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(Discover)   Science will never be able to replace religion because people are hard-wired to be stupid   (blogs.discovermagazine.com) divider line 90
    More: Obvious, PZ Myers, Navajo, scientific inquiry, religious symbols, Scientific Method, American Southwest, human mind, cultural identity  
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2708 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Aug 2012 at 4:40 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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vpb [TotalFark]
2012-08-24 02:36:02 PM
It's hard to create science in your own image.
 
2012-08-24 02:41:53 PM

vpb: It's hard to create science in your own image.


b b but... cloning.
 
2012-08-24 02:43:53 PM
hostmypicture.com
 
2012-08-24 02:59:41 PM
www.fybertech.com
 
2012-08-24 03:01:23 PM
By Keith Kloor, a freelance journalist whose stories have appeared in a range of publications, from Science to Smithsonian. Since 2004, he's been an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.

WTF ARE YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT? SCIENCE IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT DISCUSSION THAN RELIGION.

/fark you, science as atheist-raison-d'etre people. Atheists are no more responsible for science truth than wacko Jeebus bangers
 
2012-08-24 03:36:06 PM
It's not hard wired or stupid.
It's just humanity as a whole are just insecure about our place in the universe and it is easier to follow what has been told for thousands of years instead of understanding what actually makes sense.

/Did I word that correctly? I hope the grammar gods don't send me to hell
 
2012-08-24 03:42:17 PM

legion_of_doo: Atheists are no more responsible for science truth than wacko Jeebus bangers


How about denying science truth? How do the two groups compare?
 
2012-08-24 04:16:48 PM
By the way for anyone not keeping score,

PZ Myers' People's Front has officially split from the People's Front of Dawkins, which of course split from the Romans a long time ago.

tl;dr: Atheism + Feminism ⇒ Religious Holy War

Link

Atheism+: the new New Atheists

This new movement has an energy that makes it hard to ignore.

Atheism+ is a reaction against the "New Atheism" of Richard Dawkins.

Let me introduce you to Atheism+, the nascent movement that might be the most exciting thing to hit the world of unbelief since Richard Dawkins teamed up with Christopher Hitchens to tell the world that God was a Delusion and, worse than that, Not Great.

Less than a week old in its current form, Atheism+ is the brainchild of Jen McCreight, a Seattle-based biology postgrad and blogger at the secularist Freethought network. She has called for a "new wave" of atheism on that "cares about how religion affects everyone and that applies skepticism to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, politics, poverty, and crime."

On one level, this is just the logical culmination of the huge upsurge in interest prompted by the so-called "New Atheists" and the growth over the last few years of a recognisable community or movement based around ideas of atheism, scientific scepticism and a progressive political agenda. While atheism is, by definition, no more or less than a non-belief in God, in practice it clusters with a variety of other positions, from pro-choice to campaigns against homeopathy. People who espouse "liberal atheism" as it might be called, oppose religion for political as well as philosophical reasons, just as the forces of religion seem to line up - though of course not exclusively - behind seemingly unconnected issues such as opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage and, in the US, gun-control.

Atheism+ is, at its most basic, an attempt wrap things together more formally, to create a movement that prioritises issues of equality and does so from an explicitly non-religious perspective. Some would say that such a philosophy already exists in the form of humanism. Others prefer the label Skeptic. Atheism+, however, seeks to capitalise on the sense of identity that has grown up around the word "atheism" during the past few years. One supporter of the idea, Greta Christina, celebrates the term as "a slap in the face that wakes people up."

In this early phase Atheism+ is fired by anger as much as by as idealism. And, at least initially, much of this anger is directed inward towards the world of atheism itself....
 
2012-08-24 04:16:56 PM

old_toole: It's not hard wired or stupid.
It's just humanity as a whole are just insecure about our place in the universe and it is easier to follow what has been told for thousands of years instead of understanding what actually makes sense.

/Did I word that correctly? I hope the grammar gods don't send me to hell


You said it fine. I just have no idea why you thought it would refute that it's stupid and hard wired.
 
2012-08-24 04:22:27 PM
So I am curious, and stupid, do Christians hold any special place, other than hatred, for Augustus or Pilate, who I gather are the two people apart from Jesus most responsible for Christianity?

And no, I don't believe Jews have anything other than hatred for the Pharoah, but I guess we have to be glad in some ways for his existence, right??
 
2012-08-24 04:45:16 PM
lets go hit
terrorist
tase
and *close for the bit*
they HAVE to ept.
 
2012-08-24 04:50:12 PM

MacEnvy: You said it fine. I just have no idea why you thought it would refute that it's stupid and hard wired.


OK I can go with stupid, I was just trying to be nice, but I don't see "hard wired" cause we seem to have the capability to decide what makes sense. (at least most of us)
 
2012-08-24 04:53:10 PM
I don't remember where, but I read once that religion is likely a byproduct of our brain's use of symbolism. If that's what it is I don't see how we could grow out of it, it is built into us.
 
2012-08-24 04:54:38 PM
Time to stuff the Straw Vulcans.
 
2012-08-24 04:56:28 PM

Jon iz teh kewl: lets go hit
terrorist
tase
and *close for the bit*
they HAVE to ept.


twice? the f*ck?
 
2012-08-24 05:00:45 PM
LOL we gonna 3d print a space elevator and sex up the aliens????
 
