# Faith In Religon vs Faith in Science

## Do you believe that Faith in Religon is the Same as Faith Science

• Total voters
62
loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
honestrosewater said:
P: What happened today will happen tomorrow.
Q: The sun rose today.
R: The sun will rise tomorrow.
$(P \wedge Q) \Rightarrow R$ is how I would have put the previous propositions together.

I'm being a bit of a stickler for logic here, but stricly speaking, that hypothetical conditional is not deductively true due simply to the truth of its antecedent and its consequent. If you state it in argument form, you get simply P AND R, therefore Q. Stated as such, the truth value of Q is independent of the truth values of P and R. It requires a different formulation of the propositions to produce a valid argument form. So let's start over.

What happened today will happen tomorrow.
The sun rose today.
Therefore, the sun will rise tomorrow.

First we'll restate this as:

For any x, If x happened today, Then x will happen tomorrow.
s happened today.
Therefore, s will happen tomorrow.

Where x is the general propositional variable and s is "the sun rose." We will use H to mean "happened today" and T to mean "will happen tomorrow." We can now translate to:

For any x, If Hx, Then Tx.
Hs.
Therefore, Hs.

Using symbolic connectives, the argument form is:

1. $(x)(Hx \Rightarrow Tx)$
2. $Hs$
$\therefore Ts$

We can then prove the validity of this argument by the following two steps:

3. $Hs \Rightarrow Ts$ From line 1 by Universal Instantiation
4. $Ts$ From lines 3 and 2 by Modus Ponens

This is the only way to capture the inner logical structure of the propositions, by virtue of which the conclusion "The sun will rise tomorrow" becomes deductively valid.

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in response to page 3( I'm fashionably late as usual :P )

you guys kept arguing about something and tried to prove yourself with logic. it went something like: i can prove that the sun orbits the earth becuz of math and science and equations. but could you have a infinite regression on proofs? where do you draw the line on what requires a proof, to say that this is a absolute truth and not just some flaw from what we humans see.to say that there are no unknown wierd things that humans (don't know about)/( haven't experienced) is kinda of hypocritical. saying logic proves 1 thing but not another possibility. im not saying that there is anything out there that could destroy the sun or stop the earth from revolving around it, but that there could be. where do you get the FAITH to say that you are right and nothin will destroy the sun tommorrow? from probablity? prob is based on human perception and if this "thing", whatever it is, is unknown to humans how do you then say that is isnt probable? i agree with TenYears on this one, and also HonestRoseWater on the fact that ambiguity is , while mabye not my biggest or only enemy, it sure is a big one.

honestrosewater
Gold Member
loseyourname,
Okay, thanks.
For any x, If Hx, Then Tx.
Hs.
Therefore, Hs.
is a typo, right?

3mpathy,
Yes, ambiguity is exactly why we haven't settled the question yet. Defining faith doesn't settle the question if the definition is ambiguous. We seem to have settled on "belief without justification" as the definition of faith, but still haven't clarified what belief and justification mean.
The talk about assumptions, provisions, tentative belief, etc. has gone towards clarifying what belief means, the talk about observation, verification, logic, etc. towards clarifying what justification means.
As others have pointed out, we're also taking the question to mean more than face value. Presumably, faith is faith regardless of the object. Most of the posts have assumed the question to be about justification.
Did anyone read all of http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/? Our question is exactly what it discusses- belief and justification.

You know hinduism is mostly a mixture of science and religion. It used religion to propogate science. For eg. You r supposed to worship trees and animals. This prevented people from killing them. It says that neem leaves will bring godess to ur house. Neem is very good for health. It has virucidal effect. So many wonders are there in hinduism. Its basically science for the lay man. You cant tell everyone about the chemical composition of various products, the reactions with the body and so on. So instead indians used faith in god to promote this. Dont you think they were brilliant?

chound said:
You know hinduism is mostly a mixture of science and religion. It used religion to propogate science. For eg. You r supposed to worship trees and animals. This prevented people from killing them. Dont you think they were brilliant?

Interesting. Has anyone told the beavers?

russ_watters
Mentor
chound said:
You know hinduism is mostly a mixture of science and religion. It used religion to propogate science. For eg. You r supposed to worship trees and animals. This prevented people from killing them. It says that neem leaves will bring godess to ur house. Neem is very good for health. It has virucidal effect. So many wonders are there in hinduism. Its basically science for the lay man. You cant tell everyone about the chemical composition of various products, the reactions with the body and so on. So instead indians used faith in god to promote this. Dont you think they were brilliant?
No, I think that had little, if anything, to do with science. Its akin to Native Americans worshiping nature - that doesn't mean they understood anything about how it worked.

