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Posted: 18 September 2011 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Kevin Smith who is a director of the Centre of Inquiry said, in the Ottawa Citizen of August 18, 2011, “If God is real, we would have to dismiss every scientific fact. The world as we know it would not exist.”

I find difficult to understand how he could make that statement. Any religionist would simply give an example of a clock maker who makes the clock, winds it and lets it operate according to the specs he built into it.  Yes, the clock runs down eventually, but Hindus and some astrophysicists present a recurring big bang theory which solves that problem in that the clockmaker simply steps in to build another one or rewind it.

So, if any of you have a comment on what would allow Smith to make his claim, it would be interesting to hear of it.

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Posted: 26 September 2011 09:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well, I don’t know exactly what he meant However…

1.) If there was a thing that was all powerful, omnipotent and so forth it could, whenever it pleases, cause any thing to happen or not happen.

2.) Thus, everything we think we know about the natural world is just how it happens to be right now.  It could change any minute. 

3.) Science, under these circumstances, is pointless.

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Posted: 27 September 2011 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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There is a difference between science being pointless (as you say) and “the world as we know it would it would not exist” (as Smith said).

The world exists and some people are capable of operating outside of the scientific parameters that Smith insists on, so perhaps the problem is simply that it does not exist as Smith (and other Atheists) thinks it exists. It seems that Smith is so mired in his own lack of knowledge, and by his egocentricity and hubris,  that for him nothing exists beyond his level of ignorance.

From this point of view, Smith’s lack of perspective is no different from the self-absorbed people whose conceit forced them to think that the earth was the center of the universe in the same way as they considered themselves to be the center of their world.

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Posted: 27 September 2011 01:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I think the “as we know it” bit is the key here.  He was likely speaking of the natural world and we know what we know about the natural world through science.

Now, if we undertand to the world to mean something else, or include the supernatural along with the natural then science isn’t enough.

I guess the question would be what do you mean by “the world” and if you do include the supernatural what method would you suggest we use to attain knowledge of it?

Also, I don’t think people who thought they knew the earth was the center of the universe were conceited, I think if you posed the question: What if some new information came to light that refuted this model?  They would say they would abandon it.

[ Edited: 27 September 2011 01:27 PM by Smiledriver ]
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Posted: 28 September 2011 05:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Those who thought the earth was the center of the universe did so because of their self-absorption. They were so important to themselves that they believed they must be center of the universe and they believed their thoughts could not be wrong because those thoughts were theirs.

There is more to the world than the “natural world”. Your qualifier of “natural” demonstrates that. Science has shown that space and time are artificial constructs. The trick is to learn how to move beyond those self-imposed artificial constructs. It is essentially a figure/ground problem. Some science doggedly looks at the “figure”, applying measurement and description (both of which are located in space and time). Other aspects of science seek to move beyond those limits and come to know the “ground” from which the “figure” arose. In addition, some of the world’s religions have long known how to focus on the “ground” instead of the “figure” and they have outlined the methods for doing that. It is up to the individual to apply the methods and overcome his/her addiction to space/time notions.

Instead of using the word “supernatural” why not use “metanatural” to avoid the connotations associated with the former?

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Posted: 28 September 2011 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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factfinder - 28 September 2011 05:38 AM

Those who thought the earth was the center of the universe did so because of their self-absorption. They were so important to themselves that they believed they must be center of the universe and they believed their thoughts could not be wrong because those thoughts were theirs.

There is more to the world than the “natural world”. Your qualifier of “natural” demonstrates that. Science has shown that space and time are artificial constructs. The trick is to learn how to move beyond those self-imposed artificial constructs. It is essentially a figure/ground problem. Some science doggedly looks at the “figure”, applying measurement and description (both of which are located in space and time). Other aspects of science seek to move beyond those limits and come to know the “ground” from which the “figure” arose. In addition, some of the world’s religions have long known how to focus on the “ground” instead of the “figure” and they have outlined the methods for doing that. It is up to the individual to apply the methods and overcome his/her addiction to space/time notions.

Instead of using the word “supernatural” why not use “metanatural” to avoid the connotations associated with the former?


How do you know the state of mind of all people who believed the Earth to be the centre of the solar system?

I suggested the qualifier to explain what I thought Kevin might have meant.  I don’t know what he meant.

We can use whatever term you please, metanatural if you like.

However, I have to ask how does your method establish or has it ever estabished anything we can know about the metanatural?  You seem only to say that there is this method on offer and we need to adopt a certain state of mind to use it.

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Posted: 28 September 2011 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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“there is this method on offer and we need to adopt a certain state of mind to use it. “

Close. One needs to change the restrictive state of mind which most people operate in order to know what reality is and is not.

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Posted: 15 October 2011 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Probably would be best to first link to the full article.

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Posted: 17 October 2011 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Close. One needs to change the restrictive state of mind which most people operate in order to know what reality is and is not.

Reality is that which persists in still being there…in your face…even if you refuse to believe it.

State of mind has nothing to do with it.

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Posted: 17 October 2011 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 17 October 2011 10:07 AM

Close. One needs to change the restrictive state of mind which most people operate in order to know what reality is and is not.

