Last edited by Anarcho-fascist; 03-20-11 at 10:23 PM.
Jumping in late and I haven't read the thread because I had missed it until now, but to answer the question about the debate on evolution, I don't see it as a debate between scientists and the religious.
I think that the majority of the debates on evolution occur between non-scientists who believe in evolution and non-scientists who do not believe in it.
But there are other debates about the specifics of evolution that exist between scientists as well. I don't believe those debates are about whether or not it is real, but instead they are about the details of the theory. For the most part, with relatively rare exceptions, these debates are not creation vs. Evolution or intelligent design vs. evolution.
Last edited by Jerry; 03-20-11 at 11:13 PM.
That's where the world of pure rationalism comes in. Empiricism and rationalism can't argue on the same ground, because one distrusts the senses and puts his/her faith in "pure logic", while the other lives by his/her senses and distrusts ungrounded logic.The religious would disagree. They develop complex explanations based on unverifiable claims and assertions (speculation). For example, lets say you are debating a pixy-believer. They might assert that gravitation exists, causes objects to fall at 9.8m/s/s, etc... and we would all agree. But they would also claim that its caused by undetectable pixies holding everything down. Such a claim is unfalsifiable and thus useless because there are a limitless number of unfalsifiable claims that can be made.
Different philosophical starting points. Rationalists start with what they don't know ("God", perfection, "The Good") and work their way in. Empiricists begin with what they DO know, and work their way out.Many religious think that presenting unfalsifiable claims is a sign of the strength of their argument when it is actually a telltale sign of weakness. This is why you often hear the statement "you can't prove god doesn't exist". Rather, the religious should be saying "this is why you should believe god exists" and pointing us to objective reason and evidence why. For example, who finds this argument valid "you can;t prove pixies don't exist".
I don't know anything about that stuff. I do know, though, that as the definition of truth is largely varied and/or subjective along a broad range of philosophic schools, there's no shortage to claims of truth. Heck, the claims to the existence of "truth" is in itself up for debate.And then there are the fideists. Those who think that "faith" in their beliefs is justification. But that is a whole other can of worms. Great thinkers from long ago (both religious and non) have destroyed the basis for fideism. Suffice it to say, fideists claims have indistinguishable truth value from ANY other faith-based claim.
...and the second half of this where I mostly agree. There's an internal consistency with the religious thinkers based on beginning their quest with the unknown and working their way out. They create this alternate reality for themselves, and it's perfect to them because it's consistent and simple. Certainly something as messy and complicated as the real world can't be Godly, can it?To sum it all up: The difference between science and religion is that science finds answers and religion asserts them.
Well there are lots of things that aren't (directly) based on grounded fact. Like which flavor of ice cream you prefer or the meaning you find in particular books.
The religious would retort by saying they have no intention of being "scientific". That religion and science are two separate issues. The religious would be correct. Their beliefs are not scientific, but they
1) fail to support their position with something else that would justify their claims.
2) fail to acknowledge the limitations of philosophy and speculation.
This is where they fail.
Rationalism and the way we think stems from our interaction and experience with the physical world. But the religious cannot support their extraordinary claims by the physical world alone. To bypass this seemingly insurmountable problem, the religious often speculate about alternate realities or "true reality" (E.G., heaven, hell, timeless gods, souls, spirits, demons, transubstantiation, resurrection, etc). They build fantastical castles in the clouds and expect you to ignore the absence of testable, observable support.
Last edited by mgblack; 03-21-11 at 02:04 PM.
"No particular results then, so far, but only an attitude of orientation, is what the pragmatic method means. The attitude of looking away from first things, principles, 'categories,' supposed necessities; and of looking towards last things, fruits, consequences, facts." - William James
So, yes, science can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and then some.
Can't we just turn Congress off and then turn it back on again?
Give a man a fish, or he will destroy the only existing vial of antidote.