* ENLIGHTENED *.....by.....* SCIENCE *

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by shawn, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    10
    Oh, well, see...I can't just let that go. I'm all down with science, I'd just like to see a nuanced discussion. Like, as regards Islam, I don't think it's any more backwards assed than any other puddinhead intellectual pursuit. Certainly no more goofy than Jew dudes wearing little Torahs on their heads, or Christians drinking symbolic blood. Or Buddhists and their lucky chopsticks for picking lottery numbers in the lobby, or Jains avoiding stepping on bugs, or Pagans playing dress up, or Sikhs and their symbolic little butter knives. Or Atheists and their giant shoulder chip, or Hedonists and their shallow, self serving wanking. Did I miss anyone? Here, I'll leave a few free piss offs on the table for the late arrivers.

    Chris
     
  2. c0de

    c0de Vassal

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    0
    ???

    All I did was point out "facts" to you.

    Even if Sam Harris showed up on the thread,
    he would not be able to dispute any of these "facts"

    Like you (but with a better understanding of science)
    he would have opinions, (just like everyone else) that's all.
     
  3. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    Facts according to you.
     
  4. c0de

    c0de Vassal

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    0
    Facts according to science, actually.
     
  5. Snoopy

    Snoopy zennish

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,317
    Likes Received:
    45
    I am not anti-science; I took sciences at college and uni.

    Shawn, you said>

    "I don't need religion to convince me that life is important and people should not be harmed, this is self evident and consistent around the world regardless of what religion people do or do not have."

    So you are convinced that life is important and people should not be harmed; you say this is self evident and consistent around the world. I accept that you did not need religion to come to this conclusion. But does this asserted belief come from science?

    From wiki:

    "Science is, in its broadest sense, any systematic knowledge that is capable of resulting in a correct prediction or reliable outcome. In this sense, science may refer to a highly skilled technique, technology, or practice.
    In today's more restricted sense, science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge based on scientific method, and to the organized body of knowledge gained through such research. It is a "systematic enterprise of gathering knowledge about the world and organizing and condensing that knowledge into testable laws and theories"."


    Hence I do not see how this may lead you to your moral assertion.


    s.



     
  6. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    4
    i think your point, if you have one, is getting lost here. my point is that religion has constructed arguably "good" artifacts, as well as arguably "bad" ones. that is not an argument against religion, but an argument against harmful outcomes of which, say, the scientific experiments and technological production line in auschwitz are a case in point. science, technology and machinery are morally neutral, but the uses to which they are put by scientists, religious or not, or religious people, scientists or not, are not morally neutral. moral outcomes are not provable, measurable, reliably reproducible and observable and for that, you need a philosophical method, of which all religions have at least the basic workings. obviously such a moral framework can be claimed in the absence of religion, but not reliably so according to scientifically respectable standards, as nobody has yet developed a scientifically valid way to show morality developing in the absence of religion, which will have to wait until artificial intelligence allows us to experiment with a type of consciousness which can be insulated from any religious influence. even then, an argument against this sort of proxy experiment will still be possible on purely scientific grounds.

    shawn, you probably need to read a bit of daniel dennett's work on the phenomenology of religion from an evolutionary perspective. it will not require you, of course, to relinquish your atheism, dennett being one of the amusingly-titled "four horsemen" (the others being sam harris, christopher hitchens and richard dawkins) but it will almost certainly demonstrate that group chauvinism is an evolutionary phenomenon not even restricted to humans, let alone to religious humans.

    if you're saying that the holocaust was only possible because of the history of christian anti-semitism, i would certainly agree in terms of those circumstances, but i think taking it further to blame the jews for inventing judaism which gave rise to christianity which gave rise to christian anti-semitism, i think you're straining credibility somewhat, as well as ignoring the moral agency and free will of the actual perpetrators.

    er.. as in him making the trains run on time? but you are making a moral argument, which requires a moral argument in response.

    i know that - my argument is not that science cannot produce non-utilitarian outcomes, but a refutation of your assertion that religion cannot produce "good".

    er... i know. i am simply arguing that religious values can be shown to produce those "good" outcomes as well, refuting your earlier assertion.

    that is not a testable assertion - until we see whether our artificial-intelligence thought experiment from above starts to produce art in the absence of religion.

    you're not understanding my point. your "faith" here is that observable material effects, measurable by observation or indeed deduction/inference is the be-all and end-all of reality. i don't need "faith" to see the effects and operation of religion either, nor do i need "faith" to carry out the behaviours required of me by religion. i only need "faith" for the 13 axioms (or dogmas, if you prefer) which are irreducibly faith-based. you have similar irreducible, faith-based beliefs, even if you do not choose to recognise them.