Reality is that which persists in still being there…in your face…even if you refuse to believe it.

State of mind has nothing to do with it.

State of mind has everything to do with it. Have you not heard of figure/ground puzzles?

Also, two people can be in the same situation but one of them will consider it positive while the other will consider it negative.

People see and experience what they expect to see or experience.

There are records of aboriginals being unable to see the ship of Christopher Columbus even though it was right in front of them because they had not experienced anything like it before and so could not conceive of anything like it despite its reality.

Take you for example, your mind will not admit that which it is not prepared to admit. Because of such negativity, your mind denies all that you do not agree with - despite the reality of what you reject. But, as all logicians know - denial is not refutation.

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Posted: 18 October 2011 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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State of mind has everything to do with it.

No it doesn’t. You’re confusing subjective opinion for the objective. Just because you can’t understand a reality which is right in front of you doesn’t make it any less real. Just because you can’t “see” something which is in fact there doesn’t make it any less real.

If you wish to test this, by all means, jump onto a railroad track at the nearest crossing and convince yourself that the reality of train hurtling towards you is merely a state of mind.

Before attempting this, be sure to do the following:

a) Make sure your affairs are in order.

b) Make sure your will is up to date and

c) Make sure we have the address of your next of kin or legal agent so we can present them with your coveted Darwin Award. You won’t be available to accept it.

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Posted: 18 October 2011 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 18 October 2011 09:25 AM

State of mind has everything to do with it.

No it doesn’t. You’re confusing subjective opinion for the objective. Just because you can’t understand a reality which is right in front of you doesn’t make it any less real. Just because you can’t “see” something which is in fact there doesn’t make it any less real.

If you wish to test this, by all means, jump onto a railroad track at the nearest crossing and convince yourself that the reality of train hurtling towards you is merely a state of mind.

Before attempting this, be sure to do the following:

a) Make sure your affairs are in order.

b) Make sure your will is up to date and

c) Make sure we have the address of your next of kin or legal agent so we can present them with your coveted Darwin Award. You won’t be available to accept it.

Oh, please, not that old canard. It depends on the logical fallacy of circularity.

If parroting of inane spewings attempting to pass for logic is all that you have, then I feel sorry for you.

By the way, your comment, “Just because you can’t “see” something which is in fact there doesn’t make it any less real.” is exactly what relgionists point out to Atheists when the topics of God or spirituality arise. Excuse me for not recognizing you as a religionist.

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Posted: 18 October 2011 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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factfinder - 28 September 2011 05:38 AM

Those who thought the earth was the center of the universe did so because of their self-absorption. They were so important to themselves that they believed they must be center of the universe and they believed their thoughts could not be wrong because those thoughts were theirs.

I agree that this is a preposterous proposition. Perhaps some of them thought so because they were self-absorbed. But ALL of them who ever lived?

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Posted: 18 October 2011 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 18 October 2011 04:18 PM
factfinder - 28 September 2011 05:38 AM

Those who thought the earth was the center of the universe did so because of their self-absorption. They were so important to themselves that they believed they must be center of the universe and they believed their thoughts could not be wrong because those thoughts were theirs.

I agree that this is a preposterous proposition. Perhaps some of them thought so because they were self-absorbed. But ALL of them who ever lived?

Yes.

It is important to recognize that the majority did not think this.

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Posted: 18 October 2011 06:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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factfinder - 18 October 2011 05:53 PM
TromboneAndrew - 18 October 2011 04:18 PM
factfinder - 28 September 2011 05:38 AM

Those who thought the earth was the center of the universe did so because of their self-absorption. They were so important to themselves that they believed they must be center of the universe and they believed their thoughts could not be wrong because those thoughts were theirs.

I agree that this is a preposterous proposition. Perhaps some of them thought so because they were self-absorbed. But ALL of them who ever lived?

Yes.

Oh really? You interviewed them?

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Posted: 18 October 2011 07:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Oh, please, not that old canard. It depends on the logical fallacy of circularity.

No it doesn’t. It’s a way of testing your decidedly New Age notion that “State of mind has everything to do with it.”

Reality most definately is not a matter of state of mind and never was. To presume otherwise is the worst sort of arrogance beaten only by the silly posturing of theology.

Go ahead. Test it. Jump onto the railroad tracks and convince yourself that the locomotive which is barreling down on you is simply a state of mind.

Make yer peace before you attempt this.

By the way, your comment, “Just because you can’t “see” something which is in fact there doesn’t make it any less real.” is exactly what relgionists point out to Atheists when the topics of God or spirituality arise. Excuse me for not recognizing you as a religionist.

Wrong again. The arguement religionists use is the evidence of lack is not evidence of lack, which is a variation of the arguement from ignorance fallacy.

What I’m pointing to is what can be demonstrated to actually being there. Earlier you stated “There are records of aboriginals being unable to see the ship of Christopher Columbus even though it was right in front of them because they had not experienced anything like it before and so could not conceive of anything like it despite its reality.”

Well guess what, the ships were still there!!!!

State of mind was and remains irrelevant to that core reality. Whether or not the aboriginals could conceive of it is equally irrelevant to that reality.

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