Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
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04-09-2013, 02:28 PM
Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
What role does belief play into what we call facts? Example: Newtonian physics never got "demoted" to being non factual, there was a point where people stopped believing in it and for reasons started believing in something else.

Does belief trump facts if more people believe in something different than a fact? Example: if we all lived our lives as if Santa clause was real, this would have a profound affect on how our societies develop, social customs, etc simply from a belief in something. The fact that Santa isn't real in this case is irrelevant and non effectual on society in relation to the belief that Santa is real.
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04-09-2013, 02:33 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
(04-09-2013 02:28 PM)I and I Wrote:  What role does belief play into what we call facts? Example: Newtonian physics never got "demoted" to being non factual, there was a point where people stopped believing in it and for reasons started believing in something else.

Does belief trump facts if more people believe in something different than a fact? Example: if we all lived our lives as if Santa clause was real, this would have a profound affect on how our societies develop, social customs, etc simply from a belief in something. The fact that Santa isn't real in this case is irrelevant and non effectual on society in relation to the belief that Santa is real.

Except there won't be any presents.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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04-09-2013, 03:31 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
The fact that Santa is not real actually would have a profound effect on the society, because
Chas Wrote:...there won't be any presents.

A society can hold belief to be more important than reality, but Santa is a myth whether or not anyone believes in him, so the society will inevitably have to deal with having the bases of their trees bare of presents on Christmas morning.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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04-09-2013, 04:07 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
I think it works both ways.

People may have a belief and seek evidence that they can turn into facts. If more facts come out to the contrary of the belief then that belief will slowly wither away.

I think it would help if we all defined "fact" for this conversation.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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04-09-2013, 04:09 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
Facts are evident. Beliefs are for sissies.
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04-09-2013, 04:15 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
(04-09-2013 04:09 PM)Ferdinand Wrote:  Beliefs are for sissies.

I don't believe you.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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04-09-2013, 04:18 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
(04-09-2013 04:15 PM)bemore Wrote:  
(04-09-2013 04:09 PM)Ferdinand Wrote:  Beliefs are for sissies.

I don't believe you.

...and that's a fact. Thumbsup

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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04-09-2013, 04:25 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
A fact is still a fact regardless of how many believe it.

A belief is only a belief if someone believes it, and requires only one believer.

"Which is more likely: that the whole natural order is suspended, or that a jewish minx should tell a lie?"- David Hume
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04-09-2013, 04:39 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
Well, now.

(04-09-2013 02:28 PM)I and I Wrote:  Example: Newtonian physics never got "demoted" to being non factual, there was a point where people stopped believing in it and for reasons started believing in something else.

That is not true (unless, of course, accepting the premise, one then believes it hard enough Rolleyes ). Nobody (no physicist) ever stopped 'believing' in it, and certainly not in the sense of 'believing' something else instead.

Newtonian mechanics are precisely as factual today as in 1700. There are situations (unknown and unknowable to Newton himself) in which it is insufficient, in which cases it has been supplemented (cf Lagrange, Hamilton); there are situations (unknown and unknowable to Newton himself) in which it is inapplicable, in which case it has been complemented (cf Einstein, Dirac).

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05-09-2013, 07:00 AM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
(04-09-2013 04:39 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Well, now.

(04-09-2013 02:28 PM)I and I Wrote:  Example: Newtonian physics never got "demoted" to being non factual, there was a point where people stopped believing in it and for reasons started believing in something else.

That is not true (unless, of course, accepting the premise, one then believes it hard enough Rolleyes ). Nobody (no physicist) ever stopped 'believing' in it, and certainly not in the sense of 'believing' something else instead.

Newtonian mechanics are precisely as factual today as in 1700. There are situations (unknown and unknowable to Newton himself) in which it is insufficient, in which cases it has been supplemented (cf Lagrange, Hamilton); there are situations (unknown and unknowable to Newton himself) in which it is inapplicable, in which case it has been complemented (cf Einstein, Dirac).

Cool, pick whatever examples you feel are more fitting.

Now on to the topic, belief of a fact or disbelief of a fact can have profound differences on society. Non-belief can also have an impact on society. What merit do facts have if belief is still required?

Before people knew about photosynthesis (non-belief) the absence of a cultural belief in photosynthesis had different results in society on many levels. We regard photosynthesis as being a fact but if nobody knew about photosynthesis of nobody believed in it would it still be a fact?
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