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Science as religion (Merged)
Posted: 24 November 2010 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 136 ]
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GdB - 13 November 2010 08:32 AM

So imagine you know just two kinds of people, religious on one side, scientists on the other side. For the rest both are equally nice people. Both are sure that they are right about topics like the (not) existence of heaven and hell, about the age of the universe, about the idea that AIDS is (not) a punishment for homosexuality. Which authority do you accept? On what grounds?

You can’t put religion and science on the same stance, just because their sociological status is the same, namely having power on basis of ‘knowledge’. There are inherent differences between religion and science, and you know them, even if you do not know all contents of them and evaluated them yourself.

GdB

Me personally, I avoid categorizing individuals into two groups. I suspect I know more about religion then most who claim religious authority. I’ve asked the questions and sought the answers and feel reasonable comfortable in testing the claims of religious authority. Individually they have to pass my (ok probably arbitrary, but it is what it is) criteria before I accept their expertise and give any credibility to their claims.

For a scientist it’s kind of the same, I look for any reason to doubt them. I test, within my understanding their claims. I also look for from them an honest understanding the limitations of their own knowledge. That alone provides a lot of credibility for their claim of expertise. It may not be the best way to go about determine who’s authority I can trust. It’s not like I haven’t been fooled before, but that’s how I go about it.

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Posted: 07 January 2011 03:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 137 ]
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As VYAZMA won’t let me discuss on ideologically blinded belief in The Delusional Atheist thread, I continue here, where it is better in its place.

But first I must react on this:

VYAZMA - 05 January 2011 05:41 AM

And frankly GdB…someone who practices buddhism is not the ideal candidate for an objective viewpoint here in this thread. Your above post betrays your inclination towards these ideals.

VYAZMA, I always gave arguments. And yes, I am inclined to prefer a society where people treat others, including non-human animals, with respect, and wherever possible, let true, scientific ideas be one pillar of such a society. If this is buddhistic, then be it so. And must I assume that where buddhists are not able to have an objective viewpoint, you are? Or shall we discuss on the level of arguments?

I’ll give two examples what I think of the risks of a scientific blinded world view:

Free will: imagine neurologists can explain why people become criminals based on their brain structures, and have the technology to change them. Now instead of punishing criminals, we can heal them. Wouldn’t that be great? But what is a crime? Killing and robbing innocent people just because their money? Probably, yes. Or are we talking about a society where people are recklessly suppressed and kept poor? What is the difference between a terrorist and freedom fighter? Should the Austrians have treated Wilhelm Tell? Was Menachim Begin a terrorist? Who is in charge of the definition of what is a crime? A thread for the safety of the state, who defines it? The president of the USA? Bush or Obama? Or maybe Stalin?

So we come automatically to the second example: muslims. You found it great that no minarets are allowed to be build in Switzerland anymore. Why? Because muslims have a wrong world view? Because all muslims are potential terrorists? Shall we treat them right away? Isn’t the secular state a state where there is freedom of religion, where there is free flow of ideas?

Free flow of ideas is also a principle of science. If we forbid ideas just because they do not fit the present world view, then we are not doing science anymore. Of course science demands (empirical) proofs, good arguments for new ideas. The flat earth is definitely out. But a present snapshot of the scientific world view is not science. Science is a methodological process to gain knowledge. It is not a belief system. So it may be very, very implausible, but there is still room for a deist god. But of course, without any scientific hint in that direction we do not have to take such an idea serious. But to keep the methodological possibility open, is an imperative of the scientific method.

If we do not keep this openness we forsake the main ideas of the enlightenment: a humanist ethics, a secular state, and in the end, science itself.

Science is not a belief system.

I hope you can react on this on the level of arguments.

GdB


Edit: your remark about buddhism also shows exactly what I mean. You seem inclined to see me as less objective because I share some ideas with buddhism: less objective, meaning, less worth to have a rational discussion with.

