Is your trust in science based on faith or based on science?

What I mean is this: how much do you actually know about the science most atheists parrot? Most atheists know as little science as most Christians know as little theology. Just as a Christian trusts his priest to tell him what he believes, an atheist trusts scientists with a Ph.D. tacked to their name to tell them what they believe. But how many times have the scientists turned out to be wrong? I only ask this because it seems this is central to the problem that most atheists have. They are repulsed by the phrase “believe” – they are addicted instead to the phrase “know”. But honestly, do you really know, or are you just believing what you’re told? I would like to remind you that in the 1970′s the scientists of the day were seriously concerned that we were about to enter an ice age, and less than 30 years later they are now convinced Earth is about to turn into a desert.

Unless you’ve observed something yourself, or observed and interpreted the evidence yourself and drew your own conclusions, you are just as guilty as faith as any religious person.

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 I don't really care what your Head of State does behind closed doors if it doesn't harm anyone.  He or she can burn pungent herbs and praise Cthulhu for all I care, or dance naked to the pagan goddess of fertility.  What is important, is that he or she operates in their office in accordance with his or her appointment brief. 

"guilty of faith"?!?  What is wrong with a faithful Atheist?

One example I sometimes give people when they talk about faith goes like this:

How do you know the sky is blue when you know it is? Weren't you told that, by your parents, grandparents, other kids? And you figured those people who told you were reliable, right? So, sure, the sky is blue today because I've always been told by... lots of people... that that's the color blue. I have faith in those people. I haven't looked into any of their credentials, but I know. It's the best knowledge I have.

Of course, this is an extreme example where a word has been agreed upon by virtually everybody. But why? Because some people we don't know invented the word "blue" and tacked it to that particular range of colors, right?

Do you have faith in the idea that blue is blue? I sure do. 

On the other hand, I'd say blind faith is most of the time a bad idea. 

It sounds like you may be blurring the lines between the two.

Oh, and I'm sure you're right about a lot of Atheists being afraid of the word, "believe." Maybe it's because they're afraid to sound "Christian." Is that also what drove you to be afraid of the word, "faith?" 

I say all this with respect and gratitude for what you posted. I'd like for this not to cause animosity.



Actually, I know the sky is blue because I know about how the visible spectrum scatters in our atmosphere...

Ah, but how do you know that the color you call blue, is the same color others call blue?

If their blue isn't electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between 450-495 nanometers, then it isn't and they are using some non-standard definition of blue.

You still can't now what other people see through their eyes when they identify something as blue. The best standard is still agreement. If 99% of the people say the sky is blue and 1% insist it's green, it's clear which one is speaking in a nonstandard way.

You can define the colour of the sky with light wavelengths which you can, in turn, match those definitions with more common names. While there may be experiential differences in the way our brains interpret colours, we'd still align those interpretations with the objective definitions for each colour. If not, there is likely a diagnosable discrepancy in what a particular individual sees, such as colour blindness. 

If, however, someone wants to use nonstandard definitions of words, the issue at hand is no longer colour, but rather language. It could be resolved by ditching colour names and simply recording wavelength.

This may be similar to what you are saying, but we know that the visible spectrum is arranged in a particular order along the electromagnetic spectrum. One person's defective vision might shift the colors toward the ultraviolet or infrared, but if a color shifts off entirely, where does it then show up? at the other end of the visible spectrum. Or is it gone entirely. Do you get what I'm saying?

I never get what you're saying.

You're talking about perception, which is entirely different from defining a certain segment of the electromagnetic spectrum as 'blue'. There is no way to tell if your brain's perception of 450-495 nanometer radiation is the same as my brain's perception of 450-495 nanometer radiation, but in both cases that is 'blue'.

A variation in someone's vision cannot shift the 450-495 nanometer segement into the 620-740 nanometer range. (Red light)

Imagine two different scenarios with the alphabet.

Scenario one:

a b c d e --> your interpretation of how letters appear
1 2 3 4 5 --> letters as they exist independent of observation
b c d e a --> my interpretation of how the letters appear

Now take the word 2145. You see 'bade' and I see 'cbea'. Because those letters are paired to patterns independent of our experience, we will interact with the underlying pattern and produce the same word. Your 'bade' and my 'cbea' are semantically identical.

Scenario two:

a b c d e f  g --> you
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 --> universal
a   c d  e       --> me

In that case we are working with different character sets, and there are words which you can read yet I cannot.That difference should be detectable.

If the first scenario is true with our vision, it is unimportant. The physics of light and its relationship to our vision is constant, so there is no appreciable difference.

In the second case, we are actually seeing different things. There are a number of physiological conditions which do exist resulting in such differences. This is hypothetically measurable, but it doesn't change the colour of the sky, only our ability to physically react to it. Granted, 'blue' remains a bit of an awkward description, but if I went entirely blind, that wouldn't alter the colour of the sky in anyway, or rather it wouldn't alter the physics of the light being defined as 'sky'.

Very rational, very well thought out, and very well presented, as well as entirely correct, but please read my last comment.


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