New science of religion

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by arauca, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member


    Yes, one should never underestimate the ability of humans to believe what just ain't so(and to do stupid, evil things based on their ignorant beliefs instead of reality). It is a sign of intellectual sloth. Those who founded our country came from mostly Christian nations, so it is not surprising that the Christian delusion remains strong among the largely thoughtless citizens. However, lipservice is not indicative of true beliefs and the "Christianity" being displayed today in our public sphere is mostly rank ignorance and prejudice hiding behind "religious" beliefs. Rick Santorum is not a Christian, The Catholic church only has a facade of Christianity hiding it's basic Mafia style corruption. Fundamentalists are using their supposed Christianity to justify their insularity, racism, misogyny and homophobia. And our politicians cynically use their prejudices to whip up like minded bigots for political gain. We should see both what is and what should be, that is the basis for true morality, not belief in supernatural claptrap like any afterlife, gods or demons(IE religion).

    But no matter what people say, religion is dying(slowly, sometimes and not evenly throughout the world)and those most deluded are being concentrated into more radical paradigms that are absolutely toxic to the society. Fundamentalist Islam is the most blatant example, but far from the only one. And larger portions of the population are becoming "Nones", rejecting all the religious non-sense. It will probably take many generations for the body to stop twitching in the US, but it is dead and buried in some European countries(especially the Scandinavians), interestingly enough those countries rate as the best places on Earth to be a citizen, go figure(I think you and I know why).


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  3. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Separation of church and state remains a mere ideal with little basis in reality. Like many if not most matters of law, the decisions on how to enforce the constitution are ultimately arbitrary, left to the hands of government officials whose decisions are arbitrary and often final. Although it's not clear how many of those politicians are imposters pretending to be pious, it doesn't matter since their voting patterns are clearly aligned to the ortho/fundie world views.

    57% are Protestant, 30% Catholic, 7.3% Jewish, 2.8% Mormon, and 1.1% won't say.

    Consider the Supreme Court:

    Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr...Roman Catholic
    Justice Antonin Scalia..............Roman Catholic
    Justice Anthony Kennedy.............Roman Catholic
    Justice Clarence Thomas.............Roman Catholic
    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.........Jewish
    Justice Stephen Breyer..............Jewish
    Justice Samuel Alito................Roman Catholic
    Justice Sonia Sotomayor.............Roman Catholic
    Justice Elena Kagan.................Jewish

    This means some people are not voting along religious lines. We might ask why Protestants sometimes vote for Jewish candidates, and well represented Jewish folks are among early contenders. (In other words if they disproportionately enter politics, odds are they will disproportionately succeed.)

    And there's that 33% of the Supreme Court who are Jewish. The Executive Branch is hard to analyze, but Ben Bernanke, preceded by icons like Alan Greenspan and Milton Friedman, come to mind. I have heard bitter resentment from fundies about this, but they always fail to mention that Jewish intellectuals hold over 20 Nobel prizes in economics over the last four decades.

    At least that seems to be the problem. Much of it is of course deliberate lying. Some are no doubt faking their religiosity while others are almost maudlin plastic people (Palin/Tea Party/evangelists), but regardless, they are harming public policy negatively and hijacking the public agenda.

    The most reprehensible I have heard of was during the GW Bush years, when Republicans were known to call a recess just before vote on a bill, then slip away to an undisclosed location, re-convene, call the roster, declare a quorum, and proceed to enact laws without a single Democrat in the room. The same offenders were known to spout religiosity, and then get caught hitting on their pages, hiring prostitutes, and engaging in public obscenity. Yet the God emblem is still being paraded, from the House and Senate to the school boards and town councils.

    Tennessee was another case that we debated here about a year ago. I also recall a Texas school board decision to remove the Webster's dictionary from its approved book list, exposing a fear of knowledge that goes beyond evolutionary biology.

    I think ethics may be where the Orthodox folks have fared better, such as in the Supreme Court, and the highest institution of banking and the Fed where Jewish intellectuals are overrepresented. This is a different scenario than what you meant. What you are referring to is particularly insidious because it involves manipulation of the public will by unethical means, and often to reach unethical ends.

    I think I've seen this book. I've seen on just like it, and it's a pile of crap. The Creation Science scheme is analogous to the indoctrination scheme that brainwashes school kids. Religious propaganda of this sort always was, and probably always will be, a strategy that targets minds of the young and impressionable.

    That's got some caveats. If a school board in Utah violates the standards of the Pennsylvania ruling, then the federal district court for Utah would have jurisdiction. That court wouldn't have to rely on the Pennsylvania case for legal precedent; they would only have to conform to Supreme Court rulings. This is another strategy of fundie lawyers, however. They will continue to pull Trojan Horses into as many federal districts as they can until the Supreme Court rears its head again and puts a stop to it.