[ Edited: 07 January 2011 05:02 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 07 January 2011 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 138 ]
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GdB I think that went as far as it could. I don’t see how you keep labeling me as the scientific-ideology one.
My argument seemed to fly in the face of the opposing side-who called for absolute scientific methodology. Even it meant methodologically allowing for a god.
As for the buddhist remark…I can see how someone who practices buddhism may be even more inclined to allow for the possibility of a god. Perhaps this doesn’t apply to you..if not I apologize. However-buddhism by it’s very definition applies a deity and various mystical and spiritual projections.

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Posted: 07 January 2011 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 139 ]
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Also GdB, I’m running out the door right now. I’ll return to this later maybe. But I value your input here, and you are one of my favorite posters here.
Kein scheisse!
Peace brother!
Or is that..Ohne Scheisse?

[ Edited: 07 January 2011 05:38 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 07 January 2011 06:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 140 ]
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VYAZMA - 07 January 2011 05:21 PM

GdB I think that went as far as it could. I don’t see how you keep labeling me as the scientific-ideology one.
My argument seemed to fly in the face of the opposing side-who called for absolute scientific methodology. Even it meant methodologically allowing for a god.
As for the buddhist remark…I can see how someone who practices buddhism may be even more inclined to allow for the possibility of a god. Perhaps this doesn’t apply to you..if not I apologize. However-buddhism by it’s very definition applies a deity and various mystical and spiritual projections.

Perhaps one consideration might be that Science recognizes the uncertainty effect and must remain open ended… This does not necessarily make a scientist an agnostic or deist. The scientific method does not allow him any choice.

On the other hand Theism does not recognize “uncertainty” and is closed to change (dogmatic) and unable to acknowledge the possibility that God does not exist. Can a theist be “agnostic” toward science? Dogma does not allow the theist any choice either.

Personally, I prefer the open ended scientific method. It allows us to accumulate and incorporate new knowledge. Theism is a scientific dead end.

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Posted: 23 January 2011 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 141 ]
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GdB - 24 October 2010 08:35 AM

1. Having no real knowledge about what science really is, and see it as something one can believe or not, as if it is a religion. Without any clear ideas how science differs from any other believe, either be it a religion, or some other world view, science is just another world view, that for some unreflected reason somebody takes as true, maybe while (s)he likes technical gizmos, or falls in love with scientific types. What is missing is the capability to be critical.

No.  Science is not “believed.”  The results of a scientific experiment cannot be refuted.  Every person who performs the experiment will achieve the same results.  This universal consistency is the basis of objectivity.  Science is critical analysis.

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Posted: 23 January 2011 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 142 ]
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While similar experiments may yield different results, on further repetition by others, the errors are essentially always found and reconciled.  Scientists don’t have the time or speciallized expertise to run all of the experiments for all of the scientific conclusions, so we depend on groups of each area of speciallization to do so, and report truthfully.  Very occasionally false conclusions sneak past, but science builds on prior results.  As soon as the new tests using the false data mess up, everyone goes back, tracks down the mistake, and usually the guys responsible for it get their hands slapped or far worse.  No one trusts their work and they end up being stuck with menial jobs for the rest of their careers.

Occam

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Posted: 24 January 2011 12:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 143 ]
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egran078 - 23 January 2011 01:02 PM
GdB - 24 October 2010 08:35 AM

1. Having no real knowledge about what science really is, and see it as something one can believe or not, as if it is a religion. Without any clear ideas how science differs from any other believe, either be it a religion, or some other world view, science is just another world view, that for some unreflected reason somebody takes as true, maybe while (s)he likes technical gizmos, or falls in love with scientific types. What is missing is the capability to be critical.

No.  Science is not “believed.”  The results of a scientific experiment cannot be refuted.  Every person who performs the experiment will achieve the same results.  This universal consistency is the basis of objectivity.  Science is critical analysis.

GdB - 24 October 2010 08:35 AM

...

As far as I see it, there are four kinds of attitudes to science that could be called faith:

1. Having no real knowledge about what science really is…

Which word of attitudes you did not understand? Isn’t it clear from the posting that I mean wrong attitudes?

I made a few phrases italic, so you might understand it better.

And normally, more or less in the line of Occam, the results of experiments can be refuted very well. The interpretation of the results can be wrong, the presumptions of how something was measured can be wrong, a theory used to gather measurements can be wrong etc etc. Your idea seems to be based on very simple, irrefutable experiments.

