I understand that is very tempting to say that it is "a prejudice in science that we can't be certain of anything because we need to be open to evidence that we are wrong", but I see this openness as a practical necessity, not as a prejudice. Procedurally, methodologically, this slight universal agnosticism, or open mindedness, even to ridiculous possibilities, is technically correct. The only alternative is to rely on intuition, but intuition fails far too often to be a viable alternative. When we rely on evidence, we allow for any possibility, however uncomfortable or awkward that may at first seem. The important thing to keep in mind here is that mere possibility carries no weight, we still need evidence to reach conclusions, so this concession to openness doesn't change the outcome. We don't need to fear making this concession to openness or dismiss it as a prejudice.
On Sep 8, 2013, at 2:33 AM, Don Wharton <[address removed]> wrote:
David said, "I’ve heard RD say that he believes in gods as much as he believes in fairies or leprechauns."
Yes, this makes it even more absurd that he momentarily wanted to use agnosticism for his disbelief. There is a prejudice in science that we can't be certain of anything because we need to be open to evidence that we are wrong. Let me assure everone, you can be both
certain that there are no fairies and leprechauns AND be open to evidence for them if it were to be presented. Frankly this can be done without any fear that the evidence will prove us wrong. This is especially true if the standard assumption of magical abilities are assumed to be a necessary condition for either category of creature. That will NEVER happen.
Note that I am not asserting that a scientific certaintly of this type is philsophically equivalent to a mathematical certainty. The mathematical certainty is still of a different and higher quality.
From: David T.
To: [address removed]
Sent: Saturday, September 7,[masked]:13 PM
Subject: RE: [atheists-27] Challenge to debate
I’ve heard RD say that he believes in gods as much as he believes in fairies or leprechauns.
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