Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 40 of 41

Thread: Science and the Supernatural

  1. #1
    Board philosopher or bored philosopher? jason_m's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    884
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Science and the Supernatural

    Somewhere along the way, I remember writing that it does not make sense that science not be willing to include notions of the supernatural. I could not understand why something that can't be incorporated in our notions of everyday reality be automatically excluded from scientific study because it is "not provable physically." To see why such an approach is flawed, consider the following arguments:

    1. It is logically possible that supernatural events could exist.

    2. If they exist, they can (in principle) some day be studied scientifically.

    3. It could also come to a point that they do exist and are studied scientifically, and studying these events could benefit our society.

    4. If, however, science takes the approach that anything that doesn't have a realistic physical basis is unscientific, then science automatically precludes itself from studying the supernatural and therefore precludes any of these scientific benefits.

    5. Therefore, it is, in fact, unscientific to not at least allow for the possibility of the existence of the supernatural.

    (I also don't want to hear that the supernatural is by definition beyond our scientific study, because the word is only applied to the conditions at this point in time; things could change such that what is called "supernatural" today belongs to reality tomorrow - and that's why we can't automatically reject such notions because we disallow the possibility of tomorrow ever coming - my point here.)
    Last edited by jason_m; 06-01-2011 at 05:32 AM.
    LII

  2. #2
    Azeroffs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    California
    TIM
    ENTj 3w4 sp/sx
    Posts
    2,216
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    What sorts of supernatural things did you have in mind?
    3w4-5w6-9w8

  3. #3
    Azeroffs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    California
    TIM
    ENTj 3w4 sp/sx
    Posts
    2,216
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I just finished a class in philosophy of science. Pretty good stuff.
    3w4-5w6-9w8

  4. #4
    Ti centric krieger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    5,983
    Mentioned
    80 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    the question is what distinguishes the supernatural from physical processes that have simply not yet being explained, i.e. incorporated in the definition of what the physical encompasses.

  5. #5
    Board philosopher or bored philosopher? jason_m's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    884
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by labcoat View Post
    the question is what distinguishes the supernatural from physical processes that have simply not yet being explained, i.e. incorporated in the definition of what the physical encompasses.
    Exactly.
    LII

  6. #6
    Currently God Brilliand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Nevada
    TIM
    LII
    Posts
    4,246
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    People who support the idea of the supernatural most often seem to be treating it as exempt, or separate, from science. On the other hand, in my opinion science does not dismiss the supernatural by avoiding anything labeled supernatural - rather, it dismisses the supernatural by not respecting it, and simply treating anything that happens as part of reality, giving no quarter to inexplicability.

    Both the treatment of science from a supernatural perspective and the treatment of the supernatural from a scientific perspective will vary from person to person, but those are mine.



    LII-Ne

    "Come to think of it, there are already a million monkeys on a million typewriters, and the Usenet is NOTHING like Shakespeare!"
    - Blair Houghton

    Johari

  7. #7
    Creepy-Snaps

    Default

    I'd just like to say very simply that it is illogical to believe God doesn't exist. I took a few astronomy courses in university, one including the Big Bang Theory, all quite interesting. But it doesn't explain how the first black hole got there. How did the first star get there?

    There has to be a creator of the universe. Until atheists can explain how the first star, black hole, element, or whatever got there, I think it is smarter/more logical to believe God exists. Even Einstein believed in God.

    Second, I'd just like to point out that it wasn't until *relatively* recently that science and religion were in opposition. My pastor says before Darwin came along and challenged religious beliefs of creationism, science was viewed as 'exploring God's creation'; and science and the supernatural were viewed as being together, going hand-in-hand perfectly.

  8. #8
    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    TIM
    EII-Ne Sp/So
    Posts
    14,938
    Mentioned
    243 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)

    Default

    If something is observable, it is a natural phenomenon as far as I am concerned. If there is no clear understanding of how something is caused, it does not make that thing supernatural (i.e. outside the laws of nature). I think to believe in a supernatural supposition rather than a natural explanation based on evidence is unwise.

  9. #9
    Le roi internet Bluenoir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Zeta Reticuli
    TIM
    Ne-LII
    Posts
    392
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I'd just like to say very simply that it is illogical to believe God doesn't exist.
    How so, this is begging the question.

    But it doesn't explain how the first black hole got there. How did the first star get there?
    We understand stars and blackholes quite well. I understand you are not being literal here. What you are asking, is how did existence come to be in the first place.

    My answer is,

    I don't know. Yes, thats it. Not enough data to do anything but speculate.

    The problem with putting a deity as an explanation, is that you haven't actually answered the question at all. How did this deity come to be? How can you claim infinite regress of the universe impossible, and then turn around and exempt your deity from this? That is called special pleading.

    It also breaks occam's razor, and it is unfalsifiable.

    Second, I'd just like to point out that it wasn't until *relatively* recently that science and religion were in opposition
    The first real clash that I know of, was the debate between heliocentricity and geocentricity.

    My pastor says before Darwin came along and challenged religious beliefs of creationism, science was viewed as 'exploring God's creation'; and science and the supernatural were viewed as being together, going hand-in-hand perfectly.
    Evolution in its self, is in no way incompatible with a belief in God. The only thing it is incompatible with, is a literalist interpretation of the abrahamic creation story.

    Further, not all religious traditions are threatened by evolution. To my knowledge, dharmic religions are relatively unaffected.

    Now, don't dump me into the athiest boat so quickly though. My views on God and the supernatural, are far more nuance than most people assume they are. This is probably due to my attitude towards religious and faith based arguments. However, they are not relevant to this thread.
    Last edited by Bluenoir; 06-02-2011 at 07:07 PM.
    The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness, passion conditions him to the fruits of action, and ignorance to madness.

    Chapter 14, Verse 9.
    The Bhagavad Gita

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    TIM
    Alpha NT?
    Posts
    137
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Neotropic View Post
    The first real clash that I know of, was the debate between heliocentricity and geocentricity.
    Science and religion are inherently in opposition: one uses logic and empiricism to draw conclusions about observable reality and the other makes unsubstantiated (and oftentimes false, irrational, or un-falsifiable) assertions about reality. As long as religion sticks to making claims that can neither be proved or disproved, there is no conflict about observable phenomena between science and religion; but when religion actually makes statements that can be disproved about the world, such statements are promptly shown to be wrong.

