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interesting article by the wonderful Michael Robbins:
"The point is not that a coherent morality requires theism, but that the moral language taken for granted by liberal modernity is a fragmented ruin: It rejects metaphysics but exists only because of prior metaphysical commitments."
But I agreed with the gist of the article. Dawkins is a complete fucking flume. He is to atheism what Galloway is to lefties.
the man doesn't like dawkins or coyne
is that we try to justify a morality that was previously tied up with christian metaphysics - alluding to a greater power which told us what was right and wrong, but now try to argue from logically. Not quite sure though why this is a bad thing?
I'd say it's a hegemonic idea in modern culture to think science can give us the answers to all questions. Being scornful of metaphysics fails to recognise that science can't answer or scrutinise the metaphysical ideas that it so often has to rely on to attempt to give meaningful answers to questions (i.e. on what human beings should do or believe in given situations).
That bit clicked with me because I think sometimes people underestimate how much the way we think (and so our made environments and institutions) is shaped by a history of believing in God/Gods, culturally and maybe because of something like this http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2011/jan/04/the-god-instinct-jesse-bering
of social discourse, it inevitably will form part of our talk of morality. However plenty of things that religion is historically against is now morally acceptable - just because they created the framework does not mean that they were correct in what they claimed?
and the claims were just human fuck ups?
I find talking about a 'coherent atheism' and the like ... pointless though.
and this assertion is self-evidently bullshit: Several critics have noted that if evangelical atheists (as the philosopher John Gray calls them) are ignorant of religion, as they usually are, then they aren’t truly atheists.
Atheism and religion are asymmetric stances, and his point relies on them being directly comparable
when it suits him, his arguments rest on them being comparable, other times he seems to be going from a point where they aren't at (e.g. he takes the piss out of Dawkins for saying that religion is a weak science)
was a theory of how to behave, some kind of moral framework then that would be fine, but as religious types claim to have moral authority to an unkowable metaphysical power (god, or truth) then why shouldnt their arguments face science or logic?
the author accepts that people did not believe that the world was created in seven days, but then says that God is eternal and that he cant take scientists serious that dont explain how things can come about from nothingness. But God has just always existed?
was the comfort with nothingness, and the acceptance of not understanding.
How can you explain things which can't be explained without falling into the same trap that religion does?
a lack of religious belief can be fairly terifying in so far as you are left with a lot of unexplicable things about life, and the point thereof (which is why i like aspect of existentialism for example).
Any scientific discourse should avoid accepting or explaining things that they cant understand for the sake of it, but the author of this piece is attacking people for doing that while at the same time - it seems to be - defending people for doing exactly that?
think that science and logic aren't relevant in the context of faith and God?
and a deep aversion to banal scientism and cunty """New Atheist""" discourse
i still can't help but feel a pang of condescension and bewilderment whenever i find out that someone i know actually believes in god
I really liked this quote.
"If someone is really interested in whether or not God exists, I’d say the best way is to have a little humility and experiment, with an open mind and heart, with the paths that Christians have claimed take you directly to him, in the ways that have worked. If someone isn’t willing to do such a thing, and insists that a discussion about painting be one about mathematics, then the conversation isn’t going to go anywhere."
It may be that all spiritual sensation is an illusion, but even if it is, there still seems to be some pretty out-there and awesome stuff you can get out of exploring religious ideas and practices. Seems a shame to talk in absolutes if you haven't even given it the time of day. Doesn't even have to be remotely related to organised religion. Just take things from religious texts and explore what you can get out of them, on your own terms.
What's a religious text to most people anyway?
Imagine taking your worldview and trying to understand the vastness of the universe and our place within it from the writings of a culturally isolated people of 2,000 years ago. It's ridiculous.
For lots of people throughout history, and many people today, it provides experiences they describe as incredible. If there was a drug that made you feel like they describe, I for one would take it. Why not play around with those ideas, in the spirit of becoming a more complete person, with a better understanding of the human condition? You don't have to commit to anything more than that. Most atheists (I count myself as one btw) react really quite aggressively to the idea, for some reason. I'm not naive enough to think millions and millions of people throughout human history were lying about their experiences.
And by the by, I'd be just as interested in experiencing something from an ancient religious practice as a modern one. It's all part of the same thing to me.
its just that it can't be true
they are 100% real to them.
