Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 11, 2013 - 03:56pm PT
. . . is the basic difference between those who want simple reductionist answers to material questions and those who like complication and mystery and speculation about human possibilities

This seems to be a rather extreme polarization in a broad spectrum where many of the readers of this thread probably lie. Complication, mystery and speculation are hardly absent from science and mathematics - they are fundamental drivers of exploratory efforts that frequently lead to important discoveries (in the material sense). Without mystery the scientific process is indeed dry and quotidian. Perhaps the view expressed above arises from fundamental science courses where discovery and creativity are circumscribed and thus largely devoid of imaginative content. Perhaps not.


;>)
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Feb 11, 2013 - 04:02pm PT
It really all seems to boil down to aesthetic preferences and response biases. This thread itself proves that in spades.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Feb 11, 2013 - 04:43pm PT
The Divine Initiative
Predestination remains one of the grand mysteries of the Christian faith. How can a loving and sovereign God choose, before man is born, his eternal destiny?

http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/divine-initiative1/



Luke 7:36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”

40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

So he said, “Teacher, say it.”

41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”

And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Luke 8:1 Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 11, 2013 - 04:57pm PT
Does anyone read go-b's scripture posts? I know I sure don't. Dude, that you seem to lack a voice of your own nicely sums it all up in a nutshell.
MH2

climber
Feb 11, 2013 - 05:24pm PT
Does anyone read go-b's scripture posts?

I skim them. I don't see much.

I am much encouraged that jogill has offered a little more of his point of view. I read his stuff from several times from different angles.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 11, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
nope. The odd time I start skimming them I usually quit half way through. There is something about the pedantic ancient droning style that is a total turn off. Its been like that ever since I first tried reading the bible decades ago. It would be the worst possible book to read just before sleepy time, unless you really wanted to konk out asap. I would much rather hear Go-B's own thoughts..... and somehow I can't see him thinking the scripture.....or maybe he does?!??

I think one of our preeminent needs is to obtain a better understanding of human behavior. Here I have trouble seeing how fatally self contradictory historical texts are accomplishing that.

Eh-men. If there is one single non negotiable hang up that mires all religions in ancient history its those bloody sacred texts. They all have them and they're all signed in blood as eternal like some mafia oath. But of course they do get revised and updated occasionally so there is a really wonderful precendent there - perhaps a great project for the new Pope!
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Feb 11, 2013 - 05:54pm PT
I don't listen to Go-b much, but I like his Boss!
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Feb 11, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
^^^ too funny.. self important much ^^^

Edit: Self - Impressed certainly


anybody hear about the pope stepping down?

Maybe having to do with the vatican bank and money laundering?
Maybe due to all that child molesting cover-ups?
Maybe something to do with him being ultimately too corruptible with all this on his shoulders….


Yet another giant fail by:
The church, the cardinals, and their lord and yours too
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 11, 2013 - 06:21pm PT
As for room remaining for philosophy I would agree provided that "philosophy" confined itself to hypotheses that can be falsified, tested. In the absence of that discipline we get never ending massaging of words leading ultimately

to nothing.



Of course philosophers take a different view, and I think this post simply underscores John's perspective and comfort zone. He would have philosophy stick to natural sciences and logic where proofs of material matters and things can provide a correct or invalid label, and this is "something" for him to hold onto and know.

But philosophy has also concerned itself with being, as in human being, and existential concerns, etc., none of which is so easily wrangled into "hypotheses that can be falsified, tested." That's what science does. Expecting philosophy to become "scientific" in the hopes of honing in on what is real and what matters is to simply crow hop very the much more slippery realm of being and existence. There is no "answer." There's simply inquiry, boring deeper into the mystery, and getting glimpses here and there or ". . . the palm at the end of the mind, beyond the last thought, rising in the bronze decor. . . "

JL
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 11, 2013 - 06:23pm PT
As for room remaining for philosophy I would agree provided that "philosophy" confined itself to hypotheses that can be falsified, tested. In the absence of that discipline we get never ending massaging of words leading ultimately to nothing.

This is an illustration of exactly what I was saying. The science types want to test and get something. Massaging of words for them leads to nothing. A better example of left brain thinking one can not find.

But I say for some of us, the joy is in the massaging. We don't have to prove something to recognize it as enjoyable.

Complication, mystery and speculation are hardly absent from science and mathematics - they are fundamental drivers of exploratory efforts that frequently lead to important discoveries (in the material sense).


Agreed and I did note that I also understand that to get to the reductionist answers about the fundamental nature of something is a very nuanced and complex process. But it is a process of dismanteling components into simpler and smaller pieces, the opposite of wholistic.

As Cintune said:
It really all seems to boil down to aesthetic preferences and response biases.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 11, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
Of course it won't change dear Largo's mindset one iota but...

A new discipline is about to emerge (a) that's going to compliment science perfectly, (b) that's going to address these so-called "ultimate concerns" just as effectively if not better than any "religion," (c) that's going to effectively relegate philosophy (esp theist philos) and theology to the dust bin.

But I realize (1) this isn't a baby step, it's a big step, preparation is needed to imagine its presence in the wings, but I thought I'd post it anyway (largely to counterpoint dear Largo's enormous ego's judgments); (2) a watched pot never boils, it takes time, and a few of you will no doubt blow off such a claim if it's not posted immediately, tomorrow at the latest. :)

.....

BASE, have fun!
It would be adventurous to be reincarnated in a next life as a world sailor. I'm jealous. Go get some!

.....

P.S. Just added this, a moment ago, after making sure go-b didn't post up while writing.

