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  Topic: No reason for a rift between science and religion?, Skeptic's chance to prove his claims.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 08 2007,23:49   

Quote
BTW, just to give credit where credit is due, k.e. your responses to Shirley were hilarious.  I thought for a moment I might have to change pants.


Thank you Skeptic *high five* I prefer to be stired rather than shaken.

--Assume the position--

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,03:25   

Quote (k.e @ Aug. 08 2007,23:43)
 
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 08 2007,20:00)
Sorry again K.e. but this comment you made

   
Quote
THAT'S FRIGGEN WALES THEY DON"T EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH!!!!!


Is also quite, quite wrong. Most of the Welsh have English as their first (and in many cases only) language. Welsh itself is hardly spoken.

To be quite honest young man, how can possibly you say that? Yes I will have to agree the words coming out of their mouths may be English but it could be reasonably argued that they don't actually think in English. I hardly need mention that for instance India speaks English and they are without a doubt completely understandable on a phone line when suggesting delivery of free telephones direct to your front door and to me they sound Welsh.

There has to be some degree of acceptance for this not so radical idea and considering that most true Welshmen don't like Tiger Rogan Josh (with real Tiger) then I think the case has been made.

God some people are sticklers for detail.

Because I've spent a fair portion of my life in Wales?

My family, one half at least, are from there, and I spent at the very least about a month per year of the first 16 of my life their?

Because I live their most of the year, and have for the past 2?

I think we can safely conclude I know a tiny bit more about the Welsh than you, k.e.

Sorry I'm a stickler for detail.

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,04:43   

And (if true) they have the worlds oldest PET CEMETRY which makes them as devilish as Americans!

I'm actually sorry to hear you have spent so much time there; it seems to have done nothing for your sense of humour. Taking on every 'Yank' obviously was not as big a mistake as taking on a single person who occasionally lives in Wales, no wonder Dylan Thomas drank himself to death.

I’ll be more careful next time, icky thump someone else next time OK?

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,04:48   

Damn straight mo fo.

Sorry, I can't even type that with a straight face.

Appologies K.E., I don't mean to be an uptight arse.

Much.

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,05:04   

Wait, you're part Welsh?

BAN HIM! BAN HIM NOW!

I will not tolerate close harmony singing, leeks, daffodils, any form of rarebit, or generalised whiny Celtic bollocks.

I will however tolerate Katherine Jenkins.

In fact I'd tolerate her quite a lot.

Louis

P.S. 62-5. Poh!

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Bye.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,07:16   

Quote (Louis @ Aug. 09 2007,05:04)
I will however tolerate Katherine Jenkins.

Nice necklace.   :)

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,09:42   

Quote (Louis @ Aug. 09 2007,13:04)
Wait, you're part Welsh?

BAN HIM! BAN HIM NOW!

I will not tolerate close harmony singing, leeks, daffodils, any form of rarebit, or generalised whiny Celtic bollocks.

I will however tolerate Katherine Jenkins.

In fact I'd tolerate her quite a lot.

Louis

P.S. 62-5. Poh!

Oh that's right; bring on the special ops Welsh glee squad. (curses …release the hounds Smithers)

HELLO ---- THEY HAVE A DEAD CAT HAVEN!!!

Next you'll be having Catherine Zeta Jones nude with a daffodil poking out of her posterior.

Well the only ones I’ve met were all called Taffy and were the biggest booze artists in the Pilbara (a rough mining region in North Western Australia) one of them had a liver turned into an amusement park ride.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
JohnW



Posts: 2825
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,11:11   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,03:25)
Because I've spent a fair portion of my life in Wales?

My family, one half at least, are from there, and I spent at the very least about a month per year of the first 16 of my life their?

Because I live their most of the year, and have for the past 2?

Oh, you poor, poor man.

--------------
Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it. - Robert Byers

There isn't any probability that the letter d is in the word "mathematics"...  The correct answer would be "not even 0" - JoeG

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,11:17   

Quote (JohnW @ Aug. 09 2007,11:11)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,03:25)
Because I've spent a fair portion of my life in Wales?