But you can also sit down with real people who are convinced they have been abducted by UFOs, and they will sincerely tell you about their experiences
to sit with those people and listen open-mindedly to what they have to say, too. Not to say I'd take them at their word. I'd be skeptical. But I'd definitely listen and be interested.
why do they put people in mental hospitals then?
from someone who's just "being interesting".
Maybe they did see God/UFO's?
That's the job of health professionals and psychologists. I don't have the relevant training.
of people seeing things outside our current scientific knowledge, though, without assuming they're mentally ill.
if something is outside our understanding, its just that at the moment, currently not understood.
I think its harmful to attribute it to some spritual woo that is "beyond our understanding". With that approach the real answer/truth can never be discovered, you've just cut off any avenue of exploration.
by listening to more things?
to some unknowable spirit world, which you seem to be saying.
Have you actually read anything I've written?
of people seeing things outside our current scientific knowledge"
What did you mean then?
and there could be a huge number of explanations for people experiencing any number of things that, at the moment, we can't explain. I don't see that as being separate from science. It's just something science can't explain at the moment. But then by the same token, if science can't prove something, I'm willing to explore it and listen to people's experiences around it. Because sometimes it's interesting and can be quite compelling. Some things are almost impossible to prove scientifically. A fairly mainstream example is there is no scientific basis for counselling working. But most of us have either had a positive experience from it, or known someone who has. And as a result, most of us believe in it. There could be all kinds of other psychological phenomena, and much more out-there ideas than counselling, that could work just as well, but can't be proved scientifically because of the current constraints of our scientific methods.
As I've said more than once in this thread, I classify myself as an atheist, and I think it's most likely there is a scientific explanation for everything we can't explain (though I don't think any scientific method will ever be able to satisfactorily explain how anything came to be from nothing - that's so hard to even begin to quantify).
So yeah, I don't 'believe' in a spirit world. But I think there is value in opening up to some of the ideas of religious and spiritual people, and thinking about how you can apply them to your life to make you a better person. And it's often really fun too.
misunderstood what you were saying.
and from multiple sources it surely discredits the whole idea of a god or gods being involved. It would become psychological
and there are a multitude of ways to connect with it. To me, it doesn't really matter either way. It's still cool as fuck.
I care about accessing a myriad of awesome experiences. I don't know why they exist or what powers them, if anything.
But yeah, it doesn't particularly matter to me, in terms of my desire to experience them.
do you want to experience the same thing as someone deeply religious while not believing in that religion?
or when you talk about religious techniques, do you mean practices, like meditation, prayer, or sacrificing goats to satan? or do you mean like belief systems?
There's an element of playing around with belief systems as well. Obviously, you're never going to experience things as intensely as a monk or someone who dedicates their life to spirituality, just experimenting with things, and reading texts with an open mind, but then I'm not really interested in dedicating my life to that side of things. Just sampling as much of it as I can whilst still getting as much as I can from elsewhere. There are definitely things I've taken from religious belief systems that have helped inform the way I behave and see the world.
can't really argue with that
They are human constructs surely.
If it means something else to you, then no, I don't need it. I imagine they probably are all human constructs though, yeah.
but why label it "religion" then? we already have a hundred other words for this
Everyone can get peace/happiness whatever from religion sure, but this is no different to "a drunk man being happier than one is is sober" (forget who this quote is from).
What is interesting though is that if these diametrically opposed religions can all inspire us in this way, clearly it can't be the religion at work. Something else is at play, something deeper and something that is most certainly non-spiritual and material that is to be discovered.
belief in deities/creation mythology/general moral framework that shares the same basic principles across all religions... arguably they're all different iterations of the same thing in different clothing. "diametrically opposed" suggests something directly opposite and incompatible. atheism is diametrically opposed to religion. religions aren't diametrically opposed to one another.
who is god and or/the son of god then
they just have different opinions on son of God/prophets etc
Judaism - Jesus not son of God
Christianity - Jesus is son of God
Islam - Jesus is a prophet, Mohammend is the proper Prophet.
doesn't conclusively demonstrate that "it can't be the religion at work". it could easily be argued that the "god" that actually exists doesn't precisely match any of the gods of organised religion, but that they all offer different ways of approaching it and gaining access to spiritual experience.
i should probably reiterate again that i don't believe in god.
what I'm trying to say is that the feelings religion may create in people, cannot come from a spiritual source.
