Apistevist – The Final Word

Apistevist.

This term first came to my attention some 4 years ago. Thought to be coined by one annoying youtuber back in 2010, it turned out to actually originate with another not so annoying youtuber sometime before that (a fellow by the name of Aron RA). I have my issues with him, but unlike the vast majority of other ideological atheist types in the online realm, he actually puts his platform to good use. Highlighting causes of importance, and helping to further scientific literacy VIA a series of premade video lessons made for teachers that have the desire to educate but not the knowledge.

In truth, this term may well have even predated these 2. Secular conversation (and interacting secular cohorts) predated social media. However, the term may not have gone much further out than the university campus (or otherwise, the limiters of interactivity which are no longer applicable).
Either way, Apistevist has been around for at least a good 7 years. Though interest in the term seems to come in waves (as judged by search engine traffic coming into past entries on the subject), it’s relatively constant.

I have explored the term no less than twice. Once out of curiosity, then a second time due to a need for clarification to my argument. A 3ed exploration came during my aviation fascination phase after I realized that air travel is the perfect vehicle in which to argue my case. And yet a 4th came after a fellow wrote a refutation to all of the above, oh which I decided to explore. Because, what the hell.
I have no qualms about challenging my conclusions. As long as it’s something actually original.

Like many other areas of debate, what I constitute as original may not be apparent. To clear that up for this (and any other topic I cover), all I generally look for is evidence that one grasps a topic outside of ideological dogma. In the case of apistevist (much like atheist, its cousin), I look for evidence that one has pondered the term beyond its definition.

Though I used to respond to all comments as a rule, not so much anymore. Call it wisdom or arrogance, I have adopted a new rule of worthiness.
A good way to get ignored is to argue against me based on the contents of my first post alone. I made mistakes there and made the corrections easily available.
The other obvious one is outlined above. Ideological dogmatism. Or to put it another way, if you think that it is a simple concept and are astounded that I just don’t GET it . . . I don’t have much time for you.

Either way, you get the point. Now on with it. Why this term, label, flair (to quote a Reddit user) should go away once and for all.

When I dispell this concept, it is less about mechanics and assumptions than it is about real-world implications. For example, it is less about whether or not there is tuna in the can or water will come out of the tap than it is about the quality of the aforementioned commodities. Is the tuna safe to eat or the water safe to drink.
Or to use the aviation example, whether the many, MANY links in the chain that lead to your flight are all as strong as they should be.  And not just your current flight crew either. I am talking everything from security personnel at present to mechanical personnel in the distant past. Hundreds have died in past incidents due to old botched repairs later disabling (or in 1 case, literally ripping apart) aircraft.

Japan Air 123

China Airlines 611 

Both incidents were the unfortunate end result of a typically non-serious form of damage known as a tailstrike. If the nose of the aircraft is tilted too much on landing or takeoff, the tail can hit the ground. The most serious case of this phenomenon is probably KLM 4805, though that aircraft had a much bigger problem facing it at the time.

When it comes to my deconstruction of the term Apistevist, some may question the methodology. The more philosophically minded in particular may question the approach. While I acknowledge the criticism, I have to give one of my own. That being, if even I have some trouble wrapping my head around exactly what you are saying, then it won’t be of much help in educating anyone else. Such concepts may work in academia or in academic circles, but this realm is far from it.
Thus, I look for ways to make these concepts applicable to anyone and everyone willing to step outside the box. Simplistic as it may seem, a screwdriver is hardly the right tool to use for hammering a nail.

And now, the final word. To put it bluntly, I consider the term apistevist to be ridiculous and frankly, debunked. If you feel this to be a cop-out, I urge to review my previous works on the subject (available in the Apistevist category on your right).

While I could have left it there, I find the continued usage (and growth) of this term interesting.

There is a philosophical component to this (or lack thereof, as the case seems to be). The same uncritical mindsets that turn ambiguously defined terms such as Atheism into rigid ideological dogmas also serve to keep this term relevant.
However, I suspect that there is more to it. In particular, I suspect it is yet another manifestation of the Nones (for lack of a better adjective coming to mind) being so eager to withdraw from all things theism that they end up throwing away some perfectly reasonable conclusions based merely on the word they are associated with.