My family, one half at least, are from there, and I spent at the very least about a month per year of the first 16 of my life their?

Because I live their most of the year, and have for the past 2?

Oh, you poor, poor man.

Precisely what is so bad about Wales?

Honestly, you church burnin' ebola boys are beyond the pale.....

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,11:24   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,19:17)
Quote (JohnW @ Aug. 09 2007,11:11)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,03:25)
Because I've spent a fair portion of my life in Wales?

My family, one half at least, are from there, and I spent at the very least about a month per year of the first 16 of my life their?

Because I live their most of the year, and have for the past 2?

Oh, you poor, poor man.

Precisely what is so bad about Wales?

Honestly, you church burnin' ebola boys are beyond the pale.....

Oh nothing...except Catherine Zeta Jones married an American sex fiend...I rest my case.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,11:52   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,17:17)
Precisely what is so bad about Wales?

You can't fool me, I've been there.

Quote
Honestly, you church burnin' ebola boys are beyond the pale.....

Well OBVIOUSLY! Hey wait...beyond the pale...are you saying I'm black?

HATE CRIME!!!!!

Welsh AND a racist!

BAN HIM!!! BAN HIM!!! BAN HIM UNTIL IT REALLY HURTS!!!!

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Bye.

  
JohnW



Posts: 2825
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,14:26   

Quote (Louis @ Aug. 09 2007,11:52)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,17:17)
Precisely what is so bad about Wales?

You can't fool me, I've been there.

Me too.  I spent ten years there one summer.

--------------
Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it. - Robert Byers

There isn't any probability that the letter d is in the word "mathematics"...  The correct answer would be "not even 0" - JoeG

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,16:43   

There was quite a serious earthquake in Cardiff last year. It did 10 million pounds worth of improvements.

Thankyew. Try the fish, I'm here all week.

Louis

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Bye.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,16:52   

Quote (k.e @ Aug. 09 2007,09:42)
Next you'll be having Catherine Zeta Jones nude with a daffodil poking out of her posterior.

(raises hand)

I wouldn't mind seeing that.


:)

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,04:57   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Aug. 09 2007,22:52)
Quote (k.e @ Aug. 09 2007,09:42)
Next you'll be having Catherine Zeta Jones nude with a daffodil poking out of her posterior.

(raises hand)

I wouldn't mind seeing that.


:)

I'll send you the video.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,06:21   

Skeptic,

1) There is no assumption of a rift between science and religion, it's a fact. It exists because of the epistemological differences between the two (an issue I notice you ignored completely). You claim science and religion aren't trying to understand the same things. I'm worried Skeptic. Very worried. Have you recently sustained head trauma? Taken some serious drugs? Been very drunk? I hope it's one of the above because otherwise you are willfully ignoring reality (never good). In time a decent bit of head trauma could be recoverable from! ;-)

I'll take "Creationism" for $400 please Alex. Creationism in all stripes from all religions is precisely an attempt to explain features of the natural, physical, observable universe. This is the simplest and easiest example of religions doing things that can be considered "trying to answer the same questions" as science.

There are of course others, for example your repeated use of the falsehood that religion is about telling people how to live their lives/morals etc. Morality does not derive from religion...but this is an issue I'll get to later. My point here is that ethics, morals, social behaviour and so on ARE things that are precisely within the remit of reasoned, rational, observational study, i.e. science. Of course their rational study is in it's relative infancy (despite a long and worthy history) due to the availability of the mechanisms for exchanging information regarding these issues. The internet, ease of travel and communication, ease of access to records etc are all tools that can be used to study moral, ethical and social on a rational basis.

Be clear about this, religion is the specific use of faith and revelation as mechanisms of acquiring knowledge about the universe, science is the most refined use of reason and observation as such a mechanism. So whilst we won't perhaps get a "grand unified theory of morals" in the same sense as we would say a physical or biological (or even sociological) theory, we CAN get reasoned and rational theories of social behviours, derivations of ethics and so on that are based on the evidence (for example). The fact that one's morals do not derive from religion should be equally obvious. Do you shun certain seafoods? Work on the sabbath? Do you stone adulterers and pagans? No of course you don't and very very few people advocate all of these moral pronouncements of certain religions. Why? Because the moral zeitgeist has changed. Of course religion as part of your culture and social environment informs SOME of your morals/ethics/socialisation, but it doesn't inform all. Obviously there is some other source, some other basis for moral judgements etc.