  11. #11
    Creepy-Snaps

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Neotropic View Post
    How did this deity come to be? How can you claim infinite regress of the universe impossible, and then turn around and exempt your deity from this?
    Christians believe God always was and always is and always will be. That He was just there. He transcends the natural. Because if you ask how a 'deity' came to be, how an unnatural element came to be, it makes sense to answer with another unnatural element or God who created them, then if you ask how THEY came to be, same answer, and you can go back and back with that logic without getting anywhere.

    I don't know. This isn't something I think about too much anymore. In the real world, I'm more excited about society this century, becoming a more globalized economy, and people realizing we're not against each other, country versus country, but rather focusing on launching more exploration missions into space, to have a great understanding of space and the world around us, to better answer some of these 'universe' questions.

    Like you mention Neotropic, and others in this thread, to put it simply: these are the conclusions we can only draw based on our current evidence. So I'm excited to explore space more/grow technology more, basically get more evidence, to reach better conclusions.

  12. #12
    Creepy-Snaps

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Begoner View Post
    Science and religion are inherently in opposition: one uses logic and empiricism to draw conclusions about observable reality and the other makes unsubstantiated (and oftentimes false, irrational, or un-falsifiable) assertions about reality. As long as religion sticks to making claims that can neither be proved or disproved, there is no conflict about observable phenomena between science and religion; but when religion actually makes statements that can be disproved about the world, such statements are promptly shown to be wrong.
    Their processes are inherently in opposition, but what if they reach the same conclusions? I thought that's kinda how duality works.

    I guess you mean religious statements are often proven wrong... more like a conflicting relationship hahaha.

  13. #13
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    TIM
    LSE
    Posts
    18,006
    Mentioned
    162 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    You might want to check the Hindu Creation Hymn, the Shivaites or what is called "western civilisation" by many, that is, Hellenic pre-Socratic tradition.

  14. #14
    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    TIM
    3w4 sx/so
    Posts
    24,757
    Mentioned
    91 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Yesssss I've been waiting for a chance to rip you up

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Dew View Post
    I'd just like to say very simply that it is illogical to believe God doesn't exist.
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAAHAHAHAHHAHAH AHAHAHAIHAFISHDFJDFVKSfposdfjgerhpfcbdspqwe

    I took a few astronomy courses in university, one including the Big Bang Theory, all quite interesting. But it doesn't explain how the first black hole got there. How did the first star get there?
    How did God get there? Why can matter, or its building blocks, not have existed before they formed their present organized state, the universe that exists today? What makes you so certain that it had to be an external, conscious force?

    And, before we go any further, please clarify your definition of "God." Are you a Christian? What kind of Christian? What ontological or existential traits to you ascribe to your idea of "God?"

    There has to be a creator of the universe. Until atheists can explain how the first star, black hole, element, or whatever got there, I think it is smarter/more logical to believe God exists. Even Einstein believed in God.
    Nice argument from authority. Einstein has been proven to have been wrong about plenty. The "smartest man in the world," Christopher Langan, also suffers from this disease. I have read his ontology; it is full of holes and is most likely geared towards some attempt to accrue power or attention using his limited media exposure. None of this makes God a more reasonable idea or explanation for the way in which our universe functions.

    Second, I'd just like to point out that it wasn't until *relatively* recently that science and religion were in opposition. My pastor says before Darwin came along and challenged religious beliefs of creationism, science was viewed as 'exploring God's creation'; and science and the supernatural were viewed as being together, going hand-in-hand perfectly.
    Science and "the supernatural" (a gross misnomer, btw) are hardly incompatible. People are brought up, not through any specific instruction, but through general osmosis of seeing the world around them explained and understood, with the assumption that the world can be thoroughly comprehended throug ha scientific framework or perspective. This is untrue. There are still countless phenomena and facets of our reality that remain unexplained by science.

    So it is not science, but rather the culture of science, that has people believing such foolish things. Any human with a rational mind can look at what we have done, and, if he sees clearly, be awed by what we understand and what we have discovered as an incredible accomplishment in apprehending the nature of our world in a comprehensible manner; the fools are those who take science for granted and give it Big Brother status in their minds. No distinction need be made; science is simply the space we have filled in with our knowledge, and there is vastly more space to uncover, some of which people choose to fill with beliefs in "supernatural" phenomena.

    I realize we are in agreement here but I hope you will appreciate my elaboration. Please respond so that I may convert you, assuming you are still victim to reason.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

  15. #15
    Le roi internet Bluenoir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Zeta Reticuli
    TIM
    Ne-LII
    Posts
    392
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Absurd View Post
    You might want to check the Hindu Creation Hymn, the Shivaites or what is called "western civilisation" by many, that is, Hellenic pre-Socratic tradition.
    I am familiar with the Vaishnarist version of creation, I have also glanced at the Shivaite version as well.

    I googled the Hymn though.

    Who really knows? Who here proclaim it? Whence was it produced? The gods came afterwards. Who then knows whence it has a reason. Perhaps it formed itself or perhaps it did not. The One who looks down upon it in highest heaven, only he knows, or perhaps he does not know?”
    Philosophy is one of the major draw cards Hinduism has on me.
    The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness, passion conditions him to the fruits of action, and ignorance to madness.

    Chapter 14, Verse 9.
    The Bhagavad Gita

  16. #16
    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    TIM
    3w4 sx/so
    Posts
    24,757
    Mentioned
    91 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Can't people just please read some fucking history and realize that religion is just a big black box used to explain the things we dont understand and get people to cooperate?

    We deserve and need better answers. And they are available. All you have to do is choose them.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

  17. #17
    Azeroffs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    California
    TIM
    ENTj 3w4 sp/sx
    Posts
    2,216
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I like to think most things we consider to be supernatural can be explained by science via psychology

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    religion is just a big black box used to explain the things we dont understand
    basically like this
    3w4-5w6-9w8

  18. #18
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    TIM
    LSE
    Posts
    18,006
    Mentioned
    162 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    Not to cooperate, keep in line, yes.

