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Science of Peace
Posted: 27 January 2016 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Ever since I saw Majid Nawaz go at with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the BBC, I’ve been thinking about this “religion of peace” thing. It’s really a malformed question. What does “of peace” mean? George W Bush said he preferred peace. Reagan called his 5 head nuclear bomb the “peacekeeper”. People have some weird ideas about peace.

There are a few religions that are considered peaceful, like Buddhism. There are Buddhist armies, but they are pretty rare. But if you read books where people are allowed to spend some time with the Dalai Lama, or you see the movie “10 questions for the Dalai Lama”, he understands that self-defense is sometimes necessary.

I think everyone gets that. It’s why the US changed the Dept of War to the Dept of Defense, it sounds better. We’re not conquering people so we can set up McDonald’s there, we’re defending freedom, right? I go to bed safely each night because there are people out there willing to do horrible things to others to ensure that safety. Are there any nations that are truly “peaceful”?

One question I don’t hear is, “is science a science of peace?” There aren’t denominations of science so it’s hard to form the question. And a science “of”, say the science nuclear energy, can be used for peace or war. But a reasonable person understands that how something is used is different than what it is. Einstein wrote to his president and warned him of the dangers of nuclear weapons. He could have just made one and tried to take over the world.

If you say Islamic verses cause Muslims to be violent, you’re called prejudice. If you say most Muslims are peaceful you’re called naïve or PC. The problem as I see it is we don’t apply the scientific form of observation, a peaceful and neutral means, to all of this.

There are times when violence is necessary. The world has shown agreement on when that is throughout history, and then consistently broke those agreements. But peace doesn’t come from treaties and edicts, it comes from people demanding it. It comes when people stop fighting over the crumbs realize why they only get crumbs. Violent overthrows happen when there is a great disparity in wealth. I’m not sure we can afford to have it happen that way this time around.

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Posted: 27 January 2016 01:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Lausten - 27 January 2016 09:59 AM

Ever since I saw Majid Nawaz go at with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the BBC, I’ve been thinking about this “religion of peace” thing. It’s really a malformed question. What does “of peace” mean? George W Bush said he preferred peace. Reagan called his 5 head nuclear bomb the “peacekeeper”. People have some weird ideas about peace.

There are a few religions that are considered peaceful, like Buddhism. There are Buddhist armies, but they are pretty rare. But if you read books where people are allowed to spend some time with the Dalai Lama, or you see the movie “10 questions for the Dalai Lama”, he understands that self-defense is sometimes necessary.

I think everyone gets that. It’s why the US changed the Dept of War to the Dept of Defense, it sounds better. We’re not conquering people so we can set up McDonald’s there, we’re defending freedom, right? I go to bed safely each night because there are people out there willing to do horrible things to others to ensure that safety. Are there any nations that are truly “peaceful”?

One question I don’t hear is, “is science a science of peace?” There aren’t denominations of science so it’s hard to form the question. And a science “of”, say the science nuclear energy, can be used for peace or war. But a reasonable person understands that how something is used is different than what it is. Einstein wrote to his president and warned him of the dangers of nuclear weapons. He could have just made one and tried to take over the world.

If you say Islamic verses cause Muslims to be violent, you’re called prejudice. If you say most Muslims are peaceful you’re called naïve or PC. The problem as I see it is we don’t apply the scientific form of observation, a peaceful and neutral means, to all of this.

There are times when violence is necessary. The world has shown agreement on when that is throughout history, and then consistently broke those agreements. But peace doesn’t come from treaties and edicts, it comes from people demanding it. It comes when people stop fighting over the crumbs realize why they only get crumbs. Violent overthrows happen when there is a great disparity in wealth. I’m not sure we can afford to have it happen that way this time around.

We can’t but we will.

Lois

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Posted: 27 January 2016 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Lausten - 27 January 2016 09:59 AM

Ever since I saw Majid Nawaz go at with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the BBC, I’ve been thinking about this “religion of peace” thing. It’s really a malformed question. What does “of peace” mean? George W Bush said he preferred peace. Reagan called his 5 head nuclear bomb the “peacekeeper”. People have some weird ideas about peace.

