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Thread: Is universal atheism inevitable?

  1. #1 Is universal atheism inevitable? 
    Forum Freshman deadcat's Avatar
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    I was think about how religions keep dying off as new science is made available, and wanted to get some opinions on this,

    do you feel it's inevitable that one day the world will only have atheist?


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    Yup, I think people will finally grow some common sense and leave behind their religious beliefs to come together into unanimous athiesm. Gosh, think of the harmony amongst people then! NO MORE FEUDS!


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    Among the two "sides", atheism and theism, there exist a common fallacy. Each side believes that world peace would be acquired by agreement to atheism or theism. In a sense, each side is correct, and so was Hitler. Universal acceptance of a single belief could, in many ways, lead to peace.

    This may seem like something to work toward, but in a free society it is impossible. Each human has the undeniable right of free thought, and attempting to control the beliefs of another is intellectual fascism. How do we create an ideal society?

    Rather than looking to the future, we look to the past. In ancient Greece, during the golden age of philosophy, they took pride in their intelligence, their philosophy, their logic, and their intellectual diversity. Nowhere in this age existed the idea that you must not think, not question, to believe. Thinking and questioning was encouraged. To shun individuality, to punish freedom of expression, to judge a person by their disagreement, or different ideas, are parts of the dark age that have not yet left us. We have yet to begin thinking again.

    The only way to ever have peace, while maintaining freedom, would be to universally cast out this dogma. We must grow out of this intellectual dark age. Once more we must grow to our former glory, and finally begin to accept debate; To accept free thought; To not judge someone solely on a difference of opinion, but rather to judge the intellectual merit of that opinion. It is then that we shall rise to the glory of ancient greece, and true peace shall be had, regardless of belief.
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  5. #4 Re: Is universal atheism inevitable? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadcat
    I was think about how religions keep dying off as new science is made available, and wanted to get some opinions on this,

    do you feel it's inevitable that one day the world will only have atheist?
    I forget - which religions have died off recently?
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    And if any have died off can you demonstrate their death was a consequence of new science?
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    And of any that are, can you demonstrate how this means atheism is inevitable?
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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    I strongly believe that a religion will always be here. Because the reason for a religion (please don't take offense) is to be led, to be given orders and rules to abide life by. If we all decided to be atheist where would those religious types rules be? Sure we have laws, but those are enforced by the police and the army. But a religious law is not one that has to be kept but one that is recommended. We don't like the laws but we abide by them, with religion i personally believe it was a human invention and that we made the rules as we saw fit. If we like the laws we are more likely to abide by them and so without those laws we are forever in the rules of the state, laws we don't like. So that non-liking laws makes us depressed and we end up resolving to religion. Sorry if i have gone off track.
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    The biggest religion of them all is the original jewish OT that derived communism and Islam.

    Well, the source of that religion that is the Israelis has been refuted by them and instead, they finally woke up and faced reality.
    So now their religion is the 'gun and cannon'. So IMO, their original religion is dead.

    The Latin educational system based on the study of Nature, can be the NEW religion of the future.
    This study is then the religion of the 'intellegentsia(?). Most of these people would be inclined to be atheists.

    I have been lately promoting our US Constitutionh as a suitable replacement for the OT that teaches hate while our C'N with all its current Amendments promotes TOLERANCE.

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  10. #9 Re: Is universal atheism inevitable? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadcat
    I was think about how religions keep dying off as new science is made available, and wanted to get some opinions on this,

    do you feel it's inevitable that one day the world will only have atheist?
    Can you name any religions that have become extinct in the last hundred or so years?

    The Mormon religion wsa born around the 1820's I think and thus well within the modern scientific era.

    Information suggests that there is some reluctance to teach evolution in some of the most modern schools in the world.

    I think there will always be people who find it easier to believe in and worship a deity rather than believe in string theory and the big bang, I also think it may swing back and forth a few times.
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  11. #10 Re: Is universal atheism inevitable? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Quote Originally Posted by deadcat
    I was think about how religions keep dying off as new science is made available, and wanted to get some opinions on this,

    do you feel it's inevitable that one day the world will only have atheist?
    I forget - which religions have died off recently?
    They're not dying off, but I think Time just ran an interesting article on the massive decline in Americans who identify themself as religious compared with previous decades.

    So, no: religions aren't dying off, but they are losing adherents. Technically I'm pretty sure a religion isn't dead in the USA until it has too few members to claim the associated tax status. I'm sure the required number varies from state to state, but I don't think it's a very high number. You'd really have to lose *everyone* in order to truly count as "dead".

    Quote Originally Posted by DementisVir
    I strongly believe that a religion will always be here. Because the reason for a religion (please don't take offense) is to be led, to be given orders and rules to abide life by. If we all decided to be atheist where would those religious types rules be? Sure we have laws, but those are enforced by the police and the army. But a religious law is not one that has to be kept but one that is recommended. We don't like the laws but we abide by them, with religion i personally believe it was a human invention and that we made the rules as we saw fit. If we like the laws we are more likely to abide by them and so without those laws we are forever in the rules of the state, laws we don't like. So that non-liking laws makes us depressed and we end up resolving to religion. Sorry if i have gone off track.
    Probably the first religious leaders were followed because they did a good job, in all reality. If you have the choice between a bad leader who isn't bullshitting you, and a good leader who's totally bullshitting you, which would you pick?

    To be honest, I'd pick the second guy.

    Science has begun to emerge as a new leader, and a lot people think it's a better leader that can take them to better places, so religion will probably become more and more obsolete until eventually we think of Jehova the way ancient Greeks came to think of Zeus.
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  12. #11 Re: Is universal atheism inevitable? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadcat
    I was think about how religions keep dying off as new science is made available, and wanted to get some opinions on this,

    do you feel it's inevitable that one day the world will only have atheist?
    God is all that we do not know. As long as there will be things we don't exactly understand and as long as there are ignorent people there will be religion. Besides that, religion can give comfort to peolple who are afraid so people will keep seeking that comfort.
    Also there are people and even nations that have nothing but there cultural inheritance. Those people want to keep their roots alive and religion mostly is part of that. So I believe that there will always be religion of some sort, though I don't know in what form. Afterall religions might change as they have in the past.
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    I wish people would stop interpreting "cultural inheritance" as some kind of wealth. You can't eat it. You can't live in it, and it won't give you a job or fix your economy, so why do people keep trying to fool themselves that it has some kind of economic value?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I wish people would stop interpreting "cultural inheritance" as some kind of wealth. You can't eat it. You can't live in it, and it won't give you a job or fix your economy, so why do people keep trying to fool themselves that it has some kind of economic value?
    True, yet if there is nothing else you have... Look at the primitive living africans. They have no money and almost no food. They have nothing to look forward to. The only thing that keeps them going are their customs and believings.
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  15. #14 Re: Is universal atheism inevitable? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    there are ignorent people
    You spelled ignorant wrong.
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  16. #15 Re: Is universal atheism inevitable? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    there are ignorent people
    You spelled ignorant wrong.
    Sorry. English isn't my native langue and i'm to lazy to run a spelling check
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  17. #16 Re: Is universal atheism inevitable? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadcat
    I was think about how religions keep dying off as new science is made available, and wanted to get some opinions on this,

    do you feel it's inevitable that one day the world will only have atheist?
    Knowledge is power. As we gain more knowledge, we find less and less reason to accept the myths and superstitions of our ancestors as reality.

    Only recently, has that knowledge been made so readily available through the internet for all the world to view, a startling and stark contrast to our past.

    From a site such as http://arxiv.org/ http://www.iop.org/EJ/journal/apj one can read about the very latest observations and hypotheses at their convenience and leisure. Of course, there is the little problem of being able to understand the material, but wouldn't that be rather easy to achieve with the internet?

    http://www.easyphysics.net/ online physics

    http://oyc.yale.edu/ online astrophysics

    http://www.biology-online.org/ online biology

    The lists for online learning are almost endless, for literally the entire academe.

    Will this alone create a world of atheists? Probably not.

