Reasoning, Logic and Faith - Page 4 - VeggieBoards
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#91 Old 02-08-2007, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

Not at you in particular, just to anyone.



Isn't faith belief without proof? (at least in that sense, there are a variety of definitions)

My faith in math or chem is that even if I don't have direct experience with a particular situation, I know my results will be akin to what is expected. Maybe that's not really faith tho.
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#92 Old 02-08-2007, 09:57 PM
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From American Heritage Dictionary:

Quote:

faith

n.

1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.

3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.

4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.

5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.

6. A set of principles or beliefs.



From Wikipedia:

Quote:

Faith is a belief, trust, or confidence, not based merely on logic, reason, or empirical data, but based fundamentally on volition often associated with a transpersonal relationship with God, a higher power, a person, elements of nature, and/or a perception of the human race as a whole. Faith can be placed in a person, inanimate object, state of affairs, proposition or body of propositions such as a religious creed.



I guess I see a pretty big difference between math, logic, and reasoning as compared to faith. One does not have to have any faith in math, logic, or reasoning.



Faith does not rely on math, logic, or reasoning (by definition).

I believe everything.
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#93 Old 02-08-2007, 10:03 PM
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yea, those defintions are pretty varied. I'd say #1 fits me ok under certain condistion but the rest...eh, no way. so, faith is out i guess.
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#94 Old 02-08-2007, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

From American Heritage Dictionary:





From Wikipedia:





I guess I see a pretty big difference between math, logic, and reasoning as compared to faith. One does not have to have any faith in math, logic, or reasoning.



Faith does not rely on math, logic, or reasoning (by definition).







Uh, OK. What does that have to do with the course of discussion? I think this all got started with the respect for BASES for belief systems.





FWIW - most people bury the American Heritage Dictionary when they graduate from the 6th grade, and get turned off from Wiki when they realize that any moron can post their statements of "truth" there as they, personally, see fit.



If you would bother to read the rest of this thread (or anything else on the subject) you would understand the basic principles of postulates in math and science and subsequently understand that some fundamental faith is involved in math and science.



If you don't think my opinion is credible, then you could start with the works of Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein. That'd be a good start
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#95 Old 02-08-2007, 10:43 PM
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This thread diverged from the 'heaven' thread, and it was in fact me, who offered the label, which was offered to WonderRandy, who separated the comments.



This started because faith, reasoning, logic, and math was brought into that thread. So I am at least familiar with this thread.



And I guess I am sorry for consulting some basic reference sources (the AHD and Wiki) to understand some terms people are loosely throwing around here. Why not discuss the notions or your idea of what they mean?



I am familiar with Russell and Einstein. But what do their works have to do with this discussion? Discussions don't have to depend on previous discussions? If they did we might not get anywhere now.



---ETA---

Again I ask my question then, "What faith do you have to have in math?"



You do not have to have faith in anything relating to math. I can simply define terms and go about my way. It requires no faith.

I believe everything.
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#96 Old 02-08-2007, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by gaya View Post

Doesn't induction imply probable? at least?

Yes. Inductive arguments corroborate but do not prove their conclusion.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#97 Old 02-08-2007, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by flipper View Post


FWIW - most people bury the American Heritage Dictionary when they graduate from the 6th grade, and get turned off from Wiki when they realize that any moron can post their statements of "truth" there as they, personally, see fit.

In that case these people seem sadly ignorant of the fact that the ability of other users to read what is posted on Wikipedia and correct it creates serious restrictions on what is featured in Wiki articles.

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#98 Old 02-09-2007, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by flipper View Post

Self-evident? Can anything be any more loaded? What does "self" mean to you?





I don't think this split thread was intended as a forum for justifying any person's contempt for religious faith. I wasn't ever trying to justify religion, just to set religion's line of reason in a perspective that could be compared to the bases of induction. You can google words like "logic" and "induction" if it's not clear.



Sorry for the confusion. I am not using self evident like the writers of the constitution did. They used it in a more poetic sense. I am talking about parts of math that would impossible to prove, but are almost certainly true.



For example. Addition. Does addition work? Well we have no way to prove it does. I can show you that 2 + 2 = 4, but that only proved one case. We can not prove addition works over all numbers, or all real numbers, or all real positive numbers. Therefore we are left assuming that addition works. A lot of math would be useless if we didn't take this first initial assumption and made it a postulate. This is what I mean by self evident. Anything that is less self evident than that is not considered a postulate by mathematic standards.