And even in science it is good to have a limited attitude of dogmatism, otherwise you would give up a theory or a new idea possibly too soon. Science can flourish in the changing attitudes of dogmatism, scepticism, doubt and humor.

GdB

[ Edited: 24 January 2011 12:43 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 16 February 2011 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 144 ]
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Science as religion .
God as a Scientist : Ten Scientific Commandments.
==.
# God Himself is Creator.
He/She/It created Everything.
So God must be Scientist and must use Physical/
Mathematical Laws and Formulas for His/Her/Its work.
# For forty days and forty nights Moses wrote the tablets
of ‘ The Ten Commandments’.
Which Commandments are they?
They are moral, ethical Commandments.
Can be written ‘Ten Scientific Commandments’ ?
I think ‘ Yes’, God has given to us everything that necessary
to understand Him and His Genesis using Physical /
Mathematical Laws and Formulas.
===.
Scheme. 
Ten Scientific Commandments:
Fundamental Theory of Existence.

1 The infinite vacuum T=0K. ( background energy space: E ).
2 The particle:
C/D = pi, R/N= k , E = Mc^2 = kc^2 , h = 0 , i^2= -1
3 The spins: h =E/t , h =kb, h* = h/2pi
4 The photon, the inertia
5 The electron: e^2 = h*ca, E = h*f , electromagnetic field
6 The gravitation, the star, the time and space
7 The Proton
8 The Evolution of interaction between Electron and Proton
a) electromagnetic
b) nuclear
c) biological
9 The Laws
a) The Law of conservation and transformation energy/mass
b) The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle / Law
c) The Pauli Exclusion Principle/ Law
10
The test.
Every theory must be tested logically ( theoretical ) and practically
a) Theory : Dualism of Consciousness: (consciousness / unconsciousness)
b) Practice : Parapsychology. Meditation.
========.
Best wishes
Israel Sadovnik Socratus
============.
# The secret of God and Existence is hidden
  in the ‘ Theory of Vacuum & Light Quanta ‘.
==========..
# I want to know how God created this world
I am not interested in this or that phenomenon,
in the spectrum of this or that element
I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details
      / Einstein /
==========.

[ Edited: 16 February 2011 09:53 AM by socratus ]
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Posted: 16 February 2011 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 145 ]
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socratus - 16 February 2011 09:49 AM

3 The spins: h =E/t , h =kb, h* = h/2pi

Hmm, h* = h/2pi? You think so? I think it’s more likely that the spins originated when the African god Bumba, who, while in pain from a stomachache, vomited up the sun.

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Posted: 16 February 2011 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 146 ]
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Oh geez, more psuedoscientific (and I’m being generous) drivel from someone who has no scientific background or understanding.  Sorry, Socratus, but those points are complete babble and make no scientific sense whatsoever.  If you got this from some other source you should go back and demand that they explain what they think all that silliness is.

Occam

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Posted: 16 February 2011 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 147 ]
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1 The infinite vacuum T=0K. ( background energy space: E ).
2 The particle:
C/D = pi, R/N= k , E = Mc^2 = kc^2 , h = 0 , i^2= -1
3 The spins: h =E/t , h =kb, h* = h/2pi
4 The photon, the inertia
5 The electron: e^2 = h*ca, E = h*f , electromagnetic field
6 The gravitation, the star, the time and space
7 The Proton
8 The Evolution of interaction between Electron and Proton
a) electromagnetic
b) nuclear
c) biological
9 The Laws
a) The Law of conservation and transformation energy/mass
b) The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle / Law
c) The Pauli Exclusion Principle/ Law
10
The test.
Every theory must be tested logically ( theoretical ) and practically
a) Theory : Dualism of Consciousness: (consciousness / unconsciousness)
b) Practice : Parapsychology. Meditation.

You mean that doesn’t explain it?  tongue wink

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Posted: 16 February 2011 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 148 ]
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Occam. - 16 February 2011 04:57 PM

Oh geez, more psuedoscientific (and I’m being generous) drivel…

Occam

you are being very generous.