    There is the little problem of childhood indoctrination, a vicious cycle of abuse that has to be broken in order for the world's population to take on the monumental task of thinking instead of just believing.
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  18. #17 ... 
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    No i do not believe that universal atheism is inevitable. Religion is that which we cannot study and it provides fullfillment(or at least for me) that nothing else can provide. It is far more likely that agnosticism will take the stage. It is irrational to dismiss the existence of God. He cannot be disproven, but on the other hand he cannot be proven either. So the rational person cannot deny the possibility of a God or Gods. So the best way to go is being agnostic (I am a theist, but i realise that my theism is completely based on faith and not rational by normal means)
    Nothing is certain, but uncertainty.
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  19. #18 Re: ... 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chisco1389
    (I am a theist, but i realise that my theism is completely based on faith and not rational by normal means)
    It is irrational to dismiss the existence of God.
    Notice how the former statement contradicts the latter.
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    If education and enlightenment encourage people to abandon the concept of a creator, then why do so many scientists believe in the concept of a diety?

    I can agree completely that more education and knowledge leads cultures to abandon much of the dogma of organised religion. Since most modern religions were enforced under penalty of death in their respective societies, it should be rather obvious that the religious dogma themselves were often constructs of the political ideology of the time.

    At the same time, It's fallacious to automatically assume the inextricable link between enlightened faith and organised religion. In fact, the two are quite nearly polar opposites of one another.

    Another perspective: As a thiest, and someone who follows Judeo-Christian faith (though I fervently reject association with any particular church), I've noticed that even when the parables in scriptures don't represent a historically or scientifically accurate perspective, the parables themselves often present levels of insight below the surface, which not only align with science, but present a level of insight that was not native to the scientific knowledge of society at the time the scripture was written.

    For example: The 6-day creation story in Genesis doesn't match very well with the timeline that's widely accepted by science today. On the other hand, the sequence of events matches the scientific community's general consensus exactly.

    Of course, that's a biased viewpoint, based on my perspective, which is easily dismissed by anybody who doesn't share that perspective. I'm not here to advocate the superiority of that perspective - just to share it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator
    If education and enlightenment encourage people to abandon the concept of a creator, then why do so many scientists believe in the concept of a diety?
    They don't. Most scientists don't believe in the supernatural.

    At the same time, It's fallacious to automatically assume the inextricable link between enlightened faith and organised religion. In fact, the two are quite nearly polar opposites of one another.
    One wouldn't exist without the other, so to speak. Did god start talking to you or did you get your religious ideas from organized religion?

    the parables themselves often present levels of insight below the surface, which not only align with science, but present a level of insight that was not native to the scientific knowledge of society at the time the scripture was written.
    That is most definitely a stretch of the imagination. However, you're free to demonstrate such an alignment.

    For example: The 6-day creation story in Genesis doesn't match very well with the timeline that's widely accepted by science today. On the other hand, the sequence of events matches the scientific community's general consensus exactly.
    How so? It states in Genesis that "God created the heavens and the earth" and goes on to state "And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light." This is opposite of what scientific theory presents.
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    I like Q's post above. Maybe the internet is causing the decline of religion, because people simply aren't as ignorant about science. Your preacher can't obfuscate the facts as convincingly anymore, because members of his flock will check the things he's telling them online.


    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator
    If education and enlightenment encourage people to abandon the concept of a creator, then why do so many scientists believe in the concept of a diety?
    They don't. Most scientists don't believe in the supernatural.
    In other words, they don't like to believe that there's anything out there that they haven't figured out yet.

    the parables themselves often present levels of insight below the surface, which not only align with science, but present a level of insight that was not native to the scientific knowledge of society at the time the scripture was written.
    That is most definitely a stretch of the imagination. However, you're free to demonstrate such an alignment.
    All that proves is that Jesus Christ was a genius. Perhaps a Leonardo DaVinci type figure in his time, who devoted his intellect to philosophy. And, I don't disagree. I have a lot of respect for the parables attributed to him.



    For example: The 6-day creation story in Genesis doesn't match very well with the timeline that's widely accepted by science today. On the other hand, the sequence of events matches the scientific community's general consensus exactly.
    How so? It states in Genesis that "God created the heavens and the earth" and goes on to state "And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light." This is opposite of what scientific theory presents.
    Of course, if God was a highly advanced alien with an "Earth Creating Machine" in front of him, he could have typed the words "Let there be light" into the terminal, accelerated his space ship up to 0.99999999999999999999999999999999 * The speed of light, and then returned one day later (according to his perception of time), to survey the machine's work.

    .....But,at this point I'm just joking around.


    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I wish people would stop interpreting "cultural inheritance" as some kind of wealth. You can't eat it. You can't live in it, and it won't give you a job or fix your economy, so why do people keep trying to fool themselves that it has some kind of economic value?
    True, yet if there is nothing else you have... Look at the primitive living africans. They have no money and almost no food. They have nothing to look forward to. The only thing that keeps them going are their customs and believings.
    And they always will have nothing else, until they let go of it enough to modernize their society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DementisVir
    I strongly believe that a religion will always be here. Because the reason for a religion (please don't take offense) is to be led, to be given orders and rules to abide life by. If we all decided to be atheist where would those religious types rules be? Sure we have laws, but those are enforced by the police and the army..
    I was with you in the first sentence, and largely agreed. Than you mentioned atheism in the second and you lost me. Religion and theism aren't the same thing. Buddhist for example are closer to being atheist than theistic but provide the advantages you referred to as religious advantages for tens of millions.

    I don't think religion will go away, we need clear standards to follow and an outlet for spirituality that seems necessary for most people.
    --

    Zoroastrianism is one of the former great religions that's died recently. Dozens of other religions once enjoyed by tribal groups have disappeared in the past few centuries--in the Amazon, Islands of the Pacific, the high Arctic etc. I don't see the great religions of today disappearing though. What's happened to Europe and Japan in the past half century is pretty remarkable though, many of the cultural trappings remain but depth of conviction and regularity of taking services are all but gone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by DementisVir
    I strongly believe that a religion will always be here. Because the reason for a religion (please don't take offense) is to be led, to be given orders and rules to abide life by. If we all decided to be atheist where would those religious types rules be? Sure we have laws, but those are enforced by the police and the army..
    I was with you in the first sentence, and largely agreed. Than you mentioned atheism in the second and you lost me. Religion and theism aren't the same thing. Buddhist for example are closer to being atheist than theistic but provide the advantages you referred to as religious advantages for tens of millions.

    I don't think religion will go away, we need clear standards to follow and an outlet for spirituality that seems necessary for most people.
    --

    Zoroastrianism is one of the former great religions that's died recently. Dozens of other religions once enjoyed by tribal groups have disappeared in the past few centuries--in the Amazon, Islands of the Pacific, the high Arctic etc. I don't see the great religions of today disappearing though. What's happened to Europe and Japan in the past half century is pretty remarkable though, many of the cultural trappings remain but depth of conviction and regularity of taking services are all but gone.
    If you consider the fact that most religious observances are kept in a society, even if that society's religious affiliation changes or disappears, one could easily cite the countless Christian holidays whose roots lie in third century Roman Pagan cultures as proof that those Pagan cultures never died either. I'd argue that very point, considering the fact that modern Christianity bears little resemblence to the actual teachings of Jesus. The very first public policy he laid out in his sermon on the mount was that all of the Old Testament's rules should be followed.
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    Actual Buddhism is part of Hinduism

    Hinduism is "living in the cycle to better your future lives" and Buddhism is "bettering your current life to break free of the cycle" betterment takes it's different forms though, in Hinduism a better life means more worldly, more noble of a life, and in Buddhism better life means less worldly, less noble of a life.

    Buddhism has been modified and popularized but it's roots are and always will be in Hinduism.

    Buddhism has no need for a God to worship, because the only reason you worship a God in Hinduism is to gain favor of that God in this life or the next. Krishna doesn't give favor. Krishna Consciousness is the ultimate goal of the Buddhist.