    says you. what they are also good for is challenging sloppy thinking, poor arguments and inexact terminology. do yourself a favour and buy yourself a copy of [famous atheist] bertrand russell's "history of western philosophy" and you'll understand how both philosophy and faith are inextricably bound up with science and the quests to understand truth and reality.

    and that's all well and good (if not self-evident and consistent as you assert) but still not a terribly effective argument for the uselessness and malignancy of religion you are seeking to establish.

    eh? who is manipulating you? who is manipulating me? we still have our moral agency and free-will last time i checked.

    who says i am? who says it is not my religion that prevents me from going quietly? believe me, shawn, plenty of people have tried to give up being jewish. it didn't save them from the mediaeval laws of limpieza de sangue, or the pseudo-scientific theories of C19th racists, or the nazi gas chambers, or the soviet gulag, nor will it save us from the conspiracy theorists of fundamentalism and the lunatic fringe. there is one man that thinks i am part of a worldwide network of reptilian overlords from outer space - how exactly is becoming an atheist going to enable me to hide from prejudice at the genetic level?

    i agree! what the arse are we actually arguing about here, that religion prevents us from doing so? well, perhaps, but sometimes it also prevents us from doing things that we might otherwise regret. all i am saying here is that morality is a sine qua non, but the fact that it may be derived from or influenced by religious belief is hardly grounds for its lack of necessity.

    alternatively, snoopy appears to be saying the same thing as me, but much more succinctly - to my chagrin.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  7. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is really a laugh is how I post something which states that science is a good tool to elevate the human condition and religion has been used to hold humanity back, and people start to assume that I am an atheist.
    ROFL.
    That is really funny.
    And revealing as well.
    FYI....I AM NOT AN ATHEIST.
    (I have posted here for some time and have made mention of this quite extensively at times so I had thought it to be understood.)
    But my definition of what god/God/G-d/etc, is, is not conventional and does not fit into the traditional boxes.
    I am merely disgusted with the way the world has been manipulated by religion and held back by this manipulation.
    And people still defend it.
    This thread has been a case in point so far.

    Sure we can find good things to say about the religions of the world, but it is a mistake to give the credit to the religion, as people do have a good aspect and so regardless of what system of religion or, not, people still manifest goodness and kindness as that is in our nature.
    Some people are strongly influenced by that while others are pulled to a darker aspect.
    This occurs universally regardless of what religion or lack of religion has been employed in that area.
    That too is very revealing.
     
  8. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    Time for the 2nd installment:

    We remember and so we know.
    The early beliefs in the supernatural were established by various "miracle" workers who were recruited and trained, and injected as agents to found and popularize mass movements and countercultures based on myth, and to undermine and discredit any tendencies towards the emergence of the rational systems of thought that could lead to advanced technology, mastery over the environment and a real challenge then to the position of the overlords.

    The superstitions and religions of Earth's early cultures were carefully contrived and implanted.
    The beliefs of the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Mayans, ancient Egyptians, the early Chinese, The native Americans, etc, all were based on notions of the supernatural, magic, legend and folklore.
    Primarily, to sap them of any potential for developing logical methods of thought.
    The civilizations that grew upon these foundations built cities, developed arts and agriculture, and constructed ships and simple machines, but they never evolved the sciences that could have unlocked significant power to any great degree.
    It was always thwarted.

    The same pattern traces through to modern times.
    The various and sundry saints and apparitions who created legends by conveying messages and performing miracles, were in fact agents who were sent to reinforce and reassure.
    The cults and movements that perpetuated beliefs in spiritualism and the occult, in paranormal sciences and other such nonsense that were in vogue in Europe and North America in the 19th century, were manufactured in an attempt to dilute the progress of true science and reason.
    And even in the 20th century, the so-called popular reactions against science, technology, positive economic growth, new energy sources and the like were in fact carefully orchestrated.

    More to come......
    Comments?
    Discussion?
     
  9. Snoopy

    Snoopy zennish

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,317
    Likes Received:
    45
    I for one haven't assumed you're an atheist. I was addressing your assertion; enlightenment by science.

    Would you care to answer my question contained in my post above?

    s.
     
  10. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    For one, even a casual observation of wild creatures will show that animals have no religion and yet show compassion,mercy, charity and kindness, even uncharacteristically so, at times.
    That and my own observations of human nature as I mentioned in a post just above that regardless of religion or not people have instinctive traits and some are drawn to be compassionate and others to be cruel regardless of the religion or none at all, and this is a global phenomena.
    That to me is sufficient to back my hypothesis.
    This kind of information has been very enlightening to me.
     
  11. Snoopy

    Snoopy zennish

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,317
    Likes Received:
    45
    Does this relate to your OP?

    s.
     
  12. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Hare Krishna Yogi

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,277
    Likes Received:
    115
    Actually I am NOT a pessimest. When I read "ENLIGHTENED by SCIENCE" ---I think of the pharmacuticals that stay un-desolved when found collecting in the sediment at the bottom of the city's local water purification centres.

