Re: virus: Faith and Goodwill

David McFadzean (
Wed, 28 Apr 1999 12:17:33 -0600

At 07:09 AM 4/28/99 -0700, Richard Brodie wrote:

>Let's explore, for a minute, what kinds of things it might be useful to
>believe in that cannot be proven scientifically. My strongest faith-based
>position is that people have the right to their self-determination.

No, your strongest faith-based position is that rational empiricists in general claim to be perfectly rational. If they don't (and I think there is plenty of evidence to suggest that they don't), then the rest of your argument collapses.

>At this point, the rational empiricist is partitioning off positions like
>the above that start with "I believe IN" rather than "I believe THAT,"
>saying that they are a different class of belief, not provable or
>disprovable but rather moral values that do not fall into the category of
>faith-based beliefs. While I maintain that such a distinction is a
>self-deceit designed to give the rational empiricist short-term comfort in
>his fantasy that he has no fantasies, an even stronger case for faith can be

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be saying that since you can't or won't make a distinction between descriptive and prescriptive beliefs, there must not be a difference.

>What about the position that people are basically good? Scientifically, many
>counterexamples to this position can be found and perhaps used to disprove
>the statement.

Scientifically, counterexamples don't disprove the statement that people are basically good. Counterexamples would disprove the statement that *all* people are good, but that isn't what you said.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus