I would say yes. We take all kinds of things on faith because we have to. Things that seem obvious but are essentially unprovable. Just to take one example, I believe in a world external to my mind, populated by real people, not figments of my imagination. I can't prove it, but I take it on faith. ''

Another thing I take on faith is that I can trust causality to be regular. To be sure, there are occasions when causality seems to fail, but I assume that there are explanations vindicating causality. If I assume causality is really irregular, then there's no reason to be logical, is there?

The difference between that kind of faith is that it doesn't form the basis for baseless toxic activities. It doesn't lead me to discriminate against or kill people who don't share my beliefs. In fact, it has no real consequences at all other than to help me live day-to-day.

Believing on faith that there is an all knowing, all powerful, very judgmental, king-like being looming above everything can be used to discriminate falsely between good and bad people with punishments ranging from shunning to eternal hellfire.

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** “Faith” has no more place in science than do ‘causality’ or ‘external world’


Excuse my being brief -- 1) "Faith" in the xian context means 'trust'. 2) Neither the so-called "external" world nor so-called universal (deterministic) causality have anything to do with scientific inquiry, theory creation, experimentation, or theory testing.... 3) "Causality" and logical implication are not related -- they belong to different conceptual categories.


1) The Latin bible uses ‘fides’ to translate the Greek ‘pistis’ -- trust. In God we trust -- says the dollar bill but that’s not true -- the believer trusts some god-proxy, an “authoritative” text or an “authoritative” person who in the first instance may be a parent indulging in indoctrination.


Greeks held pistis to be the lowest form of knowledge -- trusting someone who says that ‘X is true’ is vouching for the truth of X. ‘Jesus arose from the dead’ is a true statement because eyewitnesses to the resurrected Jesus said so; and their testimony has been handed down to us. >> Xians inverting the Greek epistemological scale put “faith” forward as superior to “knowledge”.


2) Kant taught that he needed to make room for faith (Glaube) by showing the limits of reason. Since reason acting upon sense information can never guarantee a Law of science -- there must be a context which allows for universal determinism required by law likeness.


Thus Kant opined that without a context providing for spatial relations and without a context for a universal time -- no infinite space or infinite time (in a newtonian interpretation) could arise just from the action of reason upon empirical information.


Unfortunately for Kant, his contexts -- “categories” to structure reason are meaningless since quantum mechanics offers only a probabilistic causality and newtonianism is false as Einstein’s General Relativity demonstrates. That is, there are in fact no laws of science -- only probable uniformities.


Philosophy can comment on science only when its practitioners learn science -- the other way round through armchair metaphysics (or worse theology) finally died when newtonianism failed account for radioactivity, black body radiation, photoelectric effect, gravitation, and the large-scale structure of the universe.


3) Obviously, indeterminism does not make a mockery of logic. Probable uniformities bring events into relationship with one another in spacetime. Logic, on the other hand, is an axiomatic system of statements from which can be derived theorems -- the ancient plane geometry is but one of many logics characterized by logical (not causal) necessity linking its theorems.

1) "Faith" in the xian context means 'trust'. 2) Neither the so-called "external" world nor so-called universal (deterministic) causality have anything to do with scientific inquiry, theory creation, experimentation, or theory testing.... 3) "Causality" and logical implication are not related -- they belong to different conceptual categories.

1) Religious people don't trust that God exists, they hold it as an unassailable, unexamined belief.

2) And yet, how many scientists would take the position of philosophical idealism, which is the notion that the world is mental, composed of ideas, not concrete things bandied about by various forces. Most, if not all, would choose the side of materialism, which holds that there is a world outside the mind, not controlled by mind (this would be the observable world, not the world of quantum events). Science has a materialistic bias.

3) True, because causality is believed to be factually true (on faith) whereas logical implication carries with it only the necessity of an internally consistent system based on a set of basic principles which form the basic constructs of the system. (Now, of course, Goedel showed us that even a seemingly self-consistent system of math or logic results in

Philosophy can comment on science only when its practitioners learn science -- the other way round through armchair metaphysics (or worse theology) finally died when newtonianism failed account for radioactivity, black body radiation, photoelectric effect, gravitation, and the large-scale structure of the universe.