One of the most obvious examples of this that I have come across involves atheists absolute disdain with association with the term religion. I have seen some atheists go as far as leaving out part of the definition of the word in order to avoid this association. In particular,  a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance. Something that amused me, considering the sacred (yet altered) modern definition of Atheism (lack of belief in).  As contrasted to the former common usage (denial of the existence of). Definitions are important . . . unless they are inconvenient?

Now that I have opened that can of worms, on to a new one.

In the same way that I suspect that many non-believers are repulsed by typically theism centric religion, I also see this phenomenon at play when it comes to the concept of faith (or possibly blind faith).

Like all of the various flavors of Nones out there, I do not disagree with criticism of the concept of faith in the context of religions or deities. I have been there since I was a teenager, and thus we are on the same page.
What I disagree with is the notion that this conclusion can be expanded beyond the context of religiosity and deity. That people can live life without any interaction with faith whatsoever.

The common alternative to my argument is to say that I am talking less about faith than I am about trust. I do not have faith in the safety of tap water, Tuna, or the chain of events applicable to (and preceding) my flight on a given aircraft. I trust in the safety and competency of all involved.

To be perfectly honest, the first thing that comes to mind is “What is the difference?!”. What is being said is basically the same thing, just using different words.

“I have faith that this unopened drink will not poison me”

“There is a high amount of probability that this drink will not poison me”

Here is where many will say that I am being incoherent, or deliberately dense. In a nutshell, one conclusion is based on past evidence, and the other is not. However, even taking that into consideration, this is still relatively easy to dismiss.

Keeping with the food safety example, it is all about knowing the origins of this food and where this trail ends at any given time. I had previously applied this to individual packages, but the trust aspect can be lengthened right to the batch. If one can of tuna from a batch is good, then one can argue that this likely applies to the whole batch. In fact, I suspect food safety testing is based on this principle (being that its impossible to test literally EVERY ounce of food or drink entering a given market).

While the Apistevist can indeed use the above argument to back up their usage of the term, the fact remains that there will always be a cutoff somewhere. Every batch ends and is followed by a new one. Thus, you are back to square one.

But wait!

This is not entirely correct, because of the aforementioned quality assurance testing. Organizations and governments are always testing product quality, therefore it is not a leap of faith to trust any given package of anything.

To which I would respond . . . yes, it is indeed still a leap of faith. One can argue that testing and assurances make a product more trustworthy and less of a gamble, but that just means that your faith is now in the tests. That the procedures are up to snuff and are in no way compromised. Which is a pretty much impossible guarantee to make because even if malicious intent or incompetence are not an issue, risks change.
The human experiment (particularly in the scientifically driven modern age) is littered with cases of “Whoops! We dun fucked that up!”. From DDT to Asbestos to bisphenol A, what was harmless even in my youth is constantly changing.
Who would think that commonly used reusable plastic water bottles that I saw around high school in 2003 would now be viewed as hazardous waste? My peers (and millions of others!) had faith and/or trust in the safety of the bottles. Whoops!

What I am building up to may well be an impossible standard. If you look at everything in this way, then it becomes literally impossible to guarantee the safety of pretty much anything. Therein making participation not just in a consumer society, but really LIFE, impossible.

Thus making the culmination of following the apistevist philosophy . . . insanity?

If there is any rhyme or reason to this series, it is to illustrate how unnecessary the term (and otherwise illustrating ones total and complete lack of faith) is.

Before I brought it up here, few readers probably considered the safety and or quality assurances on food, tap water, aviation or any other aspect of their lives. But that is not a bad thing.
For one, having that on your plate is not good for one’s mental health. And for another, the fact that we can live life without thinking about these things is a testament to how far we have come.

I argue against apistevism due to its incoherence. But I also take issue with the secular community in general for placing far to much weight on labels. A healthier future can only result from being less tied to these barriers and more open to uniting for the good of the commons.