  19. #19
    Creepy-Snaps

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    And, before we go any further, please clarify your definition of "God." Are you a Christian? What kind of Christian? What ontological or existential traits to you ascribe to your idea of "God?"
    I am not Christian, but agnostic. God being the all-powerful entity that existed before anything tangible was created, the being that was the start before other starts.

    Are you atheist Gilly? You sound like you are.

  20. #20
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    TIM
    LSE
    Posts
    18,006
    Mentioned
    162 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Neotropic View Post
    I have also glanced at the Shivaite version as well. I googled the Hymn though.
    What are you looking for, then ?

    Philosophy is one of the major draw cards Hinduism has on me.
    Yea, I noticed that with this member on here, Obersturmführer, he's into meditation as well. I bet he is meditating right now in that clinic for mentally insane.

  21. #21
    Le roi internet Bluenoir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Zeta Reticuli
    TIM
    Ne-LII
    Posts
    392
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Absurd View Post
    What are you looking for, then ?
    I thought you were talking about the Rigveda hymm, not the prose stories and philosophies of the Upanishads. (Which I have dabbled in)
    The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness, passion conditions him to the fruits of action, and ignorance to madness.

    Chapter 14, Verse 9.
    The Bhagavad Gita

  22. #22
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    TIM
    LSE
    Posts
    18,006
    Mentioned
    162 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Neotropic View Post
    I thought you were talking about the Rigvedahymm, not the prose stories of the Upanishads.
    I'm not very interested in either one of them, you've got your answers there, though.

  23. #23
    Le roi internet Bluenoir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Zeta Reticuli
    TIM
    Ne-LII
    Posts
    392
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Absurd View Post
    I'm not very interested in either one of them, you've got your answers there, though.
    ? I'm not sure what you are on about, but whatever. The study of religion, is not the same thing as actually adopting the beliefs. I've had enough of this for this morning, I'm off to bed.
    The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness, passion conditions him to the fruits of action, and ignorance to madness.

    Chapter 14, Verse 9.
    The Bhagavad Gita

  24. #24

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    TIM
    Alpha NT?
    Posts
    137
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Can't people just please read some fucking history and realize that religion is just a big black box used to explain the things we dont understand and get people to cooperate?
    Indeed; the historical uses of religion are quite interesting. In particular, the Romans used religion in a very adept manner to suit military ends. For example, they had a ritual wherein chickens would be given food before a battle: if they ate their food, that would be an omen of an impending victory, and it would inspire and motivate the troops; if not, then the attack would be postponed. Of course, Roman military leaders did not believe in this superstition, so the food-giving ceremony was carried out secretly by designated "holy men". These men would conduct the ceremony, but report to the leaders not the true outcome, but whatever the leaders wanted to hear. Once, it happened that the holy men lied, saying that the chickens ate their food when they in fact did not; unfortunately, some ordinary troops discovered this. The military leader decided to go ahead with the attack anyway, but he put the lying "holy men" at the front of the line; when they were the first to die, the leader said that the gods had punished the "holy men" for their lies, and therefore they favored the attack after all. Hence the Roman religion was not degraded, but the attack still continued (and was successful).

    Moreover, Roman religion compelled citizens to behave honestly, as breaking an oath was thought to be a great sacrilege. Because of this, even high political figures could not break an oath -- not because they themselves believed in the religion, but because they would lose all credibility if they did so. In view of this, Machiavelli concludes (in Discourses on Livy, I.11) that "as the observance of the divine cult is the cause of the greatness of republics, so disdain for it is the cause of their ruin. For where the fear of God fails, it must be either that the kingdom comes to ruin or that it is sustained by the fear of a prince, which supplies the defects of religion". The introduction of religion in Rome ensured that "there was never so much fear of God as in that republic, which made easier whatever enterprise the Senate or the great men of Rome might plan to make".

    Throughout history, this has been the central role of religion: securing the allegiance of the people, and making them pliable to State demands. This is why, for example, monarchs claimed to govern by divine will (or claimed to have the mandate of heaven): people listen far more to their superstitions than to political arguments, and their fear of an omnipotent entity exceeds their fear of a mortal man. Only in modern times has religion been supplanted by the state, and even then only in the regions where the state can credibly and justly enforce laws. In view of this, the explanatory power of religion is of decidedly secondary importance -- in fact, it is even counterproductive, as the false explanations religions have offered have undermined their credibility.

  25. #25
    Board philosopher or bored philosopher? jason_m's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    884
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Azeroffs View Post
    I like to think most things we consider to be supernatural can be explained by science via psychology
    But how do we know that they are psychological unless we have the actual answers? In other words, good information has to be available about the phenomenon before it can be written off as psychological... And that would be part of the underlying premise of my post.
    LII

  26. #26
    Azeroffs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    California
    TIM
    ENTj 3w4 sp/sx
    Posts
    2,216
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    yeah, it's true. It's an ongoing process. It's both the strength and weakness of science in that you must constantly be on the lookout for more information and not let anything be simply written off as anything. The only thing I find any value in is going by current understandings and findings which, to my knowledge, point in the way of many supernatural things being psychological. I wouldn't consider the issue solved. It's just a tentative explanation, as are all scientific notions.
    Last edited by Azeroffs; 06-02-2011 at 09:50 PM.
    3w4-5w6-9w8

  27. #27
    Currently God Brilliand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Nevada
    TIM
    LII
    Posts
    4,246
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Dew View Post
    Even Einstein believed in God.
    I would say rather that he referred to the universe as God. Hmm, but I'm not exactly right either. Read this (it has some actual quotes by him on the issue):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_...eligious_views

    In summary... he mostly seemed to dislike being quoted in support of either side.



    LII-Ne

    "Come to think of it, there are already a million monkeys on a million typewriters, and the Usenet is NOTHING like Shakespeare!"
    - Blair Houghton

    Johari

  28. #28
    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    TIM
    3w4 sx/so
    Posts
    24,757
    Mentioned
    91 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Absurd View Post
    Not to cooperate, keep in line, yes.
    That's basically what I was saying
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

  29. #29
    wants to be a writer. silverchris9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    3,107
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    re: OP

    I agree, to some extent.

    Some scientists like to Ockham's Razor anything that is not explained by the current framework of science out of existence. But the whole point of Ockham's Razor is that it is a scientific heuristic, not a test of truth.

