Mocking religion

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secret squirrel
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by secret squirrel » Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:34 pm

KAJ wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:20 pm
Question: What was obnoxious about the phrase you quoted?
You are confusing science with scientists. It's not science because it is something done by scientists: they're scientists because they are doing science...
Was it the suggestion that you were wrong?
Or was it "It's not science because it is something done by scientists: they're scientists because they are doing science..."? If the latter, what's wrong with it ? It seems unexceptionable to me.
The basic error in the quote is the idea that there is a thing called science that can be reasonably demarked from what scientists do. We know this is not the case because the Vienna circle and their fellow travelers, who were extremely sympathetic to the idea that it could be, were not able to do it, despite a lot of effort. This effort and the work it inspired was really the starting point the philosophy of science in its modern form. The obnoxiousness comes from the implication that warumich would somehow not know about it if it were true, or might have forgotten to take it into account. As an analogy, it's a bit like confidently telling an oncologist that their mistake is not realising that vitamin c cures cancer.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Fishnut » Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:38 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:59 am
This has become a fascinating thread and I want to add my thanks. But swerving off topic just for a moment I have to wonder:
Fishnut wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:14 pm
... For context, the two other talks in the session are A Service Dog in the Field: Accommodating Disabled Archaeologists and Nontraditional Medical Equipment and Ethics of Repatriation > Culture of Academic Freedom.
What is "nontraditional medical equipment"?
The abstract can answer that question,
There are many things one expects to find on a field site: a plethora of trowels, interns, and students working away—but disability and medical equipment are not among them. Archaeology often shies away from including and accommodating disabled voices. This fear has created an environment in which those with disabilities are unsure if they will be welcomed or accepted, let alone accommodated. Disability encompasses a broad range of individuals, and many types of medical equipment can accompany disabled individuals. Equipment can range from an acceptable pair of glasses to the traditional symbol of a wheelchair. One often misunderstood, nontraditional type of medical equipment is a task-trained service dog. In collaboration with the Institute for Field Research and the Irish Archaeology Field School, I was granted the opportunity to attend the field school at Ferrycarrig in Co. Wexford with my service dog. In this paper I will describe the process of applying to and attending a field school with a service dog. Along with this, I will provide an introduction to the current state of disability in archaeology, and theoretical actions that might be taken by other field schools hoping to engage with disabled archaeologists in the future.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

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warumich
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by warumich » Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:24 pm

secret squirrel wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:34 pm
KAJ wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:20 pm
Question: What was obnoxious about the phrase you quoted?
You are confusing science with scientists. It's not science because it is something done by scientists: they're scientists because they are doing science...
Was it the suggestion that you were wrong?
Or was it "It's not science because it is something done by scientists: they're scientists because they are doing science..."? If the latter, what's wrong with it ? It seems unexceptionable to me.
The basic error in the quote is the idea that there is a thing called science that can be reasonably demarked from what scientists do. We know this is not the case because the Vienna circle and their fellow travelers, who were extremely sympathetic to the idea that it could be, were not able to do it, despite a lot of effort. This effort and the work it inspired was really the starting point the philosophy of science in its modern form. The obnoxiousness comes from the implication that warumich would somehow not know about it if it were true, or might have forgotten to take it into account. As an analogy, it's a bit like confidently telling an oncologist that their mistake is not realising that vitamin c cures cancer.

Well yea, this was really not something I would expect to hear from someone with a philosophy of science background. Philosophers are not known for their tendency to agree with each other, so it's possible there are those around with that view, but they would be aware it's a controversial opinion that needs some backing up. As to obnoxious, I wouldn't say that, exasperating more like.

There is a common difficulty that social scientists have to face that oncologists don't have, and that is that we study subjects that everybody has some direct experience with, you know like everyone reckons they're an expert on education because everyone went to school. For philosophers of science it's not as bad, but still crops up when talking to scientists - because they have lived experience about it, it becomes very easy to dismiss historians, philosophers or sociologists with views that differ from theirs. I don't know if Millennie falls into that category, but I see it very often. And I get where that comes from, so I don't really get upset about it. However, if you want to really understand how scientists feel or think about an issue, on a dare-I-say more scientifically grounded basis, you'd need n>1.

