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“Evil” does not exist?
Posted: 26 August 2013 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 316 ]
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PLaClair - 26 August 2013 02:52 AM

Well, there goes LilySmith again, with a patently dishonest answer. The statement invited this forum’s resident theists to compare the contributions made by the respective methods, science and theology. LilySmith completely changed the statement and commented on that.

At best, brmckay ignored the question, then openly missed its point.

If you’d like to try again, you two, the statement, verbatim, is: “Because in the thousands of years of human history, theistic belief has not contributed one speck of knowledge or produced even one advance in science.” It is a true statement. Scientific methods have contributed vast amounts of new knowledge. Theistic belief, and its methods, have not contributed anything. Face the question head-on, if you can bear the light, and address it.


Changing the statement and commenting on that is a perfect example of a strawman argument. It’s always easier to argue against the straw man than the original challenge. Strawmen never have a word to say.

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Posted: 26 August 2013 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 317 ]
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brmckay - 26 August 2013 12:43 PM

When I asked how old science was (setting aside the nuance of association included),  what answer have you provided?  Perhaps if you see science in the mix of inquiry from the beginning of our species, or even as a universal absolute,  then I might reconsider the merit of you statement.  We have been, and remain a species with Theistic and Logistical tendencies.  We are the species that wonders why and how we exist.  This is the very root of the scientific method.  Science has not replaced God.  God sustains the possibility of science.

I think maybe that science, as you represent it, remains “half baked”.

I’ve addressed wonder. I’ve addressed why LilySmith is not informed. I’ve described my premises and discussed the meaning of proof. I provided the link to answer how old science it. Most of this was done on other threads.

LilySmith doesn’t stay on the topics as much as I’d like, so it is hard to pin her down. I’m sure she thinks she is, but talking about hospitals and early universities and using the Bible to teach reading is an evasive maneuver that I am familiar with. Why not teach reading of all ancient scripture to teach reading and let children figure it out for themselves? The answer to that is fairly obvious.

That’s why I started the “Does religion lead or follow” thread.

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Posted: 27 August 2013 04:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 318 ]
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brmckay - 26 August 2013 12:43 PM

PlaClair - Well, there goes LilySmith again, with a patently dishonest answer. The statement invited this forum’s resident theists to compare the contributions made by the respective methods, science and theology. LilySmith completely changed the statement and commented on that.

LilySmith gave a perfectly reasonable and informed answer to a myopic assertion on your part.

No, she didn’t give an honest answer. She changed the subject, as others besides me have pointed out.

brmckay - 26 August 2013 12:43 PM

Aren’t you the one who is suppose to defend your own premiss?

When I asked how old science was (setting aside the nuance of association included),  what answer have you provided?  Perhaps if you see science in the mix of inquiry from the beginning of our species, or even as a universal absolute,  then I might reconsider the merit of you statement.  We have been, and remain a species with Theistic and Logistical tendencies.  We are the species that wonders why and how we exist.  This is the very root of the scientific method.  Science has not replaced God.  God sustains the possibility of science.

I think maybe that science, as you represent it, remains “half baked”.

Intellectual historians could have a healthy debate about when science begins. Most scholars in the field would say that modern science is about 500 years old, or less. So what? The point, which you continue to ignore, is that all our progress in better understanding nature has come from science; not a speck of it has come from theology. You can say “God sustains the possibility of science” all you like. Those are just words that don’t relate to any observable reality. The fact is that more and more scientists are atheists than ever before. Scientists do not need to believe in a god to do great science. That is not just a string of words but a proven fact.

Of course science is half-baked. It is a work in progress. But again, the point is that it continues to make progress, and was making progress even before it became what we might now call modern science. Again, my point has to do with fact claims. Theology and theism have no contribution to make in that field at all. The proof of that is that in the thousands of years of their history, they have not made any contribution at all. What they’ve done to the intellectual course of civilization is a broader discussion - we can have that discussion, too, but it is a separate point.

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Posted: 27 August 2013 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 319 ]
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Lausten - 26 August 2013 01:08 PM
brmckay - 26 August 2013 12:43 PM

When I asked how old science was (setting aside the nuance of association included),  what answer have you provided?  Perhaps if you see science in the mix of inquiry from the beginning of our species, or even as a universal absolute,  then I might reconsider the merit of you statement.  We have been, and remain a species with Theistic and Logistical tendencies.  We are the species that wonders why and how we exist.  This is the very root of the scientific method.  Science has not replaced God.  God sustains the possibility of science.

