Pretending to know what we don’t and can’t know

Thought for the day. Sam Harris replying to Jonathan Haidt at Edge.

The point is that religion remains the only mode of discourse that encourages grown men and women to pretend to know things they manifestly do not (and cannot) know. If ever there were an attitude at odds with science, this is it. And the faithful are encouraged to keep shouldering this unwieldy burden of falsehood and self-deception by everyone they meet – by their coreligionists, of course, and by people of differing faith, and now, with startling frequency, by scientists who claim to have no faith.

Just so. Often we’re not just encouraged to pretent to know what we don’t and can’t know, we’re more or less ordered to. That’s why we keep resisting.

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