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From: Scott Chase (ecphoric@hotmail.com)
Date: Fri Feb 08 2002 - 03:18:12 GMT

  • Next message: John Wilkins: "Re: RE:"

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    From: "Scott Chase" <ecphoric@hotmail.com>
    To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
    Subject: RE:
    Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 22:18:12 -0500
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    >From: "Steve Drew" <srdrew_1@hotmail.com>
    >Reply-To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
    >To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
    >Subject: RE:
    >Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 21:31:47 +0000
    >
    >>Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 13:16:00 -0000
    >From: Vincent Campbell <v.p.campbell@stir.ac.uk>
    >Subject: RE:
    >
    ><Religions do reject the notion of falsifiability, but not the proof
    >of gods existence. "except by faith" etc is their proof, which i agree
    >is
    >not
    >>scientific. If you do have a proof of gods non existance, i would love
    >to
    >>know as there are always god botherers around i would like to upset.>
    >>
    > I think you need to examine religions' claims more closely, to see
    >how religion involves a fundamental rejection of real world evidence- it
    >has
    >to otherwise nobody would believe the silly stories of virgin births,
    >the
    >"power" of prayer, let alone omniscient deities.† The whole point of
    >religion is to deny the validty and credibility of the idea of testing
    >claims in the real world, you must simply believe.†† Look, for example,
    >at
    >the circular remarks of faith healers when confronted by the obviouly
    >unhealed people they get up on stage- basically it's not their fault
    >(for
    >being the worst kind of vultures), it's the fault of the sick people
    >themselves for not believing enough.<
    >
    >I am aware of how religion rejects the world. It is also worth remembering
    >that many religions started before science (as we would call it) existed.
    >Hence any explanation that *offered an explanation* could be acceptable to
    >people who had no way of disproving them no matter how absurd. In the
    >absence of say medicine except in rudimentary form, a faith healers claims
    >are logical, in that if you do not have faith you will not be cured - a
    >circular argument. That applies even today, even if we agree that it is BS.
    >You may be interested that some half wit papal aide has just said that
    >people are ill because they are sinners, and that those who do not sin tend
    >to be healthy and pretty (Times, London, 7/2/02). needless to say some god
    >botherers with more sense then claimed that isnít what was meant etc. On
    >another note, the *creationist scientists* [I shall wash my hands and
    >keydoard after i have written this :- ) ] would claim that it does stand up
    >to scientific scrutiny. I have to abmit that i canít understand what that
    >has to do with my original comment.
    >
    ><What i meant by atheism having anti women components was as i said,
    >that those of the reductionist sociobiological bent force roles upon
    >males
    >and female, with the females copping for the worst of it.>
    >
    > >Well, I'm not sure that's true, after all if the sociobiologists
    >are
    >right, it is women who dominate human mate choice, or at the very least
    >are
    >as equally active as men<
    >
    >This is assuming that all sociobiologists accept the same things and come
    >to
    >the same conclusion, but fair enough that was a bad example. Iíll try
    >another - didnít Hitler claim to be an atheist? I wasnít aware that Atheism
    >confered on its followers logic, rationallity and the pursuit of truth. :-
    >)
    >
    > <One of my tutors pointed out that agnosticism may be the best
    >choice - God
    >>may or may not exist, but i will worry about it† only when he knocks
    >on my
    >>
    >>door.>
    >>
    > >I think agnosticism is the worst kind of fence sitting you can do.
    >It's a refusal to commit.
    >
    > Vincent<
    >
    >Fence sitting it is not. In the absence of definitive proof either way, to
    >make a decision on this would be based on what? - a feeling, balance of
    >probabilities etc. It is not that i refuse to take a position on the
    >matter,
    >but that the matter is irrelevant. A decision is not required on something
    >that is irrelevant.
    >
    >
    Nietzsche said something in passing about agnostics "worship[ping] the
    question mark itself as God" (see _Genealogy of Morals_, Third Essay,
    Section 25, trans. by Kaufmann and Hollingdale, Vintage Books, New York,
    1967). I don't hink as an agnostic that I'm worshipping anything. Maybe I'm
    less commital than Vince and the militant atheists, but I reserve the right
    to criticize religiously derived metaphysical speculations (especially of
    the designology ilk) AND militant atheistic overkill. Theistic evolutionists
    who follow a methodological naturalism and can separate oil and water along
    the lines of Gouldian non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA) and refrain from the
    rancid emulsification of Behe-ian/Dembskian intelligent design neo-Paleyism
    are to be respected, if not necessarily agreed with. I'm not too keen on
    Teilhardian omegoid noospheric orthogenesis adherents either, though there
    could be some memeticists who like some of his ideas. Wasn't Julian Huxley a
    proto-memeticist of sorts with his noetic allusions to noogenetics?

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