Posted: Nov 19, 2019 9:39 am
by Spearthrower
Scott Mayers wrote:
The term, faith, when I use it is to be sure that one understands where they are just 'gambling' on what they support.


I don't believe that's true. There's no 'gamble'. There's evidence. The preponderance of evidence supports a particular model but doesn't support other models. The point is that there may yet be other undiscovered models which even better fit the data, but we can't appeal to them in the hypothetical.

Again, all scientific knowledge - even something fundamental like that the Earth orbits the Sun - remains permanently expressed within terms of a confidence bar. We are highly confident that the Earth orbits the Sun - the confidence is derived from the observations which corroborate that, and the lack of observations which don't conform. The same goes for cosmic expansion ala The Big Bang.

Neither of these are a 'gamble' - I think that's an equivocation.


Scott Mayers wrote: But many actually make it taboo to even speak for the Steady State and against the Big Bang with any skepticism, in a very religious like way.


Ok, so let's talk about Creationism. Creationists often make the same claim - that it's taboo to talk about evolution being wrong, and that proponents of evolution treat it in a religious way.

Would you say this is accurate?

For me, it's a scam. In reality, they have a belief they want to be lent undue credence that abjectly fails to live up to the standards set by evolutionary theory, and because they simply cannot compete on even ground, they seek to make diversionary attacks rather than actually providing evidence that cannot be explained by evolution, or offer evidence for their own claims.

I've seen the same with many topics: the electric universe is a good example from within physics. The same issues abound. Unable to offer any good reason to accept the proposition of an electric universe, the proponents instead seek to disparage the accepted model including claiming that the orthodoxy represses their views as heretical. The usage of religious language is meant to convey, as was yours, that the rejection is religious rather than scientific; faith-based rather than evidence-based.

So I think that the onus here should firmly on your shoulders to provide material support for an alternative model to the consensus rather than just have a litany of accusations about how your preferred theory is allegedly unfairly treated.


Scott Mayers wrote: When you experience censorship by merely questioning the logic by some people on this issue, and have tactics used against you to distort your reputation, I have to try to determine why.


When did this happen?

This smacks of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

In the example above, the hard fact is that religious beliefs are simply not scientific, so consequently they cannot be taught in the science classroom. Teachers who refuse to teach the syllabus and subvert the curriculum to teach their personal religious beliefs have no right to be paid to do so - they are failing at their jobs.

If a purportedly scientific model of the universe cannot compete because it lacks merit or evidence, and consequently does not get published as it simply cannot stand up to scrutiny, then it is not 'censorship' - it is failing to meet the standards required of all publications.


Scott Mayers wrote:The first part is at least trying to determine when or where someone is simply having a 'faith' in the general science rather than a personal 'knowledge' of it. If supporting a theory by mere voting suffices, then we are reduced to many of the problems that religious apologists are correct in holding against the skeptic, such as I am myself.


Can we move away from this abstract and start looking at material evidence. I may be ignorant here, but I am not seeing anything raised except your personal statements. Who has been censored, where are these attacks on reputation occurring, what is the evidence for this alternative model, what papers have failed to be published etc.?

If you pop over to the website called uncommondescent - you'll see the exact same types of criticism being made about their preferred "theory" (it's not a scientific theory) of Intelligent Design and how it's being unfairly treated because they see it as being superior to the modern evolutionary synthesis. But their claims wholly lack merit.

I've already stated my standard: consensus. I see no reason to lend belief to something that is not accepted by the consensus of professional scientists in an expert field, whereas I see accepting that consensus as eminently justified given the provisions I've already made about how scientific method works.


Scott Mayers wrote:I am not religious because I actually KNOW something (gnostically) but many are atheist merely for its popularity in some crowd, or some trend, and are at best, agnostically atheist.


I'm going to have to ask you to support claim like this Scott because this is the same format in which you've couched assertions in the other thread.

"Many are atheist because X" - on what are you basing that claim?

I would say there's only one statement you can make there that is necessarily true as a default definitional statement - that atheists are atheist because they don't believe in gods - and that any addenda you'd like to add to that would need to have material support to validate the claim.

I am not religious not because I know something, but because I don't believe in the thing which is a belief (theism). But I am also not religious about my disbelief: show me evidence to the contrary, and I will change my mind just like that. The same goes for everything. Perhaps I am being unrealistic here and in reality I would fail to live up to this standard, but I believe it's true, and it is how I came to hold most of the positions I would state in the affirmative.


Scott Mayers wrote: The same goes with science. Some support some theories within it on faith, which to me, is counter to the need to be more skeptical as a good aptitude in science.


As I already rejected this, I will repeat it: this is a false equivalence.

Religious belief is not evidence-based. Scientific 'belief' is evidence-based. People taking as true the consensus position of scientists in the field is not remotely equivalent to the manner of faith in which religious beliefs are held. I think you have this wholly mistaken.


Scott Mayers wrote: The physics extremes (cosmos and atomic) are often trusted simply for the virtue of all that comes in between.


I think you're going to need to unpack that as I can't perceive any meaning within that sentence at all.


Scott Mayers wrote: But all cults/religions begin similarly by establishing good rationale up front but then pull the rug out from its adherents once they've got them hooked enough to stop asking questions and then default to faith in its authorities with feverish protectionist against those who dare to raise questions of them thereafter.


See above for why this is a false equivalence.

If I ask you to believe in Christianity, all I can do is offer you arguments and tell you to pray.

If I ask you to believe in evolution, I can show you the reams of evidence.

If you were disinterested in looking at the evidence, or if it was too difficult for you to do so, you would still be justified to accept evolution if you understood how scientific method works.

That is not equivalent to a religious belief.