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Cognitive load of being religious and scientific

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Who says religious discussions are predicated upon dogma?

 

For myself, I think that my religious thinking helps my scientific thinking in terms of never growing used to the marvels of the universe.

 

I'd also dispute the idea that programmers or sys-admins have scientific jobs. Technical? Yes. Scientific? No.

 

If you're garnering your science from a religious/cultural anthology, you're doing it wrong. Everything they wrote was the truth as they saw it. That's all they ever claimed.

Religion certainly isn't based on facts so it seems reasonable to say it's based on dogma: what else?

Who told you that scientists get used to the marvels of the Universe? That's the sort of thing we are talking about- it's one of the entries in the dodgy accounts book. To me, no religious belief could be as profoundly marvellous as the observation that apparently, if you get a lot of hydrogen and wait 13 billion years, it starts to wonder where it came from.

Why do you think I'm getting science from any religious /cultural anthology?

They certainly wrote "the truth as they saw it" but they were blinded to the fact that they were quite often very wrong.

(I'm not talking about minor glitches here, but about things like where to get your slaves, and the "proper" way to keep them).

They made those mistakes because they failed to test their ideas (and indeed forbade such testing "Test not thy God").

Edited by John Cuthber

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You seem to believe that there should be no ethical limits to research, or that the existance of such limits constiutes a rejection of science
Leading off with unfounded and (as it happens) badly mistaken guesswork about my beliefs, a matter much more familiar to me than you and irrelevant to the thread in any case, is unlikely to recommend your opinions.

 


... It was the Church that limited medical research, autopsies, and other investigations into matters considered settled and closely connected to the soul and salvation and sin....

 

BTW, in addition to the ethical implications of your statement, this bit is a piece of fantasy even more egregious than your take on Galileo. There's not a single scrap of historical evidence for it, and in fact nearly all of the work on anatomy was conducted at Church-sponsored universities between the 14th and 16th Centuries.

The fact that the Church was in control of medical research all that time, and so little scientific progress in even basic anatomy was made, rather supports the claim that religious belief suppresses scientific thinking and inquiry.

 

To have suffered centuries of waves of plague and smallpox and so forth, among a literate and communicative people capable of everything from woven cloth and stained glass to blue ocean sailing and orchestral instruments, and not even the hint of a germ theory of disease, not even the ghost of an advocacy for personal cleanliness and public sanitation, not even the beginnings of the understanding of the circulatory system, needs explanation.

 

Some of that explanation is found in the fate of people such as Michael Servetus, first European (more than three hundred years after the first Arab) to describe the human circulatory system with some accuracy.

 

 


The reason for that is the clear claim in the Bible, that all heavenly bodies moved across the sky while the Earth stood still...

 

It was a universal belief found in all cultures, because it's what is most readily observable to everyone. It had nothing to do with Catholic doctrine.

It was incorported into Catholic doctrine because it was in the Bible, and it was on that basis of Biblical doctrine that Christian religious authorities persecuted those who dared to claim otherwise in public. This directly suppressed scientific research, of course, but it also indirectly crippled thought and observation among intellectuals in general through inculcated error and blinkered framing of issues.

 

 


Had Galileo been a mere philosopher with a strong opinion, his fate would probably have been quite different - as it was, the Church recognized the problem of the telescope.

 

I guess that's why he was given great honor in Rome when he presesented his findings.

It must also explain why the Church put telescopes in its numerous observatories

Exactly. An opinion of an obscure thing difficult to verify can be burned for heresy, along with all its writings (as with Servetus) - a telescope is not so easy to banish, and even the most dogmatic of theocrats has a survival instinct.

 

 

 

And in fact, like Nicolaus Copernicus before him, the strongest opposition to Galileo's scientific conclusions came from Protestants. He was initially very well received in Rome.
In the context of this thread, we note that Protestants are also monotheistically religious.

