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- Atheism & Agnosticism
A belief founded in proof is not more valid than a belief founded with no proof.
Around my house we clear the land with a swing scythe.
Truth to Einstein was/is necessarily different than mine, after all he was smarter than me.
I know a man with severe depression. His perspective is different than mine. What he believes is true to him. I have come to see that it is true to me also, if I look at it his way. We are working on getting him to see things more my way. It is not a matter of right and wrong, black and white, or true or false. It is more a matter of productivity and happiness. When we come face to face with such a situation we see firsthand, that belief is very personal and therefore so is truth.
Thank Goodness for Webster
Belief by Meriam Webster: Definition of BELIEF 1: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing 2: something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group3: conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence
Quite clearly here there are different notions of belief. I believe they are all accurate. I do not believe that one definition beats the others. And likewise proof and truth have varying definitions all fair and helpful in understanding the basic concepts of the language of evidence.
Truth by Meriam Webster: Definition of TRUTH 1 a archaic : fidelity, constancy b : sincerity in action, character, and utterance 2 a (1) : the state of being the case : fact (2) : the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality (3) often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality b : a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true <truths of thermodynamics> c : the body of true statements and propositions 3 a : the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality b chiefly British : true 2 c : fidelity to an original or to a standard 4 capitalized Christian Science : god— in truth : in accordance with fact : actually
One big raft and one mighty river
WC Fields said: who you gonna believe me or your eyes?
Truth is not just additions on a paper or results of experiments or what one person says it is. No matter how hard an empiricist tries they cannot expand their meaning of truth to discount or deny that which they do not understand. I am not speaking of the God of Gaps. I am speaking of a body of knowledge known by some and not by others. Just think of a MD so well trained, no doubt she could talk for five minutes and nothing she says would make sense. I just do not have her extensive body of knowledge. Likewise a person without belief just cannot understand belief without hard proof, or more correctly proof that they can understand. Again it is not good or bad it just is.
Proof by Meriam Webster: Definition of PROOF 1 a : the cogency of evidence that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact b : the process or an instance of establishing the validity of a statement especially by derivation from other statements in accordance with principles of reasoning 2 obsolete : experience 3: something that induces certainty or establishes validity 4 archaic : the quality or state of having been tested or tried; especially : unyielding hardness 5: evidence operating to determine the finding or judgment of a tribunal
Not all people are trained or naturally gifted in the area of logic and what logically stems from what. In fact it is interesting that people do not call on Logicians to help them solve problems as regularly as Lawyers and Doctors. Part of that is because we all hold our own logic as personal and somehow our right to have. Another factor is that much of the time, most people would rather rely on their gut and intuition to determine a course of action. What is sufficient proof for an individual varies widely. A person giving a statement may be believed because of his body language and for that same body language not believed by another. That should not be a frustration but a celebration of each person’s makeup.
I do not spend a lot of time studying Aramaic. I could not fairly determine the accuracy of the Aramaic bible in English. It is beyond my knowledge to believe in this bible. But I can read a quote there from and believe that the passage tells a universal truth about belief.
John 20 Aramaic Bible in Plain English 29 Yeshua said to him, “Now that you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen me and have believed.”
Just ask why.
Now there are some things that I know that you do not.
And certainly many things that you know that I do not. It is a fact that I had two cups of coffee this morning. You simply do not have stronger evidence to refute that. It is not in your body of knowledge. Some say that testimony is not fact. That is very strange indeed and leads to "believing" that our perceptions are simply not fact.
My son is very cute, perhaps turning handsome but just undeniably cute. No one with a straight face can refute that. But where is the proof -- well look at the picture below. Now one will argue that cute is not a fact, just an opinion. After you look at the picture say that!
So the point being that some beliefs are fact. And some are not. I believe in God is a fact. I could not believe in God if God did not exist. Does that mean God exists for you? No. This knowledge of mine may well be outside your body of knowledge. Just like what you ate for breakfast is outside of my knowledge. It does not mean you did not eat breakfast.
Cute? or not?
Do you know everything
Can you accept that A knows facts that B cannot perceive.
One last little anecdote
When I was young I started learning tracking. I had very good very different teachers. One was a 60 year old Native American Navajo and one was a biology teacher with a doctorate in botany who had grown up tracking. Going with either one I would see things that I would not have seen with the other. And smell things I would not have noticed with the other. Both were very good and both knew facts the other would not know.
But for sure they could both track a Mule Deer for twenty miles. They would both end up at the same location but based on many very different facts. Cool huh!
The same is true for our lives. And the same is true for our beliefs.