virus: Faith

Reed Konsler (
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 10:17:43 -0500 (EST)


>rational - if it is based on logical reasoning with true premises
> *and* valid inferences
>irrational - if it is based on logical reasoning with false premises
> *or* invalid inferences
>unrational - if it is not based on logical reasoning
>rationalized - when an unrational belief is turned into a rational belief
>unrationalized - if it is not rationalized
>rationalizable - if it is possible to rationalize it
>unrationalizable - if it is not rationalizable
>reasonable - if it is consistent with one's goals and intentions
>unreasonable - if it is not reasonable

>Faith is unrational.


>I agree an unrational belief can be reasonable.

>I am looking for a way to find reasonable beliefs while
>avoiding unreasonable beliefs. That is in my best interest by definition.

Sure, but you are in invoking a bait-and-switch. Read your own
defintions above and tell me where the correlation between
"reasonable" and "rational" is.

>>What I disagree with is the labeling of unreasonable beliefs as "faith".
>>It is the conflation of the two categories that I disagree with.

>I can see your point, but that isn't the reason I'm opposed to faith.
>The problem with faith is not that it is unrational. It is not even
>that articles of faith are unrationalized. It is quite possible to
>have reasonable beliefs for the wrong reasons (love your neighbor
>or go to hell) or no reason at all (love your kid because you do).
>The reason faith is a sin is because it makes beliefs unrationalizable.
>If it is possible to rationalize a belief, faith is not necessary.
>(Which is what Prof. Tim was trying to tell Cathy Hardin.) If I think
>your faith-based belief is unreasonable, you have left me no ethical
>I don't claim all my beliefs are rational (they certainly aren't) or
>even reasonable. But (and this is The Big But) if they are not, I want
>to know about it and I don't want to make you resort to fraud or
>violence in order to get me to change my mind. I appreciate it when
>others give me the same opportunity, so I promote reason and denigrate

So, according to this worldview there are three methods of pursuasion:
1) Violence
2) Fraud
3) Rationalization

I think I understand what 1) means, could you define 2)?

Also, in:

>rational - if it is based on logical reasoning with true premises
> *and* valid inferences

1) Who (or what) defines the category "logic" and of what is it comprised?
2) Who (or what) is the source of "true premises"?
3) Who (or what) is the arbiter of "valid inferences"?


Reed Konsler