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» One Touch Football - Archive » World » The Bethlehem Delusion? (Page 8)

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Author Topic: The Bethlehem Delusion?
Reed
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I know.
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Ginger Yellow
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"Why do people need to belong to a religious group, rather than a non-religious ethical collective?"

That's such a Monty Python line waiting to happen. "They're not the chosen people. They're a non-religious ethical collective."

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ad hoc
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quote:
"Why do people need to belong to a religious group, rather than a non-religious ethical collective?"

Some do. It's called the Unitarian Church. It hasn't really caught on.

Founded in Transylvania, fact fans
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Bored Of The Dance
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Rogin, was that sketch supposed to help me with my scenery issue?

ANyway, you have been somewhat trumped with your Gorbals Nativity

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Wyatt Earp
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I say I say I say, my husband's become managing director of a private sector prison in what used to be called Nicaea.

Iznik?

Well, no, he doesn't actually own it.

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Oadlad
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The essential point about any of Dawkins' writing is that it concentrates on a narrow scientific perspective. Hardly surprising that he sticks to his chosen calling in life, really.
His, and our, problem is that believers don't give a monkeys whether it stacks up scientifically because it's not meant to.
If RD proved beyond doubt that religion was a logical step in evolution they would still believe.
Also, it matters not a jot whether he is vain or self regarding, but is a good example of trashing the writer when you can't deal with the argument.
I have heard that the Archbishop of Canterbury is rather up himself lately...

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Gangster Octopus
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A fine trick if you can do it...
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Wyatt Earp
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quote:
The essential point about any of Dawkins' writing is that it concentrates on a narrow scientific perspective.
I think that's a little glib, to be honest. I mean, it's a charge that might be made to stick, but I don't think you can get there from "scientist; likes science; interested in evidence for truth-claims".

You'd need to work harder than that, I think: to explain, as toro's tried to (though not in a way I've been able to follow) why, say, existence-claims concerning deities are to be treated differently from, say, claims to be able to cure cancer.

Because there are certainly people who make the latter kind of claim, and resist scientific scepticism about it, and few right-thinking people would regard that resistance as well-placed. So I reckom that shows, right there, that if you want to make the case against training a scientific lens on your truth-claims, it's not enough merely to assert that your beliefs are extra-scientific.

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Oadlad
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Training a scientific lens on religion, or any belief system is fine and necessary.
The question is what do you do when those under the scrutiny swerve it and withdraw into a 'science can't deal with everything' argument.
I am not opposed in any way to him concentrating his expertise on it but the phenomenon is a bit more resilient than that and requires a broader approach. But I suppose it is arguable that all these other approaches come round to a scientific argument in the end.

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Reed
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quote:
think: to explain, as toro's tried to (though not in a way I've been able to follow) why, say, existence-claims concerning deities are to be treated differently from, say, claims to be able to cure cancer.

Because there are certainly people who make the latter kind of claim, and resist scientific scepticism about it, and few right-thinking people would regard that resistance as well-placed. So I reckom that shows, right there, that if you want to make the case against training a scientific lens on your truth-claims, it's not enough merely to assert that your beliefs are extra-scientific.

Perhaps I'm being dense here, but it seems to me that the difference is rather obvious.

It's fairly easy to prove that various sorts of quackery don't work. Run a placebo controlled trial. Not only can you say there's no evidence that the quackery works, you can get evidence that it clearly does not work.

God's existence is more elusive. When asked how this or that observation can be reconciled with the God hypothesis, believers can always punt and say "his plan is mysterious to us mortals." That's maddening, perhaps, but I don't see what evidence you can put forward to counter it.

Of course, you can make powerful arguments that believing in something for which there is no physical evidence isn't rational. But that's a different sort of argument than you'd make against a bogus cancer cure.

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Wyatt Earp
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Devotees of quack cures are also quite deft at explaining things away to their own satisfaction. For the scientifically-minded to back off, they'd need to do it to our satisfaction.

[ 16.12.2007, 16:33: Message edited by: Wyatt Earp ]

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