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Comment by jconradtoole on Professing and Cheering · 2010-05-25T13:13:38.001Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

The previous comment by Alan about these beliefs of religion not being the same as beliefs in science seems a little problematic. If one believes that ones religious beliefs are a non-literal, albeit serious metaphor, which one holds to be true, but not in the same way as scientific beliefs, what sort of belief is it, and how does one hold the religious accounts to be true? Belief, is very widely understood as the epistemic state of holding some proposition, or propositions to be true, in the actual or real world. Maybe it is not the sense of belief that differs, in Alan's account after all, but the proposition that is being believed. The belief in the religious account was stated as not being a proposition of literal truth, so in the common meaning not proposed as being true in the actual world, and so in the common understanding, not a belief. It was stated to be some sense of belief, just not in the common sense. It seems that there is a proposition which is being claimed as true, that is the proposition regarding very real and serious effect, and significant metaphorical meaning of the religious account on, or in, people's lives . That is to say that the belief is in the function of the metaphorical account, and not the account itself. The metaphor may be a way of coming to understand, or feel more connected to the scientific account, or any number of other very real, and very meaningful roles. Whatever the function may be in any instance, it is this function that Alan, and perhaps others actually believe in. The metaphorical religious account need not have its own special sense of belief, but simply function as any other metaphor, to help bring about a greater understanding or appreciation. Believing not in the religious account and the scientific account in two separate ways, but believing, in one concise, simple way in the scientific account and metaphorical function of the religious account.