Adherence to the Facts Wherever they Lead? Or Should We Pick and Choose those That Support Our Position?

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Truth above all else. Never compromise the truth.
Beliefs should never be sacred and should be based on knowledge (facts -> justified true belief).

Given that, of course people interpret based on moral philosophy, personal bias, etc.

That's where interaction with others with the same orientation helps to keep us on track and consistent.

Not doing that results in Dogmatism whether it's authoritarian dogmatism or politically correct dogmatism or any other kind of dogmatism.

And *that's* destructive in my opinion because it stops progress and change.

It ties one to beliefs which may have been relevant 30 years ago or 50 years ago but are not necessarily relevant in today's world because our world, society, and social structures are dynamic and changing.
What a batty question. Of course nobody is going to claim the latter. Nobody actually believes that they pick and choose their evidence.
And so, that IS the point of my question. It's purpose is to suggest that cherry picking data occurs in the theist and atheist camp. I'm on the side of the data, not dogma. From experience that level of objectivity and honesty (especially when grants, and lucrative publishing contracts are at stake) simply does not exist. As I say in my profile I am a skeptic of human reason. Nothing a theist, or an atheist is to be trusted until one PERSONALLY checks their facts and independently either accepts or rejects their hypothesis.
And when I say "facts" I mean all of them, not just the ones that contradict one's pet position where one's emotions are wrapped around.
As far as I'm concerned, a "fact" is an event that has been observed. Nothing else qualifies.

So, if a friend in Australia reports that the sun has risen, it is a fact to me? What if it's a friend of my friend? Or a friend of a friend of my friend? At what point does something stop being a fact and become an unfortunate artifact of a game of Telephone?

Conversely, there are facts that cannot be observed. It is a fact that triangles do not have 4 corners. It is a fact that the number pi cannot be completely written down as a whole number plus a decimal fraction.
But everyone in principle agrees with your conclusion obviously. With this question you seem to have presumed that you can just show up one day and start lecturing us atheists about what you perceive to be our naughty behavior. Seems a bit smug to me.
I believe in confirmation bias, all the way. Anything else is BS, of course, because my reasoning is completely logical and totally objective. I mean how could it be otherwise.

(not really...)

Following the facts is my vote. I have found that it can lead to some uncomfortable conclusions. The Universe can be a cold and lonely place.
I believe in confirmation bias, all the way. Anything else is BS, of course, because my reasoning is completely logical and totally objective. I mean how could it be otherwise.

Hehe. Reminds me this saying from a famous someone whose name escapes me at the moment: "Only idiots never change their opinions. That's what I've always said."
The same facts can lead different people in diametrically opposed directions.

A graphic illustration is the adversarial legal system,in which opposing sides argue opposite conclusions from the same evidence.


Science and reason follow the evidence regardless,beginning with facts then making an inference,which is hopefully close enough to for a working hypothesis.

Religion begins with a conclusion then cherry picks the facts to support that conclusion,which is probably wrong.---That's why I can't be bothered arguing with a presuppositional apologist. It's like trying to hold a conversation with an orangutan.


At 20 my world view was relatively simple and pretty much binary,full of personal certitude. Today,at 62,to paraphrase Alan Alda: "I know only that I will die and that in between then and now I have understood nothing."
I'm mildly loathe to accept the word 'fact' as an absolute. For me - it is about practical and pragmatic trends and how they can be applied to the success of my experience. Observable, repeatable and documented by multiple independent sources ... that would be a good definition of a serviceable 'fact'.

But what about black swans? What about outliers? What about new facts in evidence?

Surely, for people who never strayed more than 15 miles from their village (the experience of the vast majority of humans for tens of thousands of years) and lived on a plain, there was nothing impractical about believing the world was flat and nothing applicable to accepting that it was round.

Read Dr. Seuss's "The Great Butter Battle" - that demonstrates the danger of subjective adherence to irrelevant facts. What a frikkin genius!

Meanwhile, for the sake of the clearest picture of the universe (to slake my insatiable curiosity) I love to sit on a jury that never comes out of deliberation myself.

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