Other forms of literacy than scientific literacy?
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14-07-2013, 09:36 AM
Other forms of literacy than scientific literacy?
I'm sorry I didn't find a suitable sub-forum for this thread.

Atheists and particularly self-identified skeptics often talk about the value of scientific literacy, having an understanding of what science is and how it works (and why its results are usually reliable). I agree that this is indeed a good thing.

So I thought, is it possible and/or sensible to talk about other forms of literacy? Like philosophical literacy or historical literacy?

"Examine the religious principles, which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded, that they are any thing but sick men's dreams." - David Hume
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14-07-2013, 10:57 AM (This post was last modified: 14-07-2013 11:02 AM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: Other forms of literacy than scientific literacy?
(14-07-2013 09:36 AM)Loki Wrote:  I'm sorry I didn't find a suitable sub-forum for this thread.

Atheists and particularly self-identified skeptics often talk about the value of scientific literacy, having an understanding of what science is and how it works (and why its results are usually reliable). I agree that this is indeed a good thing.

So I thought, is it possible and/or sensible to talk about other forms of literacy? Like philosophical literacy or historical literacy?

As a history buff, I think historical literacy is very important. I would say knowing the basics of your country's history is a solid starting point. This is a must regarding American atheists since so many Christians try to pull the "this is a Christian nation" card so much. Any history beyond that is good because it helps expand your pool of knowledge, which might potentially help you make better decisions (learning from history's mistakes). I primarily focus on Asian history.
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14-07-2013, 05:46 PM (This post was last modified: 14-07-2013 06:05 PM by UndercoverAtheist.)
RE: Other forms of literacy than scientific literacy?
Well first off, in order to have every other kind of literacy you need to have the ability to read.

It's frightening how many people go through high school in America without ever being able to read.

If you can't read, then how are you supposed to understand things such as climate change and every other thing that has to do with our universe?

Second of all, we really need to teach more critical thinking skills in school, things like deduction through evidence and how to know what is real and what isn't. In america, teaching critical thinking and deduction of fact from fiction will never be taught as long as we stay the religious powerhouse that we are, which is why it is very important to take a rational and secular view on education.

I hate it that there are actually people that want to teach the bible as fact in schools, and I hope our educational state in America never comes to that low of a point.

Also, instead of grouping kids by age, we should group kids on their ability to learn.
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14-07-2013, 05:57 PM
RE: Other forms of literacy than scientific literacy?
Being able to read, period, is usually a good idea.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
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14-07-2013, 07:38 PM
RE: Other forms of literacy than scientific literacy?
Let's not forget numeracy. Though that has some overlap with scientific literacy.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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14-07-2013, 08:20 PM
RE: Other forms of literacy than scientific literacy?
Illiteracy.
Period.
Thats the worst.
If you're illiterate,you're also illiterate in history and philisophy.

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15-07-2013, 12:29 AM
RE: Other forms of literacy than scientific literacy?
(14-07-2013 10:57 AM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  As a history buff, I think historical literacy is very important.
I would say knowing the basics of your country's history is a solid starting point.

The quality of history-education is mostly laughable though.
I learned more from Stuff You Missed In History Class than from all my schoolteachers combined.

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15-07-2013, 02:32 AM
RE: Other forms of literacy than scientific literacy?
(14-07-2013 09:36 AM)Loki Wrote:  ....

Atheists and particularly self-identified skeptics often talk about the value of scientific literacy, having an understanding of what science is and how it works (and why its results are usually reliable). I agree that this is indeed a good thing.

So I thought, is it possible and/or sensible to talk about other forms of literacy? Like philosophical literacy or historical literacy?

The major difference between religious devotion and scientific literacy can be summarized in this way:

[Image: 2007-01-15-science-vs-faith.png]

Philosophical literacy can use different methods of studying a subject, but in the end comes down to two options. Let's take an extract from the philospohical "proof" of God of Thomas Aquinas:

-The Argument of the Unmoved Mover: Some things are in motion. A thing cannot, in the same respect and in the same way, move itself: it requires a mover.
An infinite regress of movers is impossible. Therefore, there is an unmoved mover from whom all motion proceeds. This mover is what we call God.

-The Argument of the First Cause: Some things are caused. Everything that is caused is caused by something else. An infinite regress of causation is impossible.
Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all that is caused. This cause is what we call God.

Now, these two "laws" as such can easily be debunked using the scientific method or the plain simple rules of logical fallacies.

Another way is to approach it from the historical perspective of philosophy in the middle ages. You for example accept the quotes as being from the person and analyze other scripture from the era. The veracity of the arguments takes a secondary place as the research focus shifts from the argument to the study of the person of Aquinas and logic in his time. However, in order to obtain academic results, you also need the scientific method to obtain correct results that can be peer reviewed. That includes sources which can be tracked. Philosophical literacy or historical literacy are thus to be part of the scientific method.

The religious way is to accept the two statements as true and stop debating them. "God has been proven, can't beat that, and oh it's the Judeo-Christian god, not Horus or Thor. And Jesus was white!". You give a one-sided explanation and datamassage your findings until you obtain results that match your desired outcome.

An old cartoon summarizes it:

[Image: vignetta-creazionismo.gif]

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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16-07-2013, 02:12 PM
RE: Other forms of literacy than scientific literacy?
Well obviously you need basic literacy (knowing how to read and write) to proceed at all. It is assumed.

"Examine the religious principles, which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded, that they are any thing but sick men's dreams." - David Hume
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16-07-2013, 02:19 PM
RE: Other forms of literacy than scientific literacy?
Political literacy is definitely be a plus; we've had several trainwreck public discourses in this country because a large majority of people don't actually know how our political system works.

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