I think maybe that science, as you represent it, remains “half baked”.

I’ve addressed wonder. I’ve addressed why LilySmith is not informed. I’ve described my premises and discussed the meaning of proof. I provided the link to answer how old science it. Most of this was done on other threads.

LilySmith doesn’t stay on the topics as much as I’d like, so it is hard to pin her down. I’m sure she thinks she is, but talking about hospitals and early universities and using the Bible to teach reading is an evasive maneuver that I am familiar with. Why not teach reading of all ancient scripture to teach reading and let children figure it out for themselves? The answer to that is fairly obvious.

That’s why I started the “Does religion lead or follow” thread.

I was responding to PlaClair.  This does get confusing at times.

I just now took a look at the excellent wikipedia article on the history of science.  Thank you for the reference.  I was pleased to see that my adhoc “off the top of my head” recitation of scientific knowledge contributed in theological context, was not negated.  And, though the context of LilySmith’s examples were perhaps more specific to Christian contributions, they were in the same spirit as mine.  We answered PlaClairs challenge according to our understanding of the issue.  Insisting on a “wholistic” and “balanced” adjustment to an “absurd” statement is not setting up a “strawman” to knock down.

Neither LilySmith or myself is denying the value of empiricism.  It is an essential capacity of the human being.

There is a valid competition between the rational and intuitive (used here in a broad sense).  Wisdom is found in surfing the balance between these capacities.  Neither must be allowed to win “the war”.  War is stupid.

Yes, our schools, (at least the public ones), should teach about religious expression, it’s history, psychology, and cultural value.  This, alongside, science.

The pressure of any religion to dominate a culture is a political and temporal phenomena.  It may or may not serve the common good. It’s value is limited by it’s relative fidelity to Truth.  Either way. It does not represent, other than metaphorically, the nature of God.

The strict objectivity of the scientific method is an essential discipline of a technique of inquiry.  The knowledge that results is limited by it’s relative fidelity to Truth.  It can not represent, in absolute terms, the nature of God.

The common denominator of all phenomena is the nature of God.  A fitting subject of enquiry. Both by religion and by science. At the individual level this translates to a balanced engagement with rational and intuitive mind, in purposeful quest for Truth.

[ Edited: 27 August 2013 08:50 AM by brmckay ]
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Posted: 27 August 2013 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 320 ]
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brmckay - 27 August 2013 08:39 AM

Yes, our schools, (at least the public ones), should teach about religious expression, it’s history, psychology, and cultural value.  This, alongside, science.

The pressure of any religion to dominate a culture is a political and temporal phenomena.  It may or may not serve the common good. It’s value is limited by it’s relative fidelity to Truth.  Either way. It does not represent, other than metaphorically, the nature of God.

It is unlikely you will see religious history taught in the US High schools anytime soon. In the UK, it has been shown that when children are taught many belief systems, they realize that no single one can be correct.

I appreciate that you acknowledge the pressure of religion to dominate, and that religion is only a metaphor. We disagree that it is a metaphor for something that really exists. It is a metaphor for an idea, at best.

The problem is, those here that are arguing against you are arguing against what religion really is. There aren’t any real churches that talk about metaphors every Sunday, and only a few that say they are only approaching God. Even those still say God is real and say they are on the right path toward it and you should follow them. If you want to convert churches into admitting they are metaphors, please get on with that, and leave us alone.

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Posted: 27 August 2013 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 321 ]
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Lausten - 27 August 2013 09:26 AM
brmckay - 27 August 2013 08:39 AM

Yes, our schools, (at least the public ones), should teach about religious expression, it’s history, psychology, and cultural value.  This, alongside, science.

The pressure of any religion to dominate a culture is a political and temporal phenomena.  It may or may not serve the common good. It’s value is limited by it’s relative fidelity to Truth.  Either way. It does not represent, other than metaphorically, the nature of God.

It is unlikely you will see religious history taught in the US High schools anytime soon. In the UK, it has been shown that when children are taught many belief systems, they realize that no single one can be correct.

I appreciate that you acknowledge the pressure of religion to dominate, and that religion is only a metaphor. We disagree that it is a metaphor for something that really exists. It is a metaphor for an idea, at best.

The problem is, those here that are arguing against you are arguing against what religion really is. There aren’t any real churches that talk about metaphors every Sunday, and only a few that say they are only approaching God. Even those still say God is real and say they are on the right path toward it and you should follow them. If you want to convert churches into admitting they are metaphors, please get on with that, and leave us alone.

