Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Web Site to check out - BIG THINK

For those of you interested in this - I've posted this video to some of Steven Pinkers thoughts. This type of thought was pretty common in my philosophy class last semester and I think it is worth contending with (that's different than endorsing - ok). It's a more condensed version of some of the stuff that Ryan posted on here
here is the link http://www.bigthink.com/faith-beliefs/1132

2 comments:

Ryan said...

I remain baffled by statements such as the one Pinker makes in this clip:

"Faith means believing something with no good reason to do it."

Of course it's possible to just DEFINE faith as irrational, but I can't think of anyone - even those whose theology I disagree with profoundly - who would would say that they believe, literally, for no reason at all.

I think Pinker is obscuring the main point which is that human have differing perspectives on what qualifies as a reason, and the horizon within which these reasons are evaluated.

Outgoing... said...

absolutely, i think there are always reasons for why people believe what they do - even if they may not articulate them well or are even fully conscious of those reasons really are.
i think you're right in suggesting that reason as an absolute currency toward traded in the pursuit of enlightenment is far too thinly defined especially by those who might discount the divine. As such we have to contend with reasons that people construct that might not be universally transferable like currency (ergo the phrase: people will believe anything they want to). this highlights for me the real limitation of reason in our pursuit of truth. we have tended to view reason as this immutable thing that if used under convention will in the end provide us with truth. But reason is far too slippery for that.