Rationalism is a religion?
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05-06-2017, 04:29 PM
RE: Rationalism is a religion?
(05-06-2017 04:05 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  For example, you could show the Noah's Ark story to be practically impossible to be literally true, but I could still believe in a God that emit's love and care's for us, and gives me warm fuzzy feelings, and gives reason to be hopeful about surviving death without prescribing any claims that are testable.

If you have a belief that does not rely on testable claims then doesn't that belief have to be compartmentalized from rational examination to be maintained?

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05-06-2017, 04:40 PM
RE: Rationalism is a religion?
(05-06-2017 04:29 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(05-06-2017 04:05 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  For example, you could show the Noah's Ark story to be practically impossible to be literally true, but I could still believe in a God that emit's love and care's for us, and gives me warm fuzzy feelings, and gives reason to be hopeful about surviving death without prescribing any claims that are testable.

If you have a belief that does not rely on testable claims then doesn't that belief have to be compartmentalized from rational examination to be maintained?

No.

I believe intelligent beings other than humans exists somewhere in the universe. We are incapable of testing that claim, and because of the expansion rate of the universe it may very well be impossible to test that claim. There's nothing irrational about that belief is there?

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05-06-2017, 05:32 PM
RE: Rationalism is a religion?
(05-06-2017 04:40 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  
(05-06-2017 04:29 PM)unfogged Wrote:  If you have a belief that does not rely on testable claims then doesn't that belief have to be compartmentalized from rational examination to be maintained?

No.

I believe intelligent beings other than humans exists somewhere in the universe. We are incapable of testing that claim, and because of the expansion rate of the universe it may very well be impossible to test that claim. There's nothing irrational about that belief is there?
A valid belief is based on the preponderance of evidence for or against a thing. There is not real, direct evidence of other intelligent life, but based on what we know of life on earth and the sheer size of the universe, it seems almost insane to suggest that life isn't likely to have arisen elsewhere, and at least now and then manages to get as far as we have, or further. So it's a reasonable belief, and a rational one -- held, like all beliefs, tentatively, for possible modification when more data might be available.

A belief of course is not a knowledge claim or a claim of fact. It's simply an expression of probabilities based on available information and reasoning. What theists can't get through their heads is that we aren't saying ANYTHING beyond that there's no sound reason to afford belief to invisible beings and realms. The probability of an invisible all powerful being micromanaging my thought life, my sex life, and so forth can be neither proven nor disproven, inherently ... but the probability of it being real is so vanishingly, ridiculously, extravagantly small that it's not worth contemplating.
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05-06-2017, 05:38 PM
RE: Rationalism is a religion?
(05-06-2017 05:32 PM)mordant Wrote:  
(05-06-2017 04:40 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  No.

I believe intelligent beings other than humans exists somewhere in the universe. We are incapable of testing that claim, and because of the expansion rate of the universe it may very well be impossible to test that claim. There's nothing irrational about that belief is there?
A valid belief is based on the preponderance of evidence for or against a thing. There is not real, direct evidence of other intelligent life, but based on what we know of life on earth and the sheer size of the universe, it seems almost insane to suggest that life isn't likely to have arisen elsewhere, and at least now and then manages to get as far as we have, or further. So it's a reasonable belief, and a rational one -- held, like all beliefs, tentatively, for possible modification when more data might be available.

A belief of course is not a knowledge claim or a claim of fact. It's simply an expression of probabilities based on available information and reasoning.

I don't have a real squabble to make with that, other than the size of the universe doesn't necessarily suggest other-worldly intelligence. We would first need to know more about the conditions that formed life, and the conditions throughout the universe in more detail to make any real guesses as to whether or not we are alone. Until then, it's a bit like trying to solve the following math problem:

Which number comes next in this sequence?

7,379,697,793.086367826, ???

Answer?

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05-06-2017, 06:00 PM
RE: Rationalism is a religion?
(05-06-2017 04:40 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  
(05-06-2017 04:29 PM)unfogged Wrote:  If you have a belief that does not rely on testable claims then doesn't that belief have to be compartmentalized from rational examination to be maintained?

No.

I believe intelligent beings other than humans exists somewhere in the universe. We are incapable of testing that claim, and because of the expansion rate of the universe it may very well be impossible to test that claim. There's nothing irrational about that belief is there?

Mordant hit the main point already; we have an example of intelligent life and good reason to accept that it evolved naturally. We also have what I would consider to be reasonable evidence that nothing about Earth conditions is necessarily unique.

It also depends on whether you believe intelligent beings exist elsewhere or you believe that it is possible, or even likely, that that is the case. Saying that you actually believe there is other intelligent life may border on irrational because the evidence we do have is circumstantial.

