Mocking religion

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JellyandJackson
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by JellyandJackson » Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:28 pm

shpalman wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:59 pm
dyqik wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:25 pm
shpalman wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:51 am

In Italy, Christmas presents are brought by the baby Jesus, who appears in the nativity scene crib at midnight. Because of course Santa Claus doesn't exist.
Shirley it's the Baby Jesus™ who gets the presents, not gives them?
Just regifting the ones he gets which he doesn't want.
To be fair, it’s probably quite tricky to buy a present for the incarnate Son of God. It’s the ultimate “boy who has everything” problem.
A thousand strawberry lollies and the princess of Lichtenstein.

JellyandJackson
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by JellyandJackson » Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:37 pm

This reminds me of David Sedaris on the meaning of Easter. https://youtu.be/N5apZmwR9UI It’s one of my favourite bits of radio ever.
A thousand strawberry lollies and the princess of Lichtenstein.

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dyqik
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by dyqik » Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:10 pm

shpalman wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:59 pm
dyqik wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:25 pm
shpalman wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:51 am

In Italy, Christmas presents are brought by the baby Jesus, who appears in the nativity scene crib at midnight. Because of course Santa Claus doesn't exist.
Shirley it's the Baby Jesus™ who gets the presents, not gives them?
Just regifting the ones he gets which he doesn't want.
Marvelous! More myrrh for me.

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jdc
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by jdc » Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:42 pm

JellyandJackson wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:37 pm
This reminds me of David Sedaris on the meaning of Easter. https://youtu.be/N5apZmwR9UI It’s one of my favourite bits of radio ever.
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.

Millennie Al
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Millennie Al » Tue Apr 27, 2021 12:57 am

warumich wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:18 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:28 am
Provide 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.
Well 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.
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.

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.
Millennie Al wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:28 am
In 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.
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.
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?
Millennie Al wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:28 am
Well, 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.
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?
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.
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.
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).

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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Millennie Al
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Millennie Al » Tue Apr 27, 2021 12:57 am

JellyandJackson wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:28 pm
To be fair, it’s probably quite tricky to buy a present for the incarnate Son of God. It’s the ultimate “boy who has everything” problem.
Souls. He always wants more.
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Woodchopper
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Woodchopper » Fri May 14, 2021 6:51 pm

Back to Kuhn and paradigms.

Interesting account of a dogged scientist trying to challenge the dominant paradigm, and were eventually successful:
https://www.wired.com/story/the-teeny-t ... ovid-kill/

The paradigm concerned airborne transmission of infections disease.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by JQH » Sat May 15, 2021 8:11 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 6:51 pm
Back to Kuhn and paradigms.

Interesting account of a dogged scientist trying to challenge the dominant paradigm, and were eventually successful:
https://www.wired.com/story/the-teeny-t ... ovid-kill/

The paradigm concerned airborne transmission of infections disease.
Thanks for this. I'll be quoting it at internet morons who claim "the science" doesn't support mask wearing
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shpalman
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by shpalman » Sat May 15, 2021 8:41 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 6:51 pm
Back to Kuhn and paradigms.

Interesting account of a dogged scientist trying to challenge the dominant paradigm, and were eventually successful:
https://www.wired.com/story/the-teeny-t ... ovid-kill/

The paradigm concerned airborne transmission of infections disease.
It's a good example of something which does probably happen quite a lot in science, that there's something which "everyone knows" but when you try to dig into why they know it you can't find the original source. And then when you find it, it turns out it was only true under a certain set of assumptions which aren't necessarily valid for the case you're talking about now.

Science does require young people to regularly come along and challenge the "established wisdom", I think this tends to happen during most people's PhDs, and corresponds to an angry "my professors don't know what they're talking about" phase.

When you realize the old guys* aren't all-knowing fonts of wisdom, you're basically ready.

What science doesn't require, is religion. And you still won't find an example of a religious organization or church changing its stance as quickly as this in response to evidence, because if they accepted evidence, they wouldn't still believe in their religion.
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Boustrophedon
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Boustrophedon » Sat May 15, 2021 9:42 am

shpalman wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 8:41 am

Science does require young people to regularly come along and challenge the "established wisdom", I think this tends to happen during most people's PhDs, and corresponds to an angry "my professors don't know what they're talking about" phase.

When you realize the old guys* aren't all-knowing fonts of wisdom, you're basically ready.

I found that when the prof waffled about something and the explanation was muddled, it was because science did not understand yet and the prof had forgotten that point. This is particularly true in engineering where a lot of empirical rules are used with statistical but not theoretical basis. The better the university, the more ready people were to say we don't know yet.

There was an optional module in A level chemistry on anaesthetics which despite the maths on diffusion and solubility, pointedly
avoided and did not answer the single most obvious question: "How do anesthetics work?" Of course the answer was (and is?) that science did not know. That should have been the first point day one, "We don't know yet."
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