 

 


Many people believe that only what which can be measured is real; that all causes are observable; that if the scientific method identifies a physical cause then there is no other cause; that if it cannot identify a cause then no cause exists; that the scientific method is adequate to show all real causes. These ideas are widely taken as scientific dogmas, but in reality they are presuppositions that are not supportable by the scientific method and that are self-contradictory. It’s no less difficult to rid oneself of such erroneous scientific dogmas, than it is to do so with religious ones.

 

I notice that no one seems interested in dealing with this. So much for objectivity.

Why we should deal in this thread with what some undescribed group of "many people" believe is not clear, but for starters I note that you have described that collection of varied and ambiguous assertions as simultaneously not scientific and examples of scientific dogma.

 

To begin with, we can discard everything that depends for its implications here on ambiguity in the term "cause", a term thrown around far too loosely by the uneducated. What's left?

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Religion certainly isn't based on facts so it seems reasonable to say it's based on dogma: what else?

 

Who told you that scientists get used to the marvels of the Universe? That's the sort of thing we are talking about- it's one of the entries in the dodgy accounts book. To me, no religious belief could be as profoundly marvellous as the observation that apparently, if you get a lot of hydrogen and wait 13 billion years, it starts to wonder where it came from.

Why do you think I'm getting science from any religious /cultural anthology?

They certainly wrote "the truth as they saw it" but they were blinded to the fact that they were quite often very wrong.

(I'm not talking about minor glitches here, but about things like where to get your slaves, and the "proper" way to keep them).

They made those mistakes because they failed to test their ideas (and indeed forbade such testing "Test not thy God").

 

Wow, that's a whole lot of misrepresentations in one post.

 

I never said scientists get used to the marvels of the universe. I said that religion helps some people, like me, not get used to them. Religion isn't a "cognitive load." It enhances our science. At least for me it does.

 

I never said you're getting science from religious/cultural anthology. I said that the people who are doing that are doing religion wrong. I'm using that statement to deflect the idea that to be "religious," one has to believe all the claims made by the varying human authors of those cultural texts.

 

Slavery was completely normal in those days. Are you really saying that wasn't a truth at the time? And for those days, the Mosiac law set down on how to treat slaves was considerably better than what the Egyptians/Persians/etc did with their slaves.

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Can we , at least, sort out the slavery thing.

Yes, slavery was common at the time.

It was also profoundly wrong at the time. Normal doesn't mean good.

So, a Bible which advocated it was morally wrong.

The proper way to deal with slaves isn't to treat them slightly better than other slave owners. The proper way to deal with them is to free them.

 

So, the answer to you question "Are you really saying that wasn't a truth at the time?" is a very resounding no.

It wasn't true that you should take and keep slaves then (the details don't matter)

This

"you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you"

is not true.

 

You shouldn't take pagans as slaves. Nor is this true.

"Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession"

.You shouldn't take immigrants or travellers as slaves.

 

Your question was "Are you really saying that wasn't a truth at the time?"

It wasn't true then: it isn't true now.

Are you not ashamed of yourself for asking?

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*gasp* Slavery is bad?! Thank you so much for letting me know!

 

The level of dissonance coming from you right now is astounding. no one is claiming that slavery is good. But, for that time period, it was completely normal to own slaves. In what universe does "authors of an ancient text held a position that isn't morally tenable" equivalent to "religion does not always become a cognitive burden, but, rather an asset"?

Edited by A Tripolation

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*gasp* Slavery is bad?! Thank you so much for letting me know!

 

The level of dissonance coming from you right now is astounding. no one is claiming that slavery is good. But, for that time period, it was completely normal to own slaves. In what universe does "authors of an ancient text held a position that isn't morally tenable" equivalent to "religion does not always become a cognitive burden, but, rather an asset"?

 

 

So you are saying that what God thinks is wrong depends on what is normal in that day and time?

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Not everyone is a literalist. Last I checked, Trip was a deisty thingy with a sprinkle of a bit more than historical Jesus on top. And I think he might be a moral fictionalist anyway.

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I know Trip isn't exactly a fundamentalist but I thought that was a reasonable question, in the light of how many biblical passages seem to ignore anything remotely equivalent to what we really consider moral or immoral... His answer seemed to say the morality of god is relative to the times it was written I can't see how that disconnect can be done reasonably and honestly and still claim god is the moral giver...

