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Fact vs Faith: You canít have both. Choose one.

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Old 08-15-2016, 11:06 AM
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Default Fact vs Faith: You canít have both. Choose one.


Fact vs Faith: You canít have both. Choose one.

WB is a forum for writers. Writers think. This is a post about thinking and how it can enhance your writing. Letís jump right in with some definitions.

Facts are verifiable. That is, they are real. Itís what makes up reality. And you donít need to be a scientist to know and acknowledge a fact. We all do it every day. When you drop something you learn a fact about gravity. Whatever you drop does not float upwards. You donít need to know the theorem of gravity, because you saw the fact of it. As we age we all know we will die. Everything on earth will die. You donít need to see a dead person to know this. (Also seeing a dead anything, teaches you this fact about life.)

Faith has no facts about whatever belief you prefer. Faith is the practice of make believe. Itís a story told to ease the sting of our factual knowledge of our reality and counters fears, overcomes emotional challenges, and convinces the self that nothing is as it seems. Usually a faith is based on an imaginary story which tries to show that facts are not true. And if the story is repeated enough and presented well it replaces the fact under attack in the listenerís mind. Itís a fact the belief actually exists in the mind of the believer. But the content of the belief remains unprovable. It still exist as belief without facts.

The phrase, Ďtruth of faithí always makes me laugh. Thatís like saying reality, ie, provable facts, is in faith where no facts exist. I guess that shows how strong faith has become to millions of people walking around the planet with non-facts.

The people who toil in the name of fact and those who toil in name of faith have something in common, mainly in how they pay for their efforts.

Fact seekers rely on grants, awards, stipends and are underwritten by governments and educational institutions to pay for their fact searching and seldom become rich from their toils. Itís my opinion that there has never been one fact seeker, scientist millionaire, or billionaire who was rewarded with untold riches.

(Iím well aware of the whiz kids who made fortune by being allowed to patent and copyright procedures. Those are not facts about reality, they are facts of man-made laws.)

Those who seek to expand the number of believers (ie, customers) are underwritten by tithing, death bed bequests, and government support via a non-tax status. Many Churches have become Trillionaires. Many preachers have become Billionaires. Selling belief is a global business selling promises which cannot be substantiated.

This is a pretty good product to sell when you realize there is no way substantiate the actuality of the product because the dead never speak to the living.

Hereís a few things I discovered along the way.

The longer a person lives with a belief the more unreasonable they become. The longer a person chases facts the less empathy they have for a Ďfactlessí POV.

Wars are caused for many reasons: territorial, economic, group insanity, but the worse wars are caused by religions. (Like the one the world is now waging.)

Those who live lives based around faith are moving backwards to simpler times. Those who live lives based around facts are moving forward to unknown times.

Believers are like frightened children hiding from their own futures.Factours (lol, a new word?) are like courageous explorers moving into the unknown.

Knowing is always better than believing.

Believers are imprisoned by their belief and the odds of helping them break out are dismal. Factours have a difficult time accepting that some people remain children and can not be educated.

When depressed I assume the human species will commit suicide. When not depressed I assume the Factours will lead us to survival.

So, who are you? To which tribe do you belong?

wrc

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Old 08-15-2016, 11:24 AM
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very good,

I recon I am a factour, as you have defined above. I did look the word up (as any true factor would, you spelled it wrong by the way) to see if it really existed and it did not, but I accept your meaning.

I accept nothing on faith, if I can't tear it down, break it, fix it ,and it still all make since them it is suspect at best.

i'm going to watch this thread and if you get anything from the guy from the city then it could get interesting, although this is a long post and may be ignored for that reason.

see you around

max
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:32 AM
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Well, in a way, to believe our facts we must have faith in our measurements and our perspective.

What if there is no gravity, and everything is expanding at such a rate that our acceleration is perceived to be gravity? How about the fact that all matter is energy, and thus nothing more than sparks?

Facts require a common belief that things are what they seem, in other words, faith.

