[FoRK] Terms - Practicing Science: Secular vs. Religious Ideology

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Fri Jan 11 18:02:09 PST 2008

On Jan 11, 2008, at 3:40 PM, Jeff Bone wrote:

> There's a difference in insisting that there's something there  
> without any evidence, and insisting that something is not there for  
> lack of it.  Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and I  
> never said it was.  My issue is with the insistence that something  
> IS, when there is no evidence.  I am not asserting with certainty  
> that something IS NOT just because I see no evidence.  My mind is  
> open to being changed --- by EVIDENCE, not by psychological  
> manipulation, social pressure, "evangelism," etc.
> OTOH, it's easy and valid to reason probabilistically about these  
> things.  Your "indictment" of atheists is equally applicable to  
> everyone that does not believe that an ice cream sundae is about to  
> magically appear before them right now....  (In fact, arguably,  
> such a belief might be LESS probabilistically preposterous than  a  
> belief in any given deity.)

Two bits, for clarity.

(1) In fact my contempt for those that choose to believe in any god  
is independent of the truth or falsehood of their belief.  The  
REALITY of the situation is that there is no objective evidence of  
any god.  If some god chose to appear tomorrow, and "vindicated" some  
group of believers, my contempt for those believers would in no way  
lessen;  even if they were proven *right* --- my contempt is for the  
epistemological method by which they came by their priors, regardless  
of the denouement.  Any random belief may be right or wrong;  and  
luck is nothing to be admired.

(2)  In fact something resembling an ice cream sundae --- a half-and- 
half avocado and chipotle-chocolate gelato appeared on my desk  
shortly after I penned the message this afternoon.  No magic  
involved;  I went downstairs to the Whole Foods and purchased it.   
Cash money, baby!



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