The New "Religion Vs Science" Thread


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Sport climber
Sep 12, 2018 - 08:42am PT

If you have a local market based on distribution and sharing where people know each other and you invite a global oriented capitalist/corporation to buy healthcare, energy, and infrastructure that people depend on, you invite a thief to the party.

A place where meaning resides will end up as a meaningless hell to keep the creditors off. In the hands of the global capitalist the workers will end up as slaves working their ass off in meaningless jobs for little or nothing to feed the profit of a distant few on the top... Isn't that what America has been turned into?

Seeing this is so easy that even Marlow can see it... You have to be either blind, an avid Mind thread reader or a Harvard professor teaching economy students who are to rule the world of tomorrow not to see it...

Social climber
Sep 14, 2018 - 07:51am PT

Mining the moment for something that feels good, something to appreciate, something to savor, something to take in, that’s what your moments are about. They’re not about justifying your existence. It’s justified. You exist. It’s not about proving your worthiness. It’s done. You’re worthy. It’s not about achieving success. You never get it done.

It’s about “How much can this moment deliver to me?” And some of you like them fast, some of you like them slow. No one’s taking score. You get to choose. The only measurement is between my desire and my allowing. And your emotions tell you everything about that.

Excerpted from San Antonio, TX on 4/20/02

Our Love
Esther (Abraham and Jerry)

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Sep 14, 2018 - 08:19am PT

You have very strong evaluative views, I’d say. I have difficulty understanding what your complaint is.

In basic form, what about capitalism are you complaining about? Would it be: the means of the allocation of scarce resources (ala, the market system of allocation, as let’s say opposed to a centralized system of allocation)? An observance of owners of enterprises who make first claim on profits (ala, capitalists)? The contemporary development of “corporations” (ala, “corporate capitalism”) that appears to be increasing economic concentration (over smaller players / competitors)? The obscuring of regional or national distinctiveness with the growth of large multinational corporations? (Must every product and market be globalized?) An alienation of workers and buyers in capitalistic economies (ala, Marxism)?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 14, 2018 - 09:07am PT
Harris and Peterson, Round 3

"One of my problems on this is that it seems we are where we are with belief, whether we wish it to be or not, we cannot believe as our predecessors believed even if we wanted to; we know too much more now, and it puts us in this very difficult position." -Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray's the author of The Strange Death of Europe.

Donald Hoffman's ideas mentioned at 38:45.

Are the truest representations of reality maladaptive? Could low-information representations (perceptions) be more adaptive, more strategic evolutionarily? Could too much education, individually or in groups, lead to a kind of impedance mismatch?

Is religious narrative a "functional simplification" that's necessary even in the 21st century owing, for instance, at least in part, to our evolutionary construction?

Yes, and what about the failure of imagination and effort in the secular community to provide viable alternatives? But is there such a failure? After all, Rome wasn't built in a day. Since Judeochristianity had 3,500 years to get itself in place (in terms of ideology and institution), modernity, it only seems fair, should get to have at least a couple hundred, no?


re "What are we doing here?" (1:00:05)

Douglas Murray: "What are we doing here?" To be the first people in history to have absolutely no explanation for what we're doing, at all, is a Big Moment."

Sam Harris: "That sharpens up my concern perfectly because to shrink back from that Moment and resort to one of the pseudo-stories of the past - I consider to be a failure of nerve both intellectually and morally."

It's a Big Moment. :)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 14, 2018 - 12:19pm PT
An Education in One Evening...

"It’s all truly hard to believe or even imagine. For those of us who believe in ideas—at a time when free speech and free thought in academia are rare, and media culture reduces all ideas to angry sound bites and partisan politics—this is a hugely encouraging phenomenon."


Failure to develop a replacement (1:16:20)

Peterson: "Let's go back to one of the core problems we've been trying to address which is... the apparent failure, perhaps, of the rationalist-atheist types to develop an active ethos that has sufficient beauty and motivational power to serve as a credible replacement for the religious rituals. There must be a reason why that failure has occurred. Right? So do you have any sense of what the reason might be?"

Harris: "I can give you a short list of reasons: One is that traditionally the impulse to do that in a religious context has been fatal. To declare your apostasy has been almost as a reliable way of committing suicide as jumping off a building in most cultures and most societies for the longest time and still is in many places as you know in the Muslim world. There's been a barrier to entry to thinking creatively about alternatives to religion."

