“How do we know what is true?” Narrated by Stephen Fry – That’s Humanism!

“How do we know what is true?” Narrated by Stephen Fry – That’s Humanism!


Ever since human beings have been capable
of thought, we have asked big questions about how the world around us works. Some people have thought that there is another
reality beyond the one we can perceive through our normal senses — a supernatural world
where there might be ghosts and goblins, gods and demons. They have thought that knowledge
can come from this source — from supernatural revelations, prophetic visions or divinely
inspired books. Others have thought that the way to learn
is by observing the world around us carefully and in detail, forming ideas about why things
behave as they do, testing those ideas through experiments, refining them in the light of
experience, then testing them again. Out of all the various methods that people
have tried to use to find out how the world works, observation, experimentation and the
testing of theories against evidence has the best track-record. Prophets have predicted the end of the world
on many occasions, but we are still here. Ancient holy books contain a description of
the universe which has turned out to be totally inaccurate. If asked to choose between taking a medicine
prescribed by a doctor whose methods are based on experiment and one who has selected medicine
for you based on his visions, you will probably not choose the medicine from the vision. We may never know everything. But the testing of theories against evidence
has proved itself again and again to be a reliable way to gain any knowledge about how
the world around us works. Through science we have cured deadly diseases, created amazing
technologies, and learned things about the universe that fill us with wonder. When we want to know what’s true and what
is false, there is no better method.

56 thoughts on ““How do we know what is true?” Narrated by Stephen Fry – That’s Humanism!”

  1. How do judges know what is true? How do journalists know what is true? How do historians know what is true? Testing of theories against evidence does not address every area of knowledge

  2. Platos ideas paved the way for the christians. Christianity grew out of a jewish mystery cult. There was a lot of mystery cults but the christian one was the only one that would not let you join others.

  3. Religion gave us the dark ages. Reason gave us the renaissance. Even Thomas Aquinas said faith should only operate where reason has nothing to say.

  4. So far, of more than 49K views, this video has appealed to 990 open-minded individuals and has apparently offended 23 presumably frightened, probably ignorant, and quite possibly homophobic types. The numbers indicate there is hope for the world.

  5. So yeah, but this doesn't actually answer the question. The question is "How do we know what is true?" when what is really being answered is "How do we learn what is true?" I don't know if I'm misunderstanding the title but I feel like we're being told how we find knowledge rather whether truth actually exists and how to find that

  6. excellent video.

    I refuse the idea that only adherents of one fantasy-based viewpoint or another get to claim beauty, inspiration, love, awe or any other natural human response to the Universe we find ourselves in. To the contrary the cheapening of the majesty of reality with petty human fictions is in every way the exact opposite of that noble pursuit. 

    "Reality provides us with facts so romantic that imagination itself could add nothing to them."
    — Jules Verne

  7. Another thing, is true that we may never now everything? Do you Know that? That we may never know everything? Only humanists would contradict themselves like that!

  8. +Phoenix Apologetics

    "I have read reports that show science rise was due to Christianity."

    Science came about in spite of Christianity, not because of it.

  9. Fascinating. As we learn from Anna Kingsford, humanists are very capable of creating a hell without believing in anything at all.

    “I have found my Hell here in the Faculté de Médecine of Paris, a Hell more real and awful than any I have yet met with elsewhere, and one that fulfills all the dreams of the mediaeval monks. The idea that it was so came strongly upon me one day when I was sitting in the Musée of the school, with my head in my hands, trying vainly to shut out of my ears the piteous shrieks and cries which floated incessantly towards me up the private staircase…Every now and then, as a scream more heart-rending than the rest reached me, the moisture burst out on my forehead and on the palms of my hands, and I prayed, ‘Oh God, take me out of this Hell; do not suffer me to remain in this awful place…’”

    The shrieks she refers to are those of animals tortured for scientific purposes. That's the thing about science.Scientific method does not reveal truths, it reveals facts.  If it revealed truths we wouldn't be torturing each other and so many other beings on this earth, we wouldn't still be enslaving and raping and killing.   Science is a tool, and like many other tools (i.e Religion, Money, Art) it has been used for purposes good and evil.
       
    If science revealed truths we wouldn't be torturing each other and so many other beings on this earth, we wouldn't still be enslaving and raping and killing.  But all science can teach us is how to do a thing, not why we should or should not do it.  Sooner a world of goblins and pixies, and gods to stay the hands of the wretched and make them think twice, be it a false fear or a true one,  than a world of  automatons enjoying their cruelty because they know nothing can stop them, and they believe themselves accountable to no-one.

  10. Saying that the Bible is inaccurate to classify bats as "birds" is a silly objection (see picture at 1:20). All it shows is that the Hebrew word usually translated "bird" has a different range of meaning (semantic range) to the English word "bird". It evidently means something more like "flying creatures" (most but not quite all of which fall within the normal usage of the English "bird").

  11. the problem with this is that the data conflicts, some are relived as lies, misconceptions, or that we don't know enough about said subject, making us seek out more evidence, bringing more possible conflicting data and lies. Why should we trust either side.

  12. think about it, have you ever seen an atom, or a sperm, or DNA, or dark matter. No. You only assume these things exist because some one supposedly smarter than you told u so. 

