Which came first, religion or science? I think they have the same roots, and stem from the same place in prehistoric human development. One, over time and after many metamorphoses, became what we think of today as science. The other, over time and after many metamorphoses, became what we think of today as religion. Both stemmed from observance of the natural world...and while science today focuses on the directly observable and recreate-able, religion today focuses on the unobservable but no less meaningful as well as serving as the repository for social mores.
...still a bit of magic in both camps [or sides] no?
Haven't you known me long enough to realize that is the least of my concerns?And isn't being in with the in crowd more important anyway?
Most people think so.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
-Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)
It's time to retire that little saying J23 because it's really saying more about those who don't understand science than about science itself.
I am also amused by people who get all worked up over something they *imagine* I said. I would correct you, but it's more entertaining for me this way.Scientific advances aren't the product of magic. They are the product of countless attempts of trial and error, of theory, math and measurement, of exploration and materials. Science isn't magic, no matter how much it may appear to be, it is the result of intelligence, creativity, hard work and perseverance.
Shawn, are you aware that the Gulags and the extermination camps such as Auschwitz, were rationalized in the minds of the people by "scientific" means, specifically Darwinian socialism? In other words, these were products of science, not religion.
it is of course the best available answer you currently have *if* you exclude the existence of the Divine, Revelation or anything outside the physical world on an axiomatic basis. as i exclude neither, it is merely a mechanism, shared with the higher animals, through which the Divine Will is Revealed. the consciousness of this shared mechanism, however, allows me potentially to recognise the Divine Image in them. now, i dare say none of this is important to you, but it is to me.Diagoras said:That is fine, but do you not think it makes more sense that the complexities of religion - that require a developed language ability - are an appendage that developed because of our much more ancient nature as co-operative social mammals?
of course, but i don't think you're arguing that it therefore follows that we are interchangeable. obviously we all have different functions in the natural world. if you're trying to say that an evolutionary explanation of religion is sufficient to make all other considerations redundant, then i would have to disagree with you, for the same reason that i will continue to enjoy heavy metal guitar solos (and Talmudic discourses) despite knowing that they are not all that different in evolutionary terms from the nest of a bower bird. just because something is at one level a type of competitive sexual display behaviour doesn't mean that on another level something more subtle isn't going on at the same time. i am not a bonobo or an elephant. what makes me me is not just evolution, but includes a cultural level which, if you like, overlays that. recognising what we have in common does not mean we should forget about what we do not have in common.Bonobo's and elephants can be kind to one another.
that is precisely the basis of dawkins' theory of memes as "viruses of the mind". philosophically speaking, however, it is somewhat less straightforward than you suggest, which you will probably dismiss as "word games", but i'm afraid you're mistaken there.shawn said:The problem here is that people will place the credit into the domain of an idea. Ideas do nothing. I had an idea to connect with a forum and discuss things, but the idea did not follow through, rather a living being (me) inspired by the idea did the work.
companies too can have ideologies, you only have to look at toyota or indeed tesco for that. ideas certainly have a force of their own based on their power to inspire emulation or resistance. an organisation is simply a bounded system of various elements. people are no difference. if you are saying that the system boundary has no meaning, then i think you are mistaken. the more granular you get, the less obvious the boundaries are, but they are nonetheless visible as you get to system and supersystem level.That is like saying Ford or GM built X# of vehicles last year.....when in actuality both entities are merely pieces of paper and the flesh and blood beings who work there in those factories did the actual building of said vehicles. Ford and GM built zero vehicles in their entire history, the people working there can take the credit. Likewise, religion can claim no credit for any good done as all the good (or bad) was again done by people who at the most can say that they were "inspired"; by their religious ideologies.
you do religion no service by misunderstanding science so wilfully. reliance can be placed on the nuts and bolts holding together because they and countless components manufactured under the same conditions will have been tested and found to behave a certain way within tolerances. in other words, evidence, not blind faith. i think you're fundamentally misunderstanding at what level *trust* functions in the system. it is both rougher and more subtle than experimental data of this order.bhaktajan said:IE: The race-car-driver has blind-faith that:
All those 'nuts-and-bolts' will hold together and that the rubber-wheels will stay intact etc etc . . .
