Monday, September 23, 2013

[PHI 3800] Look who's talking about faith

Following up on the previous post about Tania Lombrozo's post over at 13.7 cosmos & culture--"Does science require faith?"--here is another familiar argument that is mentioned in a quote Lombrozo takes from here:
Sometimes, when people say "science requires faith", what they are trying to get at is the idea that scientists have to rely on assumptions that they can't prove. For instance, scientists have to assume that induction works (e.g. that you can generalize about the future laws of the universe by looking at the past laws). If tomorrow the laws of physics were suddenly different than they ever were before, science would be in pretty deep water.
The familiar argument in question is this: Fans of science who rebuke religious people for taking certain things on faith should be aware that scientists, too, must take certain things on faith (e.g., the legitimacy of inductive inference).

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Is this a good argument or an instance of a fallacious tu quoque?

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