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Blind faith

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Blind faith

Postby wbla3335 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:09 am

I have become quite interested in the phenomenon of blind faith. Whether evolved or created, humans are essentially quite rational beings. We would have difficulties getting through an average day without our ability to think. So it's the prevalence of the suspension of rational thought that interests me. Even many scientists, who make their living by using their brains, are able to forsake rationality when it comes to the big question. Why is this? Just a hundred years ago, we were quite ignorant compared to today. Granted, the proportion of people who cannot blindly believe in a supernatural creator has grown substantially, as expected. But still, many, many people have the ability to turn a blind eye to what we have learned, to dismiss solid evidence without thought that does not concur with one faith or another. As a lifelong student of variability, I am not surprised by the existence of blind faith. I just wish to acquire a better understanding of it. Perhaps someone who frequents this forum can help me to understand.
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Re: Blind faith

Postby wbla3335 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:47 am

Thank you for your post Jonl1408, but I'm afraid you have illustrated, rather than addressed, the subject of my post. You have obviously devoted much time and effort, but I'm looking for some feedback on the psychological aspects of blind faith.
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Postby Jonl1408 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:34 pm

Are there any? If man believes that something is true, it is going to take a great amount of evidence, to change his mind.
Also, you did not mention the appearance of Blind faith, in almost everyone today, blind faith in evolution for some, for others in Creation, but do not trick yourself into thinking that only Creation manifests blind faith. There are people who do not understand how a TV works, but have faith that it will work, when they turn it on.
Blind Faith is a very common phenomenon.
Man likes to believe that what he thinks is true.
In the case of Christianity, what you would call blind faith, is slightly different.
Real Christians, have a personal relationship with God, and although they can't see him, they know that he is there. (I know that you don't believe this, but it is true)
So to answer your question, I don't know.
"The scientific establishment bears a grisly resemblance to the Spanish Inquisition"-D. Gould
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Re: Blind faith

Postby wbla3335 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:02 pm

Yes, blind faith is very common. For most of our existence, it was the only game in town, due to the lack of information. With the rapid accumulation of information, though, blind faith persists. I agree that many who reject creation stories and accept rational alternatives are not personally educated in the rationale that supports their beliefs. They "have faith" that those who offer alternatives are reliable. This faith, though, is based on probabilities of truth. (No one can know beyond any doubt what is true.) They are presented with various options and opt for the one that makes the most sense. Their faith, then, is not blind but is reasoned. Reason is normal and quite useful. The suspension of it is a psychological phenomenon (and with the use of the word "psychological", I am NOT inferring pathology, just that the brain is involved). This is what interests me. Why do rational people refuse to rationally consider some information and irrationally accept other information?
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Postby JackBean » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:10 pm

Jonl:what you call a blind faith (the working Tv) is just empirical experience based on every-day experiences.

Also, the believe in evolution is based rather on evidences than on blind faith, as is the case of creation
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Postby Darby » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:02 pm

You could make a case for blind faith being an adaptive trait - to get kids to do what you want, to organize group performance, to do lots of useful human things, having the participants willing to blindly trust an authority figure could be a good group survival feature. Religions, ironically enough, may get their power from an evolved trait.

But we don't blindly follow all of our core human tendencies. I'm not sure we can, since some conflict with each other.
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Re: Blind faith

Postby Jonl1408 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:44 pm

@Jack Bean, no evidence for creation, did you not just read the evidence for creation?
Also there are many holes in scientific theory, which evolutionists explain with "blind faith".
@wbla3335 I think it is probably because man hates being wrong, about anything. Many people would rather argue for their beliefs, than face the evidence. (no I am not just speaking of evolution vs creation)
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Re: Blind faith

Postby skeptic » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:41 am

Jonl1408 wrote:@Jack Bean, no evidence for creation, did you not just read the evidence for creation?
Also there are many holes in scientific theory, which evolutionists explain with "blind faith".
@wbla3335 I think it is probably because man hates being wrong, about anything. Many people would rather argue for their beliefs, than face the evidence. (no I am not just speaking of evolution vs creation)


Your evidence for creation is worth nothing. Like claiming Pluto can disrupt the orbits of inner planets. Have you no science knowledge at all?

