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Science And Facts Are Not Beliefs!


Kurari
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I can't even really relay this argument I just got into with my Christian roomate, it's just so WTFBBQ.

 

She just told me that we should let people believe what we want to believe, that Evolution is a belief system, nobody can prove or disprove Evolution or Creationism, that science is a belief system, and facts don't make something true or not.

 

I can't argue with this kind of crazy. Just WTF. :vent:

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I guess some people just can't stand the idea of there being better ways of knowing than Christianity.

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Word of advice: Don't argue politics or religion with roomates. I had a bunch of different roomates when I was in college and I learned that the only real way to stay sane is to avoid as much drama as possible. Argue religion with people you don't have to put up with every day. Otherwise, I'd recommend just dropping the subject.

 

In other words: Smile and nod. :crazy:

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That's probably real good advice from Jedah. I don't think I could ignore that shit, though.

 

Hey, if you don't believe science has the facts, then there is no gravity - so jump out the sixth floor window and let Jebus save you!

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She just told me that we should let people believe what we want to believe, that Evolution is a belief system, nobody can prove or disprove Evolution or Creationism, that science is a belief system, and facts don't make something true or not.

 

Hmmm, so yummy! Just throw that in her face every time she looks at the weather prediction, everytime she goes to the doctor, everytime she calls the tech support... :P

 

Better take something she'll want eventually. Hold it in your hand, in plain sight. When she asks for it back, say you didn't take it. She'll eventually reply "but you have it right in your hand!" :P

 

Now the piéce de resistance:

 

"Facts don't make something true or not!" xD

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We weren't discussing it, we were actually having a conversation about ducks. I mentioned an article I found recently about how scientists had found that ducks are evolving some very interesting changes as a species, and she asked "How do you know?"

 

I can't describe the rest of the argument, but that was eventually what it de-evolved into.

 

The weird part is she isn't even very Christian and isn't even all that faithful. So this was very left field for me. Mostly she just loves to get into debates, but she can't debate worth a damn because she's not educated enough to have a position. She didn't know much about Creationism either. She's just one of those people who HAS to keep talking and pretending she's getting the last word and doesn't mind the fact she gets needled as being an ignorant dumbass over and over again to do it.

 

Other than this silly personality flaw, she's very responsible, clean, quiet, and a good roomate.

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Did you ever see the episode of Friends where Rachel is trying to piss off Ross by getting him to debate over whether Jurassic Park could happen? She just wants to get under his skin and doesn't actually care about the argument--but since Ross is so big on scientific proof she knows that that is the way to do it. More than once Ross looks exasperated and almost starts to babble science, but he stops himself in time since he knows what Rachel is doing.

 

Does this sound like your roommate? It could be insecurity on her part, or a way of being controlling. Perhaps she merely wants attention. Or maybe she means no harm and just likes to hear herself speak. Whatever the case, let it go.

 

I do know how hard it is to let such silliness go, as someone I know keeps saying that science is my religion and feels that he can put creationism and evolution on the same table. He also feels that atheism is a religion. I learned the hard way to ignore him, as he is so steeped in his mystical thinking that reason will never shine through.

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Depending one what definition a person uses for "belief" can make this more or less true. I found this in one dictionary for example:

Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something

 

This definition is pretty much what everyone does when it comes to drawing conclusions on more anything. Isn't it? They have a mental acceptance of the truth of whatever that something is? This is a "belief." So all people work on the basis on beliefs.

 

The difference, I think, is plausibility and probability. Is that something plausible? Is that something probable? By determining these people can determine whether their "belief" is grounded in any sort of "reality" or simply "wishful thinking."

 

So I "believe" airplanes can fly without any knowledge of physics because I've watched them fly. I've been on airplanes. They have shown themselves to be able to fly. They don't fly because I believe they can fly but I believe they can fly because they have demonstrated the ability to fly. I can further my knowledge if I like to understand the dynamics of flight and so on but that only ups the numbers on the plausibility/probability scales. Planes rank very high. I trust them as a result.

 

How about fairies? I've not seen them. I've read stories of them. So only others can relate info about them. Do they seem plausible from these accounts? Not really. How about their probability? Pretty low. So they rank low. I could go into it ranking all their attributes but I'm only demonstrating a point. Fairies just don't rank high. So if I choose to believe in them it's against these rankings and not with them. The belief is based on "wishful thinking" ("what I want to be") and not "reality" (or "facts"). Fairies might exist but it's unlikely so I hold no belief based on what information exists.

 

Same for god(s). Upon investigation it appears I (and everyone else) wanted them to exist but they actually rank low. So to be consistent I needed to hold no beliefs for them. Evolution is the best theory of its kind so I can place my beliefs in it. Does that mean I can't re-evaluate things as new info comes along? Quite the contrary. This means I MUST re-evaluate my beliefs as new info comes along.

 

Don't be insulted when people say this type of stuff to you. Just understand that beliefs are used all the time make all sorts of decisions. Unfortunately most people utilitize wishful thinking when it comes to beliefs and think everyone else does as well. That doesn't need to be so.

 

mwc

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MWC, is bringing up an important point, and that is: knowledge is a form of justified belief. So in a sense we could say we believe in science, but it's not the same kind as belief in religious stuff.

 

Knowledge is a form of awareness and learned information. We trust the sources of science to be telling us true theories based on well done arguments and experiments. So in some sense it is true that we take science based on trust or "faith," however, scientific claims are in general well supported not only once, but twice, thrice, and more. The different theories fit into each other, and they stand mostly and basically true throughout the years and through other experiments depending on them, so we know that they either must be true, or our existence must be a mere scam. These things that science confirm can't be false and yet be used over and over again in subsequent experiments, so they must be true.

 

While belief in religion is rarely or never based on experience, but rather on emotions. Some people claim that when they prayed for money and found a $20 bill it somehow proves that God answered, but it's turning random chance into some evidence, just because they want it to be true, not because it makes sense.

 

So in the end, the belief or faith in science is a very different form than the religious belief, and the apologist just loves to mix up words to confuse and create false conditions.

 

And when it comes to science about evolution, it's a bit tricky for people to understand how it works. Even some non-believers find it hard to accept. It takes some thinking and reading to finally get it, and until then it is easily mistaken for just hypothetical ideas.

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Hey, if you don't believe science has the facts, then there is no gravity - so jump out the sixth floor window and let Jebus save you!

 

What a great idea for the other side too! *Gypsy gulps down coffee, then runs to 6th floor in an attempt to prove there is no Jebus*

 

Florduh, u make me laugh. :wub:

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I suppose we could get philosophically technical here. Knowledge is defined as a true belief according to some philosophers. So if I know something then I also believe it. And if I believe something which is also true then I have knowledge.

 

I think the argument here is over the status of various beliefs. Not all beliefs are equal because some beliefs are true (knowledge), whereas some beliefs are not true (fantasy).

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The weird part is she isn't even very Christian and isn't even all that faithful. So this was very left field for me. Mostly she just loves to get into debates, but she can't debate worth a damn because she's not educated enough to have a position.

 

Sound to me that when your roommate gets in over her head she shuts down the argument with the tactic stated in the OP.

 

Jedah has the right idea here. Ya gotta deal with this person everyday so why make life any more complicated than it needs to be.

 

Good Luck!

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"There is no greater impediment to the advancement of knowledge than the ambiguity of words." --Thomas Reid, Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man

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That's probably real good advice from Jedah. I don't think I could ignore that shit, though.

 

Hey, if you don't believe science has the facts, then there is no gravity - so jump out the sixth floor window and let Jebus save you!

 

Faithheads and facts cannot coexist it seems. :HaHa:

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