    When I read "ENLIGHTENED by SCIENCE" ---I think of . . . "Worlds' Fairs" ie: the 1964 Worlds' Fair!

    [​IMG]


    Hey let's enjoy ourselves! I just sold all my realestate in Detroit and the Bronx ---and junior will be drafted into the war soon ---so lets have a ball now that the cold war has become tepid!

    [​IMG]

    Oh Yeah, Mexicans are still in Mexico when these Picture was sold on the market.
    Japan's car industry is soon to arrive on your motorways.

    Drug-smuggling-screening at airports is not even a concern! Wow. All the econmic possiblities!

    [​IMG]

    Honey lets buy up empty lots of farmland on the outskirts of every city in the country!! Oh, and since the kids are doing drugs . . . lets invest in the Pharmacutical industry at the embriyo stage ---we have such a brite future ahead for us and the kids! Lets go to Vegas too! And watch the aids generation pass on by.

    http://usmilitary.about.com/od/deploymentsconflicts/l/bldrafthistory.htm
    Background of Selective Service
    For more than 50 years, Selective Service and the registration requirement for America's young men have served as a backup system to provide manpower to the U.S. Armed Forces.
    President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 which created the country's first peacetime draft and formally established the Selective Service System as an independent Federal agency.
    From 1948 until 1973, during both peacetime and periods of conflict, men were drafted to fill vacancies in the armed forces which could not be filled through voluntary means.
    A lottery drawing - the first since 1942 - was held on December 1, 1969, at Selective Service National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. This event determined the order of call for induction during calendar year 1970, that is, for registrants born between January 1, 1944 and December 31, 1950. Reinstitution of the lottery was a change from the oldest first method, which had been the determining method for deciding order of call.
     
  13. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is a response to the question you asked.
     
  14. c0de

    c0de Vassal

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your investigation of human nature is shallow. Even Nietzsche would ridicule your ideas (you are trying to find a "life denying" certainty in a life/reality in which there can be none.)

    Second, you are ignoring the observations of many other thinkers who have observed that it is impossible for a human being to be non-religious. Every human being worships something/someone.

    Go to BBC's In Our Time website and to its archives. Find a show called "The Age of Doubt" and get a primer on how the guests have dealt with this topic.
     
  15. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    You obviously have your opinions and others will have other opinions.
    Just because something is mainstream does not automatically mean it is superior and absolute.
    Everything is up for challenge and alternative views.
    If you do not like what I have to say then find something else to comment on.
    I am not twisting any arms here.
     
  16. c0de

    c0de Vassal

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's fine, but do you accept that all you have is an opinion as well?
     
  17. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm not sure who else called you atheist. I just wasn't sure why bananabrain thought you were ..... but he might not know you that well.

    I remember you saying at some point (a while back) that you were a Noahide. Whether or not you still are, I don't know. I wondered if this disillusionment with religion would drive you away from even the simplest of ideologies?
     
  18. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    2
    I don't consider the issue to be black and white. I think what we will find is that today's civilisation is a result of a "hodge-podge" of many different ideas and systems of thought coming together into a single unified system, mixing, evolving and renewing itself.

    Christendom may have been critical of science and scientific progress, but the irony is that it may have served as a catalyst for the cultural development that took Europe out of the Dark Ages and into an era where it could explore and conduct research into the workings of the universe and cosmos.

    I think it may help by looking at another civilisation: China. China evolved into an advanced civilisation independent of the Abrahamic faiths. What allowed China to develop as a civilisation was a political system that revolved around Confucianism. The critical aspect of this system was unity. People agreed on a common framework. A similar system existed in Japan.

    Likewise, Christianity in Western Europe led to a common cultural framework, which led to a certain level of cultural unity. They fought wars against each other. But most countries in Western Europe shared the same cultural framework.

    It is difficult to say if China might have had the kind of scientific revolution that happened in Western Europe. I think a major problem was that the feudal society of Imperial China may have prevented the kind of innovation that happened in Western Europe. Perhaps the more individualistic nature of Western society allowed scientific progress to happen faster.
     
  19. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    4
    my bad - i must have read that into what you were saying about religion being 100% evil, these are views that i customarily hear from militant atheists, apologies for the mistake. it sounds, however, that you have now fallen into a variant of good ol' perennialism, y'know, religion's bad, but spirituality is good, innit. and that is all very well, of course, but it should not be based on misconceptions, poorly structured philosophical categories and the straw man of "religion's never done anything good", which is demonstrably nonsensical.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  20. Diagoras

    Diagoras Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nonsensical? Not in the least ! It is normal facets of humanity integral in the human condition, not religion, that have done the good.
     

Share This Page