    He would have to say that or he would impeach himself, but I think he was probably being honest. Lutheranism is big in that part of the country but it's considerably more sophisticated than the Bible Belt. I suspect that Lutherans don't have the same paradoxes to overcome that fundies do when it comes to separating religious doctrine from the doctrines of civil law.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. Their buddies swarmed during the Bush era and seemed to be dropping like flies after Obama won, and perhaps we'll see them fade away after his re-election. All of their tired old arguments are probably just about dead.
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  5. pywakit Registered Senior Member

    I was in error over the jurisdiction. And you are certainly correct that another district judge is not required to follow precedent.

    However, I think the proponents of ID did an excellent job of painting themselves into a corner.

    That said, if the religious conservatives are ever successful in 'stacking the US Supreme Court deck', it is practically assured that ID (with new 'science') will find it's way there. To the fanatics, this is a desperate war against evil ... against Satan ... and they aren't giving up.

    Just for fun, let's check in on the Discovery Institute, shall we?

    Definition of Intelligent Design

    What is intelligent design?

    Intelligent design refers to a scientific research program as well as a community of scientists, philosophers and other scholars who seek evidence of design in nature. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. Through the study and analysis of a system's components, a design theorist is able to determine whether various natural structures are the product of chance, natural law, intelligent design, or some combination thereof. Such research is conducted by observing the types of information produced when intelligent agents act. Scientists then seek to find objects which have those same types of informational properties which we commonly know come from intelligence. Intelligent design has applied these scientific methods to detect design in irreducibly complex biological structures, the complex and specified information content in DNA, the life-sustaining physical architecture of the universe, and the geologically rapid origin of biological diversity in the fossil record during the Cambrian explosion approximately 530 million years ago.

    See New World Encyclopedia entry on intelligent design.

    Is intelligent design the same as creationism?

    No. The theory of intelligent design is simply an effort to empirically detect whether the "apparent design" in nature acknowledged by virtually all biologists is genuine design (the product of an intelligent cause) or is simply the product of an undirected process such as natural selection acting on random variations. Creationism typically starts with a religious text and tries to see how the findings of science can be reconciled to it. Intelligent design starts with the empirical evidence of nature and seeks to ascertain what inferences can be drawn from that evidence. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design does not claim that modern biology can identify whether the intelligent cause detected through science is supernatural.

    Honest critics of intelligent design acknowledge the difference between intelligent design and creationism. University of Wisconsin historian of science Ronald Numbers is critical of intelligent design, yet according to the Associated Press, he "agrees the creationist label is inaccurate when it comes to the ID [intelligent design] movement." Why, then, do some Darwinists keep trying to conflate intelligent design with creationism? According to Dr. Numbers, it is because they think such claims are "the easiest way to discredit intelligent design." In other words, the charge that intelligent design is "creationism" is a rhetorical strategy on the part of Darwinists who wish to delegitimize design theory without actually addressing the merits of its case.

    Is intelligent design a scientific theory?

    Yes. The scientific method is commonly described as a four-step process involving observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion. Intelligent design begins with the observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified information (CSI). Design theorists hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high levels of CSI. Scientists then perform experimental tests upon natural objects to determine if they contain complex and specified information. One easily testable form of CSI is irreducible complexity, which can be discovered by experimentally reverse-engineering biological structures to see if they require all of their parts to function. When ID researchers find irreducible complexity in biology, they conclude that such structures were designed.

    The above was from their own website and dated 1/20/2013.

    According to this, it appears the Discovery Institute has proven the existence of an "Intelligent Designer".

    Wow! Who knew?

    It sure reads as if they did, anyway. Wonder why this isn't front page news?

    "God Did It!!!"

    I guess I was a little hasty in saying they had painted themselves into a corner.

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  7. pywakit Registered Senior Member

    Oops. Sorry. I spaced for a sec. Forgot that Intelligent Design is NOT the same as Creationism.

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  8. Balerion Banned Banned

    Yes, it actually is the same as Creationism. It's merely a front. The stated purpose of the Discovery Institute (the originators of the movement) is to "defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies," and "replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God." Of course, they didn't intend to state it publicly, but a leaked memo from the late 90s revealed their naked ambitions.

    I don't need to tell you that there's no legitimate science behind it, but you do need to know that it's just a dressed-up version of Creationism.
  9. pywakit Registered Senior Member

    Thanks, but I was being a bit facetious. These people are not above lying to further their agenda.

    It's disturbing because young people are directed to the Discovery Institute for purposes of validation and authentication.

    This is the 'science' they are exposed to. They will come away thinking there is actual scientific evidence for the existence of a 'creator'. Sick.

    The word 'creation' was replaced by 'intelligent design' in the book 'Pandas'.

    Clearly the reprimand received by the federal court did not faze the fanatics.

    The basis of their argument (in the Dover case) was 'irreducible complexity'.

    They lost on that count when the example used was shown to have an earlier version (more primitive).