Should have just said this in hindsight:
and from multiple sources" does anything to discredit the possibility of god. it discredits the veracity of individual religions organised around specific doctrines, yeah, but not the concept of "god"
but anyway, i happen to share your belief that religious feelings probably aren't produced by a spiritual source. i just think it's a really pointless and stupid argument to have. there are lots of very important and politically urgent debates to be had around religion and ethics the place religion has in society, but the masturbatory """New Atheist""" game of endlessly trying to prove how god doesn't exist and religion is bullshit, BECAUSE SCIENCE, is both dull and futile
the universal commonalities (sp?) cannot be religion then.
Let's look into what the really are, and move forward
Lots and lots of people dedicate their lives to doing just that. It's quite difficult.
it just doesn't appear to be what you are saying Sir.
I may have misunderstood though.
you're experiencing it. It doesn't really matter to me why it's happening. Lots of religions seem to have as part of them ways to feel great, and ways of seeing the world you can experiment with, to help make the human experience as pleasant a one as possible. Of course you can achieve levels of peace and happiness without any help from religious techniques, but these are things that have been developed over thousands of years. It seems weird to just completely dismiss them because of their origin. They work for people. They give people real experiences. I tend to side with the idea that there probably isn't anything outside our consciousness, but you can get so much out of being open to the idea that there might be. I was brought up atheist, but as I get older, I'm drawn more and more to certain aspects of religion and spirituality, primarily because it's such a fascinating compendium of thousands of years of human experience.
not the experiences they may evoke
Of course, the effects they have on the brain are a kind of simulation, but they're also real and you can feel the effects.
the experiences are real to the person (all revelation is necessarily first person). But taking your standpoint, how these drugs were made doesn't matter, its only the end result that matters.
No one would be able to make these drugs, or distribute them to anyone else who could benefit, because you don't care about understanding them.
I have a friend who's a neuroscientist, and I absolutely love hearing him talk about how our brains work. If he can explain why certain behaviours, practices and thought experiments can make me feel a certain way, I'd love to hear about it. But however it happens, I'm also still really into feeling it. Unless it can be proved it's somehow damaging or something.
and if so from whence does it derive that value
What trap am I stepping into here?....
without reference to metaphysical principles?
could use dictionary.com
not sure about inherent value.
Depends on what you mean by value
however, i suppose i think that some people have a capacity for "spiritual sensation" and some don't, and i don't. like i said, i have a lot of time for intelligent theology and a general distaste for "talking in absolutes" when it comes to religion and science, and i think trying to argue with religious beliefs/experience in scientific terms is fundamentally stupid, pointless and boring; and i agree that many people can get a lot of awesome stuff out of religious experience, but on a very visceral level (and i do think to some extent this goes beyond rationalism and into pure belief or sensation) i am an atheist, and i am completely devoid of religious or spiritual inclination. and that should be just fine, too.
Some of what he is saying is over my head but..
the creation myths were just meant as allegories were they?
Aaah OK, well that's the foundation of every Abrahamic religion off the hook again! You can never change the mind of someone who has this mentality.
"Science does not—it isn’t designed to—recommend approaches to what Emerson calls “the conduct of life.” "
True, No one ever said it did. But its the most reliable tool to evaluate the world around us, and what behaviours are beneficial or harmful in the real world. With science, at least we have a hope at developing some kind of moral system, with religion all you are stuck with are proclamations
as "just allegories"
the hook of having to be verifiable?
until shown that it is impossible (plants created before there was light etc...)
"Aaah well you're not meant to take in literally"
it's a religious text written by human beings who report things that have happened or whatever in a religious context. Some of that will be very useful, some of it won't.
Obviously a lot of christians fail to grasp this, but the point of christianity is that it's an insight into what 'good living' is supposed to be, according to various sources. The creation myths should be taken on these terms and assessed on their merits within this sort of reading. I (and probably many christians) don't think they particularly hold up well, many others will disagree.
Basically, nothing about the bible needs to be 'verifiable' except the bits where they say jesus was the son of god.
many people have taken a non-literal view?
Just seems a bit fish in barrel to attack on that angle. What does it achieve? how has it advanced anything?
who are religious and scientists who believed in things like evolution and the big bang*. Recognising that metaphor is part of a religious text doesn't mean the basic message is somehow invaild.
