Forum Replies Created
This thread seems to be dying if not already dead; I just want to state for the record:
Alyosha, you seem like a quality person. Thank you for standing up for what you believe in. I, too, am utterly dumbfounded how so much of klal yisrael can not only support, but literally follow to the ends of the Earth, a man of such ineptitude, lack of morality, and complete disregard for emes. For goodness sake, we are supposed to be a light unto the nations; at the very minimum, a model for what behavior is acceptable and what is not. If the notion of truth is gone, what are we?
If Trump loses the election, I hope that the USA can begin to heal. It has been one of the safest places for Jews in history and would be a shame to lose it.
@picturesq: Indeed. We opted to pay a bit more to get the flights that only had the 3-4 hour stopover versus the 14 hour one (there’s only so much vodka a person can drink you know! 😉 ). It ended up being something like $410/person round trip, which is such an incredible deal.
@maasehshehoyoh: Sweet! We are doing the obvious things like kotel/old city, ein gedi, and tzfat (my wife loves art, so being in the artists colony will be heaven for her). Just trying to figure out what else to check out. I hope people respond and we both get good ideas!
I am a Ph.D. student in Physics, and I can testify against your statement that ‘there is no such thing as belief in science’. Quite on the contrary, I hear all the time about how my colleagues believe that supersymmetry just HAS to be there. The Higgs just HAD to be there. Right now, all the tests for supersymmetry have turned up with nothing. If it actually exists, it solves many issues with the Standard Model, but there is right now no evidence for it. Yet, many physicists doggedly believe it exists (not that I necessarily think it doesn’t, I am just saying this to make a point). There is an extreme disconnect between how those are on the outside are taught that science works vs. how it actually works.
In addition: regarding your statement about how belief in science compromises falsifiability, you are most certainly right, and that’s exactly my point. Science isn’t as clean as our 4th grade teachers would like to tell us. It is a social process just as everything else in this world is.
Also, just because Feynman thought it more ‘interesting’ to live with doubt and his advice of leaving the door ajar to doubt, this doesn’t mean you doubt absolutely everything. As I said above, there are some assumptions that must be made in order to proceed with any endeavor. I cannot doubt the fact that the laws of the universe will be the same tomorrow than those of today, or else I am out of a job. I cannot doubt the fact that the laws of physics are discoverable, or else I’m out of a job. This kind of sounds like belief to me.
I would argue that in any intellectual enterprise, that there are always assumptions that must be made. Once we make these assumptions, we proceed as if we never made the assumption and we take that assumption to be de facto true. Does the computer you used to type your post exist? It may or may not, but you go about using it as if it is. Does Hashem exist? With 100% probability, I can’t say for sure, but I go about my life k’ilu he does exist because I made the conscious choice to bridge the probability gap (as I like to say) and assume that he does.
As you point out, science is no different. Also as you point out, we must assume that there is indeed science out there to discover in order to make it a worthwhile endeavor. We must also assume that these laws we seek to discover are the same today as they are tomorrow, or else what is the point of discovering them today (assuming it was even a 1 day job, which it most certainly isn’t)?
Without dragging on, my main point I wish to bring out is that those who criticize science for these underlying assumptions and use these assumptions to lower science’s credibility as compared to other disciplines are mistaken, as these types of assumptions must always be made (though many times they are quite implicit and the unassuming may glance over them).