Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

  1. As Neil deGrasse Tyson says, science is true whether or not one believes in it!

  2. Pertinently, that one may believe in science, does not suddenly remove that belief is a concept that permits that one may typically ignore evidence, as observed in the analysis below:

  • Belief (by definition and research) is a model, that permits both science, and non-science.

  • However, crucially, belief typically facilitates that people especially ignore evidence.

  • A model that generally permits the large ignorance of evidence contrasts science.

  • Instead, we may employ scientific thinking, that largely prioritizes evidence, rather than a model (i.e. belief) that facilitates largely, the ignorance of evidence.

  1. Unfortunately, I had been a theist up until my 21’st birthday. Fortunately, at age 22 (I am now 27), I finally identified as an atheist. After 4 years of being an atheist, one day I thought about belief, and I recognized that not only was theistic faith invalid, but also, the very concept of belief!
  • As a precaution for preventing myself from absorbing nonsense, I had come to invent something called “non beliefism”.
  • Beyond atheism, “non beliefism” enables a state of mind that rejects not merely religious belief, but the very concept of belief.

Science provides evidence that a theory or hypothesis is not proven false…yet…which does not mean that it’s ultimately true. In other words, untried conditions, once they are empirically incorporated into the theory or hypothesis may prove the theory/hypothesis false, so their is no true belief in science beyond basic maths and the logical use of language. (Did I get all that idea right, JSS?) Or is it? Science shows what is verifiably false, not what is verifiable true? :-k Science confuses me. :mrgreen:

How can you be so certain, despite how much you know, that there is no relevant piece of evidence that you are ignoring?

Ignorance is not only a natural state, it is also a state that cannot be escaped. You can make yourself less ignorant by making new observations but you cannot free yourself from ignorance – at least not with absolute certainty.

In my opinion, one could replace each occurrence of the word “science” with the word “religion” in your post, and the points would be just as true.

Wendy and Magnus fall foul to absolutist thinking, whereby if something is not certain then it is as uncertain as all other uncertain things.

Not so.

Science is the most certain path to knowledge that we have yet developed: the fact that it recognises and even feeds on its own uncertainty is only testament to this. Other “beliefs” simply claim certain and even complete truth, but with no backing other than that claim. Science knows that you can’t get away with that, and when you try to back something up with more than mere claims, you cannot have certainty - hence why acknowledged lack of certainty is actually a sign of legitimacy. Science is true in that it is true to reality to the highest extent out of all other forms of knowledge - ignorance isn’t a problem for science alone, but for all knowledge about the world, particularly religion, because despite its claim of infallibility so much of it does not match up to reality.

I agree that unfounded claims and any beliefs based on them ought to be banned from influencing both private and public affairs - though in the interests of free speech they shouldn’t be abolished altogether. For fiction and general conversation, why not indulge in such flights of fancy?

Aren’t the words “should” and “ought” belief driven? Seems like a tough one to untangle from. Just like desiring not to desire is still desire.

I think. Okay?
I think, but that might only be because I believe I think. Is this a call to eradicate thought?

If anything, idealism should make a comeback. A tree is an idea. How to shape it into wood, what to build and how to build it is an idea. Isn’t belief built in to design, design of tools that make our scientific discoveries?

Our theory may fit every single one of our observations for any length of time but that does not mean there is no possibility that at some point in the future we’ll encounter or recall observations that do not fit our theory.

The distinction between beliefs and facts is relative. What is a fact to one is a belief to another and vice versa – all depending on what evidence one works with.

If you want, you can abolish everything that you think is more ignorant than you are, provided you can do it. That’s not a strategy I endorse, however. Also, educating those you consider ignorant is often more trouble than it’s worth.

A believes she can safely touch bare copper wire.
B believes he cannot safely touch bare copper wire.
Copper wire has 300 VAC potential, fused at 200 amps; B’s belief is true.

The distinction between beliefs and facts is relative to truth.

{A] dies, goes to heaven, feels safer than on earth.

:evilfun: :laughing:

Why not get rid of the word “know” altogether, eh? All knowledge is just a belief and equally valid and fallible as any other, right?

You can say “I believe” before anything, but what follows can be either more or less justified. Anything can be doubted, but some things are more doubtful than others. That’s how you untangle the whole issue you’re struggling with here.

The fact that you think is pretty doubtless. It’s safe to say you know you think, or at least that there is thinking going on when you are thinking about thinking and how much you can know that you are thinking. The source of your thinking is somewhat irrelevant & what “reality” is underlying it doesn’t matter - thinking is happening when you’re thinking about such things as thinking. I’ve nothing against Idealism.

Sure, the OP ought to make this relative distinction, and I am agreeing with his point upon application to insufficiently justifable belief (as I think he really means) - especially when plenty of sufficiently justifiable belief is on hand as an alternative (as is the case with science vs religion and pseudoscience etc.).

You’re doing it again. Just because science has to be constantly revised with new findings, that doesn’t completely invalidate previous understandings. You’re probably thinking like a mathematician where you can either have an absolutely right answer or your answer is absolutely wrong.

Science is constructed in such a way that a fact is a fact for everyone to the same extent - never completely, but always more than previous scientific theory and unscientific belief. Unscientific opinion can be about what is fact to one and not another, but science is objective - as irrespective of mere opinion as possible.

Conclusions are relative to a finite set of observations. Every individual has their own set of observations that inform their conclusions. If such a set is empty then every conclusion is good as every other. You can believe that you can safely touch bare copper wire or you can believe that you cannot safely touch bare copper wire. It does not matter. If this set is not empty then it might not be the case that every conclusion is good as every other. It could be the case but not necessarily. Most importantly, there is no point at which you can say that further observations cannot possibly force you to change your conclusions. This is natural considering that conclusions pertain to what is unknown i.e. to observations that we did not make. They are by their very nature inescapably uncertain.

