Disambiguating Faith: Can Rationality Overcome It?

Evangelos asks another excellent question in reply to my latest installment of the ongoing “Disambiguating Faith” series: I hope you can do an entry on the practicality of rationality. As you know, human beings are by default not rational beings; as a psychology professor once told me, “our brains have evolved for survival, not calculus”. [Read More...]

“Faith Killing”

You know, I’m tired hearing of these blood-boiling cases of children dying because of their parents influencing them to substitute prayer for medicine.  Here’s the latest such murder to make the news, via Mojoey)  I’m also tired of the term “faith healing” to describe these events.  I suggest we call it what it really is: faith [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Faith In The Sub-, Pre-, Or Un-conscious

In previous posts (which you will not need to have read to understand this one, but which I recommend you catch up on if you have the time now or later), Adam has tried to argue that irrational ways of thinking may be indispensable means of getting at truth.  In response, I have tried to [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Faith Is Neither Brainstorming, Hypothesizing, Nor Simply Reasoning Counter-Intuitively

In this third reply to Adam (you can read the first two here and here, but need not in order to follow this post), I will examine his following suggestions: When I asked if it is rational to cease rationality, what I meant was the following. Since it is only rational to explore all possible paths [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Are True Gut Feelings And Epiphanies Beliefs Justified By Faith?

In reply to my latest installment of the “Disambiguating Faith” series in which I replied to Adam’s query about whether an episode of House M.D. provided an example in which a choice to think irrationally (to eliminate symptoms when diagnosing an illness) might prove the more rational course. I argued that if eliminating symptoms helped [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Faith As Guessing

On Facebook (where you can also be my friend if you’d like), Adam replies to the latest installment of the “Disambiguating Faith” series with this question: Hate to be corny, but in an episode of House M.D., every rational road runs out and a case is seemingly unsolvable. Finally, by eliminating a symptom (which is [Read More...]

On The Meaning Of Meaning

In reply to some remarks I made about the recognition of genuine meaning without reference to religion, George replied with this challenge: Dan, Now you have got me thinking…. I’m not entirely clear about your point of meaning in everyday events. My logic tells me that a completely statistically probable event happens and I impart [Read More...]

Rational Beliefs, Rational Actions, And When It Is Rational To Act On What You Don’t Think Is True

We hold beliefs with various degrees of justification and the demands of rationality dictate to us that we proportion our degree of belief to the degree of our justification.  If I am looking at evidence for two sides of a position and I find that 60% of the evidence seems to favor side A, whereas [Read More...]

How PZ Myers Differs From Rush Limbaugh

Prometheus Unbound takes issue with PZ Myers: I certainly understand why people like PZ Myers’s style. It is easy and uncomplex, and impatient with nuance. It’s what makes Fox News so popular. And it may well draw a crowd of young people. Myers is ever on the ready to stir the shit. And he is [Read More...]


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