Re: virus: A posting

Pat Bunt (
Wed, 17 Apr 1996 09:18:38 -0500 (EST)

>In my mind faith has the burden of proof. When I choose a belief, I'll
>call this belief "c", then I require a logical "a + b" to arrive at "c".
>For instance if c = 3 and a & b are not some combination of numbers that
>add up to 3, then I have a problem. If I were going to choose a belief
>that does not follow from this logic, I would just invent my own. It
>would be every bit as logical and I would like it much better.

Logic shows itself to be superior to religion (bootstrap argument),
but you have ignored my point that the two are not necessarily incompatible.
While your invented system of belief may be stronger logically, it holds no
value spiritually or socially (in the sense that Christianity is reassuring
to the soul, and provides a good place to meet once a week). You open this
statement with "In my mind..."; logically, everything that follows is
entirely subjective, and rests on your own belief. Christianity makes the
same claim, so I still don't see how logic and religion are incompatible,
when fundamentally, both rest on faith, as you can quickly discover with the
Socratic method:

Atheist: "Christianity is a mass deception."

Socrates: "What is the alternative?"

A: "Why, Logic, of course."

S: "Why is Logic superior?"

A: "Because it relies on empirical evidence, and ensures that all of your
beliefs are true. Christianity relies on Faith, which cannot be proven."

S: "How do you know that truth can accurately and universally derived from
the object, when that punk Aristotle claims that knowledge of the thing
exists only in the mind? Logically, two contradictory truths can be derived
from the same empirical evidence, through selective ignorance of parts of
the data."

A: "One derives truth from the object by standing the two contradictory
conclusions against one another, and determining which conclusion has a
stronger foundation."

S: "By what criterion is either foundation stronger?"

A: "By subjection to reason."

S: "And on what does reason stand?"

A: "On itself."

S: "As does Faith."

Okay, it's a little stilted for the sake of brevity (feel free to
pick it to bits if I've put words in your mouth that don't belong there),
but my point is that faith is necessary to cement the parts of logic that
are unstable. Unless you are a nihilist like Socrates, (Socrates: "Nothing
can be known". Punk: "How do you know?") somewhere deep down there's an
unsupported assumption holding everything else up.
(I'm not trying to convert you to Christianity here- far from it.
I'm trying to illustrate that not all Christians are blinding themselves to
logic, but that the spirituality involved is separate from logic. I suppose
I should also admit to a bit of devil's advocatism here- "Are you really
free of this faith that you reject? How can you be sure?"...)

Patrick D. Bunt,

"Most people who criticize Karl Marx have not read his works. Of course,
most people who support him have not read his works either. This guy writes
a nine hundred page treatise on economic theory and calls it Volume One,
it's a wonder anybody has read his works."