A couple of you have the most narrow condescending view of science and engineering (left brain this or that), it's UTTERLY LUDICROUS and your persistence on this line means you lose all credibility. Simply look around the world: both science and engineering are HUGELY creative right-brain pursuits (to use this worn out metaphor). Get real, in this mindset you are an embarrassment!

Half of engineering is analytical (left brain). Are you so narrow-minded or focused on dissing something you don't think about the other full half?!! The other half is creative (right brain). Would you really tell the likes of a Dean Kamen or Steven Wosniac or Thomas Edison that they are linear left-brain analytical non creative types? Geessh! Stop embarrassing yourselves!!

.....

Cintune... +1.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 11, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
As for whether ancient texts have something to say about human nature, I think they do and surely, there is much in a particular culture that can not be understood without a knowledge of those accounts. Handel's Messiah is a magnificent piece of music, but you'll only understand part of it without a knowledge of Christian theology. You'll understand even more of it if you recognize some of the passages from the Old Testament connecting the two. You don't have to believe any of it, but recognizing the tradition it came out of enhances appreciation as does a knowledge of Bach, some of whose musical phrases have been borrowed and elaborated.

So many of the Old Testament stories are great illustrations of human selfishness and ignorance. By knowing them and discussing them from a 21st century perspective, we can see both our similarities and differences of perception between that time and and the time of the early Christian era as well as both eras and our own. What to keep of the past and what to throw away are important questions.

I am always moved when attending a Passover Sedar. One doesn't have to believe in a literal parting of the Red Sea, though how it could have happened makes for interesting speculation. The important thing is that the Jews survived and remain grateful for that fact to this day. All of those I know also understand that the lessons of Passover go beyond any one ethnic group. My favorite is a Passover service sung in a combination of Hebrew and reggae. It will definitely get you thinking about the nature of freedom.

Ancient texts still produce social narratives that are important.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 11, 2013 - 06:52pm PT
True fructose, the really great scientists and mathemeticians used/use both halves of their brain. That's why they're great instead of merely competent.

Meanwhile, I'm all in favor of scientific symbols and narratives that the average person can relate to in their daily life and I agree that is the next step beyond critiquing the old narratives. It's fun to imagine a Catholic style mass or a Passover Sedar that employs naturalistic symbolism instead of religious. When I try though, it ends up sounding more Buddhist than anything. Maybe a collaboration is in order?






Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 11, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
But I say for some of us, the joy is in the massaging.

Fact is, massaging forever is a requirement, whether you enjoy it or not. It takes volumes of tossing it all back and forth to get to a sudden and typically unexpected understanding, which of course dosn't "solve" anything but it is a step in the right direction and you can't possibly hope for more than that.

So ......... you may as well enjoy it!

A friend of mine was (and still is) heavily into "alternate" quasi - revolutionary politics ( banking reform!) which is fertile ground for an eventual fate of cynicism, pessimism, major personal disappointment and other darkness due to the fantastically low odds of success. It is a classic study in enormous effort and risk for next to zero pay off, all driven by stupid altruistic social ideals.

His modus operandi, one handed to him from other survivors, was to first and foremost have fun with it. It is in fact the only way to survive it. Laugh like hell. There's lots of material after all.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 11, 2013 - 07:32pm PT
But it is a process of dismanteling components into simpler and smaller pieces, the opposite of wholistic

Maybe in particle physics. Probably not. In mathematics considerable efforts in virtually every branch of the subject have been expended in moving from the specific to the general. This process frequently illuminates and solves problems by reaching a sort of perceptive plateau upon which simple (yes, the simpler you refer to) statements about "wholistic" generalities reduces the complexities extant at more fundamental levels. This is certainly not a "dismantling" process - but the opposite.

the really great scientists and mathemeticians used/use both halves of their brain. That's why they're great instead of merely competent

Oh please! This is absurd. You denigrate all of us who are merely "competent" and use "both halves" of our brains in our investigations all the time. Do you actually read this stuff before you post it?

;>(
WBraun

climber
Feb 11, 2013 - 07:35pm PT
The most intelligent beings in the Universe don't use their own brains at all ......
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 11, 2013 - 07:36pm PT
I concur. I am a dope and fire on four cylinders equally distributed on both sides of a V8.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 11, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
Fruity, if you knew even a smattering of the philosophy you so glibly dismiss you'd understand perfectly well that the promise that technology and info would prove to be men's salvation is an idea old as Artesian wells and quite obviously it has never panned out as advertised. The problem of course is that information does not address the principal problem, believing as you do that once you get your thinking cap on straight, and blow out all that dead wood per beliefs and so on, and transplant engineering shizzle and so forth into the old brainpan, we're mint.

Except to a determinist like you, there is no free choice so none of it matters anyhow. We are all on a determined course and whatever info is out there cannot change our mechanical trajectory anymore than Craig can speak to God in Pig Latin.

JL
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 11, 2013 - 08:50pm PT
Amongst other pablum, the ol lunk wrote,
men's salvation is an idea old as Artesian wells and quite obviously it has never panned out
Reframing it...

With education and training in (a) the facts (e.g., how the world works) and (b) life strategies that work... higher performance in the art of living is achievable.


I hope you like crow. In a few years, you'll be eatin' some. ;)
jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 11, 2013 - 09:05pm PT
It is likely that the prescription for doing the calculation might be based on some abstract notions, like Hilbert space, whose virtue is to provide a means of doing the calculation*. The successful theory is not one in which elaborates on each mechanical gear cog engages the next one, but the theory which is predictive

* Exactly, and even then various aspects of the math used are not rigorously proven . . . but they work. So even the mathematical cogs and gears aren't all in place!
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