14 thoughts on “Apistevist – The Final Word

  1. Hi, it’s me again. Last time you just cop-outed saying you don’t care about this anymore, but since now you did this new post… Care to address my criticism?

    Just the highlights of my last post:
    Here I will use:
    -trust = confidence based on evidence
    -faith = confidence in spite of lack of evidence

    I think I can define myself a 100% faith-less person (?Apistevist?).
    I’ve not always been so.
    There was a time when I just believed what my parents told me. Or the priest. Or tv.
    Then I grew up, I made experiences and built trust towards a multiplicity of propositions.
    For instance I had lots of experience with acqueduct management being a good provider of safe water. I learned about their methods for detection of poisonings and read statistics about their effectiveness. I also learned not to have faith in the water company. Now when I open the water tap and see a liquid flowing out I evaluate it’s color, smell and taste (lack of) before swallowing it. By this experience plus my trust towards water company I evaluate if water is safe every time.

    And now a reply to this post:
    “To which I would respond . . . yes, it is indeed still a leap of faith. One can argue that testing and assurances make a product more trustworthy and less of a gamble, but that just means that your faith is now in the tests.”
    That’s just not the case. Testing is yet another thing one can have confidence in due to having observed the results. No less and no more.

    Also, I’ll remark that we don’t even need to know how a certain product comes on our table to just be able to say that we trust that it won’t poison us. We just need past experience with objects similar enough. Say I travel from EU to China and see a loaf of bread. Would it be reasonable to think that I’m familiar with the way that loaf has been produced? Hell no. I haven’t the faintest idea of how a chinese baker would work, if he would even follow a similar recipe, much less to what standards he’s been held. BUT I still have a lot of experience with loafs of bread, I still have experienced multiple times what that object is, how it’s supposed to look and smell and that said object is edible. Of course not being familiar with the manifacturing method that produced it I’ll be examining it more carefully, but I’ll still base my conclusion on my past experience. That’s still not faith in the slightest.

    I hope this time we can have a discussion on the topic, best regards!

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    1. Being a viewer of more than a few consumer product problem related programs (among other things), I still stick to my previous sentiments.

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      1. You are just arguing that your experience is different than mine and therefore you think my trust is misplaced. This might very well be the case but that doesn’t make my trust a faith. I still base my beliefs on evidence and don’t assume them in spite/lack of it.

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      2. I don’t see beliefs based on evidence. Frankly, I just see linguistic gymnastics. I’m guessing, to stay as far from all things traditionally associated with religion as possible.

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      3. “I don’t see beliefs based on evidence.”
        Is not my experience of bread in the past, evidence? Why would you discount it from being evidence?

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      4. I guess, because the only thing that remains constant is the final product. Outside of that, most (if not all) the variables change. Think, everything from the source flour to the staff in change of baking the bread. Most of the time the end result is the same. But the possibility always exists.

        You can replace faith with trust, indeed. But i say . . . what difference does it make. There is no harm in acknowledging ignorance of knowledge in some areas. Unless block chain some day renders this argument moot once and for all, were all in the same boat. I just can’t be bothered to find ways to dance around this conclusion, anymore.

        Furthermore, experience may be something that means different things to us as well. A familiar experience to me, is something like running my phone or computer, using product from anything already opened in my fridge or cupboards. Opening anything new is a new experience, due to the things outlined above.

