Evidence based approaches and their limitations.
« on: February 14, 2014, 12:31:11 am »
We are contained within our physical reality and cannot get out.  Almost all our thoughts affect the reality outside us.  The slightest 'resonance' between our minds and the reality around us can be sufficient to render the probability of seeing evidence that is there to almost zero (thought quantum mechanics prevents this limiting to zero like 19th century mathematicians loved to do with their budding area of analysis).

Please reply if you'd like to have this elaborated.  Please don't be offended or alarmed if I ask probing questions about your exact mathematical background, including how you do your times tables.  I did my PhD in the foundations of mathematics and came face to face with the effects of slight differences in interpretations which are undetectable through the language used to describe them.

It's this level of rigour that I have brought to my own inner 'war' between faith and reason.  Reason is good, but runs out of resources in critical places.  Faith wins there, and then eventually wins the war once reason understands its place and 'submits to The Lord' (in old-money-Christian-speak).

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igr

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Re: Evidence based approaches and their limitations.
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2014, 08:44:30 am »
Greetings,   

I agree that we are contained within our physical reality and cannot get out.  This does depend on your definition of "we" (or "I") though.  It also depends on whether or not there is an "after-life"; if there is, then we are contained only by being alive.  There are also dualism considerations, reference Richard Swinburne.

As for our thoughts affecting the reality outside us, I would have (as my first thought) that it is more a case of the reality outside us affecting our thoughts.  Imagine if your brain had no sensory inputs.

There are limitations of an evidence-based approach, but I suggest that it is the "gold standard" and has delivered a good track record.  afaik, no other approach has delivered anything useful.

The issue I have with faith comes from its definition - faith is based on no evidence/data/proof.  It is a case of "anything goes", that is, any version of faith is as good as any other.  This comes from the impossibility of verification of the claims of any version of faith.  We might be impartial here - use the same methodology and standards of evidence to analyse all versions of faith.

If, for example, a person's faith comes from upbringing, this is a case of pre-conditioning, in much the same way as pre-supposition leads to question-begging.  If you are taught that a "religious experience" as it applies to your version of faith, has particular features and attributes, and you then some time later have such an experience, your pre-conditioning will "tell" you that your version of faith it true.

rgds, igr.

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Re: Evidence based approaches and their limitations.
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2014, 03:24:58 am »
Greetings Feekhaziel, 

At first, I must admit, I was unable to appreciate the relevance of your comment on this topic.

Then I realised that you are provoking a parochial view which might apply equally to my location of Australia if you replace your references to US with AUS.  Then we can apply an evidence-based approach which would include relative advantages such as resources, education, motivation, lack of inane religion, and so on.  For example, we might ask: who wins with Free Trade Agreements that appear to be unbalanced?

But the real question has always been: why us and them?  why tribalism?  why is the (insert name) deity on "our side"?

rgds, igr