However, that said, this doesn't mean that the ethical/social/moral ideas religions have come up with over the years are not based on observation and reason etc. It's a mixed bag. I think the best way to explain a decent bit of thinking on the matter is to point to an article by Douglas Adams. It's called "Is there an artificial god?".

Text and audio available here.

So to head off a strawman before it comes, I am not saying that the religions of the world have nothing useful to say, but that the useful things they have to say are those based on reason, rational thought and observation. Or at least those things that turn out to be supported by reason, rational thought and observation (if you see the distinction).

Using faith or relevation to decide an issue is a total non starter. Appeals to faith and revelation alone can be used to justify ANYTHING. Where an article of faith or revelation coincides with reality it is not faith or revelation that determines or decides this, it is reason, rational thought and observation. I.e. an appeal to the evidence.

You repeatedly claim that there is no basis for a conflict between science and religion, Skeptic. To be blunt you can only do so out of total ignorance, or a deep desire not to see the evidence. Legions of philosophers (both religious and secular) from Aquinas to Russell, from Hume to Kant, from Plato to Popper have recognised the epistemological differences between faith and reason, and their greatest exponents religion and science. For your claim of "no rift should or does exist" to be true you would have to overturn all of this, you would have to rewrite what faith and reason are. Forgive me if I think that your confused claims above fail to do that. I suggest you familiarise yourself with what has gone before, BEFORE you tell everyone it is in error.

I'm going to skip over your appallingly inaccurate and woefully miused analogy with physics, although I will say I am a bit shocked that someone as qualified as you are is so rampantly ignorant of basic science in a discipline not their own.

2)  
Quote
Religion, on the other, does not rely upon empirical data. In fact, actual sources of knowledge are varied and open to interpretation


Bolding mine.

Actual sources of knowledge? What are these then? Show me these actual sources of knowledge and how you know they are sources of knowledge. What knowledge do they contain and how do you know it is knowledge? You must NOT use evidence, reason, rational thought or observation to show this. Why can't you do this? Because for these to be genuinely different sources of knowledge derived from genuinely different mechanisms for acquiring knowledge than those that science uses, you can't very well use the mechanisms science does and claim it as a win for religious mechanisms. That would be cheating, dishonest, stupid etc. And we all want to avoid that!

As for your questions "how do I treat others?" what makes you think that this is not open to rational scrutiny, why does religion have something to say here that reasoned, rational, evidence based enquiry does not? "What is goodness?" is that even a valid question? "What is the purpose of my life?" again, what makes this a valid question. I can phrase questions left and right, it doesn't mean they make sense or deserve an answer. "What is the temperature of jealousy in pine wardrobes?" A sincere question I desperately want an answer to. I REALLY deeply need that question answered, my soul bruns in torment every second I live wothout an answer. Does any of that make it a reasonable question? One that actually CAN be answered? No.

My point here is simple: not every question that can be asked, no matter how sincere or how deeply felt, deserves an answer or is even a rational question, formed in a logically coherent manner. Religion doesn;t help here either, and this is the really sad part. What is the religious answer to the question "what is the purpose of my life?" for example? More importantly, how is the answer to that question even dependant on religion? Why does the answer have to be religious? It can after all be a reasoned, rational, observation and evidence based answer. Why rely on faith and revelation to answer it? Again the point is not that religions have nothing to offer, just that the things they DO offer that work are those based on/derived from reason, rational thought and observation, NOT faith and revelation.

