Re: Natural Order & Belief

From: John M <>
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 11:27:20 -0500

I try a 'funny' aspect.
Not in Tom's rather utilitarian point (whether it is good or bad, making a
person happy or inspired) but upon your questioning the 'truth' in (among
others) religious stories.

Consider 'numbers' as religion. How many of us (you?) had a 'revelation'
about numbers per se? Mostly accepted the bible of Plato and the teachings
of math-teacher priests. It became a belief-system - no argument.
Is it "true"?
Does it 'exist' in the universality?
Of course, the idea "lives" in minds so it exists. There is no postulate
that an 'existing' idea has to be "matter-physics" based. The 'mental world
is part of the 'demental' (as you know from your profession<G>).
Religion lives in minds, ergo the 'facts' included are true. It can be read
in "script" and inventive people say they have revelations just like what
Newton's apple brought up.
We have a belief system that religion is 'not true', others: that 'religion
is true'.
I don't believe in AR: does it make it 'untrue'?
We formulate our mindset upon stories figmented by primitive observations of
what ancestors saw and speculated.
So do religious people on other wavelengths.
Can you ask Zeus upon Athenae? I asked Bruno upon numbers. Many people do
not share MY belief ystem of the wholeness. Does it make it untrue? In who's
Everybody has a certain level of 'faith' in HIS OWN belief.
Even the 'utilitarian' aspect is personal. The smallpox virus instigated the
social structural renovation of the western world. We judge within our
momentary personal interests.
Maybe the demise of humankind is a good thing for the biosphere.

Opimistically yours

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 21, 2006 7:20 AM
Subject: RE: Natural Order & Belief

Tom Caylor writes: (skip)
> > The problem with religious beliefs is not that they are bizarre (after
> > all, many
> > scientific theories at first glance are just as bizarre) but that there
> > is no reasonable
> > basis for deciding whether they are true. People usually choose
> > religious beliefs because
> > they would like them to be true or because their parents brought them up
> > that way.
> > It may be interesting to know if a religious belief makes a person
> > happy, has inpired
> > good deeds or great art, and so on, but the specific question I want
> > answered is whether
> > it is true. For example, it is true that the smallpox virus causes a
> > severe illness which has
> > killed million of people over the centuries, and this is true regardless
> > of whether it is good,
> > bad, interesting or whatever. I would like to know whether it is the
> > case that Jesus rose from
> > his tomb after being crucified or Athena sprang from Zeus' head after
> > Hephaestus struck it
> > with an axe, and I would like to know this independently of whether it
> > makes an interesting
> > or inspiring story.
> >
> > Stathis Papaioannou
(TC - skipped)
When I am confident about some empirical belief, I am confident that a
perfectly fair,
disinterested observer given the same evidence that I have will come to the
same conclusion
that I do, or at least entertain it as a serious possibility. For example,
if I am confident that
the Quran was written in Arabic in the 7th century, then I am confident that
any reasonable person
who went to the trouble to investigate the matter would agree with me. If I
am a Muslim, I
may be as certain about the evidence supporting that the Quran is the word
of God as I am
about the evidence supporting that the Quran was written in Arabic in the
7th century. However,
while as a Muslim I may be just as confident that a reasonable and
disinterested observer would agree
about when the Quran was written, I would be far less confident that he
would agree about its
divine origin (and perhaps be converted to Islam). This presents a problem:
I can't say that both
my beliefs about the divine origin of the Quran and when it was written are
equivalent and empirically equally well founded, but hold that a
disinterested observer would likely
accept one but not the other. I have to say that one of my beliefs is *not*
as firmly rooted in the
objective evidence as the other, but that in order to drag it up to the same
level of believability, it
requires something in addition which even the perfectly fair and
disinterested observer lacks: namely,
faith. And when you allow faith to tip the balance in these equations,
anything at all can be taken as

Stathis Papaioannou

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Received on Tue Nov 21 2006 - 11:28:35 PST

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