To Be Irreligious, Stupididy Helps

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by PoliticalChic, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Our friend U2 seems unable to understand that the anti-religion thesis requires as much faith as the religious thesis...

    1. Believer or non-believer…the first step is to be clear as to what the credible options are, and this is based on what your definition of ‘truth’ is, your epistemology, as ideas must be judged in light of this definition.

    2. In the West, the dichotomy between empirical truth and morality, or values, began with the scientific revolution, impressive as it was, so much so that many thinkers elevated empirical science to the sole source of truth.

    a. Empiricism is the doctrine that all knowledge is derived from the senses: what we see, hear, hold, weigh, and measure. Where, then do we find moral truths? Clearly, under such a definition, values and morals could not be truths, but simply emotions, feelings.

    3. Empiricist philosopher David Hume reasoned this way: if knowledge is based on sensations, then morality, too, must come from sensations, i.e. pain or pleasure, or, as he put it, a matter of ‘taste and sentiment,” Hume claims then, that moral distinctions are not derived from reason but rather from sentiment. Hume's Moral Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    a. This view reduces morality to personal taste: “Whatever works for you.”

    b. This represented a sea change in Western thinking, which ran counter to the traditional view of truth as covering both the natural world and the moral order.

    c. Henceforth, the natural world, observed via the senses, qualified as genuine knowledge. But morality and values, neither perceived through the senses, are merely subjective feelings: principles, rather than transcendent truths, became simply preferences. Here is the division between science and religion.

    4. This division of truth is known as the fact/value split, or the divided concept of truth. Simply stated, it means that objective knowledge is possible only in the realm of empirical facts.

    a. “A survey released yesterday posits the idea that the United States -- already one of the most religious nations in the developed world -- may be even less secular than previously suspected.” Americans May Be More Religious Than They Realize - washingtonpost.com

    b. . While the vast majority of Americans recognize a higher power, and state that they regularly pray, and, therefore, acceptance of an invisible spiritual world, they also, syncretically, accept the empirical definition of truth. In short, they accept a secular worldview without realizing it.

    c. The consistent view would be to simply challenge the use of the definition, since the separation of facts from values is the basis for the secularization of much of Western thinking.

    d. This kind of relationship with religion is not, it seems, unusual. “Peter Lipton, a Cambridge philosopher, spoke of his struggle to be a practicing Jew in spite of his lack of belief in a supernatural God. "I stand in my synagogue and pray to God and have an intense relationship with God, and yet I don't believe in God," Lipton confessed with a rueful grin.” Clash in Cambridge: Scientific American

    e. How about an earlier definition, such as the one earlier Greeks used as the principle that unifies the world into an orderly cosmos, as opposed to randomness and chaos. The stoic, Zeno of Citium c. 300 BC, the ‘logos’ was the active reason pervading the universe and animating it. It was conceived of as material, and is usually identified with God or Nature. Logos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    ‘Heraclitus was the earliest Greek thinker to make logos a central concept. He urges us to pay attention to the logos, which "governs all things"…’ Logos

    For a far better explanation, one should pick up a copy of "Saving Leonardo," by Nancy Pearcy
     
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  2. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    So it requires faith to not believe in something?
     
  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    I knew the OP would be over the heads of some of our brethren...

    No, the divide is based on the belief that the secular worldview is based on understanding and knowledge, and the religious is not...

    For example, the topic of evolution, regularly discussed on the board, is largely based on faith as well..

    The OP attempts to show how the views that elevate science to the level of God is flawed in that there are huge gaps in knowledge that, for the nonbeliever, require leaps of faith.

    Some scientists will admit that they see science, in some sense, as their religion:

    “I believe a material explanation will be found, but that confidence comes from my faith that science is up to the task of explaining, in purely material or naturalistic terms, the whole history of life. My faith is well founded, but it is still faith.”
    What neo-creationists get right - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences

    But most are not so self-aware, and don’t realize the faith status of their own views: secularists think they are objective and unbiased, even in the face of the East Anglia revelations.
     
  4. L.K.Eder
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    L.K.Eder unbannable non-troll

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    "The OP attempts to show how the views that elevate science to the level of God is flawed in that there are huge gaps in knowledge that, for the nonbeliever, require leaps of faith."

    plonk
     
  5. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    Yeah..and "stupididy".

    I wonder if there is any relation to P Diddy..
     
  6. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    If science is elevated to the level of God, it's up those that subscribe to it to say so, not for others to label their beliefs as faith in the way religion is faith.
     
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  7. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    But that would be rational. And not controlling, manipulative, vindictive and condescending. What kind of bait would it make?

    Can't have that.
     
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  8. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    The premise that it takes more brains to belong to a religion is just as flawed as the premise that it takes more brains to be an atheist, Political Chic. The sort of spiritual quest someone like Sky Dancer undertook might take more brains, but what is required to knee-jerk choose as an adult to belong to the faith you were raised in?

    Religion and spirituality address certain emotional needs of humans, in various ways depending upon that human. We are never going to find a cure for AIDS just by praying about it. And asserting that evolution is a lie "because the Bible says so" just makes the speaker look foolish. Religion should confine itself to what it does best -- teaching ethics to its adherents -- and not attempt to change the US into a theocracy.
     
  9. del
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    del BANNED

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    a belief that a god does not exist is an act of faith every bit as much as a belief that a god does exist is. neither position can be proven to be true or false.

    *shrug*

    *yawn*

    *burp*
     
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  10. Truthmatters
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    Truthmatters BANNED

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    Some religious people seem UNABLE to truely understand what the non believers believe.
     
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