    SAying that buddhism is more atheistic than theistic is like saying "an apple may as well be dirt once its fallen from the tree" and in many cases this is true, but true buddhism transcends religion, this is true, but it's goal is the ascension to god consciousness, religious devotion and even worship are hindrances to this though, but do not mean this god doesn't exist, just means the nature of this God is different than those you are accustomed to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Actual Buddhism is part of Hinduism

    Hinduism is "living in the cycle to better your future lives" and Buddhism is "bettering your current life to break free of the cycle" betterment takes it's different forms though, in Hinduism a better life means more worldly, more noble of a life, and in Buddhism better life means less worldly, less noble of a life.

    Buddhism has been modified and popularized but it's roots are and always will be in Hinduism.

    Buddhism has no need for a God to worship, because the only reason you worship a God in Hinduism is to gain favor of that God in this life or the next. Krishna doesn't give favor. Krishna Consciousness is the ultimate goal of the Buddhist.

    SAying that buddhism is more atheistic than theistic is like saying "an apple may as well be dirt once its fallen from the tree" and in many cases this is true, but true buddhism transcends religion, this is true, but it's goal is the ascension to god consciousness, religious devotion and even worship are hindrances to this though, but do not mean this god doesn't exist, just means the nature of this God is different than those you are accustomed to.
    The actual teachings of both the Old and New Testaments work towards this same concept, in terms of pursuing a fundamental understanding of human nature. When the stories of scripure are viewed as illustrations of human nature, rather than as a history book, it aligns very well with the ideals of Buddhism, exactly as you describe them.
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    People will always need a bridge between ignorance and understanding. A simple account of an issue they would need years of study in order to understand in its fullness. I think some people walk out onto that bridge and decide they like it there, so they never trouble themselves to finish crossing it.

    So basically: the less book smart people of society will always want a religion to guide them, as a means of compensating for their lack of book smartness.
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    All it takes is for suckers to be born for religion/cult/sect to take hold, so religion will continue(with a little luck might become marginal though). The con artists will ajust their racket to the area's potential superstition and fashion, instead of invisible patriarchs on clouds it could be UFO's from beyond the wormhole of enlightenment. Religions fullfill a need for the predator to exploit the faithful and for the faithful to get comfort when faced with hardship/pain and the unknown. It can serve a purpose that is beneficial to some extent but its still bogus, just like the Santa Claus story is fun for kids even if its false.




    NO MORE FEUDS!
    Religions are as much political tools (means to an end) exploited to control the masses than a root cause of conflict. A pope might want to use religion to project feudal influence over foreign kingdoms(pledge allegiance and I shall justify your tyrany over your peasants by saying its ordained by an invisible man) or to seal off such influence(now we king of England are head of the church). Pesant Smith toiling for the opulence of his king doesnt really give a crap if Peasant Brown toiling for the opulence of that other King thinks the religion is the exact same thing except one detail, its the King that will say that tiny detail is blasphemy we(you) need to go over there and conquer the land of the infidels for the glory and (my) benefit of our true god.

    Without religion you can always invent reasons, we need to conquer them because their skin tone is different, because they speak another language, they have a different ideology, they are within the boundaries artificially traced by previous wars instead of being on our side, they are evil doers, terrorists(after a convenient false flag), they threaten our(my) interests, our ancestors lived (x thousands years ago) on their land so its rightfully ours! ...etc, etc,
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I like Q's post above. Maybe the internet is causing the decline of religion, because people simply aren't as ignorant about science. Your preacher can't obfuscate the facts as convincingly anymore, because members of his flock will check the things he's telling them online.
    Irony incoming...

    All that proves is that Jesus Christ was a genius. Perhaps a Leonardo DaVinci type figure in his time, who devoted his intellect to philosophy. And, I don't disagree. I have a lot of respect for the parables attributed to him.
    Jesus didn't write the Bible.

    So, do you think it's more knowledge about science that leads to less adherence to faith and/or religion, or less knowledge about faith and/or religion?


    How so? It states in Genesis that "God created the heavens and the earth" and goes on to state "And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light." This is opposite of what scientific theory presents.
    Particularly the fact that life began in the sea, and the earth was covered with water before continents formed. I just thought that was interesting.

    And they always will have nothing else, until they let go of it enough to modernize their society.
    Somehow, we managed to industrialize the entire world, even under the burdens of our cumbersome religion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator
    So, do you think it's more knowledge about science that leads to less adherence to faith and/or religion, or less knowledge about faith and/or religion?
    Clearly its more knowledge of both. The better educated someone is, the less likely they are to be religious, particularly if that knowledge is in the sciences and particularly if their knowledge includes sociology, anthropology, etc where the mechanisms of "faith" and religion are examined and explored.

    Somehow, we managed to industrialize the entire world, even under the burdens of our cumbersome religion.
    A foothold that we are fast loosing to less superstitious nations. Indeed, the resurgence of religious fundamentalism in the last few decades appears to correlate strongly with the decline in world technological and engineering dominance.

    Luckily, religious adherence is now on a decline in the U.S. and the non-religious population is increasing, so perhaps there's hope for us yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I like Q's post above. Maybe the internet is causing the decline of religion, because people simply aren't as ignorant about science. Your preacher can't obfuscate the facts as convincingly anymore, because members of his flock will check the things he's telling them online.
    Irony incoming...

    All that proves is that Jesus Christ was a genius. Perhaps a Leonardo DaVinci type figure in his time, who devoted his intellect to philosophy. And, I don't disagree. I have a lot of respect for the parables attributed to him.
    Jesus didn't write the Bible.
    True, but he is most likely the originator of the parables and teachings contained in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Those are the books in the bible that I most respect, in terms of their wisdom.



    So, do you think it's more knowledge about science that leads to less adherence to faith and/or religion, or less knowledge about faith and/or religion?
    I think it's because we have more alternatives. "God said", as an explanation for a philosophical or scientific truth/belief, just doesn't cut it if you actually have a way of understanding those reasons on a more fundamental level.

    Of course, a lot of people will not want to go to the trouble of learning the more fundamental version, so maybe "God said" suffices for them?


    And they always will have nothing else, until they let go of it enough to modernize their society.
    Somehow, we managed to industrialize the entire world, even under the burdens of our cumbersome religion.
    It may be that protestantism was a little less cumbersome than a lot of the religious view points out there. Primarily it differs in that you're allowed to disagree with human authority figures about stuff, and come up with your own ways of believing, using a basic text as your starting point.

    You can bounce between sub-faiths all you want until you find something that suits you, and still be considered to be righteous (ie. not subject to getting labeled an "infidel" or "faithless"), which motivates ministers to be careful not to get too heavy handed, or domineering, most of the time. That flexibility probably helped us in the early stages of our own scientific and industrial advancement.

    I think if there were such a thing as protestant Islam, it would be just as good, so I hope you won't take me to be favoring one invisible man in the sky over another, per se. I just think the dynamics of a protestant form of worship allow much better things to happen.
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    It may be that protestantism was a little less cumbersome than a lot of the religious view points out there. Primarily it differs in that you're allowed to disagree with human authority figures about stuff, and come up with your own ways of believing, using a basic text as your starting point.
    It may be interesting to put that to the test. How many wars/massacres by Protestant nations vs others? Just because they don't fight over beliefs does not necessarily mean they do not fight over anything else. There is usually a replacement of one ideology for another.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator
    So, do you think it's more knowledge about science that leads to less adherence to faith and/or religion, or less knowledge about faith and/or religion?
    Clearly its more knowledge of both. The better educated someone is, the less likely they are to be religious, particularly if that knowledge is in the sciences and particularly if their knowledge includes sociology, anthropology, etc where the mechanisms of "faith" and religion are examined and explored.

    Somehow, we managed to industrialize the entire world, even under the burdens of our cumbersome religion.
    A foothold that we are fast loosing to less superstitious nations. Indeed, the resurgence of religious fundamentalism in the last few decades appears to correlate strongly with the decline in world technological and engineering dominance.

