Re:virus: pale religious letchery

joe dees (
Sun, 07 Mar 1999 19:25:39 -0500

At Sun, 07 Mar 1999 16:03:18 -0800, you wrote:
>carlw wrote:
>> I would argue that "reason" is the tool by which we measure our observations
>> and temper our cynicism to allow us to build up a sensible and "useful"
>> model which allows us to make predictions about the fashion in which the
>> world functions.
>I think champions of reason (especially the ones on the CoV list) would
>do well to commit this definition to memory or at least keep it handy
>for frequent retrieval and review.
>> I would argue (as you have) that many forms of disciplined thinking exist,
>> yet I would also argue that many of them are not "useful" as defined above.
>I expect that a genuine use for most any form of disciplined thinking
>could be found, but I'm certainly not claiming that reason wouldn't be
>more useful than a lot of thses alternate modes of disciplined thinking
>in the actual day to day situations in which those alternate forms of
>thinking typically get used.
While reason is useful in dealing with both one's "fellow" humans and the common world we share, the utility of any particular faith is limited to dealings with people who share it, as a social/cultural lubricant.
>> While the practice of "faith" may require extreme discipline, to
>> if necessary, put observation, reason, utility, knowledge and thought on one
>> side, it does not produce a "disciplined model of the world" only a
>> disciplined area in the head of the believer.
>I hope that it's clear by now that I've got at least one foot in the
>"faith is a tool" camp. That said, I'm with Jonathan Ott in holding in
>low regard religions that REQUIRE faith as well as varieties of faith
>that force one to "put observation, reason, utility, knowledge and
>thought on one side."
>> The models produced by faith
>> are not competent to make predictions and thus are not "useful".
I can predict that if a Christian is a loan officer, and can only loan money to one of two potential borrowers, all other things being not too unequal, another Christian will receive the loan over an Atheist, if both applicants make their metaphysical convictions known. Joe E. Dees
Poet, Pagan, Philosopher

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