Friday, October 31, 2014

Peter Boghossian - Faith - An Epistemology (how people come to knowledge)

Peter Boghossian said (13m-14.30m video above) "The faithful are not well cognitively, they need our help. They've caught a virus of an unreliable way to know the world. An epistemological sickness. Believing things from faith causes people to misconstrue what is good for them, and what is good for others. If someone is ill, you are not upset with them. Therefore it is not about being annoyed, or humiliating the religious any more than if they had a cold. But as with a physical illness, you try and help them recover, with compassion and understanding. This is not about changing beliefs but about leading them gently to think about HOW they form those beliefs."

London Atheist Activist Group Q&A with Peter Boghossian


What Happened before the Big Bang? - Inflation with Alan Guth

From 1 minute to 2.30s minutes Alan Guth (June 2014) says: what existed before the big bang? Answer - Who knows?! We really have no idea what came before the big bang. That space and time came into existence at the big bang (ie appearance out of nothing) is a possibility but its something you should NOT bet on, because we don't have any way of knowing! In the picture of Eternal Inflation, our big bang was just one event, in a larger picture - it was not really the beginning of anything in the absolute sense.

At 2.30m Guth says Inflation is (possibly) the bang in the big bang.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Atheist Debates - Matt Dillahunty - Appeals to Faith

1m: 'You just have to have Faith'. What does it mean to have faith? Hebrews 11.1 'Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.'
2m: Faith: 'Person of faith' appears to have abandoned reason in favour of gullibility or incredulity.
3m: If unclear, ask for a definition of a phrase or word. Is the premise valid?
6m: Faith defined: Synonymous with belief. Where faith is used as a justification for belief is the sticky area. In Hebrews 11.1 'Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' Redefined as Faith is having confidence in the things you hope for  or trusting that what you hope for are true.
7.30m: 'Faith is the evidence of things not seen': Here faith is being used as the proof, faith is the evidence. In this 2 part verse there are 2 definitions of faith as if they were the same thing. As if the confidence that you have in a proposition, is the evidence for the proposition. This makes faith - blind faith - a bald assertion that this is what I believe.
10.30m: Confidence level isn't relevant to whether one is rationally justified or whether the claim is true.
11m: If believe something based on faith and faith is based on evidence then you are saying 'I believe something based on evidence.' The faith part becomes redundant - so just leave it out!
14.30: we use critical thinking, skepticism and the scientific method - these are the clearly the best tools to find out what is true.
15.30m: The Faith Model: Faith can be used to 'justify' anything! There is nothing that can't be justified by appealing to faith!! Thus faith is demonstrably unreliable! It leads you to believe in mutually contradictory positions eg belief in Islam AND Christianity or Scientology AND mormonism. Talk about Epistemology and what makes it reasonable to believe something.
17m: 'Special pleading' is where you use faith for your religion but for everything else you use reason and evidence. This is hypocrisy - could be use by anything by anyone
17.30m: The Equivocation Fallacy: Faith based belief in 'reliable brakes' is NOT the same as 'belief in god' Confidence levels are very different. We can't know anything - we cannot have absolute confidence. They admit their belief is not based on good evidence. An admission of defeat.
22m: Mark Twain: 'Faith is believing what you know ain't so'.
David Hume: 'The wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.'
Matt Dillahunty: 'Faith is the excuse people give when they believe something and don't have a good reason'.

source: Richard H @ Atheism UK.