SOMEWHAT:

If knowledge is only belief because you dont know anything you believe it then like you believe in religion you believe in science, except the two are on different levels, science has an extreme amount of backing to it, thats why i believe yes it follows the same concept as having faith in religion but they are two different things.

I believe that we make the same mistake in this discussion for which we condemn those who believe with blind faith. We are accepting a particular slant on what "faith in religion" means from a source we view with scepticism. Further, we do not account for our own, perhaps unresearched, biases. You may normally expect a leaning towards the material or pragmatic view of the universe from a science forum. Maybe a little of the Heisenberg Principle takes effect in such discussions.
There must be a reason that, until recently, the major civilizations of the world were denoted by their religious affiliation. Western civilization was Christian. The Mideast was Islamic (which, by the way, is NOT older than Christianity). We had Buddhist and Hindu civilizations. And so on.
I think the difficulty stems from two unrecognized concepts: 1) There is a vast difference in a Faith at its inception and for several centuries following, then there is at its maturity. 2) Faiths are generally founded by a Central Figure who directs humanity on two levels: the spiritual and the earthly.
I can find no fundamental difference in the spiritual teachings of the major Faiths of the world. The differences that can be traced to the Founders of these Faiths have to do with earthly direction. For instance, Moses permitted divorce, Christ did not, Muhammed did. And I think what keeps these Faiths divided well after they no longer inspire and uplift is the fact that clergy need to maintain a separateness to maintain power and control.
Clearly the social laws and teachings of any of these Founders are meant to last but for a time, and to be replaced as needed by the succeeding Founders of the next Faiths. Further, I do not see these Founders being in conflict one with another. The Christ never said He was the only way to heaven, altho at His time He was, perhaps, the clearest and most direct route. Moses said of the Christ, "He will be like me." "He will be the same as myself." "He will be the same as I am." One of the first things the Christ did was to honor Moses. Christ spoke of others to come.
So what clearly happens is that a Faith has its seasons: spring (birth), summer (growth), harvest (attains the goals its Founder desired) and winter (continues on after it is doing more harm than good). Winter is caused by clergy needing the Faith to survive, and by some need in humanity--not endorsed by any Founder--to make themselves special, chosen, set apart and above the rest of humanity.
My perspective is that the Founders have all instructed the same type of investigation into truth we now call the scientific method. They were unafraid of serious and intense search into Themselves, Their lives and Their teachings. The concept of not investigating, of having to "believe what you know ain't so" (Mark Twain) comes from the winter time of a religion, when clergy, powerless to create good, unable to inspire the human heart to strive for spiritual worth, unable to explain or perfect the realities of a world that has progressed beyond its knowledge, attempts to stamp out investigation.
Mohammed appeared in the 7th century A.D. Christianity has been in its winter ever since. Similar to Judaism when the Christ appeared in what we now call the Holy Land (home of four major religions). Was Moses bad because His followers, wishing to maintain authority and position, rejected Christ? Do you see anywhere where Moses Himself instructed people to believe INSTEAD of learning? No.
So the concepts of religion that seem to cause revulsion in today's scientist are actually the same concepts that cause revulsion in the Founders of Faiths. One of the main differences, of course, is that it is this blind dogmatism that gets these Founders persecuted, tortured, reviled, exiled, and martyred. They hate what you hate. Without realizing, you, as a proponent of rational thought, and believing based upon conscious knowledge, are propagating one of the major tenets of the Founders of Religion. What you cast behind you is not Religion, but churches, superstitious sects, mindless ritual, worthless rites, power-hungry clergy. It is no more the fault of the Founders of these Faiths that Religion deteriorates into this black hole of the spirit than the atom bomb was the fault of Relativity. Humanity can corrupt anything.
There is still at least one religion that believes you cannot know without investigation of truth. It also believes one of the greatest tools of humanity is science, and that science must be fostered at every opportunity. Perhaps there are more religions such as this.
A word on miracles. Miracles have nothing to do with Religion. They are not, and were never intended to be, a proof of anything. You do not see any Founders of Faiths telling anyone, "See? I can do this, so you must believe me." Universally, the Founders of Faiths made little of their miracles, encouraged their followers to tell no one, and never spoke of them Themselves.
My guess is that most everything that has to do with true Religion has nothing to do with the churches you have grown to distrust and reject.
Just like Religion needs to change with the times, science, too, must update itself as knowledge grows. Failure to do so is the same as a religion turning into a church. This does happen in science. Scientists form their own sort of clergy, and control power, funding, publication and the like. There is no human endeavor we will not chisel down from its ideal form. So Science in the ideal is similar to Religion in the ideal, and science deteriorated is as religion corrupted.
Thus, there is no other answer to the poll than "very much."

