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Agnostics/atheists do you require evidence for other things in life, too?

We require evidence to believe in god. Do we also require evidence to believe in other things in life? Better put, do some of us believe in things for which there is no evidence?

What am I talking about? All kinds of things: Astrology, Myers-Briggs, Organic produce, juice cleanses, the list goes on.

If someone pointed out that there was no evidence behind your belief, would you be willing to change it?

jwd45244 7 Aug 12

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69 comments

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7

Long time advocate of Skepticism and Critical Thinking.

7

Oh HELL yes. When someone starts going on about juicing, organic food, non-GMO, reiki, crystals, etc. I wonder where their double blind study is. Himalayan salt lamps are supposed to cure everything now. Show me the evidence.

I've eaten raw for a few months and dropped 15 pounds quickly doing so. Convinced it can help anyone feel better, though I'd stop short of calling it a cure. But certain diets can have a profound effect on health.

6

Yes, if evidence contradicts any of my beliefs I will follow the evidence.

6

Yes. Yes, I do.

I require proof for most things and I stick with facts.

I am able to change my mind, as well.

I'm curious and interested in gaining knowledge, not in being correct or proving myself or my personal beliefs.

6

Provide credible, verifiable proof of anything that I reject, and I'll reconsider my position.

5

I totally use the Scientific method towards every thing I want to know.
So, Yes,if empirical evidence that shows me something that I though was wrong, I would gladly change my mind.

5

scientific method demands it

4

I hold no beliefs other than the mundane navigational things we all use to make it through daily life without cognitive overload. I am an evidentialist when it comes to anything else.

3

oh god yes. I'm the biggest sceptic out there.

3

Yep!

3

Yes evidence-based is best. Show your work, show me your numbers, give me some lovely and tasty numbers and data to crunch. 😀

3

While I may find a lot of things interesting, it doesn't mean I believe their claims. I need the data before I believe.

2

If someone presents me with a statement, I may base my belief or non-belief on it on many things instead of proof - though proof is always preferable, I may not have the knowledge to correctly interpret that proof one way or the other, or proof may not be available. For example the trustworthiness and expertise, I am not a physicist and am educated in that subject only to A-level; therefore if a physicist tells me something that seems plausible, I'll defer to her greater knowledge of the subject and decide that what she says is probably true (if it doesn't seem plausible, I'll check her academic reputation and see if any other physicists corroborate what she says). Likewise, if my friend says he saw a herd of deer on his way to work, I don't question it because I know deer exist and that he traveled to work through an area where deer live, even though I didn't see the deer myself and he can't prove that he did, either (this is also why I believe the USA exists - I've never seen it, but enough people say they live there to make it seem more probable than not that it actually does exist, however unlikely it seems to the rest of the world). Meanwhile, if someone tells me something that doesn't seem plausible - perhaps my friend arrives at work the next day and says he saw a dinosaur on his way in, I'm rather less likely to believe it because it's implausible due to my knowledge that there haven't been any dinosaurs around here for quite some time. Subjects such as astrology fall into that last category - what proponents claim is so implausible, I don't need evidence either way.

Jnei Level 8 Nov 7, 2018

You are right the post covers a broad area.There is no short answer .Science is always updating and correcting as technology advances.We take from it what we can understand and sometimes refuse information if we already have formed our opinion.

2

Yes, yes and yes. So that's settled then. Thanks for the conversation.

Dietl Level 7 Aug 13, 2018
2

I need evidence for everything. Provide evidence on the other side of a thought of mine and I'm willing to change if it makes sense. Even had a major roaring argument with my brother who accused me of not trusting him. I told him that I verify everything and he should know that about me.

lerlo Level 8 Aug 13, 2018
2

Yep. I try to research things before deciding if it's bunk or true. If I have accepted or rejected something without thinking to research it, and then am shown evidence contrary to my viewpoint, I will research that evidence and change my beliefs accordingly.

2

Go vegetarian! Don't believe the stigma surrounding it!

2

Yup. Psuedoscience is a total pet peeve of mine, can't stand it.

2

Well, of course! Unless Gwyneth Paltrow is vouching for the product, in which case I'm convinced of the rigorous testing it's undergone. ?

[vox.com]

2

Yes. And Please note that Myers-Briggs is totally unscientific, easily manipulated and totally unreliable. I have taken its test 5 different times and had 5 different results. After I noticed the different results happening after taking it 3 times, the last 2 times, I purposely answered questions in a manner to push a certain result and it came out that way. A good personality test is not that easily manipulated.

Maybe you have split personality disorder 🙂🙂🙂

@lerlo Shhhh, don't let that secret out! Mum's the word.

2
2

Yup. I’m a natural born skeptic.

1

You are mixing "apples and oranges." Niels Bohr expressed it well in suggesting that there are two kinds of truth: there are the trivial truths, the opposite of which are clearly false, and there are the Great Truths, the opposite of which are also true. Belief in God and similar beliefs are examples of Great Truths, since they cannot be proven true or false, at least as far as we humans are concerned; the other beliefs you mention can be proven true or false so would be classified as trivial truths. As to people requiring evidence before believing in God, such a belief is not an inherent phenomenon in human experience. One comes into this world having no thought of such a thing, subsequently being introduced--and in many instances "brainwashed" into thinking there is even a question about the existence of such aa being. So, as we inherit the situation, we are taught that we must choose, while, in fact, it should be the obligation of those who profess such belief to present reasoned, evidence based argument in support of their belief. Unfortunately for those individuals, however, there is not credible evidence they can present save one: personal experience. The problem with that is that ehy are the only ones who had said experience. One of the principal stumbling blocks we in the Western world encounter is that we become immersed in cause/effect reasoning. It becomes impossible for most even to entertain the possibility that there might not have been a first cause. I find interesting reading the explanations coming from various cultures through which they have attempted to identify that first cause, or as Aristotle called it, the "primum mobilum."

1

Yes, I don't believe in things other than religion for which there is no evidence. This includes Santa Claus, Unicorns, space aliens, astrology, vaccination/autism, Leprechauns, etc.

That said, I sometimes to things that assume unproven assumptions if I determine that the odds of them being effective are worth the cost. For example, I take a multi-vitamin with 50-odd ingredients even though it may just give me expensive urine, under the assumption that the chance of it helping is worth the small price.

1

I personally indulge in only one very controversial habit, as far as I know; I take supplements, which time and again have been "proven" to be non-beneficial, accordingly.

But, here's the thing; I only take them if/when I have experienced a definite, notable change in the condition for which I take them. OK, perhaps there is a placebo effect, call it what you will, but every supplement I take has alleviated a malady of one kind or another. And you can show me all the "evidence" you can find to disprove their worth, but as long as they continue to help me feel better, I'll use them.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that the evidence of the supplements working for me, i.e., relief or enhancement of a physical sensation, will override words on a paper, no matter how they're arranged.

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