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Old 05-29-2009, 09:43 PM   #16
Sternwallow
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Humans are so slow and inefficient that we MUST trust others on a regular basis. Think of all the things you do that put faith in authority. You accept pieces of paper for you labor (for now anyway). You careen down the road in a ton of steel. You leave your valuables alone every day. All of those things represent acts of faith.

I think the trick is to hold your opinions loosely and never vest so fully in a position that you are unable to adjust in the face of new data that conflicts with your model of reality.

Of course a Californian would be against commitment of any kind.
I can successfully careen down the highway because I have experience (data) that predicts probable survival and there are other sources of information, the existence of other people who have survived car travel. Thus I have reasonable expectations based on knowledge of likelihoods and trust has nothing to do with it.

I leave my valuables alone knowing that there is a statistical probability that they will be destroyed or stolen. I live with the odds (or move to better neighborhood) and do not have "faith" that bad things will not happen.

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:57 PM   #17
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You accept pieces of paper for you labor (for now anyway). You careen down the road in a ton of steel. You leave your valuables alone every day. All of those things represent acts of faith.
No they aren't, they are acts of inductive logic. You also expect the sun to rise every day, and guess what, the mother fucker does just that. As soon as the paper you are paid with is no longer accepted, at Wal mart or in G strings, you will stop accepting it. When it's shown to be worthless toilet paper and you still accept it, then it's an act of faith.

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Old 05-30-2009, 02:42 AM   #18
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When it's shown to be worthless toilet paper and you still accept it, then it's an act of faith.
Logic? Pavlovian logic, maybe.

You -we - already have some strong evidence suggests the dollar is worth one quarter what it was six months ago.

And if your employer is the State of California then you are old enough to "know" that they are insolvent and that they have halted payments to employees in the past.

If they stop again, will you continue to work, having faith that the state will eventually pay? I'm betting you will.

Believing the Terminator will save you is a daily act of faith.

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Old 05-30-2009, 02:51 AM   #19
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I leave my valuables alone knowing that there is a statistical probability that they will be destroyed or stolen. I live with the odds (or move to better neighborhood) and do not have "faith" that bad things will not happen.
But unless you did the study yourself, you are placing faith in an authority - in this case the researchers. Further, few of us move, or install home security devices, just because one neighbor's behavior is cause for concern. We have "faith" that the authorities will take care of it. And for that matter, we have faith that bureaucracy have paid the police with the dollars that our employer regularly docks from our checks.

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Old 05-30-2009, 02:52 AM   #20
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Ok I'll bite, what's the punchline?
No punch line.

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Old 05-30-2009, 06:03 AM   #21
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But unless you did the study yourself, you are placing faith in an authority - in this case the researchers. Further, few of us move, or install home security devices, just because one neighbor's behavior is cause for concern. We have "faith" that the authorities will take care of it. And for that matter, we have faith that bureaucracy have paid the police with the dollars that our employer regularly docks from our checks.
Bolded item: exactly NOT. The authorities you refer to have given ample evidence of their existence just as my neighbors have given ample evidence for their infrequency of ripping me off.

You know, do you not, that the police do not and cannot prevent crimes (in all but sting-like operations) so it is not prudent to trust them to keep others from committing theft.

There are, of course, behaviors that we have evidence to expect the police and courts will follow as a consequence of the occasional crime that does happen. We know this because we have seen instances of such behaviors and thus we have knowledge of their probability. In a situation where there is a brand-new kind of police different from the ones with records that we have seen before, it is not prudent to trust them, especially not solely on their "authority". Suppose your community switched to the "Kognisgoord" plan of police organization whose policies on matters of due process or humane treatment of prisoners etc., are not known to you. You would be ill-advised to expect decent treatment either as a criminal or as a victim until those policies were established or became apparent.

Trust (and honor as in "honor your father and mother") must be earned by evidence, not bestowed promiscuously on any dribbler who plants a greasy foot on your doorstep.

You seem to be saying that you will automatically obey any thug who claims some special attribute like jurisdiction or sanctity or expertize.

"It is astonishing what you can get away with if you just manage to get "reverend" attached to your name." Hitchens

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:03 AM   #22
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Right. Electric vehicles are absolutely the right way to go. (and gasoline is on the way up again) For a while, about ten years ago, I was all excited about fuel cell technology. After all, NASA's been using it successfully for thousands of years.

Well in the private sector that big idea has certainly gone nowhere fast, hasn't it. Too radical. Too expensive to develop. Hybrids and electrics are more feasible and cost effective. www.teslamotors.com If I were a rich man, I'd own a Tesla Roadster. Or maybe this drop-dead gorgeous machine. www.lightningcarcompany.co.uk/gallery.php

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Old 05-30-2009, 06:16 AM   #23
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Always watch for that gotcha phrase "up to" in any offering. People easily forget that it means "any value less than or equal to the stated amount/number".

"Special sale!!! Bargains up to 50% off the tag price." In this instance, not an item in the store had a discount exceeding 2%. They could have advertised "up to 500% off".

"Rabbits can have up to ten-thousand offspring in a single batch." is true, and it is still true for a rabbit that has zero offspring.

The phrase is closely akin to "your mileage may vary" which also completely invalidates the stated amount or value.

My '66 Plymouth can get up to 200 MPG on premium fuel in city traffic at high speeds while carrying a full load of ballast.

I am not impressed by the claims made for this Hummer.

