Re: Eliezer on Science versus Religion

From: Franklin Wayne Poley (
Date: Tue Mar 13 2001 - 12:27:25 MST

On Tue, 6 Mar 2001, Jim Fehlinger wrote:

> "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> >
> > ...I make the equation:
> >
> >
> > This holds true for 99%+ of all known religious claims prior to, say, 1492
> > AD.
> >
> > The idea of nonfalsifiable faith is a strictly modern invention, driven by
> > theology's loss of confidence. Ergo, to say that any of the major current
> > religions (you know, the ones whose Books were written before 1492) make
> > nonfalsifiable claims is to accept the academically fashionable in
> > defiance of theological history.
> Hmm... Well, restricting one's definition of "religion" to the
> elaborately codified ones of the historical era (the last 5000
> years) seems a bit narrow. A more anthropological view which includes,
> say, myths accreted to consolidate and preserve a social hierarchy
> might well consider unfalsifiability to be a salient virtue of
> such stories (at least, as far as their social function as tools of
> power is concerned).

Here in the Vancouver Public Library there is a book called "The New
Landscape" by Chief Architect of New Bombay (Navi Mumbai) Charles Correa.
Correa depicts a "mandala" from Ancient India, a preliminary architectural
drawing for a new city, said to be divinely inspired. Apparently they
thought that faith (metaphysical) had a physical, in-this-world impact
on public works. President Bush seems to think the same as he has called
for "faith-based public works" and even a "culture of life" (as has
Vatican). However, I don't think a lot of people suffering from religious
manias and delusions, people like the Grahams, Hagees, Van Impes etc. are
going to give Dubya what he wants. Maybe he should try the Hindus or
Buddhists of India.

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