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Featured Science as a worldview is just like every other dogma

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by dfnj, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    Every dogma has a set of assumptions that are considered to be true without any proof. Anyone who is a proponent of a particular dogma will claim someone else is "insane" if they do not accept the same set of assumptions are being true without question.

    When I was in my 20s I was a staunch atheist. But just for fun in usenet news groups under atheism vs Christianity I started arguing the pro-theist position. I was bored of arguing the atheist position because it was too easy. I found arguing the theist position to be much more challenging! After about 10 years of arguing the theist position a funny thing happened to me. I started to believe in my own arguments! I convinced myself which then made me go down a completely different path of trying to understand the nature of belief systems.

    I've heard many atheists and scientists flame religious beliefs and religious dogmas over the years as if they themselves did not have any dogma of their own but were speaking from a position of absolute truth. I've always suspected the atheist/science dogma existed. But it's difficult to argue with really smart people over their assumptions.

    People get really angry at you when you question their dogma. It's almost as if by challenging someone's dogma you are making a personal attack on the person themselves. Many people view having their dogma questioned as being an ad hominem attack.

    So when I found this talk on "The Science Delusion" and I was immediately interested. It's actually a book by a scientist name Rubert Sheldrake who is widely considered to be a complete crackpot by mainstream science but an absolute genius by people who like to think outside the box. I don't accept or believe everything Sheldrake says but I absolutely love the way he makes me think outside the box.

    Here is an hour long talk which is pretty much a reading of his book. The first ten minutes are absolutely brilliant in my mind. I think he really pegs the science delusion as being a dogma. Scientists are not suppose to have any dogma or bias. As Sheldrake points out, it's not the case:



    Since the science delusion is just a dogma, despite its successes with gadgets and weapons, it's really no better than any other dogma. Being a slave to one dogma is no better than being a slave to any other.

    Anyway, hopefully if you read this post you are open minded enough to at least watch the first 10 minutes of the video. Of course, if you are an atheist/scientist blind to your own dogma then you will probably just dismiss it out of hand as irrelevant and not worth your time. People just love their dogmas!
     
    #1 dfnj, Jul 24, 2018
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  2. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Life sucks!
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    I'd like to see anyone replace science with something else and produce what science has. He is also wrong in how most people view science. It is just the best method we have for understanding our world we live in. It is hardly infallible - just look at the history of science.
     
    #2 Mock Turtle, Jul 24, 2018
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  3. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    Scientists have dogma for exactly the same reason you and I do; because they’re human beings. Science itself is not dogmatic and formal scientific methods and procedures are specifically designed to minimise the impact of human failings.

    Conflating atheist with scientists and presenting the image of science being fundamentally opposed to religion are classic examples of human dogma and so shouldn’t be given any credence in rational discussion in these areas.
     
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  4. jonathan180iq

    jonathan180iq Well-Known Member

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    It seems like someone has upset your dogma, you've taken it personally, and you're lashing out at another worldview in retort.

    Pretty much anything can become dogmatic. It all depends on how people use the information given to them, and what their tendencies are.

    Science, by itself, is nothing but a tool for discerning accuracy.
     
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  5. icehorse

    icehorse Well-Known Member
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    I think you're conflating dogma with values. I would agree that people who believe in science share some common values (e.g. valuing evidence, valuing logic, valuing parsimony, valuing predictability), but those are not the same as dogma.

    If you think there is dogma in science, can you give an example? I just gave four examples of scientific values...
     
    #5 icehorse, Jul 24, 2018
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  6. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Science isn't dogma. Religion is. Science is taught, whereas religion is indoctrinated. The truth of science is self-evident. Religion has to be believed by faith since it offers no evidence. Religion as we in the West are accustomed to it is a just set of promises that needn't be kept and claims that can't be demonstrated.

    Science also isn't a worldview. It is a proven method for investigating the nature of physical reality and the collection of ideas generated by that method. A worldview is much more than that.

    Regarding atheists "flaming" religious beliefs, we're mostly saying that we don't find value in them. Whereas science has made life longer, healthier, easier, more comfortable, and has brought the world to us and us to the world and beyond, religion hasn't.
     
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  7. Jose Fly

    Jose Fly Fisker of men

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    I'm always baffled when I see religious folks do that. They're effectively ceding science to atheists, which I'm not sure is what they really want. I mean.....why would the religious just throw up their arms and say "Well, science is 100% the domain of atheism now"?
     
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  8. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    You're probably confusing dogma with politics.

    There's nothing dogmatic about science whatsoever. There is politics with science though.
     
  9. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    I liked the post.
    Is it that one from Atheism people has written a book "God Delusion" and another has written "Science Delusion"?
    Regards
     
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  10. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    To the extent that the affirmation that titles this thread makes sense, the operative word would be "worldview".

    Science endures despite having so many enemies because it takes itself seriously and has the results to show for it.

    It is really sad that there is so much attachment to ignorance that smearing science has become something of a fad.
     
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  11. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    I don't think this thread was a criticism of scientific method. It's too bad people did not see the difference like you did with regards to "worldview". I even the conceded the gadgets and weapons that come from science are great. But the way science approaches the topic of religion is crossing boundaries that have absolutely nothing to do with scientific method. The way people who participate in science having their own closed minded dogma while criticizing someone else's is profound to me. Every possible assumption can be question. That is precisely why we call them assumptions! But it's funny how people think their own deifications don't smell.
     
