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Featured Please Define "Religion"

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Nov 5, 2022.

  1. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane My own religion

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    So how do you observe that existence? What is the property of existence you observe? How do it look this property?

    You are using either the "is" in one of these two forms of the verb be:
    - to equal in meaning : have the same connotation as. God is love. January is the first month, let x be 10
    - to have a specified qualification or characterization. The leaves are green.
    Definition of BE

    The first one is not evidence, it is a language or abstract norm. For the second the leaves are green, you can observe both the leaves and green. So how do you observe existence?
     
  2. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
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    Let's be clear. Existence is a label of abstract concepts and with much of language, is used in a variety of ways. I use it here to indicate all matter-energy with spatiotemporal extension, the antithesis of which would be an absence of mass-energy with spatiotemporal extension.

    We may also refer to specific portions of mass-energy with spatiotemporal extension, arrayed in a particular pattern or configuration, and refer to that portion as specifically existing.

    Due to the nature of abstract thought, one can imagine and describe abstract concepts and constructs that do not specifically refer to an existent portion of mass-energy with spatiotemporal extension. The referent in this case would be considered non-existent.

    I experience mass-energy with spatiotemporal extension with my biological senses as we have discussed before. We can say at least from birth I began to recognize patterns and configurations in the mass-energy of my own form as well as that which surrounds me in my environment. I learn its properties through the experience of trial and error, and later, from the shared experiences of others as well. Some folks among us approach this process professionally and share their detailed experiences and findings with others. All this information is stored and accumulated and built upon year after year so that each generation may start their process of learning at the point the previous generation left off. We do not have to start completely from scratch learning about existence.
     
    #342 MikeF, Nov 20, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2022
  3. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Any religious tradition outside of Scripture but taught as being scripture is what would be un-scriptural.
    As the people migrated away from ancient Babylon they carried with them their type of religious or hubris ideas and practices and they spread their thinking into a greater religious Babylon or Babylon the Great.
    That is why today we see many similar or overlapping religious ideas or concepts spread throughout today's world.
    Ancient Babylon being the birth place and breeding ground for their religious teachings.
    Ancient Babylon's dominate feature was: false worship.
    Modern Babylon or Babylon the Great is like her ancient counterpart and plays the harlot by compromising with political elements in today's world, even ' winking ' at corrupted practices.
    So, mankind's religious family tree traces its roots to ancient Babylon with Babylonian based beliefs fractured into disunited sects or dominations but having the same 'mother', so to speak.
    Ancient Babylon's pattern has developed into the modern religious monstrosity we see today.
    So, it is not to disparage Jewish tradition but any tradition (Jewish or otherwise) Not in harmony with Scripture.
    As we recognize counterfeit bills by stacking them up comparing them against the genuine bills, so this is what we do with religious beliefs but to compare them to Scripture.
     
  4. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist

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    Great! Yes! I agree! But my question remains: Does this ever happen?
    Examples?
    I understand the concept; but I don't see it in the past or present. I need examples.
    Of course, and thank you,
    sure, but where do you draw the line? Even a thin thread of connection to scripture has value?
     
  5. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
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    Hmmm. I don't think so. ( I know, surprise surprise. :) )

    First let me address this sentence:
    "Science is part of philosophy ... because science relies on things that themselves cannot be established via scientific methodologies."

    You seem to insist that there is some limit or restriction on what you term "scientific methodologies". Since scientific investigation is open to any methodology that a human being can consider, any methodology unavailable to scientific investigation would be unavailable to anyone. Unless, of course, you are implying that a Philosopher schooled in the mysteries of the Philosophic Arts has access to superhuman or supernatural powers or resources unavailable to your mortal scientist/philosopher (as science is philosophy).

    If, instead, it is your insistence that science requires axioms and frameworks designed and created by philosophy before they attempt to acquire any knowledge, I would again disagree. From whence does the philosopher get these foundational axioms? Pulled out of a hat? Simply the subjective invention of the philosopher because it was *felt* to be the right place to start? (I know, a bit sarcastic). What informs the philosopher that the settled upon axiom is valid? Are the axioms to which you refer anything other than abstract invention turned accepted convention?