3) IDCists and creationists. Regardless of how many of them there are, they have (in the USA at least) some political clout. Politicians are asked questions about evolutionary biology as part of the interviews candidates get when running for the presidency of your nation (or the candidacy for the presidency if you see what I mean!). Creationists try to (and in many cases succeed) obtain positions of influence within the education establishments of many nations, most prominently the USA and the use that position toforce their religious ideas (for creationism is derived only from religion, never forget that, the roots are well documented) into science classes. These ideas are not only not scientific but are deliberately used to undermine science, scientific thought and the scientific enterprise. Why do they do this Skeptic? Because they realise that reason, rational thought and reliance on observation and evidence are anathema to faith and revelation and they are afraid. They have faith in a specific set of propositions and they will defend those propositions in the face of the evidence. This is why scientists fight back. No one gives a shit about what kooky beliefs some chap or chapess has. But you'll find that people give a massive shit about those kooky beliefs being claimed to be science when they are not and shoehorned into science classes when they have not earned the right to be there. THAT is the issue with creationists nothing more, nothing less. If no one opposes their lies (for lies they are) then they have free rein to infiltrate schools, ruin the science education of millions of children and so on and so forth. That vocal minority has enormous (disproportionate) influence precisely because of people like you Skeptic. People who defend religion because they believe in belief. More on this later.

4) Disproving god. First and foremost, you cannot prove a negative, so the sentence "I can prove god does not exist" is logically erroneous. False. A fallacious piece of drivel. No scientist worth the title would ever claim to be able to disprove the existence of god (depending on the definition used). No one is attempting to "refute the existence" as you awkwardly put it. What people ARE trying to do is show that religious ideas are not held up to the same scrutiny that other ideas are, even other "beliefs". The existence of such mythical entities as the existence of unicorns, bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, space aliens and your comprehension of the subjects at hand are open to rational scrutiny, why not the existence of deities?

Let's get one thing clear, I couldn't care less if you or anyone believes in a deity or set of deities. It really doesn't bother me. What I DO care about and what DOES bother me is when you or other believers claim that their beliefs deserve special privileges or that they deserve special privileges based on their beliefs or if they claim theire belief is supported by the evidence. And there is a LOT of that going around Skeptic, so please don't annoy me by denying obvious reality.

I'll give you an uncontroversial example:

Carl Sagan's "The Dragon in my Garage".

It's not that god or gods do not exist absolutely, it's that there is no reasonable, rational, reproducible evidence that they do indeed exist. Saying that isn't the point, whining about persecution or how bad it makes me look for saying is just some much special pleading. I can make the identical case for the Flying Spagetti Monster and it is only your prejudice that prevents you from acknowledging it.

A second point. Whilst I am more than happy to admit to the philosophical, scientific and epistemological nuances of understanding the universe (i.e. the limits of observation and induction, uncertainty, all knowledge being provisional, the asymptotic nature of the accumulation of knowledge etc etc) I am also very happy to say that as far as anyone can tell god or gods do not exist at all. Just like unicorns. Just like pixies. Just like teapots in orbit around Mars or Jupiter. See here for brief details on the teapot. Evidence isn't the point? Ok then, I have a bridge to sell you. It was given to me by god, I am his agent and he commands you to buy it. Prove me wrong (but don't use any evidence now!).

5) The Framing Debate. Scientists look bad if they take on the existence of god(s) issue. Really?

Bullshit.

For every frame there is an audience. Some frames work for you, some for me. There is no One Tactic To Rule Them All. Perhaps if scientists followed your straw man version of reality it might be a problem (and incidentally I would be equally vocal about THEIR poor reasoning of they did), but they don't. Take your ridiculous analogy at the bottom of your post: chemistry supposedly eliminates the need for god. Who makes this sort of claim? NO ONE. Not Dawkins, not me, not anyone. The "need" for god (depending on how one defines "need") is eliminated by several things: 1) the lack of evidence for his/her/its/their existence, 2) a rational understanding of one's desires and their context, 3) the realisation that we do not understand the universe around us, or acquire knowledge of it, by recourse to faith and revelation but by reason, rational thought and observation. I agree we are better to spend our time teching people about how chemistry does work, but we keep getting these pesky distractions. Ignorant fools telling us that their beliefs trump the evidence, or that such and such cannot be so because they neither believe nor understand it. And so on and so forth. Like it or not scientists are part of society and as such very much entitled to defend hard won knowledge from destruction at the hands of willful fools who are afraid that reality doesn't match the picture in their heads. This isn't just religious people, I can point to scientists like this (Fred Hoyle for example, a freaking genius of a man who refused to go with the evidence in some few cases to his detriment), political ideologies (some of the more exciting elements of capitalist thought and communist thought are cases in point), and downright woo woo (homeopathy, astrology, etc etc etc).