There are a few religions that are considered peaceful, like Buddhism. There are Buddhist armies, but they are pretty rare. But if you read books where people are allowed to spend some time with the Dalai Lama, or you see the movie “10 questions for the Dalai Lama”, he understands that self-defense is sometimes necessary.

I think everyone gets that. It’s why the US changed the Dept of War to the Dept of Defense, it sounds better. We’re not conquering people so we can set up McDonald’s there, we’re defending freedom, right? I go to bed safely each night because there are people out there willing to do horrible things to others to ensure that safety. Are there any nations that are truly “peaceful”?

One question I don’t hear is, “is science a science of peace?” There aren’t denominations of science so it’s hard to form the question. And a science “of”, say the science nuclear energy, can be used for peace or war. But a reasonable person understands that how something is used is different than what it is. Einstein wrote to his president and warned him of the dangers of nuclear weapons. He could have just made one and tried to take over the world.

If you say Islamic verses cause Muslims to be violent, you’re called prejudice. If you say most Muslims are peaceful you’re called naïve or PC. The problem as I see it is we don’t apply the scientific form of observation, a peaceful and neutral means, to all of this.

There are times when violence is necessary. The world has shown agreement on when that is throughout history, and then consistently broke those agreements. But peace doesn’t come from treaties and edicts, it comes from people demanding it. It comes when people stop fighting over the crumbs realize why they only get crumbs. Violent overthrows happen when there is a great disparity in wealth. I’m not sure we can afford to have it happen that way this time around.

(responding only to the part of your comments that I bolded above)

The question “Is science a science of peace?” is not analogous to the question “Is Islam (or Christianity or Judaism) a religion of peace?”

(It would also not make sense to ask “Is religion a religion of peace?”)

Re: science, an analogous question might be “Is nuclear science (or biology, or geology, or anthropology, etc.) a science of peace?”

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Posted: 27 January 2016 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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TimB - 27 January 2016 02:11 PM

(responding only to the part of your comments that I bolded above)

The question “Is science a science of peace?” is not analogous to the question “Is Islam (or Christianity or Judaism) a religion of peace?”

(It would also not make sense to ask “Is religion a religion of peace?”)

Re: science, an analogous question might be “Is nuclear science (or biology, or geology, or anthropology, etc.) a science of peace?”

I respond to that with the analogy of the rest of that paragraph. Science doesn’t have sects because you don’t argue about what science is and break off and make a new division and call it something. You refine the scientific method, you build on the previous generations, or it’s pseudo-science or not science. This is not an impenetrable wall or pedestal that science sits on, it’s because science is open to criticism, as long as you present that criticism with reason and logic.

I could have been more clear about that.

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Posted: 27 January 2016 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Lausten - 27 January 2016 09:59 AM

Ever since I saw Majid Nawaz go at with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the BBC, I’ve been thinking about this “religion of peace” thing. It’s really a malformed question. What does “of peace” mean? George W Bush said he preferred peace. Reagan called his 5 head nuclear bomb the “peacekeeper”. People have some weird ideas about peace.

There are a few religions that are considered peaceful, like Buddhism. There are Buddhist armies, but they are pretty rare. But if you read books where people are allowed to spend some time with the Dalai Lama, or you see the movie “10 questions for the Dalai Lama”, he understands that self-defense is sometimes necessary.

I think everyone gets that. It’s why the US changed the Dept of War to the Dept of Defense, it sounds better. We’re not conquering people so we can set up McDonald’s there, we’re defending freedom, right? I go to bed safely each night because there are people out there willing to do horrible things to others to ensure that safety. Are there any nations that are truly “peaceful”?

One question I don’t hear is, “is science a science of peace?” There aren’t denominations of science so it’s hard to form the question. And a science “of”, say the science nuclear energy, can be used for peace or war. But a reasonable person understands that how something is used is different than what it is. Einstein wrote to his president and warned him of the dangers of nuclear weapons. He could have just made one and tried to take over the world.

If you say Islamic verses cause Muslims to be violent, you’re called prejudice. If you say most Muslims are peaceful you’re called naïve or PC. The problem as I see it is we don’t apply the scientific form of observation, a peaceful and neutral means, to all of this.

