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30 January 2013 - 02:14 AMThe issue with religion as a source of knowledge is that it does nothing more than merely present knowledge, without teaching how to obtain reliable knowledge on one's own. That alone would invalidate religion as a source of knowledge because it is not a self updating system; it does not allow for new knowledge to be incorporated into it's dogma.
Another major issue with religion as a source of information is the issue of faith based knowledge. Religion can provide good knowledge, but it also supplies shit knowledge too, without providing the ability or aptitude to differentiate between the two. Faith is not a valid way of determining knowledge.
You see the difference between faith and science boils down to their method for confirmation of an experiment. Faith wants you to confirm your conclusion by your emotions, which are unreliable, and most importantly, unverifiable and not empirical. Science on the other hand seeks to make its conclusions empirical, so the experiment can be run by others and its conclusions verified. The faith method is hit or miss at best, while science, if applied correctly, will be a very reliable source of information.
First, don't use "faith" and "religion" interchangeably.
At the very least, religion is mechanics and dynamics built on top of basic faith.
The difference between religion and science doesn't boil down to confirmation methods, either. The difference is in what's being examined. Religions deal with subjective experiences, science takes a small subset of subjective experience, selected through the concepts of "empiricism" and "verifiability", calls it "objective" and deals just with that.
Trying to judge Religious experience with notions of "empiricism" and "verifiablility" in their scientific form is kind of like Ford saying "any color of car is good as long as it is black".
This appproach allowed Ford to really streamline the production of cars, but it sure as hell missed out on a great deal of other car-related experiences.
30 January 2013 - 02:04 AM
30 January 2013 - 02:04 AMReligion, worthwhile a way of finding knowledge? Religion absolutely blows at that.
There's 3000+ different variations of "religion" on the planet, and none of them can even agree on what their imaginary god looks like or whether this god likes gays or not.
How then, can you expect any of those religions to be a worthwhile way of acquiring knowledge?
There was a simlar or larger number of concurrent streams of research before scientific method was codified.
Were they all not worthwhile as well?
30 January 2013 - 01:58 AMI would never support a decision that places a feeling over a person who is developed and has their place in the world. I do very much mind if someone else takes the life of said driver over something as petty and insignificant as revenge, especially since they didn't murder anyone, per se. However, I also wouldn't force my own viewpoint down their throat; it only has meaning if they can see it for themselves. Giving into revenge is weakness. Weakness does nothing but take away from you; physically, yes, but far more than that there's the emotional toll.
Kindly do not try to twist my words. I promise you, you won't get anywhere by doing so.
Do you know the anecdote of a CEO who 'once exclaimed "I'd kill for a one-handed advisor!"
All the "on one hand", "on the other hand" words are nice and good and make a person appear broad-minded and intellectual. But they are all entirely useless in a situation where you need to make a decision hard and fast and follow it with sufficient amount of force-multiplication.
QuoteThe definition of bullshit is subjective, so I think I'll keep treating it like the political bullshit I see it to be. Nevermind the fact that bullshit was used as nothing but a filler word, and not an adjective.
As soon as you stop spewing bullshit, the road might clear up a bit.
Fair enough. However, don't run to me crying when the next politician screws you over, just because your understanding of the process amounts to "subjective bullshit".
QuoteForgive me, I forgot I had to spell everything out for you instead of asking for you to read between the lines a bit. I was using philosophy in place of ideals. Saying that faith is the same as science is a common propaganda (and a fallacious one) of religious supremacists, as well. Doesn't make it true, though.
Faith is not the same as science. I have never said that. What i said is that science is a logical process, applied upon specific faith postulates about the nature of objective truth and the moral goodness of approaching this truth.
What i also said is that religion is the very same thing. There are faith postulates (in Christianity - Bible, revelations etc), and there is logical process applied to them (Theological studies, carried out both inside and outside of church). The diffefence between religion and science, and the reason why science is more successful at the moment, is because science has a much thinner and leaner amount of faith postulates and puts much more effort in rigorous logical process (with scientific method being the main tool).
QuoteGoddamn how you love to take shit out of context; this is getting ridiculous. Go back and read through the thread, specifically the parts where I state, multiple times, in no uncertain terms, that I'm not saying we should throw any knowledge away.
I have said, and will continue to say, that organized religion is a fucking cancer upon our society. It is the death knell of our existence as a species as we know it. I just actually finished watching a documentary (I woke up, walked into the living room, and it was on the TV; I wasn't even looking for it) about religious brainwashing. This is the kind of shit that happens from organized religion. I could (but I won't for the sake of anonymity) list multiple theists, who have posted in this thread since its conception, who agree with me. I am not saying this makes my opinion right; you can take a look at history and draw your own conclusions, warped as yours may seem.
Want me to invite you to look back over the thread and see that i never defended churches?
Brainwashing is dehumanising and horrible. Churches are wrong for doing it and will never have my support because of this.
Churches, however, are not the only ones doing it. The "there is no free will" mantra of some science proponents is drilled into the heads of people just as well, through the use of very real enforcement mechanisms, too.
QuoteOnce again, you're completely taking what I said out of context (or either looking at it in the wrong light). What I said, was that their resistance to change shows that humanity is progressing. At the precipice of any major change to our society, there can be found a metric fuckton of vehement resistance at any point throughout history. People are afraid of change.
I agree that modern churches have been left way behind somewhere in XIX-XX centuries.