2012-08-24 05:05:12 PM
FTFA: The column, by Arizona State University's Daniel Sarewitz, suggests that rational explanation of the universe's existence, as advanced recently by discovery of the Higgs boson, can't match the feelings evoked by spectacular religious symbolism, such as that found in Cambodia's ancient Hindu temples, which Sarewitz explored this summer.

I disagree.

I find a lot of religious art and architecture very impressive. Much of it is wonderfully creative and expressive and pure joy to behold.

But, for me at least, knowledge about the intricacies of the universe and the sublimity of the laws of nature are so much more breathtaking than anything religion has ever inspired.
 
2012-08-24 05:06:09 PM

Fano: Time to stuff the Straw Vulcans.


Rock out with your Spock out.
 
2012-08-24 05:11:15 PM
It doesn't, but with hilarious results. Science and technology are the things people like to deny having while using them as a go to for everything.

Examples include:
- Using the latest fertility technology and thanking God for getting pregnant
- Arguments about quantum mechanics don't exist while using the internet as a medium for this discussion. Bonus: On a smart phone.
- Those evil biologists who don't know anything, except for every time you go to the doctor.

I'm sure you can think of many more.
 
2012-08-24 05:14:42 PM

MaxxLarge: [hostmypicture.com image 600x399]


I am going to use that. I'm going to use the hell out of it.
 
2012-08-24 05:16:06 PM
No one ever promised that 'knowing' would somehow make someone feel better about themselves.
 
2012-08-24 05:20:36 PM
If the human mind is hardwired for anything, it is hardwired to define new things by comparing them to known things (the same as computerized artificial intelligence). Prior to of having the technology needed to delve into the big questions about life and death and the physical nature of existence, humans applied what they were familiar with to devise an anthropomorphic deity to give an answer to the unanswerable.

Imagine what mankind might have developed like if we had always believed we are only here as a result of physics and entropy and our consciousnesses only exists with our mortal body; better or worse I have no clue.
 
2012-08-24 05:21:36 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: LOL we gonna 3d print a space elevator and sex up the aliens????


Get a farking hobby.
 
2012-08-24 05:21:46 PM
Religion isn't stupid. It's needy. "Emotional salve" is a good term. It's been abundantly shown through studies that people with an actual, strong religious faith live longer, happier, healthier lives. Imagine what an awesome feeling it must be to actually believe that there is an afterlife, and some super duper skywizard is deeply interested in YOU, and cares about YOU.

Reality is a little tough to take. You're born, you live, you die. The end of you. Everything you are. Your mind, your conscieousness, everything ends. In a universe that doesn't care about you, and subjects you to totally random events. You ultimately return to the oblivion from whence you came.

There isn't one little bit of ultimate meaning or purpose to your life. Like a ripple in the sea of time, you rise up out of the background noise, for an eyeblink of time you have shape and amplitude, then you sink back down into the background noise.

Kinda depressing, actually.

So, if you're willing to BELIEVE, you get a longer happier life, and you aren't dissapointed when you die, because your mind ends, and you never get to know you were wrong, so you're not humiliated.

Kinda a sweet deal, if you can manage to BELIEVE.

I can't

But I am somewhat envious of those who do. Their quality of life is better.
 
2012-08-24 05:21:48 PM

Cinaed: No one ever promised that 'knowing' would somehow make someone feel better about themselves.


Often, knowing has the opposite effect, but to hell with the alternative.
 
2012-08-24 05:23:37 PM
"Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time."
― Terry Pratchett
 
2012-08-24 05:31:49 PM

old_toole: It's not hard wired or stupid.


Actually, it might be.

Personally, I would classify the outright objection of science more as illogical than stupid. People can get really wrapped up in their own [religious] worldviews. The mind can do weird things to protect itself from things falling apart, even if that leads to irrational logic.

The interesting question to ask is: if there are genes that lead to a greater incidence of religious acceptance, and if people who are deeply religious continue to have larger families than the non-religious, will religion and spirituality become even more entrenched in our society as it spreads further through the gene pool?
 
2012-08-24 05:32:11 PM
I'm so tempted to change my major into neurology just to see if there's some way I can modify the brain to stop short circuiting to the emotional centers just to arrive at a conclusion or a decision.
 
2012-08-24 05:32:15 PM

Stranded On The Planet Dumbass: If the human mind is hardwired for anything, it is hardwired to define new things by comparing them to known things (the same as computerized artificial intelligence). Prior to of having the technology needed to delve into the big questions about life and death and the physical nature of existence, humans applied what they were familiar with to devise an anthropomorphic deity to give an answer to the unanswerable.

Imagine what mankind might have developed like if we had always believed we are only here as a result of physics and entropy and our consciousnesses only exists with our mortal body; better or worse I have no clue.


organized religion, whether you agree with the idea or not, has a civilizing influence on people. Without religion, we may have killed all of us, not just half of us.
 
2012-08-24 05:37:41 PM
do they pray that everyone else gets their message?
 
2012-08-24 05:38:30 PM
Science and scientific thinking is an unnatural thing for humans. Basically everybody is bad at science, even scientists. Scientists are the just the ones who are too stubborn to give up on it.
 
2012-08-24 05:44:20 PM
frkking bigots
 
2012-08-24 05:51:12 PM

MaxxLarge: [hostmypicture.com image 600x399]


This.
 
2012-08-24 05:55:55 PM

CrispFlows: I'm so tempted to change my major into neurology just to see if there's some way I can modify the brain to stop short circuiting to the emotional centers just to arrive at a conclusion or a decision.