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Posted: 16 February 2011 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 149 ]
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I read a book late last year The Proteus Operation by James P. Hogan.  I had seen it many years before but had avoided it because it was a time travel story.  But interestingly it includes some historical characters and a couple with their permission like Isaac Asimov.  If I had known that I probably would have read it earlier.

But it includes Albert Einstein and this is what Hogan puts into Einstein’s mouth.

    Einstein shrugged. “Maybe, maybe not…I’m no longer young enough to know everything. I suppose I still have faith in people, despite it all,” he said.
    “The older you get, the less you know?” Cassidy queried, raising an eyebrow.
    “Oh, but it’s very true,” Einstein assured him. “Except for scientists, of course. They never know anything at all.” The other three exchanged puzzled looks. “It’s true,” Einstein told them. He sipped his tea and puffed a cloud of smoke from his pipe. “Most of the world still doesn’t have the faintest notion of what science is. They think it is all madmen in white coats who want to take over the world with giant cabbages that eat people. But science isn’t a thing at all—like electricity or gravity or atoms. Those are subjects that might be studied in a scientific manner, but science is the process itself—the process of studying them, or anything else, for that matter. It is a process for arriving at conclusions about what is probably true, and what is probably not. That’s all. Its end product is simply reliable information. And the problem of knowing what to believe—what is true and what is not—is surely the most important problem that the human race has been grappling with for as long as it has existed. How many ‘isms’ and ‘ologies’ have been invented, all purporting to have the answer? And what were their answers worth?” He looked around. The others waited without interrupting.
    “Most systems set out to prove or rationalize something that they have made their minds up about already. But that’s a hopeless way to proceed if what you really want to know is the truth.  Science doesn’t do that. Its goal is to understand what’s really out there—what the world is really like—and it accepts that whatever the reality is, it will be totally uninfluenced by what you or I might choose to think, or by how many others we might persuade to agree with us. The truth isn’t impressed and doesn’t care. That’s why scientists don’t pay much attention to debating skills. We leave those to lawyers and theologians. The eloquence and emotional appeal of the way ideas are presented has nothing to do with whether they’re right or not.”
    “Pretty obvious when you think about it,” Cassidy commented. “Just plain common sense.”
    “But that’s all science is, Cassidy,” Einstein said. “Formalized common sense. And since the purpose is to understand the world as it really is, and not to persuade anybody of anything in particular, there is no place for deception, especially unconscious self-deception. You can’t get away with fooling yourself. Because all that will happen at the end of the process if you fail to detect your errors is that your aeroplane won’t fly. The laws of Nature, you see, can’t be deceived. So there is a strong underlying ethical principle woven into the very fabric of the scientific process—something which is all too often overlooked. Wouldn’t it be nice if the same were true in certain other fields of human activity?”
    Einstein put down the mug and sat back to spread his hands on the table. “So instead of
trying to prop up the things that it would like to be true, science does the opposite—it tries everything it can think of to bring its ideas down. That’s what experiments are designed to do— to prove theories false. And if the theory survives, it comes out so much the stronger. Hence, like an evolutionary process, which indeed it is, science is all the time testing itself and correcting itself. It thrives on questions, challenges, dissent, and criticism. The most ruthless scrutiny that it is subjected to is its own. And so it stays healthy and grows sturdier.
    “But how pathetic and fragile are the systems of thought that daren’t expose their followers to any dissenting view or alternative explanation. Such systems are forced to ban what they have no answers for, and to suppress everything they can’t compete with. Eventually, they wither, and they die. Eventually, the oppressors always end up being buried by their intended victims.”

I do have one book containing essays by Einstein and I would not be surprised if Hogan is not far off the mark in the perspective Einstein would have presented.

But plenty of people treat science like a religion other people encourage that attitude.

My problem is wiht this statement.

Science doesn’t do that. Its goal is to understand what’s really out there

Science is an abstraction.  It does not have any goals.  Human beings pursue goals and may have science as an ideal.

psik

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Posted: 16 February 2011 08:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 150 ]
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psikeyhackr - 16 February 2011 07:41 PM

Science is an abstraction.  It does not have any goals.  Human beings pursue goals and may have science as an ideal.

psik

You don’t really believe that.

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