Re: Hal on Science versus Religion

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Thu Mar 08 2001 - 14:58:10 MST

Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 03:52 PM 4/03/01 -0500, Eliezer wrote:
> >The correct answer to "Is there a conflict between religion and science?"
> >is "Is there a conflict between religion and truth?" "Science" is
> >essentially a distracting side issue that makes a nice target for
> >populists.
> Latest report: Gordian knot still uncut, pictures at 11.
> `Truth' is not self-evidently isomorphic with `science' or even `the
> products of science'. (Perhaps this is Eliezer's point.) There might be
> certain kinds of truths, even the most important, which are inaccessible to
> scientific approaches, let alone to falsification tests. Attempting to
> depass this sad fact by shifting the contrast to religion vs. truth
> simpliciter leads to evasion and equivocation, IMHO.

I would say that there is a conflict between deep seated beliefs that
one already knows the way it really is and truth. It doesn't matter
if those deep seated beliefs are based upon science or religion. It is
the inability to question and change that is the culprit.

I always find it amazing that many in whose name religions were founded
often explicitly advised their disciples to question everything and only
accept that which they could prove in their own life, mind and heart.
It only takes a generation or two before that advice is lost and some of
their words and ideas mangled along the way become dogma. Soon
thereafter they would themselves be killed by the resulting "followers"
for heresy.

I also find it amazing when those who consider themselves rational and
scientific lock their thinking within the tight bounds of what they
think is the last word of science or lock the future and all its
possibilities into an infinitely multiplied and more powerful increase
of what is and was. Many seem helpless to see that we now have much
more freedom to choose what will be than we have ever had. Many are too
busy fighting old superstition to be able to distill new vision. And so
we rocket into a future of infinite possibilities locked in a deadly
embrace from the past with no idea of where we wish to go or what we
wish to create. We waste energy trying to disown various of the prime
energies, focuses and tools of our species and to cleave to the "only
true way" yet again.

- samantha

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