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
honestrosewater said:
loseyourname,
Okay, thanks. is a typo, right?

Yeah, that's a typo. It should read "Therefore, Ts." Sorry about that.

i chose not @ all for the following reason, faith in science needs poofs , evidence, logic.
but faith in religion is beleiving without seeing, and this is make us different, this is what "JESUS" wanted in the first place,he could proove that he existed but i won't make any sense we'll all beleive in him and then what? what will happen?

honestrosewater
Gold Member
The thing is that a standard of justification applies to all beliefs, whether their objects are "scientific" or "religious". For example, if direct observation is a justification for belief, and someone has directly observed X, they are justified in believing X, whether X is the risen sun or the risen Son.
And since a standard of justification applies to all beliefs, if we want to show a difference between scientific and religious belief, we must compare their standards of justification. In science, the standards of justification are expounded in the scientific method. Is there a "religious method" that serves the same function in religion as the scientific method serves in science?

BTW, simply defining "religious belief" as "not scientific belief" doesn't show an actual difference between them, it just assumes one by definition and won't lead us anywhere but in circles.

Integral said:
While I agree that there is a certain amount of faith in Science it is of a much different sort of faith then religious faith. For Science I must have some faith that my existence and the existence of the universe has some validity. I must have faith that the universe will continue to work tomorrow as it did yesterday. So far my believing or not believed that a object will fall to the ground with constant acceleration has had no effect. It appears that the fundamental laws of the universe work whether we believed in them or not. So for science I must have faith that repeatable physical observations have meaning.

Religious faith on the other hand is faith in unverifiable and unobservable assumptions. Religion is all about the unobservable, Physics is about the observable. Trouble arise when concepts which traditionally have been considered unobservable and explainable only with religious faith become observable and explainable through science.

Euclid's axioms are observable or not? Can you ever observe a line, circle, point, etc? If a line is not observable (and it isn't), are you saying faith in religion is the same as faith in mathematics? I don't think you're saying that but I thought I'd like to give you a good belly laugh.

So if I interpret you correctly, the two faiths are different. One is a faith in falsifiable claims and the other is a faith in non-falsifiable claims?

Why do you think that religion involves unverifiable and unobservable assumptions? And why do you call them assumptions rather than conclusions? I mean, can you back this statement up that they're assumptions and they're unverifiable? Can you prove they're unverifiable? I hope so otherwise some mentor might come along to delete your post; oh, wait, that's only done when a mentor disagrees with what is written but can't come up with a counterargument. j/k

Now if you assume that there is an unobservable pink elephant living on Alpha Centauri (or Santa Claus), key part of the assumption being that it's unobservable, then you can't use science to prove this PE exists.

It seems to me you are assuming that only what is observable is verifiable. Well, have you ever seen an electron? I bet the answer is no but you have seen things that imply an electron exists, right? Is an electron observable? I question what you mean by observable.

However, to suggest that in religion the claims are about the unobservable is a gross misunderstanding of it IMO. Consider so called religious experiences or as I would prefer to call them spiritual experiences. If one were to witness God, what would one expect it to be like?

I have a friend who claims to have "seen God", ie, observed God. She had a powerful experience, like a NDE, that changed her life. Now was it God she observed or was that just , well, something else? How do you know?

You might as well ask me to prove that when I'm talking to my friend Marc, that I am actually talking to Marc. How can I prove the voice on the phone belongs to Marc or is even human? Likewise, how can I prove I observe God? I can't. Maybe you can.

So I have faith that what I and others have observed is God and I have faith that when I talk to Marc I am talking to Marc. But I do not believe that the claims made by religion are unobservable. At least not all of them.

And since the claims made by religion are observable, at least some of them, your rationale would then equate the two kinds of faith.

honestrosewater
Gold Member
Well, Integral can respond for themselves ( :rofl: is Integral a him or her?) I just have a few quick questions.
How are others supposed to verify your statement, or how can they reproduce your experience for themselves? Presumably, science can give detailed instructions on how to detect an electron- you follow the instructions, and you can detect an electron for yourself. Same goes for math and logic; If you follow the instructions, you can prove 1+1=2 for yourself. Same goes for at least some religions; If you follow the instructions, you can experience some religious object for yourself. So what if someone has followed the instructions, but they don't detect or prove or experience? How do science, logic, and religion handle that situation?