6) Lastly, belief in belief. I think I know why you are such a vigourous defender of religion, why you want it off limits. You believe in belief and are threatened by rational inquiry into your beliefs. I suggest very strongly you read Dan Dennett's "Breaking the Spell". Firstly it is the best of the "new atheist" books out there by a country mile, mainly because it is the "nicest" (and I hate both the terms in quotes with a passion. There is nothing new in almost any of these books that hasn't already been said. The tragedy is that there are fools who necessitate this stuff be said repeatedly. Resurgent religious loons need to be confronted with reality once in a while). Secondly because he explains what he means by "belief in belief" better than I can.

And on that note...

Louis

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Bye.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,06:52   

CHRIST LOUIS!!!! now I have to go back and read that. You realise its 7:30 pm on a Friday, I've had 3 large glasses of a 1/2 decent boxed red at around €0.50 a glass (The Chinese have dumped the $ *sniff-sorry god-* and after all cheap wine is Australia's gift to the whole world) She who must be obeyed has gone for a weekend away with her pals on secret Womens business PLUS I've just had Pasta for dinner, the humidty is 65%, the temperature is 14 degrees Centigrade and the speed the Earth hurtles around the sun has not changed (much).

It better be good.

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,07:08   

Sorry K.e.

I wouldn't bother! I've been adding to it for a couple of days in a spare minute or two. It's probably a load of old shit.

Drink more Chardonnnay!

Louis

P.S. Oh no the Aussies have given us more than cheap wine. There's the rotary washing line, Steve Irwin (Crikey!), much good Ocker fun, Carlton Cold and much much more. Honestly, it's not like your some degenerate nation of wirey haired, short arsed whiners like the Welsh* or something.

*I know, I know. I actually like the Welsh and Wales, nowt wrong with them or it, but I also like taking the piss out of Ian and other touchy taffies. I'm a bad person. I've never denied this. Mind you, come rugby time when my normal liberal self disappears behind a steel wall of nationalist jingoism that would make the Duke of Edinburgh blush, I ceaselessly mock the Aussies (convicts), Welsh (sheep shaggers), Kiwis (big sheep shaggers, best be a bit careful, also convicts), French (garlic smelling, easily conquered gallic ponces), Irish (thick, terrorists), Scots (skirt wearing ponces, possible sheep shagging), Italians (greasy), Argentinians (greasy, shag horses), South Africans (racists. Yes I am aware of the irony, that IS kind of the point) because that is part of the rugby thing. I also fully expect to be mocked in return by the gentlemen and ladies of these fair nations. 'Tis the done thing. Then we all get to leap into a huge bath together, drink excessively and sing about women's genetalia and physically impossible sexual practises whilst pretending not to look at each other's willies. Come on England!

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Bye.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,07:43   

Louis with due respect I know the boy is a bit of a wind up but look which side of fence he prefers to sit, amongst us heathens, he can't be all that bad.

Louis quoting skeptic:
 
Quote
Religion, on the other, does not rely upon empirical data. In fact, actual sources of knowledge are varied and open to interpretation


This is the most intelligent thing Skeptic said and I'm afraid he is right.

Myth, which I will use as a substitute for religion, is the public source of the universal meaning of being human , it is not concerned with nature per se but with Man's (not Men's) nature. The language of myth comes from poerty, music and dream it is the gap between drudgery and dance.

I am talking about the space over which one must leap between the reality of everyday life and that place which we would all like to inhabit, the ideal.

Now that the Western world has abolished poverty in a biblical sense and almost brought the equality that a certain radical a long time ago preached, yes even racial into USA, male/female elsewhere, what remains?

