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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 >  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 15 2007,11:38   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 15 2007,11:04)
For the sake of argument, imagine that an angel appeared to Mary and told her that her son would be the Son of God and it turned out to be true.  This constitutes knowledge as it correctly describes reality but it is based only upon human experience and a one time experience at that.  It is still true but we have to believe Mary to accept it.  We could take a reasoned approach and look at her character, whether she was really in the place she claimed when this event supposedly happened, an so forth.  Unfortunately, this considerations may have no connection to whether this event occurred and that's where faith comes in.

Good post, Skeptic. I've dispatched emergency vehicles to Louis' address.

But IMHO you get yourself into trouble with hypotheticals like the above, because you smuggle the truth of the matter (angels really did appear, Jesus really is the son of god) into your hypothetical scenario. THEN you say "we have to believe Mary to accept it," and address problems such as it having the status of a report of a human experience, and a one-time experience at that.

But we are never in that position. In the instance of faith claims we never have a priori knowledge of he truth of the central claim of divinity, and we have already agreed that there is no way to obtain it. The hypothetical scenario should start here: "Suppose Mary came to you and said, 'An angel appeared to me and told me that my son is the Son of God. It has turned out to be true.'" That would be the claim you would have to evaluate; in reality we are NEVER in possession of "it's still true, but..." We have her claim, and that is that. We may indeed then engage in reasoning about the factual components of her claim, her character, etc. For example, my knowledge of the relevant facts may convince me that claim is false (she was in actually in Schenectady that evening); similarly, my knowledge of her personality may convince me of the same (I know her to be inappropriately credulous, and prone to fabricate fantastic stories). But this is not symmetrical; I can never confirm her claim by such reasoning.

Indeed, I engage in such a processes vis the faith claims of the religions to which I have been exposed. Some of them simply can't be true in light of the location of Schenectady: claims that the earth is 6,000 years young have the status of being factually incorrect, and I reject those claims. Others intersect less with the empirically discernible world (we possess souls that carry our personalities beyond death); in addition to noting that the claim is increasingly untenable in light of contemporary neuroscience, I also take note of the "personality" of the human animal, which includes the protean ability to invent culturally sustained narratives with little factual basis, not to mention endless deliberately contrived falsehoods and cons. I conclude that it is vastly more likely that this improbable story is a cultural invention or falsehood with no factual basis than an instance of esoteric knowledge.

[edits and additions for clarity; correction of egregious "convince" vs. "persuade" error.]

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Henry J



Posts: 4755
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 15 2007,12:56   

Seems to me that before trying to figure out of somebody is "son of God", the first step is to figure out what the heck that phrase even means. Maybe somebody else can, but I can't think of an objective meaning that fits the common usage of the phrase.

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Is there a way of gaining knowledge other than reason? I'd think that observation using the senses is a way of gaining information (i.e., useful data), which is a form of knowledge, and I wouldn't offhand classify observation as a form of reason.

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Re "[edit] But in the LoTR their are walking trees. "

But as one Hobbit said (more or less; I'm unsure of exact phrasing and too lazy to look it up), "Nonsense. Elm trees can't walk. So you can't have seen one do so."

Henry

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 15 2007,18:43   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 15 2007,08:52)
You're referring to Korzybski's famous passage, which equivocates on the pronoun: "A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness. If the map could be ideally correct, it would include, in a reduced scale, the map of the map, the map of the map of the map, and so on, endlessly, a fact first noticed by Royce."

But I wasn't alluding to Korzybski. I was referring to my wholly original phrase, "The map is not the territory," which I originated and which as no relationship to Korzybski. The passage in which it appears, a passage your grandchildren will be repeating to their children:

"Nor are there walking trees. The world stands tall around us, first cold, then fast, then silent. Neither is the candy the sweet, nor the sweet the kiss, nor the kiss the wedding ceremony, nor is the pastor, or minister, or justice of the peace, or the priest, witch doctor, etc. depending upon the venue in which your doom is consecrated and upon who (or is it whom?) completes the documentation any sort of substitute for the marriage license. Yet with respect to the human heart (and here I am referring to the emotional ins and outs of a person or woman and not his/their blood pumping muscle) there is pointing to it and showing you around it a very detailed map, namely this sensitive and wise book, yet the map is not the territory which you will remember is the strictly metaphorical heart. And it is in my heart that I long for walking trees, but there aren't any, which I could see by looking at a map of the area (which is to say by reading this book)."

*wipes tears* I can't continue...

[edit] But in the LoTR their are walking trees.

You might claim it is wholly original with yourself, but I've seen people misquote it before.  Hence why I jumped in.  That yout quote it out of context is bad and evil, but you know, this isn't UD so nobody's going to ban you.


P.S.- I don't have any children.  Know any nice single women in their late 20's in Scotland?

P.P.S.- I wonder how advanced biotech will get before we make some walking trees.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 15 2007,20:46   

Quote (guthrie @ Dec. 15 2007,19:43)
You might claim it is wholly original with yourself, but I've seen people misquote it before.  Hence why I jumped in.  That yout quote it out of context is bad and evil, but you know, this isn't UD so nobody's going to ban you.


P.S.- I don't have any children.  Know any nice single women in their late 20's in Scotland?

P.P.S.- I wonder how advanced biotech will get before we make some walking trees.

Truth be told, I first posted it with "The," then edited to "A," then did a quick check on Wikipedia where it is prominently presented with "The" in several locations - so I switched it back. I stand corrected. As do trees.

[And you did get that I made up that silly passage on the spot, right?  Whew.]

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 16 2007,04:44   

I was suspicious of the gradndiose claims regarding that passage, but since I havn't read an appreciable fraction of the worlds books, I assumed it was some obscure publication, but it was irrelevant to what I was saying anyway.  Actually it's quite a nice paragraph.  Have you thought of writing a book?

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2009,16:06   

Sorry about bumping this but I'm re-reading it and my bookmark keeps going to the wrong link.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 17 2009,14:31   

A large part of chapter 4 in my eternal writing project derives from things I thought while participating in this thread. I just finished re-reading it. Excellent thread.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Henry J



Posts: 4755
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 17 2009,14:44   

Quote (BWE @ July 15 2009,15:06)
Sorry about bumping this but I'm re-reading it and my bookmark keeps going to the wrong link.

So there's a rift between thread and bookmark? :p

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 17 2009,15:13   

Quote (Henry J @ July 17 2009,12:44)
Quote (BWE @ July 15 2009,15:06)
Sorry about bumping this but I'm re-reading it and my bookmark keeps going to the wrong link.

So there's a rift between thread and bookmark? :p

Yes. Oddly enough, the bookmark worked about 3 times and them brought up a search box after that. Resetting it did the same. Finally, I just bumped the thread. :)

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Henry J



Posts: 4755
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 17 2009,21:50   

Quote
Oddly enough, the bookmark worked about 3 times and them brought up a search box after that. Resetting it did the same.


That sounds weird. Did the bookmark link through another machine or application that might have ceased relaying it properly?

Henry

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 17 2009,22:19   

Quote (Henry J @ July 17 2009,19:50)
Quote
Oddly enough, the bookmark worked about 3 times and them brought up a search box after that. Resetting it did the same.


That sounds weird. Did the bookmark link through another machine or application that might have ceased relaying it properly?

Henry

It was weird. It somehow reverted to the search I used to find the thread (searched threads with "rift" in the titles.) but knew which thread to choose. The search function eventually lost the search ID I guess. I dunno.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 25 2013,09:21   

Spam deleted.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
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