    I think that a lot of people, probably more individuals in the general public than scientists themselves (but let's be honest, a lot of scientists too), tend to confuse scientific methodology with tests of truth. The fact that a scientific theory should not assume the existence of God, or the soul, or midi-chlorians does not in and of itself invalidate the possibility of a truth involving God, or the soul, or midi-chlorians. We just don't have the tools to understand these things yet.

    And to your deeper point (rather than my spin on the point it looks like you're making), I agree that at some point, we will be able to gain a more thorough understanding of things that at this point seem supernatural. At the very least, it's a possibility.



    Still, I think that there is something to the claim that there are areas that science, at least presently, is unable to explain, and so must remain agnostic about rather than assuming their nonexistence:

    I was reading a great article once about how a guy was walking with his kid, who explained to him that science had proved once and for all that old, silly fantasies like faries never existed. And of course, the dad retorted that science has proven no such thing. Science *can't* prove or disprove the existence of fairies, God, the soul, alternate universes, or midi-chlorians, because these things are by definition supernatural, i.e., not obeying the laws of nature. Since science must take as its starting point the laws of nature as we currently understand them, supernatural things are excluded from scientific study by definition. However, "excluded from scientific study" and "contrary to the laws of nature" are not synonymous with "non-existent," whatever David Hume's ridiculous argument against miracles would have you believe.

    (Although, to your point, "supernatural" = "not obeying the laws of nature" is a bit of a misnomer. In reality, "supernatural" = "not completely explainable using the laws of nature as we currently understand them." Things are magic until they're science, and they're science until they're magic.)

    And so the proper position on such subjects is at the least agnosticism. Technically speaking, if you're a pure rationalist of the gung-ho Descartes streak (i.e., you refuse to believe anything that cannot be demonstrated with certainty by reason), the proper position towards everything is agnosticism. (Descartes had to prove the existence of the physical world via a proof that essentially says that God is true by definition, and the further assumption that a perfect--and therefore, necessarily existent--God wouldn't let us be deceived like that. But if you can do better than Descartes, be my guest.)



    Overall, I like David Eagleman's take on it all. I was listening to an interview where he talked about how science establishes a zone of possibility, in which certain things can be ruled out as not possible given the facts as they stand, but which leaves open a wide space of possibility, especially when it comes to the afterlife and such things. He has a cool book called Sum that I really want to read that presents like forty different possible afterlives. He's like a quintessential alpha NT kind of scientist. I'm pretty sure he's ILE.



    Can't people just please read some fucking history and realize that religion is just a big black box used to explain the things we dont understand and get people to cooperate?
    One could use essentially the same semi-Freudian lines of reasoning that "prove" religion only existed to keep people in line, to "prove" that the only reason you hate religion is because you didn't get along with your dad or had a basic need towards individuation during adolescence. Anything can be Freudified to death, literally anything, just like any word can be read out of existence. Interpretation is a trap. When you start speculating on motive, you can reduce anything to whatever you want to reduce it to.

    It's a lot smarter, I think, to take a nuanced and balanced view on things, including religion. So I think it's smart to recognize that yeah, a lot of the impetus for religion does come from a desire to explain things that, yes, science and the pseudo-science of Freud-style psychology go a long way towards explaining.

    But at the same time, let's not pretend that this puts the question of religion to bed.

    Even if you can prove conclusively that the only reason people have the general "love thy neighbor" sentiment is that "love thy neighbor" gives them a way to safeguard themselves from losing the object of their libido by generalizing the libido to include everyone, have you really proven that a person who genuinely loves his neighbor for no other reason than that the neighbor is a human being, is a worse person than one who is indifferent towards anyone that is not a close friend of family?

    Similarly, even if you can prove conclusively that people believe in religion because they want a way to explain the unexplainable, does that really prove that religion is false, harmful, or "bad"? I don't think so.


    And on a related note, the fact that religion has been used for the purposes of those in power, as noted by Machiavelli in Livy and elsewhere, does not make religion itself bad. The United States funded most of the original research that led to the electronic gadgets we use today because they thought the research in question would help us get better at killing people. Does that mean that the gadgets, or scientific research, are bad?

    Also, common sense side note: EVERYTHING can be and has been used for the purposes of those in power. If anything, religion has proven pretty damn slippery for the uses of those in power, certainly more slippery, on average, than artists. Hasn't religion just as often been on the other side, against those in power? Like, I dunno, the entire history of Christianity from ~50AD when Saul was killing Christians to 313AD when Constantine flipped? You're not going to convince me that Christianity grew because of state support while Nero was having Christians burned.

    Your early history loses to my early-er history. Deeper magic from before the dawn of time, yo. (Actually, the whole Christianity thing happened after the arguably mythical bits in Livy that Machiavelli was talking about. I just really wanted to make a C.S. Lewis joke.)

    I've read Discourses on Livy too, and bully on Machiavelli for noticing that religion can be used for political purposes. While we're Freudifying everything, we should also mention that he had a political bone to pick with the church of Rome, and probably had some personal stake in reducing the function of religion to state support.

    What I'm saying is, religion must be considered as a thing separate from any one outcome or any one possible motive, positive or negative. It's reductive, intellectually dishonest, and historically ignorant to reduce religion to either a) its negative uses by what Machiavelli might call "temporal" power, or b) the desire to explain away what we do not understand (or convince a group of people to take collective action). If nothing else, we can counter that by referencing a) the positive social actions taken by religious groups, b) the ability of religion to provide a framework for what we cannot understand (i.e., tragedy, death, etc.), and c) the MANY times in history in which religion has been the impetus for a group of people to break the status quo, like, I dunno, those people who decided to defy all the orders to stop following their religion or die, from everyone from the Emperor of Rome to the Communist Dictators of Russia. They're called martyrs, and just talk to the Catholic Church, they'll give you a list of zillions of 'em, like freakin' one for every day of the year. #highchurchjoke.

    Summary: I'm not saying religion is perfect. I am saying it isn't just "a big black box." Nothing is just a big black box. (Yes, please do quote the preceding sentence and post a picture of a big black box).