Can we congratulate ourselves or should more be done?

The answer to that question is purely subjective and a reflection I at least personally feel of individual desire.

Something more ameniable to a context couched in terms of morals and personal and group horizons, in other words religion, which I will point out derives from the latin word meaning "That which binds us together".
Need not include any dogma from past mistakes but can draw on the vast field of public dreams which are Myth and the basis for all religion bar none.

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,07:50   

Louis -Damn!  Too bad I do not know anyone on the Pullitzer Committee - Your 1,000 word essay makes more sense than some books I have read on the subject.  Yes, I think I will have to save it under "Death To Sceptic" or "Reason vs. Religion", something like that.
Seriously - good stuff - thanks.

Your learned sociological treatise about various cultures and their traditions should also be published, although your summary of the Scots needs to be edited:  "Scots (skirt wearing ponces, possible sheep shagging),".  I think that based on the obvious evidence that we can all agree to remove the weasel-word "possible", can't we?

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,07:52   

Quote
Come on England!


All together now--- get stuffed you pommie bastards.

A rugby boot stud in  your eye.

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,07:59   

JDOG to understand why the sun never set upon the British Empire you need to view this

The Masters Rugby Match

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,08:04   

Quote (k.e @ Aug. 10 2007,07:59)
JDOG to understand why the sun never set upon the British Empire you need to view this

The Masters Rugby Match

k.e. - I have this on my PC under "favorites".  

Some Americans realize that Rugby is a Real Sport, and "American football" is played by woosies that insist on wearing helmets and padding.  

Have you seen this?:

http://groups.northwestern.edu/womensrugby/links_thebrushback.htm

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,08:41   

Quote (k.e @ Aug. 10 2007,13:43)
Louis with due respect I know the boy is a bit of a wind up but look which side of fence he prefers to sit, amongst us heathens, he can't be all that bad.

Louis quoting skeptic:
   
Quote
Religion, on the other, does not rely upon empirical data. In fact, actual sources of knowledge are varied and open to interpretation


This is the most intelligent thing Skeptic said and I'm afraid he is right.

Myth, which I will use as a substitute for religion, is the public source of the universal meaning of being human , it is not concerned with nature per se but with Man's (not Men's) nature. The language of myth comes from poerty, music and dream it is the gap between drudgery and dance.

I am talking about the space over which one must leap between the reality of everyday life and that place which we would all like to inhabit, the ideal.

Now that the Western world has abolished poverty in a biblical sense and almost brought the equality that a certain radical a long time ago preached, yes even racial into USA, male/female elsewhere, what remains?

Can we congratulate ourselves or should more be done?

The answer to that question is purely subjective and a reflection I at least personally feel of individual desire.

Something more ameniable to a context couched in terms of morals and personal and group horizons, in other words religion, which I will point out derives from the latin word meaning "That which binds us together".
Need not include any dogma from past mistakes but can draw on the vast field of public dreams which are Myth and the basis for all religion bar none.

K.e.

Oh I know Skeptic's not all bad (or even slightly bad, and not because of which side he's on), I don't mean to come over all harsh....but I am harsh, why deny my true and deeply harsh nature? ;-)

On the utility of religion angle, I think the Douglas Adams piece sums up my views. It might indeed have its uses and those derived from religere not least amongst them. This is why I want to be careful about where we are going and what use of "religion" and other words we are using. This is why I've been careful to stick to epistemological considerations, and also because those are the relevant aspects of religion to the science/religion rift that Skeptic denies exists.

Obviously there are many other facets to religion, but Skeptic is denying that it is in fact religion that tries to make models of the physical universe (and thus opens itself up to scientific scrutiny on that basis) rather than science goes after religion as some kind of persecution of religion and religious people. It's on that basis that I am dissecting religion, not other ones per se.