I would support this research.

Not because I care about what humanity or a person thinks the universe came from or what will happen when they die. Those don't have anything to do with the price of tea in China, generally.

But to be able to have logical and honest discussions about relevant things like healthcare, economy, and laws without people knee-jerking to a default conclusion because they "feel" something. That would be great!

Once we've got the day-to-day stuff taken care of, then we can go back to arguing about the origins of the universe.
 
2012-08-24 05:58:42 PM
But a response that indicts all religion as a stain on humanity is equally absolutist. It is also inconsistent with the spirit of science.

i224.photobucket.com
 
2012-08-24 06:02:15 PM
In other news, apples will never be able to replace oranges.

Your premise is bad, and you should feel bad.
 
2012-08-24 06:02:16 PM

DarkLancelot: I don't remember where, but I read once that religion is likely a byproduct of our brain's use of symbolism. If that's what it is I don't see how we could grow out of it, it is built into us.



I can see that, but following a religion is different than, say, reading a fictional book and having it change your life in some way.
 
2012-08-24 06:09:16 PM
I have faith in science and I don't believe in God. I don't care if you do or not, as long as you don't preach to me. I don't need a movement to keep me going.

Is that good enough for everyone?
 
2012-08-24 06:09:24 PM
Well DUH!
 
2012-08-24 06:13:22 PM
Ummm... out of curiosity, what standard of intelligence are you using that makes humans stupid?

If you know somebody smarter than a human, you REALLY ought to tell someone.
 
2012-08-24 06:13:30 PM

mark12A: Religion isn't stupid. It's needy. "Emotional salve" is a good term. It's been abundantly shown through studies that people with an actual, strong religious faith live longer, happier, healthier lives. Imagine what an awesome feeling it must be to actually believe that there is an afterlife, and some super duper skywizard is deeply interested in YOU, and cares about YOU.

Reality is a little tough to take. You're born, you live, you die. The end of you. Everything you are. Your mind, your conscieousness, everything ends. In a universe that doesn't care about you, and subjects you to totally random events. You ultimately return to the oblivion from whence you came.

There isn't one little bit of ultimate meaning or purpose to your life. Like a ripple in the sea of time, you rise up out of the background noise, for an eyeblink of time you have shape and amplitude, then you sink back down into the background noise.

Kinda depressing, actually.

So, if you're willing to BELIEVE, you get a longer happier life, and you aren't dissapointed when you die, because your mind ends, and you never get to know you were wrong, so you're not humiliated.

Kinda a sweet deal, if you can manage to BELIEVE.

I can't

But I am somewhat envious of those who do. Their quality of life is better.


This. %100. I have been trying to find the words to convey this whole thing exactly as you have. So don't mind if I steal it. And welcome to my favorites.
 
2012-08-24 06:19:27 PM
Science does not seek to replace religion. An individual may seek to, but only religion can replace religion, because it's about the structure more than anything, so what you'll find is most people who challenge religion do not wish to replace it with anything, rather to tear down that facet of our lives that is so filled with a propensity toward violence, hatred and dogma, and just let people get on with their lives, free of the overbearing evil influence that religion exudes.
 
2012-08-24 06:22:16 PM

lewismarktwo: Quantum Apostrophe: LOL we gonna 3d print a space elevator and sex up the aliens????

Get a farking hobby.


LOL 3d printing space elevator now!

C U @ Mars condo tonite!? Mars beers 4 all!

tortilla burger: Science and scientific thinking is an unnatural thing for humans. Basically everybody is bad at science, even scientists. Scientists are the just the ones who are too stubborn to give up on it.


That's pretty much it. We're just animals. Go by feel. The amazing world you see around us is the result of a few people being smart and a shiatload of oil to power all of the stuff.

The rest of the people, the realtors, lawyers, bankers, bureaucrats and office drones would act the same 3000 years ago.
 
2012-08-24 06:26:33 PM

DarkLancelot: I don't remember where, but I read once that religion is likely a byproduct of our brain's use of symbolism. If that's what it is I don't see how we could grow out of it, it is built into us.


If only there was some mechanism by which detrimental characteristics might become less frequent in a population over a long period of time.

/Just kidding
//Dumb people reproduce faster
 
2012-08-24 06:37:20 PM

lewismarktwo: Quantum Apostrophe: LOL we gonna 3d print a space elevator and sex up the aliens????

Get a farking hobby.


He has one. Unfortunately, it's threadshiatting.
 
2012-08-24 06:56:39 PM
I proposed something along these lines in a thread yesterday. In taking an agnostic position against a staunch atheist, I and several others explained that the absence of proof of the existence of a deity does not, in and of itself disprove a deity. (More detail, symbolic logic equation, analogies, inter alia, but that was the crux of position). He tacitly acklowledged what we were saying, but then opined that the existence diety is a more extraordinary claim than the absence of one and requires the bigger leap of faith, thus requiring greater evidence.

From a logic standpoint, I found no justification for either possibility to enjoy a default position of "fact until proven otherwise". But I went further to suggest that, while remaining agnostic as to the actual existence or absence of a deity, one could legitimately argue that the greater leap of faith for the human mind is assuming the absence of deity, rather than assuming the existence of one.

What took less convincing? That the entirety of the universe, its myriad particles, all manner of physics, the development of life on Earth, inter alia, all came about by the will of an omnipotent, omnicient deity; or that the universe's infinitely dense core before the big bang was eternally present until the big bang all by chance on its own, in essence: "just because".