"We may be in the midst of the discovery that the only thing worse than religion is its absence." -Douglas Murray

“we make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers”

Carl Sagan


First came Augmented Reality (AR). Then came Augmented Reality Parks. Then came a guy, Enrico Fermi, on a planet far far away, asking, "Where is everybody?"
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 18, 2018 - 07:02pm PT
re: universal basic income
re: life satisfaction, meaning and purpose
re: AI and automation

"To really achieve its goals, universal basic support will have to be supplemented by some meaningful pursuits, ranging from sports to religion. Perhaps the most successful experiment so far in how to live a contented life in a post-work world has been conducted in Israel. There, about 50% of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men never work. They dedicate their lives to studying holy scriptures and performing religious rituals. They and their families don’t starve partly because the wives often work, and partly because the government provides them with generous subsidies and free services, making sure that they don’t lack the basic necessities of life. That’s universal basic support avant la lettre.

Although they are poor and unemployed, in survey after survey these ultra-Orthodox Jewish men report higher levels of life satisfaction than any other section of Israeli society. This is due to the strength of their community bonds, as well as to the deep meaning they find in studying scriptures and performing rituals. A small room full of Jewish men discussing the Talmud might well generate more joy, engagement and insight than a huge textile sweatshop full of hard-working factory hands. In global surveys of life satisfaction, Israel is usually somewhere near the top, thanks in part to the contribution of these jobless poor people.

Secular Israelis often complain bitterly that the ultra-Orthodox don’t contribute enough to society, and live off other people’s hard work. Secular Israelis also tend to argue that the ultra-Orthodox way of life is unsustainable, especially as ultra-Orthodox families have seven children on average. Sooner or later, the state will not be able to support so many unemployed people, and the ultra-Orthodox will have to go to work. Yet it might be just the reverse. As robots and AI push humans out of the job market, the ultra-Orthodox Jews may come to be seen as the model of the future rather than as a fossil from the past. Not that everyone will become Orthodox Jews and go to the yeshivas to study the Talmud. But in the lives of all people, the quest for meaning and for community might eclipse the quest for a job."

Yuval Harari
21 Lessons for the 21st Century

avant la lettre - before the term existed

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
Sep 19, 2018 - 07:33am PT
Thanks fructose, for these excellent thought provoking references.

I'm in the fifth week of teaching an online Introduction to Cultural Anthropology course where the topic of the week is religion. I take the anthropological approach of dazzling them with the variety of world religions from the hunter gatherer days to the present but using structural labels instead of denominational ones. These label include animism, reverential, magical, mythological, millenial-messiah, nativism, cargo cults etc.

The discussion of the week involves them saying which three are most attractive and which three are least attractive to them personally and why. Currently, the top three are animism (nature worship), secular scientific, and meditational - experiential with or without a belief in God.

Their least favorites are fundamentalism, reverential (priests and intermediaries), and atheism. Finally, almost everyone of them says they do not believe that belief will ever go away, but religion might.

I think this is telling us something important about the future.

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Sep 19, 2018 - 07:46am PT

You better add "Sheilaism" into your list. It's a concept added by Bellah, and it's modern.


It might be time for you to study a little bit about postmodern notions, given the quotes that you're publishing.

Mountain climber
13,000 feet
Sep 19, 2018 - 11:34am PT
science: XX or XY

Binary sex determination occurs at fertilization, well before differentiation
where some cells grow and group to become the head or spine, while others become limbs.

But the religion of secularism has a list..

Why not just call them bathrooms?


Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
Sep 19, 2018 - 12:34pm PT
Sheilaism seems like a modern day version of syncretism which is as old as religion itself, sometimes through design (Sikhism, Bahaism, Unitarian -Universalists etc.) and sometimes by default (Shinto,Taoism, Buddhism or Greco-Roman-Hebraic Christianity). The only thing new about Sheilaism is that it is individually based, and why not? Of course the religious and academic leaders will resent that but it seems in keeping with the democratic and egalitarian tendencies of the modern age.

Trad climber
Sep 19, 2018 - 12:38pm PT
Greenland sharks are now the longest-living vertebrates known on Earth, scientists say.

Researchers used radiocarbon dating to determine the ages of 28 of the animals, and estimated that one female was about 400 years old.


Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Sep 19, 2018 - 12:49pm PT
Greenland sharks are now the longest-living vertebrates known on Earth, scientists say.

Researchers used radiocarbon dating to determine the ages of 28 of the animals, and estimated that one female was about 400 years old.

EdwardT, this is the oldest living vertebrate:

Credit: moosedrool

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 19, 2018 - 02:10pm PT
Cool, Jan. Glad you found them worthy.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 19, 2018 - 04:01pm PT
One can self-identify as a technophile and still worry about tech's downside or negatives.. and fear its abuses.

Tech run amuck? China becomes an episode of Black Mirror.

What is YOUR citizen score?

I give you the mobile version...

Dandan says it's fine with her.

The Chinese government calls it “social credit” and says it will be fully operational by 2020.


Major score! How to convert twitter video to your own video...

Great video clip from Iran by the way.
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