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  1. #31
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opivy1980 View Post
    I am actually running out of reading material exact opposite problem
    Well -- then it's time for you to either expand the topics/viewpoints that you read about... or else go outside more.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #32
    Senior Member Opivy1980's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well -- then it's time for you to either expand the topics/viewpoints that you read about... or else go outside more.
    No I can't afford more books to read at work, that was my point, I need to get some extra cash so I can buy some more.
    Question everything especially yourself.

    Opivy1980

  3. #33
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I am slightly rearranging your post in order to clarify some of your terminology:

    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    If this is true, then Gould's notion that religion and science occupy nonoverlapping majisteria is actually accurate, but only because religion has no majisteria to speak of. The guys at Reasons to Believe actually have it right in this regard, even if they have it severely and most spectacularly wrong in almsot every other.
    Majisteria -- I am guessing the "territory over which something reigns or describes authoritatively"? Or something like that? (I looked it up online and it's not a commonly used word, and I haven't read the Gould text...)


    From this we can reliably infer that x has empirical content, or is nontautological i.e. falsifiable. That is the way we demarcate between scientific and nonscientific theories, in that scientific theories can be criticised in a manner which nonscientific theories cannot, that is by experiment and observation.
    Yes. Scientific theories are falsifiable, religious revelation is not.

    For example, even if we could prove (through evidence) that Jesus said and did everything the Gospels say he said and did, that still says nothing about whether his CLAIMS were actually true. [Was he REALLY God's son? Could he forgive sin? Was he sent as a prophet and messiah? And so forth...]

    We have no way of testing his claims, even if we know for sure he made them. The religious truth must either be accepted or rejected.

    As an aside, I think at best religious thought aspires to "pattern recognition." People seem to accept the religious proposition based on whether the pattern it touts as true aligns with patterns they themselves have experienced in their lives. So religious belief is based really on inference and projection (if not direct internalized experience or reaction to experience).

    I am beginning to believe that the word "religion" is quite superfluous, and without any meaningful content.
    In terms of saying something definite/clear about the world (?). Yes, in terms of being compared to the scientific method, it is rather illusory. There's nothing for us to get our hands on.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #34
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opivy1980 View Post
    No I can't afford more books to read at work, that was my point, I need to get some extra cash so I can buy some more.
    It's too bad most of the public libraries don't seem to stock heavy-duty specialty titles and focus more on the popularized things (probably due to budget constraints). Otherwise the library would be a good option for just devouring everything in sight.

    Sometimes I go to Borders, grab interesting books, and sit down and read parts of them to see if they're worth purchasing. Maybe that's a variation of the "Poor Person's Book Exchange."

    I do sometimes find great deals for titles online (used books on amazon, half.com, bookfinder, etc.) Those $20-25 books sometimes can be found for $5 (including s/h) on those services.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #35
    Senior Member Opivy1980's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It's too bad most of the public libraries don't seem to stock heavy-duty specialty titles and focus more on the popularized things (probably due to budget constraints). Otherwise the library would be a good option for just devouring everything in sight.

    Sometimes I go to Borders, grab interesting books, and sit down and read parts of them to see if they're worth purchasing. Maybe that's a variation of the "Poor Person's Book Exchange."

    I do sometimes find great deals for titles online (used books on amazon, half.com, bookfinder, etc.) Those $20-25 books sometimes can be found for $5 (including s/h) on those services.
    I live in a college town so there are no shortage of book stores that are cheap, I just am flat broke right now and this wasn't a good time to run out.
    Question everything especially yourself.

    Opivy1980

  6. #36
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Jennifer,

    First, the word is spelled 'magisteria,' not 'majisteria.' My mistake.

    Now, I think you missed the point by paying too much attention to my science example. If I say that B is a set of scientific statements, you can reliably infer that those statements are consistent and nontaulogical. If I say that A is a set of religious statements, then there does not seem to be anything which can be reliably inferred from that.

    The semantic content of the word 'religion' is empty, it doesn't actually mean anything. Its only significance is that with which people treat it, but we treat it with significance only because everyone else treats it with significance, and so everyone must continue to treat it with significance, even though it doesn't actually mean anything.

    1) One socalled religious belief is that God created the universe about 6000 years ago, and that all evidence to the contrary, from fossils to distant stars, has been placed there by God as a test of our faith. This belief is unscientific i.e. it is immune from empirical refutation, not only is every recorded fact consistent with the belief, but every possible recordable fact is consistent with it.

    It has been noted by many that socalled religious beliefs are often unscientific, since the beliefs are structured in such a way as to immunise them from empirical refutation. It is not so much that they can't be "proven," but rather that they are always "proven," no matter what. The problem is that irreconcilable beliefs in God are similarly "proven" by exactly the same evidence, so no number of experiments could help us decide whether the Christian God or Allah is the one true God, nor that God exists at all.

    So, we might try and say about set A, the set of religious statements, that every element of A is epirically untestable, in contrast to set B, where every element of B was epirically testable. However, this will not do. It may be a common characteristic of socalled religious beliefs that they are empirically untestable, but then that is a characteristic shared by the whole of mathematics, philosophy, metaphysics, and even metascience, yet few would consider those disciplines religious.

    Furthermore, just because many socalled religious beliefs are empirically untestable, does not mean that all religious beliefs are empirically untestable, and indeed the belief that God created the universe 6000 years ago is extremely testable, it is only untestable when butressed with the belief that all evidence to the contrary was planted by God to test our faith. Though not everybody who believes the former necessarily believes the latter, and a great many people do actually revise their beliefs in the light of empirical evidence to the contrary.

