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Old 12-21-2010, 06:45 PM   #156 (permalink)

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Originally Posted by elT View Post
And inherently all other questions coming from the main question.
Not at all. There are atheists that believe they were specially created 5000 years ago (deny evolution) and atheists that believe in the supernatural (deny naturalism). Naturalism does entail atheism (if we agree that supernaturalism is a necessary condition for god), but atheism does not entail naturalism.

Originally Posted by elT View Post
It is why these discussions always get out of hand. Perhaps it's insulting or uncomfortable for atheists to be called members of yet another religion but the behavior and the value system is there and it simply is what it is.
It's not insulting to me: it is a false, reductive, equivocation that should actually be more offensive to religious people than to atheists. There is absolutely no value system in atheism (part of the reason why it is so regularly attacked for having no value system!) because atheism doesn't talk about values at all.

Originally Posted by elT View Post
And, atheists simply believe there is no God. To them there's a bunch of proof that it's so.
Did you get that from reading or talking to atheists, or listening to your religionist friends?

Almost no atheist I have ever known has claimed that there is a bunch of proof that there is no god. Of the popular Western atheists right now, the only one that thinks there really is a case to be made against any gods existing is physicist Victor Stenger (so far as I know; biologist Richard Dawkins, for example, has gone so far as to say "There's probably no god"); the vast majority believe that there is insufficient merit to believe in a god or gods, not that they have any certainty that god does not exist. It's a question about the burden of proof, raised earlier in this thread in reference to Russell's Celestial Teapot. I'll quote it after a brief blurb of my own in your next part.

Originally Posted by elT View Post
To me there is a bunch of proof that God does exist. But, it's matter of faith in the end. Or lack there of. Depends on the side.
Well, I encourage you to demonstrate that proof.

It's not a matter of faith for me at all, because I don't lack belief in god out of any faith whatsoever; I'm simply waiting for good arguments and evidence in support of it. Now here's Russell's Teapot:

"If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time." - Bertrand Russell, Illustrated, unpublished 1952

Originally Posted by elT View Post
My argument is against excluding anything out of our lives, especially preemptively, as it directly makes us poorer in every single way, making our experience dramatically worse then what it could be. And yes that includes both doubt and faith, science and religion etc.. etc.. I'm both attacking and embracing everyone.
A posteriori (and that is the situation most of us are in here), you could certainly have information that would warrant excluding something out of your life. Not everything is equally valuable, right, etc., especially in the light of evidence.

Originally Posted by elT View Post
I think sequencing the human genome is an excellent progress. It's simply amazing.

I wanted to make a point about sciences effect on our daily life. My intention was not to diminish everything scientists are doing but it seems I have done that in my previous post and I apologize for that, it just didn't come out right.

I'd say mostly from around web and yes that in fact means the media.
I recommend reading the actual papers from the journals as much as possible. The language is obviously more technical but gives you a much better picture of what the research actually says against the background of scientific information; that is a partial outcome of the peer-review process.

Anyways, I think the question of whether science has made a significant contribution to our everyday lives is mostly empirical, and I don't see how it could be denied that it has a more meaningful impact on us now than it ever has. You said there was "nothing of significance or substance" and that could only be described as hyperbole, although you could help clarify that by elucidating on your criteria for "signifiance or substance." Remember that you said this without any valuable justification or explanation:

"The scientific progress of the global society has basically stopped for some time now and it has only to do with the exact same ignoring of a valuable resource, probably on purpose."

Originally Posted by elT View Post
I believe you haven't quite understood what I'm saying, hence the stupid loaded question and comment.
I read that part more carefully and see I took it somewhat out of context. The equivocation is still terrible, though. One group is against things that are empirically verifiable, and the other is against what is mostly mealy-mouthed nonsense. We can talk intelligibly about consciousness but fall into meaninglessness when we ponder the soul and what many call spirituality. I agree with you that dogmatic opposition is warrantless, but there aren't actually very many scientists who would disagree with us. Most I have spoken with border on po-mo when it comes to value judgements (they're not actively opposed to such judgements).

Originally Posted by elT View Post
From the start I'm saying there are as many religions as there are individuals in the world, meaning that once you strip away institution and the representatives, what's left is the religion. And that's how it should be.

When I look at a Canadian, I don't look at him/his trough his/her government or the actions of his/her government. That's the institution part of his/her citizenship. I'm more interested in the human, the individual. At that point, I forget I'm looking at a Canadian, just another human.
I don't begin from the position of "That person is a such and such so I must treat them in this way." However, if a person identifies themselves with a particular well-known dogma by name, am I to not take them at their word? For example, is it silly of me to assume that a person who identifies as a Catholic probably believes in transsubtantiation?

Originally Posted by elT View Post
So, one I look at a Catholic Christian, I'm not looking at him trough the Pope, the Inquisition or whatever the Pope said last Sunday or any of that. I'm looking at the individual, ESPECIALLY when we are talking about religion.

So, just like with anything it comes down to that, the individual. That's why it is an individual matter IMO. The institutions are just parasites on a beautiful organism. I'd like them out of the picture.
But you see, Catholicism and the Pope is an especially bad example, because part of what it means to "be Catholic" is to believe that the Holy Spirit literally prevents the Catholic church from being fallible in some respects. If you don't believe that, you're not Catholic.

The institution is not literally the religion, but it is not to be ignored out of hand, either, just so that you can wave your hand at all the bad things that religious figures of authority have done and said. A core part of many religions is the deference to precisely those authorities!

Originally Posted by elT View Post
Latin: religionem (nom. religio)
"Respect for what is sacred, reverence for God"
"Obligation, the bond between man and God"

Well, the etymology kind of supports what I'm saying. We don't need the institutions.
How does an atheist fit into that etymology?

If you believe that part of the bond between god and man involves insitutitions (as many do), then the institutions should certainly not be excluded from consideration.
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