Friday, August 03, 2007


Nothing much to say. I think this blog has run its course, my life has taken so many turns and twists I'm not sure this style of a blog is even appropriate for me. Perhaps I will take up blogging some day in the future but probably not in this same rambling unguided format.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Metaphysics in blogs

So apparently to be a good blogger one needs to read other blogs. Alas I have been so busy that I haven't been able to read hardly anything for fun (except for my daily comics). But today I ventured over to two of my favorite blogs and found religious discussions that I found quite interesting.

The first is Scott Aaronson's blog about a conversation with a fundamentalist Christian and deducing the rules of religious inference. The topic is quite hot for I see regularly scientists and secularists being more on the offensive about the flaws of religion in books, blogs, magazines, and almost every form of print. In addition to these publications we also see that Scott recieved almost 200 comments on the post, which just goes to show how hot a topic it is.

The next blog is a friend over at Orthonormal Basis blogging about questioning acts of faith. While I realize that some may see such a questioning as an unforgivable offense to the Almighty, in my Socratic sytle I would say question on for better to be a reasoned man. Perhaps most of all these two posts have woken me up a bit to things I use to think about quite a bit before I came to this cold dead campus of eternal work. (Not cold and dead because it is secular but rather because I work too much.)

As one of Aaronson's commenter's points out, a part of the missing analysis among these blogs is Wittgenstein's idea of "aspect blindness". In my humble view, it seems that both the fundamentalist and the over-analyzed scientist are both hiding important aspects of their beliefs. Aaronson's post demonstrates how often religious people will hold contradictions solely because they are religious beliefs, this sort of analysis presumes that scientific beliefs which are held solely because they are scientific are more worthy. This shoots to the more important religion/science debate rather than merely attacking the ability of some individuals modus ponens abilities.

Let me expound a bit more on a simple example. Which is a "higher" belief, the belief that without God we would not exist or the belief that without oxygen we would die.

Of course, the second one is verifiable and the first not. Perhaps its easy to stop and say that since this is so and it appears to be true (modulo any science fiction fantasies) that is a "higher" belief. But this in itself seems to be a matter of faith, that true justified beliefs are "higher" and even qualify as "knowledge" (once again modulo the Gettier problem).

But the first belief, or some equivalent religious belief, still might strike one as a "higher" belief simple because of its subject. Such a belief will not pass for any test of "knowledge" and thus also becomes a matter of faith to hold that it is a higher belief. To some this belief does not make a difference in the grand scheme of things, it appears that very little in one's life depends on beliefs of this type. Once again a matter of faith.

Before one starts to even evaluate these beliefs an act of faith must be made. Unfortunately much of the debate about religion and science are riddled with ad hominem and other fallacies, but this essential question of how such an act of faith begins so much of our world views that it will start wars and indecencies among the most rational people.

Of course this path of logic tends to take me into much longer philosophical diatribes, but I guess I should just end my post with a question. How can we evaluate religious beliefs with such scientific reasoning that requires we take an opposite stand of faith?

Friday, April 27, 2007

DNA of Religious Faith

DNA of Religious Faith

This article has me laughing out loud. I suppose it is about like an artist reading a criticizing piece by a philosopher about her art. The philosopher might have some interesting philosophy but at the end of the day had no idea why the artist created.

The idea that there is no benefit to religion because "water hasn't been turned into wine in the last 2000 years" seems to completely miss the point. While this scientist is focusing on what religion can do for the individual, he completely overlooked the society he lives in.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Call me Master Andy

of course with a title like that it makes me wonder if I want the PhD

March unto Death

Never fear, our hero is off.
To defend today the masterpiece of his work.
A riveting essay that will surely put the most tentative audience to sleep;
nonetheless, this rite of passage must be achieved
Or else the hero fades in the dark