Faith is Above All ‘Everyone’s’ Modus Operandi

Modus Operandi: “is a Latin phrase, approximately translated as “mode of operating” (Wikipedia)

The only way to determine the truth values of statements of knowledge in any field of study – from archeology to zoology – is by a reliable method of inquiry that yields reasons to inform the claims that something is, in fact, probably true” (tildeb)

If this is the case, do it for political science? Which form of gov’t is the ‘right’ one? What about economics, which form is the ‘right’ one? These are the 2 biggest areas facing any society and it is extremely hard to conclude that either can arrive at ‘fact’ versus pure ‘faith/trust in an ideology’.

So as much as you want to think I am off base and being irrational, answer either the question on political science or economics. You will find you are entering territory that has verifiable statistics based on ideological ends with really little to no concern for ‘truth’ or ‘facts’. Their bottom line concern is the societies they function within – they don’t want reasonable methods of comparison since arrival at truth or ‘fact’ will not happen.

Which is better, democratic socialism or liberalism? What about Marxism or communalism? Maybe we want a autocracy, a monarchy, or theocracy? Conservative agendas, are they the ‘most right’? Now all of this historicaly verifiable and can be researched to some meaningful degree, but research is not what scientific discovery would neccesarily be after. Refinement and the figuring out of what is the way this thing ‘works’. Well how do we test politics and by which measure or standard of overall comparison?

At some point, and yes atheists will hate to admit this is actually the truth, you use as much as faith (trust) as I do in the systems that surround you everyday – from politics to economics.

*Comment originally aired on ‘Defining Atheism #3’ on Carly Jo’s blogspot

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23 thoughts on “Faith is Above All ‘Everyone’s’ Modus Operandi

  1. So let’s look at political science. From Wiki, which gives us a decent definition to work with for the moment:

    Political science is a social science concerned with the theory and practice of politics and the analysis of political systems and political behavior. Political scientists “see themselves engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political events and conditions. And from these revelations they attempt to construct general principles about the way the world of politics work.”

    So it’s a field of theory that informs practice about how it works and deduces general principles (unlike theology that makes an assertion of an answer and then backs it up only with info that appears to support selective parts of it).

    I say that knowledge must have a reliable method of inquiry that yields reasons why something is probably true. Does political science have a reliable method of inquiry that yields reasons why something is probably true and, if so, how can we find out?

    Oo, I know… let’s inquire further, shall we?

    Oh lookee:

    Political science is methodologically diverse and appropriates many methods originating in social research. Approaches include positivism, interpretivism, rational choice theory, behavioral, structuralism, post-structuralism, realism, institutionalism, and pluralism. Political science, as one of the social sciences, uses methods and techniques that relate to the kinds of inquiries sought: primary sources such as historical documents and official records, secondary sources such as scholarly journal articles, survey research, statistical analysis, case studies, and model building.

    You mean it doesn’t start with only one ‘right’ answer and usees only info that appears to support selective parts of that answer? Where’s the Oogity Boogity? I need more Oogity Boogity if we’re going to compare and contrast PoliSci with theology… and so far I don;t see any. Further more, I see a field of study that uses different methodologies and utilizes a whole bunch of secondary sources to test them.

    I’m shocked, simply shocked, I tell you. Whodathunk?

    And for the umpteenth time, let’s use the word ‘faith’ in its proper place. If you mean faith as a kind of trust that is based on evidence and reasoning, then please provide the evidence and reasoning. If you mean faith in its proper religious sense, trust WITHOUT this requirement of evidence and reasoning, then stick to that. But please stop pretending that the word always means the same thing. This playing of hide and seek meanings to suit only you is tedious and dishonest. I do not – nor do you – use the religious sense of the word ‘faith’ when we assume our car will start… unless you call a priest to exorcise those nasty demons that stop the engine from working properly. But if you call a mechanic, then you are not using ‘faith’ in its proper religious sense but in its sense of trust based on evidence and reasoning. These are not the same meanings even though you use the same word. You know this. I know this. So stop playing this stupid game that dishonestly paints reason to be just another kind of religious faith. It isn’t. It is just another poor attempt on your part to cause confusion by misrepresentation.

  2. “Further more, I see a field of study that uses different methodologies and utilizes a whole bunch of secondary sources to test them.” (tildeb)

    At what point, when the facts are totally incalculable and many decision routes can be taken, do you just trust the decision of the decision makers in power? Sure there is a methodolgy to arrive at a conclusion, which I actually think theology contains as well and as verifiable as political science, but is the methodolgy totally accurate? Or is there some ‘trust’ of the stats and conclusions we just have to accept?