There are times when violence is necessary. The world has shown agreement on when that is throughout history, and then consistently broke those agreements. But peace doesn’t come from treaties and edicts, it comes from people demanding it. It comes when people stop fighting over the crumbs realize why they only get crumbs. Violent overthrows happen when there is a great disparity in wealth. I’m not sure we can afford to have it happen that way this time around.

Really appreciate what you have written. I’m thinking of spreading the spirit of your post in my blog.

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Posted: 27 January 2016 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I am not sure that in actuality, the sciences don’t sometimes break off into what one might refer to as sects.  But I don’t want to nitpick your larger point that the scientific method is a superior method for the good of mankind, than is reliance for “knowledge” on the dogma of religion and the various ways those dogmas can be interpreted, often toward dysfunctional ends.

And, I share, I think, your consternation over the question, oft presented, “Is (fill in the blank) a religion of peace?”.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 27 January 2016 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Here’s a quick rewrite of that section. I think part of the problem with the OP is that I mixed the idea of “science is peaceful” with a diatribe against this “religion of peace” thing. I’d like to get both of those down to much shorter statements, but I always end up wanting to provide the entire history of Western civilization in everything I say.


One question I don’t hear is, “is science a science of peace?” The question can’t be formed to match the religion question since there are no sects of science. Groups haven’t splintered off and become competing entities to our scientific institutions. Those institutions are open to criticism and accept feedback, as long as it is presented with reason and logic. You change the scientific understanding of things by contributing to science, not by breaking away from it. There are “noetic” sciences and left overs from the Dark Ages like alchemy and astrology, but they don’t compete with modern science.

There are types of science; biology, astrophysics, chemistry, but none is more or less peaceful than the other. It is only the applications of a scientific discovery that can be judged. For example the science of nuclear energy can be used for peace or war. A reasonable person understands that how something is used is different than what it is. Einstein wrote to his president and warned him of the dangers of nuclear weapons. He could have just made one and tried to take over the world.

A more intelligent question would be, which is more peaceful, science or religion? Religions claim to be “of peace”, but how do they demonstrate it? Science doesn’t have a dogma so it makes no such claim, but that isn’t that the ultimate peaceful statement? Science just is. Its purpose is to discover what’s true. It doesn’t respond to power or threats. It is designed to prevent manipulation. It judges its critics on their merits, not their ancestry. It’s based on questioning everything, including its most fundamental premises.

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Posted: 27 January 2016 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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TimB - 27 January 2016 03:05 PM

I am not sure that in actuality, the sciences don’t sometimes break off into what one might refer to as sects.  But I don’t want to nitpick your larger point that the scientific method is a superior method for the good of mankind, than is reliance for “knowledge” on the dogma of religion and the various ways those dogmas can be interpreted, often toward dysfunctional ends.

And, I share, I think, your consternation over the question, oft presented, “Is (fill in the blank) a religion of peace?”.

“break off into what one might refer to as sects” you bet they do each one with its paradigm of adherents, financial requirements, and politics.

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Posted: 27 January 2016 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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AMH - 27 January 2016 02:52 PM

Really appreciate what you have written. I’m thinking of spreading the spirit of your post in my blog.

Thanks. I’d love to have a link to that.

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Posted: 27 January 2016 08:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Lausten - 27 January 2016 03:20 PM

Here’s a quick rewrite of that section. I think part of the problem with the OP is that I mixed the idea of “science is peaceful” with a diatribe against this “religion of peace” thing. I’d like to get both of those down to much shorter statements, but I always end up wanting to provide the entire history of Western civilization in everything I say.


One question I don’t hear is, “is science a science of peace?” The question can’t be formed to match the religion question since there are no sects of science. Groups haven’t splintered off and become competing entities to our scientific institutions. Those institutions are open to criticism and accept feedback, as long as it is presented with reason and logic. You change the scientific understanding of things by contributing to science, not by breaking away from it. There are “noetic” sciences and left overs from the Dark Ages like alchemy and astrology, but they don’t compete with modern science.

There are types of science; biology, astrophysics, chemistry, but none is more or less peaceful than the other. It is only the applications of a scientific discovery that can be judged. For example the science of nuclear energy can be used for peace or war. A reasonable person understands that how something is used is different than what it is. Einstein wrote to his president and warned him of the dangers of nuclear weapons. He could have just made one and tried to take over the world.

