RE: Why faith is a sin (was Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V2 #282)

Gifford, Nate F (
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 09:28:19 -0500

From: Brett Lane Robertson[]


Seems David is saying that things which involve faith cannot be
into logic. I disagree.

If you are saying there must be axioms then I agree with you.
If you are saying that the number of axioms don't
affect the rationality of the system I disagree.

First, I think if there is a common symbol through which things
can be
translated, they will be--and to say that the world which faith
describes is
a different world than the world which science describes is

I think we'll come down to semantics here ... but I think faith
in general DOES describe a different world. The reason
that world is different is the value that people of other faiths
put on objects in this one. Cases in point: Spotted Owls, Rhinos vs
Rhino horns, Ivory, Hutus vs Tutsis, The Yellow River Valley,
Industrial uses for CFCs vs. The ozone layer, Fur in general, Meat,
Abortion. One way that faith ... or memes ... can affect the
world is supply and demand. Science can describe diamonds, uses of
diamonds, likely supply of diamonds, etc. But De'Beers controls the
price by stoking demand and limiting price. Logically Diamond
engagement rings ... three months salary ... make no sense for most

Also, I've come a long way toward translating religious belief
systems into
logical systems (which is not to say that the system is
logical--like, Why
do we have religion? Because it is a logical way to opiate the
masses, for
example-- but that the *ideas* of the system, if translated into
terms, produce results which are logical both in regards to
religion and
non-religious systems--that "spirit" translates to "knowledge",

Please show me when spirit translated to knowledge in the
scientific sense. Spirit translates to "potency of this God meme
The difference between "spirit" and "knowledge" is that
knowledge has some objective basis in reality. By definition spirit
does not. Note that knowledge can exist within a religious domain ...
as in pull this memetic string and the collection goes up. If a
religion wishes to remain viable it will come up with ways for this
knowledge to be reflected in its spiritual identity.

for example,
and questions as to whether we can study religion/science
without a
spiritual/knowledge base suggest that survival of the
demands that it is so).

If you are saying that science/mathematics does not answer
ethical questions ... I would vaguely disagree. I contend that science
and mathematics are the best tools we have for predicting the
consequences of our actions .... although they are dark glasses at best.
I once heard a rumor that James Watt <Secretary of the Interior under
Ronald Reagan> once said that we should use up the National Forests
because Christ is coming soon anyway. Religion and faith will by
necessity lead to this sort of fallacy because their axioms are not
based on objective reality.

Though, I will admit that some people who are consumed with
religion can not
be reasoned with (the same with science...).

Am I proving your point here? If you believe in religion how
can you not help but be consumed by it? Please note that from my
current P.O.V. I could best be described as skeptical about religion
... but that under different circumstances <say if Jerry Fallwell
decided to adopt me ...> I think I could be convinced to toe the party
line. What is the payoff of religion for you Brett?