    It’s like what happens in a time of proclaiming war. We never have all the facts and decisions are made based on the best proof we have. In the case of Iraq, I can weigh that case many ways and arrive at a variety of conclusions: (a) war makes sense (b) war should be held off until more proof comes in (c) war does not make sense, etc. By the methodology of political science, which one is ‘right’ or the ‘best answer’?

    The problem faced even with this ‘informed’ methodology is that the information is still limited and variable – and in comparison with other political systems – could be totally in opposition to what another political strand might ‘choose’ to do. There is no ‘right’ answer so to speak – there is cavalier ‘whats best for the people’ type thinking going on, which is not exactly scientific inquiry.

    So at what point do your leaders conclusions have to be completely verified in order for you to follow them? Wait, actually sometimes you don’t have much of a choice if the decision is written into the law of the land – no matter how good your scientific inquiry in comparison of the ‘best achievable answer’ (which I will contend political science is not trying to find anyways).

    I think you hate to admit your life, like mine, is based in trust (which is a meaning for faith – look it up and see I ain’t lying to ya) of some quite unknowns. How aware are you off all the movements of the political party in office in your country? What about CIA? What about any branch or office in your country? I am pretty sure you cannot weigh all the decisions they make you live by with the fine tooth comb of scientific inquiry?

    That’s faith my man, soak it in a bit.

    • When we ask the question “Is it true?” of some political position, we don’t call on faith to inform the answer. We turn, instead, to a method of inquiry that lets us test the answer. And this is why PoliSci is not considered a ‘natural’ science but a ‘social’ one. The fact that it does indeed test for verification is the point in any fair comparison with theology, whereas you skip over this central feature and go straight to whether or not there is only one correct answer. But that’s not the important measurement, in the same way that taking temperatures at different times of the day under different conditions does not mean that different answers cast some of doubt on the practical value of using a cohesive method of temperature taking.

  3. “I do not – nor do you – use the religious sense of the word ‘faith’ when we assume our car will start… unless you call a priest to exorcise those nasty demons that stop the engine from working properly” (tildeb)

    But I never use faith in the terms of that type of unbridled and inknowledgable faith either. I believe in reasonable faith, which I prove time in and time out. I stand opposed, as you do, to faith that lacks some reasonable source or conclusion for it’s existence.

    For example, I don’t believe Jesus can fly or was the product of a ‘virgin’ birth. Why? Simple reasoning. People cannot fly on their own and we do not have those cappabilties (reasoning is human observation and limitations of our bodily make-up). As for the ‘virgin’ birth I look at the texts themselves and can reduce the use of the 2 stories into contextual mis-translation of a Hebrew word (ie: linguistics). It’s reasonable faith, I am not jumping into shark infested waters believing the sharks are actually teddy bears.

    As for the way I use faith I am talking about the term ‘trust’ (and always have been). Having ‘faith’ in God is all about having a level of ‘trust’ in God. The only other way I use faith is as a term for someone’s overall belief system. No trick or wordplay here, just need to know I believe someone can have reasonable faith, by using my reasonable capabilities (ie: mind and emotions).

    See, if I thought God was an unreasonable premise, I wouldn’t believe in God (trust (have faith in) me on that one). I don’t buy into things that have high levels of reasonable doubt attached to them.

    Santa is fake – reason – it’s a construct of childish imagination that took flight when Coke introduced the fat man in the red suit in the 30’s or 40’s.

    The problem with the engine analgoy is it’s not really ‘fair’ in some regards to dealing with an idea like ‘faith’ or ‘trust’. The better analogy would be the trust of the mechanic’s degree and expertise to be working on your vehicle. Cause that’s what really happens when we take our vehicle to be repaired by a mechanic, we basically trust their skills and expertise to fix the motor…and in some cases the trust is verified (worked well) and in some cases it leads to more problems (engine still floods).

    • If you honestly believed in a reasonable faith, then you would have means at your disposal to verify and validate the method you use to inquire into it. Your method – as far as I can determine – is what sort of feels right at this particular moment where you begin with the right answer (you assume) and then pick annd choose anything that might support that assumption. More importantly, a reasonable faith would contain a healthy dose of scepticism and critical doubt, both of which seem absent in your arguments. This lead me to the conclusion that your faith is not reasonable nor subject to reasonable verification and reasonable validation because it you use no reasonable method to do so.

      • “If you honestly believed in a reasonable faith, then you would have means at your disposal to verify and validate the method you use to inquire into it.”

        oh… well… then what would a reasonable faith look like? it seems your answer is constantly “no faith at all.” faith does not seem to be in your vocabulary. if you were to inquire after this method, i’d be happy to help you understand, yet you come out with:

        “Your method – as far as I can determine – is what sort of feels right at this particular moment where you begin with the right answer (you assume) and then pick annd choose anything that might support that assumption.”

        and i will ask, as always, what do you base this on? how have you verified this? how have you tested this? are you going on what you feel and assume, or have you applied a method to this?