Edit: I'm just getting all the "instructions," to line up. I am SO cool.

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I would like to make a statement which I am not too sure about and might be wrong but if it is somewhat valid, at least it would start some sorta discussion.

In the case of energy conservation, it is a fundamental principle in physics, but are we taking it on faith? As in, there are certain phenomena which obey conservation laws, but what about those which don't (not really energy time uncertainty thing because energy is conserved throughout) and we don't know what they really are?

So, are we taking COE by faith?

Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
So what if someone has followed the instructions, but they don't detect or prove or experience? How do science, logic, and religion handle that situation?

And, before you respond to this, consider how your answer applies to other formally similar situations. For example, experincing winning the lotto.

The observation of said things (eg the experience of winning the lottery and God) is at first glance rare even when the intstructions are followed.

Here's what my friend did before she had that particular religious experience which was a NDE. She said, "'god', if you don't show yourself to me, I'm going to kill myself," and she, being quite depressed, actually may have meant it. Then the religious experience followed.

I have never tried that nor will I nor do I suggest you do so.

But if you do and you don't have a religious experience, then what? I would say that, for some reason I do not know, the religious experience is rare to start with not unlike winning the lottery.

However, enough people have "won the lottery" so that I don't think Integral is correct when he says the claims are unobservable. I will grant that observing God is rare, it seems, but it is also rare to observe an electron for what percent of the population has observed one?

Les Sleeth
Gold Member
honestrosewater said:
How are others supposed to verify your statement, or how can they reproduce your experience for themselves? Presumably, science can give detailed instructions on how to detect an electron- you follow the instructions, and you can detect an electron for yourself. Same goes for math and logic; If you follow the instructions, you can prove 1+1=2 for yourself. Same goes for at least some religions; If you follow the instructions, you can experience some religious object for yourself. So what if someone has followed the instructions, but they don't detect or prove or experience? How do science, logic, and religion handle that situation?

I think there are a couple of issues: the ability to recognize correct instructions and one's predilections.

If one is instructed improperly, then one might dedicatedly practice incorrect instructions forever and get nowhere. I've seen, for example, people practice racquetball for many hours. When they complain they aren't improving yet practicing so much, the better players will say "yes, but you aren't practicing correctly, and so you are actually reinforcing all your bad habits." Often they will stubbornly continue their own way anyway and continue to improve at bad habits.

Something along these lines that seems relevant was a link http://www.lingsoft.fi/~reriksso/competence.html [Broken] Tom posted in another thread about the bliss of incompetence. The opening paragraphs claim:

There are many incompetent people in the world. But a Cornell University study has shown that most incompetent people do not know that they are incompetent.

People who do things badly, according to David A. Dunning, a professor of psychology at Cornell, are usually supremely confident of their abilities -- more confident, in fact, than people who do things well.

One reason that the ignorant also tend to be the blissfully self-assured, the researchers believe, is that the skills required for competence often are the same skills necessary to recognize competence.

Since they don't recognize they are incompetent, they also don't know they are unqualified to teach others. And then, if not many people really know what the correct instructions are, they don't know how to chose an instructor. So just because there are lots of instructors, or because one has an instructor, doesn't mean someone is following the correct instructions.

The other issue, that of one's predilections, is also important. I personally do not "enjoy" math beyond what I need to use in my everyday life. I did well in it in school, but I couldn't wait to get to classes which to me were more concrete (say, history). We tend to enjoy what we naturally excel at, which means we will return to it and apply ourselves. So even if someone receives perfect instructions it doesn't mean they are going to apply themselves in such a way that it produces results. One can't fault the instructions in such a case.

In terms of faith in science and religion, I don't believe there is any difference in the faith principles. I have faith in science because it seems to "work" every time it is properly applied to the proper circumstances. To me, that is the basis of faith (in a practice) . . . if something works.

Religion, that is a tough one because for lots of people it works on a personal level. Some anthropologists, for instance, might say it "works" because it helps people have morals, be calmer, do good works, etc. But that's not all religion claims it is supposed to do for people. How does it "work" for getting people to God (or whatever term one prefers . . . for me it's "something more")? Personally, religion has never worked for me in the slightest that way. But the meditation I practice has. So I don't have faith in religion because it hasn't worked, and I do have faith in a specific type of meditation (when practiced correctly).

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