    I see a different foundational source for science other than philosophical axioms and it starts with asking: "How do we know anything? How do we become secure in that knowledge?"

    From the moment we are born, we begin in this world as amateur scientists. We use our biological senses to gather information about the world around us, and we begin to learn, through trial and error, what is in the world and how things behave. The more we experience the world the greater our knowledge and the more confident we become in that knowledge as predictions and assumptions about future outcomes are corroborated by confirmatory experience. This is the foundation upon which knowledge begins and is built upon. Knowledge then, can be considered to be reasoned expectation based on experience, and the more often a reasoned expectation is corroborated, the greater the confidence we have in that expectation. It becomes knowledge held with greater confidence.

    Empiricism, then, is our first and foundational means of knowledge acquisition. Everything else comes out of this beginning.

    Now, you have asked: "... only using science, tell me how someone could choose between being a utilitarian or an adherent of virtue ethics.", which, in a way, is simply asking why have human beings created the abstract concepts and systems we group together and label Ethics/Morals?

    Whether philosopher or scientist, any ethical question to be answered has been prompted by some perceived problem, and in the case of Ethics/Morals it is a problem related to human behavior. If no problem is perceived, then there is nothing to solve, no ethical dilemma. I have tried to illustrate why there is value added in a scientific approach to these problems. You agree that science can inform philosophy, which then just begs the question why do we need the philosopher? Scientist or Philosopher, presumably both smart and capable, why is the social scientist ill-equipped to see it through to the end? Again, the scientific approach is about mitigating human error in the investigative and problems solving process. While a philosopher such as Plato or Aristotle can simply declare what constitutes a virtue based on their self-assessed superior intuition, the scientist must instead understand empirically why the problem is perceived as such, what are the factors and variables that are at play, and in proposing a solution to the problem (if it is confirmed there is a problem to be solved) empirically verify that the solution actually solves the problem. The Philosopher is not required to do any of that.

    I can’t wait to learn what methodologies human philosophers have at their disposal that are out of the reach of the human scientist/philosopher. :)

    Absolutely. Certainly you must agree this is the case for religious philosophers and theologians. Beyond that, this would apply to any philosophy that tries to address questions outside the realm of pure analytic abstraction solely on the basis of reason, logic, and the intuition of the philosopher. A prime example would be attempts by philosophy to understand the human mind without empiricism.

    MikeF said:
    This highlights the danger of treating Philosophy as separate from Science, for it is exactly how these philosophical axioms are created and justified that require the quality control of scientific principles and standards.
    Science rejects the axioms out of hand. It is not bound to philosophical imagination, right?
     
  6. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    If you disagree, there is a simple way to show it.

    You can save us both hundreds of words by simply responding to the thing I asked you in the last 3 posts and highlighted as then only thing that really needs to be addressed:

    Only using science, tell me how someone could choose between being a utilitarian or an adherent of virtue ethics (for the sake of discussion, we''ll ignore the additional fact that these concepts first need to be created and defined which obviously cannot be done by science)

    If you cannot do this, you need to accept a role for philosophy in ethics. The same applies to all of the other areas of philosophy you mentioned, as you pretty much repeated the same error across the board.



    If you can answer it, it settles this part of the debate in your favour, if you accept it is not possible, then it settles this part of the debate in my favour.

    If you insist there is no need for philosophical axioms, here is the perfect opportunity to show me you are right.

    If science can establish morality, then one could be shown to be more moral than the other regardless of how much you agree with the labels.


    Just give me the criteria by which you would judge them. You could do it in a couple of sentences.

    You can't choose a potential solution without relying on axiomatic assumptions about morality.

    If you think otherwise, just give a specific example.

    If you want a scenario, how much can governments limit people's freedoms in managing a pandemic like Covid?

    No axioms. No intuition. Just the collection and analysis of empirical data.
     
