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Science as religion (Merged)
Posted: 28 February 2011 01:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 211 ]
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Write4U - 27 February 2011 02:29 PM

I believe morals are based on data learned from experience (or science).
The old moral taboos of eating pork and comitting incest are clearly based on the fact that in olden days pigs were a source of trichinosis and incest produces genetic defects. These causes and results were later proven by science, but at the time they were imbued with spiritual evils and thus the “moral commandments”. An example of good morals based on false premises.

You are mixing 2 kind of discourses: the historical explanation why these norms have arisen, and the intrinsic reason for them being correct or not.

The original reasons for not eating pork and incest are based on facts (trichinosis and genetic defects respectively), and on values: that we do not want to get ill, and that we want healthy children. But these ‘reasonable rules’ have become independent norms in themselves. Their reasonable grounds were forgotten.

Now we know more about the facts. We know that cooking pork long enough kills the parasites, that if there are no dangerous inherited defects in the genome brother and sister can have children (it is another question if we can determine exact enough that the brother and sister do not have such defects). But we are still using the same original norms: we do not want to get ill, and we want healthy children.

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Posted: 28 February 2011 02:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 212 ]
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GdB - 28 February 2011 01:30 AM
Write4U - 27 February 2011 02:29 PM

I believe morals are based on data learned from experience (or science).
The old moral taboos of eating pork and comitting incest are clearly based on the fact that in olden days pigs were a source of trichinosis and incest produces genetic defects. These causes and results were later proven by science, but at the time they were imbued with spiritual evils and thus the “moral commandments”. An example of good morals based on false premises.

You are mixing 2 kind of discourses: the historical explanation why these norms have arisen, and the intrinsic reason for them being correct or not.

The original reasons for not eating pork and incest are based on facts (trichinosis and genetic defects respectively), and on values: that we do not want to get ill, and that we want healthy children. But these ‘reasonable rules’ have become independent norms in themselves. Their reasonable grounds were forgotten.

Now we know more about the facts. We know that cooking pork long enough kills the parasites, that if there are no dangerous inherited defects in the genome brother and sister can have children (it is another question if we can determine exact enough that the brother and sister do not have such defects). But we are still using the same original norms: we do not want to get ill, and we want healthy children.

I disagree with your assumption of “we do not want to get ill, and that we want healthy children”. That would be a reasoned response based on known data. 
IMO, this was a “defense mechanism against evil spirits which make us ill and frail”, a false assumption which still produced the desired result.

Once a behavioral defense mechanism has become a genetic trait, or a religious practice, it is difficult to break from the emotional “defensive” response i.e. revulsion, disgust, anger, etc.

Today Jewish faith still commands kosher foods.

[ Edited: 28 February 2011 02:23 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 28 February 2011 03:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 213 ]
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Write4U - 28 February 2011 02:09 AM

I disagree with your assumption of “we do not want to get ill, and that we want healthy children”. That would be a reasoned response based on known data. 
IMO, this was a “defense mechanism against evil spirits which make us ill and frail”, a false assumption which still produced the desired result.

But that would be a very big coincidence, isn’t it? Of course people didn’t know about germs and genes, but they had facts: people becoming ill after eating pork and children dying early and such things. Their explanation could be very well that they are punished for their deeds by some god or daemons, and so made the universe to a moral place, i.e. they put the morality outside, in nature, instead of the culture as we do now. The assumption follows the facts.

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Posted: 28 February 2011 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 214 ]
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GdB - 28 February 2011 03:25 AM
Write4U - 28 February 2011 02:09 AM

I disagree with your assumption of “we do not want to get ill, and that we want healthy children”. That would be a reasoned response based on known data. 
IMO, this was a “defense mechanism against evil spirits which make us ill and frail”, a false assumption which still produced the desired result.

But that would be a very big coincidence, isn’t it? Of course people didn’t know about germs and genes, but they had facts: people becoming ill after eating pork and children dying early and such things. Their explanation could be very well that they are punished for their deeds by some god or daemons, and so made the universe to a moral place, i.e. they put the morality outside, in nature, instead of the culture as we do now. The assumption follows the facts.

I agree, and the result (in these cases) produced the same “thou shalt not”. However the cures may be affected by the misinterpretation of the facts. Illness (caused by apparent demon possession) does not go away with prayer or exorcism, or burning at the stake.
Thus assigning an outside spititual cause (and morality) does not address the facts correctly and the resulting morality is based on false assumption.

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Posted: 30 April 2011 03:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 215 ]
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Is science the new religion? 

Does it fit under the category?

Do you take you skeptic books to the heart?

Will you defend it to the end?

Do you get all pumped up while listening to a good SPEAKER?

