virus: Belief and Knowledge

Reed Konsler (
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 12:43:27 -0400 (EDT)

>Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 15:25:11 -0600
>From: David McFadzean <>

>I think I see where you are coming from now. Would you say that making
>a provisional assumption, even just long enough to test whether it is
>true, even if you don't really believe the assumption, is a leap of
>faith in your view?

I think one of the misconceptions about science is that you can make a
"provisional" assumption without "really" believing it. It's like saying
you don't smoke even though you don't really believe it's bad for you or
that you don't walk under ladders even though you don't really believe it's
unlucky. Actually, this get's back to the first conversation I ever had
on this list with you (recursion?). Belief is defined by action; if you
act as if X were true then you believe X...if only for the period of the

>>>>Perhaps. What is inconsistent about a belief in God?
>>>Which God? Brodie's? The Christians'?
>>Either, both.
>If you would care to ascribe some properties to the Christian God I could
>probably point out some inconsistencies between what the world would be
>like if said God existed and what it is actually like.

That's a falsification paradigm. Why don't we assume God exists and try to
think of some experiments to help us understand what the nature of this
entity is? Or, to put it another way, if Bohr's atom doesn't exist does
that mean that atoms don't exist? Why do we keep the same name for this
theory that began with Democritus?


Reed Konsler