Science and religion
Posted: 04 January 2007 12:28 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hey DJ,
As this is my first post, let me congratulate you on the "good work". I just want to bring to your notice a small misunderstanding in your last podcast…. Dawkins believes ( as do I) that science does not address questions about the "supernatural" (or the conventional god).......not that science cannot address the question of religion itself. I presume he leaves the question of religion to be addressed by sciobiologists, as Dennett would desire.

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Posted: 04 January 2007 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Re: Science and religion

[quote author=“revolven”]Dawkins believes ( as do I) that science does not address questions about the “supernatural” (or the conventional god).......not that science cannot address the question of religion itself. I presume he leaves the question of religion to be addressed by sciobiologists, as Dennett would desire.

Welcome, revolven. I’m not sure that Dawkins believes science can’t address questions about the supernatural or a conventional god. Indeed, he believes that scientific data (including, in particular, the revolution in evolutionary biology) makes the existence of god extremely improbable. I believe he would say very similar things about other aspects of the supernatural quite generally: i.e. that the results of science makes their existence highly improbable.

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Doug

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Posted: 09 January 2007 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Now that I’ve actually listened to the show, I understand what you were after, revolven. Hoffmann fortunately made (most of) the point you wanted to make: that is, that Dawkins believes that theology is vacuous. There is no god, hence there is no legitimate study of god per se.

But yes, Dawkins also does believe that there is a legitimate study of religion, indeed in precisely the sense that people like Hoffmann study it: as a human phenomenon. (It could be studied by careful historians, sociobiologists, neurologists, anthropologists, etc.) And within that study, you can, of course, also study god as a human phenomenon. But you don’t need theology to do that.

Dennett is much in agreement, I believe.

So, good catch.

(I should add that I do believe there is room for a wholly theoretical study of theology within the context of philosophy: that is, as a “what if” kind of metaphysics. It can, of course, also be studied as part of the history of philosophy; many theological arguments are actually very interesting and worth study).

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Posted: 09 January 2007 11:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Re: Science and religion

[quote author=“revolven”]Hey DJ,
As this is my first post, let me congratulate you on the “good work”. I just want to bring to your notice a small misunderstanding in your last podcast…. Dawkins believes ( as do I) that science does not address questions about the “supernatural” (or the conventional god).......not that science cannot address the question of religion itself. I presume he leaves the question of religion to be addressed by sciobiologists, as Dennett would desire.

I think I recall in one of Dawkin’s first appearances on POI, he said in response to something DJ asked about science getting into religion’s territory “But does religion even really have a territory.”

I think thats what DJ was getting at with Hoffmann.

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Thomas Donnelly
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