Apologetics

Apologetics

[ 9/March/22 Walter Kant Asked:
Apologists of the faith:

Why do apologists of faith stand up for their faith?

Definition:

An apologist is a person who wholeheartedly endorses a view or doctrine and advocates it outwardly with vigour.

My opinion:
There is usually no proof that an apologist always believes what he says!?]

If we take Jeffrey Wortman’s definition of faith:
“In reality faith signifies absolute certainty.”
then it is the exact opposite of any form of reason or questioning or inquiry or science.

When one examines the structure of all possible logics, the simplest of all possible logics is binary – with only two truth values (True & False). In that most simple of logical structures everything must conform to one or other state.

But that is only the simplest of possible logics.

Simplicity has some virtues.

In times of stress it does allow for rapid decision making, and sometimes speed trumps all other considerations – as when a predator is rapidly approaching a group, the last to move is often the one that doesn’t survive. So there is a lot of evolutionary pressure for neural networks to favour simplicity. That is a bias that is present that individuals must learn to counter, if they are not to be trapped by it into eternal simplicity.

If one examines the vast evidence sets available, it is clear that the quantum structure of reality that allows for light and matter is anything but simple, and does not play by the rules of binary logic. Reality seems to be deeply more complex than that, even if it does closely approximate simple causality at some scales.

So once any such form of faith takes firm hold of any computational system (mind), once that mind stops searching the infinite space of the possible for alternative interpretations, that system becomes frozen, and incapable of adapting to any change in context. It may still be as adaptive as it ever was to the sets of contexts in which it survived, but it is unlikely to survive well in any rapidly changing set of contexts.

Arguing with any such “Faith” is a complete waste of time. No external factor can possibly challenge it.

Any such attempt only reinforces it.

The only thing that can sometimes break such bonds is the natural sense of curiosity that is also part of all human brains, which can, if there is no sense of threat, sometimes come to challenge and overcome “Faith”, if given the time and safety to “play”.

Science, at its best, is exactly the alternative to faith. It is the path of eternal uncertainty, eternal questioning, eternal examination of evidence and alternative interpretations, and eternally becoming less wrong as our necessarily simple starting assumptions are relaxed to admit of greater and greater uncertainty and complexity.

And we all experience episodes of “stress” where our neurophysiology necessarily and subconsciously simplifies things so that we can and do respond rapidly enough to survive. So we all experience such episodes of various sets of subconscious “faith” in a sense.

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) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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