Ahhhh meaning and myth. What are these things? The stories we tell about ourselves to make us feel better, perhaps even make us act better, those things we find pleasurable or unpleasurable. I'm not saying they are insignificant or worthless, far from it. What I am saying is that faith and revelation are not effective ways of developing myth or meaning and reason and observation are. Faith and revelation are at the core of religion, reason and observation at the core of science. The emphasis I was making was the epistemological one I made above. I agree there are other emphases that one can make, but they weren't relevant to the point of Skeptic's objection.

Interestingly, these group stories and subjective details can be reasoned and observational. There is a whole swathe of study (which I am certain I don't need to tell you about) about semiotics and symbols, narrative and understanding of myths etc. However, these things are based on reason and observation, not just of the textual materials or the stories themselves but of the accuracy of their relation to the world around them. Granted it isn't as precise a use of the reasoning/observational tools as science is, but that's not the point. The same tools are being used, no one is making appeals to "different ways of knowing" and such.

Cheers

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
George



Posts: 314
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,08:49   

Quote (Louis @ Aug. 10 2007,07:08)
... Aussies (convicts), Welsh (sheep shaggers), Kiwis (big sheep shaggers, best be a bit careful, also convicts), French (garlic smelling, easily conquered gallic ponces), Irish (thick, terrorists), Scots (skirt wearing ponces, possible sheep shagging), Italians (greasy), Argentinians (greasy, shag horses), South Africans (racists. Yes I am aware of the irony, that IS kind of the point)...

No offense taken.

By the way, what's your address?

(looks up number of nearest recently unemployed balaclava model and knee surgeon)

  
George



Posts: 314
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,08:56   

My take on this subject, and maybe it's the middle point btwn Louis and Skeptic, is that religion and science should not come into conflict, but often do.  As Louis has said, they are based on two completely different ways of understanding the world and humanity.  Neither should try to answer questions that are best addressed by the other.  Religion can't usefully answer questions about the natural world and science can't usefully questions about what it means to be a human.  The problems arise when people forget this.  Usually creationists.

My €0.02.  Maybe not very enlightening or useful, but must dash now.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,08:57   

Quote (J-Dog @ Aug. 10 2007,13:50)
Louis -Damn!  Too bad I do not know anyone on the Pullitzer Committee - Your 1,000 word essay makes more sense than some books I have read on the subject.  Yes, I think I will have to save it under "Death To Sceptic" or "Reason vs. Religion", something like that.
Seriously - good stuff - thanks.

Your learned sociological treatise about various cultures and their traditions should also be published, although your summary of the Scots needs to be edited:  "Scots (skirt wearing ponces, possible sheep shagging),".  I think that based on the obvious evidence that we can all agree to remove the weasel-word "possible", can't we?

J-Dog,

I can't remove the word "possible" for one reason: Highlanders shag sheep, lowlanders drink vastly too much and eat huge quantities of deep fried pizza. I was trying to be inclusive!

Pullitzer? Hardly! But thanks! {blushes} And I'm a sociological dilettante (as I know you know!), but I have read a book by Russell or two.

To illustrate how I think about this I'll tell you a story: When I was at school I started reading the Discworld series. A friend of mine also enjoyed the series and he laboriously drew a detailed map of the discworld based on elements of the story. I also had a map in mind (I'd read the stories too) and did a brief sketch, but then I thought "I wonder if Pratchett has already done this?" so off to the library I went to find out if he had. I was pleased to find that he had made a map of the Discworld and promptly showed my friend. My vague map was useless and nothing like the "authoritative" version. Unfortunately my friend's was also way off. He had a massive huff about it, and ceased reading the Discworld novels because Pratchett's map was different from his (he'd made a few mistakes in his cartography). I on the other hand shrugged my shoulders and carried on enjoying the Discworld novels.

The shorter version of this I learned during my PhD: "An hour in the library can save a month in the lab".

The point being that we all have ideas, and we as a species have been having them quite a lot for quite a while. It's possible, but unlikely, that we'll be the one person who has a genuinely different idea so it is best for us to check our supposedly "novel" ideas a bit before we phone the Swedish Academy of Sciences.

