"The meaning of the world is the separation of wish and fact." - KURT GÖDEL
"According to Peirce's doctrine of fallibilism, the conclusions of science are always tentative. The rationality of the scientific method does not depend on the certainty of its conclusions, but on its self-corrective character: by continued application of the method science can detect and correct its own mistakes, and thus eventually lead to the discovery of truth".
A guiding principle for accepting claims of catastrophic global events, miracles, incredible healing, invisible friends, or fill in the blank is:
“extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” - Carl Sagan
"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable." - H. L. Mencken
I would add irrational and highly delusional to the mix when faith requires one to accept magical violations of the well known, well tested or easily demonstrated laws of Nature. - PWL
"Science is Progress and the Future. Faith is regression to the Dark Ages." - PWL
“It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.” - Carl Sagan
"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan
"Two important characteristics of maps should be noticed. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness." - Alfred Korzybski
"Science is a search for basic truths about the Universe, a search which develops statements that appear to describe how the Universe works, but which are subject to correction, revision, adjustment, or even outright rejection, upon the presentation of better or conflicting evidence." - James Randi
"Hypotheses are nets: only he who casts will catch." - Novalis
"Nullius in verba. Take no one's word for it." - Motto of the Royal Society
"I'm trying to find out NOT how Nature could be, but how Nature IS." - Richard Feynman
"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." - Thomas Henry Huxley
“A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.” Albert Einstein
"Science is empirical. Knowing the answer means nothing. Testing your knowledge means everything." - Lawrence Krauss
"Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism - and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency." - Stephen Jay Gould
"Science is best defined as a careful, disciplined, logical search for knowledge about any and all aspects of the universe, obtained by examination of the best available evidence and always subject to correction and improvement upon discovery of better evidence. What's left is magic. And it doesn't work." - James Randi
”Faith is belief in the absence of evidence, science is belief in the presence of evidence.” ‘When the evidence disagrees with a scientific proposition, the proposition is discarded. When the evidence disagrees with a religious proposition, the evidence is thrown out’. – Victor J. Stenger
I work to eliminate belief and faith from my life, now I’m not talking about the “belief” that I left my car parked in it’s spot and whether or not it’s still there, I know I left it there but it’s possible that it is no longer there for a variety of reasons all possible within the known limits of objective reality. I’m talking about the kind of belief and faith that asserts “truths” or “facts” or “aspects” of the objective reality of Nature, about the very nature of Nature itself without any evidence to stand on. That is the kind of belief and faith that is the most pernicious and dangerous. I prefer knowledge that can be verified or proven with hard evidence or even better, proven with experiment done by yourself.
The problem is that the word “belief” has SO many meanings and people often don’t mean the same thing by the word. In addition when talking with “believers” it’s a huge pile of dogma that you’re taking about when you use the word “belief”, it’s not just one belief.
The point Stegner is making is which determines what you accept as real, the faith based beliefs and dogma, or the hard evidence? If the beliefs and dogma determine what is real, that is religion, that is highly dangerous, that is what leads to delusions. If the evidence determines what is real that is science, that is rationality, that is being connected with the objective reality of Nature where we actually exist.
Of course it all hinges on what the evidence is. There is good evidence and then there is bad evidence and faulty proofs. Read the rest of this entry »
Victor Stenger author of “Not by Design: The Origin of the Universe”, “Physics and Psychics: The Search for a World Beyond the Senses”, “The Unconscious Quantum: Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology”, “Timeless Reality: Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Universes”, “Has Science Found God? The Latest Results in the Search for Purpose in the Universe”, “The Comprehensible Cosmos: Where Do The Laws Of Physics Come From?”, “God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist” and “Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness” interviewed in depth (98 minutes).
The main battle ground is “superstition”, belief and faith verses Reason, Rationality and Scientific thinking.
At about 31 minutes 20 seconds into the interview Richard Dawkins answers a question about history and the validity of the “virgin birth”. Dawkins, in my view didn’t answer that very well.
Yes, one time events in history can’t be repeated by using the scientific method, so how do you test the claims of the “resurrection” of “jesus”?
Well, that’s easy with biology. When a human being dies their body decays. Upon heart dead, brain death and cell death, living bodies decay. Micro organisms immediately start eating your body from the insides out and outside in. Bugs and insects of all kinds begin their feasting on a pretty much set schedule. The body decays. If you’re unlucky enough to die away from a modern hospital emergency room there is no hope, and if you were lucky to be in an ER there is a very small chance they can being you back from some causes of death, like a heart attack, but the percentage is very low.
Laws of science not just rule in possibilities but they rule out possibilities. So nope, no possibility of any resurrection for anyone named jesus in the first century! This is proven by the laws of biology that we know of today. Therefore the resurrection of jesus is simply a bad bed time story written by superstitious folks or by con men attempting to con the masses back in the day. Looks like many are still taken in by this obvious attempt to undermine people’s ability to reason critically with objective reality in mind.