*Once I was at a church service - CofE (I wouldn't say I'm religious) and the vicar was a scientist and his sermon was about the Big Bang and how were all made of stars.
can be dismissed as being merely allegorical then does it actually hold any water? Or does it make the entire thing meaningless?
In terms of your latter point, I’m not sure science is always a reliable tool for “what behaviours are beneficial or harmful in the real world”. It might be the best way of telling us what diet we should be consuming, say, but does it have answers to many moral questions? I don’t think it does necessarily.
In very crude terms religion has always sought to explain both "the way the world is" and "the way the world ought to be" whereas science is generally concerned with the former. That’s always been quite an interesting contrast to explore in terms of where atheists might look for moral guidance and goes back to ‘state of nature’ type arguments in philosophy.
then empathy is probably the BEST tool, but this can be relative and unreliable.
Science would be the most reliable tool that can predict/measure "harm" to people, and "harm" to the world around us.
and made assumptions about an ethical system independent of religion.
All sounds a bit like religion to me.
and no need to label anything as "religion"
outside of science - who decided that was the right moral framework? You?
but I guess so yes
risky business agreeing to be a utilitarian. greatest good for the greatest number of people - end justifies the mean? Science will tell you that killing one person to save 10 is better, but is that actually accurate?
I LEARNED SOME THINGS IN UNIVERSITY
however: "Science will tell you that killing one person to save 10 is better"
i.e. one able bodied man walks in to a hospital, his body could be used to save 10 other people who would certainly die. Ceteris parabus, according to basic act utilitarian theory it's morally good to kill him and use his organs.
There are other types of utilitarianism obviously but the point to be taken from it in this thread is that 'pure science', even if it did have the tools to answer moral questions, would probably produce really shit answers.
Hey, imagine actually learning things and being able to answer difficult questions better from going to university. THATS WHAT IVE JUST DONE
can't be taught in one of your fancy "universities" s_h. Jesus.
my point is that gamecat just picking one answer that "science" somehow decides as a monolithic entity is a bit mad. wasn't meant to be mean, really.
so many good will huntings in here
you're *kidding* me. my MIND IS BLOWN.
Hang on, maybe they should get on to deciding if you can let a train hit five people or push a level and have it hit just one person what should you do
could you have them do that I think this is important
the post you were mocking was fairly reasonable and i still don't understand why it justified a '='D wtf' response
and then make a claim that daft, I think you can take a bit of ribbing.
also what if you can push a fat man in the way of the train
we need answers quick
we cant debate religion and science? And still_here provided an example where my claim that science, from a utilitarian point of view, would believe that killing one person to save 10 people would be better. Which is what Gorkys seemed to be arriving at. I just didnt want him rushing in to agree with something that has been muchly debated (in places including university). And no, you cant push the fat man infront of the train. Sorry.
he should have if he didn't. and he used a latin phrase so you should agree.
anyway it's fine. and that man tripped and fell on the tracks, I had nothing to do with it.
but a utilitarian using science as its basis for the greatest good for the greatest number of people would result in the man being used as spare parts for the 10 ill patients. However this seems to go against what many people would feel to be the actual right thing to do.
(also, I suppose that by "utilitarianism" here we mean "A stupendously unrefined utilitarianism that no sane person would sign up to given more than two seconds of examination", but dear god can we please not get into that)
science does so insofar that it would describe that it would think 1 person dieing was better than 10 people dieing, purely on a biologicial level, with no moral judgements. Im wanting to make the point that rarely would it be such a clear distinction...if we nuked 49% of the worlds population, the remaining 51% would probably be better off for example (on a physical level - distribution of resources etc)
of course it's an obvious 101-philosophy point. that's the point. any first-year philosophy student can tell you that science is not a tool for morality. this is obvious. but gorkys just proclaimed himself a utilitarian, because science.
like I said I don't fully know what this means.
Empathy would be the driving force, science as a better tool than religious proclamation as to right/wrong.
"Situational ethics" in a nutshell.
to justify things as if that's an entirely neutral or simple concept.
Using empathy and science, should we have intervened in Iraq or Afghanistan or Syria or Rwanda or the holocaust?
to arriving at these difficult decisions
I just checked with a scientist and you’re officially too stupid to have this debate with. Good day sir.
you are the first and only person here to call someone stupid, which may be true, but also makes you a grade A cunt.
