From: Ben Dawson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue 17 Jan 2006 - 18:37:34 GMT
On Tue, 17 Jan 2006 09:49:19 +0000, you wrote:
>Dawkins should employ you to clarify his arguments and put them so
>reasonably that religious people actually want to engage in discussion
Well, although I do agree with Dawkins in general, I try not to adopt
the same religion-bashing stance. It would certainly make me a very
unpopular person in my household!
In fact, from what I've read today, I'm inclined to think that perhaps
Dawkins is a little too hard on religion after all.
>I hope this is an accurate summary of what you've said: "Belief in a
>scientific theory comes from the cogency of objective evidence that
>compels us to accept it. Belief in a religious proposition is purely
>subjective and cannot be proved in the same way."
That's it in a nutshell, yes.
>I have a couple of thoughts in reply. First, I think that it is
>possible to overestimate the objectivity of science and scientists. You
>knew that I was going to say "phlogiston" at some point, so here it
>comes . . . It is just such a classic example of how scientists can be
>so attached to a theory that they stop being able to be objective about
>it. Just as we can in any walk of life.
>Having said that, though, of course I accept that there is a difference
>between religion and science. Science, as you say, is based on evidence
>which is "objective" in the sense that everyone can agree about it: if
>the evidence convinces one person in any given field of science then it
>should be capable of convincing all the others as well.
>Problems arise, as you point out, when people don't bother to
>investigate the evidence. I feel cross and embarrassed when I hear
>Creationists saying, with an air of triumph, that evolution is "just a
>theory". Not only have they not bothered to investigate the evidence
>for evolution, they haven't even bothered to find out what the word
>"theory" means when it's used by scientists!
>Further problems arise when people stop thinking for themselves at all,
>and accept for example that if they are Christians then that
>automatically compels them to believe that evolution/Harry Potter is A
>Bad Thing. People who talk about what "we believe" (rather than what "I
>believe") always make me feel rather wary.
>I think that this attitude arises from fear. Fear of questioning the
>basis for their beliefs in case they might be proved wrong. Whereas
>science at its best is a search for the truth, which is perceived as
>more important than any specific hypothesis.
>Likewise, though, if God exists, if the claims about him are true, then
>he can stand up to any amount of questioning and investigation. And if
>he doesn't exist, isn't it better to find that out than to base your
>life on a falsehood?
Yes, I'd agree with all of the above.
>But I think that the *type* of investigation you mount will be different
>in religion from what it is in science. More about that in my reply to
>Chris. This is quite long enough as it is.
>This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
>Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
>For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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