So I had ideas as a kid about morals and what have you, and I checked them out a bit. I was right that time! Doesn't happen often! Right about the nature/study of morals I mean, not the morals I had. Oh no, my personal morals are bloody terrible. Proud of it! ;-)

Louis

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,09:01   

Quote (George @ Aug. 10 2007,14:49)
Quote (Louis @ Aug. 10 2007,07:08)
... Aussies (convicts), Welsh (sheep shaggers), Kiwis (big sheep shaggers, best be a bit careful, also convicts), French (garlic smelling, easily conquered gallic ponces), Irish (thick, terrorists), Scots (skirt wearing ponces, possible sheep shagging), Italians (greasy), Argentinians (greasy, shag horses), South Africans (racists. Yes I am aware of the irony, that IS kind of the point)...

No offense taken.

By the way, what's your address?

(looks up number of nearest recently unemployed balaclava model and knee surgeon)

My address is:

Mr T Blair
George Bush's Rectum
USA (and occasionally the MIddle East)

Please go and break his my legs.

Anyway, we all know (when it comes to rugby) the English are arrogant, whiny, boring and old. We'd shag sheep, but they've all got foot and mouth.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,09:18   

Quote (George @ Aug. 10 2007,14:56)
My take on this subject, and maybe it's the middle point btwn Louis and Skeptic, is that religion and science should not come into conflict, but often do.  As Louis has said, they are based on two completely different ways of understanding the world and humanity.  Neither should try to answer questions that are best addressed by the other.  Religion can't usefully answer questions about the natural world and science can't usefully questions about what it means to be a human.  The problems arise when people forget this.  Usually creationists.

My €0.02.  Maybe not very enlightening or useful, but must dash now.

George,

Well as we know, I disagree on epistemological grounds. Reigion and science are the most notable uses of two very different mechanisms that we humans have developed for acquiring knowledge of the universe around us.

I'm happy to be pluralist about this and admit that there are aspects of religion and science that don't overlap or conflict in any way, but I really don't buy this Non Overlapping Magisteria stuff at all, for the reasons stated. I'd also disagree that science can't answer questions about what it means to be human. There's a huge swathe of psycholgical, philosophical and neurological data that is at least a fledgling attempt to answer just these sorts of questions. We can ask questions like "why do I feel this way?" or "why does this mean so much?" or "what is it to be human?" etc and get very rational answers based on reason and observation. What do faith and revelation offer in the way of answers to these questions that a) isn't actually reason, rational thought and observation in disguise or at it's root, or b) trite and dismissable on the basis that the identical answer can be provided by faith in anything or revelation of anything.

I really don't the fact that because religious answers are easily packaged and haven't "shown their workings" that they are somehow different or not based on reason etc. Again, take Douglas Adams' point about Feng Shui: load of old bollocks, but is it telling us something useful? Is it a meta-system that has struck on a more profound factual truth? If so, how do we examine it? What principles can we learn from it etc? The utility gained from understanding Feng Shui (for example) doesn't prove the spiritual guff associated with it, nor does it provide support for the existence of dragons.

This is the thing with religion. I'd be singularly amazed if all relgious ideas from all religions over all time turned out to be totally useless. In fact it would be a staggering (and interesting) clue if they were. As it turns out, not all the ideas contained in religion are totally useless, some of them, many of them are quite useful. But a) how do we know they are useful, b) how did they develop, and c) how do we examine them and extract the useful bits? The answer to those three questions is not "faith and revelation". The answer is "by careful reasoning, rational examination of their claims and coherence, careful observation of their effects and basis, and scrutiny of the evidence they claim in support". The useful bits of religions are not only discernable by reason and observation, they are derived from them and can be reverse engineered on that basis. The fact that we have forgotten how they arose, or that their workings are hidden is no more significant than the fact that some part of our brain does very rapid and complex differential calculus when we catch a ball, or that we don't show the full proofs of number theory when we add two and two to get four.

I hope that helps.

Cheers

Louis

P.S. And it was enlightening and useful to me at least!

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Bye.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,09:29   

"Oh well the Augustin route, wenching, drinking and blaspheming, then the discovery of God later in life" Gore Vidal on Malcolm Muggeridge  
- keep up the good work Louis.

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
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