Not sure how the ideas of that article can help the situation, though. I don't even agree with their implied definition of "better person".
QuoteThis is highly reminiscent of the whole gun control debate raging right now in the United States. If something has the potential to wreck lives en masse, it should not exist in its current form. Organized religion has the potential to do exactly that. Religion, in and of itself, is not bad. Organized religion is one of two things: a support group or a means of control. Pastors are borderline extortionists more times than either you or I care to admit. This is not anything new; it's something that is brought into the light every once in a while.
All organisations have potential to wreck the world en masse. The more powerful the organisation, the higher the wreckage potential. You can't have productive potential without wreckage potential, they are both pars of the same package, called "effective organisation".
That being said, i do very much agree that modern organisations are generally either a support group, or a means of control. The keyword here is "Alienation", the term coined by Marx (though if you want to study it, i advise reading actual texts of Marx and not Marxists, regarding whom Marx himself went on record for being happy not being a part of). Which is precisely why i'm spending every waking moment of my life studying better forms of human organistaion
30 January 2013 - 01:57 AMNo; there is nothing in this world that has ever -- or will ever -- outlive examination. I'm saying religion has outlived its use as a method of control.
Agree with you.
Just want to point out that in my mind:
"Religion" = Way of structuring subjective knowledge
"Method for control of subjecting knowledge through religion" = Church
QuoteFair point, but I feel this is misrepresenting my argument. Examining the world is one thing, but determining empirical facts is something else entirely. Understanding it on a fact-based, truth-based level is not something done by religion. It is not a fact that homosexuality is wrong, it is not a fact that the genocide of countless people is necessary when their belief system does not line up perfectly with yours. And for that matter, it is not a fact that all life is created equal, simply because it is subjective. It is not a fact that Christianity is any better or worse than any other religion, and it is not a fact that any one race or culture is superior to another, because those are also subjective.
Same question i keep asking of Archael, now directed to you.
How do you separate "empirical facts" from "subjective experience".
The best i can come up with, in all honesty, is that a certain subjective experience is viewed as empirical fact when subjective experiences of other people's subjective experiences match with your subjective experience...
QuoteBecause I didn't just tell you that your interpretation was wrong, right?
Look, I won't deny that I would never call myself a Christian where I live because of all the baggage that comes with it. What I am saying is that is not why I do not identify as such, and that is not why my opinion is what it is.
Religion, as a tool for understanding, is fine, just keep it away from my empirical facts. Religion as a culture -- the culture of Christianity, of Islam, and various others -- in telling you morally what is right from wrong is folly. By the same token, I don't think anyone celebrates Science for its morals. I think -- and this is my personal opinion -- that to get an honest, truthful, meaningful answer on a moral issue, you have to look at what both science and religion say. Look at both proven, empirical facts, as well as your morality
This is laughable. A scientist does not prove something exists on faith alone. He doesn't walk up and say "It exists, because I believe it!" There are also scientists who believe in a higher power. I'll give you an example of someone in which there is no disconnect. Westboro Baptist Church or other religious extremists like Al Qaeda would be too far on the religious side of things, while those who are too far on the science side are those who blatantly think religion is a cancer with absolutely no merit whatsoever for any purpose. Both are wrong. I said it before, and I'll say it again: there is nothing in this world that has outlived or will ever outlive examination, at least not a concept like this.
I'm ready to agree with "both are wrong" thing.
But can you say that you really understand, how exactly are they wrong?
Or is it another one of those "one one hand, on another hand, thank God i'm not the one who has to decide" things?
QuoteMaking a better world?
Maybe they thought so at the time, but saying that such a thing was the right call is absolutely ludicrous, if that's what you're saying. That's the same thing as saying the Holocaust or the enslavement of blacks was justified.
Not to mention that just about every leader in the history of mankind, be it a religious leader or elected official, has done just about everything (the significant things; the stuff they're known for, you know, like slaughtering countless others in a war) in the name of self-interest. When you are a leader of the millions and/or billions, you don't do things just because you think it'd make the world a better place. That's called bigotry.
To do it because you and your constituents think it would make the world a better place is something else entirely.
Okay. For example, Ghandi.
Explain his self-interest to me, please.
Or maybe "Doctors without borders" people.
And after you're done with that, i invite you to consider the nature of political power and political capital and how anyone who looks to become invested with the right to control how other people spend the time of their life has no choice but to make self-interests of his active supporters into his own self-interests.
QuoteOh no, not at all. All I'm saying is that your own sense of justice is not absolute. That does not, in any way, make it any less valuable to you and to those whose beliefs line up with it. If you're going to take action -- irreversible action, like taking someone's life -- you need to keep in mind, though, that your sense of justice is not absolute; you are inflicting the same pain on another that was inflicted upon you, probably to a higher extent in the drunk driver case.
If my sense of justice is not absolute, than whose is?
If noone's is, then nobody can tell me i'm wrong for acting on my own sense of it. Even if it involves killing people.
Please understand that saying that "no justie is absolute" absolutely necessitates the appearance of people who think "hey, if no justice is absolute, i can do whatever", which shortly leads to societies failing.
I understand how a system that insists that just one sense of justice is absolute is dangerous. Soviet Union was that. But i also understand how a system that insists that nothing is sacred at all can be even more dangerous. Russian Federation in the 90s was that (and is still that to a significant extent).