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September 26 2006 at 9:31 PM
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Response to Thoughts on your "other thought"

"> A prof. once told me that religious beliefs are unverifiable, though perhaps
> comforting. No "perhaps" about it.
Good for you if it is comforting for you. But why do you need to push it to others?"

I don't think I've seen him do that. At most, he's stated what he believes is true as if it is true.

It may be you think that what he believes is true is not a rational or objectively-thought out position, or downright wrong. And you'd be right. But everything you believe is true is also wrong to a large extent, as is everything I believe. See, the volume of the universe is practically infinite, and filled with things, from our Earth to galaxies of stars and planets equally as complex, which are themselves near infinite for practical purposes - an infinity of infinities. The human brain is a lump of wobbly meat that can fill a large coffee pot.

You cannot fit the universe into a brain. Not even a very big fraction of it.

So you need approximations of the universe that are simple enough to fit into this tiny little wad of tragically slow, chemically powered neurons. All science is approximations, as is religious beliefs, superstitions, and the like.

Science has the advantage of being consistant with a vastly larger amount of the universe than anything else because of it's intent, but not everyone finds that important - as long as whatever belief they have is consistant with whatever swirls around in their life (or they can ignore anything that isn't consistant), one belief is as good as another.

And it takes a lot of mental readjustment to change belief systems. Unless there's a benefit big enough to justify that (e.g. wanting to find a cure for AIDS means giving up belief in Intelligent Design), there's not much point to it.

The only really important thing when people have beliefs incompatible with each other is that they find a way to interact in a way that it doesn't matter, or at least is constructive rather confrontational. Including Bob.

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