    #346 Augustus, Nov 21, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
  7. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane My own religion

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    So here is a post about empiricism.
    "...
    Most empiricists present complementary lines of thought. First, they develop accounts of how experience alone -- sense experience, reflective experience, or a combination of the two -- provides the information that rationalists cite, insofar as we have it in the first place. Second, while empiricists attack the rationalists’ accounts of how reason is a primary source of concepts or knowledge, they show that reflective understanding can and usually does supply some of the missing links (famously, Locke believed that our idea of substance, in general, is a composite idea, incorporating elements derived from both sensation and reflection, e.g. Essay, 2.23.2).
    ..."
    Rationalism vs. Empiricism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    Now I can show you how reflective experience works and there is not just external sense experience.

    Here is another one about axioms:
    Philosophy of science - Wikipedia

    The problem is as always that you take for thinking for granted, i.e. empiricism is only about external sense experience and that there are no axioms in science.
     
  8. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
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    Ahhh. I think I see now. Very well. Science cannot be used with Philosophy, just as Science cannot be used with Religion as Science rejects the axioms, premises, and assumptions imbued in both those activities. Science can be used to evaluate objective claims by either Philosophy or Religion, but is indifferent to the abstractions that comprise either activity.

    I concede.

    This then still supports my position that Science is improved Philosophy, superseding and replacing it. Philosophy becomes part of the historical story of human kinds pursuit of knowledge.

    In this scenario, a scientific approach would say that the problem is a political one and that there is no one right or universal answer to be applied to all governmental entities. The limit will be specific to each governmental entity and determined by the specific political structure and forces at play for that governmental entity.
     
  9. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
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    As I describe knowledge as reasoned expectation based on experience, and I think my use of the word 'reasoned' would encompass your "reflective experience".

    I think you have mischaracterized my position.
     
  10. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane My own religion

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    No, the point is that you can know something that is not based on external sensory experience. Your position is all knowledge is based on external sensory experience.
     
  11. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane My own religion

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    Now just give external sensory experience evidence for improved.
    In general terms of X is Y, as for Science is improved Philosophy you have to ask how do I know that just as with the cat is black.
    So how do you know with external sensory experience evidence, that Science is improved Philosophy?
    Remember only observation as external sensory experience evidence just as for the cat is black.
     
  12. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    It's nothing to do with religion, as science is not dependent on religion.

    Science doesn't reject the axioms, it simply can't say anything on them because they are beyond its scope. Before we can start "doing science" we must accept certain, unprovable things as being true, or at least assumed true.

    So for example, science can provide useful information on how to reduce poverty, or the benefits of vaccinating children against measles.

    It cannot tell us the extent to which we should tax the rich to give to the poor, or whether parents should have the right to leave their children unvaccinated.

    Claims for a "scientific" morality tend to assume some kind of utilitarian ethics, but the assumption that the most ethical action is the one that produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people can never be tested scientifically, it must be taken as axiomatically true.

    Science cannot tell me what a virtue is, although with some, it might help me to achieve the goals that I've decided upon axiomatically.

    It cannot tell me if utilitarianism is better than virtue ethics as there are no criteria by which one could judge this that do not depend entirely on axiomatic ethical principles (any test would basically be tautological - utilitarianism is best because it helps produce the greatest good for the greatest number of people).


    And will also be dependent on the philosophical perspectives of the decision makers (ideologies).

    So here you accept the limits of science, and implicitly accept the need for philosophical principles in decision making.

    The sciences can contribute to producing better outcomes, but only after we have decided upon what constitute better outcomes (which involves philosophy).

    Experimental natural philosophy, which later came to be called science, was certainly an improvement on rationalistic natural philosophy. The sciences are the best methods for studying things that lie within their scope.

    Science is an improvement on older forms of natural philosophy and replaced these older forms of natural philosophy.

    As we have just seen above, making a blanket statement that science improved on and replaced [all of] philosophy is obviously false. You claim you want to remove barriers between disciplines, but it seems to me that you are artificially constructing them simply because you don't like the word philosophy and have some fantastical idea about "Philosophers" who think they are inerrant, refuse to be rigorous in method and claim to have some special knowledge only they are privy to. This is largely a strawman.

    Philosophy is a field, anyone who engages with issues within that field is doing philosophy. They don't need to be "A Philosopher" any more than I need to be "An Artist" to draw a stickman.

