The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
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06-04-2016, 10:29 PM
The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
I have been reading a variety of threads on this site and I don't believe that my way of thinking is in any way revolutionary. But, I feel that it is important (to me at least) to take this opportunity to open a discussion that may or may not lead to intellectual debate regarding the so-called war between science/logic and faith. I would like this thread to be open to all who wish to share their thoughts and opinions about whether the search for scientific proof is truly a search to destroy religion. So, to get the discussion going I will finally feel free to share my perspective and hope that others feel comfortable enough to do the same.

I often use quotes by significant figures because, let's face it, I may be educated and some may say I'm even intelligent, but I don't disillusion myself with the notion that what I have to say is more important than the great intellectuals of our time. To begin this discussion I will start with a simple quote that I believe describes my point of view in a more eloquent way than I could ever hope to.

“If we wish to draw philosophical conclusions about our own existence, our significance, and the significance of the universe itself, our conclusions should be based on empirical knowledge. A truly open mind means forcing our imaginations to conform to the evidence of reality, and not vice versa, whether or not we like the implications.”
― Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing


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07-04-2016, 06:28 AM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(06-04-2016 10:29 PM)Atheism=truth Wrote:  I would like this thread to be open to all who wish to share their thoughts and opinions about whether the search for scientific proof is truly a search to destroy religion.

It depends on what you mean.

I would not in any way agree that the search to understand how the universe actually works is intended to destroy religion. I just think that religion will be destroyed as collateral damage from the effort and I see no reason for that possibility to hinder the effort. I find nothing of value in religion that can't be found in reality-based alternatives so if understanding reality better continues to devalue religion it is, at worst, no loss.

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07-04-2016, 08:57 AM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2016 09:01 AM by true scotsman.)
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(06-04-2016 10:29 PM)Atheism=truth Wrote:  I have been reading a variety of threads on this site and I don't believe that my way of thinking is in any way revolutionary. But, I feel that it is important (to me at least) to take this opportunity to open a discussion that may or may not lead to intellectual debate regarding the so-called war between science/logic and faith. I would like this thread to be open to all who wish to share their thoughts and opinions about whether the search for scientific proof is truly a search to destroy religion. So, to get the discussion going I will finally feel free to share my perspective and hope that others feel comfortable enough to do the same.

I often use quotes by significant figures because, let's face it, I may be educated and some may say I'm even intelligent, but I don't disillusion myself with the notion that what I have to say is more important than the great intellectuals of our time. To begin this discussion I will start with a simple quote that I believe describes my point of view in a more eloquent way than I could ever hope to.

“If we wish to draw philosophical conclusions about our own existence, our significance, and the significance of the universe itself, our conclusions should be based on empirical knowledge. A truly open mind means forcing our imaginations to conform to the evidence of reality, and not vice versa, whether or not we like the implications.”
― Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing

The only thing I take issue with in his quote is his use of the word imagination. It is not our imagination that needs to conform to reality but our concepts. Imagination plays and important role in sort of mentally trying things out but knowledge is knowledge of reality. We identify and integrate facts by means of concepts. Concepts are the basic building blocks of knowledge, not imagination nor feelings nor beliefs. It is our concepts which must conform to reality and not the other way around. He is basically affirming that existence has primacy and that I agree with 100%. By empirical knowledge Krauss means if we want to know about things we need to look outward at the world, not inward to the contents of our mind.

Faith is the epistemological corollary of the primacy of consciousness metaphysics. It takes a looking inward approach to knowledge. Reality conforms to our wishes and desires. It is based on an entirely opposite metaphysics than reason. The two are diametrically opposed, no matter what theists would like us to believe.

Reason destroys religion. That's why the writers of the Bible don't even talk about it and instead push faith. Science is the application of reason to study of the universe. Faith is retreat into the fantasy world of the imagination. While I don't think scientists are out to destroy religion, the more science demonstrates the power of reason the less and less sway religion will have.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

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07-04-2016, 09:07 AM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(06-04-2016 10:29 PM)Atheism=truth Wrote:  I have been reading a variety of threads on this site and I don't believe that my way of thinking is in any way revolutionary.

Dude, seriously. I've read everyone from Herodotus to Pliny (both elder and younger), Marcus Aurelius, Sartre, Nietzsche, Descartes and so many more including Spinoza and Goethe.

You really think you have more to offer?

Go away child.

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07-04-2016, 09:17 AM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
Krauss is right. You cannot base knowledge on selection bias and sample rate error. If our species never questioned social norms our species never would have left the caves. Religion is not science nor can it replace science. Religion is a bi product of our species notoriously flawed perceptions. You cannot get rid of it by force, no, but it isn't science regardless. There is a huge difference between human rights and the ability to demonstrate the credibility of what you claim.

Religion is an invention of humans, and so are all god claims. Religion is pretending the kaleidoscope can replace a telescope. Progress isn't about clinging to the past, progress is when you don't fear being wrong and are willing to ditch bad claims.

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07-04-2016, 09:21 AM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(07-04-2016 09:17 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  Krauss is right. You cannot base knowledge on selection bias and sample rate error. If our species never questioned social norms our species never would have left the caves. Religion is not science nor can it replace science. Religion is a bi product of our species notoriously flawed perceptions. You cannot get rid of it by force, no, but it isn't science regardless. There is a huge difference between human rights and the ability to demonstrate the credibility of what you claim.

Religion is an invention of humans, and so are all god claims. Religion is pretending the kaleidoscope can replace a telescope. Progress isn't about clinging to the past, progress is when you don't fear being wrong and are willing to ditch bad claims.

Er, I think your answer was too long. The OP deserves far less.