    But, fanatics that they are, they just ignored that little setback and continue on with their lies, knowing that their target audience is already preconditioned to accept what the 'prestigious' Discovery Institute tells them.
  10. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Why do atheist feel the need to play nanny? I can see objecting to group behavior that increases social costs. But what is being censored is that which does not cost the collective anything. Atheists do not have to pay for religion. However, the religious have to pay for poor atheist and liberal social choices. Maybe religion is not wasteful enough and makes the atheist cult look bad? Does religion show too much willpower and self reliance, and does not waste enough, which makes atheism look bad?

    If we do the math, most scientists are atheists, but not all atheists are scientists. Atheism is the larger group while scientists is only a subset. The propaganda tries to convince the irrational all atheists are like scientists by simply buying the propaganda. This larger set might explain the compulsive nannies. The sales pitch has convinced the irrational, anything they do or are told to do has to be rational. There is such thing as the irrational atheist, if truth is important.

    Explain to me why atheism has a higher social cost if it is so rational. I know as an engineer and scientist good rational thinking leads to efficiency not increasing social inefficiency. That is a sure sign of being irrational.
  11. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Atheism isn't liberalism, please make a note of it.
  12. elte Valued Senior Member

    Replace atheists with religionists and liberal with conservative, and the like, and you have how a lot of nonreligious people feel.

    I'm sorry, it looks like colleagues give you a hard time. There are probably atheists out there who don't behave as well as they should because they see a lot of lost opportunity caused by religion and get upset. Still, they don't realize that kindness and consideration are important for a smooth society. I can relate to what you are saying though, as shown by the lack of ethics of Madeline Murray O'Hare. But, I think she is an especially bad case. No wonder William Murray was attracted to religion.

    Religion might make people behave better, but if the religion were replaced with good secular morality, they might also behave better. We are in a rather unique historical time when people are quitting religion, and they haven't necessarily replaced any ethics it contains with new ethics. It will take them time to relearn ethics based on good secular ideas.
  13. wellwisher Banned Banned

    In other topics, I have defined natural human behavior as behavior that does hot need artificial support or mops. I use this definition because observation shows nature does not need or use mops. Look for yourself to verify this. The increase in social costs are because the number of mops keeps going up due to unnatural behavior. As an analogy, it is not natural to have animals in zoos. However, this is possible, because we have zookeepers who act like mops to compensate. If we took away the mops the animals would die. But if we mop at night, when the patrons are not there, we might be able to create the illusion of natural.

    Natural behavior does not need zookeepers to prop it up. Both atheism and its support science has defined natural human behavior in ways that require zookeepers to perpetuate their ape myths. Religion tends to go more barebones and does not need mops. I would infer that religion is more in touch with natural, not due to philosophy or empiricism, but due to less need of mops. The Church may not support birth control or abortion, but neither of these are found in nature. They are zoo keepers mops needed to clean up unnatural behavior.

    I am a scientist, who became an atheists when i was younger, so I could sow wild oats without guilt. Atheism allows unnatural behavior but I learned this needs the support of zookeepers. This was hidden at first since i just assumed ape was natural human. Now I am more of an agnostic. I can see how religion tries to be mop free. This will restrict choice. But it does create a natural baseline that we should culturally define as natural=mop free. I defend religion, because atheism can't even get natural right, and has increased social costs due to the increasing need of zookeepers under the guise of natural. This is irrational since natural needs no zookeeper.

    I also have a beef with behavioral science that can't even see that what they call natural is unnatural, due to mops. One explanation is this is mercenary science, since mops are big business. Religion is small mop and cuts into the bottom line. The irrational atheist is induced into religious fanaticism and helps big business grow the mop industry; crusade against no mops.
  14. elte Valued Senior Member

    I think agnosticism is the socially low maintenance belief and that theistic and atheistic belief both need extra effort to maintain. It doesn't require trying to maintain a sure position when it is hard to be sure about so much. It is easy to err and think that religion is a low maintenance way because most of us have been indoctrinated, arguably even brainwashed, with it. That is likely why it seems so easy to hold onto.

    It's not so much that science supports atheism as it is that it refutes religion. Really most detailed knowledge tends to refute religion, and that includes history, sociology, psychology, and the physical sciences.

    The main thing about going back to natural and away from structured society is that the regression to natural could end up being quite complete. It would tend to take us back to small hunter gatherer groups and everything we have built up over the millenia would tend to fade away. We could go back to stone age life eventually. The cruelty of life would go up many fold, and that includes a rise in murder rates by a multiplier in the decades range back to where they were a long time ago.

    So, that process would just be a huge loss as humankind would struggle to gain it back again. It'd be better to prevent that from happening from the outset.

    The higher pursuits that make mankind special in the animal kingdom would wither, too. The worse part of it all would be the heretofore unimagined suffering that would happen as 95% of the population would die within a short time. Mankind strives to overcome nature as best as possible because it is so cruel and uncaring, and caring about others is a high quality of being human.

    So, instead of losing all we collectively have worked to do over the ages, it is better to move forward toward more advancement, and it requires lots of supports to do that. A last note is that artificial supports are really manmade and man is a natural aspect of the universe as everything really is, so manmade is actually natural in that way.

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