Should science replace religion?

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

  1. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I suppose this Rosenberg fellow is taking it to extremes, but his brand (pose, perhaps?) of reductive nihilism does not sound like the sort of things that could ever take the place of religion.
     
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  3. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    "New atheist" was a term invented by a blogger who had his own agenda.
     
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  5. Goldtop Registered Senior Member

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    No one is taking away your choices, we can all choose to follow a religion, but that wasn't the point of my post, which you didn't answer. The reason most likely is that you can't answer it because you can't come up with any examples of why you would need religion over simple common sense. If you want to be a seeker, then tell us what it is you seek and what it is you have found that can't be explained without religion?

    But, religions aren't your ideas, they are ideas people came up with many centuries ago so if we have little respect for them, that would have nothing to do with you or reality in the 21st century.
     
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  7. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Why so serious? This is just a healthy discussion and not meant to be a promotion of religion. Sorry you assumed that. No reason to be defensive. I don't need religion, and I'm not religious. I stated that I'm basically grateful to have the freedom to choose religion or not. So, I can't answer your questions because they don't apply to what I've posted.

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  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    I think that most people are happy with the god/gods they were shown as kids. If they didn't have that, a lot of them would invent their own.

    People have a pretty deep-seated need to believe in god; it comes from our brain structure. Societies without a god/gods invent them. Societies with a god/gods spend inordinate amounts of time justifying and glorifying them, so as not to lose them over time.
     
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Because simple common sense only works in small communities. In larger communities we simply don't have the mental hardware to make decisions that are good for large groups of people. Joshua Greene calls this "the tragedy of commonsense morality" and talks about it in his book "moral tribes."

    There are various ways around that. The most common is organized (hopefully democratic or representative constitutional government) where the people mostly agree on basic laws that larger groups live by. But in ancient times, religion often filled that need, because it was a way to reach large numbers of people with rules for living in large groups. Even today it fills that role to a degree by promulgating moral rules that let you live more peacefully with others.
     
  10. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    ... of your same religion.
    As soon as you do away with a mandated state religion, the large group problem not only isn't solved by religious guidance, it's intensified. Now, you have the standard conflicts between personal freedoms, and the added conflict between religious dictates. Gods are naturally jealous, and dogmas are naturally intolerant.
    So the [hopefully democratic , representative, constitutional] government has to produce a whole extra set of laws to arbitrate among tribal moralities.
    Besides, chieftains and kings, moguls and sheiks, sultans and colonial governors have always enforced a secular law, besides the religious dictates. Caesar has always collected his dues.
     
  11. Goldtop Registered Senior Member

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    On the contrary, here are your words from the OP, they are claims that are the crux of your post, yet you can't come up with any valid examples. It's great that you're happy to have the freedom to choose religion, but for some reason, can't support why you would even consider it as an option. It's like having the freedom to bet on Unicorn races. What's your point then, exactly?

     
  12. Goldtop Registered Senior Member

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    I think Jeeves beat me to punch on that one. I would add though that the ancient rules were more of a command from a God. The problem as I see it is that the command would be put in place as a moral rule, but no explanation of the command was usually forthcoming. When logic and reason began to preclude those rules (democratic , representative, constitutional), we came up with reasonable justifications for those rules as opposed to living in fear of a Gods wrath.
     
  13. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Right. I stated ''for many, religion offers meaning to people's lives...'' Where do I talk about myself in this statement? You seriously don't know any religious people who find value from their beliefs? You don't hear of people discussing how Buddhist meditation, or Christian prayer brings meaning to their lives? Or how they feel that faith provides them hope? Hmm.

    I support people's right to choose their belief system, (or to not have one at all) and if you believe that people shouldn't have those options...your views are honestly no better than a religious zealot.

    The purpose of this thread wasn't to choose sides really, but it is a safe place to choose a side if you wish to. If you would prefer that all world religions never existed, because of a whole host of reasons that you might not wish to share, there is no judgement from me. That's why I started this thread, to have that very conversation.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  14. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    I suppose I gravitate a bit toward Sam Harris as a source of opinion [and ideas], with respect to his not seeming to care who he offends politically (he's made himself a target of both the left and the right at times).