It's when faith continues in the face of newly discovered facts that trouble develops.

Layers of an onion...
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:50 PM
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ok prodigalson --- I was going to slap you upside the head with a dead fish but

It's when faith continues in the face of newly discovered facts that trouble develops.

i'll add that facts can be tested and proven, it's the scientific process. having faith doesn't fall into the same category - it's a red herring statement.

max



just wanted to add that this is also an attempt at circular logic - which is also invalid.


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Old 08-15-2016, 06:15 PM
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Faith has many facts. And a fact is that faith is very transformative.

Faith welds people together to a depth that the nonfaithful have difficulty in comprehending.
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Mohican View Post
Faith welds people together to a depth that the nonfaithful have difficulty in comprehending.

That's a myth. It doesn't. The rest of the civilized world is waiting for the 'faithful' to stop murdering each other so we can get on with it. Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons, et al...

If you take away the myths, there is nothing left but the honest, compassionate, truth.
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:35 PM
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We'll agree to disagree.

The civilized world needs a strong dose of Deus Lo Vult and Deo Vindice.

You take Religion totally out of the picture and you end up with the Soviet Union from the 20s and 30s.
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mohican View Post
Faith has many facts. And a fact is that faith is very transformative.

Faith welds people together to a depth that the nonfaithful have difficulty in comprehending.
Definitely welds people together but that can be a bad thing if this is directed towards another group
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:45 PM
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Default Fact vs Faith: You canít have both. Choose one.

I think that's also a myth. Most modern, intelligent, unencumbered people are no longer religious. I mean: really religious. They may pay lip service for one reason or another, but they don't 'really' believe like people once did, or had to.

I have no problem with a man who loves Jesus Christ, and tries to live his life in accordance with JC's precepts. Or any other spiritual leaders'.

The problem only arises when someone's 'belief' attempts a run at the law of the land.

Worship and pray all ye layke, Boot keep yer hands offa me pie.

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Old 08-15-2016, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
I think that's also a myth. Most modern, intelligent, unencumbered people are no longer religious. I mean: really religious. They may pay lip service for one reason or another, but they don't 'really' believe like people once did, or had to.

I have no problem with a man who loves Jesus Christ, and tries to live his life in accordance with JC's precepts. Or any other spiritual leaders'.

The problem only arises when someone's 'belief' attempts a run at the law of the land.

Worship and pray all ye layke, Boot keep yer hands offa me pie.
What you're describing is the distinction between spirituality and dogma. It is a fact that established religions are co-opted into codes of conduct, subverting their origins. But the spiritual in humans is pervasive and eternal if the individual can free his own mind.

Faith is in fact essential in everyday life. Every step we take is an act of faith.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:05 AM
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I don't think, at a philosophical level, fact and faith are perfectly divisible. Let's take gravity, since the OP mentioned it: what do we really know about it? We don't know what it is, where it comes from, whether it has always been or always will be...

At a practical level it makes sense to act as if gravity will still work tomorrow, since it has been observed to work for every moment of our lives since we were born and there's no reason to presume it won't continue to do so, but we are, "in fact", placing faith in an uncertainty.

One cannot logically infer that former conditions absolutely will persist unless one understands what caused those conditions and knows that the cause will persist, which requires one to know the cause of the cause, and know that that cause will persist, and so on. One must, in order to establish any given "fact" absolutely, understand the entire causal chain, and with gravity, we don't. It could, for all we "know", suddenly stop tomorrow.

The problem with absolute knowledge is: it does not exist. Though we have the word "fact", and for practical purposes it is reasonable to use it, there is no such thing. Only faith.

If you want a good book on the subject I would recommend "The Precarious Life of a Rational Animal" (philosophy section). I read it maybe fifteen years ago now, but it had a lasting impression.