    Side note: just because mainstream Christianity in America has a decidedly conservative bent, doesn't mean Christianity, much less Jesus of Nazareth, had a conservative bent at all. Trust me, Jesus' message is comprehensive enough to offend left-wingers and right-wingers alike. (protip: read what he actually says about money).
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

    Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...

    I am grateful for the mystery of the soul, because without it, there could be no contemplation, except of the mysteries of divinity, which are far more dangerous to get wrong.

  30. #30
    wants to be a writer. silverchris9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    3,107
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Neotropic View Post
    How so, this is begging the question.
    No it isn't. It's just making a claim which is to be backed up with evidence. There's a difference.


    We understand stars and blackholes quite well. I understand you are not being literal here. What you are asking, is how did existence come to be in the first place.

    My answer is,

    I don't know. Yes, thats it. Not enough data to do anything but speculate.

    The problem with putting a deity as an explanation, is that you haven't actually answered the question at all. How did this deity come to be? How can you claim infinite regress of the universe impossible, and then turn around and exempt your deity from this? That is called special pleading.

    It also breaks occam's razor, and it is unfalsifiable.
    The way sophisticated versions of Mountain Dew's argument get around your objection is simply by stating that "everything that begins to exist has a cause" rather than simply "everything has a cause." This reforms the argument. It is not "the universe can't have existed forever because something had to cause the universe to exist." Rather, the argument is something like this:

    1) In order to avoid infinite causal regress, there must be something which is uncaused, or in some way "caused by itself." In other words, to avoid infinite regress, we need an uncaused entity.

    2) We assume that something that is uncaused did not begin to exist. Note that this IS an assumption, but it is a fairly natural one, since we humans tend to pair causal priority with temporal priority; that is, we assume that in order for x to cause y, x must exist before it causes y, in order to cause y. (You can't cause something if you don't exist) In other words, the cause must be temporally prior to the effect.

    3) According to the Big Bang, the universe has not existed forever; in other words, it cannot have temporal priority.

    4) Therefore, if that which has causal priority also has temporal priority---the assumption of (2)---the universe cannot be the uncaused entity.

    5) Given that the uncaused entity is not the Universe, it must be a supernatural being who closely fits the description of God (immaterial, atemporal/eternal, presumably quite powerful).

    Now, the big flaw in this argument, for me, is that it assumes the necessity of time for causality, in premise 2. And of course there are all my normal complaints that scientific evidence is probabilistic and therefore not, strictly speaking, certain, insofar as credencing scientific conclusions requires you to make a whole slew of prior assumptions about how the universe works, assumptions that science cannot operate outside because it must assume them in order to do its work (assumptions such as time, space, causality, the reality and repeatability of phenomena, or at least a real and regular relationship between phenomena and noumena).

    In addition, I take great umbrage at your invocation of falsifiability and ockham's razor. As I am constantly insisting, these are scientific heuristics, NOT tests of truth. While Ockham's Razor is a great approach, scientifically speaking, and it follows Aristotle's complaint about Plato's Forms ("why add a bunch of shit you don't need when you can explain things without all that shit"), it has literally nothing to do with whether something is true or false.

    Ockham's Razor doesn't even pretend to say "let's get rid of this because it contradicts something we are certain about" or even "let's get rid of this because it is unlikely." It just says "let's get rid of this because it's complicated," and if complicated = untrue, then dear god, we need to burn down every university in the world, ESPECIALLY the economics, physics, and computer science departments.

    Same with falsifiability. It has nothing to do with whether something is true or false, and everything to do with whether or not it is useful for further research. And again, if not useful = false, then dear god, we need to burn down every university in the country, ESPECIALLY the English, History, and Philosophy departments...

    oh wait... this is a philosophical conversation. awkward.

    Side note: the "educational" tone atheists take when beginning a debate with a theist, as if we need to have every little rule of logic explained to us, because otherwise how could you be so stupid as to believe in God, hovers somewhere between ignorance and arrogance. This seems like it is directed against you, and to a degree it is, but really I've seen it in probably 50% of arguments I've had about religion, and 100% of arguments I've had about religion with people who don't already have proof that I'm pretty smart.

    The assumption is: all things being equal, a theist is probably stupid. And while it is true that theists have, on average, lower levels of education than atheists, it is also true that blacks have, on average, lower levels of education than whites. But we sure as hell wouldn't put up with white people assuming blacks are stupid.


    Evolution in its self, is in no way incompatible with a belief in God. The only thing it is incompatible with, is a literalist interpretation of the abrahamic creation story.

    Further, not all religious traditions are threatened by evolution. To my knowledge, dharmic religions are relatively unaffected.


    Now, don't dump me into the athiest boat so quickly though. My views on God and the supernatural, are far more nuance than most people assume they are. This is probably due to my attitude towards religious and faith based arguments. However, they are not relevant to this thread.
    I'm curious. New thread?
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

    Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...

    I am grateful for the mystery of the soul, because without it, there could be no contemplation, except of the mysteries of divinity, which are far more dangerous to get wrong.

  31. #31

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    TIM
    Alpha NT?
    Posts
    137
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    I think that a lot of people, probably more individuals in the general public than scientists themselves (but let's be honest, a lot of scientists too), tend to confuse scientific methodology with tests of truth. The fact that a scientific theory should not assume the existence of God, or the soul, or midi-chlorians does not in and of itself invalidate the possibility of a truth involving God, or the soul, or midi-chlorians. We just don't have the tools to understand these things yet.
    There's a distinction to be made between the most parsimonious theories of natural phenomena (i.e., those theories that accord with Occam's Razor), more extravagant theories of natural phenomena, and non-falsifiable theories of natural phenomena. Theories in the second group (such as the existence of midi-chlorians), even if not scientifically accepted as true, are nonetheless scientific theories insofar as they predict specific things and can be shown to be false if those predictions do not hold. However, theories in the third group (such as the existence of a soul) are utterly unscientific; it is not that we lack the tools to understand them, but that they are irrational nonsense. If you aren't satisfied with Hume's ideas about this topic, try Wittgenstein's: "whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent". If something exists outside the realm of science, it is meaningless to talk about it, as one cannot possibly have any knowledge of it.

    [Oh, I see that you treated midi-chlorians as being supernatural later on; actually, they are observable organisms within the context of Star Wars, which is why I placed them in the second category.]