Truth is simply a word people slap onto what they think is truth but is not necessarily so.

Yes. Those observations are deemed by both their holders and external observers alike to be fundamentally relative to true or false. That truth trumps falsehood is apparent; no one purposefully seeks false beliefs, and when we find we have them we (in theory at least) discard them/adjust them toward the true.

What is an “empty” set of observations? Not following you.

I suspect agents “A” and “B” in previous posts would disagree with this.

I’m guessing this goes some distance in demonstrating why relativism fails.

But this proves nothing. That our knowing is imperfect is not sufficient to declare all knowing is relative. And in all cases, as noted earlier, each modification of knowledge is (or should be) adjusted toward the true. That beliefs and knowledge contain relative features is uncontroversial. That these are, in minds sufficiently unhindered and in reasonable working order, being continually modified toward truth and not falsehood is also apparent. This is why I can’t understand the idea put forth in the op. We’re meaning-chomping machines, beliefs are hypothetically clusters of held meanings that relentlessly reference true and false. To say belief ought to be abolished seems to be saying that meaning ought to be abolished, what appears to me an impossibility.

Just found this. Win-win situation?

Which definition of ‘belief’ are you using? the link [not copied above] that you provided has three definitions, one (the middle one) is the closest to the one generally used in philosophy and it is not the same as the other two.

“…we can see that there is a successful model that enables humans to prioritize evidence, without looking at all possible evidence. (Science is that model, Science is something that permits this everyday)
◦So, non-beliefism is simply a way to underline what is already possible, scientific thinking”

From How to DIscard Belief in Three Simple Steps

It appears that premise of the op is based on the same circular reasoning atheists impose on all their conversations with theists: “Welcome into my debating arena,” the atheist says. “The rules are simple: only things that occupy points in spacetime are real. Now then, come tell me all about your God.”

The text in links provided is worded to seem like something new is being presented, but it seems like the same stuff as always. Maybe I’m just missing something.

Science does not deal in proof [ other than disproof ] but in evidence and so it can never show what is verifiably true
And never use the word belief with regard to science or mathematics as it is superfluous with regard to both of them

Those are minor quibbles though as you have expressed it very well so keep at it and you will learn more as you proceed

If you have a sequence of bits such as (111) then you can logically conclude that it is 100% certain that the next bit in the sequence will be (1). You can say that logically there is no other alternative. However, that does not mean the next bit in the sequence will be (1). Logical necessity is not empirical necessity.

Relativism means that judgments are relative to a finite set of observations.

Your point about the problem of induction is not lost but you said it in a strange way.

Given that you know 111 are bits, you already know that there is a 50% chance of there being a 1 or a 0 next in the sequence, all other knowledge about the sequence aside and given that it is known 100% that the sequence will continue - which I guess you don’t if one is to be consistent with the problem of induction being that just because something has happened in the same way each time so far, doesn’t mean it will again or that it will continue at all.

As such I wouldn’t say there is any logical necessity that 1 will 100% be the next bit in the sequence of 111.
But yes, empirically, I’d argue, nothing is necessary. “Necessary” is for analytic, not synthetic statements. For empirical matters, it’s perhaps contingent or sufficient to induce that 1 will come next - subject to further observation.

Nit-picking, my bad.
But I think it’s relevant to the topic:

Relating this to what surreptitious said, belief in science and scientific concepts as “true” is “Scientism”, which is not the same as science. Though I don’t see anything wrong with the claim that one can believe very strongly in the utility of science - considering the degree to which its theories and laws are relatively very “true to reality”, and more so all the time.
Science is both the abstraction of evidence towards a hypothesis, as well as the attempts to prove hypotheses wrong - it’s not just negation. If attempts to disprove are consistently, sufficiently and exhaustively unsuccessful, a theory may be developed and concepts that seem ubiquitous become “law”. However, none of these are claims of necessary truth, or absolute truth.

Necessary truth and absolute truth are only applicable to synthetic statements where premises are pre-accepted/given. And then what you conclude from them can be valid or invalid/absolutely true or false (also given the law of excluded middle etc.) And our best measures of whether or not they are sound is down to science, where we can look at sequences of e.g. bits in context and test them in all manner of ways to conclude ways in which it it probable for them continue as 1s, or otherwise. Concluding 1 with 100% certainty due to scientific investigation thus far would be Scientism.

Concluding 1 with 100% certainty due to “a belief” that is unfounded beyond such things as “it was written down in a sacred book” and “everyone else believes it too” is dangerous. It can pay off, sure, and at best it can have socially positive effects such as cooperation and risk-taking, but the opposite also happens as a result of such beliefs, so enforcement of the 100% truth of faith in such a belief - that, I think, is what is being said ought to be abolished.

That’s because the possibility space has been narrowed. The principle of indifference allows us to ignore possibilities other than (1) and (0). I chose binary variables instead of infinite-valued variables for the sake of simplicity. In fact, in order to make an inference you must restrict the possibility space, so infinite-valued variables are out of question. None of this, however, means the universe is a bounded possibility space made out of finite-valued variables such as bits. It might be the case but not necessarily.

That’s irrelevant. The question is “what would be the next bit in the sequence IF there was such a thing as the next bit”. That does not mean we know the sequence will continue.

The problem of induction is that logical necessity isn’t empirical necessity. If I think that it is 100% certain the sequence will continue and if I also think that’s merely a logical necessity then I am perfectly consistent with the problem of induction.