    Luckily, religious adherence is now on a decline in the U.S. and the non-religious population is increasing, so perhaps there's hope for us yet.
    China's economic rise has nothing to do with abandoning religion, considering the fact that China has become MORE open to religious freedom in recent years.

    So let's see. Europe's a sulular society, and their economy is in the crapper. The US is declining, and fewer people are religious. China is becoming a superpower, and becoming more open to faith. People abandon religion because they know more about science, says the guy who thinks Jesus wrote the Creation Story in Genesis.

    On the other hand, I know a little bit about both science and the Bible, and the more I learn about both, the more I believe that each is largely useless without the other, since I believe that God created humanity to pursue knowledge of God using everything God has given us, from our desire to follow established dotrine, to our curiosity about the universe we live in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator

    On the other hand, I know a little bit about both science and the Bible, and the more I learn about both, the more I believe that each is largely useless without the other, since I believe that God created humanity to pursue knowledge of God using everything God has given us, from our desire to follow established dotrine, to our curiosity about the universe we live in.
    I agree. The advantage of science is that one can entertain a notion without embracing it, since the basis of science is doubt or skepticism. But it requires vision to be able to entertain a notion outside the box which requires an ability to visualise what cannot be perceived.
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    It may be that protestantism was a little less cumbersome than a lot of the religious view points out there. Primarily it differs in that you're allowed to disagree with human authority figures about stuff, and come up with your own ways of believing, using a basic text as your starting point.
    It may be interesting to put that to the test. How many wars/massacres by Protestant nations vs others? Just because they don't fight over beliefs does not necessarily mean they do not fight over anything else. There is usually a replacement of one ideology for another.
    I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that "wars per year" as a function of population density are probably pretty constant. At the same time, I would be interested to see if particularly dogmatic societies, whether religious or secular, contribute to the equation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator

    On the other hand, I know a little bit about both science and the Bible, and the more I learn about both, the more I believe that each is largely useless without the other, since I believe that God created humanity to pursue knowledge of God using everything God has given us, from our desire to follow established dotrine, to our curiosity about the universe we live in.
    I agree. The advantage of science is that one can entertain a notion without embracing it, since the basis of science is doubt or skepticism. But it requires vision to be able to entertain a notion outside the box which requires an ability to visualise what cannot be perceived.
    I like the saying, "Religion without science is blind. Science without religion is lame." It just kinda fits to me.
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    It may be just me, but I've always found, recently the effect being greater, that certain atheists adopt an attitude of intellectual snobbery, with its counterpart in religion being that oh so insufferable self-righteousness. The idea of a completely atheist world strikes me as unappealing and frightening as a completely Hindu, Bolivian, or broccoli eating world. It always struck me that people who seem to believe that the world would be a better place if everyone was atheist/Republican/White/Communist are unable to truly appreciate the complexity and value of nearly all human endeavors. With a world view that is clearly black and white (That is bad while this is good), it speaks to me almost of the radical xenophobism of the mid 20th century, with people seeing Master races and slave races, capitalists and communists, and every other distinction under the sun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey

    I agree. The advantage of science is that one can entertain a notion without embracing it, since the basis of science is doubt or skepticism. But it requires vision to be able to entertain a notion outside the box which requires an ability to visualise what cannot be perceived.
    It requires an overactive imagination and tremendous ignorance to declare the that which cannot be perceived as reality, as opposed to just entertaining the notion.
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    I can see computers in the future which pray to humans as their gods. Because they will be programmed in that way by some apes. They will have a point until one day they realise (have consciousness of their own) that we humans are not so ultimate and they will soon take over, unless we take some measurements and precautions against this possibility beforehand.

    Under these conditions, if some people would still believing in some ancient God(s), they must be the luckiest people on earth; since they would not be living in this dimension but a more isolated one.

    Religious, ideological or principle does not really matter: Just as we know that certain things are good (such as helping, giving, thinking, freedom, justice and solidarity) and certain things are bad, we also sense that a general acceptance over a universal set of human understanding would be a nice thing. We would like to believe that we have a reliable human system that will never fail us. Moreover, this global system will make sure every single member of human species benefits from existing common good. That kind of social environment can be reached in two ways: Believing and praying for it, or believing and doing something for it. In each case you can not find it on trees, you have to believe in it. And you must see that others are also believing and doing something for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    It may be that protestantism was a little less cumbersome than a lot of the religious view points out there. Primarily it differs in that you're allowed to disagree with human authority figures about stuff, and come up with your own ways of believing, using a basic text as your starting point.
    It may be interesting to put that to the test. How many wars/massacres by Protestant nations vs others? Just because they don't fight over beliefs does not necessarily mean they do not fight over anything else. There is usually a replacement of one ideology for another.
    That's why we're talking about comparative values. Especially in the form of protestantism commonly practiced in the USA, a Baptist doesn't see a member of the Church of Christ as an "infidel", nor does a Baptist necessarily disown their child because the child decides to attend the Church of Christ instead of remaining Baptist.

    However, both a Baptist, and a member of the Church of Christ will happily band together in an attack against a Muslim, because they both agree that a Muslim is an "infidel".

    Just because something has freedom within itself doesn't mean it's totally free. It's like the difference between being imprisoned in a prison cell where you're free to move around within the cell (just not free to leave the cell) vs. being imprisoned with your arms chained to a wall. One is certainly preferable to the other, but neither is preferable to actual freedom.

    Non-protestant religion is like the prisoner chained to a wall.
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    I think one day there might be world-wide agnosticism/diesm.

    This, to me, would be preferable to world-wide atheism...because atheism (defining it here as the belief in the absolute non-existance of a god/supernatural) is not proven. Now, neither is any form of theism. So the "default" postition is that we do not know.

    Also, I add the diesm because there will always be people who believe in a supernatural existance because it is human nature and because it is highly unlikely (and, indeed, more than a little scary) for all of the human race to believe the same thing at the same time. I do, however think that possibly one day people will not care so much what specific religon you subscribe to, but rather who you are as a person, and that the barbaric customs of limiting the teaching of science will disapate.

    Hopefully.
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    I predict rather the culture of hedonism we raised our baby-boomers to embody, will fade. In this future, our generations will not be taught their purpose in life is to be happier. So the ethical framework of "default agnosticism" will be undermined. Same goes for narcissist spiritualities like "mind, body & spirit". These new generations will seek purposes other than ours, maybe through organized religion. Whatever they do, it's sure to disturb us.

    I agree the thought of everybody thinking alike terrifies me and has since I was little. If diversity fosters conflict and excuses war, so be it.
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    I think that this kind of discussion is never-ending because we can't prove anything. What really strikes me though is that people keep confusing science and religion, or saying that ignorant people (uneducated, etc) are religious and scientists are atheists. Where did that come from? The best scientists and true scientists where far from atheists. If you think because you went to university and you read some books that you are a scientist and therefore scientists are atheists there is something wrong with your way of thinking (and also that you have a huge ego). When your name is more popular and when your contribution to society is greater than Einstein's, Hawking's or even Newton's then we will talk again about scientists being atheists.

    It really bugs the hell out of me when people confuse science with religion.
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    It really bugs the hell out of me when people confuse science with belief.

    While being an atheist does not necessarily mean you are a scientist, being an actual scientist means you must be an atheist. Only the proven is accepted. The Big Bang is proven. It requires no god. Use the scientific principle of Occam's Razor.

    There are a huge diversity of gods on Earth. Most of them have doctrines and explanations of the formation of the world that are recognized as pre-science and pre-technical civilizations attempts to explain the Universe. Holding onto pre-science doctrines today is simply ludicrous for any civilian living in a space-age society, let alone a scientist.

    I live in a very wonderful universe that has alot of richness to discover perfectly well without it being dumbed down by the cancer that is religion. The religious can go on with hiding their heads in the sand if they can't face reality; just don't go telling me I must do the same.
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    It really bugs the hell out of me when people confuse science with belief.

    While being an atheist does not necessarily mean you are a scientist, being an actual scientist means you must be an atheist. Only the proven is accepted
    The irony is unmistakable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Sensei
    While being an atheist does not necessarily mean you are a scientist, being an actual scientist means you must be an atheist.
    Seriously? Einstein (Hawking) wasn't an actual scientist?