    And on a related note, the fact that religion has been used for the purposes of those in power, as noted by Machiavelli in Livy and elsewhere, does not make religion itself bad.
    Machiavelli himself certainly didn't argue that religion was bad; he said it was the main unifying force holding together the Roman Republic. Indeed, he depicted religion in a very positive light (namely, as a tool with which unruly masses could be "civilized"). Others have called religion the "opium of the masses"; however, I see no reason to take this as simple invective. Religion oftentimes has a positive effect on the individual level because it allows people to believe comforting falsehoods rather than confront a bleak reality. Plus, unlike drugs, religiosity does not have any physically degrading side effects.

    Side note: just because mainstream Christianity in America has a decidedly conservative bent, doesn't mean Christianity, much less Jesus of Nazareth, had a conservative bent at all. Trust me, Jesus' message is comprehensive enough to offend left-wingers and right-wingers alike. (protip: read what he actually says about money).
    Christianity, like many religions, was initially successful because it appealed to the disenfranchised and marginalized elements of society (e.g., the poor, women, etc.). Although Christianity is not progressive by modern-day standards (and it isn't, not even in its purest form), it did represent a significant, positive departure from the mores extant in turn-of-the-millennium Rome. However, like most political organizations that begin as insurrectionary groups, Christianity modified its tone as it gained power, becoming increasingly oppressive. The same is true of left-wing revolutionary organizations, for example, although the time frame in which they gain power and exploit their power is generally shorter. However, when Christianity became institutionalized, it ceased to be progressive.

  32. #32
    wants to be a writer. silverchris9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    3,107
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Begoner View Post
    There's a distinction to be made between the most parsimonious theories of natural phenomena (i.e., those theories that accord with Occam's Razor), more extravagant theories of natural phenomena, and non-falsifiable theories of natural phenomena. Theories in the second group (such as the existence of midi-chlorians), even if not scientifically accepted as true, are nonetheless scientific theories insofar as they predict specific things and can be shown to be false if those predictions do not hold. However, theories in the third group (such as the existence of a soul) are utterly unscientific; it is not that we lack the tools to understand them, but that they are irrational nonsense. If you aren't satisfied with Hume's ideas about this topic, try Wittgenstein's: "whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent". If something exists outside the realm of science, it is meaningless to talk about it, as one cannot possibly have any knowledge of it.

    [Oh, I see that you treated midi-chlorians as being supernatural later on; actually, they are observable organisms within the context of Star Wars, which is why I placed them in the second category.]
    I thought whereof one cannot speak was about the Holocaust? But I guess it was just applied to the Holocaust by Alan Bennet in The History Boys, lol.

    Anyway, to assume that which cannot be proven by scientific means is "irrational nonsense" is to make the very error I am attempting to dissuade people from. It is basically assuming that science is the only road to truth.

    This is of course false, because science relies upon assumptions that cannot be proven by science (existence of time, existence of space, causality, repeatability and reality of phenomena, or at least a certain relationship between the world-as-it-is-observed and the world-as-it-is). Therefore, if the conclusions of science are true, their must be extrascientific means of arriving at truth. This snake is eating its tail (most do).

    So, to your alteration of "whereof one cannot speak" to "whereof one cannot speak with purely scientific proof, thereof one must be silent," I reply, "Well then, we'd all better shut up, about everything, for a good long time."

    Machiavelli himself certainly didn't argue that religion was bad; he said it was the main unifying force holding together the Roman Republic. Indeed, he depicted religion in a very positive light (namely, as a tool with which unruly masses could be "civilized"). Others have called religion the "opium of the masses"; however, I see no reason to take this as simple invective. Religion oftentimes has a positive effect on the individual level because it allows people to believe comforting falsehoods rather than confront a bleak reality. Plus, unlike drugs, religiosity does not have any physically degrading side effects.
    True. Even with the argument that religion exists to hold people together, it takes a very idealistic and non-pragmatic mindset to say unequivocally that religion is bad and should be avoided. A very idealistic "I believe in the truth if it kills me," rather Romantic, Oedipan approach to life. Which is admirable, but not all that different from religious faith after all.

    Christianity, like many religions, was initially successful because it appealed to the disenfranchised and marginalized elements of society (e.g., the poor, women, etc.). Although Christianity is not progressive by modern-day standards (and it isn't, not even in its purest form), it did represent a significant, positive departure from the mores extant in turn-of-the-millennium Rome. However, like most political organizations that begin as insurrectionary groups, Christianity modified its tone as it gained power, becoming increasingly oppressive. The same is true of left-wing revolutionary organizations, for example, although the time frame in which they gain power and exploit their power is generally shorter. However, when Christianity became institutionalized, it ceased to be progressive.
    I strongly disagree. The thing about Christianity is that it is a text-based religion. As such, one can separate Christianity from Christianity-as-it-is-practiced. Perhaps I should have made it clear that when I spoke of "Jesus' message," I was attempting to make an appeal to Christianity rather than Christianity-as-it-is-practiced.

    No matter how many rich and powerful Christians there are, there are still verses in the Bible that ought to make those rich and powerful Christians (myself included, although I'm not personally rich or powerful right now) uncomfortable, like the bits about "making my father's house a house of merchandise," and "blessed are the meek," and "blessed are you when you are persecuted for righteousness' sake," and "it is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven."

    And even if the interpretation of those verses in most churches has changed, the verses themselves have changed very little (accounting for translation and the possibility of scribal errors in the period between the original manuscripts and the earliest manuscripts available to scholars today). I think they're central enough and pointed enough to give those in power pause. You can logic it away, but it should at least give you a moment of pause when you say "love thy neighbor" in one breath, and "don't provide your neighbor with healthcare" in the next.

    Of course, I'm not discounting the idea that there is a difference between individual charity and government-mandated and -managed charity---I'm just saying it should give one pause, and that the text could support a different application to the political situation than the one that currently holds the most sway in American political discourse.