The oft' misquoted/misunderstood phrase of Descartes is appropriate for this topic: "Cogito ergo sum - I think, therefore I am". People often mistake his meaning as a mystical ability for thought to create us, and there are some interesting avenues of thought along that road, but in the original context he meant that the only true thing we can infer from reason alone is that "I myself exist. I know this because I think, and if I can think, I must exist".

All other things we "know" are able to be doubted to some degree or other. Even the physicality of material objects may be doubted - think "The Matrix". If there are possible doubts that we cannot dispel concerning a given "fact", then the fact is not beyond dispute, and by definition is not a fact.

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Old 08-16-2016, 08:48 AM
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Believers are imprisoned by their belief and the odds of helping them break out are dismal.
wrc, some of what you're saying seems reasonable enough, but to me, the OP breaks down when you stop generalizing and look at individuals.

I know plenty of believers who show no signs of becoming increasingly unreasonable, or who express any desire or need to move backwards or show any lack of courage etc.

I'm sure there are plenty of believers who have more than adequate critical thinking skills as they might apply to many things other than religious belief and who are generally content with their lives and relationships etc.

Can you possibly see that you might have a hard time convincing them that they're imprisoned and that they need to break out of anything?

What's your argument? "You're frightened and miserable, but you just don't know it?"

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Old 08-16-2016, 10:11 AM
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let's try this - name one point where faith and fact are the same thing,

when I looked up the meaning of faith it gave means that for the most part had to do with religion. facts have to do with provable things.

and I reject that it is faith that tells you to take the next step because the earth is solid - the earth is solid.

you know you can tie your bootlace until the day you can't - both sides of this are true. faith, as defined in the dictionary, did not come into the mix.
I believe that when I die I will become worm food and nothing more.

how many of you believe (in your religion; you have to have a body, like the mummies) that if you are cremated then you will not be resurrected. there was a time in my memory where people believed that, you had to have a body for 'god' to resurrect you, the morticians made a fortune.

the sun will rise tomorrow morning - and if it doesn't - then I probably won't either. it won't matter.


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Old 08-16-2016, 10:28 AM
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Is the Earth solid? An atom is comprised of mainly space. The nucleus comprises practically all the mass, and yet your foot never touches it. Instead your foot's resistance owes its origin to the electron field orbiting the nucleus, and this field has practically no mass. Can you really claim the thing with which your foot makes contact, the electron field, is solid when it is no more than energy buzzing around a nucleus?

As I said before, for all PRACTICAL purposes it is necessary to proceed as if some things are facts, but in truth there is some element of uncertainty lurking within all things we presume are facts, and this we routinely bridge with faith.

In all this I am not concerning myself with what the words are customarily applied to (with faith being often used in conjunction with religion for instance) but with the bald-faced meaning of the words.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
I think that's also a myth. Most modern, intelligent, unencumbered people are no longer religious. I mean: really religious.
Modern people, on average aren't as intelligent as they were several Centuries ago when they were more deeply religious.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Mohican View Post
Modern people, on average aren't as intelligent as they were several Centuries ago when they were more deeply religious.
Speak for yourself.
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:13 PM
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I never said that I was average, or of diminished capacities.
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:17 PM
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Faith and Fact

I can take the religious aspect out of this

Someone you trusts makes a map or gives you a map to go someplace you or few people have been to. Some might say this place doesn't exist. You follow the map, perhaps logging your own notes, and find that it does get you to your intended destination. Then that map becomes fact.
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by flyingtart View Post
What you're describing is the distinction between spirituality and dogma. It is a fact that established religions are co-opted into codes of conduct, subverting their origins. But the spiritual in humans is pervasive and eternal if the individual can free his own mind.



Faith is in fact essential in everyday life. Every step we take is an act of faith.


Actually, I was saying the opposite sort of. More people are casually religious than truly spiritual. I do however believe that the 'spiritual' people are also just fooling themselves. Meditation/prayer (mostly self hypnosis, and not real meditation at all), and the idea that it is possible for any of us to 'free' our minds like say a Christ or a Buddha or a Krishnamurti (allegedly), is in my opinion folly.