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      5. “But I am far beyond such a conclusion. Namely counting so-called past experience with an ever-changing dynamic as “evidence”.”
        Aren’t you aware that dynamic systems have regularities? Even in chaotic systems there are some, like the lorenzian attractors ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenz_system ). We humans use said regularities to forecast future experience. That’s what’s called judging on the basis of past experience.
        “The term has merit in the realm of religiosity. But outside of that narrow scope, it becomes gibberish. An inefficient way of attempting to bring reason to a universal truth that is, we can’t know all the answers. ”
        This has absolutely nothing to do on how one does form his positions. This is a matter of merit (what can we know?), apistevism is a matter of method (how do I reach my conclusions?). It’s the same misconception about atheism (what does X believe?) and agnosticism (what can we know?). And since I’m mentioning agnosticism, it would seem to fit the case for one that asserts “we can’t know all the answers”, so you don’t need to move the term apistevist on the matter of merit, there’s already a name for that. And it’s not synonimous with apistevist.
        “Coming home to my laptop and my stove is coming home to objects that I can make a generalized assumption about. Coming home to a loaf of bread I have eaten from is coming home to an object I can generalize about.
        Bringing home a NEW loaf of bread, made from new flour and other ingrediants and packed in a new batch of bread bags, is not such a situation. Period.”
        So you think that we don’t really need experimental evidence in science? Because what we experiment on a rock, you teach me, is not coming home to an object you can generalize about when you do go home and find a NEW rock. To the scientist this new rock must appear as an alien object of unfathomable nature and entirely unknown properties, otherwise he’d be irrational in his epistemologic actions. Therefore why would we need the evidence done on an experimental set up? We wouldn’t be able to use it anyway! Every NEW object cannot be generalized upon based on previous esperience!
        Do you really want to tell me that you take this position?

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      6. // Aren’t you aware that dynamic systems have regularities? Even in chaotic systems there are some, like the lorenzian attractors ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenz_system ). We humans use said regularities to forecast future experience. That’s what’s called judging on the basis of past experience. //

        One of the things that come to mind, is whether or not such is applicable. Without going in depth into anything meteorological or astronomical (I am trained in neither area), I can’t help but think that the underlying systems are apples and oranges. Ordered chaos certainly exists in the realm of weather and space, but everyday life as far as society is concerned is . . . orderly. By design, since disorder is not good for economies. As such, I can’t see the same rules being applicable at the macro scale necessary to take in considering the matter at hand.

        To us as individual cogs with different perspectives? Possibly. But as a whole? No.

        // This has absolutely nothing to do on how one does form his positions. This is a matter of merit (what can we know?), apistevism is a matter of method (how do I reach my conclusions?). It’s the same misconception about atheism (what does X believe?) and agnosticism (what can we know?). And since I’m mentioning agnosticism, it would seem to fit the case for one that asserts “we can’t know all the answers”, so you don’t need to move the term apistevist on the matter of merit, there’s already a name for that. And it’s not synonimous with apistevist. //

        Apistevism is incoherent. To quote the reddit thread.

        // So you think that we don’t really need experimental evidence in science? Because what we experiment on a rock, you teach me, is not coming home to an object you can generalize about when you do go home and find a NEW rock. To the scientist this new rock must appear as an alien object of unfathomable nature and entirely unknown properties, otherwise he’d be irrational in his epistemologic actions. Therefore why would we need the evidence done on an experimental set up? We wouldn’t be able to use it anyway! Every NEW object cannot be generalized upon based on previous esperience!
        Do you really want to tell me that you take this position? //

        Since we have differing opinions in terms of what constitutes an object, yes.

        A rock is cut and dry. An ever changing food or water system is not. As are, god knows how many other grids that we rely on thoughtlessly for life.

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      7. “I guess, because the only thing that remains constant is the final product. Outside of that, most (if not all) the variables change. Think, everything from the source flour to the staff in change of baking the bread. Most of the time the end result is the same. But the possibility always exists.”
        Of course it always exists, nobody said that we know with absolute certainty that the bread is edible and non-poisonous. If that was the case we’d not be speaking of “trust” but of “certainty”. But this has nothing to do with what the BASIS of the belief are. Even if it’s not a certainty due to the variables being different (which, by the way I specified in my first comment), the belief is still formed on the basis of past experience, AKA evidence.

        “You can replace faith with trust, indeed. But i say . . . what difference does it make. ”
        All the difference between being an apistevist and not being one.

        ” There is no harm in acknowledging ignorance of knowledge in some areas. ”
        What? What does this have to do with the apistevist’s position? One can acknowledge ignorance in some areas whether he uses faith for his other conclusions or not. This is just irrelevant to the subject matter.