You’ve consistently ignored the simple point which I’ve explained patiently and repeatedly: that science alone can’t solve many (possibly any) moral dilemmas, which is what you originally claimed, without you also invoking some other moral authority (such as religion – or “empathy” which is apparently the simple answer to all moral quandaries) and even that’s dubious.
Under the circumstances, calling you stupid seemed pretty reasonable.
"science does so insofar that it would describe that it would think 1 person dieing was better than 10 people dieing, purely on a biologicial level, with no moral judgements."
this just... doesn't seem to make sense? how can "science" think a thing?
you seem to mean "a very simplistic utilitarianism" rather than "science" - I don't see what "science" has to do with this at all?
There's nothing in nature to explicitly tell us you shouldn't do many things we see as immoral. They're a hangover from the days of religious dominance.
stop trolling/being a moron
might make a facebook page.
nah, mine will have those photos of something 'beautiful' or 'amazing' or something, and in the description will say stuff like "people who love science don't realise that mathematics is a closed ontology and that, equally, the empiricism of science can never reach beyond the veil of perception. These people can never fully grasp the ontology of love, or aristotelian ethics, and are therefore no better than robots. They should be culled."
sounds like a load of new age bullshit
he says pretty much the same thing.
Actually i agree with everything he says. Great article well done.
people who don't believe in God aren't also able to experience and appreciate beauty.
I think they're saying the opposite and asking how do you experience & appreciate beauty? Is it with your intellect?
to people who ONLY believe in scientific method and apply it to everything.
I mean, personally, I'd consider critical theory and debate as all part of scientific method myself, but there are some who like to draw a division between the two and set up a false dichotomy, simplifying it and casting people as philistinic rationalists.
it is absolutely in no way a false dichotomy, sorry. The methods are completely, fundamentally different. For one thing, science operates within a paradigm of assumed metaphysical and ontological norms. Critical and post-modern theories directly try to address them.
theories and philosophy, psychoanalysis etc etc, but most of it comes from a desire to understand what can't be measured and quantified, but which may be able to be examined and interrogated from a qualitative or experiential viewpoint, and setting it within context.
At heart it's the same motivation, and the core principles are the same - in setting up this dichotomy, you're almost trying to do the same as the Aestheticists, except that your idea of the threshold lies just beyond your personal experience.
(or at least think they do)
and that distinction is one that Robbins doesn't seem able to make.
i only skimmed the article, but don't get the impression his criticism is directed at all atheists everywhere and everyone who believes in scientific method. i get the impression it's aimed at a very specific, currently culturally dominant form of atheist discourse which is loaded with precisely that kind of reductive scientism
not to say i agree with everything in the article but that discourse definitely exists, and it's definitely stupid and boring. isn't the whole point he's making that there are other, better atheistic traditions of thought that manage to avoid that trap?
the whole premis of an athiest is that they don't believe in God.
If there was never such a thing as 'God' then you wouldn't have to define a person who doesn't believe in God.
Whereas if meat didn't exist, everyone would be a vegetarian by default, even if they weren't termed as such.
if we all were just vegetarians?
atheism is a rejection of the assertion that there is a god, nothing more.
There are "hard" atheists who say there def. is no god, but I don't think you can ever be 100% certain.
and therefore be an athiest?
I reject the claim that there are any gods.
there would need to be the claim that those gods exist for you to then reject?
what is your point?
BTW your first post differs slightly but crucially from what you're saying now, maybe mistyped it?
vs "the idea of a god"
that would be ridiculous
and still "reject" him, but you would be a deist
which has a word to describe it must exist.
if it didn't exist how would you know to descibe it?
it doesn't exist either. welcome to #rational country
If there was no such idea, if no one ever thought up a creature that looked like a horse with a horn. The thought never existed then you wouldn't have anything to give the name 'unicorn'
Same thing with an athiest. If the idea of a god never existed. no one ever spoke of a god or worshipped a god or spoke of a god. Then there wouldn't be athiests. You need the idea of a potential god for a person to chose to reject the idea and therefore be an athiest.
you said: "An athiest can't be an athiest without there being a God for them not to believe in."
did you mean: "An athiest can't be an athiest without there being ***THE IDEA OF*** a God for them not to believe in."
then yes, I was referring to the idea of a god. But how I worded it initially still makes sense. Whether it's the idea of a god or a god in general, you need to have that in order to choose to not believe.