The fact that nearly all cultures around the world had creation myths centering on the will of omnipotent, omniscient, divine beings demonstrates that it is human nature to more easily assume one or more gods' intervention rather than "everything simply exists and its matter & energy always existed on its own". Were it easier for humans to believe in the absence of gods without evidence than it is to believe in the presence of gods without evidence, then belief in some sort of omnipotent gods would not have been the norm since the sentience of man as it has.

Man is apparently hardwired to assume an omnipotent deity. To a small child, the parents are seemingly god-like. They can walk, communicate, they are powerful, the mother creates milk out of nothing, they know everything, they are giants, they navigate identical clamorous streets with ease, they can lift the child high into the air, disregarding gravity, they exercise absolute authority of will. As we get older, it would seem (again, going by the evidence of myriad cultures across the globe) that we retain a prejudice toward belief in an omnipotent caretaker/punisher.

To be clear, this does not mean that there is a god or many gods, or demigods, or whatever. Simply that it may be that the smaller leap of faith for the human mind is to believe in supernatural beings.
 
2012-08-24 07:07:07 PM
A journalism poofessor, using phillosophy to bag science in favor of religion on the Internet? Just peachy!
 
2012-08-24 07:07:10 PM
Science damn you!
 
2012-08-24 07:19:59 PM
got to love the hatred of FARK. might be time to start boycotting those companies who advertise on fark due to their hatred of Christians.
 
2012-08-24 07:46:02 PM
The problem is that there is a scientific basis for the existence of religion.
 
2012-08-24 07:50:56 PM

RoyBatty: By the way for anyone not keeping score,

PZ Myers' People's Front has officially split from the People's Front of Dawkins, which of course split from the Romans a long time ago.

tl;dr: Atheism + Feminism ⇒ Religious Holy War


Some guy makes a harmless pass at a woman in an elevator at an Atheist convention and she loses her shiat and PZ blacklists everyone who tries to be reasonable about this shiatstorm in a teapot.
 
2012-08-24 07:52:31 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: LOL we gonna 3d print a space elevator and sex up the aliens????


Oh, look. It's you being an insufferable douchebag. Again.
 
2012-08-24 07:59:01 PM

Ed Grubermann: RoyBatty: By the way for anyone not keeping score,

PZ Myers' People's Front has officially split from the People's Front of Dawkins, which of course split from the Romans a long time ago.

tl;dr: Atheism + Feminism ⇒ Religious Holy War

Some guy makes a harmless pass at a woman in an elevator at an Atheist convention and she loses her shiat and PZ blacklists everyone who tries to be reasonable about this shiatstorm in a teapot.


It's a tragicomedy in terms of modern/internet/progressive/TED assumptions that Skeptics and Atheists are all around better people and would certainly rule the world better than the godbags.

/atheist/agnostic for the most part
 
2012-08-24 08:02:00 PM
suggests that rational explanation of the universe's existence, as advanced recently by discovery of the Higgs boson, can't match the feelings evoked by spectacular religious symbolism, such as that found in Cambodia's ancient Hindu temples, which Sarewitz explored this summer.

Look, kid, I know that in the cartoons the combined power of Earth, Fire, Wind and Water cannot match the glory and power of Heart, but in reality when faced with a wall blocking their path 99.9% of humanity will take a ladder of equal height over the emotional ability to accept that their destination is lost to them any day.

In the long scheme of things, religion is going to fade to nothing and the inevitable will of the gods is going to be replaced with problems being cool puzzles that we haven't figured out yet. Sorry, little buddy.

//Man being 'hardwired' for something is an issue that regularly gets overwritten or bypassed by culture or even bred out over a few generations. We're also hardwired for polygamy, rape, murder, and an inability to consume milk when we're no longer infants. Note that very few non-Akins people out there are setting these up as great pillars of humanity that must be preserved at all costs.
 
2012-08-24 08:02:06 PM

Ed Grubermann: RoyBatty: By the way for anyone not keeping score,

PZ Myers' People's Front has officially split from the People's Front of Dawkins, which of course split from the Romans a long time ago.

tl;dr: Atheism + Feminism ⇒ Religious Holy War

Some guy makes a harmless pass at a woman in an elevator at an Atheist convention and she loses her shiat and PZ blacklists everyone who tries to be reasonable about this shiatstorm in a teapot.


Within the past week or so, they got BadAstronomer over the barrel and made him choose sides.
 
2012-08-24 08:17:42 PM

impaler: legion_of_doo: Atheists are no more responsible for science truth than wacko Jeebus bangers

How about denying science truth? How do the two groups compare?


As is so often pointed out in these threads, atheism is nothing more or less than a lack of belief in a god or gods. That's it. Atheists are perfectly capable of believing in UFOs, ghosts, 9/11 conspiracy theories, reincarnation, astrology, the healing power of crystals, reiki, feng shui, and immunizations causing autism.

If anyone has survey data on the relative frequencies of these and similar ideas among the various religious/irreligious categories, I'd be thrilled to read them.
 
2012-08-24 08:38:49 PM

RoyBatty: Ed Grubermann: RoyBatty: By the way for anyone not keeping score,

PZ Myers' People's Front has officially split from the People's Front of Dawkins, which of course split from the Romans a long time ago.

tl;dr: Atheism + Feminism ⇒ Religious Holy War

Some guy makes a harmless pass at a woman in an elevator at an Atheist convention and she loses her shiat and PZ blacklists everyone who tries to be reasonable about this shiatstorm in a teapot.