        “Opening anything new is a new experience, due to the things outlined above.”
        It’s not a completely new one. You still have past experience with similar objects that you can and should generalize to a degree. Which degree? this is beyond the point. The fact is that the 100th instance of an object can be judged on the basis of the 99 that preceded it. The fact that you never encountered a moon-rock doesn’t disqualify your experience with earth-rocks from being used to generalize over it (again, to a degree). It’s not a leap of faith to use evidence to come to a conclusion. It’s just plain old inductive reasoning (a basic element of scientific method).

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      8. // the belief is still formed on the basis of past experience, AKA evidence. //

        If such works for you and the rest of the so-called “Apistevist” community, alrighty. But I am far beyond such a conclusion. Namely counting so-called past experience with an ever-changing dynamic as “evidence”.

        // What? What does this have to do with the apistevist’s position? One can acknowledge ignorance in some areas whether he uses faith for his other conclusions or not. This is just irrelevant to the subject matter. //

        This has EVERYTHING to do with the subject matter.

        The term has merit in the realm of religiosity. But outside of that narrow scope, it becomes gibberish. An inefficient way of attempting to bring reason to a universal truth that is, we can’t know all the answers. It’s idiotic to play the “goddunit” card, but it is also unhelpful to try to bury this universal ignorance in a wall of explanation.

        I don’t need to call myself an Apistevist to get through life. I simply have to accept that I don’t know in many areas of life. Others all over the rationalist spectrum could save a whole lot of energy in just accepting those 3 words, instead of using all manner of needless justifications in a context that could not have a simpler answer.

        Rational gibberish. My new coined term for this phenomenon.

        // It’s not a completely new one. You still have past experience with similar objects that you can and should generalize to a degree. Which degree? this is beyond the point. The fact is that the 100th instance of an object can be judged on the basis of the 99 that preceded it. //

        Coming home to my laptop and my stove is coming home to objects that I can make a generalized assumption about. Coming home to a loaf of bread I have eaten from is coming home to an object I can generalize about.

        Bringing home a NEW loaf of bread, made from new flour and other ingrediants and packed in a new batch of bread bags, is not such a situation. Period.

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      9. “One of the things that come to mind, is whether or not such is applicable. Without going in depth into anything meteorological or astronomical (I am trained in neither area), I can’t help but think that the underlying systems are apples and oranges. Ordered chaos certainly exists in the realm of weather and space, but everyday life as far as society is concerned is . . . orderly. By design, since disorder is not good for economies. As such, I can’t see the same rules being applicable at the macro scale necessary to take in considering the matter at hand.”
        Actually, economic systems are chaotic systems in the lorenzian sense, the ‘orderly’ behaviour is the result of the actractors. That’s the reason for which we can forecast trends but it’s nigh-impossible to forecast the single stocks. But on one thing I’ll agree: whether the system actually IS something we can successfully forecast doesn’t matter to the apistevist definition. What matters is that we DO TRY to based on previous evidence.
        And for this very reason it’s meaningless to argue whether such systems ARE possible to forecast or not, because what matters is if we APPROACH these systems with the past esperience as a basis. After all one can argue that even if faith was the one and only tool to produce accurate knowledge in an aspect of life, the faithless can still get it wrong and go on without faith, proceeding simply on trust. In such a fantastical scenario (there’s no field in which faith is accurate, as a method is plain wrong) the apistevist might be wrong, but he’ll still be coherently an apistevist.

        me ” This has absolutely nothing to do on how one does form his positions. This is a matter of merit (what can we know?), apistevism is a matter of method (how do I reach my conclusions?). It’s the same misconception about atheism (what does X believe?) and agnosticism (what can we know?). And since I’m mentioning agnosticism, it would seem to fit the case for one that asserts “we can’t know all the answers”, so you don’t need to move the term apistevist on the matter of merit, there’s already a name for that. And it’s not synonimous with apistevist. ”
        you: “Apistevism is incoherent. To quote the reddit thread.”
        This is in no way a defense of your previous position or a reply to what I stated here. Even if apistevism was incoherend (and it isn’t, nothing in the lack of use of faith implies the use of faith or any other contradiction) that wouldn’t justify this confusion of questions, nor would it justify to equivocate the issue agnosticism/gnosticism with the issue of faithfullness/apistevism.