    So we have seen with ethics that science is useless without the moral axioms and frameworks in which it operates. In this case science is not an improvement on philosophy as this aspect of philosophy lies outside its scope.

    The same is true across the other areas of philosophy that you previously declared obsolete, they aren't always as easy to see as the ones in morality though.

    Why do you think Einstein notes the following given he knows exponentially more about science and philosophy than we do? He clearly doesn't see philosophy as obsolete, and the 2nd quote gives an example why.

    “I fully agree with you about the significance and educational value of methodology as well as history and philosophy of science. So many people today - and even professional scientists - seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is - in my opinion - the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth."

    "Heisenberg asserted that only observable magnitudes [facts] must go into a theory and chided Einstein that he himself had stressed this in formulating the theory of gravity. Einstein's response was classic: "Possibly I did use this kind of reasoning but it is nonsense all the same. Perhaps I could put it more diplomatically by saying that it may be heuristically useful to keep in mind what one has observed. But on principle it is quite wrong to try founding a theory on observable magnitudes alone. In reality, the very opposite happens. It is the theory which decides what we can observe [the facts]"


    The 2nd quote provides an example of a something that is part of the philosophy of science, and why understanding this is of value to the "seeker after truth". It is a way to think about science. As you said, we shouldn't put up barriers between subject areas, but simply saying philosophy is obsolete because you have arbitrarily renamed anything in philosophy that is required as "science" and that this renaming somehow makes the process more rigorous is like saying your car doesn't run on petrol any more because you have started to call it "car juice" and that it is now more environmentally friendly as juice isn't a fossil fuel.

    You have continually assumed that the purpose of pointing out the limitations of science or the continued relevance of philosophy is to "protect" religion or "protect" philosophy from scrutiny or some other negative motivational factor. Do you think Einstein is doing that too? Or do you accept there are rational and good faith reasons to make the points I have been making?

    Acknowledging that there are limitations to the scope, methods and accuracy of the sciences is not "anti-science" or "pro-religion/obscurantist philosophy", it is a statement of basic fact. To ignore it would be irrational and highly unscientific indeed.

    Would you agree that the answer to the questions regarding what these limitations are, what differentiates science from "not science", what assumptions underpin our scientific methods etc. can not be answered without recourse to philosophy?
     
    #352 Augustus, Nov 22, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2022
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  13. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
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    To say that science or scientific investigation “must accept certain, unprovable things as being true, or at least assumed true” is literally antithetical to the principles of science, principles that you agree make it so successful. Your comment is a direct example of placing artificial boundaries or constraints on science. To what purpose? To shield and preserve unprovable axioms?
     
  14. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
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    Mikkel, we know from experience that we can have errors in our reasoning. Reasoning is not some foolproof process guaranteed to form sound conclusions.

    We can only have confidence in the conclusions we draw if those conclusion are corroborated by experience, otherwise they are simply speculation and not knowledge. Right?
     
  15. Left Coast

    Left Coast The Fabulous
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    I'm sorry Mike, but no, @Augustus is correct here. It isn't antithetical to science to acknowledge that science rests on certain unprovable axioms - that the world we observe is real, that our observations provide us with accurate information about that world, etc. I would argue that those are very reasonable assumptions, but they are assumptions. You can't "prove" them.
     
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  16. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane My own religion

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    No, because your model requires for all human behaviour you can decide on what to do based only external sensory experience as corroborate as confirm or give support to your model as correct with only external sensory experience.

    And that is one error in your reasoning. You reason that everything is only true as confirmed by external sensory experience, but the problem is this: Everything is only true as confirmed by external sensory experience is not based on external sensory experience. It is based on that you think as not external sensory experience, that everything is only true as confirmed by external sensory experience.

    Now reduce that do to X is Y and you get that X is Y is not true, because it is self-referent and "X is Y" is not Y itself. That is reflective experience, in that I don't just think X is Y, I check it against itself.

    In other words, you live in the model room and you only observe the world and make a model, but you do otherwise. You have other behavior including that you want to avoid errors, as we know from experience that we can have errors in our reasoning. That is reflective thinking. So you can do it, just use that on empiricism and learn that there are 2 kinds. External sensory experience and reflective experience.
    So start thinking about how you think. I am tired of pointed it out again and again.
     
