Analogy

mellestad
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Analogy

So, lets say you're a scientist who travels to a foreign country to visit their largest national peer group for your field (doesn't matter what field).

 

You show up and you learn that these scientists claim to have discovered a unified theory that explains darned near every mystery and problem you've ever heard of.  It started as a hypothesis and now they consider it a scientific law.  Not only that, but they did it a hundred years ago!

Naturally, you're fascinated.  So you question them.

The theory really *feels* right to you.  You're very moved by it.  However, you're a good scientist and so you want to follow proper method.

So, the original hypothesis had a hundred predictions attached to it, ways to verify its efficacy, you figure that is a good place to start.

What you find, is that out of the original hundred predictions, 97 of them have been proved false, or had unrelated explanations well outside the original theory.  Heck, you did some doctoral work on one of the predictions and found out it was caused by swamp gas.  The remaining three predictions have not been proved false, but they have not been proved true either.  Mostly, the scientists have given up on testing the last three because they can't think of any protocols to generate useful data.

The brightest scientists think the 97 predictions were all just junk, I mean, really junk, but the other three are just so amazing it doesn't matter.  Even if those three remaining ideas aren't totally, literally true, they are so close to these theories developed last year that we think that must have been what the original author meant.

Most laypeople in the country still think all 100 are true, although when you question them one by one most only think about 40 are true and they've never heard of the other 60.

When you ask these scientists why they still hold the original theory to be true, they give three reasons.

 

1: The three remaining predictions.  The scientists are all *positive* these predictions are true though and even though it probably isn't possible to test for them scientifically, they should be self evident, because after all, the unified theory says they are.

2: The idea is so emotionally powerful to them.  So powerful, that they made a new word to express what they feel when they talk about the unified theory.

3: Some people did some nice things while they subscribed to the unifying theory.

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Naturally, you go home and tell everyone about this wonderful theory, all the while sending 15% of your salary to the foreign group, because that's some advice from the original dissertation.  You start locking your spouse in the closet during the day for the same reason.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Tapey
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And neither does believing

And neither does believing in that theory.


butterbattle
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mellestad wrote:You start

mellestad wrote:
You start locking your spouse in the closet during the day for the same reason.

Lol.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Sandycane
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Explanation:The young man in

Explanation:

The young man in the photo had just been married in a park at the top of the hill. During the reception party, after the ceremony, the UPS driver was delivering a wedding gift to the newly married couple, the sewing machine, and absentmindedly left the truck in neutral while retrieving the gift from the back of the truck, causing the truck to roll down the steep embankment and into the river below. 

'Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.' A. Einstein


Thunderios
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I think it's a good analogy,

I think it's a good analogy, but a bit too obvious to tell a theist. They'll be like "Ye questionin' ma faith?" at the second line.
But it explains very clearly why we discard the God hypothesis.


mellestad
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I'm just trying to put it in

I'm just trying to put it in non-religious terms.  There are too many smart and educated people who are theists...they accept science, follow science, and typically use rational methods to discern truth.  Then they get to religion and they dump all those tools.  It is frustrating, and I'm not sure how to get them to be as objective about their theism as they about the other things in their life.

 

 

I'd update the example by pointing out most of those 97 debunked ideas were disproved by an alternate minority faction that thinks the whole thing is BS.

Also, in your native country the three remaining ideas all have alternate theories that don't rely on the grand unified theory.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.