    I'd personally slot New Atheism as just another proactive ripple of generic militant atheism (a contemporary non-Marxist descended category). With New Atheism distinguished from other sub-species via heavily subsisting in book publications (especially bestsellers) and spilling over into blogs, social media, and online magazine articles. A New Atheist could also be a Rosenberg scientism stripe of non-theist, but that's contingent. There will definitely be appeals to science, but not necessarily treating physics as a philosophical worldview, or genuflecting to an idealization of science and/or Nature as a replacement conceptual-object of worship, or being nihilistic about human values and mental properties.

    In turn, militant atheism could be plotted and stretch along the upper-level spectrum of positive atheism. Since the latter begins with a minimum belief stance (or denial which is certain) that gods do not exist (in any context whatsoever from supernatural to technological to simulation hypothesis) and lack of politics in that. But from there grows progressively in terms of ideology, including any passion and agenda against theism.

    Cognitively discerning and introducing a useful neologistic category does not entail there having to literally be an organization or movement running around calling itself that (beforehand). If that was the case, all kinds of utile human classifications would be void if there was no significant establishment bearing a modicum of the label. Such misconception is appealed to when a defender of the source which "caused" an arguably useful perceptual distinction is trying to deflect criticism by declaring the neologism to be purely pejorative. That could indeed be the original motive in some cases, but the author(s) of the new conception can't universally manage and restrict its evolving applications afterwards, which could be more disciplined, justified, and refined in content. Rosenberg was himself an atheist adopting and legitimizing "scientism", and well as similar occurring with "New Atheists" accepting their label (if that's largely the case).

    I've danced around at times with calling myself a negative atheist or anything from an apatheist to an ignostic (theological noncognitivism). But because there are so many more contexts in which gods could exist than the usual stereotypical material appealed to... especially in the metaphysical direction of "what's really outside the external world representation outputted by experience/reason and its internal story or circular, coherent network of explanations"... I'm forced to at least be an agnostic. But I still usually don't call myself anything at all. Especially since I'm not eternally set in a particular class of thought orientations, and am often just coloring within the lines of what a mainstream academic community endorses. (I.e., trying to be responsibly robotic in the respect... till exploring alternatives or indulging in criticism, cynicism, or skepticism about the Temple of Erudite Convention [eggheads] becomes warranted.)
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  15. Goldtop Registered Senior Member

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    Nowhere, and I never asked you to talk about yourself. I simple asked for examples to substantiate your claims. What's so hard about that?

    Sure, but no one can ever provide examples of the value you refer, I was hoping you could, but it looks like you can't either. That would mean those claims of value are actually empty, false or fabricated, like I said before.

    Yet, those aren't my views because I never said anything of the sort, those are all your words and it would appear you're putting them in my mouth and then judging me harshly. I suppose that's merely an evasive tactic for not being able to substantiate your claims.
     
  16. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Examples of why faith is important to people? I gave you a few.



    I'm surprised that you don't know anyone who exudes joy and they attribute that to their faith. Or they have hope from their faith. Or they believe that faith got them through difficult emotional times. Those are examples. Perhaps you don't consider faith valuable, so maybe no examples will suffice.



    Um, no. That's not what happened here, but we'll have to just move on.

    Edited, reason: not worth it.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Goldtop, I agree with Wegs, what's so hard about understanding that some find comfort in religion? Someone dies, they talk to God, it makes them feel better than if they had no God to talk to.

    I don't view that as being rational but so what?
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    For a large group of people with a mostly homogenous religion (i.e. most societies until about 200 years ago) it does indeed solve the problem. And even solves the problem for strangers - edicts like "turn the other cheek" and "treat others as you would be treated" goes a long way towards reducing conflict.
    Many are quite tolerant. You are noting the exceptions, because they are newsworthy.
     
  19. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Is it at all important if that meaning is true? Is it possible that religion is the cause for a desire for religious meaning? Another case of causing a problem and then supplying the cure?
    Isn't science a form of storytelling? Isn't it at least as interesting as fiction?
    Science is the process of finding things out. Even in a world where there is a confirmed Theory of Everything, there would still be a point in investigating myths. They often start around a bit of truth. For instance, understanding how evolution works would not preclude finding out how a particular species works or developed.
     
  20. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Why?
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Nope. Religions developed before religion, and humans have a deep-seated need to "find God."
    Nope. Science is generally pretty dry (by design.) Fiction is not (again, by design.)
     
  22. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    How can we know the percent of knowledge we have attained? What does much mean?
     
  23. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, that's why no predominantly Christian nations discriminate against, oppress or persecute their religious minorities.

    Yeh. Piles of bodies in shallow graves has a certain attention-grabbing quality.
     

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