yes, that's right, it can't possibly be because most of us think you are writing gibberish most of the time. occasional nuggets of sense pop up, but you have to wade through an awful amount of nonsense to get to them and, frankly, it is rarely worth the trouble.Are you absolutely sure you don't understand what I wrote? Or have you fabricated a mental-block?
as much as i think dogbrain's tone (as usual - and i've had occasion to warn him about this) is totally unhelpful, i do think this is a valid question.Dogbrain said:You are acting EXACTLY LIKE the "religious" people you take a crap upon. You "feel" enlightened. Okay, so where is the SCIENTIFIC MEASUREMENT of this "enlightened" status? What are the units, where is this published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature?
juan, you're a good bloke and everything, but science was the means, not the motivation. the motivation was a perverted form of religion replacing G!D with "state", "class" and "race". this is the very definition of idolatry. you too do religion no disservice by using demonstrable old chestnuts like this as an argument and diagoras calls you on it correctly. neither nazism and communism can be correctly described as atheist, although communism thought it was.juantoo3 said:Shawn, are you aware that the Gulags and the extermination camps such as Auschwitz, were rationalized in the minds of the people by "scientific" means, specifically Darwinian socialism? In other words, these were products of science, not religion.
depends who you ask. on the other hand, it seems to me that some of the "virtually indistinguishable" bits seem to have been retained because they do in fact work and make sense. for example, i am routinely informed by friends undergoing marriage counselling that they have been advised to adopt a form of monthly separation that in most respects appears to resemble the jewish laws of taharat ha-mishpakha.citizenzen said:But while science has advanced well beyond the understanding we had 2,000 years ago, religion is virtually indistinguishable.
in the same way that, if you are a parent, you have a different relationship with your children when they are newborns than when they are toddlers, small children, adolescents and adults. you speak to them differently, explain things on different levels, interact with them in a different way. they are still the same person, you are still the same person, but the relationship has developed as it has matured. the same is true of religion. we used to get "smited" for doing bad stuff, now we are expected to behave like grown-ups and learn for ourselves how to do better.Last time I checked, Christians still read the Bible, Muslims the Qu'ran and Jews the Torah. Now I will agree that these religions have changed some over time and based on the culture in which they're practiced. But I think most adherents would be offended if you argued that their religion strayed from its origins. I think most would try to convince you that their interpretation honors the original more closely than others. But please, tell me how they have changed.
i think you're failing to distinguish between the sort of religion that falls apart when you take out the magic bits and the sort of religion that can still operate a sustainable human society without magic required. this is an important distinction.I won't deny that there is a "bit" of magic in science, but religion is based almost entirely on it.
the same is true of the system of religious law that makes judaism function.Scientific advances aren't the product of magic. They are the product of countless attempts of trial and error, of theory, math and measurement, of exploration and materials. Science isn't magic, no matter how much it may appear to be, it is the result of intelligence, creativity, hard work and perseverance.
er.. except we continue to study the Temple system in exhaustive detail for when it needs to be re-established when the messiah eventually shows up.juantoo3 said:Judaism 2000 years ago was under the Temple system...surely you remember that? Now they are under the Synagogue system...
That being it seems as if our progress has been intentionally retarded by others who for some reason see this as a good thing.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.
That being it seems as if our progress has been intentionally retarded by others who for some reason see this as a good thing. Religion and other superstitious beliefs have been employed to achieve this goal.
juan, you're a good bloke and everything, but science was the means, not the motivation. the motivation was a perverted form of religion replacing G!D with "state", "class" and "race". this is the very definition of idolatry. you too do religion no disservice by using demonstrable old chestnuts like this as an argument and diagoras calls you on it correctly. neither nazism and communism can be correctly described as atheist, although communism thought it was.
You are right BB...my response was an absolute intended to "balance" the alternate absolute that was being argued.