  4. “So it’s a field of theory that informs practice about how it works and deduces general principles (unlike theology that makes an assertion of an answer and then backs it up only with info that appears to support selective parts of it).”

    so this is different from organized religion how? they order society, they operate in a structure, to rephrase wiki “Organized Religious Types see themselves engaged in revealing the relationships underlying human events and conditions. And from these revelations they attempt to construct general principles about the way the world works.”

    to say the two are different misses a lot of history and in fact, goes right against the machine you’re raging against.

    • It’s different because it is subject to verification and validation through testing. Explain, please, how theology undergoes such a process on its own accord before arriving at various so-called answers?

      No, really… how do you even begin to test your faith? Oh wait… I know… make faith itself a virtue!

    • By the way, Z1G, your continued use of derogatory and hostile comments about my tone (such as “raging”) is duly noted. It’s just another example how you will stoop to intentionally misrepresenting whatever you want if it suits your purpose. But that makes you duplicitous, both in comprehension and in character.

      • raging is derogatory and hostile?! i rage against the machine constantly! and i love the band.

        put on your big-boy pants and answer the questions instead of constantly sticking to your Dawkins Indoctrinated guns. you might learn something.

  5. “When we ask the question “Is it true?” of some political position, we don’t call on faith to inform the answer.”

    this assumes there is no process in getting to the “faith” answer. you’d be mistaken. grossly so.

    • The process is called indoctrination. The answer does not derive from faith any more than the meaning of life is derived from the number forty-two.

      • well it’s obvious the answer is 42, we just haven’t build the machine yet for the proper question! duh.

        great reference btw.. was that some humor? granted it’s sarcastic and at my expense, but i’ll take any glimmer of personality over what i’ve been seeing.

  6. “More importantly, a reasonable faith would contain a healthy dose of scepticism and critical doubt, both of which seem absent in your arguments” (tildeb)

    Yeow, you should take a serious gander at my 500+ blogs – it nothing but criticism and critical thinking – including a lot of doubts and reductionism.

    • HAHAHA! talk about not knowing your audience. i love when someone puts a method into an exulted status and then neglects to follow it. irony is one of my favorite forms of humor.

  7. “No, really… how do you even begin to test your faith? Oh wait… I know… make faith itself a virtue!” (tildeb)

    Faith is a virtue though, in the sense of faith as a term of endearment – ie: trust. Used in a sentence ‘I have faith you will do what is best for you’.

    I understand you have issues with the idea of having faith in God, no problems there whatsoever from me – in fact – I can even applaude that. I am not going to have to guess, you have your reasons and those reasons are enough to make that conclusion.

    However, how come the same idea is not reciprocal? How is it that I cannot have faith in God and be of any standing in your eyes? Do you not trust that I am being reasonable with my decision process?

    What is it you think ‘faith’ actually is?

  8. “When we ask the question “Is it true?” of some political position, we don’t call on faith to inform the answer. We turn, instead, to a method of inquiry that lets us test the answer” (tildeb)

    So does theology though, or the paradigm I use to develop my faith stance.

    As for political science, the standardized methods of inquiry are subject to varying opinions and there are no real solidifiable facts on many issues in any position of politics. There is no grand search for the best political system that works because no such thing exists in that field of study – even as a social science.

    What is the best way to run an economy for example? Well, for socialism and conservatism strands the answers are going to vary to the Nth degree – and what works in one may not be accepted by the politics of the other. They basically accept the position of the party platform, use whatever method they find appropraite for proof, and roll with it. The cross comparison of fields in political systems is not even considered (ie: George Bush does not wonder ‘did Mao do this better than me’?).

    So how rational and complete a study can be done on any political issue when party politics plays that divisionary a role is beyond me?

    This is where I think a lot of faith/trust comes into play because we are all held hostage of the ideas of the ruling parties at the time – even if we find better alternatives in economics, business systems, or legislation based on whatever methodology we are using to arrive at our conclusions (hopefully a cross comparison of each area is looked at regardless of the politics involved to arrive at the answer – for a complete study).

  9. I am impressed with this blog. For some time, I have toyed with the idea of trying to put together one something like this too, however I am not knowledgable on how to do it. How exactly is this “WordPress” all about? Is it hard? Need I be an expert in computers to put together a blog? I am hoping to hammer together a simple blog for my learn english writing writing website. Can the platform be integrated into an existing website?

  10. Hi Vincent, WordPress is free to use and it can be customized, I think you can even pay for the site to add in some extra’s and stuff (I use the free version).

    As for the existing website stuff being implanted into a WordPress blog – that might be possible. I transferred all the stuff from another blog (on another blogging site) to this platform and it seemed to work fairly well.

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