    I am claiming for Christianity a bit of an "inherently revolutionary" character, what with the be happy when you're persecuted, blessed are the meek, rich people are gonna have trouble getting into heaven business (but then of course, right around the corner is the bit where the Roman centurion's son is healed because of his faith, and the Roman centurion probably ain't hurtin' for money). I think it is paradoxical that Christianity can simultaneously be a religion of such stark emphasis on tradition (especially in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic faiths), and a religion of such a strong anti-authoritarian bent. But I think the real lesson there is that, if the claims of Christianity are true, and the way Christ lives is the best way to live, then any society is going to have some disagreements with Jesus, at least until we have a perfect society.


    EDIT: And, even if you do speak of Christianity-as-it-is-practiced, there are people who believe in and practice Christianity from a very liberal, even revolutionary POV, politically speaking. (Even if they don't believe in violet revolution.) Are they somehow less Christian because they (almost necessarily) do not have a central voice in American political and media discourse?
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

    Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...

    I am grateful for the mystery of the soul, because without it, there could be no contemplation, except of the mysteries of divinity, which are far more dangerous to get wrong.

  33. #33

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    TIM
    Alpha NT?
    Posts
    137
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    I thought whereof one cannot speak was about the Holocaust? But I guess it was just applied to the Holocaust by Alan Bennet in The History Boys, lol.
    Actually, it's kind of funny: Wittgenstein wrote an entire book (pretentiously called the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, no less) about how philosophy was nonsense, of which that quote was the conclusion. However, his book was itself philosophical, so he was forced to concede that it, too, was nonsense. (He apparently revised his views later on; I don't know that much about Wittgenstein's ideas, though.)

    Anyway, to assume that which cannot be proven by scientific means is "irrational nonsense" is to make the very error I am attempting to dissuade people from. It is basically assuming that science is the only road to truth.
    I don't believe that science is the only road to truth, but I believe it is the only road to knowledge. For example, suppose I flip a coin and it lands on heads. Later, I ask someone who has not seen me perform this act: "What was the outcome of my flip?" and he confidently replies: "Heads". Well, he's right insofar as what he said was true; nonetheless, he has no knowledge of the flip or its outcome -- it was just a lucky guess. Similarly, it is logically possible that God exists, but we cannot have any knowledge of God; at best, if we correctly believe in God, we have merely guessed luckily. To discuss issues of which one cannot have knowledge I call "nonsense", for such a conversation consists solely of idle and unsubstantiated speculation.

    This is of course false, because science relies upon assumptions that cannot be proven by science (existence of time, existence of space, causality, repeatability and reality of phenomena, or at least a certain relationship between the world-as-it-is-observed and the world-as-it-is). Therefore, if the conclusions of science are true, their must be extrascientific means of arriving at truth. This snake is eating its tail (most do).
    Yes, to have any hope of gaining knowledge, we must build an axiomatic basis on which to rest such knowledge. If we make this basis too skimpy, we would not be able to know anything interesting; if we make it too broad, we will be able to "know" contradictory things. For example, someone might believe the Qu'ran is true while another may believe the Bible is true -- these contradictory beliefs arise from an overly broad idea of what constitutes knowledge and show that this broad conception of knowledge is logically indefensible. I agree that we have to make certain unscientific assumptions about reality in order to have any hope of understanding it; however, I do not think all assumptions we may make are equally valid. Instead, I think that the ones which lead to empirical science are the only valid and useful ones (simpler ones might be valid but not useful).

    So, to your alteration of "whereof one cannot speak" to "whereof one cannot speak with purely scientific proof, thereof one must be silent," I reply, "Well then, we'd all better shut up, about everything, for a good long time."
    Lol.

    I strongly disagree. The thing about Christianity is that it is a text-based religion. As such, one can separate Christianity from Christianity-as-it-is-practiced. Perhaps I should have made it clear that when I spoke of "Jesus' message," I was attempting to make an appeal to Christianity rather than Christianity-as-it-is-practiced.
    Maybe I should've been more clear: I do believe Christianity was progressive when it was created (which is why it appealed to the poor and women, who oppressed by the traditional, pre-Christian order), and the text of the Bible reflects this. However, I believe the text not to be particularly progressive by modern-day standards (in terms of homosexuality, for example). I haven't read the Bible, though, so I obviously can't speak with any degree of surety about it -- what I know about extremely anti-progressive passages from the Bible was gleaned from The West Wing.



    Be that as it may, I do believe that the text of the Bible reflects a significantly more progressive world view than the world view espoused by many so-called Christians today (there's a nice quote about this attributed to Gandhi: "I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians -- your Christians are so unlike your Christ"). Anyway, it would be hard to determine how liberal the Bible is overall without going through each passage; I agree that significant portions of it are highly liberal. However, I do believe that Christianity, as a political force, became significantly more oppressive as it gained more power, and it paid less and less lip service to its philosophical underpinnings. Of course, there are still people who remain faithful to the teachings of Christ, but they constitute a small minority of self-labeled Christians.

    I am claiming for Christianity a bit of an "inherently revolutionary" character, what with the be happy when you're persecuted, blessed are the meek, rich people are gonna have trouble getting into heaven business (but then of course, right around the corner is the bit where the Roman centurion's son is healed because of his faith, and the Roman centurion probably ain't hurtin' for money).
    I also agree with this -- I did concede that Christianity began as an insurrectionary movement. And there are indeed many portions of the Bible that afford a positive world-view, especially those that deal with selflessness. Given my scant knowledge of the Bible, I believe these are counterbalanced by passages which are considerably less sanguine. To give an example I find funny (http://bible.cc/2_kings/2-24.htm): "Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, 'Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!' When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number. And he went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria". But I certainly don't purport to be an expert on the subject of the Bible -- if you say it's mostly good stuff, I'll take your word for it.

  34. #34
    Le roi internet Bluenoir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Zeta Reticuli
    TIM
    Ne-LII
    Posts
    392
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    In addition, I take great umbrage at your invocation of falsifiability and ockham's razor. As I am constantly insisting, these are scientific heuristics, NOT tests of truth. While Ockham's Razor is a great approach, scientifically speaking, and it follows Aristotle's complaint about Plato's Forms ("why add a bunch of shit you don't need when you can explain things without all that shit"), it has literally nothing to do with whether something is true or false.
    Cool, I never claimed falsifiability or ockham's razor to be tests of "truth" in on themselves. I try to use them beacuse they are useful for me to avoid me running into the trap of giving credence to my own speculations.

