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Safeholdians don't have faith

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Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by jmsr   » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:27 pm

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I just realized that the people of Safehold don't have faith! Their beliefs are based on evidence. They have centuries worth of people testing and carrying out the directions (and prohibitions) of the Holy Writ. They know it's true because they've tested it. They have the building blocks of the scientific method and attitude.

Unlike our holy books that encourage and celebrate belief before evidence, or without evidence or in the face of contradictory evidence; Safeholdian beliefs are based on actions and consequences and testing and results.

They're gonna be fine.

jmsr
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Bluesqueak   » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:51 pm

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jmsr wrote:I just realized that the people of Safehold don't have faith! Their beliefs are based on evidence. They have centuries worth of people testing and carrying out the directions (and prohibitions) of the Holy Writ. They know it's true because they've tested it. They have the building blocks of the scientific method and attitude.

Unlike our holy books that encourage and celebrate belief before evidence, or without evidence or in the face of contradictory evidence; Safeholdian beliefs are based on actions and consequences and testing and results.

They're gonna be fine.

jmsr


"Their beliefs are based on evidence."

And? So are mine. :D

I think you're confusing 'faith', 'evidence' and 'proof'. Faith means believing in something without proof, not without evidence.

"They have the building blocks of the scientific method and attitude."

Nope, because they have proof that things work the way the archangels said. They have no need for the scientific method - the only place it's even begun to develop is the one place where a cadre has known that the Writ is a pack of lies and has been carefully inculcated the beginnings of scientific enquiry.

If you test everything and it is exactly as the archangels say, why would you develop an attitude of enquiry? The Writ tells you everything God wanted you to know, and it's all true, (and the Inquisition is waiting to 'counsel' you) - so there's no need to develop any systematic method.

"Unlike our holy books that encourage and celebrate belief before evidence, or without evidence or in the face of contradictory evidence;"

That's one reason we developed an enquiring attitude. You do know that theology is all about enquiring into holy books and that you can find people as far back as St Augustine considering what to do when the Bible and natural science disagree with each other? Or why one bit of the Bible disagrees with another bit?

[Augustine's answer - take the natural science, because the Bible is full of allegory. The 'contradiction' is probably because we're reading an allegory too literally.]

But the problem for the Safeholdians is that there's no such contradiction. Their beliefs are not based on actions and consequences, testings and results. They got short-circuited right at the beginning of that process by being told that their beliefs are directly from God and the Archangels, who created those consequences and results.
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by RogueWarrior   » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:25 pm

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Slight correction:
Faith is belief without proof or in the face of contrary evidence.

My take on faith:
Faith is useless as a tool to investigate reality.
It is possible for people to hold contradictory or mutually exclusive positions based on faith.

If 'faith' can be quoted as the reason for both positions, how useful is faith?

The scientific method is a much better tool. It doesn't guarantee success at the first attempt, but its self correcting nature always leads to verifiable results.

Bluesqueak wrote:
jmsr wrote:I just realized that the people of Safehold don't have faith! Their beliefs are based on evidence. They have centuries worth of people testing and carrying out the directions (and prohibitions) of the Holy Writ. They know it's true because they've tested it. They have the building blocks of the scientific method and attitude.

Unlike our holy books that encourage and celebrate belief before evidence, or without evidence or in the face of contradictory evidence; Safeholdian beliefs are based on actions and consequences and testing and results.

They're gonna be fine.

jmsr


"Their beliefs are based on evidence."

And? So are mine. :D

I think you're confusing 'faith', 'evidence' and 'proof'. Faith means believing in something without proof, not without evidence.

"They have the building blocks of the scientific method and attitude."

Nope, because they have proof that things work the way the archangels said. They have no need for the scientific method - the only place it's even begun to develop is the one place where a cadre has known that the Writ is a pack of lies and has been carefully inculcated the beginnings of scientific enquiry.

If you test everything and it is exactly as the archangels say, why would you develop an attitude of enquiry? The Writ tells you everything God wanted you to know, and it's all true, (and the Inquisition is waiting to 'counsel' you) - so there's no need to develop any systematic method.

"Unlike our holy books that encourage and celebrate belief before evidence, or without evidence or in the face of contradictory evidence;"

That's one reason we developed an enquiring attitude. You do know that theology is all about enquiring into holy books and that you can find people as far back as St Augustine considering what to do when the Bible and natural science disagree with each other? Or why one bit of the Bible disagrees with another bit?

[Augustine's answer - take the natural science, because the Bible is full of allegory. The 'contradiction' is probably because we're reading an allegory too literally.]

But the problem for the Safeholdians is that there's no such contradiction. Their beliefs are not based on actions and consequences, testings and results. They got short-circuited right at the beginning of that process by being told that their beliefs are directly from God and the Archangels, who created those consequences and results.
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Bluesqueak   » Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:42 pm

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RogueWarrior wrote:Slight correction:
Faith is belief without proof or in the face of contrary evidence.

My take on faith:
Faith is useless as a tool to investigate reality.
It is possible for people to hold contradictory or mutually exclusive positions based on faith.

If 'faith' can be quoted as the reason for both positions, how useful is faith?

The scientific method is a much better tool. It doesn't guarantee success at the first attempt, but its self correcting nature always leads to verifiable results.



Well, you can 'correct' the definition of a horse to "four legged animal with wings" if you like, but it won't fly. :)

Faith is belief without proof is fine; the problem comes when you confuse 'proof' and 'evidence'. You seem unaware, for example, that it's possible to hold contradictory positions in science while the evidence is still coming in.

It is possible for people to hold contradictory or mutually exclusive positions based on scientific evidence.

If 'science' can be quoted as the reason for both positions, how useful is science?


See how easy it is?