Which incidentally is what I did for my PhD. Of the 40 odd scientists I talked to I encountered people who swore blind that Kuhn was right, I encountered people who thought he was an idiot, and I encountered one who draws up horoscopes for a hobby. There's more variety than you might think.


warumich wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:37 pm
Anyway, I may have to take a step back from the thread as work has been piling up
Not necessarily, I could argue in my spare time
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Squeak » Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:30 am

JellyandJackson wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:26 am
I can have a go at summarising Alpha. It’s a course, usually 10 weeks though not always, which bills itself as an introduction to Christianity. It was developed by Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) church in one of the posh bits of London, and it’s in a kind of format which can be adopted quite easily by other churches, and other institutions too - it used to be run in prisons quite a bit.

Generally, there’s a meal, and a talk (or video) and then discussion in small groups. It “works” well (whatever works means in this context) in a big city church, where there’s perhaps quite a movement in population- lots of students, say, who are also keen to be fed. I did it in my first or second year at university.

I think this https://www.newstatesman.com/religion/2 ... ristianity is a fair and decent write up, though the course leaders here sound particularly tw.ttish, and I’m sure they’re not all that bad. Belief in creationism is vanishingly rare ime, too.
Some of the criticisms of Alpha are, firstly - it’s based on a particular, and very narrow, understanding of Christianity. I’m reluctant to mention theology on this board and in this discussion in particular, but I think their theology is a bit naff. Secondly, it’s really not the discussion it’s billed as being - tricky questions get smilingly swept under the carpet. They have their agenda, and my goodness they’re going to stick to it!

My church has run it a few times, and the result was a huge pressure on the Faithful Old Ladies to provide dinner for 30 people each week. And, as the NS item mentions, lots of people are lonely and anxious and in need of dinner and a chat. I’m not sure why we can’t just do dinner and a chat (if cooks can be found).

The bigger issue for me is the HTB juggernaut. It’s a massive corporate organisation with a huge staff. They are in hock (I think) to money, power and prestige - they’ve had a member of Trump’s evangelical council visit to speak, who spoke about how God had gifted him a plane, etc etc. I emailed them about that. No reply, obv.
Worse, they and their linked churches are smilingly homophobic and beneath the shiny exterior do tremendous damage, here’s one example, I’m sure there are loads more. https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/ ... urch-plant and there seems to be very little holding them to account by the management. But they have all the money, and the CofE is broke.
Oh, and they have a habit of taking over tiny churches often attended by people on the margins who found a home, and making them all shiny and part of the HTB brand. Like St Teilo’s https://www.change.org/p/diocese-of-lla ... -community
Thanks J&J. That was my general guess at what it would be like but I didn't want to let me preconceptions guide either my search for "here's someone who has as bad an experience as I'd expect from an evangelical course" or an immediate rejection of their shiny propaganda.

However, with your blessing, I shall carry on, pleasingly enjoying the illusion that my prejudice turned out to be prescient. :)

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Squeak » Sat Apr 17, 2021 1:44 am

Boustrophedon wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:21 pm
[
The Wiki is fairly accurate on the Alpha course.

The Alpha Course is marketed as a beginners guide to the Christian faith. It is run as a series of cozy evening meetings, usually at a church elder's house. Usually there is a meal called "fellowship meal", usually pasta, salad, bread (crusty) and a jug of orange, red wine if it is a particularly middle class venue. It's always very middle class*. This is then followed by a discussion around teaching materials provided by HTB. (Holy Trinity Brompton.)

I have not attended an Alpha course, by choice. But being married at one time to a CofE Vicar** I/we had quite a lot of pressure on us to run an Alpha course, so we read the literature and the course materials that were sent to us. That was enough for both of us.

The course is very Evangelical/charismatic in the modern American influenced sense, and HTB is one of a loose confederation of similar large, successful evangelical/charismatic churches in the UK; St Andrews Chorleywood, St Michael Le Belfry York, St Thomas Crookes Sheffield, to name a few, that are, or were strongly influenced by the "Kansas City Prophets" a group described as heretical by Wiki.

In terms of the Holy Trinity; Father, Son, Holy Spirit, the emphasis is very light on the first, more on the second and mostly on the third, focussing heavily on "Gifts of the Spirit". These gifts are talking in tongues, interpretation thereof and prophesy. So only one weeks worth session was on God the Father, a few on Jesus but most on prophesies and other gifts as described in the Bible.

