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Old 12-12-2010, 03:41 PM   #131 (permalink)

feat. Otto Neurath
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Originally Posted by 'trane View Post
i don't think this is what i am saying.

i think the world would be significantly better if humans channelled their collective faith into reason, science and unrestricted inquiry. this is not to say that there is no option for spirituality and for conceptions of gods, creators, etc, but it does mean that truth is sought, dogma is resisted, and spirituality cannot be associated with power. i think that much of the dogma associated with the main organized religions stands in contrast to the qualities that best support human development. that doesn't mean the world is worse off with many kinds of spirituality and it doesn't mean that religion needs to be altogether eliminated. it just means that it can't stand in the way of truth.
If I've misrepresented your comments, I appreciate the added clarity, though I think that the "religious vs spiritual" dichotomy is mostly a matter of framing and not a matter of real substance.

Originally Posted by Snooch View Post
you are confusing religion and relgious beleifs
Thanks for putting so much thought into your post. I really appreciate the contributions you make, snooch.

Since a couple of "new atheists" have been mentioned and, in some cases, praised, I'll disagree a bit. I think Hitchens is a marvelous polemicist and has incredible value as a gadfly; he is sometimes right and is always eloquent in supporting his position, but I think he is also intellectually dishonest. He likes the battle more than the truth of the matter at hand (in fact, that is a reason he often cites for why he, unlike Dawkins, would not like to see religion brought to an end). That's my take from reading all his books and watching more debates than I can count.

As for Harris, I thought he had absolutely wonderful things to say about conversational intolerance and about the need to bring a critique of religion that is proportional to the damage done by it. That said, I find he writes often on philosophical matters without demonstrating any knowledge about philosophy, either through historical analysis or by referencing contemporary philosophical debates (which is odd because he received his undergrad degree from Stanford in philosophy, though he moved in the direction of neuroscience after that).
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