Please edit in future. (jk) Tongue

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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07-04-2016, 10:40 AM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(06-04-2016 10:29 PM)Atheism=truth Wrote:  I would like this thread to be open to all who wish to share their thoughts and opinions about whether the search for scientific proof is truly a search to destroy religion.

Science is a systematic enterprise that creates, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. It does not (as part of an agenda or purpose) set out to destroy religion although the truths that it uncovers will invariably be used to expose the falsehoods and innate absurdities of religion and superstition.

Science therefore describes reality in ever improving detail.

That is the purpose of science.

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07-04-2016, 05:47 PM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(07-04-2016 06:28 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(06-04-2016 10:29 PM)Atheism=truth Wrote:  I would like this thread to be open to all who wish to share their thoughts and opinions about whether the search for scientific proof is truly a search to destroy religion.

It depends on what you mean.

I would not in any way agree that the search to understand how the universe actually works is intended to destroy religion. I just think that religion will be destroyed as collateral damage from the effort and I see no reason for that possibility to hinder the effort. I find nothing of value in religion that can't be found in reality-based alternatives so if understanding reality better continues to devalue religion it is, at worst, no loss.

Thank you for replying unfogged. I agree with your point of view and I share the same belief. Religion was valued and accepted by the masses in ancient civilizations only because our ancestors lacked any understanding of cosmology - civilization and religion were created simultaneously and I doubt anyone could argue that this was coincidence (at least not those of us who use logic and rationality to determine what we believe is fact versus fiction). I am new to this site so I am attempting to avoid coming across as narcissistic or superior. I would be grateful for any guidance on how much (if any) of my core beliefs I should filter to avoid controversy. Thank you again unfogged.


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07-04-2016, 06:07 PM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(07-04-2016 05:47 PM)Atheism=truth Wrote:  Thank you for replying unfogged. I agree with your point of view and I share the same belief. Religion was valued and accepted by the masses in ancient civilizations only because our ancestors lacked any understanding of cosmology - civilization and religion were created simultaneously and I doubt anyone could argue that this was coincidence (at least not those of us who use logic and rationality to determine what we believe is fact versus fiction).

I'm not sure I agree that they came about simultaneously but it'd depend on what is included in each category. I do agree that it was the result of the first attempts to explain why things are the way they are.

Quote: I am new to this site so I am attempting to avoid coming across as narcissistic or superior. I would be grateful for any guidance on how much (if any) of my core beliefs I should filter to avoid controversy.

Don't worry, if you do come across that way you'll hear about it quickly! Big Grin

There are some very well educated people here as well as some very intelligent people here (and quite a bit of overlap between those categories) but one constant is that people here tend to be very blunt about things. As long as you don't present opinions as fact and have reasons (and preferably evidence) to back up your beliefs you'll be fine.

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07-04-2016, 06:23 PM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(07-04-2016 08:57 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(06-04-2016 10:29 PM)Atheism=truth Wrote:  I have been reading a variety of threads on this site and I don't believe that my way of thinking is in any way revolutionary. But, I feel that it is important (to me at least) to take this opportunity to open a discussion that may or may not lead to intellectual debate regarding the so-called war between science/logic and faith. I would like this thread to be open to all who wish to share their thoughts and opinions about whether the search for scientific proof is truly a search to destroy religion. So, to get the discussion going I will finally feel free to share my perspective and hope that others feel comfortable enough to do the same.

I often use quotes by significant figures because, let's face it, I may be educated and some may say I'm even intelligent, but I don't disillusion myself with the notion that what I have to say is more important than the great intellectuals of our time. To begin this discussion I will start with a simple quote that I believe describes my point of view in a more eloquent way than I could ever hope to.

“If we wish to draw philosophical conclusions about our own existence, our significance, and the significance of the universe itself, our conclusions should be based on empirical knowledge. A truly open mind means forcing our imaginations to conform to the evidence of reality, and not vice versa, whether or not we like the implications.”
― Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing

The only thing I take issue with in his quote is his use of the word imagination. It is not our imagination that needs to conform to reality but our concepts. Imagination plays and important role in sort of mentally trying things out but knowledge is knowledge of reality. We identify and integrate facts by means of concepts. Concepts are the basic building blocks of knowledge, not imagination nor feelings nor beliefs. It is our concepts which must conform to reality and not the other way around. He is basically affirming that existence has primacy and that I agree with 100%. By empirical knowledge Krauss means if we want to know about things we need to look outward at the world, not inward to the contents of our mind.

Faith is the epistemological corollary of the primacy of consciousness metaphysics. It takes a looking inward approach to knowledge. Reality conforms to our wishes and desires. It is based on an entirely opposite metaphysics than reason. The two are diametrically opposed, no matter what theists would like us to believe.

Reason destroys religion. That's why the writers of the Bible don't even talk about it and instead push faith. Science is the application of reason to study of the universe. Faith is retreat into the fantasy world of the imagination. While I don't think scientists are out to destroy religion, the more science demonstrates the power of reason the less and less sway religion will have.

truescotsman: Thank you for your poignant response. I agree with your argument that as human beings become educated and enlightened, religion will not only become transparently antiquated but I believe that the nature of the scientific method (to doubt everything by creating a hypothesis we actively seek to disprove) will eventually eradicate the need for religion. The vary nature of religion is the antithesis of science. Since I'm still new to articulating my views using my own words I will quote the great Jerry A. Coyne:
Quote:Science is an elaborate construction of rules and practices designed to keep you from fooling yourself, to keep you from believing what you really want to believe. The worst thing that can happen to a scientist is to try to show what’s true is what you want to be true. That’s a real sin. Of course in religion, that’s completely the opposite. That’s the purpose of religion.


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