Within the past week or so, they got BadAstronomer over the barrel and made him choose sides.


Seriously? Which side did he pick? Got any links?
 
2012-08-24 08:50:04 PM
Ron Hubbard proved this beyond all reasonable doubt. Scientology was created at a Sci-Fi convention in a bar where he bet some other Sci-Fi writer that he could make more money by starting a religion then by writing Sci-Fi books. Seems like he won the bet, even though the religion is no more than a figment of his imagination - Sci-Fi disguised as a religion.
 
2012-08-24 08:50:13 PM
Just yesterday i read a great article called "Religion and Rocketry" by some guy named CS Lewis who argued that, for the most part, there's not a huge chasm between science and religion and that, for the most part, they can get on rather well with each other. One of my favourite quotes:

"Each new discovery, even every new theory, is held at first to have the most wide-reaching theological and philosophical consequences. It is seized by unbelievers as the basis for a new attack on Christianity; it is often, and more embarrassingly, seized by injudicious believers as the basis for a new defense.

But usually, when the popular hubbub has subsided and the novelty has been chewed over by real theologians, real scientists and real philosophers, both sides find themselves pretty much where they were before. So it was with Copernican astronomy, with Darwinism, with Biblical Criticism, with the new psychology. So, I cannot help expecting, it will be with the discovery of 'life on other planets' if that discovery is ever made.
"

Hard to imagine in these polarized and impolite blue-state-versus-red-state-godlessatheists-versus-invisibleskywizardw orshipper times of ours, but there actually was a time when people debated issues with civility, and the honest intent to learn a thing or two from each other.

Worth a read: Link
 
2012-08-24 08:50:14 PM

rwfan: RoyBatty: Ed Grubermann: RoyBatty: By the way for anyone not keeping score,

PZ Myers' People's Front has officially split from the People's Front of Dawkins, which of course split from the Romans a long time ago.

tl;dr: Atheism + Feminism ⇒ Religious Holy War

Some guy makes a harmless pass at a woman in an elevator at an Atheist convention and she loses her shiat and PZ blacklists everyone who tries to be reasonable about this shiatstorm in a teapot.

Within the past week or so, they got BadAstronomer over the barrel and made him choose sides.

Seriously? Which side did he pick? Got any links?


I assume RoyBatty means this post. If so, it's awesome!

Although BadAstronomer puzzles me with his surprise at the nutbattery of the internets; why did he think Richard Dawkins had to shut his forums down? It certainly wasn't because the scientific discussion was getting too scholarly.
 
2012-08-24 08:55:08 PM

GilRuiz1: I assume RoyBatty means this post. If so, it's awesome!


It was a good post from a higher level, though from what I've seen, SurlyAmy is mostly wrong in this.
 
2012-08-24 08:57:52 PM

GilRuiz1: rwfan: RoyBatty: Ed Grubermann: RoyBatty: By the way for anyone not keeping score,

PZ Myers' People's Front has officially split from the People's Front of Dawkins, which of course split from the Romans a long time ago.

tl;dr: Atheism + Feminism ⇒ Religious Holy War

Some guy makes a harmless pass at a woman in an elevator at an Atheist convention and she loses her shiat and PZ blacklists everyone who tries to be reasonable about this shiatstorm in a teapot.

Within the past week or so, they got BadAstronomer over the barrel and made him choose sides.

Seriously? Which side did he pick? Got any links?

I assume RoyBatty means this post. If so, it's awesome!

Although BadAstronomer puzzles me with his surprise at the nutbattery of the internets; why did he think Richard Dawkins had to shut his forums down? It certainly wasn't because the scientific discussion was getting too scholarly.


It was also posted here: SkepChick: SurlyAmy's series of a bunch of d00ds whiteknighting

/sorry
 
2012-08-24 09:17:27 PM

RoyBatty: GilRuiz1: I assume RoyBatty means this post. If so, it's awesome!

It was a good post from a higher level, though from what I've seen, SurlyAmy is mostly wrong in this.


my take-away from Gil's BA link:
"Don't Be A Dick. If we can just start there, we'll get a lot farther along the path of understanding and mutual benefit."
Can we get those two sentences into the Fark user agreement? Who do we need to talk to about that?
 
2012-08-24 09:32:09 PM

RoyBatty: GilRuiz1: I assume RoyBatty means this post. If so, it's awesome!

It was a good post from a higher level, though from what I've seen, SurlyAmy is mostly wrong in this.


Why?

/I am vaguely aware of this brewhaha but really haven't had the time to read much of it.
 
2012-08-24 09:37:49 PM

HopScotchNSoda: I proposed something along these lines in a thread yesterday. In taking an agnostic position against a staunch atheist, I and several others explained that the absence of proof of the existence of a deity does not, in and of itself disprove a deity. (More detail, symbolic logic equation, analogies, inter alia, but that was the crux of position). He tacitly acklowledged what we were saying, but then opined that the existence diety is a more extraordinary claim than the absence of one and requires the bigger leap of faith, thus requiring greater evidence.


That would be me.

The fact that nearly all cultures around the world had creation myths centering on the will of omnipotent, omniscient, divine beings demonstrates that it is human nature to more easily assume one or more gods' intervention rather than "everything simply exists and its matter & energy always existed on its own". Were it easier for humans to believe in the absence of gods without evidence than it is to believe in the presence of gods without evidence, then belief in some sort of omnipotent gods would not have been the norm since the sentience of man as it has.