I see that as a rule you'd like to see observed, but not much more than that. 

It's absurd to think that only a geologically-trained philosopher or logician can criticize geology's methods. I can't think of an instance where philosophers have criticized results in any other way than by criticizing its methodologies. Methodologies involve mathematics of logic.


There is an old "chicken and egg" argument as to whether math is a subset of logic or vice versa. My view is that they are largely indistinguishable from each other. When doing math, you are always depending on logic of some sort. Mathematics without logic is hard to imagine, so indistinguishable are they from each other.

Scientists can only practice science when they learn logic, which is a product of philosophy. Science, logic, and philosophy exist as a kind of three-ringed Venn diagram, with plenty of overlap and plenty of feeding off each other.

We also take on a kind of faith things we feel no need to question or which, if questioned, would call everything in question. Just as systems of mathematics are based on some set of assumed principles, so does any method of examining the world.

Suppose I live in the world of the Matrix movies. Despite the plot of the movie, if all of my perceptions are unreal and are fed to me by a super reality, where could I possibly go from there? If all of my perceptions are false, I'm insane in a sense. 

So, I assume on faith some basic trust in my ability to perceive the world.

There was a discussion during a Philosophy of Science class several years ago. We were discussing the scientific method as a logic model of how the 'sciences' progress. We came to the question of falsefication, and started considering if the method was testable.

It was unclear if the method could satisfy even its own demands with a metatest. The method in recursion, a self referencing, can it survive? It might be that the 'scientific method', is more like a heuristic than an algorithm. Albeit, a very good one so far...;p).

My graduate course on philosophy of science really opened my eyes as to how science works. The attendance of some science graduate students auditing the course showed us that their eyes were opened as much as ours. Until then, even though they were proficient in scientific method, they had never really scrutinized it, and certainly never realized it rested on unexamined principles. 

One has to start somewhere, and often that means by making some basic assumptions which seem reasonable. After that, you have to take a lot on faith. You can't get off the dime in science without accepting some philosophical (metaphysical) presuppositions. After that, your successes tend to keep you going and provide practical evidence that the faith you placed in those assumptions was justified. And yet, that isn't really proof. Proof has a finality and an unassailability to it that the mere accumulation of evidence does not.

First, choose a dictionary and trust its definition.

NOAD's (New Oxford American's) first definition is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. (Its remaining definitions refer to religion so I will ignore them.)

I will try another dictionary; NOAD's first definition persuades me that faith is dangerous and/or foolish.

And yet, do we not have complete trust and confidence in many matters? That if I put water over an intense flame it will heat my soup pretty quickly. Seriously, do you put some soup in a pot, turn on the heat, and actually wonder if this will heat up your soup?

I just assume that things are stable, till they are not, then I test my expectations. Most of the time things are running smoothly, no worries, but there are the outlyers that can cause me to pause and revisit my understanding of how things 'work'. I just figure I am almost always in catchup mode with reality.

So, you have faith in things as they are until something were to cast doubt on that faith.

Yes generally, that seems to be about it. After 58 years, I seem to have a rather good working knowledge of things and people, but some details elude me. I do have the say that 'faith' is not quite the right term to apply. I think the term 'confidence' might be closer, but maybe I am mincing words?   

No, I was thinking 'confidence' too, when I was reading.  The deciding factor is the differentiation between "Trust, Faith and Belief".  We use the terms interchangeably quite often, so its quite a grey area.  If there was no such thing as "Trust" there would be no such word as "Promise".

The Faith that religion carries, is in something that cannot be experiences by the five senses, at any time.  All the other trusts, beliefs, etc. become proven or are provable using our five senses, at some stage.

The OP mixes the two, for the purpose of debate.  It is an interesting exercise, but I am not sure whether its an exercise in semantics or more than that.  The kind of 'blind faith' that belongs to religion, with absolutely zero evidence, and quite a lot of contradicting elements is not really replicable outside of a religious or 'spiritual' interpretation.

We take some things on faith because there's no real alternative. There is no necessity to the faith the religious place in God.

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