Either way, your example doesn't really compare to believing that a god exists because we have evidence of intelligent life but no evidence of any gods.

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05-06-2017, 06:10 PM
RE: Rationalism is a religion?
(05-06-2017 06:00 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(05-06-2017 04:40 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  No.

I believe intelligent beings other than humans exists somewhere in the universe. We are incapable of testing that claim, and because of the expansion rate of the universe it may very well be impossible to test that claim. There's nothing irrational about that belief is there?

Mordant hit the main point already; we have an example of intelligent life and good reason to accept that it evolved naturally. We also have what I would consider to be reasonable evidence that nothing about Earth conditions is necessarily unique.

It also depends on whether you believe intelligent beings exist elsewhere or you believe that it is possible, or even likely, that that is the case. Saying that you actually believe there is other intelligent life may border on irrational because the evidence we do have is circumstantial.

Either way, your example doesn't really compare to believing that a god exists because we have evidence of intelligent life but no evidence of any gods.

God is claimed to be any different things by many different people. A sufficiently advanced other worldly intelligent life could easily be the basis of a persons religion, for example. Another example are those that claim that nature is god and worship the universe without the need for a guiding intelligence at all.

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05-06-2017, 06:13 PM
RE: Rationalism is a religion?
(05-06-2017 05:38 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  
(05-06-2017 05:32 PM)mordant Wrote:  A valid belief is based on the preponderance of evidence for or against a thing. There is not real, direct evidence of other intelligent life, but based on what we know of life on earth and the sheer size of the universe, it seems almost insane to suggest that life isn't likely to have arisen elsewhere, and at least now and then manages to get as far as we have, or further. So it's a reasonable belief, and a rational one -- held, like all beliefs, tentatively, for possible modification when more data might be available.

A belief of course is not a knowledge claim or a claim of fact. It's simply an expression of probabilities based on available information and reasoning.

I don't have a real squabble to make with that, other than the size of the universe doesn't necessarily suggest other-worldly intelligence. We would first need to know more about the conditions that formed life, and the conditions throughout the universe in more detail to make any real guesses as to whether or not we are alone. Until then, it's a bit like trying to solve the following math problem:

Which number comes next in this sequence?

7,379,697,793.086367826, ???

Answer?

not really.

based on the periodic table, the mixture will be everywhere. and that's just the stuff we understand. Gamma ray bursters, amongst other things, do a fine job of moderating pesky smart proteins like us. Kind of like how our bodies moderate Ph. hmmmm?

oh no, will I be called stupid again because people don't understand basic chemistry and physics?
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06-06-2017, 01:58 AM
RE: Rationalism is a religion?
(05-06-2017 04:40 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  ....it may very well be impossible to test that claim. There's nothing irrational about that belief is there?
Bolded mine
Did you just say you hold a belief based on a claim that is (very well) impossible to test? Did you just ask if that is irrational? Consider

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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06-06-2017, 02:42 AM
RE: Rationalism is a religion?
(06-06-2017 01:58 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(05-06-2017 04:40 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  ....it may very well be impossible to test that claim. There's nothing irrational about that belief is there?
Bolded mine
Did you just say you hold a belief based on a claim that is (very well) impossible to test? Did you just ask if that is irrational? Consider

No, much bolder than that. I said I believe that there is intelligent life in the universe outside of planet earth, and that the nature of the universe may very well make that belief impossible to test. I also claim that it is not an irrational belief. Do not misunderstand, I don't make Gnostic claims.

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06-06-2017, 03:35 AM
RE: Rationalism is a religion?
(06-06-2017 02:42 AM)Dark Light Wrote:  
(06-06-2017 01:58 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Bolded mine
Did you just say you hold a belief based on a claim that is (very well) impossible to test? Did you just ask if that is irrational? Consider

No, much bolder than that. I said I believe that there is intelligent life in the universe outside of planet earth, and that the nature of the universe may very well make that belief impossible to test. I also claim that it is not an irrational belief. Do not misunderstand, I don't make Gnostic claims.

oh, I misunderstood you. my bad.

many of the galaxies are coming together and even more local groups are going towards a spot. So it might still be testable. But I get-cha.

I am not even sure that the expansion acceleration will end in the lone galaxy hypothesis. At least until we find out more about it.

I don't think human will be able to test it. But I also think human won't be around to test it. I "belief" that if and when we can scale the distances traveled into human time frames we won't be around. They may very well be earthlings, just not us.

I am in the same boat as you. It seems silly to predict no life anywhere and even more silly to say "you can't say that" just based on the standard model. Heck, maybe other life visits us first.
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