You finished up the last thread by saying that it requires a smaller leap of faith for the human mind. I'll buy that (especially if you add some "people are dumb" smarmy subtext, but that's not essential). Leaving aside pure logic and just making that argument that the record of human history suggests that people find it easier to put a relatable character into the story rather than dealing with an uncaring, impersonal universe, that seems reasonable. I personally am not one of those people, but I'm clearly in the minority.
 
2012-08-24 09:41:28 PM

rwfan: Why?


tl;dr from my skewed perspective:

Skeptics are not allowed to be skeptical of feminism.
Skepticism + Atheism IS feminism.
People who are mean to feminists or SurlyAmy should be censored.

Atheism+ is this hodgepodge of atheism + feminism + uber-uber-liberalism and you can't be "skeptical" of that and be part of our in group.
 
2012-08-24 09:46:47 PM

rwfan: RoyBatty: GilRuiz1: I assume RoyBatty means this post. If so, it's awesome!

It was a good post from a higher level, though from what I've seen, SurlyAmy is mostly wrong in this.

Why?

/I am vaguely aware of this brewhaha but really haven't had the time to read much of it.


It's semi interesting in terms of Internet Drama.

Since elevatorgate and the dickwolves there have been "huge" dustups in the gaming world, the startup/tech world, and the atheist/skeptic world mostly chastising these worlds as horribly sexist and oppressive and leading to many kickstarters.

I think kickstarter is behind it.
 
2012-08-24 10:39:34 PM

Ed Grubermann: Quantum Apostrophe: LOL we gonna 3d print a space elevator and sex up the aliens????

Oh, look. It's you being an insufferable douchebag. Again.


Yeah yeah, book your trip to Mars and you won't have to listen to me anymore. Fairy tales for dysfunctional adults.
 
2012-08-24 11:18:45 PM

Bondith: You finished up the last thread by saying that it requires a smaller leap of faith for the human mind. I'll buy that (especially if you add some "people are dumb" smarmy subtext, but that's not essential). Leaving aside pure logic and just making that argument that the record of human history suggests that people find it easier to put a relatable character into the story rather than dealing with an uncaring, impersonal universe, that seems reasonable. I personally am not one of those people, but I'm clearly in the minority.



This has been a very enjoyable and fruitful exchange for me over the past day & a half or whatever it's been. I hope it was for you as well. It wasn't until your assertion about the more extraordinary claim & greater leap of faith that I had given any thought to which position actually would be that, or considered the historical evidence. You have helped me to refine my philosophy and thoughts.
 
2012-08-24 11:58:37 PM

HopScotchNSoda: I proposed som.....To a small child, the parents are s ...


i.e. a species-wide tendency to have institutionalized Daddy issues.
 
2012-08-25 12:45:32 AM

HopScotchNSoda: Bondith: You finished up the last thread by saying that it requires a smaller leap of faith for the human mind. I'll buy that (especially if you add some "people are dumb" smarmy subtext, but that's not essential). Leaving aside pure logic and just making that argument that the record of human history suggests that people find it easier to put a relatable character into the story rather than dealing with an uncaring, impersonal universe, that seems reasonable. I personally am not one of those people, but I'm clearly in the minority.


This has been a very enjoyable and fruitful exchange for me over the past day & a half or whatever it's been. I hope it was for you as well. It wasn't until your assertion about the more extraordinary claim & greater leap of faith that I had given any thought to which position actually would be that, or considered the historical evidence. You have helped me to refine my philosophy and thoughts.


Really? Huh. I should lighten up then. It felt like I was getting a little antagonistic, and for that I apologise.

I may as well repost this here and solicit constructive criticism.

A little backstory: early in the thread I talked about the non-existence of god, and acknowledged that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence (but not clearly enough, 'cause I immediately got dogpiled). The I went off and had a think, and came up with a bit of weasel-reasoning about why not being able to prove a negative doesn't actually matter. Thoughts, anyone?

In science, we technically can't prove anything with 100% accuracy. There's always some uncertainty, due to the limitations of the measuring device (or the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, if it gets precise enough). We usually express this as measurement +/- error. The crux of my argument isn't the error, but this next bit: more statistically rigourous disciplines will talk about the 95% or 99% confidence interval, which is basically the probability that the "true" value of whatever we're trying to measure falls within the range of error we've established. It acknowledges the possibility that it might be outside, but that possibility is so remote it's not worth bothering about. That is, from a practical point of view, there's no difference between "impossible" and "possible, yet highly unlikely". By pure logic and reason, we can't prove anything, but papers need to be publish, and the assumption seems to work since we've built an entire technological civilisation on it.

Now, by analogy...

As science has advanced and pushed back the boundaries of ignorance, it's found more and more places where God isn't. It's possible God exists somewhere we haven't looked yet (the God of the Gaps someone mentioned earlier), but that possibility is becoming more and more remote. Therefore, while we can't say with 100% certainty there is no God, the "probably" in "there's probably no God" is becoming more and more superfluous. Therefore, it's entirely reasonable to assume that there is no god, even if we can't prove it 100%.

That's why I'm an atheist.