If for some strange reason we discovered addition does not work mathematicians would change the postulate or the theory.
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#99 Old 02-09-2007, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by flipper View Post

FWIW - most people bury the American Heritage Dictionary when they graduate from the 6th grade, and get turned off from Wiki when they realize that any moron can post their statements of "truth" there as they, personally, see fit.



These random put-downs of standard references are juvenile.



I have a PhD in physics and work at a major national laboratory. AHD is our institutional reference for the correct use of words in American English.



Are you aware that a study was conducted last year by a prestigious medical journal, finding Wikipedia's accuracy to be comparable to that of Encyclopedia Brittanica?



You'll be on safer ground sticking to the actual arguments.
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#100 Old 02-09-2007, 08:46 AM
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well my professor was saying that among the inductive methods are ideas and concepts that can be proven only by using themselves. Science and deductive involved testing things, and things that can only be tasted/touched/felt/etc. So deductive things deal with the physical, and inductive deal with thoughts.



This is simply wrong; in fact, it's almost completely backwards.



The term for knowledge based on experience (often, experience of physical things through the senses is implied) is "empirical".



Deduction is never empirical; it has to do with mapping out the inevitable consequences of assumptions and definitions.
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#101 Old 02-09-2007, 08:56 AM
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The role of axioms in mathematics is different that the role of beliefs in religious faith.



Mathematicians do not assert that their axioms are "true" in any absolute sense, or that they necessarily have anything valuable to say about the world of concrete experience.



Mathematics is more like a game. "If I assume X, then what else must necessarily follow from that?" It doesn't really matter, as far as mathematics itself is concerned, whether X is "true" in any deep sense or not.



The relationship between science and mathematics is that some of the systems of axioms and deductions in mathematics turn out to be helpful in interpreting the experimental data of the sciences.



My understanding of faith (in the sense being discussed here) is that one believes in the actual truth of the faith-statement (it's not just a "try-this-out" game), and that its truth does not depend on its "usefulness" in interpreting experience.
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#102 Old 02-09-2007, 09:15 AM
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Seusomon, I so appreciate what you bring to the table. You have a way of clearing the air!



It's interesting then, that we try to interpret with the same brush. Why would a school want to place faith under the same guise?
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#103 Old 02-09-2007, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Seusomon View Post

These random put-downs of standard references are juvenile.



I have a PhD in physics and work at a major national laboratory. AHD is our institutional reference for the correct use of words in American English.



Are you aware that a study was conducted last year by a prestigious medical journal, finding Wikipedia's accuracy to be comparable to that of Encyclopedia Brittanica?



You'll be on safer ground sticking to the actual arguments.



Agreed - I was tired, and I am sorry for that.



I did actually stick to the argument though. The point I and some others have been trying to make is that the fundamental postulates of math are based on matters that involve faith. The common reaction that we're seeing to such a claim is a very defensive one - as if anyone is suggesting that math is now "reduced" to the level of religion.



on Wiki - no I haven't read that article, but then I don't use Encyclopedia Britannica for anything much beyond finding the capitols and major exports of countries, and the like. If I had used either as a source in grad school (or undergraduate, for that matter), I would have been laughed out of my department. I suspect you would have too (though wiki wasn't around when we were in school, eh?).



Yeah, like SS says, Wiki can be corrected by subsequent users, but often isn't, and then you always have the time in-between.
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#104 Old 02-09-2007, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by gaya View Post

It's interesting then, that we try to interpret with the same brush. Why would a school want to place faith under the same guise?



For a variety of reasons. Miscommunication, misunderstanding, deliberate misleading, or many others. It would be really hard to tell, unless we were in the class or actually talked to the professor. Based on what is said, it sounds misleading.



--





Quote:
Originally Posted by flipper View Post

Agreed - I was tired, and I am sorry for that.



I did actually stick to the argument though. The point I and some others have been trying to make is that the fundamental postulates of math are based on matters that involve faith. The common reaction that we're seeing to such a claim is a very defensive one - as if anyone is suggesting that math is now "reduced" to the level of religion.



on Wiki - no I haven't read that article, but then I don't use Encyclopedia Britannica for anything much beyond finding the capitols and major exports of countries, and the like. If I had used either as a source in grad school (or undergraduate, for that matter), I would have been laughed out of my department. I suspect you would have too (though wiki wasn't around when we were in school, eh?).



Yeah, like SS says, Wiki can be corrected by subsequent users, but often isn't, and then you always have the time in-between.



I was asking what are those fundamental postulates of math which are based on faith. I was not trying to be defensive, and I am not saying that anyone is 'reducing' math to the level of religion. I just think they are different.



I was trying to say, I guess ineptly, what Seusomon said in post #101.

