But this is precisely what reason is.
the word nonsense is properly used when an idea or concept, howsoever esoteric, cannot be tied back to the senses. But what you're saying is not nonsense. For you are saying "David..sometimes experience is a pretty good guide". Even when it is experience that we do not entirely understand. You're also saying that it has to work, it has to function, such that the predictability has to be reliable.
Again, that is consistent with the rational method. You tested, you learned.
With regard to tradition this can also be rational or reasonable as well. Not only might a tradition express the wisdom of the masses, but its survival over hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years might be for a very good reason. This is an example where man was perhaps unable to make the value of the tradition explicit for many years, possibly leading up to the present. Hippocrates was the first person, for instance, to ascribe properties to aspirin. But long before then it was known to alleviate headaches.
And having read pretty much every religion in world history, I can tell you that there is a great deal of simple, good, albeit mundane advice derived from experience.
Deference to this can be rational or reasonable.
But that is very much not true for the mystical aspects of religion. The actual other worldly nature of religion is truly non-sense. Not only is it not at all tied back to the senses but it defies anything that our senses deliver to us and any concepts that we can reasonably derive from that data. It is mutually exclusive to everything we just discussed. In the trading example you gave, you were taking your best choice based on test and learn, while religion tells you to mistrust your capacity to choose and instead mindlessly defer to text or feeling. In short, to accept an absurdity.
Which begs the question, if you are willing to accept an absurdity, how shall you choose which absurdity to accept? If you will not deploy your mind for this task, looking for evidence, then what method shall you employ to choose between the many many absurdities?
On Aug 13, 2012, at 9:13 PM, stevegam wrote:
It doesn't matter if the knowledge you have "is the best knowledge we have right now" for reason to work you need to have all the important relevant knowledge without which, unintended consequences can result. Rarely do we even know what we don't know.
An alternative to reason is rules. A set of rules developed from experience.
Traders use rules not reason to trade the financial markets. Rules created from experience.
You have to have faith in the rules and not change them while you are in the trade.
Violate the rules in a trading firm and you will be fired, regardless of the reason.
The bible is a good set of rules on how to live.it is the collective experience of millions over centuries.
Other religions have books of similar value.
Religion requires faith because some truths are not intuitive, kind of like trading the financial markets.