Several thoughts about this:

Skilled teachers are hard enough to find in mathematics.  I’m sure it is at least as hard to find teachers who can cultivate “intuitive” thinking.

Just to be clear, I do not consider metaphor and the intuitive capacity, any less integral for comprehension of existence than the tools of reason. This includes mathematics. 

As mathematics gives us an abstraction of certain aspects of nature, so too, metaphor.  This is apparent in the language of dreams, myth, religion, and the cause and effect of karma.

Understanding the above paragraph, requires a paradigm shift.  The ability to make that shift, when it rings true, is what I call “Free Thinking”.

But…

I conclude from your statements, that you do not believe that God is real. Period. This is different than wanting people to understand, that their metaphors are by nature imperfect representations of God.

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Posted: 27 August 2013 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 322 ]
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brmckay - 27 August 2013 03:36 PM

Just to be clear, I do not consider metaphor and the intuitive capacity, any less integral for comprehension of existence than the tools of reason. This includes mathematics. 

As mathematics gives us an abstraction of certain aspects of nature, so too, metaphor.  This is apparent in the language of dreams, myth, religion, and the cause and effect of karma.

Understanding the above paragraph, requires a paradigm shift.  The ability to make that shift, when it rings true, is what I call “Free Thinking”.

And how has metaphor helped us understand the universe? Mathematics led to Newton’s Law, Electromagnetism, Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, modern electronics, GPS navigation systems, MRI machines, etc. Metaphor has led to…?

The cause and effect of karma is myth.

Tyr Critical Thinking on for size. It might fit.

Edit: corrected grammar.

[ Edited: 27 August 2013 05:31 PM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 27 August 2013 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 323 ]
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PlaClair - The point, which you continue to ignore, is that all our progress in better understanding nature has come from science; not a speck of it has come from theology. You can say “God sustains the possibility of science” all you like. Those are just words that don’t relate to any observable reality. The fact is that more and more scientists are atheists than ever before. Scientists do not need to believe in a god to do great science. That is not just a string of words but a proven fact.

I have not ignored your point, I’m only holding it to a more honest standard than you seem capable of.

To me, your fixation on “observable reality”, indicates a major lapse in reason. The, separating of science from philosophy/theology, an autistic artifice.  Not to be taken seriously.

[ Edited: 27 August 2013 04:09 PM by brmckay ]
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Posted: 27 August 2013 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 324 ]
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brmckay - 27 August 2013 04:07 PM

PlaClair - The point, which you continue to ignore, is that all our progress in better understanding nature has come from science; not a speck of it has come from theology. You can say “God sustains the possibility of science” all you like. Those are just words that don’t relate to any observable reality. The fact is that more and more scientists are atheists than ever before. Scientists do not need to believe in a god to do great science. That is not just a string of words but a proven fact.

I have not ignored your point, I’m only holding it to a more honest standard than you seem capable of.

Well, then, perhaps I missed it. If you would be so kind, please point me to the post(s) - and if you like, the specific language - where you addressed that issue. And if you think you can bring yourself down close enough to my level that I can understand you, you might also elaborate on your statement. Because as I say, if you addressed the point, then I missed it.

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Posted: 27 August 2013 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 325 ]
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brmckay - 27 August 2013 03:36 PM

As mathematics gives us an abstraction of certain aspects of nature, so too, metaphor.  This is apparent in the language of dreams, myth, religion, and the cause and effect of karma.

Understanding the above paragraph, requires a paradigm shift.  The ability to make that shift, when it rings true, is what I call “Free Thinking”.

brmckay, please stay off forum while you are under the affects of psychedelics.

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Posted: 28 August 2013 08:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 326 ]
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I had planned to apologize first thing this morning.  Now I realize that my rudeness is something I’m picking up vicariously.

My thought even before the delightfully thoughtful feedback, was that it’s time to wrap it up.  There is obviously not much left that I can say.  Having tried many angles for the sake of triangulation.  This isn’t working.

Summary:

The Entirety is real.  Pretending it isn’t, is just that.

The Entirety is either “Self Aware” or it isn’t.  If it isn’t, what then is the scope of awareness?

Adios.

[ Edited: 28 August 2013 08:53 AM by brmckay ]
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Posted: 28 August 2013 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 327 ]
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In Bertrand Russell’s chapter on Rousseau in History of Western Philosophy, he says Rousseau led the movement from arguing reasons for God’s existence to claiming that God is something that each of us can feel. Whether or not he is historically correct, his analysis of the change is interesting.

