The New "Religion Vs Science" Thread

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healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 11, 2019 - 04:10pm PT
Wisdom sure, the issue is more of faith in what? Gods? If so, that would in fact make you a supernaturalist.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Jan 11, 2019 - 04:15pm PT
Wisdom sure, the issue is more of faith in what? Gods? If so, that would in fact make you a supernaturalist.

I don't have faith but I have the good sense and decency not to try and take it away from someone that needs it.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 11, 2019 - 04:31pm PT
Paul, I think what we have here reflects two radically different orientations and perspectives, which more often then not determine what we "see' or understand in the world and in ourselves. If by basic nature you gravitate toward tangible (by way of sense data) stuff, external objects and forces, stuff you can measure and work over with models and spin into predictions, so-called internal stuff will find little traction. And if an "external" mode of inquiry (which by definition avoids 1st person "contamination," then it's axiomatic that religious texts will be viewed as poor history, as purporting historical falsehoods and so forth. So much woo and voodoo. It's all mechanical process and "we only think" it is otherwise.

Conversely, when literalists seize hold of religious material and stand pat on the historical, physically tangible and measurable (at least in theory) parts of the text (what else is there?) and insist that Jesus walked on water and the Tower of Babel was a physical structure and Jonah spent time in an actual whale's belly, and you mix in aggression and ignorance, you have the shadow side of religion that can plunder nations and murder "in the name of God."

From a literalists POV, the truth is in the matter, and matter itself is the creator, all else being poetry and evasion tactics per our fear of death. Or whatever. A crutch for those who can't sack it up and stick with the facts.

To these people, myths are fairy tales and spirituality and religion are largely the same thing And the subjective adventures are in fact people trying to do science without instruments, or chasing unicorns.

Of course some have a more nuanced view based not strictly on computer modeling and old-school behaviorism, but if you wanna know whats true, start calculating - and go from there.

Few from this camp, it seems, have realized that most of us who are not Type A physicalists "moved on" from not only the thing they are lampooning, but from a literal take on anything. This, from that perspective, will be interpreted as "not understanding the data."

Basically, the "spiritual" path involves the conscious reconciliation of the inner and outer in harmonious wholeness. If the inner is seen or believed to be no more than a penumdrum or ghost projection of the outer, then the whole game is held as smoke and mirrors, a delusional passion play for dreamers and simpletons who lacked the stomach or brainpan for the "facts." Thing is, literalizing religious concepts leaves us with a caricature we have every right to "leave behind." As Robert A. Johnson wrote: To relate to our religious teaching only in its literal dimension is to lose its spiritual meaning. This dimension of materialism is far more harmful then much of what is usually condemned under that dark name.

The harm is in flipping Nagel's credo - that consciousness is NOT a causal question - and insist that it is. Limiting conclusions issue directly from this misconception, in my opinion and experience.


Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Jan 11, 2019 - 04:53pm PT
I’d like to think one can straddle the road and enjoy the view between fact and fiction, naive and cynical, literal and figurative, outter and inner, stoic and emo, and remain open to influence without spreading one’s mental legs for all comers... and still be respectful of the choices of others.

But as#@&%es will out themselves, for sure.

DMT
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 11, 2019 - 06:02pm PT
Agreed, DMT. Worth nothing is that everything that is not a fact is not necessarily fiction. That's what the Marry's room thought experiment was trying to bring to light, among other things.
Trump

climber
Jan 11, 2019 - 07:56pm PT
Sure the rabble and the as#@&%es and the deplorables and the righteous auntie name calling and some of us more advanced types have moved on from simpler perspectives and the social emotional interpersonal biasing of our beliefs and the endless repetitive insistence on my way or the highway and all that.

I admire most all of y’all, different ones for different reasons, and I enjoy listening to what you have to say and trying to understand what it means and why it’s said, but the more I listen to humans speak, the less inclined I am to want to say anything.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 11, 2019 - 08:12pm PT
Dingus wrote: I’d like to think one can straddle the road...

Well-spoken by our chief straddler and hardcore-middle-of-the-roader.

Largo wrote: ...outer in harmonious wholeness...

