We have some interesting comments that came in on past postings. In reaction to my statement on Notes on Realization of God's Reality, someone named "Atheist" says:
Metarock: Belief Is, therefore, a realization about the nature of reality, not a technology.
Atheist: Belief Is, therefore, a realization about the nature of fantasy, not a technology. Belief has nothing to do with reality or truth. In fact belief and truth are mutually exclusive.
The problem with this is that it privileges doubt to the extent of re-writing the point of bleief. Belief becomes a dirty word tot he professional doubter. The fact of belief is that one does not believe something one thinks is false. Belief is obviously about truth. Of cousre this is not a guarantee that the particulars of one's beliefs are true, yet no one sets out to believe falsehood. Dawkamenatlists. like the fundies that they are, are literalistic and rigid slave thinkers who dread having to think for themselves, thus any hint that a held opinion is not a "fact" and is not guaranteed by the atheist fortress of facts (ala atheist ideology) but is merely "belief," must be held as falsehood and ridiculed to the text the very word "belief" is taken ass a dirty word and held to mean "rationalization." Belief is what one hold to be true, it' s synonymous with "conviction," that's a term atheists are not familiar with.
I am thinking that this person is reacting to the idea that I stated, that proving things is a technology. Somehow this person sees this as an insult he/she has to insult belief back and though belief is some alien process that atheists don't involve themselves in. Unless one is illiterate it must be obvious to all that even atheists have beliefs. Strangely enough an atheist on CARM, who humbly calls himself "big thinker," who martians that he has no beliefs. Belief is such a dirty word to the Dawkies that he can't bring himself to admit that he has beliefs. He refused to answer my question "so you believe you have no beliefs?" That would entail the admission that what you think is true is a belief. Thus there are no people without beliefs. How is it possible that one thinks for oneself without believing things? This person obviously believes that belief is is about unreality, this person believes that atheism is about being realistic about reality these are beliefs. I wonder if most atheists even know the word reality. What they really mean is "what I want to be the case." If it could be proved that God is reality what would they do? They would then begin asserting that reality stinks and fantasy is true.
Definition of BELIEF1: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing2: something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group3: conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence
Examples of BELIEF
- There is growing belief that these policies will not succeed.
- He gets angry if anyone challenges his religious beliefs.
- We challenged his beliefs about religion.
Origin of BELIEFMiddle English beleave, probably alteration of Old English gelēafa, from ge-, associative prefix + lēafa; akin to Old English lȳfan — more at believeFirst Known Use: 12th century
Related to BELIEF[+]more[-]hideRelated Words: axiom, law, precept, principle, tenet; assurance, certainty, certitude, conviction, positiveness, sureness; confidence, dependence (also dependance), reliance, trust; hope; doctrine, dogma, philosophy; dogmatism, fanaticism, insistence
Synonym Discussion of BELIEFbelief, faith, credence, credit mean assent to the truth of something offered for acceptance. belief may or may not imply certitude in the believer
belief that I had caught all the errors>. faith almost always implies certitude even where there is no evidence or proof faith in God>. credence suggests intellectual assent without implying anything about grounds for assent credence by scientists>. credit may imply assent on grounds other than direct proof credit to the statement of a reputable witness>.
Proving things is a from of manipulation. Why? Because it requries the re-organizing of bits of sense data in order to change the situation form appearance to demonstration. I didn't originally call it manipulation I called it "technology." Then I defined technology as manipulation. This commenter took this as an assault upon truth. It's actually just phenomenological awareness about our relationship to sense data in the formation of truth claims. Belief is a conviction of truth as the definition says it is not a pretense or a fantasy. Getting at truth requires re arranging the appearance of reality and thus its manipulation. This doesn't mean that stacking the manipulation to coincide with our desires is truth finding.
Webster defines Technology:
tech·nol·o·gyThis doesn't tell us the use of the term in such elite venue as intellectual history in postmodern circles such as the writing of Michele Foucault. The word is used apart from gadgets. We can employ a technology in the way we think about things without any new inventions or scientific apparatus. That's the way I was using the term, not as an insult or an attack but with persimmon making known the fact that the way we think about "reality" in relation to what can be demonstrated as true is a technology and an application of knowledge in a varied way.
Definition of TECHNOLOGY
a : the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area : engineering 2
b : a capability given by the practical application of knowledge
: a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge
: the specialized aspects of a particular field of endeavor
— tech·nol·o·gist \-jist\ noun
See technology defined for English-language learners »
Examples of TECHNOLOGY
In other words, belief is actually conviction that honestly understands truth or reality to be a certain way, while proof and demonstration are actually manipulating reality by arranging the way it is perceived, in order to produce a particular outcome.
The same poster left another interesting comment, this was addressed to the post about atheists moving away from the big bang.
I am an atheist. I do not depend on science for my atheism. In fact I disagree with science often when it looks too much like theism. Multi-universes, quantum mechanics and the Big Bang are a some examples.
My atheism is based on truth and facts not science.
"I disagree with science when it looks like theism." I assume then that he/she agrees with it when it looks like opinions he/she already holds. So at that rate science is not a teaching device that tells this person truth but is in fact the "big fortress of facts" that proves atheism and backs up her opinion. In other words in the Orwellian "atheist speak" truth is a lie and one's own desire to escape God is paramount and outweighs truth, science is a propaganda tool that can only be useful when it backs the template of atheist ideology. Look at the two quotes back to back it's pretty obvious that's what being said. If science was as atheists cling to it and portray it in clash with Genesis or creationism it's supposed to be a tool that lays bear what is real and enables us to know the truth of the physical world. To allege that would be a belief. Belief is a dirty word, belief is fantasy. Yet it's also apparent that truth finding goes hand in hand with fantasy and in place of truth this atheist wants propaganda. Hence I only believe science when it tells me what I want to hear.
"I don't believe science when it looks like theism."
Is there a way to reason with such people? If the facts and the uncovering of reality to the extent that the umpire of reality says "this be true" is not good enough, but must be rejected when ever it strays from the ideology that enthralls this salve thinker then what could possible point to truth in discussion or argument or evidence? Can't we see this is the total betrayal of "free thought" that it obviously is? How long can people be suckered?
We have to fear truth seeking and make conviction a dirty word because reality might be other than we wish?