"Can we talk" about

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gregorach
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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257786Post gregorach
Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:57 am

Zech wrote:
gregorach wrote:Like I say, if they'd stay off "our" turf there'd be a lot less trouble.
Though to be fair, we have pinched quite a bit of their turf.
gregorach wrote:Actually, the idea that religion is about answering the "big imponderables" is an entirely modern invention. It's only come about because science has done so well in dealing with the much more practical matters (predicting the weather and the movements of the stars, why do people get sick, why do disasters happen, etc) which were the original domain of religion.
We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty! :iconbiggrin:
Cheers

Dunc

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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257788Post oldjerry
Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:22 am

[quote="Zech"]
And there was I agreeing!..


. Sometimes philosophers stick with a question when they really should get out of the way


Why?

- I've heard philosophical presentations on the nature of perception, in which psychology has made pretty good headway. It was frankly embarrassing.


And why is it less futile spending time trying to establish ''truth''??

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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257789Post MKG
Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:23 am

Susie wrote:Just that, if science doesn't have the means to establish the truth in the case of religion (not the daft creationist bits, the fundamental religious aspect whatever that is), why is science the most appropriate and convincing subject to use to refute it, rather than e.g. something which deals with the nature of truth? (I'm not being sarcastic, I am genuinely curious).
But science is neither of those things, Susie - neither appropriate nor convincing. Science deals in falsifiables - which means that a scientifically-based claim must be capable of being tested by experiment, and the experiment must be reproducible and its results open to peer review. What that boils down to is that science can concern itself only with the natural - not the supernatural, which has a habit of falling down when it is asked to provide evidence which might be testable (James Randi's million dollar prize is still waiting to be claimed).

And that is precisely the problem with current string theories (specifically M-theory). There is, certainly at present, nothing testable about it. It predicts mathematically the existence of structures which we cannot detect, and they exist in a 10-dimensional universe which we cannot access. That doesn't mean that it's wrong - but we may be seeing the beginnings of the limits of physical science.

Mike
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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257791Post demi
Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:38 am

MKG wrote:
And that is precisely the problem with current string theories (specifically M-theory). There is, certainly at present, nothing testable about it. It predicts mathematically the existence of structures which we cannot detect, and they exist in a 10-dimensional universe which we cannot access. That doesn't mean that it's wrong - but we may be seeing the beginnings of the limits of physical science.

Mike

and thats why i love physics! :lol: the possibilities and the realities of what is going on in the real world are so mind boggling it has me on the edge of my seat in anticipation on what they will discover next.
mere man-made myths and gods have nothing on the real world! the universe is so complex i doubt its possible for the human mind to ever fully understand it.
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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257792Post Zech
Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:39 am

oldjerry wrote: And there was I agreeing!..
Zech wrote: . Sometimes philosophers stick with a question when they really should get out of the way
Why?
Zech wrote: - I've heard philosophical presentations on the nature of perception, in which psychology has made pretty good headway. It was frankly embarrassing.
In this case, the questions were all about how light affects the eye, what happens next in terms of signals passing through the brain. These are now scientific questions, with plenty of empirical data available. The philosophers in question were theorising as if no experiment had ever been conducted in the area, or at least not in the past fifty years or so.
oldjerry wrote:And why is it less futile spending time trying to establish ''truth''??
Sorry, I'm not sure what you're getting at here. I guess you're attributing to me the view that the correct domain for philosophy is to establish the "truth" of... actually I'm not sure of what. Anyway, I never said that.
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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257794Post The Riff-Raff Element
Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:44 am

Zech wrote:
I'll have to accept my difference of opinion with Richard Dawkins over whether to use words like "fact" and "conclusive" in this context. I'm being a stickler for the principle that everything is provisional and nothing is ever proven whereas he is professor of public understanding of science. Since the idea that nothing is certain is pretty hard to swallow, I have to acknowledge that he's got it right for the purposes of communication. I still stand by my position, though.
And even if we do accept evolution as "fact" (and, personally, I have considerable faith in it), where does it get us? True, to my mind, it pretty solidly refutes any notion that the world as we see it was created in seven days about 6000 years ago, but beyond that? Very little. It certainly offers no proof one way or the other as to the existence of God (I use the G word in a generalised sense, you understand).

