Reason, Or Ideology?
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21-12-2014, 10:01 PM (This post was last modified: 22-12-2014 07:54 AM by Chas.)
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(21-12-2014 11:43 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
(21-12-2014 11:35 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:  Assuming for the sake of discussion that it is not a good thing, what do you suggest as an alternative

We have learned that a more is better relationship with food sooner or later transforms from a good thing in to a bad thing.

As an alternative, I suggest we start learning that about knowledge as well. More does not automatically equal better.

Just as it took a great deal of effort to expand knowledge, it will likely also be a big challenge to learn how to limit knowledge.

We won't make much progress on that so long as we are still blindly plowing forward with the "more = better" philosophy. A change will start with the first step of realizing more does not automatically equal better.

That is an absurd, not to mention unachievable, goal.

How does one limit knowledge? What knowledge? How can you limit that which you do not yet know?

You're babbling simplistic cant; try thinking for a change. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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21-12-2014, 10:03 PM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(21-12-2014 07:11 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
Quote:My disbelief is not really "built upon" anything.

This is a very common misunderstanding. Every belief and disbelief is built upon something. If we don't know what that something is, and haven't challenged that something, then we are not just believers/disbelievers, but blind believers/disbelievers

Quote: It's more of a negative thing than a positive thing; more of a passive thing than an active thing.

It is an active belief in the power of human reason to meaningfully address the questions at hand, just as the religious person actively believes their holy book is so qualified.

Your comment is really important imho, as it illustrates how deep our faith in human reason can be. It can be so deep we don't even realize it is faith, as we take the power of reason to address these issue as an obvious given. It's still faith, but more dangerous, a blind unexamined faith.

Quote:I just have no reason to believe that he/she/it does exist.

Yes, you have no reason to believe. You've examined the question using reason, and reason says "no proof of god" and so you disbelieve. But you haven't challenged your own chosen authority, reason.

Quote:I have not acquired a belief in God by any method. This is not to say it couldn't possibly happen. But it hasn't happened so far.

Fair enough. I hope it's clear to readers by this point that I'm not selling gods, but reason. And reason requires that we don't accept the qualifications of any chosen authority blindly, including reason itself.

If one is not challenging reason, one is not doing reason.

Not reason - evidence. There is no evidence.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-12-2014, 04:18 AM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(21-12-2014 11:21 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Yes, science works at developing ever more knowledge, at ever faster rates. We agree on this.

The group consensus assumption is that this is a good thing. I'm questioning that assumption.

What do you mean by "faster rates"? Did you measure how we discovered new things in the past compared to now and see we do it faster? I don't understand what you mean by that.

Discover new answers and understand the universe around us is a good thing.

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22-12-2014, 06:55 AM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
Quote:1. Yes, there are probably dogmatic atheists (on this forum as well as in general) as well as dogmatic theists, but good luck getting anyone on either side to admit to that. People always think that their "reasons for believing" are reasonable.

Yes, agreed. You have sagely identified my own personal fantasy life, the notion that reason can reach the unreasonable. I know it's foolishness to try, but I do it anyway, over and over again, proving I too am unreasonable. Oh well....

Quote:2. It has been suggested that human reason is (or may be) inadequate for arriving at knowledge about God.

I would put it this way. Those qualifications have not yet been proven, and generally speaking few to no writers are interested in trying to offer such a proof. Apparently we are supposed to accept the qualifications of reason to address these questions on faith, just as the theists ask us to do with their holy books. As I see it, we're currently stuck at this level.

Quote:But what else is there? Revelation? Intuition? Meditation?

I would suggest this. Before a reader asks the reasonable question "what else is there?" they might first put some effort in to challenging reason's ability (to address these questions) with the same earnestness that they reasonably challenge the qualifications of holy books.

You know, don't just accept that reason is or isn't qualified to deliver meaningful answers on the question of gods. Don't just agree or disagree with something somebody said and be happy with that.

Dig in to it, challenge, test, investigate, do the home work. It might take years, not minutes.

If a reader concludes reason is adequate for this particular task, then they have no reason to investigate other methods.

If a reader concludes, after a sincere and serious investigation, that reason is not adequate for this particular task, then they will be in a position to also do a serious investigation in to possible alternatives.

Quote:Human reason (allied with observation and, when necessary, experiment -- basically the scientific method) may be the only reliable method (for humans) of acquiring knowledge.

Um, the better theists have been acquiring knowledge about the human condition for thousands of years before the advent of science. The proof of their skill is that billions of people over thousands of years in every corner of the world have found their insights useful.

Yes, it's true, Einstein as example had incredible insights in to the nature of space/time, a real and very impressive accomplishment, but....

.... that information is completely worthless to the overwhelming vast majority of human beings.

But anyway, sorry, never mind about all that. :-)

The more important point is that your comment shares a fundamental bias common to both theism and atheism, an unexamined assumption that "acquiring knowledge", finding The Answer, is and should be the goal of such inquiries.

