Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Traditions of Knowledge

It seems to take a certain willingness to engage in double-think, and a desire to put one's faith before evidence. "Faith" is just an elaborate form of wishing. If it helps people handle their spiritual lives I don't have a problem with it, but when it's used as a starting point for knowledge, or as a filter on what knowledge is true, right, or appropriate, I don't respect it at all.

You can't avoid the problem. All traditions of human knowledge start with pre-rational concepts, including science.

And before you go off on the "science is just another form of faith" argument: first, scientists who simply accept what they are told by the scientific community aren't scientists. Second, all science is founded on the principle of verification and prediction. If you can't verify somebody else's results, or predict the same results from past behavior, your theory is inadequate. Creationism supplies neither of those things, so what good is it?

Creationism is rapidly becoming the straw man of the atheists.

Let's consider a more relevant and important point. If you accept the idea that human beings have certain inalienable rights, then where did you get that concept? You can't get it from science, which is indifferent to the values behind such ideals. You can only get it from human traditions of knowledge that are not completely rational and which include an important element of faith.

No one doubts the importance of such things as engineering or the efficacy of science in systematizing them.

Neither does anyone doubt the importance of such things as ethics and morality, and science is of no use where they are concerned.