    2) So, we might say that set A is a set of revelatory beliefs, but then that would make nonrevelatory beliefs nonreligious, but the vast majority of beliefs seem to me to be traditions, passed on by the written or spoken word down generations. What about those socalled religions where leaders have a monopoly on revelation, and simply pass these revelations onto followers, are these followers nonreligious because they have no revelations?

    In fact, what might we make of revelations people claim to have had concerning science, philosophy or math, was Descartes 'corgito ergo sum' a revelation, and therefore religious?

    3) Another contender is faith though for this we have to change our set A, so it is no longer a set of religious statements, but a set of religious people. Here 'faith' is used to mean dogmatic or fideistic belief, and is irrational (i.e. uncritical). This idea is that religiosity is not a property of statements, but an attitude of people, so a belief is religious if it is held with an unflinching and irrational faith.

    However, again we can only conclude that this is also inadquate, since it is quite possible to believe in almost all the teachings of the Bible and not be dogmatic about any of it, though under this definition, our hypothetical nondogmatic Christian, a church goer who sincerely believes in Christ is nonreligious. For an example of such an attitude, check out Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.

    Conversely, there are many logicians and scientists who are dogmatically committed to the authority of senseobservation, or logical axioms. These people, who are often atheist, have faith no less powerful than a true believer of Mohammed or Christ.


    There are more possible demarcations, but every one I entertain leads to a similar situation. It seems that from set A, we can conclude that they are either scientific or unscientific, dogmatic or undogmatic, rational or irrational, revelatory or nonrevelatory, concerning God or not conerning God, moral or immoral, etc. In other words, we can conclude absolutely bugger all.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  7. #37
    shoshaku jushaku rivercrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It's too bad most of the public libraries don't seem to stock heavy-duty specialty titles and focus more on the popularized things (probably due to budget constraints). Otherwise the library would be a good option for just devouring everything in sight.
    Interlibrary loan.
    I do sometimes find great deals for titles online (used books on amazon, half.com, bookfinder, etc.) Those $20-25 books sometimes can be found for $5 (including s/h) on those services.
    Yes--that would be my other suggestion.

    My reading speed has increased to the point that I can often read a book at Borders, taking notes in my pocket Moleskine. If I find myself wanting to make more than a handful of notes or annotations, then I look at the used bookstores.
    Who rises in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, "I think I will do something stupid today?" -- James Hollis
    If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein
    Whaling is illegal in Oklahoma.

  8. #38
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Hmm reading this I can't believe I missed such a good scrap. I like OpIvy. Nothing personal to anyone who may have felt the razors edge but I do like the style. Very INTJ.

    AS for Science versus Religion, would not the primary difference lie within that Science is attempting to move itself forward via scientists where as Religion is trying to move the religious forwards (that's forwards in terms of progression measured via each disciplines internal values, aims and criteria) ?

    Aside from that I'm with Lee. Both use assumptions and institutionalised truths (that's bad wording but vocab fails me at the moment so apologies to any who find that particular phraseology offensive) to produce their next "conclusion". I think that this is the human facet shining through the differences however.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  9. #39
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Default Isolated remarks on philosophy of religion

    Most dead ends in philosophical discussions are the consequence of errors in communication.

    To avoid this, I suggest we are clear about what we mean with the words that we use.

    This is what I mean when I say religion: A cosmological system that addresses the issues concerning eschatology and regards at least some of its doctrines or axioms as incontrovertible.

    The salient difference between religion and philosophy is that the former makes itself immune from criticism by deeming parts of its essence by definition inerrant. Hence, a religious philosophy can not be refuted because of this, yet an ordinary philosophy can be because it makes no claims to inerrancy and relies on reason alone for legitimation.

    We should be well advised to rely on nothing but reason to discover how the world works because otherwise we do not have a way of knowing how reliable our knowledge is--as at least we would need to utilize our cognitive faculties to assess reliability of our sources.

    Galileo once said that the Bible teaches only how to go to Heaven and not how the Heavens move. Hence the religious teaching is not about how the world works, it is about what we must do with the world and what may happen after our biological death. When interpreting scripture reason should hold primacy over revelation and statements that run contrary to reason should be interpreted allegorically for the sake of an abductive argument.(Best possible explanation)


    For the sake of the argument we can think of science as synonymous with philosophy. Or any intellectual enterprise that insists on Socratic inquiry, using reason alone to figure out what is true. A congenial religion is within the province of reason, or the province of science, if you will--or the endeavor of attempting to make sense of the world and thereafter.

    Not only is it false that science and religion are mutually exclusive, but they are inseparable. Religious revelation needs science (reason) in order to meet its purpose (help man reach his potential, suggest how a life is best lived--this is the primary goal of religious revelation) and science, if sensitive to its own limitations will be open to religious input. As after all..otherwise it would be forced to pass the questions of eschatology in silence...perhaps the most important questions of all in its ubiquitous empire.

    I am in process of writing a book in the field where I argue the thesis that philosophy(science) and religion are inseparable. I maintain that nothing escapes the province of philosophy, not even religion, as we all seek to understand the world--everybody uses reason in an endeavor to understand the world, just some abuse it more than others. (Hence if you say that revelation is superior to reason, its not that you're not using reason--you're just abusing it, you're making the logical fallacy of an appeal to authority--claiming that your source is correct without showing why it is correct.)Verily builds religion its citadel in the heart of philosophy's province as we speak! Would be foolish of us not to acknowledge this as fear of our own demise is one of the salient, if not the salient drive behind our philosophizing...
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

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