Re: On credulity and religion

Shannon Adams (
Mon, 01 Jul 1996 09:52:02 -0700

Bryant wrote:
> In article <>, <> wrote:
> >Bryant wrote:
> >> The adult resistance to evidence that one's childish ideas (be they Santa
> >> Claus, spooks, goblins, or an afterlife) are incorrect is more perplexing
> >> than the initial gullability.
> >
> >What conclusive evidence exists which disprove the concept of an afterlife?
> > What
> >about evidence which supports these 'childish' ideas?
> By all means, share with us the "conclusive proof" that Santa Claus and
> spooks are real.
> :)
> >Speaking of which, wouldn't belief in science qualify as a part of this
> >'gullabiliy'? We learn it in school. But, until we have successfully applied what
> >we've learned, we must take it on faith.
> Wrong indeed. We learn the scientific methods, and data collected with
> those methods. Religion offers no self-correcting mechanism and rarely
> encourages dissent. Science offers a self-correcting mechanism (the
> scientific method of collecting data to test hypotheses' predictions) and
> offers incentive (kudos) for those who prove assumptions, theories, and
> paradigms wrong.
> >After reading this, you will most likely respond in defense of your argument.
> >Based on your argument, do I then conclude that you walk through life with
> >'blinders of denial'? Isn't this sort of approach maladaptive?
> No, you shouldn't conclude that. Because if you can provide me with some
> shred of evidence for religious claims (or the claim that UFOs visit
> earth, or the claim that tiny pink unicorns push electrons around), I'll
> re-evaluate my stance. Few religionists I've encountered are similarly
> ready to question--really question--and re-evaluate their assumptions.
> Healed souls aside, how many diseases have been cured with dialectics,
> and how many lives extended by careful reading of Biblical tenets?
> Now, how many have been bettered by the careful application of the
> scientific method? Ah...
> Bryant

I think the most appropriate response for me to make (that is with out
launching into some useless arguement of me trying to prove something to
you which you are unwilling to consider) is this:

What are your thoughts about epistemology? Is empirical or theoretical
knowledge the only valid way of knowing? If your answer is yes then
there is nothing left to say.

Shannon Adams