Um. Except that it completely changes your argument when you issue that clarification.
but that kind of linguistic imprecision leads to so many misunderstandings and interminable thread derailings that, yeah, pillory away.
those words COMPLETELY change the meaning of what you said. How is that pernickty, you wibbling toaster?
And I've never been called a toaster before.
Suddenly terrified I'm being Meowington'd.
1) your argument suggested God must exist - contentious
2) your argument suggested the idea of God exists - not contentious
I get it now.
yes i see how that I needed the 'idea' part in. It was in my head as an idea.
These things are tricky to explain online, but you did a great job of getting lots of us wound up anyway ;)
I really didn't get why so many people were arguing with me.
Was it just that the idea of god exists?
no you don't
well this section. He got what I was trying to say and worded it a bit better.
You've blown my mind.
ghosts, aliens, the Easter Bunny, Father Christmas, yetis, the Loch Ness monster, Balonz - all of those definitely exist because I can use words to describe them?
I feel I should be ahead of yetis at the very least.
The Balonz suspense is killing me...
how did he create all life as we know it?
"Of course," he began, "everything you will learn in this class is merely a re-stating of one thing: God obviously does not exist and Christianity is a lie." Drool dripped from his beard onto a flag as he almost screamed the last few words of this sentence.
Unlucky for the professor there was a muscle-bound marine in the lecture theatre, who had just got off the boat after a successful tour in Syria-Ukraine (kill count: 163). The clear-skinned soldier lifted up the professor and dangled him over the balcony.
"Are you an atheist?" he asked the professor.
"YES of course anything else is childish fancy!"
"But how can you choose not to believe in something that doesn't exist. To be an atheist means you must accept that god wxists."
The professor began to cry as he realised he'd been wrong all his life. With a flick of his wrist, the marine twirled the professor off the balcony and he span into the swimming pool below that was being cleaned and so was empty (of water). He was soon dead and no one mourned him.
The marine walked back into the class and dismissed it as flags rained from the ceiling. He was now the professor but still a marine also.
try misspelling "atheist" to "athiest" on twitter and see how many bites you get from total, total dongs
and atheism is a club that doesn't involve having to do anything, other than being a keyboard warrior. It's a perfect storm of laziness and wanting to belong to something.
"it gets the history of science and the nature of religious belief wrong, setting up an opposition between reason and faith that the church fathers would have found rather puzzling... To believe it requires the misconception that religion exists primarily to provide explanations of natural phenomena"
Well, not 'primarily' but the Bible is used by Creationists to support explanations of natural phenomena. Creationist 'scientists' abuse science to support their cause, so the idea that science and religion are not in conflict is inaccurate.
are creationists. Certainly in this country. Middle America doesn't count.
not religion. That's not what New Atheism is primarily trying to address.
Creation 'scientists' are using scientific arguments (badly) rather than simply stating beliefs. New Athesism is about countering religion, which involves scientific testing of religious claims.
(as considered from a judeo-christian perspective)
As he says in the article, science just can't address questions like e.g. nothingness - questions that ARE fundamental to what religion is.
His point is that this sort of atheism is both very dogmatic and very shallow. It totally fails to understand the intellectual history of atheism and the force it can be, in favour of this really shit version which comes very close to holding up science as a new religion.
The issue I have is that I find it unconvincing. His underlying criticisms are inconsistent and flawed, in terms of how he compares religion and science. His objection to the tone of New Atheism is justifiable, but it seems to be at the expense of accurately critiquing the relationship between it and religion.
I don't really know what my point is
what are people even arguing about any more?
and he's all like "well if you're gonna be an atheist at least be a good one" which is fair enough. I also think it's important for that sort of 'good' atheism to be more culturally dominant, since e.g. nietzsche would hate the current dominant iteration and nietzsche was great.
he probably had almost everything as well
for this reason alone I'm considering taking up god these days
we can wish
Not because of their moral views, they're usually nasty and antiquated and dangerous. But religion seems to perform what people need it to, it motivates them and keeps them happy. Maybe they're just performing their peace of mind but it seems genuine to me a lot of the time.
Instead I'm trapped between knowing how indifferent and pointless it all is, but also the massive responsibility to make my own meaning. It's awful.
Get over it wussy.
they can dawdle along an still grab eternal paradise
you've got one chance to eat, drink and fuck your fill before you're worm food in the void.