Let me give you another example; this time from engineering. The problem is 'how do we get people across this river', several engineers are holding mutually contradictory positions. One wants a bridge, one wants to use a ferry, one wants to use a tunnel ... which one is right?

The answer is that they all are. There's a big river near my home - I can walk under it, walk across it, take a train under it, take a train over it, drive across it, put my car on a ferry...

The scientific method is a superb tool, but if you think it's the be-all and end-all of knowledge, or that there's only one 'right' answer to every problem, I'd strongly suggest branching out into other areas of knowledge. Historical method, for example, is also a very powerful tool for investigating reality, but it's not the same as the scientific method.

If I want to investigate whether Queen Elizabeth I owned a particular piece of jewellery (now lost) I will not be using the scientific method unless I happen to own a time machine. Since I don't, I'll be using historical methods.

If I want to investigate how people over the millennia have reacted to the prospect of death, I also won't be using the scientific method. That will only be able to tell me how people living and dying now react. I'd probably need a combination of historical and theological methods.

If I want to investigate what I should do with my money (rather than how much money I have), then I'm probably going to be using ethics. Much of which was developed by people of faith, and which often also has a self-correcting nature and verifiable results.

But to get back to Safehold, rather than Earth, the whole point of Safehold is that if you pre-do the necessary science for people (the terraforming and technology sections of the Writ) - they can live their entire lives without going near the scientific method. That's the thing the OP misunderstood - they confused 'faith' with 'no evidence'. Then they confused 'comparing evidence with reality' with 'scientific method'. People compare evidence with reality all the time (and yes, we do that in theology as well) but the scientific method in terms of experimental science was really only developed in the 17th Century.

RFC gave two reasons for Nimue/Merlin to interfere with the Safeholdian set-up. The first one is that the Great Big Alien Bad Asses are out there, and she honestly doesn't think that staying on Safehold forever will protect people. [The second is that people like Clyntahn make it obvious that the system is already failing.]

And that first reason is an article of faith: to go back to your original point: "It is possible for people to hold contradictory or mutually exclusive positions based on faith."

Which people in the Safehold series do; the Langhorne party believed that staying on Safehold forever WOULD protect people. Also an article of faith. Neither Langhorne nor Merlin has sufficient evidence to prove their faith-belief.

Is that faith useless as a tool to investigate reality? Well, Nimue/Merlin's faith isn't so much investigating reality as being used to guide the way s/he kicks it into the shape s/he wants.

Which is, if you like, one of the purposes of faith. If you confuse faith and science, you will of course decide that faith is an inadequate version of science. Because you'll decide that science is much better than faith at investigating, say hydraulics, and you'll ignore the point that most religions really aren't all that interested in hydraulics. That's not what they do.

What they do, in the Safehold series, is tell people how to live their lives. And for the Inner Circle, who have a much more 'modern' range of faiths than Safehold as a whole, they tell people how to shape the present, and the future, that they want.
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Annachie   » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:16 pm

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Bluesqueak.

You really need to learn what the scientific method is, and what self correcting means.

Your QE1 example, is using the scientific method if done properly, though your results could easily be misrepresented.
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Bluesqueak   » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:03 pm

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Annachie wrote:Bluesqueak.

You really need to learn what the scientific method is, and what self correcting means.

Your QE1 example, is using the scientific method if done properly, though your results could easily be misrepresented.


Serious question: have you studied history at graduate or upper undergraduate level?
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by ywing14   » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:05 pm

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More of a Merriam Webster guys and I'd have to go with their definition. Faith is belief in something for which there is no proof.
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Joat42   » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:20 pm

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Bluesqueak wrote:..snip..
Well, you can 'correct' the definition of a horse to "four legged animal with wings" if you like, but it won't fly. :)

Faith is belief without proof is fine; the problem comes when you confuse 'proof' and 'evidence'. You seem unaware, for example, that it's possible to hold contradictory positions in science while the evidence is still coming in.
..snip..

Since there is no scientific evidence of a horse with wings there will be no self-correction that a horse have wings.

And your conflicting positions pitch is a red herring, the scientific method will weed out the wrong one as the evidence is amassed.

Faith doesn't have that mechanism, what it has is dogma which makes changes in faith extremely difficult not matter what new evidence is collected that clashes with the current belief.

If I told your average Christian that I have irrefutable evidence that God is actually an asexual alien with a penchant for practical jokes that visited the Earth several times thousands of years ago the majority of them would dismiss it because they have faith in who and what God is.

In modern terms religion is very much like a meme with build in error correction that hinders change vs the scientific method that has an error correcting method that promotes change.

Edit: I should add we are straying outside the boundaries for the current forum.
Last edited by Joat42 on Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by Bluesqueak   » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:21 pm

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ywing14 wrote:More of a Merriam Webster guys and I'd have to go with their definition. Faith is belief in something for which there is no proof.


Yup, as I said to the OP, I'm fine with that. :)

And, philosophically, proof is the both the purpose and the end of scientific enquiry. That's why Langhorne, Bedard and their 'archangels' provided Holy Writ, after all.

If you already know the answer, there's no need to go looking for it, is there? :D
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Re: Safeholdians don't have faith
Post by ywing14   » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:34 pm

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Bluesqueak wrote:
ywing14 wrote:More of a Merriam Webster guys and I'd have to go with their definition. Faith is belief in something for which there is no proof.


Yup, as I said to the OP, I'm fine with that. :)

And, philosophically, proof is the both the purpose and the end of scientific enquiry. That's why Langhorne, Bedard and their 'archangels' provided Holy Writ, after all.

If you already know the answer, there's no need to go looking for it, is there? :D


Depends on the type of person. I know the answer to a lot of questions doesn't mean I know how we got there.
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