When You Fell In Love With Science/Reason/Rationality
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16-10-2017, 02:47 PM
RE: When You Fell In Love With Science/Reason/Rationality
(15-10-2017 07:38 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  If a person really loves science, is it also OK to love reason?

Science (as currently constituted) can't explain reason, and some people who hold to a materialist scientific view claim that reason must be an illusion.

We all know that physical events in nature don't have a meaning. If the apple falls from the tree, someone may ascribe a meaning to it: a demonstration of gravity, or sign of changing seasons. But the apple and the fall itself just happen. In themselves they have no further significance.

Likewise chemical changes. If you mix two chemicals and they foam or change color, they do that because of physical properties, not because they are crying out or telling us something. Electrical/chemical changes, too -- you can make a potato battery, but that isn't a meaning or a message.

And we all know that the brain is basically meat with a lot of electro-chemical events going on. We've established that such events don't have meaning, and if people see meaning in the event, it's only because we have added the meaning. This prompts a dilemma: if the attribution of meaning is a mental event, due to an electro-chemical process, the attribution of meaning to the thought is also just an illusion. There seems to be no point at which a science of methodological naturalism can explain the "jump" from physical event to meaningful sign.

Obviously we don't want to posit some kind of non-material something in the brain. If we want to be self-consistent with a materialist view of thought, we may have to give up on thinking that reason is justified.

This has led at least one atheist to conclude that reason is an illusion, and loving reason would be loving an illusion. His book has been praised by Lawrence Krauss, among others.

The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions
by Alex Rosenberg

I see nothing wrong with a functionalist approach.

Reason is a process, not a thing. If the process of reasoning consistently gives us predictions which are verified through corroboration with things and events in the real world, then the process is useful. Being enamored of a useful process is only, well, reasonable. Smile

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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16-10-2017, 02:54 PM
RE: When You Fell In Love With Science/Reason/Rationality
Thread split. Irrelevant chatter moved to the colosseum.

Thanks,
Moms


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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16-10-2017, 08:18 PM
RE: When You Fell In Love With Science/Reason/Rationality
(10-10-2017 07:22 AM)Yonadav Kenyon Wrote:  I have always loved science, reason, and rationality. I am religious. At one time I was very disenchanted with religion largely because I believed that I had to reconcile religion with science. I now consider that to be a false dilemma. I have become completely comfortable with understanding religion through the lens of religion, and science through the lens of science. Religiously, I will accept that the year is 5778 and this is the age of the world. Scientifically, I will accept that the universe is something like 14 billion years old, that the earth formed over 4 billion years ago, and that man evolved over the course of millions of years. I don't use science to understand religion, and I don't use religion to understand science. The physical world is a place that I can poke and probe and place beneath a microscope and understand in accordance with the reason that I apply to physical things. I don't apply the same rules to my understanding of the Divine. When things in the physical realm seem to contradict my understanding of the Divine, I simply think that it is that much more marvelous-- and miraculous.

You hold two mutually exclusive beliefs about reality. That is not love of reason. Facepalm

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-10-2017, 10:38 PM
RE: When You Fell In Love With Science/Reason/Rationality
(16-10-2017 10:56 AM)Yonadav Kenyon Wrote:  
(14-10-2017 02:50 PM)SYZ Wrote:  Lastly, I'd like to ask you (or any other theists here) what sorts of answers does religion provide for the issue of catastrophic global climate change? Can, for example, the Abrahamic bible provide any guidance as to how we could solve the issue? Would your average theist claim that their religious beliefs—in their simplest form—could provide a practical solution, without the intervention of pure science? Or must they be forced to admit that religion and its holy books does not have the answers?

—And please don't tell me that prayer will work with global warming; it hasn't worked with anything else over thousands of years. Dodgy

You are presenting me with a false dilemma.
Admin note: I think I fixed this.

Yonadav Kenyon,

I was raised Reform, and I became a baal teshuva at some point in time in my past and I went all in with the long skirts, and the sleeves, and the netilat yadayim and the bentching for each meal and the marathon yontif/shabbos stretches such like we just had. Baruch Hashem, it was very enriching for me, but my family is totally secular and I was having trouble with the divide that my new lifestyle brought me, so I have settled into a kind of observant-light lifestyle. I’m that kind of Jew that eats fish out in restaurants, but no treif crosses the threshold of my home. Okay, so that’s my story.

You use a lingo that I’m not so familiar with, but that’s easily explained by you being from a different community. I really hope that's all it is, and not that you worship yushke and you're in some messianic group. Confused

Assuming that you’re not into yushke, I otherwise think you’re being legit about representing yourself. That being the case, I am 100% confident that you’re here only to have interesting conversations with people. Sure, some people will still think you're here to convert them or convince them to believe in G-d. I must admit that I wonder how much experience you have discussing religious matters with non-Jews. When I got here, I was pretty surprised to learn how little our modes of thinking have in common, and how very differently we view the world around us. The folks on this forum are really nice, but you may be in for a bit of a culture shock. Keep an open mind! They'll grow on you if you give them the chance, and for that matter, you'll grow on them if you're a straight shooter and respectful of the culture divide. We're the guests, not them, and I try to keep that in mind all the time.