Please be aware that I am biased, my last contact with Alpha was 15 years ago and that my faith such as it was, "slid up the candle" from low church charismatic evangelicalism to high church smells and bells and off and out into full blown not really caring.

*My friends at Holy Joes/ Ship of Fools issued an April 1st press release purporting to come from HTB about a "Beta Course" alternative to Alpha, but for the working class, with the Good News bible with pictures replacing the NIV and a pie and peas supper with brown ale instead of the pasta and salad. The UK Christian press picked it up without question and ran with it.
HTB did run a follow up course called Beta may years later.

** There was some pressure put on me to explore ordination by the director of ordinands, he did not see what a completely utterly f.cking stupid idea this was. :lol:
Thank you for this, which also helps reinforce my preformed assumptions about Alpha. :lol:

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by secret squirrel » Sat Apr 17, 2021 2:48 am

warumich wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:24 pm
Well yea, this was really not something I would expect to hear from someone with a philosophy of science background. Philosophers are not known for their tendency to agree with each other, so it's possible there are those around with that view, but they would be aware it's a controversial opinion that needs some backing up. As to obnoxious, I wouldn't say that, exasperating more like.

There is a common difficulty that social scientists have to face that oncologists don't have, and that is that we study subjects that everybody has some direct experience with, you know like everyone reckons they're an expert on education because everyone went to school. For philosophers of science it's not as bad, but still crops up when talking to scientists - because they have lived experience about it, it becomes very easy to dismiss historians, philosophers or sociologists with views that differ from theirs. I don't know if Millennie falls into that category, but I see it very often. And I get where that comes from, so I don't really get upset about it. However, if you want to really understand how scientists feel or think about an issue, on a dare-I-say more scientifically grounded basis, you'd need n>1.

Which incidentally is what I did for my PhD. Of the 40 odd scientists I talked to I encountered people who swore blind that Kuhn was right, I encountered people who thought he was an idiot, and I encountered one who draws up horoscopes for a hobby. There's more variety than you might think.
I often joke to myself that the problem with philosophy is you can win a philosophical argument just by refusing to understand what the other person is talking about. On the point of talking to scientists, I think one of the big advances in the 20th century phil. of. sci was the idea that talking to scientists is important. That the actual activity and opinions of scientists couldn't be ignored when trying to answer big questions like 'what is Science anyway?'.

My main philosophical experience is with the philosophy of mathematics* (through my day job in mathematical logic). I have found that mathematicians who don't think much about philosophy tend to fall into one of two extreme and opposing camps. Probably the most common position is some form of naïve Platonism (the idea that mathematical objects are real entities independent of human thought, that facts about them are discovered rather than invented, and so on). Then a little less common is pure Formalism, which takes the opposite stance that mathematics, or at least large parts of mathematics, is purely a formal game of symbol manipulation. I suppose the scientific equivalents would be strong forms of Realism vs Positivism. Maybe with something about falsification partly misremembered from Karl Popper thrown in.


* The nice thing about philosophy of mathematics is that occasionally you can actually settle a question by doing some mathematics, so you don't have to have the same arguments for thousands of years. At least not all the time anyway.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by shpalman » Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:26 am

What I know about philosophy of science I've mainly picked up in my spare time, especially in the context of reading about pseudoscience and the way that modern philosophy abuses scientific concepts. There were a few lectures about it during my degree but it doesn't feel like it was taken seriously by either us or the professor. He was just sitting on the desk rambling. It was a bit of a shame since it would have been good to have something which I felt I could connect to my experiences in doing (or thinking about) science, but I only rarely feel like this is the case.

I suppose one question is whether scientists actually need to know any philosophy of science explicitly in order to be good scientists. I'm sure philosophers would argue that they mainly don't know any, but there is still plenty of good science being done. (Although I have this place [and its previous incarnation] to thank for most of my ability to spot bad science. Even for example the simple thing of "this sample works let's analyze it ok it has these properties that's why it works no you also at least need to analyze a sample which doesn't work to show that it doesn't have those properties"). But then again science tends to be "it doesn't work but at least I know why" while a lot of what I do tends to be engineering "I don't care why it works as long as it does". It's debatable how much science you need for the latter, you just need to keep trying stuff until you get what you want. (And then a theorist will helpfully tell you yes, carry on doing whatever it is you were doing.)