Man, with all the strenuous obfuscatory dancing around the point it's a veritable semantic discotheque in here.
AntiChrist

Gym climber
Urth
Jan 11, 2019 - 09:13pm PT
Just waiting for Paul to set Largo straight for using then instead of than so many times. Surely such mistakes bother Paul ALOT... so much so that his frustration overpowers the sacred advice to turn the other cheek, right? Either that or he is just prejudice against athiests and/or as#@&%es... the very people he should be trying to save. One wonders whether he has read the works he exhaults, whether he is so elevated he can pick and choose which parts to follow, or whether he believes he is fighting a righteous battle against evil forces. While MikeL is absurd at times, at least he seems to take the spirit of Christ's teachings to heart.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Jan 11, 2019 - 09:19pm PT
Sure the rabble and the as#@&%es and the deplorables and the righteous auntie name calling and some of us more advanced types have moved on from simpler perspectives and the social emotional interpersonal biasing of our beliefs and the endless repetitive insistence on my way or the highway and all that.

Yeah, I regret the auntie thing, it's just that calling yourself antichrist is so horrifically pretentious and I got tired of being told I was full of sh#t over and over again.

I admire most all of y’all, different ones for different reasons, and I enjoy listening to what you have to say and trying to understand what it means and why it’s said, but the more I listen to humans speak, the less inclined I am to want to say anything.

That's nice.
WBraun

climber
Jan 11, 2019 - 09:47pm PT
No science and no religion has ever been done without God.

It's never been possible to do anything period without God.

Not even one breath can be done without God .......

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 11, 2019 - 11:55pm PT
Obviously a superduckulist
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jan 12, 2019 - 08:31am PT
Ed: I think you know that I wouldn't say that, fully acknowledging the role human perception has in our understanding. I have stated many times that I think that "science works in spite of humans" as a comment on how individual and societal bias can be so strong and persistent. 

It’s not easy to communicate things that another doesn’t hold for themselves.

I *did* think you might have made that qualification. Shows how much I understand you.

I don’t understand how science works in spite of humans. Science seems fully human. Take out the humans and what would one have? You seem to imply that it’s unfortunate that humans are involved. AI?

I said that it’s a view of physicists that observation changes observations. If that were so, then don’t you think that empiricism is at least problematical? From my side of science, there is loads of research that supports social construction along many dimensions—many. What are your thoughts about observation changing observations? Will you make qualifications and exceptions?

I am in agreement with the idea of provisionalism in science, as you express it: viz., “This is as far as we’ve gotten; our understanding could change.” It seems to me that a person who truly holds that view would express themselves less surely when it comes to “facts” and explanations of those facts. Indeed, it’s surprising to me that there is not more playfulness and self-deprecating humor expressed about the work that one is involved in science on this thread.

AC says I’m at times absurd.

A true believer in anything is one who holds the “thing” seriously and concretely.
Norton

climber
The Wastelands
Jan 12, 2019 - 09:35am PT
Either that or he is just prejudice against athiests and/or as#@&%es...


not likely, Paul has stated that he IS an Atheist
AntiChrist

Gym climber
Urth
Jan 12, 2019 - 10:24am PT
I call bullshit on his athiest claim. An athiest wouldn't insist legends were "sacred," especially not a specific tribe's legends that put so much emphasis on a divine source.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 12, 2019 - 10:26am PT
Shouldn’t atheists be recused from the discussion?
AntiChrist

Gym climber
Urth
Jan 12, 2019 - 10:38am PT
If so, then science deniers should be recused from climate change discussions, staunch conservative religious folks should be recused from discussions of LGTBQ issues, and men should be recused from discussiins of women's reproductive issues. I'm all for it!
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 12, 2019 - 10:39am PT
especially not a specific tribe's legends that put so much emphasis on a divine source.
---


If you were to look at said legends not as historical documents, but as figurative maps of our inner life, and the divine sources as whatever you find in the exercise, where might that take you?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 12, 2019 - 10:46am PT
You seem to imply that it’s unfortunate that humans are involved. AI?

When one presumes that a commitment to looking at the world in solely physical terms implies a lack of humanity, one might be lead to the impressions you have been. Humans invented science, humans practice science, humans guide science. It is a wonder that anything vaguely approaching understanding an "objective" universe could come from such activity. So what could persuade anybody that science "works"?