Anyway - blind faith.
I see blind faith as initially being the tendency to believe certain people. Children need to believe their parents, or else they may die from hazards their parents understand well. This level of trust should reduce with greater maturity, but human behaviour is highly variable, and some people continue to accept blindly what they are told, from people they are told to respect. This includes parents, teachers and clergy.

Thus, blind faith can be seen as the hold over of child-like behaviour into adulthood.
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Postby canalon » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:50 am

To be honest I find the question loaded and not very well defined.
My main problem is the definition of blind faith. What exactly does it entail? When does confidence of everyday experience ends to become faith? If one has always associated things like prayer with positive outcome (be it a feel good sensation or a bit of confirmation bias for demands coming to fruition), it could be argued that faith belongs to the first.

In fact I would go further than skeptic, not only are we trained to believe/trust others like parents as childresn, but we mostly keep doing the same as we grow up. There are a lot of things that we have to take at face value, however rational we want to be. And the trust we put in other is sometimes not much different or based on "evidence that we have have carefully studied and reviewed" than any faith in your choice of omnipotent bearded multi-armed tooth fairy in a heavenly garden full of virgin.
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any proof. (Ashley Montague)
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Re: Blind faith

Postby BDDVM » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:50 am

I think Darby has the answer but the selection pressure isn't identified correctly. Faith based decision making might be handy for keeping the kids out of trouble but if you want to drive human evolution you have to kill some humans.
Let's look at two neighboring tribes a few tens of thousands of years ago. One tribe carefully considers decisions based on evidence. It's nieghbor has a very persuasive witch doctor and a generally high level of faith. Which tribe decided to sneak over and exterminate the other? Which tribe is out of the gene pool?
Faith has had definate selective advantage in the past. That doesn't mean it's a good idea.
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Postby canalon » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:27 pm

I think Darby is wrong and so are you.
I think that you both, and the OP are falling for the attarction of evolutionary psychology that have so weel be described by P.Z. Myers of pharyngula's fame as
PZ Myers wrote:is a teetering pyramid of stacked 'couldas' and guesses that it woulda had an influence on evolution.


In that case I pointed earlier, the definition of what exactly is blind faith is not there. The premise that human are rational is far from proven, and the existence of many cognitive biases is definitely proven. In fact in my experience, it appears that skepticism and rationality are more of an acquired thing, than the normal state of the human being. But anyone feel free to prove me wrong (I actually would not be surprised if obedience and surrendering of autonomy are acquired through education by the group).
So start defining your words and the extent of what you are interested in and then we will be able to discuss its evolutionary significance. And we will have to wonder how much of that well defined "blind faith" is actually heritable (genetically or memetically, that would be a first useful distinction) and on how much that had influenced our development.

As for BDDVM example, it is utter nonsense. Evidence can be assessed quickly and do not necessarily impeded preventive measures. Typical silly what if story reflecting more of your prejudice than anything else. Honestly I would have expected a bit more depth into your thinking considering previous evidence (your earleir posts). I probably had too much blind faith in your rationality ;)
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Re: Blind faith

Postby BDDVM » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:10 pm

Utter nonsense? All I propose is that the personality trait of accepting untrue things based on faith has had a selective advantage in the past (and the current world as some headless heratics could attest to if they had heads. I disaggree with you on the mode of inheritence. I think it's mostly genetic with some environmental reinforcement. Some people revel in the warm feeling arroused be faith , some don't and others are in between. Variation.
I don't see how you can argue that faithability has and continues to have effects on likelyhood of both death and reproduction. Selective pressure.
That's all you need to have evolution. Variation, selection and reproduction obviously.
Simple explaination as to why so many people believe obviously untrue things on faith.
Is this how things should be? No. But Evolution only explains how things are, not how wonderful they are. There are way too many people engaged in the science who have a hard time seeing evolutionary outcomes that aren't optimum.
Last edited by BDDVM on Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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