RE: virus: Re: Social Metaphysics

Tim Rhodes (
Thu, 2 Oct 1997 11:13:43 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 30 Sep 1997, David McFadzean wrote:

> Richard wrote:
> >you simply have faith that there is an underlying consistent physical
> >reality. This can never be proved, but it sure feels obvious. And
> >discussing it seems fairly pointless.
> I don't have faith in that conjecture but I do have a large amount
> of evidence that suggests that it is true. Here's another possible
> counterexample: what if you could summon a ghost that we can all see
> but that doesn't appear on film or any recording? The ghost can
> tell us information that we have no way of otherwise knowing. James Randi
> and all of his skeptical pals run every test they can think of to debunk
> the trick, but they can't because it is real. This would change my mind
> about the nature of objective reality, therefore it is not faith.

It seems very important to you, David, to not have faith. But you make the
same mistake as Christians who look for archaeological evidence to back up
the stories in the Bible. All the evidence in the world for the David and
Goliath story being true does not imply Gods hand at work in guiding to
pebble. And all the evidence you have for your *faith* does not make it
any less of a faith.

And just because your faith can adapt over time does not make it any less
of a faith. You obviously have never spent years around any devote
/anything/ if you think their faith doesn't adapt to fit the physical
reality of the times. Look at the history of the church, David. It
changes course as often as science does (although admittedly about 50-75
behind science these days).

Do *you* need a new, more palatable word for "faith based on evidence"?
(I know some Christians who could use the word too, once you coin it!)

-Prof. Tim