Re: Debunk All Religiosity Equally (D.A.R.E.)

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sun Jul 15 2001 - 07:31:23 MDT

Lee Corbin wrote:
> Mike Lorrey writes
> > As one who sees everything as 'simply matter and physics', I can also
> > stated that I most certainly don't think that doing so eliminates value
> > or values or the sacredness of anything. This, I find, is a primary
> > fault of those who wax excessively about religion and spiritualism,
> > claiming that science is no better than another superstition. They
> > cannot imagine the possibility that the universe can be looked at in a
> > completely rational manner while simultaneously having a sense of awe
> > and wonder at it. They also have extreme difficulty imagining the
> > possibility that one could derive a set of values from objective
> > rational observation of the universe that is anything but a rather crass
> > and simplistic dog eat dog existence.
> I also have extreme difficulty imagining how one could derive a set
> of values from rational observation of the universe, period. I
> believe that normal human beings come equipped with genes that
> prejudice us towards a number of values, e.g., cooperation, altruism,
> envy, and retribution, and sometimes when people "discover" that
> almost everyone shares certain values, they go on to suppose that
> these values are objective. They're not. The quickest way to see
> that is to imagine aliens perhaps rather improbably derived from
> quite different environments.

Which I have repeatedly asserted over the history of this list, and am
increasingly being corroborated by the facts, as is indicated by the
article Robert Bradbury and I have been discussing, is that any
technological intelligent species is going to be more like us than not
like us.

Between the need for a large moon collision to enable plate tectonics,
to the need for an electromagnetic field, to a stable sun like ours, to
the evolution of eyes that see in the same spectrum as a result (because
that is the range that is most efficient for biological systems, and is
the peak output range for a stable main sequence star). The need to
evolve on a savannah for pressure to evolve large brains that can
survive baking heat long enough to reproduce, and to lack in evolved
body weapons, which necessitates the evolution of hands to manipulate
materials to make tools and weapons.

While intelligent species may evolve elsewhere, I argue that there is a
rather narrow path a species must follow to become a technological space
faring species.

> > It is these cognitive failings in the religionists that I find most
> > troubling,
> of course you mean *most* religionists
> > and is what I meant earlier when I said they are lacking. I
> > take great umbrage at the assertion that I lack in a sense of
> > aesthetics, that I don't appreciate beauty or human spirit, just
> > because I choose to look at the world rationally rather than
> > from a position of superstition and supernaturalism. I don't
> > need religion to be spiritual, and I don't need supernatural
> > phenomena to feel at one with the universe.
> I find this quite clear (and I even agree), except for what you
> mean by "spiritual". As you know, the term evidently means very
> many different things to very many people. Such terms, it seems
> to me, might be better dropped from wide-ranging public discourse,
> such as this list.

For me, 'spiritual' is about empathy and appreciation for the beauty of
the universe and everything in it. Mumbo jumbo has nothing to do with

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