    Quote Originally Posted by C_Sensei
    Only the proven is accepted.
    I'm sorry i probably missed that, but when did we prove that God doesn't exist?


    Quote Originally Posted by C_Sensei
    The Big Bang is proven. It requires no god. Use the scientific principle of Occam's Razor
    Even if the Big Bang Theory will be proven, that provides no evidence of God's presence nor proves his absence.
    Your syllogism is problematic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScienceJunkie
    Quote Originally Posted by C_Sensei
    The Big Bang is proven. It requires no god. Use the scientific principle of Occam's Razor
    Even if the Big Bang Theory will be proven, that provides no evidence of God's presence nor proves his absence.
    Your syllogism is problematic.
    Out of curiosity why the bolding of theory? and what do you mean by Proven?
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    When you disprove the need of your god to start your universe, and when you disprove the claims made about him, ya, you've DISPROVED your god, or his existence.

    If I start arguing that the little green man runs out and switches the light on/off for your refrigerator, why should that be a case of "Oh now you're just not serious! You really believe that? Man, you need HELP". While that is exactly what it will be from you religious types. You're such hypocrites it's incredible.
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    I'm christian but I also believe in science. I believe God created the world, and science explains how.
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    I'm not very enthusiastic in religion.
    But I do not think atheism is inevitable.
    Any time human need solace for the soul.
    Religion is one way.

    And, to some degree science is also religion.

    We can not prove God exist nor can we do the opposite thing.
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    religion is pretty much as strong as ever, atheism is still a fledgling minority, and btw the big bang theory was a major set back to atheists
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    and btw the big bang theory was a major set back to atheists
    Why?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Brush: Believing something doesn't make it real. Believe in faeries all you want. They don't exist any more than your 'god' does.
    If you believe in science, then you don't understand how it's done nor do you understand its implications. You're doing nothing more than subscribing to authority all over again - the same as you do for a religion; you are just listening to what someone tells you because it feels good. You don't do science at all when you believe.

    Wang: How can you prove humans need solace for the 'soul'? Can you even prove there is a 'soul'? Science is only another religion to people like Brush, who haven't yet learned what science really IS. It takes a long time to learn it. Crack open a book: The Demon Haunted World for a good idea.

    'god' is disproven when you prove there is no need for it, and you also disprove aspects about it. Furthermore, when there is no evidence at all for it, this is equal to saying it doesn't exist. Is there any conclusive evidence for the little green refrigerator-light man? So why would you say such a ludicrous thing exists?

    Ishmael: wtf are you talking about, the Big Bang is a setback to atheists? It's the biggest proof that there is no god needed to start the universe!! What the hell are you smoking???

    Yes, I am very saddened that religion is still very strong in the ignorance belt. Especially in an age that is only possible DUE to science itself. Eventually education might win out over ignorance, but it sure is an uphill battle. So many people are proud of their stupidity.
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    Believing something doesn't make it real.
    I agree.

    I "believe" in science in the respect that what seems logical to me I believe to be true (IE big bang theory, evolution, etc.). How I see it, science is simply the study of how the world works. Christianity does not get in the way of science.

    I suppose "believe" was a poor choice of words as it mislead you to think I said science is a religon.

    Science and Christianity are not conflicting.
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    They are certainly conflicting. Your christianity says the world was made by your god, is 6000 years old, and that the sun orbits the earth. It goes on to say that one guy was able to float in the air, heal people instantaneously with a touch, oh and come back to life after having been killed.

    That is in DIRECT conflict with science. direct. conflict.

    If you go believing science than you don't understand what it is, nor how it's done. You do not do science at all when you believe.
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    You cannot take the bible literally.
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    C_Sensei
    Wang: How can you prove humans need solace for the 'soul'? Can you even prove there is a 'soul'? Science is only another religion to people like Brush, who haven't yet learned what science really IS. It takes a long time to learn it. Crack open a book: The Demon Haunted World for a good idea.

    'god' is disproven when you prove there is no need for it, and you also disprove aspects about it. Furthermore, when there is no evidence at all for it, this is equal to saying it doesn't exist. Is there any conclusive evidence for the little green refrigerator-light man? So why would you say such a ludicrous thing exists?
    Hmm, I should say my English is not very fluent.
    I used 'soul', but I do not had any religionary meaning there. I mean the feelings make one comfortable....like this.
    Thanks to your book, I'll read it when I have time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    and btw the big bang theory was a major set back to atheists
    Why?
    It meant the universe might actually have a beginning. In previous theories, the universe didn't necessarily have a starting point. And, no starting point means no moment of creation.


    Quote Originally Posted by C_Sensei
    It goes on to say that one guy was able to float in the air, heal people instantaneously with a touch, oh and come back to life after having been killed.

    That is in DIRECT conflict with science. direct. conflict.

    If you go believing science than you don't understand what it is, nor how it's done. You do not do science at all when you believe.
    An alien race with sufficiently well developed technology might be able to create all of those effects. At least they could come close enough to match observation.

    Quote Originally Posted by brushman
    Believing something doesn't make it real.
    I agree.

    I "believe" in science in the respect that what seems logical to me I believe to be true (IE big bang theory, evolution, etc.). How I see it, science is simply the study of how the world works. Christianity does not get in the way of science.

    I suppose "believe" was a poor choice of words as it mislead you to think I said science is a religon.

    Science and Christianity are not conflicting.
    Their epistemological approach totally conflicts. Science is a probability driven approach. Scientific proofs generally consist in very a strong claim of likelihood, of the form: "Such and such event was observed under such and such circumstances, and the odds of that observation occurring by pure chance rather than resulting from the scientist's theory are shown to be very remote. "

    Religion is all about ignoring the odds. "Faith" is believing in something without demanding that it be proven to you. The less weight you give to the evidence, the more "faith" you have. So long as a Christian is not confronted with absolute proof *against* a belief, they will not be swayed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brushman

    Science and Christianity are not conflicting.
    Christianity purports miracles, raising of the dead, heaven and hell, devils, etc.

    Science does not agree, hence it is in conflict.


    Quote Originally Posted by brushman
    You cannot take the bible literally.
    Why is that many Christians do take the bible literally? And, why shouldn't you take it literally?
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    Indeed. If you believe your god and have such faith in your god, then why do you turn around and deny what your god tells you to do in the instruction manual he has given you?

    Are you so much of a hypocrite that YOU decide what's true in your bible and what's false? Go join mitchianity!
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by brushman

    Science and Christianity are not conflicting.
    Christianity purports miracles, raising of the dead, heaven and hell, devils, etc.

    Science does not agree, hence it is in conflict.
    It only disagrees if you assume Earth level technology. Allow extra-terrestrials to participate, and everything changes.

    Another possibility is, of course, the deliberate hoax. The observer really saw what they saw, but what they saw was a deliberately constructed illusion. There are supposed "dragon men" in India who use deliberate tricks like blow torches and other pyro-technics to convince people that they are magical.

    Quote Originally Posted by brushman
    You cannot take the bible literally.
    Why is that many Christians do take the bible literally? And, why shouldn't you take it literally?
    Just be careful to allow that the observer's conclusions may be inaccurate, while their observations may have been totally valid.

    For example: the flood story. I doubt Noah was in any position to see whether Mt. Everest was under water. If he looked outside his boat and didn't see any land, he'd have to assume something was wrong, but it's just as possible that a much smaller flood had occurred near an ocean settlement, and he'd been washed out to sea.
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    In any event, your bible is proved wrong. The 'instruction manual' your god gave you, his inerrant word, is proven WRONG.

    You have also not mentioned that if something cannot ever be measured, nor even seen to exist, then it is the same thing as saying it does not exist.
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    written by C_Sensei
    if something cannot ever be measured, nor even seen to exist, then it is the same thing as saying it does not exist.
    I think a better saying is that 'if some theory can never be proven wrong, then the things it reveals does not exist, at least partially'.

