Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Tue May 18, 2021 4:22 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today... 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Booktastic!

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3692
Location: NJ
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 82 times in 63 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
Thomas Paine. Perhaps my favorite figure from history and arguably THE reason the Revolutionary War was waged. He does not get enough recognition or credit. He was way ahead of his time...er...well seeing as what we are working with today...may be ahead of this time as well. So I read a few paragraphs in his park. Also had a rabbit hanging out with me, not scared or skittish.

Bordentown NJ - What a wonderful historic town.


Attachments:
Paine.jpg
Paine.jpg [ 214.56 KiB | Viewed 573 times ]
Paine Base1.jpg
Paine Base1.jpg [ 202.55 KiB | Viewed 573 times ]
Paine Base2.jpg
Paine Base2.jpg [ 123.72 KiB | Viewed 573 times ]
Paine Base3.jpg
Paine Base3.jpg [ 201.78 KiB | Viewed 573 times ]
BenchRead.jpg
BenchRead.jpg [ 197.54 KiB | Viewed 573 times ]


_________________
When you refuse to learn, you become a disease.
The following user would like to thank Mr. P for this post:
LanDroid, Robert Tulip
Fri Apr 23, 2021 2:18 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
I dumpster dive for books!


Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1775
Thanks: 2129
Thanked: 943 times in 751 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
An early example of politics taking the place of religion as a lens with which to interpret meaning and a subject to argue about.



Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:23 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Booktastic!

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3692
Location: NJ
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 82 times in 63 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
I don't see it as a direct replacement for religion. If anything, just how to use the power of ourselves as inspiration.


_________________
When you refuse to learn, you become a disease.


The following user would like to thank Mr. P for this post:
Harry Marks
Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:38 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
I dumpster dive for books!


Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1775
Thanks: 2129
Thanked: 943 times in 751 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
Not a direct replacement, no. But meaning structures only come in a few varieties, and one of the features of the Enlightenment was a kind of replacement among the thinking elites, setting aside religion but picking up political humanism and skepticism of traditional aristocracy.

Oddly enough, the church was a hotbed of intellectualism replacing piety or genuine faith. In a book I read long ago, possibly by Roger Tawney, it went into the replacement process during the 1700s. Because Anglican clergy were appointed by the local nobility, many of them vied for status with their erudition, the more impenetrable the better. Proud of sermons that put everyone (including the local nobility) to sleep.

John Wesley's Methodist revival was largely in response to that folderol.



Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:07 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Booktastic!

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3692
Location: NJ
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 82 times in 63 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
Harry Marks wrote:
Not a direct replacement, no. But meaning structures only come in a few varieties, and one of the features of the Enlightenment was a kind of replacement among the thinking elites, setting aside religion but picking up political humanism and skepticism of traditional aristocracy.


Well, it can be said that we have been going in circles since we started becoming modern humans. Maybe even before then. Myth as a structure for what we do not understand of reality, becomes religion, becomes humanism as we understand more.

I do not deny that there were free thinkers in the church of this or that religion. I always wonder how much they were restrained, either by coercion or self restraint.


_________________
When you refuse to learn, you become a disease.


The following user would like to thank Mr. P for this post:
Harry Marks
Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:25 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor
Book Discussion Leader

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6874
Location: Luray, Virginia
Thanks: 2217
Thanked: 2416 times in 1822 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
On the topic Harry mentioned, a writer in the April Atlantic digs into some implications of the fading of religion. He does say that politics/ideology tends to take on a substitute role.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... on/618072/



The following user would like to thank DWill for this post:
Robert Tulip
Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:23 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Booktastic!

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3692
Location: NJ
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 82 times in 63 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
I briefed the article but will try to read in full.

One reason we are where we are now is... The side that's dying is fighting with every last breath. Consolidation in this country to the red states, land mass rich but population poor, vs blue states is driving this current political divide. Going to their corners so to speak, hopefully a last gasp of those who would hold us all back so they can still compete with their fictions. Maybe we are in a true transitional state.

Maybe not. People, as long as they embrace their ignorance, may be doomed to this type of existence eternally.

I think of myth, superstition, religion, humanism as not replacing each other, but a natural growth of how we exist in reality based on how much we have learned.


_________________
When you refuse to learn, you become a disease.


Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:57 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
I dumpster dive for books!


Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1775
Thanks: 2129
Thanked: 943 times in 751 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
Mr. P wrote:
Myth as a structure for what we do not understand of reality, becomes religion, becomes humanism as we understand more.

Well, greater understanding of the world certainly makes authority claims for myth-based religion more difficult. But the mystical side doesn't necessarily draw on the myth-based description. There's some interesting investigation being done into the more holistic, right-brain approach to life and how it may offer more wisdom about the living of life than science offers.

The interesting transition I would underline is the one you mention from myth to religion. When people of faith began to turn the question, "Why did the gods release such a horrible disaster on us?" into the question, "What does a divine rule-giver and oath-enforcer really want from us?" we began to have access to a powerful set of questions about society and relationship.

Some prefer their questioning to be explicitly self-conscious, not happening through stories and imagined conversations. That's fair enough, but it comes mostly from the left-brain, checking-things-more-carefully approach to thought. And therefore, if it is not done with more holistic priorities in mind, it can rip apart real wisdom while never realizing it did anything except check truth-claims.

I blame the church's authority-based approach to its handling of mystical language and thinking. The fragmentation of the right-brain relationship to life made an extension of empire out of what started as an alternative to empire.

Mr. P wrote:
I briefed the article but will try to read in full.

One reason we are where we are now is... The side that's dying is fighting with every last breath. Consolidation in this country to the red states, land mass rich but population poor, vs blue states is driving this current political divide. Going to their corners so to speak, hopefully a last gasp of those who would hold us all back so they can still compete with their fictions. Maybe we are in a true transitional state.
Yes, the authoritarian impulse is a huge part of religion's appeal, and if left untempered by grace it is a toxic part. People want to know how to live "correctly". And the more they perceive life to be riddled with vague, amorphous threats over which there is no hope of control, the more they want to take refuge in a sense that the decisions they made in their life are the right ones.

It sort of stands to reason that the people who have least sense of understanding of where we are and where we are going will also have the greatest need for an external source of validation. And of course that makes them vulnerable to manipulation by the ultra-rich who pay mouthpieces to rail against godless communism and other threats to their psychical structural integrity.

A lot of modern thinking has gone into expression of religious wisdom without the brittle, denial-of-reality dependence on illusions of external validation. Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, for example, studied with professors who were morally and spiritually vibrant without sacrificing intellectual values. The average ignoramus, of course, has no interest in understanding any of this reformulation. It just sounds like a threat to their view of life.

Mr. P wrote:
Maybe not. People, as long as they embrace their ignorance, may be doomed to this type of existence eternally.

I think of myth, superstition, religion, humanism as not replacing each other, but a natural growth of how we exist in reality based on how much we have learned.
I hope you are right. The Four Horsemen and other militant atheists have not demonstrated great openness to holistic approaches to life's deep questions. As long as they can stay on the "solid rock" of issues of fact, they feel secure. Unfortunately they also have to live life in the real world, where issues of fact are usually not the most important issues to be addressed. Even Sam Harris, for whom I have tremendous respect, falls more easily into the "move fast and break things" mentality of the 90s than into the priorities of a genuine quest for wisdom.



The following user would like to thank Harry Marks for this post:
DWill, Robert Tulip
Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:46 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor
Book Discussion Leader

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6874
Location: Luray, Virginia
Thanks: 2217
Thanked: 2416 times in 1822 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
Harry Marks wrote:
I hope you are right. The Four Horsemen and other militant atheists have not demonstrated great openness to holistic approaches to life's deep questions. As long as they can stay on the "solid rock" of issues of fact, they feel secure. Unfortunately they also have to live life in the real world, where issues of fact are usually not the most important issues to be addressed. Even Sam Harris, for whom I have tremendous respect, falls more easily into the "move fast and break things" mentality of the 90s than into the priorities of a genuine quest for wisdom.

This strikes me as defining what I've been uncomfortable with regarding these writers, so thanks. It also occurs to me that certain members of the humanist class look down on aspects of religious faith as frailties, notions that would not be necessary if people would courageously lash themselves to fact and reason. But what if devotion to reason/science could itself be called a frailty, that is, just as much of a potential mind-monopoly as thinking by the guidance of faith revelation? At the advent of the Enlightenment, the humanists gained the upper hand in the debate, but that doesn't mean they've won.



The following user would like to thank DWill for this post:
Harry Marks, Robert Tulip
Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:32 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Booktastic!

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3692
Location: NJ
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 82 times in 63 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
Any one-sided, all encompassing, shut off way of thinking is to be received with skepticism. While I agree that there is a militant, ignorant faction within the humanist worldview, it's just not that pervasive and, personally, not reflected in my thoughts today.

However, I do respect what Dawkins, Hitch, Dennett, and Harris have brought to the table over the past decades. But in no way do these folks exert any hold on me more than others I also read, and I feel confident that I am not in any danger of anything close to a mind-monopoly. In fact, I find that this concern is often a strawman erected by those who wish to defend against the decline of religious and superstitious paradigms. Whataboutism.

I do not even use the term atheist or humanist anymore, because a label is the shortest path to being caught in a meaningless position. I am not a label, I am a conversation.

There is room for more when searching for meaning in life that facts and science. But shit sure science and facts need to be considered. What I find concerning is the complete disregard of facts, truth, and science these days by those obviously wanting, so desperately needing, to remain in their outdated mind-monopolies.

Religion has modernized in many ways, but many are still using the old ways to justify horrid behaviors. That needs to end. There are very profound thinkers that came from religious institutions that moved fact and reason forward. I do not deny that. Shoot, I am even happy with the current Pope.

But in my view, no one has done more to progress our species more than those that became prominent in the time of the enlightenment and since. And I personally do not come across many folks, at least not those that I 'follow' and respect, that preclude views or beliefs other than fact and reason in speaking to the complexity of human existence.


_________________
When you refuse to learn, you become a disease.


The following user would like to thank Mr. P for this post:
Harry Marks, Robert Tulip
Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:53 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
I dumpster dive for books!


Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1775
Thanks: 2129
Thanked: 943 times in 751 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
DWill wrote:
This strikes me as defining what I've been uncomfortable with regarding these writers, so thanks.

And thank you for the reflection in response. I am getting more intrigued by the perspective of holism and wisdom, which I think is beginning to make some real progress in helping us understand life. Sad that it may require research with brain imaging and electrodes in the brain to bring around the general intellectual community to respecting these priorities.
DWill wrote:
It also occurs to me that certain members of the humanist class look down on aspects of religious faith as frailties, notions that would not be necessary if people would courageously lash themselves to fact and reason.
Well, I can't help feeling that way about many of the mythologically literalist aspects of fundamentalism, but I am beginning to question that response as an attempt by left-brain culture to dominate and even silence the right-brain modes of encountering life. Not that I mind humanism, but if it has to define itself as opposition to the frailties of religion, it will come up short on its ability to inspire people to flourishing.

DWill wrote:
But what if devotion to reason/science could itself be called a frailty, that is, just as much of a potential mind-monopoly as thinking by the guidance of faith revelation? At the advent of the Enlightenment, the humanists gained the upper hand in the debate, but that doesn't mean they've won.

I love the phrase "mind monopoly". That puts a finger right on the problem. It works a little better than the concept of empire in matters of the intellect, which is how I have been formulating the issue.

I do thing that Enlightenment methods and values were an advance for the human mental map. But there is a tendency to progress in spurts, very much the way a biological organism does: we have physical growth spurts, social growth spurts, and intellectual growth spurts, evidently as some kind of process reaches pre-conditions for progress or passes a trigger in the biological unfolding that every organism goes through. The same thing may be happening in human society with rationalism passing the baton to more holistic approaches to integrating moral wisdom with practical wisdom, due to the pressing need to engage with problems of broad society such as climate change and the divisiveness that the internet institutions breed.



Sat May 01, 2021 9:47 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
I dumpster dive for books!


Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1775
Thanks: 2129
Thanked: 943 times in 751 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
Mr. P wrote:
Any one-sided, all encompassing, shut off way of thinking is to be received with skepticism. While I agree that there is a militant, ignorant faction within the humanist worldview, it's just not that pervasive and, personally, not reflected in my thoughts today.

However, I do respect what Dawkins, Hitch, Dennett, and Harris have brought to the table over the past decades. But in no way do these folks exert any hold on me more than others I also read, and I feel confident that I am not in any danger of anything close to a mind-monopoly. In fact, I find that this concern is often a strawman erected by those who wish to defend against the decline of religious and superstitious paradigms. Whataboutism.


Yes, in much the same way that Young Earth Creationists easily drop one misguided claim to evolution's weakness when it is debunked, glomming on to some other claim that still has not yet been investigated, the institutions of authoritarian religion tend to deal in flimsy, shallow "talking points" rather than trusting that their truth can be elucidated in a way that is compatible with facts. Whataboutism is one of the more obvious ways this tendency shows its silliness.

I worry that mind monopoly is an inevitable sort of problem. Like those dual images which we can flip from one way of seeing things to another way of seeing a different "truth" in the same image, we may be forced by mental processes to see either one thing as truth or something very different that is essentially incompatible with the first. Unlike Hegel, I do not think every thesis-antithesis pair will resolve naturally into a synthesis. The left brain is more given to this problem of "forced resolution", since it deals more in "checking" our intuitions and imposing logical consistency, but the right brain deals in holistic perception and may have some of the same issues under different guise.

I'm inclined to guess that the protection against this pitfall may be in maintaining an open mind, much the way you keep some distance from the overreach that some humanists may be subject to. That is not always easy, and life often demands that we decide "which side am I on?", but I guess I have always had an ability to commit myself to action despite remaining open to the possibility that I am wrong. We are currently living through a time when social processes powerfully oppose that openness.

Mr. P wrote:
I do not even use the term atheist or humanist anymore, because a label is the shortest path to being caught in a meaningless position. I am not a label, I am a conversation.
If I put that last sentence on T shirts, how should I identify the author?

Mr. P wrote:
There is room for more when searching for meaning in life that facts and science. But shit sure science and facts need to be considered. What I find concerning is the complete disregard of facts, truth, and science these days by those obviously wanting, so desperately needing, to remain in their outdated mind-monopolies.
What, you don't think fact-free policy will get us out of all problems that arise? Don't you know that free markets solve everything?



Sat May 01, 2021 10:13 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 6114
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2534
Thanked: 2489 times in 1867 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
There are so many interesting points in this discussion thread. I particularly liked the inscription in Mr P’s photo. http://thomas-paine-friends.org/historical-places.htm explains “this statue of Paine was sculpted by Lawrence Holofcener and dedicated on 7 June, 1997 by the Bordentown Historical Society. It sits on a grass median in a quiet residential section of town. The statue contains the following written message: "Father of the American Revolution. Paine's words and deeds put the concepts of independence, equality, democracy, abolition of slavery, representative government and a constitution with a bill of rights, on the American agenda.”

The first thing I want to point out about Paine’s achievements serves as a critique of the very interesting Atlantic article by Shadi Hamid that DWill kindly linked. The article states “This is the danger in transforming mundane political debates into metaphysical questions. Political questions are not metaphysical; they are of this world and this world alone.”

In this statement the author exhibits an all too common basic misunderstanding of the meaning of the metaphysical. The mundane political ideas immortalised on Paine’s statue are totally metaphysical, simply because none of them can be justified solely by the descriptive evidence of facts. They are ‘beyond the physical’ in that Paine’s vision of the rights of man and the age of reason rests within a spiritual framework of moral values.

Now to be sure, Paine’s enlightened framework itself arose in response to the scientific enlightenment, which was a purely physical fact-based system. And yet just as man cannot live by bread alone, so too a merely scientific descriptive account is inadequate to provide ethical vision of the meaning and purpose of life. This ethical vision is exactly what Paine delivers with his metaphysical concepts of independence, equality, etc.

One way to approach this problem is to see the moral value within these ideas as all about the priority of connection over description. Paine sought to transform how society connects people together. Any merely descriptive account of how existing society functioned would necessarily lack the electric excitement generated by Paine’s revolutionary agenda for America.

This theme of connection helps to illustrate the importance of Harry and DWill’s conversation about the weakness of the new atheism, how as Harry said “The Four Horsemen and other militant atheists have not demonstrated great openness to holistic approaches to life's deep questions.” Holistic approaches ask how we connect to reality. The answers to that question involve moral ideas that are intrinsically spiritual, like Paine’s great themes.

The confusion here goes back to the philosophy of science, with the difficulty that writers like Dawkins have in explaining a coherent philosophy when their training has so strongly focused on matters of description rather than connection, leading to intense suspicion of any claims about some metaphysical connection between us all. And yet, scientific description itself has immense moral power, since denial of evidence is a cardinal sin against modern scientific knowledge.

The Atlantic article cites Paine indirectly in its analysis of America itself as “almost a religion,” saying “the American civic religion has its own founding myth, its prophets and processions, as well as its scripture—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and The Federalist Papers.” To suggest this civic religion has nothing of the metaphysical about it presents a basic mistake in epistemology, based on the false assumption that metaphysical simply means supernatural.

This unjustified dismissal of metaphysics appears in the idea in the article that “Whereas religion sees the promised land as being above, in God’s kingdom, the utopian left sees it as being ahead, in the realization of a just society here on Earth.” That distinction between religious and political visions is widely shared, but it creates a misleading confusion – what the article terms the spiritual void in “the various strains of wokeism.” And it is a distinction directly contradicted by Jesus Christ in The Lord's Prayer line 'thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven'.

Religion is not necessarily about ‘the promised land above’, but rather more about how we connect to each other in this world. The linguistic meaning of religion as ‘rebinding’ shows how central this theme of connection is to spiritual identity. The supernatural theory of heaven is not intrinsic to religious sentiment, despite the majority view to the contrary. The more enlightened wisdom traditions see supernatural language as allegory for natural discussion of this world. Literal belief in heaven is something from popular emotional fantasy, which naturally tends to crowd out more enlightened understanding.

Going back to writers like Thomas Paine with their integral connecting vision is an important way to help dispel the muddled views that beset modern politics and religion. Harry’s point against Hegel that thesis and antithesis do not always produce a synthesis may be true, but in this case, seeing modern politics as presenting an antithesis to traditional religion does offer a framework to look for a new integral connecting synthesis.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
Harry Marks
Sun May 02, 2021 1:56 am
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Upper Echelon 3rd Class

BookTalk.org Moderator
Book Discussion Leader
Silver Contributor

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 2368
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Thanks: 128
Thanked: 970 times in 746 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
DWill wrote:
But what if devotion to reason/science could itself be called a frailty, that is, just as much of a potential mind-monopoly as thinking by the guidance of faith revelation? At the advent of the Enlightenment, the humanists gained the upper hand in the debate, but that doesn't mean they've won.

No, they have not won. Humanists argued for an evidence based approach with a link to reality. But this is slipping away: one's own opinion has become sacrosanct, earning as much validity as any expert, providing personal pleasure, impervious to perceived outside influence, and is therefore permanent. We will see this exemplified soon as the global resistance to vaccinations continues and the pandemic evolves into a long term threat instead of being vanquished. I'm not very interested in the linguistics of metaphysics, but if politics is somehow considered a religion, Covid-19 is probably another one.



Tue May 04, 2021 9:41 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 6114
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2534
Thanked: 2489 times in 1867 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Spent some time with a Legend of Freethought and a Champion of Reason today...
DWill wrote:
what if devotion to reason/science could itself be called a frailty, that is, just as much of a potential mind-monopoly as thinking by the guidance of faith revelation?

The problem here is that we are all subject to irrationality, and to imagining our irrational opinions are in fact rational. With scientific thinking, the psychology is that people extrapolate from actual fact based knowledge to justify irrational beliefs, trading on the cachet of science to give credibility to their political opinions.

The most vivid example is the ideological response to climate change. It is very clear from science that CO2 emissions are heating the planet. This leads to the refrain "follow the science", whereby believers in emission reduction extrapolate from scientific knowledge of what is the case to insist 'the science' requires cutting emissions as the only reasonable response, even though actual science indicates that decarbonisation of the economy is far too small and slow to be the main factor in stabilising the climate.

The science is settled on the cause of climate change but not on what to do about it. Denial of this observation is an example of what the Atlantic article called 'wokeism': the insistence that progressive ideology is entirely based on evidence, an insistence that itself is not based on evidence.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
DWill
Wed May 05, 2021 1:45 am
Profile Email WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Community Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Book Discussion Leaders

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
Banned Books
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Coming Soon!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Coming Soon!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
Promote your FICTION book
Promote your NON-FICTION book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2021. All rights reserved.

Display Pagerank