Should science replace religion?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wegs, May 7, 2019.

  1. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I've never advocated replacing any psychological process, or its product, with another.
    I have suggested that the [sane] needs of human beings can be met more effectively by social organizations and interpersonal relationships that do no not rely on irrational beliefs. (Elsewhere, I've also said that that our insanity can never be satisfied. See CNN)
    You tell me religion has benefits, and that this is self-evident to everyone but me, but the disparate examples make no sense to me; nor do I see them as evidence of any lasting benefit that cannot equally well be attributed to secular governance. I would need a single example, in its geo-political and temporal context, with a direct comparison of the religious institution and civil administration and what positive and negative effects each had on that people.
    For example. I honestly don't see the avoidance of pork reducing economic or status disparity among Muslims. If there is or was a benefit to that taboo, I see no evidence of it today.
    I don't think I'll start reading a mountain of books to show me where I've gone wrong.
     
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  3. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Science has already replaced religion.
     
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  5. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I'm having thread title regret.

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    Should might not have been the appropriate word. Maybe ''could'' would have been a better word choice. Should indicates that there's no value at all in religion/spirituality/faith beliefs, therefore it ''should'' be replaced with science or something else. That wasn't my intent. Oh well...note to self - don't rush a thread title in the future.
     
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    With the entire arena of aesthetics. spirituality, emotion, and so forth, with all the brain structure and activity devoted to it (a majority of the physical brain, including the more recently evolved regions especially large in humans), categorized as "irrational beliefs", for some reason. Ok.

    Now you need an argument, with evidence, to counter the historical record and the various discoveries of modern science and so forth.

    Say: The formation of social organizations and interpersonal relationships without the involvement of aesthetics, spirituality, emotions, or any of that comprehensive arena of "higher" level mental functioning - how would that work, in this more effective arrangement?
    Others do, of course - because of the observed direct role of religion in establishing and enforcing and monitoring the good practices;
    because of the game theoretic analysis, showing how easily a purely rational approach can and will become trapped in suboptimal equilibria or self-destructive strategies;
    because of the findings from the investigation of strokes, the monitoring of brain function in people making various decisions, and similar scientific stuff;
    and because of the wealth of experience gained by almost everybody in watching (or feeling) rationality faceplant its victims in common situations.
    It didn't (by analysis). It (by analysis) reduced the misery of such disparity, its impact on the poor, in the ages before modern agriculture (i.e. the discovery of the American plant foods). Not the disparity itself, but its bad effects, were addressed - same as the usury prohibition, the debt forgiveness, and so forth.

    Meanwhile, pig abhorrence: and the pastoral Jews, some Christians, and pagans (there was a pocket in the British Isles, apparently). This analysis was once a cliche among people who engaged in these kinds of discussions - an element of the common knowledge.
    Here's a popularization of the situation: http://etnologija.etnoinfolab.org/dokumenti/82/2/2009/harris_1521.pdf
    That's meaningless - an example of what happens to rationality, or even reason entire, if the "holistic" or "higher" levels of human mental functioning are set aside.
    Religion normally exerts much of its influence via the civil administration. They are not separable factors, and one cannot compare them in that fashion.

    And that kind of error is, in practice, inevitable and universal if rationality is not properly overseen. Terry Pratchett hands us the useful character of the "Auditor", a purely rational being, whose approach to running things is to first - as a first step - analyze them rationally by separating them into their components and tracing interactions. So we have the scene of a team of Auditors analyzing an oil painting in a museum - by, first step, separating the paint flecks and molecules and sorting them by color, in little piles on the floor.

    Again: the aesthetic, spiritual, etc, is comprehensive and governing and "higher" (or "central", or "encompassing", or pick'em). Rationality is simply lost without that level of oversight - doesn't know what to do. That is the central observation.
     
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Not all them. Just religious dogma.
     
  9. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    If religion stayed in out of the science arena it would be happier.
     
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    All of them.
    They are all "irrational beliefs" equivalent to barefoot pixies in your posting, and everything on that level is available to the proposed religion (as "dogma" or whatever) in my posting.
    The organization and customization of that entire level of human mental functioning is what you are dismissing when you dismiss "irrational beliefs" and "religion" equivalently.
     