    #356 mikkel_the_dane, Nov 22, 2022
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  17. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane My own religion

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    So is it a fact the world is logical or is logic something else? I owe you that one, but that is in effect a cornerstone of a certain version of folk belief and I don't want to do, if I in effect rock your boat, of what the world really is. :)
     
  18. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    You seem to be as confused about science as much as you are about philosophy. I don't think you seriously believe that literally anything can be derived purely from scientific methods and that these methods just come out of a bottle already perfected? If not, why are limits "artificial"?

    Would you agree that the answer to the questions regarding what these limitations are, what differentiates science from "not science", what assumptions underpin our scientific methods etc. can not be answered without recourse to philosophy? If not, how would you work them out scientifically?

    The truth is they aren't artificial and I provided numerous examples to show this (which you ignored), and you have been unable to provide any examples which are not dependent on such things even after being asked 4 or 5 times.

    Some examples:

    Claims for a "scientific" morality tend to assume some kind of utilitarian ethics, but the assumption that the most ethical action is the one that produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people can never be tested scientifically, it must be taken as axiomatically true.

    Science cannot tell me what a virtue is, although with some, it might help me to achieve the goals that I've decided upon axiomatically.


    All you have to do to prove me wrong is give me a simple example that refutes the above, but instead of engaging rationally you return to the same ad hominem attack you have been corrected on multiple times in this thread. You usually try to respond in good faith, but it is telling you cannot help but revert to the very same bias time after time.

    To me, your repeated assumptions of bad faith seem to be a defence mechanism (presumably unconscious) to enable you to maintain belief in a position you are unable to defend. It's very easy to simply insist science can do it all unaided, but if you cannot even begin to offer any explanation for how this would work in practice it is just empty talk.

    I even gave you an example from someone whose motives you cannot dismiss so easily (unsurprisingly you ignored it):

    Why do you think Einstein notes the following given he knows exponentially more about science and philosophy than we do? He clearly doesn't see philosophy as obsolete, and the 2nd quote gives an example why.

    “I fully agree with you about the significance and educational value of methodology as well as history and philosophy of science. So many people today - and even professional scientists - seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is - in my opinion - the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth."

    "Heisenberg asserted that only observable magnitudes [facts] must go into a theory and chided Einstein that he himself had stressed this in formulating the theory of gravity. Einstein's response was classic: "Possibly I did use this kind of reasoning but it is nonsense all the same. Perhaps I could put it more diplomatically by saying that it may be heuristically useful to keep in mind what one has observed. But on principle it is quite wrong to try founding a theory on observable magnitudes alone. In reality, the very opposite happens. It is the theory which decides what we can observe [the facts]"
     
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  19. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
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    I would caution you that you are treating the word 'axiom' and 'assumption' as equivalent terms. I do not see them as such.

    If what we know is derived from what we experience, and that knowledge is held with degrees of confidence based on consistent corroboration through experience, then I would respectfully disagree that science holds as axioms the conclusions that the observed world is real and that observation provides accurate information. I would argue that science holds these conclusions with a high degree of confidence based on millennia of corroborated observation by billions of observers. The conclusions are not assumed true, taken on faith, nor the propositions of an abstract analytic system. It is simply what we observe. If observations begin to contradict these conclusion, then confidence would be challenged and a reanalysis would be required.

    Proof of anything requires command of all the facts. Absent complete omniscience, all that is left to us is the formation of conclusions held with varying degrees of confidence.
     
  20. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane My own religion

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    That has a name in philosophy and if I get a moderator "on my back" so be it. It is called naive realism and it doesn't work, because it amounts to either a dogmatic assertion or a circular argument.
    There are 3 version of epistemology. Rationalism, empiricism and skepticism and it was skepticism, that won for science.
    There is no justified true beliefs for knowledge, but rather knowledge is an axiomatic cognitive model of knowledge, that relies on all 3 in combination, but if you don't do skepticism, you can end where you end.
     
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