    At any time, human beings only know little about the world.
    So one thing can not be proven now, does not mean it can not be proven in future.
    But if one theory is told to be right at any time and any place, it must be wrong.
    We can never reach that level of knowing this world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wangwy13
    written by C_Sensei
    if something cannot ever be measured, nor even seen to exist, then it is the same thing as saying it does not exist.
    I think a better saying is that 'if some theory can never be proven wrong, then the things it reveals does not exist, at least partially'.
    If we're using probability as our guide, then an un-disprovable claim is one where the odds of it being false cannot be reduced to a negligibly small %. For testable theories, the % likelihood of it being incorrect gets smaller and smaller every time you try to disprove it and fail. After a while, the odds get smaller than the odds of winning the lottery, and then it's safe to call it a "fact".


    If there's always going to be a substantially high probability of error, we might say that something "partially" doesn't exist. We might even say that the exact % of non-existence it experiences is proportional to the % likelihood of it being false.
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    give some examples of what you think would be 'partially' existant?

    Big Feet?
    Loch Ness Monster?
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Sensei
    give some examples of what you think would be 'partially' existant?

    Big Feet?
    Loch Ness Monster?
    I didn't mean the things about probability.
    I just mean one theory is only true when fix it to some time some place, when is comes to the others it become false.
    For example, the Newton's law was thought right under any condition.
    Believing in this, Lord Kelvin said there were only two clouds, except them physics was perfect.
    But Einstein proved that Newton's law is true when the speed is not very fast and the mass is not very big.
    Will one day some great one find that Einstein's theory is also wrong(inappropriate) when we face some special conditions?
    I think that is possible.
    And this is what I mean by 'partial'.
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    In english we call it an 'approximation' and the degree of 'approximation' makes all the difference in whether it is 'science', 'pseudoscience', 'hokum', 'lunacy' and then 'religion'.

    So we would say Newton makes a damn good approximation for classroom work, I'm sure you'll agree with that.
    Einstein, as we well know, is needed for the space program.

    We say that Einstein is a more complete approximation than Newton, but we are in essence saying the same thing you put forth, then.

    I had thought that by 'partial' you had meant 'pseudoscience'; crystal healing energy power, guardian angels, Slimer the ghost eating your chocolate bar on you, etc...
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  68. #67 Re: Is universal atheism inevitable? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadcat
    I was think about how religions keep dying off as new science is made available, and wanted to get some opinions on this,

    do you feel it's inevitable that one day the world will only have atheist?
    Not at all, deadcat.

    A world without religion is not necessarily a world without God. A good alternative to atheism among the scientifically minded that resist the temptation of believing an invisible, flying spaghetti monster is pantheism, or the belief that the universe is God.

    I, for example, am a pantheist, and I believe that the universe is a kind of enormous, cosmic organism--a consicous and unfolding one--and we humans are but little organized concentrations of space-time ripples going along for the ride.
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    If you're among the scientifically minded, how do you reconcile this with a lack of proof for the belief of a conscious universe?
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Sensei
    If you're among the scientifically minded, how do you reconcile this with a lack of proof for the belief of a conscious universe?
    For starts, C_Sensei, we don't even know what consciousness is or how it "emerges" from specific organic chemical reactions. And in light of ideas being proposed by mainstream physicists, such as "Quantum Consciousness", the possibility isn't that remote.

    Basic elementary matter might possess qualities of consciousness and even sentiency, which, when concentrated in large conglomerates of very chemically reactive matter (typical of organic matter because of the "octet" demands of the carbon atom) in complex arrangements can exhibit complicated expressions of "awareness" and "consciousness".

    The idea has been proposed quite a few times, and though its certainly an unconventional theory, no workable and successful alternative has been formulated.

    It's my own belief that science is heading down this path.

    1) Consciousness is a real phenomena that needs to be explained.

    2) A viable theory on consciousness must utilize known fundamental forces and aspects of matter to be considered scientific.

    As of now, the limitation is on complex arrangements of organic matter--but when you get down to pecuilarities of the cell, it all gets enigmatic again.
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    I don't see how it gets enigmatic. When you have a neural network with enough interconnections between neurons, you can get consciousness (in our Earth denizen sense) to greater and greater degrees, depending on the critical mass of your neurons.

    Experiments have shown the degree of consciousness in animals and even human babies at different stages of development: (you make an experiment that unambiguously shows how much consciousness the baby displays, then kill the baby, dice its brain, and check for overall neuronal development/interconnections).

    We know that 'lower' animals have very simple instinctual reactions, some have even less, and many of those lower animals can hardly be described as conscious on any level. Sponges, having no neuronal tissue, can be said to be brainless.

    The same thing holds for plants. My uneducated father asked once "How do you know you aren't hurting the plant when you pick it and eat it? It has feelings! It doesn't like that!" as a 10 yr old I was confused. One single course in Biology teaches you better.

    How can you then claim that tiny all the way up to planet sized hunks of minerals can have any consciousness? To correctly model it sans "belief" you would have to demonstrate consciousness in, let's say, a tiny meteorite? Or, if you think it's more probable in the 4-e Carbon, use a charcoal briquette!

    Please let us know; even if you have only a partial idea...if it could be valid, someone else might be able to develop your idea further.
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  72. #71 Re: Is universal atheism inevitable? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadcat
    I was think about how religions keep dying off as new science is made available, and wanted to get some opinions on this,

    do you feel it's inevitable that one day the world will only have atheist?
    To be honest about it, it is a wonder that the Old Testament in the bible is still believed by some jews.
    This religion is DUMB. The current knowledge we have today is enough to make the OT equivalent to some cartoons today.

    The main errors in the OT are:

    Creation of the universe? Its age is given as 6000 years old? Ha ha.
    When you look up into the skies and see all those gigantic structures through the telescopes today that are estimated to be 'billions' of years old. you wonder why the OT still has any credibility.

    The OT promotes discrimination and hate by promoting a woman as a sinner by eating a fruit from a tree? This is stupid!

    This also implies indirectly that apes are sinners because they eat fruit from trees?

    So the jews have adopted their super white race by adopting the nature of the chauvinist lions sexism and killing capabilities.
    So this super white mentality was demolished back in the last early part of the century when Jack Johnson got to to the world champion in boxing.

    Then, of course, they worship a deity that uses Jewicides for religious cleansing to maintain his status as a 'one god'.

    So this book is supposed to represent a 'moral' reference? Ha ha.

    It is the source of communism and the Islamic religion that both use a one god concept.

    Karl Marx portrayed religion as a drug. He was a born jew.
    The Israelis today use the 'gun and cannon' as their savior.
    So these two examples, I consider that the OT is dead.

    But on the other hand, I consider that there is one great truth in the OT and that is that a REAL evil spirit DOES exist since there is a Universal Mind that I have wriitten an article about.

    So here, science fails because they refute the spiritual reality.

    Read my post on the religious sector.

    Cosmo
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    I think People Will Always Need Religion As a Faith they can Rely and Pray when they are in trouble or in need of something.people will adapt and have adapted to atheism in the West Especially in Europe but it will take longer time and it may never happen in the east because of grand population of Religious Groups like India ,China and Eastern Asia and The Middle East that has a great Muslim Majority.
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    Religion will always be around. What is changing is that it will no longer be a major variable that drives civilization.

    This is already the case in many western societies. The difference between the role of religion in my country and that of when I was a boy growing up in the 60's is incredible. The diminishing role of religion is even more pronounced in Latin countries. Jesus has become a non-entity in most lives. One may still claim an identity as 'Catholic' etc., but the label doesn't translate into any meaningful behavior in society that is different from the non-Catholic.

