Discussions about serious topics, for serious people
Thanks - I'll give that a listen. I read Me Talk Pretty One Day and that was acceptable so I assume this clip will be worth listening to.
Can you give some examples of these theological changes. By a change I mean where at one point a religion asserted that something was true, then some new evidence was considered, and in the light of the evidence the religion said that it had previously been wrong and that the truth was actually some new position.warumich wrote: ↑Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:18 amWell yes, as squirrel said, and as I have noted in previous posts, the medieval catholic church has not only tolerated Aquinas, but even canonised him. They were almost the only sponsor of intellectual activity for most of the period and theology changed frequently to accord with scientific advances. I don't understand why that is not good enough for you. As for women priests, as squirrel notes, it's not as if any other institutional setting, religious or secular, covered themselves in glory.Millennie Al wrote: ↑Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:28 amProvide a few examples of what we would agree were religions changing their beliefs due to an intellectual process of considering evidence. For example, a religion which decided that women could be priests before society had already made a huge movement towards equality, or changing position on homosexuality, racism, or something like that. Not change because the religions was forced to follow society, or it was forced to by the king, or the new emperor - change by considering evidence.
I picked examples like women priests because religions see it as their business to organise society, tell right from wrong, set moral standards and that sort of thing. They are mere suggestions as I could well imagine religions refusing to take a view on more mundane matters. If you want to be more ambitious you can give examples of changes on scientific matters.
We do? How long did it take for the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church to converge and unify after the Great Schism nearly 1000 years ago? And as to Christianity in general, after about 2000 years of it, rationally taking evidence into account as you say they do, we much have a single unified church by now which has figured out every doctrinal matter of any great significance. Is that what we see?First, I don't actually think people do Bayesian calculations when assessing what to believe, however it shows that coming to different conclusions when considering the same evidence is perfectly rational. And yes though people would converge, this is a process that takes time and several iterations, even if people are perfect Bayesians. Which is more or less what we've been seeing, people do come round eventually.Millennie Al wrote: ↑Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:28 amIn Bayesian reasoning you will converge to the truth unless your prior probability is 1 in which case your unshakeable faith will remain. I don't see religions converging on truth: I see then clinging on to silly ideas until external changes become overwhelming. And I don't mean that the religions change due to being convinced that they were wrong by argument or evidence - I mean that other factors, such as losing believers or politics do it.
That depends on what you mean by "perfect sense". It makes sense that people perceive vague, hallucinatory things as consistent with what they believe because they are inventing an explanation. So people see UFOs or angels or whatever, when these things are not really there. It doesn't make sense to concluse that these things must be there merely because some people have agreed a comon fantasy.Santa Claus has nothing to do with this. I'm talking about people going into a trance or whatever happens and then attribute the experience to something they already believe exists, it makes perfect sense particularly when other people appear to have similar experiences. Now why exactly is a supernatural reality behind it not possible? What feat of logic are we using here?Millennie Al wrote: ↑Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:28 amWell, firstly people are remarkably consistent in describing Sherlock Holmes or Santa Claus, even though they're fictional. One of the skills that people develop in dealing with others is evaluating whether or not something is true or the other person is mistaken or lying.
But secondly, it's entirely possible that there is some objective reality behind it - just not a supernatural one. If different people are subjected to a similar stimulus (e.g. drugs, sleep deprivation, stress) they may well have similar hallucinations if there is something about the brain which favours them.
Children are ignorant of both facts and techniques. Once they have facts, such as the size of the Earth, its population, how friction works, how speed and manoeuvrability depends on power, where material things come from; and techniques of assessing evidence, the whole thing collapses. The only point in its favour is that if it's false it must mean there is a vast, global conspiracy to deceive - a hypothesis which also is hugely unlikely (and would be ridiculed in any other context).Incidentally, if children believe Santa Claus exists because people they trust tell them so, and they see snowy footprints going out of the chimney on Christmas morning, and if they believe that their parents couldn't possibly be so mean as to make the whole thing up, then it would be rational to believe that Santa came. Our children are being deceived, but they're not naturally stupid. They're wrong, but justified in their belief. That's all I'm claiming for religion.
But my point was explicitly made that Santa Claus shows that agreeing on a description is not good evidence that something is true.
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