    How then, do I approach any "truth" claim without these tools. Note I am saying truth claim, not statements of belief, which I agree are different. Mt Dew was making truth claims, so I applied the mentioned.

    Side note: the "educational" tone atheists take when beginning a debate with a theist, as if we need to have every little rule of logic explained to us
    Yet alot of you guys, typicaly have an odd way of showing your understanding of them.


    I'm curious. New thread?
    It may come to a shock for you, but I am far from closed to questions of metaphysics and existence. However, I take them as a philosophical endeavor, not a scientific one.

    Not once in my post was I rallying against any concept of God, stop projecting. You may semantically label me as "atheist/agnostic", but only for convenience. I am not the same kind as Gilly or other "dogmatic materialist" or "anti religion" or whatever. I am more complex and open minded that that.

    However.

    In the face of ambiguity, I admit my ignorance

    I don't know. Yes, thats it. Not enough data to do anything but speculate.
    Christians however, make grandiose claims of Deities and Jesus and demand they be respected as "the truth" When they have nothing but their own little theology games to back them up with. I grew up Catholic, so don't play the whole you don't understand card.

    By the way. If I am comming of as a little bitter, that is not intended.
    Last edited by Bluenoir; 06-03-2011 at 10:49 AM.
    The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness, passion conditions him to the fruits of action, and ignorance to madness.

    Chapter 14, Verse 9.
    The Bhagavad Gita

  35. #35
    Jesus is the cruel sausage consentingadult's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,782
    Mentioned
    52 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jason_m View Post
    Somewhere along the way, I remember writing that it does not make sense that science not be willing to include notions of the supernatural. I could not understand why something that can't be incorporated in our notions of everyday reality be automatically excluded from scientific study because it is "not provable physically." To see why such an approach is flawed, consider the following arguments:

    1. It is logically possible that supernatural events could exist.

    2. If they exist, they can (in principle) some day be studied scientifically.

    3. It could also come to a point that they do exist and are studied scientifically, and studying these events could benefit our society.

    4. If, however, science takes the approach that anything that doesn't have a realistic physical basis is unscientific, then science automatically precludes itself from studying the supernatural and therefore precludes any of these scientific benefits.

    5. Therefore, it is, in fact, unscientific to not at least allow for the possibility of the existence of the supernatural.

    (I also don't want to hear that the supernatural is by definition beyond our scientific study, because the word is only applied to the conditions at this point in time; things could change such that what is called "supernatural" today belongs to reality tomorrow - and that's why we can't automatically reject such notions because we disallow the possibility of tomorrow ever coming - my point here.)
    This is assuming science isn't interested in the supernatural, which isn't true. Lots of universities investigate supernatural claims as well as the advocates of the supernatural. Only the results, although very clarifying, are typically what the advocates don't want to hear, or to be publicly known. Fortunately for these advocates, the public at large doesn't want to know either.
    The future of Socionics:
    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa View Post
    Many black Americans are SEE type.

  36. #36
    Currently God Brilliand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Nevada
    TIM
    LII
    Posts
    4,246
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    I'm not saying religion is perfect. I am saying it isn't just "a big black box." Nothing is just a big black box. (Yes, please do quote the preceding sentence and post a picture of a big black box).


    Why has nobody else done this yet? Can't anyone grant such a simple request? (To be fair though, there is also a table and some other stuff in the background. If you like I can edit those out, though I don't think I can prevent it from being a Web-displayable image.)



    LII-Ne

    "Come to think of it, there are already a million monkeys on a million typewriters, and the Usenet is NOTHING like Shakespeare!"
    - Blair Houghton

    Johari

  37. #37
    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    TIM
    3w4 sx/so
    Posts
    24,757
    Mentioned
    91 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    First off, for those who accuse me of being atheist, dogmatically materialistic, etc, I am not. My position against religion stems from no personal or scientific origin, but rather from the fact that religion has killed more people than all of the AK 47s, nuclear bombs, and crucifixes in history. It has certainly helped a great many peopl, but I believe that it is mostly a psychological chemo therapy for those lacking faith in humanity, and is by no means the only treatment of its kind.

    More later, my phone is dying.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

  38. #38
    not a bumblebee octo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    TIM
    IEI 4-6-9 apparently
    Posts
    2,744
    Mentioned
    30 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jason_m View Post
    I could not understand why something that can't be incorporated in our notions of everyday reality be automatically excluded from scientific study because it is "not provable physically."
    I disagree. In my opinion, science cares about positive results, regardless of whether the phenomenon is popularly regarded as "supernatural" or not. It's just very difficult to get positive results on supernatural things, but when you do, you get a high impact paper.

    A recent example is Daryl Bem's study on precognition/ESP, which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a well-respected, relatively "sciencey" psychology journal. He published statistical evidence showing that people could see very dimly into the future.

    The experiment's since been repeated, but the results couldn't be replicated - however, none of these negative results, which would agree with "conventional" science, have been published.


    I think people who use science to pooh-pooh things that can't yet be properly studied by science ("protoscience") tend to not have much of a scientific background or are trying to sell books.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agee The Great View Post
    Nobody here...besides me, seems to know what SLE is except for maybe Maritsa.

  39. #39
    Grand Inquisitor Bardia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    TIM
    ESI
    Posts
    1,258
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    First off, for those who accuse me of being atheist, dogmatically materialistic, etc, I am not. My position against religion stems from no personal or scientific origin, but rather from the fact that religion has killed more people than all of the AK 47s, nuclear bombs, and crucifixes in history. It has certainly helped a great many peopl, but I believe that it is mostly a psychological chemo therapy for those lacking faith in humanity, and is by no means the only treatment of its kind.

    More later, my phone is dying.
    False. People with their own goals have used religion to convince others to kill many people.
    “No psychologist should pretend to understand what he does not understand... Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.” -Anton Chekhov

    http://kevan.org/johari?name=Bardia0
    http://kevan.org/nohari?name=Bardia0

  40. #40
    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    TIM
    3w4 sx/so
    Posts
    24,757
    Mentioned
    91 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bardia View Post
    False. People with their own goals have used religion to convince others to kill many people.
    False. We cant know their motives. What we do know is that religion was the impetus and the excuse.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •