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The six signs of "Scientism" 
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Post Re: The six signs of "Scientism"
http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/893 ... arbarians/

I agree with what some of the Rabbi claims in this article, but not all of it.

Here is something that caught my eye:

Quote:
Richard Dawkins, whom I respect, partly understands this. He has said often that Darwinism is a science, not an ethic. Turn natural selection into a code of conduct and you get disaster. But if asked where we get our morality from, if not from science or religion, the new atheists start to stammer. They tend to argue that ethics is obvious, which it isn’t, or natural, which it manifestly isn’t either, and end up vaguely hinting that this isn’t their problem. Let someone else worry about it.


The new atheists blindly follow the lead of atheistic scientists like Dawkins who do not bother with ethical / moral aspects of our nature that can not be explained away by ape behavior; radical altruism is a good example here. It is deeply ungratifying to see love as simply a biological drive to continue the species when reduced to animalism. Or why the raping and murder of children is morally abhorrent universally.

There is a deep intellectual shallowness here. The new atheists (present company excluded) who look to science as the only source of knowledge fit this description to the last letter:

Quote:
‘On the surface, he’s profound, but deep down, he’s superficial.’


If belief in God is and has been nothing more than a delusion it certainly is the most important thought mankind has ever entertained. Our most valued "pathological" lie to ourselves.
What if we were to erase from our history belief in God from the mind of Man? How much art, poetry, literary works, GOOD deeds (yes, there's always a flip side). What would be left to treasure? What would the atheist have for us? What magnificent works does he have for us?

How would communities have been built? And what role did the atheist play in community fellowship in history )and moving forward)?
What value is the "rational" atheistic meme to us in the future if its presence is essentially all but absent from what I've mentioned above?

Superficial debates about the mechanics of nature are useless without the ability to transcend our animal natures with the Purpose that Belief in something greater than ourselves has given us. That is the radical difference between Man and Ape. That is something which the atheist remains tone def too and continues to ignore and or explain away unconvincingly.



Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:42 am
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Post Re: The six signs of "Scientism"
Quote:
The new atheists blindly follow the lead of atheistic scientists like Dawkins who do not bother with ethical / moral aspects of our nature that can not be explained away by ape behavior; radical altruism is a good example here. It is deeply ungratifying to see love as simply a biological drive to continue the species when reduced to animalism. Or why the raping and murder of children is morally abhorrent universally.

There is a deep intellectual shallowness here. The new atheists (present company excluded) who look to science as the only source of knowledge fit this description to the last letter:


Although it’s deeply ungratifying to see love as a biological drive, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a biological drive. The rape and murder of children is universally morally abhorrent because not only do we deeply love our children, but we have empathy as well. We know the love others feel for their children, and upon hearing of incidents, we make the association with our own. Giving voice to the mechanisms does not undo their impact or their efficacy.

Causation here is also very complex, and is the opposite of intellectually shallow. What is intellectually shallow is the less complex answer – morals come from some supernatural source, needing no mechanisms in order to be effective. I’m not sure how that moral compass manifests in everyone’s mind… I suppose it’s magic. That's an answer without any depth at all.

Quote:
What if we were to erase from our history belief in God from the mind of Man? How much art, poetry, literary works, GOOD deeds (yes, there's always a flip side). What would be left to treasure? What would the atheist have for us? What magnificent works does he have for us?


Let’s say the answer is; none at all. We’d be left with barely a single percent of all these good products. I’d ask what your point is? For one, that doesn’t say anything about whether or not there is a god, let alone whether or not Christianity is true. For another, the human capacity for the arts would likely fill the void in some other way in this alternate history. Just because religion is what produced these large amounts of art doesn’t mean it is the only way mankind would find to express himself artistically. This point is proven by atheist artists all around the world.

Quote:
Superficial debates about the mechanics of nature are useless without the ability to transcend our animal natures with the Purpose that Belief in something greater than ourselves has given us. That is the radical difference between Man and Ape. That is something which the atheist remains tone def too and continues to ignore and or explain away unconvincingly.


Explain what you mean by “explain away”. Do you think explanations double as dismissals?

I transcend my animal nature with purpose, but that purpose isn’t born from a belief in something greater than myself. Why do you think that’s the only source of purpose in a man’s life? Why do you hang on to this old canard when it’s been so thoroughly destroyed? Are you reading creationist or theological blogs and repeating their arguments? It seems that your points are all pulled from a six foot deep hole, but you won’t accept that their heartbeat has long since faded.

In fact, we've had this exact same discussion over atheist purpose on this forum. Refresh your arguments by perusing the archives here rather than googling whatever belief you want confirmed.


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Post Re: The six signs of "Scientism"
We've tried to pin down ant before without success. So let's try again, this should result in abandoning the thread. Which of the following do you want to defend regarding religion:

1. Specific religious claims about the world, man's relationship to God, and purpose in life
2. Deism or some kind of Chopra-style new age belief that has no relevance to real-world religion and all the effects that you are attributing to religion
3. Agnosticism, which also doesn't get you any actual content regarding morality, purpose, etc.
4. False religious beliefs because they have positive effects on well-being, moral guidelines, community, art, etc.

You accuse atheists of "deep intellectual shallowness," so you must have something else.



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Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:57 pm
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Post Re: The six signs of "Scientism"
He likes to put things in those terms...

"shallow understanding"

Like when he said i had a shallow understanding of entropy, and by insinuation wasn't qualified to comment on what it meant for evolution...

You could be forgiven for thinking Ant may not always know what he's talking about. Even in general terms.


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:46 pm
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Post Re: The six signs of "Scientism"
ant wrote:
If belief in God


which god?

ant wrote:
has been nothing more than a delusion


which delusion?

ant wrote:
it certainly is the most important thought mankind has ever entertained.


really!?! which thought exactly? and why is it the most important thought? have you any specifics at all?

ant wrote:
How would communities have been built?


i don't know let's ask the booktalk community.

ahem, booktalk community how were you built without belief in god?

i suspect people just liked hanging out together and chatting, comparing thoughts and just communing with each other for the fun of it.

i certainly dont need a god to tell me it's more fun having a community than not having a community. community is just natural to me.

i have seen bad religion severely damage community.

ant wrote:
something greater than ourselves


seems very vague to me.

a hurricane can knock me of my feet but i dont worship it
many people can beat me at chess but that's because i'm a lazy chess player, i dont worship them.

there are so many things greater than me in so many ways but none of them are particularly worthy of deification.

should an ant worship a man because he can capture many ants in an antfarm?

man is so much greater than the ants, man is a god, fear man ants, worship man or i will destroy you all.

all you ants need man for i am greater than you and without man you will have no sense of community!

but the ants will be oblivious and carry on regardless they don't need man to do what they do best.

i like ants

i never burned them with a magnifying glass like some of my crueller fellow deities :lol:



Last edited by youkrst on Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:54 pm
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Post Re: The six signs of "Scientism"
ant wrote:
the Purpose that Belief in something greater than ourselves has given us. That is the radical difference between Man and Ape.


have you just said the radical difference between man and ape is that man has the purpose that belief in something greater than himself has given him?

if you, ant, want to believe in (and deify) something greater than yourself, knock yourself out, go for it brother!

long may you run!

but i will need something a little more specific before i can even get my brain to engage with it.



Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:40 pm
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Post Re: The six signs of "Scientism"
Quote:
Turn natural selection into a code of conduct and you get disaster.


Right. Because natural selection is a process of nature. Not a conduct. It’s like saying let’s make conservation of angular momentum our way of life.

Quote:
But if asked where we get our morality from, if not from science or religion, the new atheists start to stammer


N N N N No we w w we don’t!

Haha! I always get a kick out of this perception that secular people are just trembling in fear of THE BIG QUESTIONs that religious people have. Here, let me fix this for you.

Morality comes from our surrounding society. We learn how to treat each other, from each other. We teach others how to treat us, and they teach us how to treat them. We don’t get our morality from the holy books for the most part. Or more accurately, we take our beliefs of how we should treat other people to our religion, and accept those parts of our religion which are in agreement with our understanding of right and wrong, and reject those elements which disagree.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen anybody get stoned for working on Saturday, for instance. Why is that? Because everybody, including super religious people, recognize that killing a man for working on the Sabbath is psychotic. The holy book says we should do it, but we don’t do it. Because our internal deliberation of morality is BETTER than the book.

Fine, but where did our collective morality, which is passed to each generation through society, come from? Evolution. Natural selection. Because humans can accomplish much more working together than by themselves. A simple recognition of this fact is all you need to build all of morality from natural selection.

It is interesting that you use the term “explain away”. What exactly do you mean by that? It seems to imply that once something is understood it is then no longer a part of reality. This reminds me of our conversations about meaning, in which I explained how meaning was both subjective and objective. Which is to say that intelligence is what gives things meaning, and because intelligent entities value something real world objective steps are taken to preserve those things which means statistically they are safeguarded where things not seen as valuable are not preserved.
You keep saying things like “only” a human cares about that. Explaining things does not rob them of their meaning, Ant. It enhances them.

Quote:
It is deeply ungratifying to see love as simply a biological drive to continue the species when reduced to animalism. Or why the raping and murder of children is morally abhorrent universally.


Which is exactly why we need a mechanism to remove our biases to get to the truth. It does not matter, at all, if you feel gratified. The truth is the truth regardless of how you feel about it. We can’t ignore a valuable fact because it makes us feel bad. It is easy to imagine any number of arguments of why natural selection in a population of social animals would lead toward abhorrence of raping and murdering children. Have you bothered to try to think this through?

Quote:
There is a deep intellectual shallowness here. The new atheists (present company excluded) who look to science as the only source of knowledge fit this description to the last letter:

Quote:
‘On the surface, he’s profound, but deep down, he’s superficial.’



You’ve tossed this “shallow understanding” stuff around several times, Ant, and never, never, have you come through with anything to back up that claim. Certainly not any “deeper” understanding which I have asked for every I see you make that statement.

It seems to me your criteria for what qualifies as “deep” is to assume something is ultimately a mystical mystery that leads to a god. Is that what you mean by “deep”, ant? Because you’ve failed to provide us with anything which suggests you know what you are talking about.

Quote:
If belief in God is and has been nothing more than a delusion it certainly is the most important thought mankind has ever entertained.


Resoundingly no.

Quote:
What if we were to erase from our history belief in God from the mind of Man? How much art, poetry, literary works, GOOD deeds (yes, there's always a flip side). What would be left to treasure? What would the atheist have for us? What magnificent works does he have for us?


This is how myopic you are Ant.

Gee, what is there in the world that we could value, if not an imaginary god? Well if we can’t pretend we have an invisible god looking out for us, we might as well stop writing literature, creating artwork, being nice to each other, composing poetry, and appreciating being alive!

Really man, what they hell are you talking about?


Quote:
Superficial debates about the mechanics of nature are useless without the ability to transcend our animal natures with the Purpose that Belief in something greater than ourselves has given us. That is the radical difference between Man and Ape.


Again, this claim of superficiality. Life on this planet is completely meaningless, according to Ant, unless you believe we are not like other animals. HAHA!

We CAN’T have meaning in our lives… unless we are the pets of an invisible cosmic monster.

Once again, what meaning are you talking about, Ant? You never answer. You do keep insisting that it’s the ONLY meaning there is to be had in life, but apparently all we are going to get is that believing is itself the meaning in life. This unknowable vague yet secretly specific and ultimate meaning is what I find ungratifying.

That’s all it takes to transform your life from “merely” loving your family because you are a human with a family, to “meaningfully” loving your family because you are a human with belief in magic and a family.

Adding meaning to life is as easy as refusing to allow that the world is understandable. All you have to do is imagine something out there that can see through walls, watch you while you pee, and has a special plan, which he keeps super-secret, with a special place just for you!

TA-DAH! Your life just went from so much clatter of random atomic collisions to part of a majestic march toward magical, mysterious, meaning!

Image


_________________
In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:07 pm
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Post Re: The six signs of "Scientism"
Quote:
Ant said If belief in God is and has been nothing more than a delusion it certainly is the most important thought mankind has ever entertained.

Obviously it is possible for a thought to be both important and delusional. Consider the annual Time Magazine "Person of the Year" edition. Every time conservatives don't like the person on the cover, they crow about how Time put Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin on that cover. How can that be? => But what are the criteria for this selection?
Quote:
Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year) is an annual issue of the United States newsmagazine Time that features and profiles a person, group, idea or object that "for better or for worse, ...has done the most to influence the events of the year."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Person_of_the_Year

This has been explained every year since 1927, but is still deliberately misunderstood. It would be extremely difficult to argue against the point that during WWII, those two had the most influence in certain years. Hitler and Stalin: Important but Delusional. Not to stretch the comparison to belief in God too far, but also consider one of the two was an ally critical to victory over Nazi Germany.



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Post Re: The six signs of "Scientism"
It's amusing to read the thread title as "The Six Warning Signs of Scientism." I think the list is pretty good, actually, though I haven't read the article. It's a good idea to bring to bring your mind in once in a while for rebalancing, so such a list can serve a purpose.

Don't know if any of you had a chance to see "The Master," with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joachim Phoenix. It's a look at the origins of a religion that strikingly resembles Scientology. Good flick, though puzzling at the end. L. Ron Hubbard had the sense to realize that a viable modern religion could borrow from the credibility of science, thus both the name of his cult and the technical flavor of the means to advance toward perfection. The scientific jargon almost obscures the wackiness.



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Post Re: The six signs of "Scientism"
DWill wrote:
It's amusing to read the thread title as "The Six Warning Signs of Scientism." I think the list is pretty good, actually, though I haven't read the article. It's a good idea to bring to bring your mind in once in a while for rebalancing, so such a list can serve a purpose.

Don't know if any of you had a chance to see "The Master," with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joachim Phoenix. It's a look at the origins of a religion that strikingly resembles Scientology. Good flick, though puzzling at the end. L. Ron Hubbard had the sense to realize that a viable modern religion could borrow from the credibility of science, thus both the name of his cult and the technical flavor of the means to advance toward perfection. The scientific jargon almost obscures the wackiness.


Haven't seen the movie, but it looks good. A science fiction writer like L. Ron Hubbard probably well understands the importance of sounding "scientish." Let's say you have to have your characters zipping around at faster than the speed of light, so you make up a hyper warp propulsion drive and it make it sound credible enough. Dan Simmons came up with the "Hawking Drive" but he never had to explain to explain how it works. The characters just make passing references to the technology just as we might mention driving somewhere without explaining how a combustion engine actually works.

I think I would enjoy The Master for the psychological elements.


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Post Re: The six signs of "Scientism"
I put the 10 red flags for pseudo science on a new thread. I didn't want to divert this thread when so many questions remain unanswered. 8)


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Post Re: The six signs of "Scientism"
Seriously Ant.

Today is the day you tell us about this "deeper" understanding you are always yapping about.

Pile on the wisdom.


_________________
In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:49 am
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