My strategy of ignoring my problems until they disappear never seems to work out for me. ...I'll try to get around to dealing with that in the near future.
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17-10-2017, 12:19 AM
RE: When You Fell In Love With Science/Reason/Rationality
(10-10-2017 02:55 PM)Yonadav Kenyon Wrote:  
(10-10-2017 02:34 PM)whateverist Wrote:  Yonadav, do you believe in a literal god that exists 'out there' in the world apart from yourself? I've met a couple of very bright believers online who had no trouble separating the empirical from the religious. Unfortunately most believers seem to believe rote things in rote ways from rote sources such as the bible or koran. Do you utilize such a book and if so do you look to it for your marching orders or only for inspiration?

I am not sure how to answer your question Dr H. I'm an Orthodox Jew, so there are codes of Jewish law that I regularly 'take my marching orders' from. I routinely ask my Rabbi for instructions about Jewish law that I am not certain of. Ritual is a part of my daily life, so I do a lot of things that might seem 'rote'.

Whateverist also does things that are rote. I'll bet he stops religiously at every stop sign and red light, and he probably gives his seat on the train to anyone with a walker or a cane. I'm pretty sure most people, more or less, live comfortably in their cultures, follow the law and behave courteously to others and don't think their lifestyles are rote because they're so accustomed to going through those motions that they don't feel tedious or cumbersome to them.

My strategy of ignoring my problems until they disappear never seems to work out for me. ...I'll try to get around to dealing with that in the near future.
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17-10-2017, 07:48 AM
RE: When You Fell In Love With Science/Reason/Rationality
(16-10-2017 10:38 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(16-10-2017 10:56 AM)Yonadav Kenyon Wrote:  You are presenting me with a false dilemma.
Admin note: I think I fixed this.

Yonadav Kenyon,

I was raised Reform, and I became a baal teshuva at some point in time in my past and I went all in with the long skirts, and the sleeves, and the netilat yadayim and the bentching for each meal and the marathon yontif/shabbos stretches such like we just had. Baruch Hashem, it was very enriching for me, but my family is totally secular and I was having trouble with the divide that my new lifestyle brought me, so I have settled into a kind of observant-light lifestyle. I’m that kind of Jew that eats fish out in restaurants, but no treif crosses the threshold of my home. Okay, so that’s my story.

You use a lingo that I’m not so familiar with, but that’s easily explained by you being from a different community. I really hope that's all it is, and not that you worship yushke and you're in some messianic group. Confused

Assuming that you’re not into yushke, I otherwise think you’re being legit about representing yourself. That being the case, I am 100% confident that you’re here only to have interesting conversations with people. Sure, some people will still think you're here to convert them or convince them to believe in G-d. I must admit that I wonder how much experience you have discussing religious matters with non-Jews. When I got here, I was pretty surprised to learn how little our modes of thinking have in common, and how very differently we view the world around us. The folks on this forum are really nice, but you may be in for a bit of a culture shock. Keep an open mind! They'll grow on you if you give them the chance, and for that matter, you'll grow on them if you're a straight shooter and respectful of the culture divide. We're the guests, not them, and I try to keep that in mind all the time.

I am pleased to meet you Aliza. I am also a BT. I am not sure what lingo I used that you are not familiar with. A few years back, I started using purely English expressions to describe Jewish things after a group of secular Jews became angry at me for using Hebrew phrases and Yiddishisms that they didn't understand. I say 'codes of Jewish law' because most of the participants in these discussions don't know anything about the Shulchan Aruch, Mishneh Torah, Arbah Turim, etc. They don't know Tosefta from Tosefot.

As for your repeated concerns that I might be some sort of messianic, I live in a community where I am regarded as being beyond such suspicions. I am a frum guy who flatly rejects any sort of post mortem messianism. I even avoid Lubavitch shuls if they have a picture of the Rebbe next to the Ark.

People on the left tend to describe me as Cheredi or wannabe Cheredi. People on the right tend to describe me as a flaming liberal. I consider myself to be a centrist and sort of take pride in being shot at by both sides. Like you, my Observance has lightened up a bit over the years. I don't eat at non-kosher restaurants, not even vegetarian ones. But lately, I have been known to get up in the morning and decide that I don't feel like going to shul.

I participate in discussions like those in this forum for a couple of reasons. One is that I continuously reach out to secular people to encourage cooperation in areas that we do agree on. I am a socialist and an environmentalist. A lot of religious people are socialists and environmentalists. It makes sense for us to network with secular socialists and environmentalists. I am opposed to prayer in public schools. I am opposed to teaching creationism in public schools.

I also feel that it important to disillusion those who see religion and science through the lens of a false dichotomy. An earlier poster presented me with such a false dichotomy immediately after I posted that this sort of dichotomy is false. If I get up in the morning and my car won't start, I don't pull out a Chumash to figure out why my car won't start. I pull out the car owner's trouble shooting manual. I use religion to understand religion, and I use science to understand science. Concepts like hashgacha pratis might be running in the back of my mind, but it is the trouble shooting manual that is going to get my car running again. Most people aren't confused by this. A few religious people are, and a few atheists are. That confusion is the very definition of cognitive dissonance.