What if that's not true?

Some of the best minds humanity can offer have been diligently searching for The Answer for thousands of years. In modern times scientific minds have been added to the religious minds. And no one has yet found An Answer that fair minded reasonable people would label as reliable and credible. This failure might be a huge clue.

As example, imagine you are trying to repair your car, and you think you know the solution. So you try it. And it doesn't work. So you try it again. Still doesn't work. You try it 37 more times. Not working.

At some point you will step back from the car and realize that you must be basing your solution on some false assumption. You've been assuming XYZ, but if XYZ is actually not true, then your solution will never work, no matter how many times you try.

Observe the evidence of thousands of years of repeated failure by many of humanity's best minds, and then step back, and ask...

Is there some fundamental assumption that everybody takes for granted as an obvious given, that isn't actually true? Could that explain the longstanding pattern of failure?

Quote: If it's not adequate for obtaining knowledge about God, I humbly submit that such knowledge may be unobtainable by humans.

Ok, that's a reasonable theory, so we could run with that for awhile perhaps. What if you're right, and such knowledge is simply unobtainable?

We still have billions of people who are searching religion (and anti-religion) for something. Some drive or need is motivating what might be described as the biggest cultural event in human history.

Religion might be viewed as a means to an end. The same might be said of anti-religion, and the manic consumerism which is raping the planet.

People do these things for a reason. What is the reason? What is it that everybody is looking for, by whatever method?
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22-12-2014, 07:03 AM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
Quote:What do you mean by "faster rates"? Did you measure how we discovered new things in the past compared to now and see we do it faster? I don't understand what you mean by that.

Sorry for not being clear enough. I meant that knowledge development tends to proceed at an ever accelerating rate.

As example, once we discovered the knowledge of how to build computers, then we could use the computers to develop new knowledge much more efficiently, because the computers can do much of research much faster than humans can. Each new tool we discover tends to make it easier to develop more new tools. If you're interested in this, investigate the thinker Ray Kurzweil.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kurzweil

Quote:Discover new answers and understand the universe around us is a good thing.

This is a very common and understandable view, which has been true for a very long time, since the dawn of humanity.

It may no longer be true. Are we better off having discovered how to make nuclear weapons? Remember, they could erase everything built over the last 5,000 years in the next 30 minutes. A good thing?
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22-12-2014, 07:07 AM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(21-12-2014 10:01 PM)Chas Wrote:  How does one limit knowledge?

That's a very good question. I assure you I don't have the answer, but I think we begin by asking that question.

Are we even in charge of knowledge? Or is it a force of nature beyond our control? These are good questions for the 21st century.
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22-12-2014, 07:20 AM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(21-12-2014 09:58 PM)Chas Wrote:  The processes of science and faith are in no way similar.

Our RELATIONSHIP with science and religion are very similar.

Human beings got involved with religion for some reason. That reason didn't magically go away just because some of us can no longer believe the stories told by religions.

Whatever it was that previously caused us to seek certainty and comfort etc from a Jesus or a Thor or a Vishnu etc is still there, and is seeking a new source of certainty and comfort etc.

And so we turn to science as the new "religion" and receive a measure of certainty in science's authority, and a measure of comfort that science is leading us to the "promised land" instead of Moses and so on.

The evidence overwhelming suggests that science is most likely leading us to some kind of epic calamity, nuclear war, climate catastrophe etc. And we all sort of know this but....

We're caught up in chanting the cozy slogans of the new science "religion" and so we largely ignore the evidence of the coming calamity, and take comfort in the amazing new features in our iPhone and so on. Praise be to science for telling us what we want to hear!

It's just like the people of the Middle Ages who turned their eyes to heaven because they couldn't face the horrors of the plague.

Same basic process, flying under a new flag, a shiny new brand.
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22-12-2014, 08:03 AM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(22-12-2014 07:20 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
(21-12-2014 09:58 PM)Chas Wrote:  The processes of science and faith are in no way similar.

Our RELATIONSHIP with science and religion are very similar.

Human beings got involved with religion for some reason. That reason didn't magically go away just because some of us can no longer believe the stories told by religions.

One reason for religion is to explain the world, but it doesn't succeed at that - science does.

The other reasons for religion are to provide false solace to the individual and to exert control over the masses. Science does neither.

Quote:Whatever it was that previously caused us to seek certainty and comfort etc from a Jesus or a Thor or a Vishnu etc is still there, and is seeking a new source of certainty and comfort etc.

Yes, that is a very human urge; science does not pander to it.

Quote:And so we turn to science as the new "religion" and receive a measure of certainty in science's authority, and a measure of comfort that science is leading us to the "promised land" instead of Moses and so on.

Please back that up with something other than your opinion.