A more intelligent question would be, which is more peaceful, science or religion? Religions claim to be “of peace”, but how do they demonstrate it? Science doesn’t have a dogma so it makes no such claim, but that isn’t that the ultimate peaceful statement? Science just is. Its purpose is to discover what’s true. It doesn’t respond to power or threats. It is designed to prevent manipulation. It judges its critics on their merits, not their ancestry. It’s based on questioning everything, including its most fundamental premises.

Science is neutral on the subject of “peace.” Science doesn’t lend itself to such concepts. Science can be used for peace or war and devastation.

I don’t know of one religion that is actually a religion of peace. Quakerism may come closest. Anyone else want to take a crack at it?

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Posted: 28 January 2016 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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LoisL - 27 January 2016 08:48 PM

Science is neutral on the subject of “peace.” Science doesn’t lend itself to such concepts. Science can be used for peace or war and devastation.

I don’t know of one religion that is actually a religion of peace. Quakerism may come closest. Anyone else want to take a crack at it?

Wellllllll…..

Depends.

Could you say there is a science of diplomacy? That is a logical approach that examines data, not with the intention of finding a winner, but the intention of peace?

I said before, it is the results of science, the engineering, that is used for peace or war.

Maybe the right question is “peaceful means”. When there is a conflict, should we employ a scientific method or pray about it or fight about it? Hmmm.

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Posted: 28 January 2016 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Lausten - 27 January 2016 08:01 PM
AMH - 27 January 2016 02:52 PM

Really appreciate what you have written. I’m thinking of spreading the spirit of your post in my blog.

Thanks. I’d love to have a link to that.

I’ve been working on the site/blog for little over a year (one reason it took so long is I had to learn Wordpress, I know several programming languages, but the Wordpress platform is different).
I am reworking the navigation and updating some of the original concept pages.  I began the work with a fresh concept for atheism, not mentioning God, just letting the supernatural deity quietly wither away in cyberspace. I think the original concept has morphed into a new kind of Humanism.
I would love for you and a couple of other forum members review with candid comments before I publish the site.  I will send you the link when I can navigate without dead ends or run into obvious mistakes. Probably a few more weeks barring interruption.

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Posted: 28 January 2016 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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LoisL - 27 January 2016 08:48 PM

I don’t know of one religion that is actually a religion of peace. Quakerism may come closest. Anyone else want to take a crack at it?

Rastafari.

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Posted: 28 January 2016 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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AMH - 27 January 2016 03:30 PM
TimB - 27 January 2016 03:05 PM

I am not sure that in actuality, the sciences don’t sometimes break off into what one might refer to as sects.  But I don’t want to nitpick your larger point that the scientific method is a superior method for the good of mankind, than is reliance for “knowledge” on the dogma of religion and the various ways those dogmas can be interpreted, often toward dysfunctional ends.

And, I share, I think, your consternation over the question, oft presented, “Is (fill in the blank) a religion of peace?”.

“break off into what one might refer to as sects” you bet they do each one with its paradigm of adherents, financial requirements, and politics.

I see what you’re saying, but I don’t think the comparison is accurate. No doubt there is a problem today with how journals are handled. We need to figure out how to make the information freely available and still pay the people who are vetting that information. But unlike a “true Christian” you can define a “true scientist”. The scientific method may be a loose collection of rules, but there are still rules.

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Posted: 28 January 2016 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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DarronS - 28 January 2016 07:00 AM
LoisL - 27 January 2016 08:48 PM

I don’t know of one religion that is actually a religion of peace. Quakerism may come closest. Anyone else want to take a crack at it?

Rastafari.

I don’t know about Rastafarianism. It’s just Too weird to figure out what they stand for or against—except cannabis.

Jainism is a good candidate for the most peaceful religion. It’s also weird, though.

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Posted: 28 January 2016 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Those are three good examples. I’m not sure how Mennonites are classified, more of a culture than a religion. I like to include them because I recently found out they started the anti-slavery movement in Europe and brought to the US and combined with the Quakers.

I also recently found out Rastafarians started with worship of Haile Selassie as a sort of savior of Africans everywhere. A peaceful ruler of Africans, by a native African, blessed by God, or maybe even he was God incarnate.

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