IMO, these 'enlightened' people were flukes of a flukey natural and random and accidental universe. Did they say good stuff? Yes! Can any of us live as they told us to? Not yet. Will we ever be able to? Who knows? One can hope I guess, but that hoping and believing don't make it so. It's not a thing until a bunch of us can do it. Mostly the pursuit takes time away from the everyday good we could be doing, if we weren't busy monkeying around with trying to free or open our minds.

And this leads to Mohicans point that people were more intelligent a few centuries ago when they were more religious. I do agree that life in general was much harder, the stakes much higher with regard to everyday activities, and the necessity to cooperate with our 'group' much more important. With death around the corner come winter, if you didn't store enough food, fuel, medicine, etc. I can see his point (if that's what he meant). People were more in touch with their environments. They had to be. And therefore I can see how it might be considered more intelligent on some level. But for me, religion was just part of the glue that helped groups stay together, not the reason for any perceived intelligence.
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:41 PM
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Spirituality is not something you do, it's what you are. To think of Jesus or Buddha et al as different or random is the true folly, a mindset born of idolatry. Religion makes us lazy. Sign up, go to mass, say your prayers, worship someone who died centuries ago, do some 'everyday good' and Bob's your uncle. No more effort required.
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Old 08-16-2016, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by flyingtart View Post
Spirituality is not something you do, it's what you are. To think of Jesus or Buddha et al as different or random is the true folly, a mindset born of idolatry. Religion makes us lazy. Sign up, go to mass, say your prayers, worship someone who died centuries ago, do some 'everyday good' and Bob's your uncle. No more effort required.
Why generalize to such an extent? Of course, there are people for whom religion is not something rote and who do far more than what's on your little check list.

Otherwise, it does require SOME effort, as opposed to declaring or believing you are spiritual or not believing in anything, neither of which require much effort at all other than a little navel gazing. The idea that religion is automatically lazy by comparison seems pretty silly to me. Based on what?
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:55 PM
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OK. Back to the OP.

Originally Posted by wrc View Post
Fact vs Faith: You can’t have both. Choose one.
There's no dichotomy here. There are countless intellectual, professional and even scientific pursuits and endeavors that are based on facts as we know them, that are dependent on critical thinking — that aren't directly or necessarily connected to religious belief.

Let's take architecture. That requires a knowledge of certain facts that have to do with structure and materials etc. — and critical thinking as it applies to functionality and a viable outcome.

But in your world, a skilled architect couldn't possibly be a person of faith. Because he would have to somehow choose between fact and faith, and in your mind there can't be any overlap or gray areas. Does that really make sense to you?

Because you could say the same thing about doctors, mechanics, teachers, writers, artists, chefs etc. The list goes on. Never mind all the people who rely on emotional intelligence and an understanding of human nature to do their jobs and contribute to society.

Sorry, but the belief that faith and facts existing within the human mind are mutually exclusive as something positive or even neutral shows a distinct LACK of critical thinking. There is absolutely no rational basis for it.

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Old 08-16-2016, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
The idea that religion is automatically lazy by comparison seems pretty silly to me. Based on what?
Based on the fact that humanity is still as violent and morally depraved after centuries of worshipping some dead bloke as it was before he showed up.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:28 PM
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Hi Myers.

You're right there are many people who practice critical thinking and religion at the same time. If they're honest they usually refer to themselves as agnostics. But many of these people are in the closet.

There are scientists who are believers. There are religious leaders who are atheists.

Agnostics are interesting to me. I feel they fully understand the issues here, unlike the believer socialized into a story of faith as a child. Whenever I run into an agnostic I always want to know how they justify a factual knowledge with a belief in a human-made story of God.

It sounds like your such a person. So how do you justify holding two opposing and conflicting ideas of so-called reality?

It always reminds me of a believer traveling their path of life, meeting someone who teaches them critical thinking, then travels on to come upon a fork in the road. One side leads to facts and the other to faith. The agnostic can't decide. They spend the rest of their days stuck to the spot. Their forward movement has been arrested.

