Re: Hal on Science versus Religion

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Mon Mar 05 2001 - 05:09:42 MST

Even if theologicians formulate their theologies in untestable terms
(for whatever reasons), it doesn't mean religion loses its
strength. Most religious people don't care strongly about the details
about how evolution *really* happened or how souls interface the
physical world, since the important thing to them is the emotional,
social and spiritual effects of their religion. They might quote
scripture to defend it, since an attack on some of the system is
interpreted as an attack on the to them important parts. They might
simply say that faith is more important than logic and science, and I
think that is a correct description of how many value their religion:
its value is found in the realm of subjective experience, not
objective facts. Since we on this list are very fond of objective
reality, we tend to miss the difference in emphasis.

I predict that even with a complete TOE, explaining not just how the
physical laws work but also why the TOE is the one, a perfect
understanding of the brain allowing us to upload people in completely
deterministic computers and technology to perform every miracle in
every holy book ever written, there will be people who are still
religious. And it will not be because they dont understand all of
this, but because they consider the meaning of it to still remain in
the spiritual sphere. Even if you can show the entire universe to be a
neatly completed closed causal loop, they can say "OK, but who created
it?". We might scoff at this, whipping out our Occam razors, and in
this scenario it is likely that very many would find meaning and
spirituality in other things than classical religion, but it still
seems likely these people would persist and feel themselves to be
justified in persisting. Creo quia absurdum...

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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