London Atheist Activist Group (friendly community) Message Board 1. MAIN FORUM - (non-Islam) › Greg Ganssle: Faith and Reason

Greg Ganssle: Faith and Reason

David M.
user 58874642
London, GB
Post #: 3
Hi all,

I know youtube has been around for a long time, but I finally found a video that I had to put some comments too. Unfortunately I might have gone over the top but I think it was justified.

Here is the link to a video by Greg Ganssle a senior follow at the Yale University:

Faith and Reason

Here is my response, let me know what you think:

Hi, am I enjoying these videos greatly but needed to pause at this one. I may have misinterpreted this video as I do not have a background in philosophy, but a few points mentioned do not sit right with me. Going with just the evidence the video gave, the driver is not being rational.

The commitment is to reach New York (not just to the car). The driver must review the benefits compared to the risks while assessing their validity (i.e. New York exists). Also through analysis, risk my be reduced. If the benefits out-weighs the risks enough, then commitment is justified. Therefore, commitments can and should be based on reason and if possible empirical evidence. The outcome does not have to be certain to be reasonable, but for reason, the evidence must be sufficient and valid.

Another assumption that without 100% certainty, which is rare, you need some level of faith for commitment. Scientists continue to have confidence, trust and believe in scientific theories without 100% certainty or faith. Why, because it works. Also the assumption that when there is not enough evidence to justify something, commitment is OK. I disagree, if the concept you are being asked to commit too does not match reality enough, then the concept must be adjusted to better match reality.

As for marriage, the video does not fully identifying what people are committing too. The first and most crucial question before committing to marriage is to ask the question 'am I justified in my concept of marriage'. Irrespective to the level of commitment, if someone commits to an unsupported/invalid concept of marriage and uses this as the bases for selecting a partner, they are being irrational and therefore increasing their chance that the outcome will be divorce.

An alternative scenario, lets say a parent has a child with an illness and if untreated will be terminal. The parent has faith in God including prayer/spiritual healing and wants this as the only method used. The parent justifies this using testimonial evidence from national and local churches and exclude medical treatment to prove their 100% commitment to God. The illness though, if treated, has a 50% chance of success.

From the previous comment, is the parent's decision going too far beyond the degree of evidence? If the chance of a cure is lower, what level would be reasonable to exclude medical treatment, 25%, 10% or 5% chance maybe? If the parent includes medical treatment, are they still committed 100% to God?
Georgi L.
London, GB
Post #: 1,778
Hi David,

Wow, your debut onto the discussion board at last ;-) ...I've been awaiting your arrival for some time as you often have some very good subjects on your tweets, welcome!

I see this guy has now responded to quite a few of your comments, which would indicate to me that the points you raised were worthy of a 'senior fellow at Yale'. Good job! I think us getting through to these kinds of people, those who have a public voice or those who teach etc, is very worthwhile activism. If you change his outlook in any way, it could have wide reaching ripples. Stells and I also did a similar bit of activism with Martin Rowson, the satirical cartoonist.

p.s I think other people haven't commented on this thread because either they agree with you (responses tend to be more forthcoming when there is disagreement ;-)), OR because this topic requires quite a lot of time and digestion of the many points you've made. These complicated issues tend to get fewer responses, though when they do spark a debate it can be be a good long one.

London, GB
Post #: 91
Hi David, I was unimpressed with his logic, I bet he does not reply to my comments.
David M.
user 58874642
London, GB
Post #: 4
Hi David,

Wow, your debut onto the discussion board at last ;-) ...

Hi Ginny,

Come on, it's only been a year :-P. Thanks. I am usually quiet and non confrontational, so it takes time for me to build up steam i.e. frustration/shock/amazement to be able to comment on a subject. Which just shows how unbelievably wrong I thought this video was. Just about every single sentence uttered by this bloke I disagree with. A 'senior fellow', I have my doubts he could even make it to a senior citizen with the logic on display here.

I see this guy has now responded to quite a few of your comments...

Just to confirm though, I have not yet had any response from Greg Ganssle but from an intern at Wi-Phi. I am currently waiting for this intern to summarise the argument and try to justify why this video supports it. Should be fun to see.

I also completely understand about the comments. It only took me a single listen of this video to know that it was nonsense, but then required a day to produce a response.
David M.
user 58874642
London, GB
Post #: 5
Hi David, I was unimpressed with his logic, I bet he does not reply to my comments.

Hi Brian, yes I doubt we will get a response from Greg. There was so much wrong with his argument I did not know where to start. There was crap that he mentioned that I did not even get time to address. At one point he stated that someone could reject recycling if the one that advocates it was not committed to it. No, you look at the evidence and then you decide to commit or not, why follow the crowd like religious sheep do? Instead of showing that somehow religious commitment can be sensible, Greg is just highlighting why it is not.
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