Jeez. Now I'm pissing off the agnostics. Oh well... I guess thinking is littered with mines. wrc
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:24 PM
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she wasn't sure it was possible to observe somebody's movement in thinking absolutely
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by flyingtart View Post
Based on the fact that humanity is still as violent and morally depraved after centuries of worshipping some dead bloke as it was before he showed up.
That doesn't have anything to do with being lazy. But obviously, effort alone doesn't guarantee results.
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by wrc View Post
You're right there are many people who practice critical thinking and religion at the same time.
But you said "Fact vs faith: You can’t have both. Choose one." So faced with a contradiction, you had to shoehorn an incorrect version of agnosticism into your argument.

The thing is, agnostics don't believe in "a human-made story of God." Rather than explain it, I suggest you look it up and apply some of that critical thinking of yours.

Now I don't have a clever fork in the road analogy, so lets look at something that actually happened.

On my recommendation, my client hired a good friend of mine to deal with a very complicated supply chain issue. And it wasn't only about timing and logistics. It had to do with understanding and changing the behaviors of the people involved. An analysis based on data and his learning and previous knowledge of the industry (facts) was required to successfully resolve the problem. Pretty much the definition of critical thinking.

He also happens to be a Christian and a rather devout one. I'll have to ask him, but I seriously doubt he asked "what would Jesus do" at any point in the process.

By your logic, "imprisoned by his beliefs," he would either be incapable of solving the problem or it means he's really an agnostic but doesn't know it. Of course, that's ridiculous. The only dichotomy here is in your mind.

And I'm not an agnostic. I'm an atheist. But I'm capable of seeing that it's perfectly possible to believe in god AND apply critical thinking to things that aren't connected to religious belief.

I'm wondering why it's so important for you to believe people of faith aren't capable of accepting or acknowledging fact or why you feel the need to divide people in such a simplistic way. I have my theories as they relate to a specific brand of atheism that is less about critical thinking and more about elevating oneself simply by virtue of non-belief, which isn't particularly difficult.

I think you can possibly afford to be arrogant when your thinking results in something significant, like if you're Stephen Hawking, or if you've achieved some level influence, like Christopher Hitchens. To me, simply stating that you are "thinking" and somehow moving forward doesn't really cut it.

Others may have a different opinion, but if your goal here was to demonstrate your powers of critical thinking, I think it's seriously backfiring on you.

Last edited by Myers; 08-17-2016 at 05:26 AM..
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
That doesn't have anything to do with being lazy. But obviously, effort alone doesn't guarantee results.
No shit, Sherlock.
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Old 08-17-2016, 06:37 AM
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Oh, I get it! You're using Sherlock Holmes, the fictional detective famous for his analytical thinking in an ironic way. Because you really mean the opposite! Very clever! I don't think I've seen that.

The thing is, based on your previous comments regarding religion and laziness, I really don't think you can claim "no shit" status.

Besides, I already said "obviously." So even if you were tracking, your comment would be totally redundant.

Otherwise, you seem like a pretty pleasant chap, so have a nice day!

Last edited by Myers; 08-17-2016 at 10:40 AM..
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mohican View Post
Faith and Fact

I can take the religious aspect out of this

Someone you trusts makes a map or gives you a map to go someplace you or few people have been to. Some might say this place doesn't exist. You follow the map, perhaps logging your own notes, and find that it does get you to your intended destination. Then that map becomes fact.
So a fact is only a fact if someone has personally verified it? I don't think that's the true nature of a fact. Facts are objective, not subjective. A fact is true whether you or I have checked it or not. The map was either a fact because it was true, or not a fact because it was false, before you verified it. What you're talking about is more a question of whether there was faith in the map, or a lack of faith.

How many of us have seen the Earth from space to verify that it is round? According to the rationale conveyed by your example you only have faith in the Earth's curvature, and it is not a fact.
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