Most scientists would probably be implicitly logical-positivist, in their day jobs at least. Plenty of us are able to compartmentalise, we're not completely rational and systematic in literally everything we do and we have emotions just like normal people. The process of science itself is in some way set up to remove those human elements in order to get at something "objective".

But being a scientist working in quite a technological field, I have the advantage that if what I did was nonsense then this very discussion using computers via the internet would be impossible.

I'd also like to thank Warumich because I'm very happy to be able to constructively discuss this stuff.

Dead people still don't come back to life though. (And Jesus didn't either because if he existed at all he was a normal human.)

And I don't have to defend science if I want to mock religion anyway. You don't need science to tell you that it's still a piece of bread no matter what you feel it represents.
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Tessa K
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Tessa K » Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:29 am

shpalman wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:26 am

And I don't have to defend science if I want to mock religion anyway. You don't need science to tell you that it's still a piece of bread no matter what you feel it represents.
Quite right. Religion v science is just one small part of objecting to religion. There are ethical and common sense reasons for rejecting it too. When I became an atheist I didn't know much about science, beyond the basics of evolution. Basically, the God of the Bible is a git and I wouldn't worship him even if he did exist.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Stephanie » Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:16 am

warumich wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:24 pm
There is a common difficulty that social scientists have to face that oncologists don't have, and that is that we study subjects that everybody has some direct experience with, you know like everyone reckons they're an expert on education because everyone went to school. For philosophers of science it's not as bad, but still crops up when talking to scientists - because they have lived experience about it, it becomes very easy to dismiss historians, philosophers or sociologists with views that differ from theirs.
Yes, I think that's what I was trying to get at when I asked about respect. It might not be something everyone thinks about or notices, but it's easy for it to come across as quite dismissive.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by shpalman » Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:40 pm

Stephanie wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:16 am
warumich wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:24 pm
There is a common difficulty that social scientists have to face that oncologists don't have, and that is that we study subjects that everybody has some direct experience with, you know like everyone reckons they're an expert on education because everyone went to school. For philosophers of science it's not as bad, but still crops up when talking to scientists - because they have lived experience about it, it becomes very easy to dismiss historians, philosophers or sociologists with views that differ from theirs.
Yes, I think that's what I was trying to get at when I asked about respect. It might not be something everyone thinks about or notices, but it's easy for it to come across as quite dismissive.
It does go both ways, though. If a philosopher of science tells me something about how scientists do science which just doesn't fit in with my experience as a scientist doing science, it can feel like "you scientists don't actually know what you are doing, let me explain it to you".

(You aren't allowed to go into other fields and tell people what to do, that's our job. I'm looking for a comic strip I remember which really annoyed me when I saw it, suggesting something like that scientists had caused all the world's problems but luckily philosophers had fixed them. Can't find it.)

(The usual response might be "well, the science works anyway" and we might not know in general why science works but something something logical positivism [i.e. either it's a question which can be solved with experimental evidence or it's not really worth spending much time worrying about]. How would you even go about trying to live in a universe in which things just happened completely at random rather than being effects caused by causes? A good question is "what do you even need a scientific theory for?" since you could presumably arrive at any useful result by trial and error anyway and by the time you've got enough data to fill out your theory you've practically explored the whole of the experimentally accessible parameter space so there isn't anything new left to predict with it.)

The idea of being really resistant to a change in paradigm is one of these things. The historical examples I gave were from "crises" which desperately needed resolution and whose resolutions were accepted despite requiring fundamentally different worldviews because they did indeed resolve those crises. The current example is something which is almost the opposite - desperately hoping that some disruptive experimental data will show up, maybe if we rebuild CERN to collide large hardons at just a bit higher energy. It's fair enough that there probably just isn't anything like that which could happen in my field during my career. I mean, if they do discover a new fundamental force or figure out what Dark Matter actually is, I doubt it would change anything about the way I consider electron-like quasiparticles in a semiconductor. Nobody needs most of the Standard Model as it is, let alone even more of it.