        “Since we have differing opinions in terms of what constitutes an object, yes.”
        Ok then, explain to me: how do you make sense of my position? The ever-changing dyinamics of semantics are so unstable that words change meaning sentence-to-sentence. We can’t even figure out an algorithm to parse language and the best-and-brightest minds are working on it quite hard, both in private and public institutions, so you can’t have a “formula” to do that. You can’t even think that you have previous experience with the exact sentences I’ve been using. Are you assuming the meaning on faith? Or is the meaning you get from the sentences based on your experience?

        “A rock is cut and dry. An ever changing food or water system is not. As are, god knows how many other grids that we rely on thoughtlessly for life.”
        A rock is not like other rocks just in the same way a potato is not like other potatoes. In both cases there’s a complex amount of information that describes the single rock and the single potato that in the example is not known. Also, the same goes for the possibility of the object being deadly to us: the potato might be poisoned, but the rock too. The rock might contain asbestos, radioactive materials or even release an ancient virus trapped in its structure when the rock was formed. As for the material composition without inspecting each rock we’ll never witness the structure of it nor the elements composing it, just the same is true for every piece of fruit. Also, your life relies constantly on rocks to behave in agreement with previously observed rocks: the foundations of your home or office, the streets, the dams, we rely on rock-observations for our expectations on how those rocks will behave. Why would we do such a study if there’s nothing to be learned about the rocks we actually care about? Why would we need scientific research if in the end we can’t use it according to you?

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      10. Evidence . . . you guys use that word a lot. I can’t help but make the association, somewhat ironically, to defenders of various superstitious rituals.
        The lucky penny. The lucky t-shirt. For reasons that make sense to these people, they associate these various activities or rituals with a given result, and so they continue with the routine (whatever the endgame may be).

        I am aware of the thin line that I am walking. A line that seems to border on ad homs. But such is not the case.
        The Apistevist is not equitable to the superstitious ritualist. One of the most obvious differences being that there is no end goal to Apistevism other than being more realistic in ones outlook on life. Or more, to live a more grounded existence than that of the faithful theist.
        As I have stated before, I see no problem with this in the religious sense. This seems to be echoed in most of the material found in the search engine results. No, this is not a pat on the back or vindication (most of those results predate my first post, AND there is likely a manor of copy-paste action happening). I am not rigidly tied to a dictionary.
        I assert however, that where the Superstitious Ritualist and the Apistevist intersect, is in the area of illusion (delusion?). One thinks that rituals will precede a given result, one thinks that past experience will precede good results.

        THIS is where the importance of clear language comes into play. An area that I suspect that one (or both) of us may have muddled.

        I don’t dispute that an object is an object. A rock and the bottle of carbonated water next to me both are objects. But in the context of this discussion, they are very different. If I were to go rock picking, generally speaking, it’s easily predictable what the results of interacting with such stones will be (depending what they are). Soapstone or Granite, good. Asbestos or uranium, not so good. As with most other naturally sourced materials, the verdict is in.
        The consumer world that we inhabit however, is a different beast. When shopping wherever we shop for sustenance, rarely are you getting something as pure or predictable as a given rock. There are many concoctions of god knows what, and as a general rule, you can almost guarantee that few things are in their truly natural state. There are always variables to be contended with.

        When listening to a technological security podcast recently, I learned of a programmers rule of thumb that makes for a great analogy here. Essentially, the more code you add to existing programming, you higher the chances of creating a security vulnerability. In fact, they used the word “exponentially” to describe the scope of the problem.
        Which seems to nicely fit in here. Though there are ways of significantly shortening the leap of faith involved in consumerism (local, whole and unprocessed, etc), there will always be a leap. It’s just a fact of life.

        A few months ago when I brought this topic (and this semi-ongoing conversation) up with a friend, be brought up an interesting point. That being in the context of a relationship, the typically utilized term for loyalty of a couple is faithfulness. To break this agreement, is to be unfaithful.
        Indeed, one COULD swap out faith for trust in this case. But given the context of a relationship, a situation that is less than rational in itself, does the term really stand?