Quote:

Mathematics is more like a game. "If I assume X, then what else must necessarily follow from that?" It doesn't really matter, as far as mathematics itself is concerned, whether X is "true" in any deep sense or not.



This again requires no faith. For even the most basic postulates of math can just be assumed to be true. Then you see where it takes you.



I believe that many branches of mathematics arrise because someone labels a 'postulate' as false. Then, through deduction, they develop something new in mathematics (or not as is probably more likely).



---



If I had used Wikipedia or Britannica or a dictionary for my grad school in Physics I would have been laughed out as well. However, while sitting at the computer, it is a quick reference which can sometimes say something more succinctly than I can say. I have never said it wasn't open to debate. You could express the way you're using the words, or we could try to come to a common definition of what we are talking about. However, people use words rather loosely (like faith). There are a variety of meanings of the word which people seem to be equivocating. Or perhaps I fail to understand (or some people reading the thread). So the only reason why I reference those are to clarify or to see what your (or anyone) was actually meaning by using various words. References are resources not definitives.

I believe everything.
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#105 Old 02-09-2007, 10:25 AM
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>>Mathematics is more like a game. "If I assume X, then what else must necessarily follow from that?" It doesn't really matter, as far as mathematics itself is concerned, whether X is "true" in any deep sense or not.



The relationship between science and mathematics is that some of the systems of axioms and deductions in mathematics turn out to be helpful in interpreting the experimental data of the sciences.>>



I am rather partial to this interpretation of mathematics, and logical systems as well. However, I don't think this interpretation is ubiquitous. Some would argue that math is based on self-evident postulates. These are more akin to belief based on faith.



>>Ah, existentialism. Christian existentialism, no less. No doubt, lacking expertise in modern empirical methods, and thus the very fruits of objectivity, Kierkegaard was reduced to convoluted descriptions of his personal neuroses. It is modern objectivity that gives us truth AS SUCH, shrouded in no such paradox.>>



Oh, get off your epistemological high horse. Science is useful, but it cannot live up to these sorts of inflated promises. Hell, that's akin to part of what's wrong with many strains of religion.



ebola
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#106 Old 02-09-2007, 10:53 AM
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I am rather partial to this interpretation of mathematics, and logical systems as well. However, I don't think this interpretation is ubiquitous. Some would argue that math is based on self-evident postulates. These are more akin to belief based on faith.



May be. My impression is that the development of non-Euclidean geometry pretty much took the steam out of the idea that mathematics was plugged into absolute truth. I think we'd be hard pressed to find a professional mathematician these days who would say that the axioms of mathematics are necessary truths, rather than simply starting points on which to hang a logical system.
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#107 Old 02-09-2007, 11:00 AM
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The point I and some others have been trying to make is that the fundamental postulates of math are based on matters that involve faith.



I appreciate the point, although I would put it a different way. I would say that there is arbitrariness in all our conceptual systems, whether they be mathematical, scientific, religious, political, philosophical, or esthetic. We are drawn to various conceptual systems for a variety of reasons (psychological, sociological, pragmatic, etc.)



I think "faith" is somewhat loaded term with which to describe the arbitrariness in mathematical systems.
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#108 Old 02-09-2007, 11:11 AM
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>>I think we'd be hard pressed to find a professional mathematician these days who would say that the axioms of mathematics are necessary truths, rather than simply starting points on which to hang a logical system.>>



I had in mind mathematicians, philosophers, and laypeople alike.



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#109 Old 02-09-2007, 11:12 AM
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I think we'd be hard pressed to find a professional mathematician these days who would say that the axioms of mathematics are necessary truths, rather than simply starting points on which to hang a logical system.

It will be easy to find philosophers thinking that logical laws - another topic of the thread - are necessary truths though.

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#110 Old 02-09-2007, 11:15 AM
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>>What trite psuedo-intellectual garbage! It is SCIENCE that has allowed us to establish certain truth for the first time in human history. Such certainty has been built upon the pillars of an immense body of experimental evidence, evidence that is all the more accumulating, improving our theories. Sure, our current theories may not be entirely correct, but they are approaching absolute truth. How dare you suggest that we discard the bedrock of our only valid efforts in producing REAL knowledge?>>



Even though this sort of positivist view is working for scientists creating bodies of natural theory and applying this theory to technology, it is ontologically untenable. In an adequate description of the system of scientific observation, we have to include the observer herself. Thus, all description and inference becomes intersubjective description and inference. Theory becomes situated in the act of observation, rather than artificially cut-off, the illusion of truth with a capital T.



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