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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257796Post gregorach
Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:06 am

The Riff-Raff Element wrote:And even if we do accept evolution as "fact" (and, personally, I have considerable faith in it), where does it get us? True, to my mind, it pretty solidly refutes any notion that the world as we see it was created in seven days about 6000 years ago, but beyond that? Very little. It certainly offers no proof one way or the other as to the existence of God (I use the G word in a generalised sense, you understand).
Ah, but you are neglecting the theological impact of having to give up the notion of "original sin". Now, certainly, if you hew to one of the woolier, more deist flavours of God, that might not be a big problem, but if you're actually invested in the literal notion of a personal God and that Jesus died on the cross for the salvation of all mankind (as many are), then getting rid of original sin kinda wrecks the whole shooting match. If there is no original sin, what do we need salvation from? If we're evolved from apes, why do we need a saviour if the chimpanzees don't?

While it's certainly possible to construct various conceptions of God which don't conflict with scientific reality, the fact is that those aren't the conceptions of God that many people actually believe in, outside of the more rarefied levels of academic theology.
Cheers

Dunc

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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257799Post oldjerry
Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:34 am

Zech wrote:
oldjerry wrote: And there was I agreeing!..


oldjerry wrote:And why is it less futile spending time trying to establish ''truth''??
Sorry, I'm not sure what you're getting at here. I guess you're attributing to me the view that the correct domain for philosophy is to establish the "truth" of... actually I'm not sure of what. Anyway, I never said that.
No not at all..(I did say I wasn't sufficiently erudite..) And for what it's worth I think Philosophy is perhaps the only subject to study in a vacuum,as it were,and studying a subject and throwing in an opinion from a philosophical perspective,as you relate, just seems a bit dumb.At thesame time,theories of perception would seem to be quite important.

I just cant see what's relevant about one's belief in objective truth\zombie carpenters or whatever,surely both science AND belief can be a force for great good and evil,it's the end product that counts.

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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257801Post Zech
Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:47 am

oldjerry wrote:surely both science AND belief can be a force for great good and evil,it's the end product that counts.
Fair point - judge things on their outcomes.

The difficulty then is how you decide what's good and what's evil. This may sound like I'm splitting hairs, but many religious people use religion as a basis for this judgement - it's good because God said so. If we're to judge religion itself on whether it produces good or evil outcomes (and I do), we need some other way of deciding what's good and what's evil. That is the realm of (moral) philosophy. :icon_smile: (There are other branches of philosophy, valuable in other areas).

PS I agree that theories of perception are quite important, and that philosophy made valuable contributions, but right now the tools of science are more useful for taking this forwards.
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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257803Post Green Aura
Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:50 am

The issue of whether there is a god or not always strikes me as a red herring. It's religion (any as far as I'm concerned) that is the problem. No human, animal or plant can know what, or if, such entity exists and those who profess to know can be nothing but charlatans.

At best they can be fairly benign, creating rules to help humans live more amicably with one another and the rest of the planet. Most, however, need to accrue great wealth and preach guilt,animosity and disharmony to justify their existence.

I don't let my atheism interfere with anyone's religious convictions unless they fail to reciprocate. :iconbiggrin:
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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257804Post Zech
Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:52 am

I only just noticed this was a link.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257805Post demi
Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:55 am

you guys should read the book 'god is not grate' by Christopher Hitchens :

http://www.amazon.com/God-Is-Not-Great- ... 0446579807


god rest his soul :wink:
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'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257820Post Green Aura
Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:21 pm

While I'm sure it makes interesting reading, demi, I don't personally need Christopher Hitchens tellig me what to think or believe any more than the Reverend J. B. Hypocrite.

Douglas Adams on the other hand.... :lol:
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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257823Post demi
Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:53 pm

fair enough.
when i read it my thoughts were not that he was telling me what to believe but more like this is exactly what i thought in the first place, although obviously more in-depth and knowledgeable about the issues than me.
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

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Re: "Can we talk" about

Post: # 257825Post gregorach
Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:58 pm

Green Aura wrote:While I'm sure it makes interesting reading, demi, I don't personally need Christopher Hitchens tellig me what to think or believe any more than the Reverend J. B. Hypocrite.
Yeah, I have to say that I would really rather not be represented by Hitchens, thank you very much. I'm not much of a fan of Dawkins either. (Although I suppose his scientific writing is OK.)
Cheers

Dunc

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