Discussion in 'Religion' started by Number 9 Bus Shelter, Nov 29, 2013.
What should he do then with his time? Sleep? Garden?
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At the very least it appears that many people agree it is not a waste of time to discuss how discussing religion is a waste of time.
Science and the philosophy of science reach a wall beyond a certain point. For example, if you had a dream last night and related the details, even if you were a good scientist and accurately related the details of what you observed, there is no way to prove these details in a scientific way. There is no machine to help extend the senses, it is not repeatable, nor can another reproduce it. It was real enough to be observed, but it cannot be proven via science, because of a technicality; it does not meet the standard. This is why psychology is call a soft science. It goes through all the science motions, but there is a gap in terms of human data sources relating internal data.
The reason this gap in science exists, is when the scientific method was developed, the founding fathers were trying to factor out subjectivities, so all that was left was the objective data, which can be agreed upon by all. From that you derive laws of science. But when the mind confronts itself there is a whole range of data that is objective, like dream details, that gets lumped in the bias of the definition, since this data is only objective to one person and not all. Ironically, consciousness is the main tool of science, yet it is not subject to science due to internal data. There is no way to calibrate the tool since it has yet to be defined what it is.
Dream details are the tip of the iceberg, on the other side of the gap. When comes to experiences of religion, science can only say that this is outside the scope of what science was designed for, since science gets soft beyond the gap. Beyond this recognition it becomes irrational and a religion of its own based on bold claims while standing on the other side of the gap, but afraid to jump.
The voice of reason.
There are about 7 billion human beings living today. Each one of the human beings is a subjective system unto itself. Therefore, the world is filled with subjectivity which is beyond the reach of objective science.
True. Humans are made by God. That's why we have consciousness. That's why we can experience suffering. That's why we have a soul.
Why would God program suffering into us?
God gives us the ability to love. It is the world that turns love into suffering.
How does love turn to suffering?
By taking it away. By killing it. By denying it.
Maybe religions should devote themselves to love and that will make certain use of them.
I completely agree.
Among other things like knowledge and happiness.
Moderator note: Off-topic posts on Near Death Experiences have been moved to a different thread, here:
The voice of ignorant futility. It's amazing we got this far with such faith based intellectual laziness.
This is simply xenophobic prejudice on your part. Your western religion purged drugs from it's theology, in preference for stained glass and sips of wine.
I believe you are right but other than rumor, I don't think I have ever seen anything official on this.
Where have you confirmed this. If you have.
This is more a comment on the current state of science, not a fundamental limitation in the scientific method. After all, there is no such thing as the scientific method except "to find out and prove how stuff works in the most rigorous way we can think of". Subjectivity is not the problem; all science is already subjective. This doesn't stop it being very useful. The problem is that we have a lot of data about the external world (whatever that might turn out to be), so there are very strong constraints on any model you use to explain it, while data about our mental states is so far fairly poor. Prior beliefs in various frameworks that try to explain these thus dominant our inferences about them.
I agree that the philosophy of science is important and by no means complete. Deep philosophical problems remain at the heart of statistical inference, and need to be resolved before certain religious matters can be subsumed into science. I think this will eventually come with progress in neuroscience and artificial intelligence. I agree with you that the nature of consciousness is a key factor in this problem, but I have confidence that we will come to understand this well eventually. The better we understand our own minds, the more clear these issues will become and the more they will become science. There is no reason to think that one day we will not develop machines that can look into a persons mind and see what is going on in there, nor that we will not be able to artificially create such a mind one day.
Carl Jung found that the elements of religion are archetypes--stories, images and rituals that recur in nearly every society in nearly every era.
They appear to be instincts that have been programmed into our neurons by our DNA through evolution. [*Note: Jung did not state it this way because genetics was not a mature science in his day.]
Most instincts are clearly survival traits. An animal that does not instinctively run away from a larger animal with both eyes in front of its face (i.e., a predator) will not live long enough to reproduce so his genes will die out.
However, religious instincts do not appear to have any practical value. But they could have been random mutations passed down through genetic drift or a genetic bottleneck.
Unfortunately, since the end of the Paleolithic Era 12,000 years ago, the instincts that comprise religion have become not merely irrelevant, but counterproductive. Most religions, particularly the monotheistic religions of Abraham (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baha'i and Rastafari), teach their followers that they are just a little bit better than everybody else, because only they have the "right" version of the religion. This gives them permission to treat everybody else as their inferiors, even to annihilate them if there is no other way to beat the truth into them.
This was a survival trait in the Paleolithic, because hunter-gatherers produce no surplus food. During a lean year, every tribe had to regard every other tribe as hated and feared competitors for scarce resources. But today, this religion-inspired hostility is thwarting the advance of civilization. We are so busy trying to beat the truth into each other that we're completely ignoring problems that threaten our entire planet.
Anyway, perhaps now you'll agree with me that religion is worth discussing because it is the biggest problem facing humanity. If we can't cleanse ourselves of this bullshit, we may all be doomed.
You can shoot us in the head if we don't give up our faith.
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