Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
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05-09-2013, 12:55 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
The problem is when people cross the line, which is more than all of the time.

There are not many people who will stand in front of a train moving toward them at a high speed.

However, the same thing that would compel a person to jump out from in front of the train, also compels them into credulity, faith, immorality and general folly.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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05-09-2013, 01:57 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
A fact is a statement that is true regardless of opinion and awareness of it, such as one plus one equals two. Even if no one is around to understand the statement, the meaning of it remains true.

Beliefs are what you hold to be true, not what is actually true. You can believe in nonsense, but then you're just wrong. Belief has no bearing on facts.

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

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05-09-2013, 06:16 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
(05-09-2013 11:35 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(05-09-2013 10:59 AM)I and I Wrote:  To who or what was photosynthesis a fact to before humans were around, if something is a fact regardless of human belief or knowledge of it?

If one is arguing that something is a fact regardless of human knowledge or belief in that fact then explain how this is possible.

If you are defining 'fact' as human knowledge, then fine, have it it your way - but I equate fact with reality.

The reality is that photosynthesis was going on for three billion years before there were people to know this. That is a fact.

That is a fact to us today yes, nobody is denying that to me and you photosynthesis is a fact. I am asking how something can be a fact without a human mind to conceptualize it into a fact.
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05-09-2013, 06:28 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
This is beginning to sound like the thought experiment; If a tree falls in the forest.....

I & I, you have asked a group of (mostly) atheists who prefer to deal in reality and although many of us understand where you are trying to go with your fact/belief mind puzzle and even enjoy a bit of mental acrobatics from time to time, I think it's pretty safe to assume that the overwhelming answer you are likely to get is; yes the tree does make a sound. Ask another group and you may well receive a different consensus.

"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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05-09-2013, 06:46 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
(05-09-2013 06:16 PM)I and I Wrote:  
(05-09-2013 11:35 AM)Chas Wrote:  If you are defining 'fact' as human knowledge, then fine, have it it your way - but I equate fact with reality.

The reality is that photosynthesis was going on for three billion years before there were people to know this. That is a fact.

That is a fact to us today yes, nobody is denying that to me and you photosynthesis is a fact. I am asking how something can be a fact without a human mind to conceptualize it into a fact.

Asked and answered.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-09-2013, 08:05 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
(05-09-2013 06:46 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(05-09-2013 06:16 PM)I and I Wrote:  That is a fact to us today yes, nobody is denying that to me and you photosynthesis is a fact. I am asking how something can be a fact without a human mind to conceptualize it into a fact.

Asked and answered.

So photosynthesis was a fact to who millions of years ago?

A fact needs a human mind to believe in it to be a fact. Before humans existed there was nobody to believe in photosynthesis or even knew about photosynthesis.
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05-09-2013, 08:07 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
(05-09-2013 08:05 PM)I and I Wrote:  
(05-09-2013 06:46 PM)Chas Wrote:  Asked and answered.

So photosynthesis was a fact to who millions of years ago?

A fact needs a human mind to believe in it to be a fact. Before humans existed there was nobody to believe in photosynthesis or even knew about photosynthesis.

No, Facts are not subjective. Either something is a fact or it is not, observation makes no difference.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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05-09-2013, 08:17 PM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2013 08:40 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
He's equivocating the word "fact".

Photosynthesis is a physical process, which goes on, and went on for billions of years, whether anyone observed it or not.

I suspect the OP failed to define the word "fact" because he (as usual) has an agenda.
A fact is something that has "the quality of being actual".
That state obtains whether or not there is an observer.
It obtains even if observers do not recognize the reality of what is transpiring.

It does not have to "be a fact *to*" anyone or anything to be happening.
The process is actual.

If he had defined his terms, he wouldn't end up with his head up his ass, as usual.

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05-09-2013, 08:27 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
(05-09-2013 08:05 PM)I and I Wrote:  So photosynthesis was a fact to who millions of years ago?

A fact needs a human mind to believe in it to be a fact. Before humans existed there was nobody to believe in photosynthesis or even knew about photosynthesis.

To plants.

A fact is an incontrovertible statement. Unless one prefers wallowing in solipsism, external reality is assumed.

(05-09-2013 08:07 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  No, Facts are not subjective. Either something is a fact or it is not, observation makes no difference.

Well; observation (and reason) are how we decide which conclusions are factual.

(05-09-2013 08:17 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  He's equivocating the word "fact".

Photosynthesis is a physical process which goes on and went on for billions of years, whether anyone observed it or not.

I suspect the OP failed to define the word "fact" because he (as usual) has an agenda.
A fact is something that has "the quality of being actual'. That state obtains whether or not there is an observer. It obtains even if observers do not recognize the reality of what is transpiring.

It does not have to "be a fact *to*" anyone or anything to be happening.
The process is actual.

If he had defined his terms, he wouldn't end up with his head up his ass, as usual.

Yup.

We've been down this road before.

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05-09-2013, 08:42 PM
RE: Do facts require belief for it to be a fact?
(05-09-2013 08:07 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(05-09-2013 08:05 PM)I and I Wrote:  So photosynthesis was a fact to who millions of years ago?

A fact needs a human mind to believe in it to be a fact. Before humans existed there was nobody to believe in photosynthesis or even knew about photosynthesis.

No, Facts are not subjective. Either something is a fact or it is not, observation makes no difference.

Nobody said "observation" makes a difference.

I am asking how something is a fact absence of a human mind to conceptualize it and believe it.


Another example: The fact that there was no evidence before we invaded Iraq that Hussein possessed WMD, was totally irrelevant compared to the BELIEF that hussein had WMD. The belief in one made the fact of the other totally irrelevant. The irrelevancy of the fact was due to the non belief in that fact, more people believed opposite of the fact and that was more powerful than a fact.

If people don't believe that something is a fact, then that fact is irrelevant, just like photosynthesis was totally irrelevant to people before people knew about it. A fact needs a human mind, unless you know of some other creature that can determine facts and non-facts.
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