Sundays in the Times with Stan

Russell Blackford also says why Fish is wrong.

It is, of course, true that the grounding of any knowledge claim will eventually run out. If somebody does not accept our basic assumptions about what forms of argument are cogent and what counts as evidence, we can not convince her of anything that she does not want to be convinced of. For that reason, it’s true to say that there is no argument about anything that is effective in persuading all comers, no matter how fanatical or even insane…[W]hile our various chains of inference cannot be justified all the way down to all comers, it does not follow that none are better than others. Chains of inference don’t need to be justified all the way down. In fact, the very idea is incoherent. But some can be justified down into claims that no sane person would deny.

Fish left that part out.

Science’s methods are continuous with the ordinary methods of reasoning that we use in day to day life, but made more rigorous in various well-known ways, to make up for the ubiquity of circumstantial evidence and heavily theory-laden reasoning. Religion is simply not in this position. When we say that it relies on faith, we don’t just mean that it eventually depends on assumptions about what counts as evidence and what counts as cogent reasoning – assumptions that can’t be proved without relying upon them, because they count as our standards for what can be proved or evidenced.

Fish left that part out too. Fish is unserious.

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