KF’s comment to a prior post deserves its own OP. If only people understood the simple, yet profound, point KF is making. KF writes:
Proof is a term too often used more for rhetorical impact than for humble acknowledgement of the achievements and limitations of human reasoning and deduction especially. As such, we must bear Godel in mind, truth and proof are very different, and axiomatic systems for complicated areas face incompleteness and/or possible incoherence. Even mathematics is not an absolutely certain discipline. Science cannot prove beyond such and such has so far passed certain empirical tests and may be taken as so far reliable, when it is at its best. Too often it is not and becomes a lab coat that gives unwarranted credibility to ideology. So, we end up at pisteis, rhetorical proof, where we seek to provide reasonable warrant for beliefs or opinions etc, and must reckon with the issues lurking behind pathos, ethos, logos. We are in the end, faith-driven reasoners, the issue is which faith, which set of first plausibles, why and why in light of comparative difficulties. But to get that far we must first make sure that we do not undermine the basic credibility of responsible reason through sawing off the branch on which we all must sit, the error of hyperskepticism.