  13. +Ugo Cei you could have argued better against +Herbert Pindar in support of the use of the bat illustration. I'm not familiar with the biblical reference which presumably classifies bats as birds. Regardless of the fact that the Bible was written long before the current taxonomic classification system the use of the example of the bat still makes the point that we can't use an ancient book like the Bible to successfully advance knowledge about the natural world. It doesn't matter that they didn't have a taxonomic system or any basic understanding of biology when they wrote it, it still is useless to us today as a means of investigating the natural world. End of. 

  14. It's a little redundant to use science to try to disprove the bible , taking into account that the bible had been proven many times over on a historical account. You're comparing apples to oranges.

  15. I dare anyone to smoke a breakthrough dose of DMT and then come back to me and completely deny the existence of a supernatural alternate reality. That's what science is missing – psychedelic drugs.

  16. Because humans created a rocket God doesn't exist. Got it so much logic. Believing in God has nothing to do with observing the stars. What assumption is being made here that every human who believed in God never wanted to observe the stars scientifically. Whoa.

    Further more how do we know what is true if it were not design? If every man was responsible for his own truth and we are to collect all these individuals truths to create a fact. There must be one original truth for anything to be observed. If we were not to have reliable cognitive faculties than nothing we know, Nothing could be trusted.

    A thought has never been created. Ever. No one has ever created one. Every thought we've ever had popped into our head from outside our bodies. I'm driving down the freeway when suddenly I have a thought appear that I need to call John. Calling John had nothing to do with my task of driving. He just appeared in my thoughts. I than go to the memory bank and go over everything that needs to happen for me to call John, and like a check list that I make in my memory bank I Understand this and take the necessary actions to complete the process.

    There is one original truth from which all that comes, and to think that science in anyway conflicts with the the word and the truth you should reconsider a different approach. You know what you know because you can trust that your cognitive faculties are reliable. Reliable because of design. Reliability cannot spring from chaos. If so than we need to change we speak about everything.

  17. This is false God set a moral standard for us. If we set the standard then anything is legal. We wouldn't know real love because God is love and wants to have a relationship with you.

  18. Sounds good but it's all wrong! Humanism has never worked. History teaches us that humans continually inflict suffering on themselves and eachother. Now many would blame religion on this suffering. I would agree that religion has caused much of this suffering. But it may surprise you that all religion is infused with humanism. In as much as the purpose of religion is man centered and motivated by making ourselves happy this is nothing but a form of humanism disguised.

    The truth is that there is good and there is evil. There is God and there is rebellion against God. To choose God is to chose good. To rebel against God is to chose evil. The Bible teaches us that we are all living in rebellion against Him until we submit to His authority. To do this we need to humbly admit that we have made a mess of things and He only is good and we are not. We can thereby enter into an individual relationship with God by accepting that Jesus Christ died and paid the penalty for our sin. This is not religion. This is a relationship. When we submit to Him and live for His purposes than it is not our happiness that we seek but it is God's pleasure we seek.

    Humanism is wrong at it's very core because it must deny the creation. If there is a creation then there is a creator. If there is no creator then we're left with only the belief that the natural world we live in came into existence on its own. This belief goes against science and common sense (do your own research on this). God has revealed himself in various ways from the beginning of time through nature, history, the prophets, Jesus and those who are his children – those who properly represent Him.

    God has a plan to make everything perfect and we can chose to be part of His plan.

  19. The division this video and humanism aims to create between science and religion is completely wrong. Absolutely gross.

  20. I like the whole video, and how the ideas are delivered, but I am shocked because of many comments and I think that they did not get the idea. It is not about religion, It is not about atheism, it is only about human beings. I like it very much indeed. well done!

  21. Science and faith are not rivals. As a Muslim, I believe firmly in science and never science proved my religion to be wrong. Faith an epistemlogy that is different from that one we use in science. If Man found out “Holy Books” giving false scientific knowledge than that means that the book is false or parts of it have been falsified in an attempt to lead Man to disbelief which Satan’s ultimate goal. The Quran is different and it contains scientific instances that modern science has recently come to discover. That doesn’t mean that ancient civilizations were more advanced to us, no! It means that there is truly One God who created the universe with its complex systems and rules and God gave us some evidences in the Quran to strike us to open our eyes. Read, for example, on how Dr Maurice Bucaille converted to Islam. Eventually, everyone is entitled to believe as they wish. However, atheists should only express their opinions and not go so far as to debase or disrespect others’ beliefs.

  22. What I'm a little bit confused about is that nowadays it seems that you HAVE to choose between science of religion and if you don't choose the former, you're an idiot basically. Why can't we have both? Isaac Newton, Robert Boyd, Kepler, Kenneth Miller, George Lemaitre, Gerhard Ertl, Joseph Murray, William D Philips, and so many more, are all brilliant scientists who, hold on a moment, are also religious! Okay, you may want to follow Humanism, but I would advise against going around and bashing those who have a religion as uneducated. That simply is not true, check your evidence first.

  23. But if I don't believe your theory, what is truth? Does it truly exist? Or is all truth something we believe to make us feel larger, and more important than we are?

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