Re: virus: Phaith page on

Fri, 04 Jun 1999 11:06:37 -0700


I have not confused 1 and 2. Like you, I recognize that 1 prescribes 2. I plan to give the questions you raised in this and your previous post time to simmer, and I'll craft a more detailed reply tonight or tomorrow morning. Right now I need to get down to work on today's installment of the C comic (#105 of 1,000).

Take care.


Eric Boyd wrote:

> Hi,
> KMO <> writes:
> <<
> [snip]
> My guess is that David would agree that the maxim is falsifiable and
> saythat his belief in it is proportionate with the evidence for it,
> i.e. overwhelming, but subject to re-examination in light of new
> evidence. But that doesn't really work, does it? It would be his
> commitment to rationality that would prescribe re-examining the maxim
> in light of that new evidence. Hmmm.... tricky.
> >>
> Hmmm... I don't know. I think you've confused two propositions above:
> (1) "If truth is the goal, rationality is the way" -- David McF.
> (2) "we should proportion our belief to the evidence"
> The second proposition is quite widely held, and seems so utterly
> obvious from a freethinkers prespective that we pass by it without
> thought, but I think that the main content of faith and phaith is in a
> denial of it.
> Faith and phaith differ in that the former advises breaking (2) when
> evidence *is* actually present, while the latter says that {in cases
> where evidence can never be applied / for non-falsifiable
> propositions}, you may choose to believe/value/embody the proposition,
> rather than taking the agnostic position.
> Now you state above that "It would be his commitment to rationality
> that would prescribe re-examining the maxim in light of that new
> evidence", but I don't think that's true. It is his commitment to (2)
> that causes that. Is two a rational/logical consequence of (1)?
> <<
> One thing I would say to prompt a re-evaluation of the question of
> whether David's maxim constitutes an example of phaith is this: If
> one's commitment is to the truth of a proposition, then one has faith
> rather than phaith.
> >>
> As opposed to the usefulness of the proposition? The value of the
> proposition? I've got an interesting idea: could one have phaith in
> the value of the proposition; i.e. embody the proposition, bring it to
> life, as it were; and then also have a rational argument which
> supports it's truth? (and hold the truth value of the proposition
> according to the evidence)
> In this way, we can continue to say that phaith, per say, has nothing
> to do with truth; phaith has to do with value, with meaning and gnosis
> (self-knowledge).
> The position then is: "Rationality isn't where I'm going. Rationality
> is who I am". I value it with my life. I also have this pile of
> evidence {a, b, c, ..., x, y, z} that rationality leads to truth,
> which is quite fortunate. I like truth!
> Can we have our cake and eat it too?
> ERiC