        Consider these 2 situations.

        You trust that an expensive vehicle you purchased from a familiar brand will be all that you have come to associate with the brand (positive). However, you end up getting shafted due to a culture change in the organization.

        You find out that your significant other of 3 years has been cheating on you with your best friend, and they take a good portion of your valuables on the way out the door.

        In both cases, we have a long-term relationship that goes sour, with a financial kick in the nards to boot. But despite the similarity in the situations, I suspect that the reactions would almost universally be VERY different.

        Now, to rein it all in.

        Relationships and love are a big wild card. If there is a word to apply to such things, it’s certainly not rational. Not only is popular culture full of such tropes, most of us likely have seen and/or experienced this. It’s just a part of life on this rock.
        Though the Apistevist may wish to illustrate a difference between the faith involved in a relationship and whatever is at play when I open a fresh new bottle of carbonated water, I stand firm in my conclusion of there being no difference between the 2 situations.
        I will acknowledge, however, that past behavior of a partner makes a compelling case (even considering the inherent irrationality of relationships). If the basis is 5, 10,15,20,30 years of loyalty, it’s almost irrational to argue with that.

        However, when it comes to something as dynamic and ever-changing as food, citing past evidence of purity as the basis for sidestepping an acknowledgment of faith is ridiculous. As is the assertion that I am ignoring the principals of the scientific method.

        No. I know how it works, and I think I have shown that well enough. What I see is someone grasping for ANYTHING so as to not have to accept that faith is just a part of everyday existence. Such a staple of our existence that it is an autopilot reaction for most people. Unless there is some reason to think twice, most people don’t even consider the role of faith in almost everything they do.
        That is, unless they call themselves an Apistevist, in which case they kid themselves about it.

        If there is ANYONE who is worthy of this idiotic and incoherent label, it is me. Ironically.

        Since I like to keep up to date on all things food and consumer product related (particularly problems and recalls), my eyes are open and considering of many things. When I buy rice (particularly processed rice products) or apple juice, I am aware that I am likely drinking some level of arsenic. When I eat or drink damn near anything, I am also aware that I may be consuming glyphosate. I know more or less what the stuff is (having researched it here and kept up on the news), and I’m not overly worried, but it’s still a concern. And then there are the pesticides in my tea.

        I sometimes joke to people that watching CBC’s Marketplace makes one not want to eat anything, drink anything, or even leave the house. It’s a joke based on the often unappetizing truths one has to accept in watching the show (nothing will ever be benign or taken for granted again!). But it also perfectly encapsulates the seemingly logical end result of full on Apistevist existence.

        Though I am hyper-aware of many things as concerning many areas of life, it doesn’t dictate my existence. It’s less a matter of faith than it is working with a far clearer picture. If I lived life by the NO FAITH Apistevist philosophy, I may as well hit the road and join a commune somewhere, because I can’t participate in life in this civilization. Hopefully, I don’t have to fly there, because I am out of luck. The passengers of many a doomed airliner have put their faith in maintenance crews of decades past, only to be burned (or in one case, ejected into the air over the Taiwan straight) by a cut corner.
        In truth, there is no way to exist without faith. I can’t even eat or drink, because I can never be sure of the origins, the nuances, what I am missing.

        The only way one can be an Apistevist is incoherent. Unthinkingly. By engaging in an endless array of mental gymnastics in order to convince themselves that they are superior, they are beyond ALL faith. Copious amounts of energy spent solving a non-problem that, if applied to some real-world issue, could well be a force for change.

        I could be an Apistevist. But I am not. Because when followed to it’s logical conclusion, the whole thing ends up in a riot of ridiculousness. It is not a serious philosophy, it’s a label. Often for people that got fed up with, or pushed out by, Atheism. That’s how I first picked up on the term.

        I am done.

        Since moving on from it (and Atheism / Secularism topics in general), I have found many other far more fulfilling areas to study. I strongly recommend those inclined to write a novel in my comments section to do the same. Don’t get me wrong, I will always accept and post new comments. However, the debate is over. Apistevism is ridiculous.

        Move on.

        Like

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