Facebook – Philosophy of Science Group

[ 7/6/20 Walter Asked – Do probabilistics and statistics replace faith in the sciences? Angelo stated “Faith is necessary …..”]

Faith is a dangerous mind virus.

[followed by 8/6/20 – Angelo wrote – It depends the meaning you assign to faith. Religious faith, indeed can be a dangerous virus (but it can be also a healer for many people). But for me “faith” has a more general meaning, as “trust” in general, even in everyday life.]


Faith in the sense of reliance on some notion in the face of any and all evidence to the contrary is in all cases dangerous (even if in some cases it also has great utility).

In this sense of a confidence in being right, even when that is clearly not the case, it is dangerous.

Most particularly in the sense of reducing a complex and fundamentally uncertain reality down to simple binaries like right/wrong or true/false.

Faith in the weaker sense of a confidence built upon large observation sets and having tested large sets of interpretive schema over those observation sets, is something else.

English has that unsettling characteristic of having multiple sets of definitions for many terms, some of which can convey essentially the complete opposite conceptual system.

I was using the term faith in the sense that most of the “faithful” use it – sense 1 above.

And I get that making sense of anything is complex, and that in the first instance we all rely upon the biases instilled into our neural networks by the selection processes of evolution in both genetic and cultural domains to make what sense we do of the complexity within which we find ourselves.

And the more deeply one becomes familiar with the nature of complex systems, and the nature of the multiple levels of strategic environments present in the complex systems we inhabit, the more “sense” one can make of it, and the more one is able to see the depths of utility present in some of the simpler models common in religious and cultural domains.

And I strongly encourage all individuals to push their explorations of complexity as far as they reasonably can, while at the same time retaining the greatest degrees of social and ecological responsibility that they can create. For we do live in very complex social and ecological systems, and all levels of complexity do actually have sets of boundaries that are required for their continued existence (and those boundaries change with context, and may never have actually been what most or even any thought that they were – so it is complex, and meta-complex, and meta-meta-complex, …..).

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
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