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:07 AM   #24
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Trust (and honor as in "honor your father and mother") must be earned by evidence, not bestowed promiscuously on any dribbler who plants a greasy foot on your doorstep.

You seem to be saying that you will automatically obey any thug who claims some special attribute like jurisdiction or sanctity or expertize.

"It is astonishing what you can get away with if you just manage to get "reverend" attached to your name." Hitchens
No, I'm saying that relying only on the historic to predict future events is still putting faith in a model.



If I have a magic eight ball and I ask it 1000 questions to which it always gives me the correct answer, am I wise to believe it on the 1001 shake? Or am I just a lucky bitch with a flawed reality? Obviously I'm the lucky bitch, and I'm saying we're all the lucky bitch. We don't have any choice. Our brain can't handle all of the variables involved. We must simplify, and in simplifying we make mistakes.


The problem comes in becoming so rigidly committed to your model that you begin to exclude conflicting data - like becoming so attached to your loving invisible man that when the world isn't so loving - and the model is no longer helping you make predictions - you start to make excuses for the God, or believing a fiat currency is as reliable as the solar system in the face of cataclysmic economic events.

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Old 05-30-2009, 07:10 AM   #25
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Right. Electric vehicles are absolutely the right way to go.
Yes. I was also excited about the hydro cell and that mini caliper that seems to have vanished into Lockheed's bowels.

I wouldn't buy a Hummer, but I do think that a car that frees us from one supplier of power is the answer. Only an electric car can do that.

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Old 05-30-2009, 07:11 AM   #26
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But unless you did the study yourself, you are placing faith in an authority - in this case the researchers. Further, few of us move, or install home security devices, just because one neighbor's behavior is cause for concern. We have "faith" that the authorities will take care of it. And for that matter, we have faith that bureaucracy have paid the police with the dollars that our employer regularly docks from our checks.
As long as we fumigate the word "faith" with quotation marks, I guess it's okay to misuse it this way.

In general usage, I understand faith to mean 'belief without evidence or reason.' There are excellent reasons and evidence to believe that one's car will start or that the sun will rise in the East, even if there is a possibility (or in the case of the sun, the inevitability) that it won't.

I don't have 'faith' that certain scientific propositions are robust. I do trust the process however -- peer review is a powerful motherfucker. And as Sterny says, I can always check the evidence for myself--an option not available to matters of faith.

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We may define "faith" as the firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of "faith." We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence. The substitution of emotion for evidence is apt to lead to strife, since different groups, substitute different emotions.

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Old 05-30-2009, 07:51 AM   #27
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In general usage, I understand faith to mean 'belief without evidence or reason.' There are excellent reasons and evidence to believe that one's car will start or that the sun will rise in the East, even if there is a possibility (or in the case of the sun, the inevitability) that it won't.
Then there is no faith. Everyone has a "reason" for doing and thinking what they do and think.

And there are excellent reasons to believe in God - most of humanity navigates life successfully with that model - and to believe in my Magic Eight Ball...and I can test them, but their passing the test does not make my vision a good one.

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"And individual's reality model can be right or wrong, complete or incomplete. As a rule it will be both incomplete and wrong, and one would do well to keep that probability in mind."
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Betrand wrote
We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence. The substitution of emotion for evidence is apt to lead to strife, since different groups, substitute different emotions.
Poor Mr. Russell. If only he'd lived long enough to learn that we are not capable of "judging, predicting, inferring, generalizing, and comparing" without engaging our emotions. Then he would have had an opportunity to restate his unfortunate remark.

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Old 05-30-2009, 08:14 AM   #28
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Of course a Californian would be against commitment of any kind.
Undoubtedly consorting with multiple theories at once, too.

"When science was in its infancy, religion tried to strangle it in its cradle." - Robert G. Ingersoll
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:52 AM   #29
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And there are excellent reasons to believe in God - most of humanity navigates life successfully with that model
How about evidence? (And what is 'successfully'?)

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- and to believe in my Magic Eight Ball...and I can test them, but their passing the test does not make my vision a good one.
Does failing the test make your vision a poor one? [Hint: Yes!] Put another way, is the God Hypothesis falsifiable? Are ANY matters of faith falsifiable?

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Poor Mr. Russell. If only he'd lived long enough ... he would have had an opportunity to restate his unfortunate remark.
I agree, and I know you agree that his ignorance on this score is besides the point.

Re Dorner: I am the first to admit our epistemological limits, and guess what: it's not a problem for science because science doesn't lay claim to THE TROOF; that's the purview of priests. The predictive functionality of science -- whether or not the observations line up with "Reality" -- pretty much trumps the issues raised by frosh noodle-scratchers.

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Old 05-30-2009, 09:11 AM   #30
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Logic? Pavlovian logic, maybe.

You -we - already have some strong evidence suggests the dollar is worth one quarter what it was six months ago.

And if your employer is the State of California then you are old enough to "know" that they are insolvent and that they have halted payments to employees in the past.

If they stop again, will you continue to work, having faith that the state will eventually pay? I'm betting you will.

Believing the Terminator will save you is a daily act of faith.
What a load of twisted bollocks. It's not that surprising that logic confuses you (even the flimsy and indefensible inductive kind). You and sevens would make a great team.

You can always turn tricks for a few extra bucks. If looks are an issue, there's the glory hole option, but don't expect more than ... tips.
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