The rejection of reason in favour of the heart was not, to my mind, an advance. In fact, no one thought of this device so long as reason appeared to be on the side of religious belief. In Rousseau’s environment, reason, as represented by Voltaire, was opposed to religion, therefore away with reason!

He continues with a discussion of Rousseau’s “The Confession of Faith of a Savyard Vicar”. This passage ends with a statement of why many atheists prefer to grapple with the ontological or cosmological arguments rather the frustrating discussions of the heart.

Natural religion, as the Vicar calls his doctrine, has no need of a revelation; if men had listened to what God says to the heart, there would have been only one religion in the world. If God has revealed Himself specially to certain men, this can only be known by human testimony, which is fallible. Natural religion has the advantage of being revealed directly to each individual.

Apart from the fictitious character of Rousseau’s “natural man,” there are two objections to the practice of basing beliefs as to objective fact upon the emotions of the heart. One is that there is no reason whatever to suppose that such beliefs will be true; the other is, that the resulting beliefs will be private, since the heart says different things to different people. Some savages are persuaded by the “natural light” that it is their duty to eat people, and even Voltaire’s savages, who are led by the voice of reason to hold that one
should only eat Jesuits, are not wholly satisfactory. To Buddhist, the light of nature does not reveal the existence of God, but does proclaim that it is wrong to eat the flesh of animals. But even if the heart said the same thing to all men, that could afford no evidence for the existence of anything outside our own emotions. However ardently I, or all mankind, may desire something, however necessary it may be to human happiness, that is no ground for supposing this something to exist. There is no law of nature guaranteeing that mankind should be happy. Everybody can see that this is true of our life here on earth, but by a curious twist our very sufferings in this life are made into an argument for a better life hereafter. We should not employ such an argument in any
other connection. If you had bought ten dozen eggs from a man, and the first dozen were all rotten, you would not infer that the remaining nine dozen must be of surpassing excellence; yet that is the kind of reasoning that “the heart” encourages as a consolation for our sufferings here below.

For my part, I prefer the ontological argument, the cosmological argument, and the rest of the old stock-in-trade, to the sentimental illogicality that has sprung from Rousseau. The old arguments at least were honest: if valid, they proved their point; if invalid, it was open to any critic to prove them so. But the new theology of the heart dispenses with argument; it cannot be refuted, because it does not profess to prove its points. At bottom, the only reason offered for its acceptance is that it allows us to indulge in pleasant dreams. This is an unworthy reason, and if I had to choose between Thomas Aquinas and Rousseau, I should unhesitatingly choose the Saint.

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Posted: 28 August 2013 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 328 ]
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[It is unlikely you will see religious history taught in the US High schools anytime soon. In the UK, it has been shown that when children are taught many belief systems, they realize that no single one can be correct.

/quote]

Not exactly true; Many social studies teachers have the opportunity to introduce comparative religions within the subject, e.g. World History. Not only does a teacher have the chance to outline the belief system but the history of the religion as well and not just the Abrahamic beliefs. We can include all of the major religions from Islam to Shintoism and even animism. The difficulty lay with students contrasting their beliefs with other doctrines and teachers must steer clear of personal bias. So, it depends on how the material is presented. Atheist teachers have no difficulty with that as we view all religions equally, so presenting the history and doctrines objectively pose no problem. Now on to the science department and that pesky evolution problem that keeps popping up.


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Posted: 28 August 2013 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 329 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 28 August 2013 11:03 AM

[It is unlikely you will see religious history taught in the US High schools anytime soon. In the UK, it has been shown that when children are taught many belief systems, they realize that no single one can be correct.

/quote]

Not exactly true;

Cap’t Jack

I didn’t say it couldn’t be done legally. I said it was unlikely, given the backlash that would come from parents. Maybe I’m paranoid, but that’s what I’ve heard.

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Posted: 28 August 2013 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 330 ]
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I didn’t say it couldn’t be done legally. I said it was unlikely, given the backlash that would come from parents. Maybe I’m paranoid, but that’s what I’ve heard.


Heard from whom? Most parents are barely aware of the curriculum in their local school systems. By the time their children hit the 9th grade most parents lose interest with the exception of extracurricular activities. Unless a parent or parents mounts a campaign against teaching evolution or, dare I mention it, SEX they don’t give a kitty. That’s why teaching about religions within the context of a particular country raises no eyebrows. Now If I had championed a particular belief over xtianity the red flags (or should I say crosses) would go up all over the village. But I don’t for obvious reasons. And remember that this only holds true in public education. Parochial schools obviously get a pass.


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