GET ON IT MAGGOT
that that's only gonna make it worse...
That's pretty bad isn't it
I'm eating crisps on my sofa
now grab a beer and get on grindr for a blowie, sorted
So does being sensible and living a quiet life
Ha ha arrggggggh fuck my life piss on my brain
have you considered therapy, or a stint in the military?
100% genuine suggestions.
Stop telling me to seek therapy!!
And bear a striking resemblance to Pamela Anderson
enjoy your incredibly predictable existential crisis you big sissy.
False binary mate
All morality is just a coping mechanism for the crappy contradiction of doing anything at all.
look at those irish women unable to get an abortion :'''D
i do have a problem with people talking about how religion has nothing to do with science and explaining how the world works - historically, it did. there's always been a two pronged attack to how various religions function throughout time:
(a) a set of morals which it's believers are expected to follow. these tend to be (but are not always) simply things that correspond to making vast amounts of people work for a small group of elites (which are then marketed as being the people granted this position by a God or Gods)
(b) a mechanical explanation of how the universe was constructed which invokes the God or Gods alongside a set of apocryphal tales about one or more figures on Earth who did miraculous things (whether this is the Prophet Mohammed or Jesus Christ or Hercules doesn't really matter)
obviously the two are intertwined, with the 'explanation' side of things being there to legitimise the ruling party. science can critique part (b) but doesn't have the power to attack the moralism itself, i think is what the author is trying to say. what it (and similar critiques) doesn't do is untangle why this is: it seems to be clear historically that religious institutions have prevented the spread of scientific writings for this very reason.
i think what is often missing in discussions around this subject is a full exploration of the way science functions in modern society - basically, the only science that is done is that which is well funded, and this means things which funders like: stuff with technological applications which can then be sold; stuff that consequently creates technology; stuff that trains people how to become Quants; stuff that works to legitimise neoliberalism.
i think the more important point he's making is that it can't address questions of being or existence or whatever you want to call it. We should engage religion in a debate about being using e.g. Heidegger or some sort of post-modernism or whatever, rather than trying to prove religious claims to be false via simplistic realist bivalence (i.e. phenomena can always be represented through propositions and those propositions are always either true or false).
but without making metaphysical points about the existence of God, then what is the point of having a religion? Then you can just talk, like pegfeet up above, about human experience, which can be unverifiable without giving it an unverifiable background for no good reason other than you want it to have more meaning that it really does...
Don't know why we should worry about progress or engaging with religions with some sort of subjective postmodern experience
Just living longer in more fucked up ways really
when you arent religious.
No matter what ideologies or religions are in fashion at the time
"i.e. phenomena can always be represented through propositions and those propositions are always either true or false"
i think this is kind of a simplistic way of representing science. historically pretty much all major development in science has been accompanied by debates involving scientists and metaphysicians etc as to what the nature of the discovery is, whether it's really real and so on
a good example i think is that of 'local hidden variables' in quantum mechanics. it's a technical point that i don't really want to spam this board with as most people wouldn't (want to) understand but there are articles about it on the stanford site http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/bell-theorem/. lots of the same arguments occured e.g. when faraday started talking about electric fields, or Einstein introduced 4-dimensional riemennian geometry to describe gravity
my problem here is that i'm not convinced there's a universal definiton of the scientific method and it's too often characterised as pure logical positivism which is really problematic (though does make it much easier to argue against of course, which is probably why)
with regards to religion, i'm much more interested in arguing against it within a framework of political philosophy and of course i would argue that it is an institution of exploitation that survives based on antimaterialist promises (it will make you happier, you will go to heaven etc)
To me that just seems like arguing the toss about someone's deeply held delusions that helps them sleep at night. I can't see it necessarily being unifying.
and I think that's what's relevant in this context. I'm not gonna pretend to know about quantum theory etc.
Wrt your last point I don't think that's entirely fair. For example I think jesus was a true revoluntionary and his teachings on agape and forgiveness stand up even today as incredibly novel, insightful, radical and beautiful ideas (mohammed's teachings not so much). Of course the institution of religion should be analysed as an exploitative tool, but I really don't think that's all religion itself is or was - christianity before it became institutionalised and fucked over by cunts like st paul was a revolutionary force that should've been greater than marxism
just totally out there. amazing.
ps. everyone follow RICHARD H DAWKINS @richarddawkins legit greatest twitter account