If you can quantify your observations then you can test the predictions of theory. One might be suspicious that the experimentalists and the theorists are "conspiring," except that the application of the theory to technology results in demonstrations of true understanding. That is, you do not apply science to the question of nuclear fission and end up with nuclear explosions as merely a social construct. This example dramatizes my point, but if you can dismiss nuclear explosives as a collective illusion than we can all rest easy at night knowing that we could construct a more benign reality.


I said that it’s a view of physicists that observation changes observations. If that were so, then don’t you think that empiricism is at least problematical?

Much confusion arrises over the quantum mechanical nature of the universe, and physicists are often just as confused as the public. That said, there is no resolution of the notion of role observers have in their observations. But your reasoning is incomplete, likely because you hold that rationalism and empiricism incommensurate, you are not clear.

From my point of view, observation provides the best case for the quantum mechanical view, through tests of Bell's theorem. Observation provides the evidence that the quantum mechanical world behaves differently than the world of our bodily perception. We come to consider the implications of quantum mechanics as important because it explains so much of the atomic world.

However, we don't have a good way of explaining all of the consequences of the theory, so we construct "interpretations." What are we interpreting? the activities of the quantum mechanical universe onto the classical universe, the one we live in. While there is a utility in doing this, it is a mistake to take "interpretation" as physical theory. The reason being that a rigorous explanation would be physical theory, and so far that rigor has not been forthcoming.

Feynman lamented that while he invented a clever way to calculate, to unbelievable precision, quantum mechanical processes, he didn't gain physical understanding of the processes. Why, he wondered, did his calculational tricks work?

The general consensus among physicists is that consciousness does not generate the physical universe.

I am in agreement with the idea of provisionalism in science, as you express it: viz., “This is as far as we’ve gotten; our understanding could change.” It seems to me that a person who truly holds that view would express themselves less surely when it comes to “facts” and explanations of those facts.

If you view science as just a collection of facts, then perhaps such conclusions as the one you arrive at seem reasonable. But when the "facts" exist within a superstructure of theory, theory confirmed with a myriad of observation, it constrains just what "fact" you can give up on.

The speed-of-light is a "fact," but what makes it a universal speed limit? Lorentz invariance, a fundamental symmetry of nature. The story of how Einstein got there is well told, but the scientific implications rearrange the importance of the various parts of the story.

When an experimental team observes neutrinos traveling faster than light, skeptical criticism results. The consequence of this single observation has to be reconciled with a huge number of observations for which this one is contrary. The facts are related.

Perhaps you do not understand just how all these facts are related.

Indeed, it’s surprising to me that there is not more playfulness and self-deprecating humor expressed about the work that one is involved in science on this thread.

The continual explanation of the practice of science and the results of science to an audience generally ignorant of science can be a weary job. Scientists relating to other scientists generates that playfulness and humor.
AntiChrist

Gym climber
Urth
Jan 12, 2019 - 10:49am PT
It might take me to believing that I shall be rewarded for having faith in my inner voices, even if they tell me to kill my son, dash children against rocks, smite entire cities, or stone promiscuous women... or that zombies are real.

I like how Ed takes the time to give well thought out, clear explanations of pretty much any question raised about science. He seems like a great person.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Jan 12, 2019 - 11:15am PT
I call bullshit on his athiest claim. An athiest wouldn't insist legends were "sacred," especially not a specific tribe's legends that put so much emphasis on a divine source.

Respectfully I think your personal definition of sacred is too, um, tight and self-serving to your position. I personally recognize there are sacred texts. They are not sacred to me but they are sacred to others. If I used their sacred texts to wipe my ass, literally or figuratively, I would be expressing also my utter contempt for their sacred beliefs. If I show respect to their sacred texts I am also demonstrating respect for their right to believe as the ly may choose. And yet If I call some texts sacred its ludicrous to extrapolate I am of any religious persuasion because ofbthat expression. I’m not a thiest of any kind so I know that just because I use the words sacred, or goddamnit all to hell, doesn’t mean what you imply. But the fact I use those words at all definitely shows the pervasive and really, unsrguable influence religion has on our society, athiest or no.

Cheers
DMT
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