    Re a comment above about non-Christian religions. I've worked in the Middle East and don't fool yourself that most young folks are believers in Islam. The religion is more of a cement block stifling expression. Belief in a specific god is certainly higher than in the West but non-believers go about all the rituals for their own well being. A Muslim denouncing Islam is a dead Muslim in some countries or at best an ostracized onei in others.
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  75. #74 Re: Is universal atheism inevitable? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadcat
    I was think about how religions keep dying off as new science is made available, and wanted to get some opinions on this,

    do you feel it's inevitable that one day the world will only have atheist?
    I don't think losing followers equals the death of a religious Idea. I hope atheism will not become a universal ideal.
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    I believe universal atheism is quite impossible. True, some religions are dying out as they are being disproved by scientific advances and technologies, but many are only taking advantage of these technologies to help spread their religion. Take the LDS church for example, in 1830 they had less than 100 members. Now, they are the 4th largest denomination in the US, with 5.5 million members, and 13 million worldwide. They are only growing. Other religions are doing this exact same pattern, and their growth is exponential, growing faster and faster as the population and technologies arise. Universal Atheism, in my opinion, is a total impossibility. More likely than anything else, will be one religion spread over most of the human population.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadcat View Post
    I was think about how religions keep dying off as new science is made available, and wanted to get some opinions on this,

    do you feel it's inevitable that one day the world will only have atheist?
    It sounded like you're implying that science has killed off religion--yet I can't think of a single example of that. It probably has put a dent in some, such as the sharp decrease in Christianity in Europe over the past few decades. Than again the realization that much of the divisiveness had it's wellspring in religion probably did more damage (e.g. Christianity's anti-antisemitism). Other have just been replaced by force (e.g. Communist purges), losing the competition of ideas (e.g. Zoroastrians), or dramatic chances in family dynamics (e.g.,Shakers)

    I doubt we'll ever see religion die out entirely--especially those that don't rely on superstition, such as the Buddhist life philosophy.
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    You can never trust people to do away without religion at all! From the onset of birth: each newborn is always the same with those newborn who embraced religion thousand of years ago (empty of knowledge and wisdom). If you want human (as whole) to do away without religion: then you must augment all babies with adult's memory /memory prosthesis... and that is bad; imagine people who never change (never became better/never became worse/never embrace any changes) because no one actualy 'dies' (...).
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    each newborn is always the same with those newborn who embraced religion thousand of years ago (empty of knowledge and wisdom). If you want human (as whole) to do away without religion: then you must augment all babies with adult's memory
    What are you talking about? A newborn doesn't have have to learn religion anymore than you have to teach them about Santa's Elves.
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    If we somehow eradicated religion, some kid who'd never heard of it before would make up a new religion, and think they'd invented the concept. At least the existing religions have some group memory, so they don't have to remake their (biggest) mistakes.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    The new forms are pretty interesting....such as the scifi aspect of Scientology.

    A study of those mistakes and what erodes their popularity or spreading is pretty interesting as well.
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    I think there will always be some kind of religion around. Whether its some wonder at the sky, animals, or the land around us (or) witchcraft , voodoo or natural medicine.

    I heard a scientst say that in the days when we were hunter gathers, homo sapiens worshiped women as Gods. He said that humans always leave behind artifacts of their God worship. Like the pyrimids and stonehenge for the Sun god. Or other small monuments for the stars.


    He said hunter gather humans left behind lots of small stone carvings of nude women. (for science: the stone dolls I saw were plump, with large you know whats.)

    And I think humans are probabily lightly geneticly programed to look at the stars like other animals. All the horoscopes have something to do with the stars moving in the sky.

    Other cultures look at tea leaves, or animals organs to see the future, Some culture's used to worship animals as Gods. And I think theres a good chance our genetic programing helps us to do this, at least in our present kind of tribe groups.

    The Romans used to think the plantet Jupiter was the strongest god of all.

    But now it seems that most cultures worship actuall men as gods, such as jesus, Mohamid, or Buda.

    Me personally I would preffer to worship woman or animals.
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    Religion is about making people behave in the right way. There is no word (or catchphrase) in science that can instantenously transform a person into a nice person except religion. For example: if you convince a person that "doing X is right for the benefit of 99% of society" (conventional social science conclusion)... why the hell do he care about it? so what happen if we tell about "god, hell and a promise of judgement day"? people will change and it is for the benefit of the common... soo religion stays...
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    . There is no word (or catchphrase) in science that can instantenously transform a person into a nice person except religion.
    Instantly? Hardly. On the other hand religion doesn't do that either--it usually takes years, and all too often through young minds unable to evaluate its merits. And that's before even getting in the whole question of what "right" is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msafwan View Post
    Religion is about making people behave in the right way. There is no word (or catchphrase) in science that can instantenously transform a person into a nice person except religion. For example: if you convince a person that "doing X is right for the benefit of 99% of society" (conventional social science conclusion)... why the hell do he care about it? so what happen if we tell about "god, hell and a promise of judgement day"? people will change and it is for the benefit of the common... soo religion stays...
    Another way to achieve this is tell them there are laws, and the police will arrest him if he doesn't do X. In tribal societies you can tell him the tribe will think highly of him if he does X.

    Religion kind of accomplishes both of those in its own way. Fear of God's punishment can keep bad people in line. Membership in a church group that functions largely like a tribal unit can give him peers who will respect him if he does right. And the religion's dogma becomes a definition for the tribal unit to use.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Another way to achieve this is tell them there are laws, and the police will arrest him if he doesn't do X.
    That's part of a soluation, but probably not the best one because it still relies on extrinsic carrot and stick motivators--while research shows that intrinsic motivations such as curiosity, independence, social acceptance, tranquility are far more effective as rewards that motivate people towards making acceptable complex decisions.
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    The motivations to do good, and the motivations to not do bad, are not the same. Neither are they flip sides of the same coin, necessarily sprung from the same social institutions and forces, etc.

    We can't rely on scientific understanding to motivate people to avoid evil even, let alone do good, in part because the evaluation of complex decisions in any given human situation is normally based on insufficient data and theory, and is made in a context of contingencies far wider than any scientific field. It requires deep and widely based reasoning in a situation of ineradicable uncertainty and dependence on chance, where one bets one's life on what from a scientific point of view is a rule of thumb at best.

    The evil now being done in the labs of the genetic engineers working for predatory corporations, for example, is being done by people of intelligence and sophisticated scientific expertise. They are satisfying their curiosity, independence, social acceptance, tranquility, all that good stuff.
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    We can't rely on scientific understanding to motivate people to avoid evil even, let alone do good, in part because the evaluation of complex decisions in any given human situation is normally based on insufficient data and theory, and is made in a context of contingencies far wider than any scientific field. It requires deep and widely based reasoning in a situation of ineradicable uncertainty and dependence on chance, where one bets one's life on what from a scientific point of view is a rule of thumb at best.

    The evil now being done in the labs of the genetic engineers working for predatory corporations, for example, is being done by people of intelligence and sophisticated scientific expertise. They are satisfying their curiosity, independence, social acceptance, tranquility, all that good stuff.
    They are different things. You are comparing the scientific study of morality which IMHO will prove to be the best way to discuss moral issues and already proving to be so in secular nations, with scientific study of technologies that might do potential harm. They are different sciences or perhaps put better different objectives using the scientific method.
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    You are comparing the scientific study of morality which IMHO will prove to be the best way to discuss moral issues and already proving to be so in secular nations, with scientific study of technologies that might do potential harm.
    I see potential for the misuse of a scientific understanding of morality - understanding how people acquire and employ moral values opens up the possibility of really effective and efficient manipulation or even coercion of those people, for example.

    And I see nothing in the process of science itself capable of curbing those who would take such advantage. The amoral scientist is practically a stereotype, as common as they seem to be.
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    I see potential for the misuse of a scientific understanding of morality - understanding how people acquire and employ moral values opens up the possibility of really effective and efficient manipulation or even coercion of those people, for example.
    It's not perfect for sure, but will probably prove much more credible than other systems current employed which rely on superstitions and largely irrelevant experiences and combined with mythology from past ages. The sciences and secularism have been remarkably successful to reduce human misery including improved justice and promote equality--there's no reason to think that trend won't continue. We should embrace it.
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    The sciences and secularism have been remarkably successful to reduce human misery including improved justice and promote equality--there's no reason to think that trend won't continue. We should embrace it.
    Couldn't agree more. There is obviously an urge in all people to find sense and meaning in the world at large. This (un)happily coincides with an inbuilt capacity to find and recognise patterns. Many such patterns are vital to personal survival, others are entirely spurious. Which leads us to astrology and the like, most of which have the potential to be counter-productive rather than life enhancing.

