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Posted by Harvey on May 2, 2002 00:47:28 UTC

Hi Mario,

***Boy, what a mouthful. I knew it would happen eventually, I'm finally beginning to feel the first twinges of frustration. Let's see if I can quell them. (it's always a bad sign when you have to read a post four times before writing a response) I feel bad writing such short replies to your novels, but I only have a few things to say this time:***

Do I get too wordy explaining pragmatic theory? You are getting the condensed version. The volumes of books are right behind me.

***H: It is incomplete when it comes to use statements. It is irrelevant as far as truth statements unless we accept precepts on faith. Since use statements themselves depend on some truth statements, the whole enterprise is built on faith. M: Not exactly. Perhaps we disagree on the definition of faith, so let's check. I think that scientific "faith" and religious faith are two seperate things entirely. The truth statements that science is based off of are placeholders, and are freely admitted to be place holders.***

What you referring to, the (1) truth statements of the 'scientific method', the (2) truth statements of scientific theories, the (3) truth statements of scientific realism?

***Science only goes into the realm of faith if you say that its truth statements are valid. I have never met one person who has done this. Ever. They KNOW that science is an evolving entity, with truth statements based off of the most use statements as possible, but ultimately a description.***

It all depends on what aspect of science you are referencing (1)-(3). I have never met one scientist who wouldn't scoof if you questioned a number of human assumptions. Sophisticated scientists are more aware of the pitfalls of (3), but the truth statements referenced in (1) and (2) are often accepted as fact. For example, relativity theory was formulated using a few principles (e.g., equivalence principle, relativity principle, space-time symmetry, etc) as being a truth of nature. The theories of relativity are built on these principles, the mathematics that flow from them, as well as the experimental results. These truth statements (for the most part) are simply taken for granted, for the most part, and are not questioned (at least not by anybody in relativity theory). Sure, the structure of the theory is seen as somewhat provisional, but the core assumptions (which are truth statements) are not. The faith in these truth statements are as high as any theist I've ever met.

***Religious faith, on the other hand, bypasses evidence and claims their beliefs have genuine total accuracy in the outside world. This is flawed.***

Again, religious faith is based on certain core truth statements that are not taken as provisional but as true as an act of faith. I don't see any difference between this kind of faith and a scientific faith in certain core truth assumptions. You need truth assumptions if you are to construct a theory. If you cannot rely on those assumptions as being true, then you cannot construct a theory. Could a scientist say that certain core truth statements they rely on are fallible, sure, but only if all reason must be thrown out. Similarly, any honest theist could admit that their core truth assumptions are fallible, but only if all reason should be thrown out. But, for the most part, that would be ludicrous.

***Why don't you agree that we can desribe truth statements through use statements? Even science's underlying truth statements change over time as new use statements are uncovered.***

I agree that truth statements can change in science. There's no question that quantum physics changed a number of truth statements assumed in physics. There are some truth statements that are vunerable as our conceptual framework changes. Similarly, I think a number of truth statements of theism have changed as philosophical inquiry and scientific inquiry has made possible. For example, at one time the idea of gods was a common form of theism (i.e., polytheism), but later humans invented monotheism because it made more philosophical sense. The truth statements were changed.

We can change truth statements that we no longer see as required to our conceptual framework (which is based on some core truth statements). This is how advance in philosophical issues are made. We begin to see where our truth assumptions are added weight (etc) and from there we can modify them. However, there are core beliefs which comprise a conceptual framework which are needed to change any particular truth assumption.

Warm regards, Harv

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