There's also a problem with definitions, I think. When people in this thread mention God, do they mean the Abrahamic God of the Bible, or some vaguely defined prime-mover made-everything-and-buggered-off god? The former I think is well and truly disproved: the guy described in that book does not exist, and did not do all the things the book claims he did. The second one can still be said to possibly exist with some ambiguity. However, if you need to define your god as a being so vague, so impersonal, so remote in order to maintain the possibility of existence, what's the point of even worshipping him?

Anyone find any flaws in that?
 
2012-08-25 02:23:03 AM
The ability to believe is inherent, not taught. Therefore it is hardwired.
You can be taught what to believe, but who here has been taught how?
 
2012-08-25 02:46:31 AM

DarkLancelot: I don't remember where, but I read once that religion is likely a byproduct of our brain's use of symbolism. If that's what it is I don't see how we could grow out of it, it is built into us.


Not symbolism per say but that our brains are hardwired to seek explanations for things so that we can remember to encourage or avoid similar things in the future.

In one important particular we are wired to think that everything that happens is intentional. This is really useful for figuring out what other people or animals are up to and predicting what they will do. This can even give positive outcomes when you try to figure out the intentions of clouds or rivers for planning around what you think they may do, though this perspective can go overboard with pointless acts such as trying to make them like you by giving them gifts. Science happens when the intentions of rivers to flow down hill or clouds to rise are not driven by their minds or the minds of gods but by mindless natural laws.

Also people are primed to seek answers to questions even when the question is built from faulty premises and doesn't deserve an answer. The most important bad question that has been turned into religion is: "Were do our minds travel to when we dream?". This question assumes that the mind is separate from the body which leads to the whole nonsense of life after death.

Another question that is central historically to all religions is "Where does the sun go at night?". Science happens when this question is not about the intentions of the sun but is correctly reformulated as "Where does this location on Earth go at night?"
 
2012-08-25 02:47:16 AM
People are hard-wired to find truth. Some people think truth can be found in science only. Some think it can be found in religion. Most intelligent people know that truth can be found in facts and then when all the facts are not available, they use faith to believe what the facts are leading you to conclude.

Some examples for that last point include black holes, dark matter, evolution and God. Nobody alive has personally seen any of these, but they all use the facts available to them to form a belief that they exist or happened.

Please quit trying to intimate that you know all truth to be known in the universe because you believe in science only. Your headline makes an incredibly ignorant statement - which, if I follow the inane conclusion of your headline, means that you must be religious.
 
2012-08-25 02:59:52 AM

garron: People are hard-wired to find truth.


Nope. People are hardwired to find explanations. Absolute truth only exists in closed formal systems such as mathematics.

People are not hardwired to find good explanations or hardwired to tell if some situation has been well enough framed that it might be explainable.
 
2012-08-25 03:17:52 AM
garron
Please quit trying to intimate that you know all truth to be known in the universe because you believe in science only.

I don't "believe" in science. I accept that which has been demonstrated to be factual (or that which lacks enough evidence that it can be safely ignored (see above)). Science doesn't claim (or rather, the practioners of science don't claim) to have all the answers. Rather, science is a mechanism for finding those answers out. It's very much a work in progress, which is good, because simply being handed everything at once would be kinda boring. If we had all the answers today, what would we do tomorrow? For one thing, it would be nigh-well impossible to get research funding.

The more religiously inclined will sometimes say "there are some things science can't explain." I actually agree with that, although I append the word "yet" to it. Every day, we learn more and more about the universe we inhabit.
 
2012-08-25 04:21:09 AM
Why should the existence of any god be dependent upon the beliefs of humans?
 
2012-08-25 05:06:37 AM
You can be a smart scientist and still have religion.

So what?
 
2012-08-25 06:47:43 AM
Lets take a look at science.

Its a self centered, we are god, and only we can explain how things work approach to life. There is a contingent that wants to believe everything can be explained, so they force explanations upon it.

Just like religious beliefs, many scientific "facts" are shown later to be wrong. Admitted "theories" become established "facts" to those who prescribe to the dogma in a desperate attempt to make sense of their lives.

Not only do these "scientists" follow close to their rituals of the scientific method and ask for money every time they turn around, they openly mock and belittle those who believe differently than themselves.

how is that different from a religion?
 
2012-08-25 11:44:38 AM

I sound fat: Lets take a look at science.

Its a self centered, we are god, and only we can explain how things work approach to life. There is a contingent that wants to believe everything can be explained, so they force explanations upon it.

Just like religious beliefs, many scientific "facts" are shown later to be wrong. Admitted "theories" become established "facts" to those who prescribe to the dogma in a desperate attempt to make sense of their lives.

Not only do these "scientists" follow close to their rituals of the scientific method and ask for money every time they turn around, they openly mock and belittle those who believe differently than themselves.

how is that different from a religion?


Nice try.
 
2012-08-25 01:57:12 PM
I'm late to the discussion, but I just want to say that the more people are driven to create virtual worlds and AI, the more I see the concept of a deity making sense.

I think these days I believe in the Great Programmer from another plane of existence. One so outside our own world, that we will never be able to prove its existence any more than a fully developed AI inside a super computer would be able to find empirical evidence of our existence. The evidence is only that we exist, we are here. We are driven to explore and create and explain. We are made in his image. I just wonder whose image he's made in...
 
2012-08-25 02:24:07 PM
If you tell a religious person that everything he knows is wrong, you get a fight.

If you tell a scientist that everything he knows is wrong, you get a request for reproducible experimental data that support your claims.
 