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    That's not how I understand the situation. OTH - whatever....
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    But science is not made happier by lack of organization and care in its spiritual/aesthetic/ various "irrational" oversight.
     
  13. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Really? Having a bishop say you can't study human anatomy so as to better treat diseases? Your assertion is silly. And "lack of organization" just means "lack of ossified dogma."
     
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    You post supporting evidence, and then declare my assertion "silly"?
    No assertion of mine bears the slightest relationship to whatever the fuck you are talking about there.
    It means lack of organization.
    It's one reason that science as we know it can't prevent a Tragedy of the Commons, or solve the Prisoner's Dilemma, or even help prevent Monsanto from destroying the efficacy of the mildest and least harmful pesticides and herbicides we have (a single and easily accessible example of a Tragedy of the Commons).
     
  15. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    LOL, that's not the job of science. (Conspiracy theories don't belong in science.)
     
  16. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    What you have been describing as--or pointing to--an appropriate "religion" seems to be somewhat akin to what Morris Berman describes as "paradoxical consciousness" (in Wandering God, A Study in Nomadic Spirituality <<< (the title is somewhat misleading))--Rilke's "live in the question," sort of. Also, somewhat like Bateson's criticisms of scientific hubris, wherein our ways of thinking and knowing become very narrow, focussed, and almost exclusively (specific) goal-oriented. Am I way off the mark here?
     
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Which is why it needs a religion.
    Yet another bizarre side comment delivered as if it had some relevance to my posting.
    No explanation of the others - not expecting any different now.
    Only in that I am advocating a formalization that holds for a community - not resting on individual enlightenment.
     
  18. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    GS
    LOL, that's not the job of science.
    Science needs something to do its job, which has nothing to do with its job????

    How does that work?

    We need to find the best shape for this new aircraft wing
    But first we need to know how angels fly
    Someone please get the book on Aerodynamics of Angels

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  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Let's take it slowly:

    Science is currently operating without an adequate religion. We agree on that, I think.

    This has had and continues to have significant consequences, many of them damage and harms. Examples have been posted, of the kinds of issues or situations common in modern scientific endeavor that are historically and reasonably and characteristically handled by religion, which cannot be handled by rationality , and which are not being handled well - or at all, really - by science. We are not in agreement about that - although judging by the responses, that may be down to simple misunderstanding, incomprehension, and /or ignorance.

    We have made some progress toward describing or recognizing a religion that might be adequate for a scientific community: no deity, no superstitions, etc.

    So far, so good?
     
  20. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    The definition of religion is........a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe. The makings of something beautiful. Unfortunately, the rest of that definition is where things get messy. But carving out just that sliver of the definition would be pliable enough for science, I think?

    It would still come down to agreement. For science to ''embrace'' a religion of sorts, people within the science community would have to agree on what that religion might look like. And from the looks of the replies from some here, they simply see no value in religion. Which is fine, either way. But, it's interesting to see that even if you strip away the problematic parts of religion (supernatural worship, deities, superstitions, rituals, etc) you may still have discord.

    Religion offers a sense of community for many people, a chance to ''belong'' to a group of like minded people. But, that takes solidarity for it to work. I guess time will tell, should anyone be willing to get this idea off the ground.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Until science can provide a value for life, I don't see how it could become a religion. Objectively science is incapable of generating "sentimental" values.
     
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  22. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Considering the breath of the various branches of science I doubt a single agreeable religion would be enough

    Much like a single religion is not enough for normal people, or race car drivers, farmers, bus drivers, bankers, knitters or any other large group

    I understand some scientists are religious but have no Idea how their religious beliefs impact on their research (there is a research project looking for a government grant)

    I must have missed the issue's not being handled well by science

    I'm a points/list type of person so I would be in your debt if you could list a few of these issues

    Must have missed the description also if you could perhaps repeat

    Thanks

    So do book clubs, chess groups, tiddlywinks groups and I am guessing not many of each group have same religion

    Might even be *gasp* atheist in the groups *swoons*

    Coffee time

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  23. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    How do establish value for anything? I would say that the value of anything, life included, would be dependent on its relative usefulness to the entity in question. I can’t think of a better process to analyze the elements of usefulness in any case better than science. With sufficient information science can perspectively describe the value of anything, including instances of sentimentality.
     
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