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Belief Vs. Knowledge


thebluefood

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Belief is at the very foundation of my upbringing. Growing up in a conservative, Protestant household,there was no doubt God existed in my mind and in the minds of the people who raised me. 

 

Though I stuck with the faith, I feel that as I've stepped into adulthood, that idea of "knowing" whether or not God existed seemed ridiculous to me. Sure, I believe God exists, but I can't say that I know it. Likewise, I've had conversations with people in my life who say they know, without a shadow of a doubt that "God" or any other deity, does not and cannot exist. While I do respect their decision not to believe in God, I cannot agree with the idea that they know He/She/It does not exist in any capacity.

 

This has opened up a lot of questions in other topics: history, science and even my own interpersonal relationships. How much do we really know about anything and how much are we taking on faith. We seem to be making historical and scientific discovers daily that make us question our perceptions. 

 

I've been wrestling with the question in my mind for awhile now, and I wanted to get your opinions on the matter: where does belief end and knowledge begin. 

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Probably the best quote on Faith I've heard; ______________________________________________________________________

"Those who have faith need no explanation, for those who

have no faith, no explanation is possible."

I wish I knew who said it, but I find it all too true.

I don't think I've heard that quote before. 

 

I think it maybe true to an extent, but I also believe faith without works is dead, and faith without reason is irrational. 

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I think it maybe true to an extent, but I also believe faith without works is dead, and faith without reason is irrational.

I agree with the first part of your statement, (faith without works is dead), but the second part has me a bit perplexed. After all, isn't that faith is all about, believing beyond reason?

I've also heard; "There are no atheists in foxholes." lol

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There is no knowledge... everything ultimately rests on a supposition.

 

Are all suppositions the same?

 

Are you willing to board a trans-atlantic flight and fly in a metal tube at 600 mph at 38000 feet where the temperature outside is -75 degrees simply on a "supposition"?

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I know what I had for breakfast this morning. I believe my wife will never cheat on it.

 

The first is observable and inarguable fact. The second, well I'd like to think it's certain and inarguable, but the truth is that it relies on a leap of faith from me.

 

Similarly, as a scientist, I observe evidence all around me and make conclusions. Some of them aren't necessarily inarguable, but I take them as fact based on the evidence I have before me. Sometimes, this poses a challenge to my faith. However, because my opinion is that belief necessitates faith, I do not believe that it should conflict with what I know. 

 

I believe that God created the world. I do NOT believe the biblical account of that, because the evidence around me indicates otherwise. However, I don't think that this takes away from the importance of any of it. I know that Jesus did a lot of wonderful things, and I don't need to believe they were miracles in order to think he was a good man to model my life after. To me, his lessons aren't any less valuable if he didn't literally walk on water.

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Are all suppositions the same?

Are you willing to board a trans-atlantic flight and fly in a metal tube at 600 mph at 38000 feet where the temperature outside is -75 degrees simply on a "supposition"?

Of course not, just felt like being philosophical.

I know what I had for breakfast this morning. I believe my wife will never cheat on it.

The first is observable and inarguable fact. The second, well I'd like to think it's certain and inarguable, but the truth is that it relies on a leap of faith from me.

Similarly, as a scientist, I observe evidence all around me and make conclusions. Some of them aren't necessarily inarguable, but I take them as fact based on the evidence I have before me. Sometimes, this poses a challenge to my faith. However, because my opinion is that belief necessitates faith, I do not believe that it should conflict with what I know.

I believe that God created the world. I do NOT believe the biblical account of that, because the evidence around me indicates otherwise. However, I don't think that this takes away from the importance of any of it. I know that Jesus did a lot of wonderful things, and I don't need to believe they were miracles in order to think he was a good man to model my life after. To me, his lessons aren't any less valuable if he didn't literally walk on water.

Just to be difficult... You know what you will have for breakfast to a degree, but not absolutely. You may know you're having eggs and bacon, but you can hardly know every bacteria or molecule that is in that breakfast.

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I don't like coming up with conclusions without sufficient evidence. I say the answer to our existence is unknown - the answer is N/A. It seems that people want to latch on to a conclusion, just in our nature I guess, but I go the route of "who knows?"

I don't know if the big bang happened, and more importantly, why it happened. If it happened to happen, what purpose did it serve? Is our universe the end of the "smallest to largest" scale? Or is it dwarfed by something we can't see? Is it part of an even bigger realm? Atoms in a cell, cells in a body, body in a world, world in a solar system, solar system in a galaxy, galaxy in a universe, universe in a? Joe Rogan once said that perhaps the universe is just a cell in the balls of another guy, in a larger universe, which is also the cell of another guy's balls, and it just keeps going on and on and on, FOREVER.

The point is, we don't have the answer. I don't have the slightest clue about who "created" us because I have no damn evidence. I take scientific theory for what it is as well. To me, we have no frickin' idea.

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Of course not, just felt like being philosophical.

Just to be difficult... You know what you will have for breakfast to a degree, but not absolutely. You may know you're having eggs and bacon, but you can hardly know every bacteria or molecule that is in that breakfast.

 

Sure but I could hire a lab to test my food and tell me what I am eating before I eat it.  :)

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Of course not, just felt like being philosophical.

Just to be difficult... You know what you will have for breakfast to a degree, but not absolutely. You may know you're having eggs and bacon, but you can hardly know every bacteria or molecule that is in that breakfast.

 

 

Sure but I could hire a lab to test my food and tell me what I am eating before I eat it.  :)

Not only is this accurate, but you also go back to my point about science.

 

As a scientist, I know a lot of things, but they are all based off of the latest evidence. My wife makes dinner and I eat a burger. I know it is a burger because it tastes like a burger. But if I later find an empty box of turkey burgers in the recycling bin, I might reassess what I know based on knew evidence. 

 

Knowledge doesn't necessarily indicate accuracy. I can know a great deal of things only to later find out I was wrong. We all knew pluto was the 9th planet. And now we all know that pluto is no longer a planet. New evidence and a change in perception changed out knowledge. Belief can never be proven right or wrong. 

 

To go back to my original example. I believe my wife will never cheat on me. Now, I could know if she did. I could catch her with another man, or collect enough evidence to convince myself that I know she did it (and once again, emerging evidence could always change my mind). But I can never know she hasn't cheated on me. Short of video monitoring her every second, I could never prove she hasn't. That takes faith, and that means I can only ever believe it. But that doesn't make our relationship any different. I don't need to know she if faithful, I just need to believe it. 

 

I don't need to know God exists. I just need to believe it. And as a man who believes God is beyond human comprehension, I do not believe human language and concepts can properly explain him. Therefore, my scientific inquiry on topics such as the age of the earth, the origin of the species, and so on and so forth, is uncolored by my belief.

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Clearly, we define "know" differently. In your examples, I'd say you believed you were eating a burger based on evidence or what you were told.

Accepting False knowledge indicates belief. The people who knew the Earth was flat didn't actually know that. They believed it.

Now, reassessing our beliefs, hypothesizes, and theories is adaptive/smart. Claiming to know something when you don't that's the opposite of science.

Based on the best evidence we believe this to be true versus based on the best evidence we know this to be true- which statement belongs to scientific reasoning.

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