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


On Wed, 20 Apr 2005, Robb, Sam wrote:

> > 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

Uh, yes, that should've probably said "rather than the lines you quoted
above" or something like that...

> 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.

I don't believe I've mentioned science anywhere in the above quoted
text...  The discussion was entirely about the relationship between
observation, evidence, and faith.  The little bit that did mention science
was quoted from Dave's message, and even there, science was only a
referent to the concept of evidence (which, as you mentioned, isn't
exclusive to science).  Perhaps the word "facts" should be inserted there
somewhere as well (as in, "evidence reflects facts", for example).

> 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).

Yes.  I was actually tempted to quote Heinlein on the nature of human
beings in the previous message...

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

Yes, now back to our regularly scheduled hippos...
	Igor
-- 
				http://cs.nyu.edu/~pechtcha/
      |\      _,,,---,,_		pechtcha@cs.nyu.edu
ZZZzz /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_		igor@watson.ibm.com
     |,4-  ) )-,_. ,\ (  `'-'		Igor Pechtchanski, Ph.D.
    '---''(_/--'  `-'\_) fL	a.k.a JaguaR-R-R-r-r-r-.-.-.  Meow!

"The Sun will pass between the Earth and the Moon tonight for a total
Lunar eclipse..." -- WCBS Radio Newsbrief, Oct 27 2004, 12:01 pm EDT


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