Do you really believe what you read and hear(just like a bible thumper does)?

If you answered yes to any of these questions why?

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Posted: 30 April 2011 03:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 216 ]
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OGMONKEY - 30 April 2011 03:08 AM

Is science the new religion? 

NO.

Does it fit under the category?

NO

Do you take you skeptic books to the heart?

No more than any other.

Will you defend it to the end?

You are confusing the word ‘science’ with the method. It is the method I defend. It is the best method we have to discover truth and knowledge.

Do you get all pumped up while listening to a good SPEAKER?

Depends on who the speaker is, and what s/he is saying.

Do you really believe what you read and hear(just like a bible thumper does)?

Um, NO…not without proofs.

If you answered yes to any of these questions why?

See explanations above….

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Posted: 30 April 2011 03:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 217 ]
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OGMONKEY,

See here.

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Posted: 30 April 2011 06:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 218 ]
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GdB - 30 April 2011 03:32 AM

OGMONKEY,

See here.

Merged.

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Posted: 30 April 2011 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 219 ]
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Is science the new religion? 

Does it fit under the category?

Do you take you skeptic books to the heart?

Will you defend it to the end?

Do you get all pumped up while listening to a good SPEAKER?

Do you really believe what you read and hear(just like a bible thumper does)?

If you answered yes to any of these questions why?

1) Science is NOT a religion. It’s a method of rational inquiry and examination which attempts to explain the natural world be way of evidence, all of which is subject to testing to either verify or falsify a given hypothosis or theory.

2) Of religion? No.

3) No more than any other. I tend to give then greater weight in terms of credibility because “skeptical books” offer evidence to back up or refute a claim. Such works are also subject to the peer review and critiques from others who are genuinely knowladgable in whatever area is under discussion.

4) No. Especially of somebody offers tangible evidence which falsifies the premise of a given book.

5) No. Speakers bore me. (Charismatic speakers frighten me.)

6) Not without adaquate evidence based justification to do so.

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Posted: 30 April 2011 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 220 ]
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asanta - 30 April 2011 03:14 AM
OGMONKEY - 30 April 2011 03:08 AM

Is science the new religion? 

NO.

Does it fit under the category?

NO

Do you take you skeptic books to the heart?

No more than any other.

Will you defend it to the end?

You are confusing the word ‘science’ with the method. It is the method I defend. It is the best method we have to discover truth and knowledge.

Science is the method by which we collect information, resulting in Knowledge.

The question if Knowledge is a religion makes no sense. Knowledge is an accumulation of verified data. Is that a religion?

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Posted: 01 May 2011 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 221 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon,

Please read the first posting in this thread. For many people science is a religion, even if it really isn’t, of course.

The problem for OGMONKEY is that he has had some experiences that he feels are not taken seriously, because they do not fit science books. So I would, less emotional ask: what is the difference between a science book and a holy book?

OGMONKEY: are you serious you do not know the difference?

I take your experiences seriously, and also that they are important for you. But the only explanation of your experiences must not be that it is exactly as you feel what they are.

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Posted: 01 May 2011 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 222 ]
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Please read the first posting in this thread. For many people science is a religion, even if it really isn’t, of course.

I understand that, however, I was responding specifically to the questions OGMONKEY was asking. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Posted: 01 May 2011 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 223 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 01 May 2011 08:36 AM

Please read the first posting in this thread. For many people science is a religion, even if it really isn’t, of course.

I understand that, however, I was responding specifically to the questions OGMONKEY was asking. Nothing more, nothing less.

There is also the generic term “reliogiously” to consider. A scientist may religiously follow the scientific method, but that has nothing to do with worshipping or praying to the god of science or any god for that matter.

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Posted: 01 May 2011 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 224 ]
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There is also the term, scientism, which is used when someone adopts science as a religion.  From what I’ve seen, the only people who do this are those who have almost no scientific training, but are dazzled by the accomplishments.  No scientist or scientifically knowledgeable person I know sees science as a religion.

Occam

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Posted: 02 May 2011 01:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 225 ]
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Occam. - 01 May 2011 01:02 PM

There is also the term, scientism, which is used when someone adopts science as a religion.  From what I’ve seen, the only people who do this are those who have almost no scientific training, but are dazzled by the accomplishments.  No scientist or scientifically knowledgeable person I know sees science as a religion.

Nobody might see himself as treating science as religion, but some do it as if it is, by reducing every aspect of nature or human life to e.g. physics or evolution. It can also be seen in too much trust in everything people with a (supposed) scientific background say (about IQ e.g….) without any skeptical attitude, or in oversimplified views on higher order phenomena (i.e. complex phenomena), like free will and morality.

[ Edited: 02 May 2011 04:12 AM by GdB ]
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