Quote:The evidence overwhelming suggests that science is most likely leading us to some kind of epic calamity, nuclear war, climate catastrophe etc. And we all sort of know this but....

No, science leads us to knowledge. Human error, hubris, greed, etc. lead us to catastrophe.

Quote:We're caught up in chanting the cozy slogans of the new science "religion" and so we largely ignore the evidence of the coming calamity, and take comfort in the amazing new features in our iPhone and so on. Praise be to science for telling us what we want to hear!

No, we aren't and no, we don't.
The ignorant and superstitious deny the evidence of science when they don't like the facts. Scientists face the facts.

Quote:It's just like the people of the Middle Ages who turned their eyes to heaven because they couldn't face the horrors of the plague.

Nope, it is nothing like that.

Quote:Same basic process, flying under a new flag, a shiny new brand.

Only in your head.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-12-2014, 08:44 AM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
Thank you for providing an example of the new science "religion". You are defending science with just the same kind of determined passion that is commonly seen among religious fundamentalists of various flavors.

Science is good, good, good!

Religion is bad, bad, bad!

Your making my point for me. For endless centuries one of the reasons people have turned to religion is so they can pose as being superior to somebody else, social competition.

That very same process continues today, except today many wave the science flag of superiority, instead of the Muslim or Catholic or Jewish etc flag of superiority. Very same process.

As example, observe how you completely rationalized the following point, because the new "religion" of science must be protected at all costs no matter what.

Quote:The evidence overwhelming suggests that science is most likely leading us to some kind of epic calamity, nuclear war, climate catastrophe etc. And we all sort of know this but....

Quote:No, science leads us to knowledge. Human error, hubris, greed, etc. lead us to catastrophe.

I assure you that if the Catholic Church had invented nuclear weapons instead of scientists, you would not be rationalizing and attempting to shift the responsibility, you'd be blaming Catholics.

Scientists invented nuclear weapons, scientists gave us the power to exterminate the human race. Scientists decided to do the research, scientists did the research, scientists perfected the techniques, scientists improved the weapons to get ever bigger destructive yields, scientists received payment and enjoyed awards for their work. Scientists don't get a free pass, they have blood on their hands too.

Scientists didn't actually push the button, that's true, I grant that point. But they did give that button to everybody else on Earth.

Imagine I am a gun manufacturer and I make machine guns. I never actually shoot anybody myself, but I hand out machine guns to any kid who walks up and asks for one. That's the role scientists played, professional gun merchant.

If you persist in selling the Science Fundamentalism Religion, it is my intention to rip it all in to tiny little shreds, just as we would reasonably do with any flavor of fundamentalism. The clever little dodges, rationalizations and excuses will all be swept away.

Fundamentalism is Fundamentalism is Fundamentalism. Calling it "science" changes nothing.
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22-12-2014, 09:02 AM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(22-12-2014 08:44 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Thank you for providing an example of the new science "religion". You are defending science with just the same kind of determined passion that is commonly seen among religious fundamentalists of various flavors.

Science is good, good, good!

Religion is bad, bad, bad!

Your making my point for me. For endless centuries one of the reasons people have turned to religion is so they can pose as being superior to somebody else, social competition.

That very same process continues today, except today many wave the science flag of superiority, instead of the Muslim or Catholic or Jewish etc flag of superiority. Very same process.

As example, observe how you completely rationalized the following point, because the new "religion" of science must be protected at all costs no matter what.

Quote:The evidence overwhelming suggests that science is most likely leading us to some kind of epic calamity, nuclear war, climate catastrophe etc. And we all sort of know this but....

Quote:No, science leads us to knowledge. Human error, hubris, greed, etc. lead us to catastrophe.

I assure you that if the Catholic Church had invented nuclear weapons instead of scientists, you would not be rationalizing and attempting to shift the responsibility, you'd be blaming Catholics.

Scientists invented nuclear weapons, scientists gave us the power to exterminate the human race. Scientists decided to do the research, scientists did the research, scientists perfected the techniques, scientists improved the weapons to get ever bigger destructive yields, scientists received payment and enjoyed awards for their work. Scientists don't get a free pass, they have blood on their hands too.

Scientists didn't actually push the button, that's true, I grant that point. But they did give that button to everybody else on Earth.

Imagine I am a gun manufacturer and I make machine guns. I never actually shoot anybody myself, but I hand out machine guns to any kid who walks up and asks for one. That's the role scientists played, professional gun merchant.

If you persist in selling the Science Fundamentalism Religion, it is my intention to rip it all in to tiny little shreds, just as we would reasonably do with any flavor of fundamentalism. The clever little dodges, rationalizations and excuses will all be swept away.

Fundamentalism is Fundamentalism is Fundamentalism. Calling it "science" changes nothing.

You continue to conflate knowledge and action.

You keep make claims without any support.

Your arguments are ignorant and shallow.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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