(I suppose that something analogous happened when the whole of my sub-field was working on a particular technical solution and then Intel came out with a completely different way of doing it, which of course they'd been working on trade-secretly the whole time, and we all suddenly needed to find other things which looked enough like nails to hit with our hammers.)

However, I can imagine a scientist who thinks they've developed a new paradigm-shifting theory hypothesis feeling frustrated that "the establishment" of other scientists are unfairly resistant to his or her progressive idea. Most of the time, though, he or she hasn't actually done that. How long they're indulged for might depend on their seniority and/or publication record (which isn't ideal, but scientists can't read and fisk literally everything). It's been said that towards the end Newton was actually holding science back because he was being wrong about stuff but nobody felt like contradicting him (and I don't just mean the mysticism/alchemy stuff, I mean his theory of light) but I don't remember exactly where I read that. Or look at whatever the hell Penrose is doing these days.

(A genuine case might be that of Barry Marshall and Robin Warren proving that peptic ulcers were actually mostly caused by H. pylori and not stress and too much acid. But it seems they started working on that in 1982 and their highly-cited paper which attempts to prove it is from 1985 so it's actually a very short timescale. It probably felt like longer at the time.)

Popular science narratives are often framed around the non-conformist going against the establishment though because the audience can relate to that.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by jimbob » Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:44 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:29 am
shpalman wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:26 am

And I don't have to defend science if I want to mock religion anyway. You don't need science to tell you that it's still a piece of bread no matter what you feel it represents.
Quite right. Religion v science is just one small part of objecting to religion. There are ethical and common sense reasons for rejecting it too. When I became an atheist I didn't know much about science, beyond the basics of evolution. Basically, the God of the Bible is a git and I wouldn't worship him even if he did exist.
Yup. The one that stuck in my mind as a kid was the Plagues of Egypt. "But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart and..."

That's the mentality of someone who pulls the wings of flies.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by jimbob » Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:53 pm

warumich wrote:
There is a common difficulty that social scientists have to face that oncologists don't have, and that is that we study subjects that everybody has some direct experience with, you know like everyone reckons they're an expert on education because everyone went to school. For philosophers of science it's not as bad, but still crops up when talking to scientists - because they have lived experience about it, it becomes very easy to dismiss historians, philosophers or sociologists with views that differ from theirs.
I am an engineer. I am not a scientist. I do often use something that might be considered a scientific approach to solve problems that could be considered "applied science" - it involves hypotheses based on understanding of theory and experiments to see how well it fits, for example.
Last edited by El Pollo Diablo on Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed quote attribution - I'm assuming there's a quote of shpalman you meant to include but cropped out. Let a mod know what it was and we can add it back in.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:47 am

The Science Museum in London is mainly a museum of engineering. It'd be nice if they named it more accurately.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:58 am

Stephanie wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:16 am
warumich wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:24 pm
There is a common difficulty that social scientists have to face that oncologists don't have, and that is that we study subjects that everybody has some direct experience with, you know like everyone reckons they're an expert on education because everyone went to school. For philosophers of science it's not as bad, but still crops up when talking to scientists - because they have lived experience about it, it becomes very easy to dismiss historians, philosophers or sociologists with views that differ from theirs.
Yes, I think that's what I was trying to get at when I asked about respect. It might not be something everyone thinks about or notices, but it's easy for it to come across as quite dismissive.
There was a point in the before times where Ken had to point out that research into educational matters is typically sociological and therefore unable to be double blinded RCTs. Often it's qualitative rather than quantitative. And obviously it extends not just to education but feminism, racism, trans issues, etc.

There has often been a railing against that type of evidence on the forums in the past, though it does seem now to be dying out finally. But it has been a significant enough problem that discussions could go south quite quickly that we had to write part of rule 12 to stop it from happening here. One or two more prominent proponents of said behaviour appear to have moved on since they realised this was the case.