    Science, education and general improvement in living conditions can cut down a bit of the effects of these unfortunate tendencies. Germ theory and other medical knowledge has certainly reduced superstitious fears about illnesses being caused by curses or devils or the vengeance of unhappy gods or the like. Knowledge of physical sciences has similarly reduced such irrational fears about volcanoes and earthquakes as well as droughts and floods.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    I see potential for the misuse of a scientific understanding of morality - understanding how people acquire and employ moral values opens up the possibility of really effective and efficient manipulation or even coercion of those people, for example.
    It's not perfect for sure, but will probably prove much more credible than other systems current employed which rely on superstitions and largely irrelevant experiences and combined with mythology from past ages. The sciences and secularism have been remarkably successful to reduce human misery including improved justice and promote equality--there's no reason to think that trend won't continue. We should embrace it.
    Embrace it as we want to, but religion must stay. The problem is: people still don't understand what science is all about; they try to rely on science completely as though it has some ideals that could lead mankind into some better place. Problem is: science is not an ideals, it has no ideals: science is just a collection of facts that tells you the truth about the world, but it is people that make the ideals, people who make us shape the future using their truth... and this people still need wisdom and religion to make the right decision.
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    Embrace it as we want to, but religion must stay. The problem is: people still don't understand what science is all about; they try to rely on science completely as though it has some ideals that could lead mankind into some better place.
    Well, that's simply the reverse of the same coin. There's no point in accepting science if you're going to treat it as a belief system like religion or politics or other ideology. Just as there's no logic in claiming to institute atheist or citizen controlled politics and promptly set up a leader worship habit or cult indistinguishable to an outside observer from divine right of kings or religious fervour.

    And there's no must about it. Religion in many forms will stay because of people's feelings and desires. But there's no good reason why such feelings should dominate (or even influence) people's knowledge and perceptions of the world around them, or the relative worth of people (colour, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, marital status, etc) be judged by irrational or superstitious benchmarks. And such beliefs should be actively shunned or even prohibited where they involve cruelty, violence and other anti-social behaviours. (Or maybe just practices within certain religious or other groups rather than the religion/belief itself, but the harm of the activities should be limited or eliminated.)
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    Most atheist believe in some sort of afterlife, leads me to believe that they still do have some sort of religion in them.

    I beleive the future everyone will be Apathiest, its like ashiest, you know no god exist, and you also know that an afterlife is purely a fabrication to keep us at bliss.
    and even if a god did exist we would not even acknowledged them, because an apathiest would not want to like forever in a giant white house and be happy for all eternity.
    I will die one day, I don't want to so I will do everything I possibly can to extend my life. thats how an apathiest thinks
    also if u think about it already %40 of the world is some what atheist/
    I would say less then are apathiest
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    The motivations to do good, and the motivations to not do bad, are not the same. Neither are they flip sides of the same coin, necessarily sprung from the same social institutions and forces, etc.
    Yeah. This is quite possibly the biggest mistake some people make in designing their morality systems: confusing/crossing good with not bad. A local mafia don, or African warlord might decide to punish people who don't pay tribute. Not paying tribute = bad. Trouble is that system has a tendency to run away to the point where the warlord is collecting any and all wealth the people make in excess of subsistence, which motivates them to make as little money as possible so there will be nothing to take.

    Really peace -loving people sometimes desire to negotiate with terrorists rather than wage war against them. Same problem. The terrorists will just keep demanding more and more. At first they'll make reasonable requests, but once they see how little resistance they're getting the requests will begin to get progressively less and less reasonable. And in both cases, the enemy you gave all your money to will use it to buy more guns and solidify their tactical position.

    So the key to successful morality is making sure bad behavior is never rewarded, and good behavior is never punished.
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    science is just a collection of facts that tells you the truth about the world
    Not true. It is facts and a formal method of thinking towards problem solving. It can be applied to moral questions.

    If for example you look at Kojax's examples it's not too hard to see the potential applications of science. It could be used to show that warlord societies aren't a very effective way to minimize suffering for example, identify the types of societies that are better and use the soft sciences to figure out the more likely societal structures towards achieving that goal. And it can do this more effectively than the arbitrary bronze aged mythology systems that many think were inspired by gods.

    Most atheist believe in some sort of afterlife, leads me to believe that they still do have some sort of religion in them.
    Evidence? I think you're full of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    science is just a collection of facts that tells you the truth about the world
    Not true. It is facts and a formal method of thinking towards problem solving. It can be applied to moral questions.

    If for example you look at Kojax's examples it's not too hard to see the potential applications of science. It could be used to show that warlord societies aren't a very effective way to minimize suffering for example, identify the types of societies that are better and use the soft sciences to figure out the more likely societal structures towards achieving that goal. And it can do this more effectively than the arbitrary bronze aged mythology systems that many think were inspired by gods.

    Most atheist believe in some sort of afterlife, leads me to believe that they still do have some sort of religion in them.
    Evidence? I think you're full of it.
    Reincarnation, consciousness after death, soul, afterlife.
    every athiest I know belives in this stuff, doesnt have to have a god.
    With bravery and recognition that we are harbingers of our destiny and with a paragon of virtue.
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    Reincarnation, consciousness after death, soul, afterlife.
    every athiest I know belives in this stuff, doesnt have to have a god.
    Studies please?

    I don't know any atheist that believe in any of those things...even the agnostics I know think it's hogwash. It's pretty inconsistent to be an athiest and believe in any form of afterlife other than the natural ones we know about as other life makes use of your remaining energy (bugs, sharks etc), or in a metaphorical sense like a your memory, or the stone marking your "resting place" for dogs to pee on.
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    I think you may be defining atheist as "rejects conventional forms of organised religion".

    The people you're referring to sound very much to me like New Agers or some similar designation. They don't 'like' what's on offer, but they want the transcendental or 'beyond themselves' or deep spirituality or 'at one with the universe' or 'acknowledge traditional wisdom' or whatever they like to call it. Reincarnation?!?

    Just another form of magical thinking.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    The sciences and secularism have been remarkably successful to reduce human misery including improved justice and promote equality--there's no reason to think that trend won't continue. We should embrace it.
    Mostly by increasing material wealth and curing disease - not a bad thing, but not what we're looking for here.

    Embracing science would be a good thing, but it won't get you a community morality or a civilization's ethics. There's nothing in science that gets you from "is" to "ought", "can" to "should" (or, more critically, "shouldn't"). The current scientific benefits have come in a context of liberal arts based ethics and community based morality. Without this foundation for action, science floats free of ethical or moral curbs on its employment, and amplifies the worst as easily as the best.

    Partly this results from incomplete knowledge, of course - but scientists are notably unreliable in their handling of situations in which their knowledge is incomplete, and as that will be the common situation of humanity for quite some time, we should regard it as the reality to be planned for.

    W e have people right here, for example, who regard (or at least assert) free will and other identity embodying mental events as illusion - some kind of parasitic side effect of the deterministic machinery of the physical universe, without a reality of their own. And we see people such as Descartes, taking that to its "logical conclusion", dissecting living and conscious dogs to see how they worked, justifying the cruelty on the grounds that their howling and writhing were mere mechanical expressions of what we now term robotic functions.

    Scientists will do that to people. They have. Nothing in science itself curbs them.
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  101. #100  
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    And we see people such as Descartes, taking that to its "logical conclusion", dissecting living and conscious dogs to see how they worked, justifying the cruelty on the grounds that their howling and writhing were mere mechanical expressions of what we now term robotic functions.

    Scientists will do that to people. They have. Nothing in science itself curbs them.
    Couldn't disagree more. That some people who designate themselves as scientists do some awful things because it's "scientific" to be dispassionate or whatever is not about science.

    All such cruelties perpetrated on animals, women, children and people of 'other' races are signs not of science but of ideology.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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