It’s interesting, in a morbid sort of way, to watch beliefs giving way to evidence on this Covid-19 ridden planet.
Since the outbreak, we’ve heard lots of beliefs, here’s just a small sample:
“There is no new virus disease,” the Chinese government.
“Coronavirus is just like the flu, it’s a little bit different, but we have it so well under control,” President Trump.
“Face masks are unnecessary,” the UK government.
“God will save us from the virus,” Pastor Hank Kunneman.
Meanwhile, sadly, more than eleven million cases of the disease have been confirmed worldwide, with more than five hundred thousand deaths.
So much for those beliefs…
Yet, a friend of mine still thinks that a trip to his church is worthwhile, that his god gave the scientists, doctors and nurses the brains to combat the illness and that his god, not the hospital staff, deserves the glory for anyone who survives!
He never asks questions like, “Why has my god given us this disease?” “Why have churchgoers been infected with greater frequency than those who socially distanced?” “Why hasn’t my god accelerated the production of a vaccine?” “Why hasn’t my god even saved those who were the subject of special prayers directed to him?”
How do you tell a belief from a claim?
You can’t. They are the same thing. They have no necessary connection to the truth and, therefore, they are valueless.
What is valuable then?
Evidence. Evidence, like those numbers above, is unchallengeable: victims can be counted.
Evidence is the inspector of beliefs.
Evidence is so powerful, believing in it is redundant.
Evidence is impervious to belief; it trumps beliefs.
Evidence is beyond belief, in the sense that it doesn’t matter whether you believe in it or not.
So how do you tell a belief from evidence then? See the table above.