But its interesting to think how some topics linked to philosophy of science have played out here on the forum in real ways, and often stoked division where it has.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Lew Dolby » Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:38 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:47 am
The Science Museum in London is mainly a museum of engineering. It'd be nice if they named it more accurately.
Yep, and mostly those "mad scientists" so beloved by Hollywood - building death-rays or whatever - are really mad engineers.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by shpalman » Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:45 am

Every course title within the "3i" school of the Politecnico di Milano (i.e. the bit which isn't either design or architecture) is whatever the name of the subject is but with ingegneria in front of it.

i.e. we don't have "mathematics" or "physics", we have "mathematics engineering" and "physics engineering". Engineering in the sense that the rest of you might recognise it is "civil engineering".

*checks dead people* nope still not coming back to life.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by secret squirrel » Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:13 am

* Checks logical positivism. Still soundly debunked.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:17 am

*checks the point of the thread* nope still not about that
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by secret squirrel » Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:22 am

Better split off like 90% of the thread then.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Tessa K » Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:04 am

Lew Dolby wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:38 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:47 am
The Science Museum in London is mainly a museum of engineering. It'd be nice if they named it more accurately.
Yep, and mostly those "mad scientists" so beloved by Hollywood - building death-rays or whatever - are really mad engineers.
Or mad surgeons (Doctors Moreau and Frankenstein eg)

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Martin Y » Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:39 pm

Can I suggest it's a technology museum and they're mad technologists? Or maybe inventions/inventors.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Allo V Psycho » Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:22 pm

secret squirrel wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:13 am
* Checks logical positivism. Still soundly debunked.
OK, I'll bite!

Logical positivism is a philosophical viewpoint, and to be honest, I don't really mind if philosophers debunk it.

I suspect my view may be similar to Shpalman's. I suspect that there is an observable universe out there, and under the same conditions, it will perform consistently. This makes it worth experimenting on. I'm comforted by the fact that the process of 'women and men working in science' makes demonstrable progress, and when philosophical theories change, all planes don't fall out the sky. Hell, even when theories of aerodynamics change, planes don't fall out the sky - each new theory can nest old ones within it.

I've already said I don't think 'truth' is a phenomenon I can usefully work with - I aim to make "conditional statements of probability that are useful'. I further think these CSoPtaUs have what I call 'Zones of Applicability'. I think these can be extended by positive verifications.

( I have a slightly odd personal history which may influence my views - a degree in physics, followed by a switch to biology and 25 years in the lab, followed by a switch to social sciences).

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Boustrophedon
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Boustrophedon » Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:46 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:39 pm
Can I suggest it's a technology museum and they're mad technologists? Or maybe inventions/inventors.
Remember if it works, it's a triumph of science, if it fails, it's an engineering disaster.
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Millennie Al
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:24 am

warumich wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:27 pm
while religions say good and bad things (according to our current moral frameworks), they change and shift over time, and we cannot use examples of bad behaviour to damn every religion, or even all of Christianity for its whole 2000 year existence. We need to damn individuals, and individual beliefs.
But we can condemn religion, even if there are some good or harmless religions. We con condemn a process as defective even when its result happens occasionally to be good.
warumich wrote:
shpalman wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:47 am
We no longer accept the murder of new-born children as a method of population control, but we do have legalized abortion. How is the Christian religion adapting to that?
Well apart from those religions/religious people who do support abortion, I actually think that the no-abortion denominations show more moral consistency than we (including I) do. They at least have a clear idea of where a human life starts and then hold to the no-murder policy, whereas we tend to handwave at a couple of fairly arbitrary developmental milestones in a fetus that are pretty much designed to support the conclusion we want to arrive at. Now that is a can of worms though
I was under the impression that anti-abortion religions were unlikely to be pacifist or oppose the death penalty. Not very consistent. And the reality is that there is no single point where a human starts, so we have to accept a level of arbitrariness. Refusal to accept that is one of the characteristics of religion - failure to accept reality.
Last edited by El Pollo Diablo on Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed quote
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Millennie Al
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:30 am

warumich wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:11 pm
Kudos to Millennie btw for pointing to a more obscure paper by Kuhn (published in 1963, not 61), but I did mean his main book on the structure of scientific revolutions (which I just realised was 1962, oh well).
I can't claim too much credit for that - I just assumed you must have been referring to something other than the book since the date didn't match, looked at wikipedia to se what other important works it might me, rejected "The Function of Measurement..." as unlikely, so wsas forced to pick "Dogma" as it was from a symposium in 1961 (and, as you say, published in 1963).
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