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  12. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    With all duie respect, I think you are blaiming the victim.

    The boundaries are not crossed by science. Nor by religion exactly, but by movements that claim to be religious.
     
  13. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    Science does not cross boundaries. People making assumptions based on the success of the scientific method is what I was referring to. Or, people who think their own assumptions are the only correct ones have gone to far. If you mix two chemicals together and they explode really says nothing about religion and God. Why chemicals interact at all is still a mystery regardless of how chemicals behave. I think just because we understand how nature behaves really has very little to do with making judgement about religion. If I have a set of assumptions, and then make statements and conclusions based on those assumptions, it is no different or better than anyone else's choices for which assumptions are held as sacred. But people take the success of the scientific method to mean much more than what it actually does in my humble opinion.
     
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  14. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    Nobody suggested you were criticising scientific method but despite saying “worldview” in your title, the body of your post was criticising scientists and, for some reason, atheists. Groups of people, not concepts.

    That’s a common claim by some religious people but it is objectively false. There is no limit to what concepts humans can form religions around and no limit to what concepts scientific method could be applied to (though there can be limits to our ability to apply it). These boundaries are imagined by man, having shifted over time as things once considered in the realm of gods or magic were subsequently studied and understood.

    You’ve not established that “people who participate in science” are any more dogmatic than people in general though. That’s your assumption so maybe you need to practice what you preach a little? :cool:
     
  15. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    No, I don't have to practice at all. I am not pretending to have a perfect understanding. I was more interested in the first talking about the first 10 minutes of the referenced video. But as usual most people commenting in thread did not even watch the video. It's okay, it's all good.
     
  16. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    As science marches onward, it reveals that religions are a set of guesses that have often been proven wrong. Isn't that what creationists object to about evolutionary science?

    The brilliant success of science has all been accomplished without any supernaturalistic assumptions. Gods appear nowhere in the scientific theories, and throwing them in would add nothing in terms of the theories being able to explain and predict various aspects of nature.

    The success of science means that the principles upon which it is based are correct.I don't know the physics of space travel, but when the people that do can successfully send human beings to the moon and back, that their understanding including their assumptions is correct.

    Religions simply can't do that. That is the hallmark of a wrong idea. It can produce nothing useful. Once again, contrast evolution and creationism. Darwin's theory unifies mountains of data from a multitude of sources, accurately makes predictions about what can and cannot be found in nature, provides a rational mechanism for evolution consistent with the known actions of nature, accounts for both the commonality of all life as well as biodiversity, and has had practical applications that have improved the human condition.

    Creationism can do none of that. To say that the assumptions of science are no different or better than those of the religions is to miss the point that the value or validity of an idea is determined by its usefulness in predicting if not controlling outcomes.

    Although I didn't watch the entire video, I didn't see Sheldrake make the case that science contains dogma or is dogmatic. You and he both make the claim that thinking outside the box can be productive, and we know that this is true based on history. Rank and file scientists tend not to be philosophers, and sometimes forget that assumptions, many of which Sheldrake named such as that the laws and constants of physics are unchanging or that memory is stored materially in the brain are tentative. Such ideas don't constitute dogma. There is no reason to modify such ideas until and unless phenomena are discovered that cannot be adequately explained by prior assumptions and conclusions.

    Sheldrake also mentioned that heredity might not be solely the domain of DNA. I have long thought the same thing, mainly because I cannot connect the genetic code with inherited instincts. I don't say that it is impossible just because I can't see how it can be done, but I am suspicious that information is also transmitted from parents to offspring by another mechanism, one that can store urges. It's the existence of phenomena not adequately accounted for by present assumptions that justifies moving away from common wisdom and searching for other mechanisms for inheritance.

    Once again, this is not dogmatic thinking. It's Occam's Razor. The simplest explanation that accounts for the observed phenomena is the preferred one. Add new ideas as they are needed to account for new evidence not adequately explained by existing ideas. When we have a good reason to think that the laws and/or constants of physics are fluid, at that time we should revisit that assumption.
     
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  17. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    I saw this one Sheldrake talk years ago where he showed some kind of ocean plant that was capable of growing it's form in spite of the DNA being cut out. He kind of implied what makes it have form and shape may not be solely defined by our DNA. I wish I had the video.
     
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  18. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying that religious beliefs, including yours, are just dogmatic and without proof?
     
  19. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    You don’t have to but you should. We all should, that’s the point of the saying.

    I did watch the first part of the video (and was already aware of him anyway) so I know your OP was essentially an acceptance of his claims about science and scientists. Somewhat ironically, he makes those dogmatic assertions without any basis, presenting the problem as an unquestionable fact and moving straight on to his proposed "solutions".

    So I’ll ask directly; What is the factual basis for claiming that scientists are specifically more dogmatic than all people in general?
     
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  20. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    Can you give some examples of "the way science approaches the topic of religion".
     
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  21. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    I read Sheldrakes book called A New Science Of Life several decades ago, where he discusses hypothesized morphogenetic fields to account for the form in living things, something he didn't envision happening without something pulling the organism into its adult shape. You might like this 4-minute video:

     
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