2012-08-25 02:39:02 PM
As elaborated about above, the human default to believe in deity likely stems from our survival-oriented reflex of attempting to recognize cause and effect, patterns, and similar concepts.

When I touched fire, I got burned. Touching fire bad; fire no like be touched; make fire angry. I should not touch fire.

The day after Urgg and I took a dump on the high peak, a storm came from above the high peak and a lightning flash burned down my shelter. Pooping on high peak bad; spirits of sky no like poop; make sky spirits angry; sky spirits powerful. I should not foul the high peak.

When Mongo got within x meters of a tiger, the tiger ate him while Mongo screamed in an excruciating death. Tiger no like human trespasser; make tiger angry; tiger mighty. I should stay out of tigers' striking distance.

Last year, we slaughtered a beautiful, ripe young virgin girl and poured her blood upon the seeds we planted; our harvest last year was bountiful. This year, we gang-rape a little virgin girl and make her pee on the seeds. Not much rain came and our harvest has been meager. We offended ground spirit by not giving him a dead young virgin. We'll kill one for him next year.

When I brought big kill to camp, all ladies gave me snu-snu. Ladies like big slabs of meat; make much horny. I should figure out a way to improve my hunting results and get more snu-snu.

To an extent, this natural inclination is present even in agnostics and even atheists. When random things happen, an instinctive reaction is to think, "Why me?" or "I''ve never been late to work, and this morning I have a promotion interview. Why did there have to be a traffic accident today of all days?" or "Hey, all right, I'm on a winning streak. I can't lose today." We quickly dismiss those thoughts as being illogical and unfounded, but they are there, and they remain in the backs of our minds.
 
2012-08-25 02:51:52 PM

studebaker hoch: If you tell a religious person that everything he knows is wrong, you get a fight.

If you tell a scientist that everything he knows is wrong, you get a request for reproducible experimental data that support your claims.



en.nkfu.com

He also wrote: "Under these conditions it is no wonder, that the movement of atheists, which declares religion to be just a deliberate illusion, invented by power-seeking priests, and which has for the pious belief in a higher Power nothing but words of mockery, eagerly makes use of progressive scientific knowledge and in a presumed unity with it, expands in an ever faster pace its disintegrating action on all nations of the earth and on all social levels. I do not need to explain in any more detail that after its victory not only all the most precious treasures of our culture would vanish, but - which is even worse - also any prospects at a better future."
 
2012-08-25 04:08:38 PM
HopScotchNSoda
To an extent, this natural inclination is present even in agnostics and even atheists. When random things happen, an instinctive reaction is to think, "Why me?" or "I''ve never been late to work, and this morning I have a promotion interview. Why did there have to be a traffic accident today of all days?" or "Hey, all right, I'm on a winning streak. I can't lose today." We quickly dismiss those thoughts as being illogical and unfounded, but they are there, and they remain in the backs of our minds.

Can't say I'm immune to this. I've been known to complain that the universe conspires to annoy me after a day's worth of petty annoyances. Sometimes I wonder if there's a Traffic Gremlin who makes sure that empty intersection is full of cars as soon as I pull up.
 
2012-08-25 07:58:02 PM

RoyBatty: So I am curious, and stupid, do Christians hold any special place, other than hatred, for Augustus or Pilate, who I gather are the two people apart from Jesus most responsible for Christianity?


Huh? Paul was even more responsible than Jesus.
 
2012-08-25 08:06:10 PM

towatchoverme: But usually, when the popular hubbub has subsided and the novelty has been chewed over by real theologians, real scientists and real philosophers, both sides find themselves pretty much where they were before.


No. The "real" theologians have moved closer to the ideas of science, not the other way around.
 
2012-08-25 09:06:33 PM

0Icky0: towatchoverme: But usually, when the popular hubbub has subsided and the novelty has been chewed over by real theologians, real scientists and real philosophers, both sides find themselves pretty much where they were before.

No. The "real" theologians have moved closer to the ideas of science, not the other way around.



That reminds me of several lines from the Yes, Prime Minister episode, "The Bishop's Gambit", when they were selecting a new bishop:

  •  Theology is a device for helping agnostics to stay within the Church of England.

  •  An atheist clergyman couldn't continue to draw his stipend. So when they stop believing in God they call themselves modernists.

  •  The Church is looking for a candidate to maintain the balance [among bishops] - between those who believe in God and those who don't.

  •  The Queen is inseparable from the Church of England. God is what is called an optional extra.
 
2012-08-26 03:18:49 PM
Cool thing about science is that it can predict the future.

Cool thing about religion is nobody can prove you're wrong.
 
2012-08-27 05:02:30 PM

Ford Perfect: The ability to believe is inherent, not taught. Therefore it is hardwired.
You can be taught what to believe, but who here has been taught how?


The thing is that, through experience, you learn the fragility of your own beliefs. When you're little, you might believe something with all your mind, but as you amass experience you realize you were completely wrong. If you make the effort to be objective, you'll find yourself constantly revisiting and refining your beliefs. In my experience, the Internet has changed a lot of "what a bunch of freaks" into a lot of "what a bunch of friendly folks with really odd hobbies."

I mean, sure, we all start with the ability to believe in something, but how we actually go about using that ability to live our lives is definitely a learned behavior. Well, it should be. If you're taught that your beliefs are never wrong and when you run up against blatant contradictions, you pretend they don't exist or they confirm you beliefs.... you're sort of doing the whole 'learning' thing wrong.
 
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