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Author Topic:   Choosing to believe
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5930 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 29 of 90 (397385)
04-25-2007 7:04 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by jar
04-05-2007 10:29 AM


Re: Too general
Actually, old friend, I think phat may be right - although not in the way he obviously intended. He has captured the essence of why I consider atheism to be the rational "choice". You mentioned confidence levels several times. Those are at the heart of my stance. Given that we have evidence that humans have attempted to connect the real world with the spiritual for circa 40,000 years (call it the Upper Paleolithic - and if we assume Cro Magnon cave art actually represents something along those lines), I would think it reasonable that somewhere between then and now someone would have come up with something unambiguous. The fact that unambiguous evidence hasn't materialized in all that time, with literally billions of humans assiduously seeking it, indicates to me that functionally it doesn't exist. Obviously, I could be wrong. However, as phat puts it:
The chance is so small, however, that I don't consider it.
It is on that which I base my "choice" not to believe.
Edited by Quetzal, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by jar, posted 04-05-2007 10:29 AM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by jar, posted 04-25-2007 7:27 PM Quetzal has replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5930 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 51 of 90 (397795)
04-27-2007 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by jar
04-25-2007 7:27 PM


Re: Too general
jar, in message 15, writes:
But all of that is a reflection of the world of logic and science. There is yet another world though, one driven by emotion, and there rationality often plays a small part.
This is the home of religion, in large measure I think. Or of the Red Queen's "six impossible things before breakfast". It is an entirely human and understandable prediliction: we strive to limit ambiguity. We often seek out explanations for questions that provide a comfortable cushion against an uncaring universe. The more deeply, personally troubling the question (or the more intractable) - "Is this lifetime all I've got? Why am I here? - the more likely we will to seek for an emotionally satisfying answer. Regardless of whether there is any actual evidence to support that answer.
I think the common creationist whinge about science being constantly changing its collective mind may stem from this. Science simply doesn't provide certainty. Some people have less tolerance for ambiguity than others, evidently. What I find mildly amusing in all this is that if your Cult of Ignorance crowd would simply stop ranting long enough to take a hard look at what science actually does, they'd find that science is endeavoring to accomplish the exact task they take it to, erm, task for: it seeks, through comprehensive, cautious, step-by-step methodology, to reduce ambiguity - to answer those intractable questions. Whether we are attempting to discern the foundational underlying principles that govern ecological succession or using the most sophisticated instruments yet invented to look deep into space and back into time to see the reflection of the Beginning, science as a whole is an attempt to reduce uncertainty (and identify our "place" in it all) by discovering the answer to "life, the universe, and everything". Science is an enterprise that in the final analysis seeks to identify the Ultimate Truth (or at least figure out if such exists). Isn't that what the religious folks want?
ps: you get my email?
No, unfortunately. Could you resend? I'll try and give you an alternate email in chat tonight if I have a moment.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by jar, posted 04-25-2007 7:27 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by jar, posted 04-27-2007 6:38 PM Quetzal has not replied

  
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