In general, I am here for civil discussion. I knew that a few people would be sort of nasty with me, and recognize that this is their forum. I have put a couple of people on ignore. But for the most part, I can put up with quite a bit of foul language and antagonistic points of view. I am certainly not here to convert anyone. People either believe or they don't believe, and there is nothing that I can do to change that.
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17-10-2017, 08:16 AM (This post was last modified: 17-10-2017 08:35 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: When You Fell In Love With Science/Reason/Rationality
(17-10-2017 07:48 AM)Yonadav Kenyon Wrote:  I also feel that it important to disillusion those who see religion and science through the lens of a false dichotomy. An earlier poster presented me with such a false dichotomy immediately after I posted that this sort of dichotomy is false. If I get up in the morning and my car won't start, I don't pull out a Chumash to figure out why my car won't start. I pull out the car owner's trouble shooting manual. I use religion to understand religion, and I use science to understand science. Concepts like hashgacha pratis might be running in the back of my mind, but it is the trouble shooting manual that is going to get my car running again. Most people aren't confused by this. A few religious people are, and a few atheists are. That confusion is the very definition of cognitive dissonance.

I would like to see you defend your assertion that the conflict between religion and science is a false dichotomy. If you maintain that religion applies to the observable world rather than just to the social world, you have a lot to explain to atheists.
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17-10-2017, 08:49 AM
RE: When You Fell In Love With Science/Reason/Rationality
(17-10-2017 08:16 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(17-10-2017 07:48 AM)Yonadav Kenyon Wrote:  I also feel that it important to disillusion those who see religion and science through the lens of a false dichotomy. An earlier poster presented me with such a false dichotomy immediately after I posted that this sort of dichotomy is false. If I get up in the morning and my car won't start, I don't pull out a Chumash to figure out why my car won't start. I pull out the car owner's trouble shooting manual. I use religion to understand religion, and I use science to understand science. Concepts like hashgacha pratis might be running in the back of my mind, but it is the trouble shooting manual that is going to get my car running again. Most people aren't confused by this. A few religious people are, and a few atheists are. That confusion is the very definition of cognitive dissonance.

I would like to see you defend your assertion that the conflict between religion and science is a false dichotomy. If you maintain that religion applies to the observable world rather than just to the social world, you have a lot to explain to atheists.

Thanks for giving me another chance here. So far, my posts have been pretty typical of posts by me in either this forum or the Amazon Discussions forum. If you feel that I am being nasty with you, please let me know. As for the false dichotomy, I already have defended it. A poster claimed that I can't love science/reason/rationality and be religious at the same time. The poster asked me to solve catastrophic global warming through religion without resorting to science. That is an obvious false dilemma.
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17-10-2017, 10:17 AM (This post was last modified: 17-10-2017 10:28 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: When You Fell In Love With Science/Reason/Rationality
(17-10-2017 08:49 AM)Yonadav Kenyon Wrote:  As for the false dichotomy, I already have defended it.

Sorry, I must have missed that.
Hobo

But I still think your statement that atheists suffer from cognitive dissonance is incorrect, because we know very well the difference between what is socially viable and what is naturally observable. You are effectively misunderstanding the nature of the atheistic challenge to the assumed compatibility between science and religion. Religious people routinely overstate the relevance of religious assumptions to the natural (non-social) world, to say the least. That is where we consider religion incompatible with science.
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17-10-2017, 10:36 AM
RE: When You Fell In Love With Science/Reason/Rationality
(16-10-2017 10:56 AM)Yonadav Kenyon Wrote:  
(14-10-2017 02:50 PM)SYZ Wrote:  And please don't tell me that prayer will work with global warming; it hasn't worked with anything else over thousands of years.

You are presenting me with a false dilemma.

Nope. No false dilemma. Either religion will fix global warming, or science will fix global warming. There's no third option.

Religion offers no solutions, and definitely cannot fix it; science definitely has the option—and hopefully the will—to fix it.

(I am however pleased to see that you agree that science trumps religion in the real world... every time.)


—And this is the "Prayer for Rain" that the National Council of Churches in Australia has requested that all member churches include prayers for rain in their services on the first day of *Advent.

"Reader: Our land is dry and barren, thirsting for life-giving rain.
All: Come, Lord Jesus.

Reader: Our hearts are dry and barren, awaiting the balm of your healing love.
All: Come, Lord Jesus.

Reader: Our lives are dry and barren, searching for purpose and meaning.
All: Come, Lord Jesus.

Reader: Lord Jesus, you give us living water to drink.
All: Lord, have mercy.

Reader: You bring light to those in darkness.
All: Lord, have mercy.

Reader: You intercede for us with the Father.
All: Lord, have mercy.

Reader: May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.

All: Amen"

* Advent: The four Sundays before Christmas—which is in the middle of the Australian summer that's long, extremely hot, and notoriously dry.


—And as a result [sic ] South-eastern Australia is experiencing one of its worst droughts since record keeping began in the mid-19th century.

If you need any evidence that the church totally lacks reason or rationale, then the above prayer proves it LOL.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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