argument from me, believe it or not.  I think that the modern idea
of "faith" as "warm fuzzies" is the antithesis of Biblical faith.

I will point out that you are making what I think is a mistake, and
assuming that observation is identical with (and exclusive to) science.
A witness testifying in court is an observer, and jurors are asked to
evaluate and either believe or disbelieve their testimony.  If someone
expresses doubt, you might tell them, "Trust me" - i.e., you are reminding
them that they can have faith in you, something that is based on their
knowledge of you and past expereinces with you. Human beings are used
to dealing with and expressing faith, and basing their faith on observation
and experience - either their own, or commutatively via their faith in
others (based on their observations of them, etc., etc., - ad infinitum).
> Now, being an agnostic, I'm not taking sides here.  In fact, I would
> classify faith into two categories: "honest faith", which is really a
> deeply believed theory that's doesn't contradict what little evidence
> there is, and "blind faith", which is belief in something contrary to
> unambiguously interpretable exising evidence[*].
> FWIW, I (and most people) see nothing wrong with "honest faith".  It's
> "blind faith" that's mostly argued about.

(I like the footnote, by the way :-)

Again, agreed.  My general gripe is that the modern usage of "faith" is
almost always in the sense of "blind faith"; so anyone who expresses
some measure of "faith" is, by implication, an unquestioning dolt with
all the mental agility and tact of an disgruntled hippo[*].


[*] OK, I admit it.  I fel left out of the whole hippo thread thing.

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