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So you are saying that what God thinks is wrong depends on what is normal in that day and time?

 

I don't think anything in the OT is really what God thinks. Not many people do. The NT is a lot closer, but it's still flawed. It's still just a recounting of stories passed down orally of a tumultuous time.

Now, had God written the OT personally, then there might be a problem. But AFAIK, it was written by warring pastorialists.

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I don't think anything in the OT is really what God thinks. Not many people do. The NT is a lot closer, but it's still flawed. It's still just a recounting of stories passed down orally of a tumultuous time.

Now, had God written the OT personally, then there might be a problem. But AFAIK, it was written by warring pastorialists.

 

 

ok, I got it, I did read read it a bit too literally.. :)

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Now, had God written the OT personally, then there might be a problem.

According to the OT, he DID write part of it. XD

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*gasp* Slavery is bad?! Thank you so much for letting me know!

 

 

Happy to help. I remind you that you actually asked.

Specifically you asked if this "you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you"

was true.

It's not.

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Specifically you asked if this "you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you"

was true.

It's not.

 

It was true at the time. A 13-year old boy was considered a man grown, but that's not true now, is it?

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Long ago, people thought that the world was flat and they thought it was right to keep slaves. T

The world isn't flat. Slavery isn't right.

They never were.

The belief has changed (in spite of Christianity, I might add).

The facts have not.

 

(Don't bother arguing about when, or even if, ancient people thought that the world was flat- it's beside the point)

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Long ago, people thought that the world was flat and they thought it was right to keep slaves. T

The world isn't flat. Slavery isn't right.

They never were.

The belief has changed (in spite of Christianity, I might add).

The facts have not.

 

This adds absolutely nothing to the discussion. I have no idea how this is a rebuttal to my last post.

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According to the OT, he DID write part of it. XD

 

 

Which part?

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This adds absolutely nothing to the discussion. I have no idea how this is a rebuttal to my last post.

Among the things it adds to the discussion is an example of the double think that religion forces people to engage in.

You said "It was true at the time." that slavery was appropriate.

I pointed out that wile people at that time may have believed it to be right, it wasn't actually right (in much the same way they once thought the world was flat- but they were wrong)

You are muddling up two things

The truth (slavery is wrong) and belief-in this case, what it says in the BIble (slavery is right).

 

That's the sort of additional cognitive load you carry as a result of religion.

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Leading off with unfounded and (as it happens) badly mistaken guesswork about my beliefs, a matter much more familiar to me than you and irrelevant to the thread in any case, is unlikely to recommend your opinions....

 

The fact that the Church was in control of medical research all that time, and so little scientific progress in even basic anatomy was made, rather supports the claim that religious belief suppresses scientific thinking and inquiry....

 

 

Science didn’t advance at a faster rate than it did, therefore the Church must have been standing in the way? What kind of absurd nonsense is that? It’s absolute lunacy, as crazy as saying that Roger Bacon must have been a major force against scientific progress, on the grounds that he didn’t correctly calculate the speed of light. Bartoli got in the way because he didn’t find out that Algol is a binary star. Mendel impeded progress because he didn’t isolate DNA. Zantedeschi held us back because he didn’t invent 3-phase electrical circuits.

 

You claim that “It was the Church that limited medical research, autopsies, and other investigations into matters considered settled and closely connected to the soul and salvation and sin.” This is an absolute fantasy, utterly without historical merit. But even so, your complaint is entirely based on the fact that a limit exists, regardless of the reason for such a limit; for if you had wondered about the reason, you would have tried to discover what it was, and in so doing would have found out that the whole thing was a pernicious lie. Ethics places wise limits on research, but because you’ve made it clear that you object to limits on research regardless of the reasons, it’s clear that you object to ethical limits as well. I’m not making unfounded guesswork about what you believe, I’m paying careful attention to what you’re saying, taking it at face value and following it to its logical conclusion.

 

 

Sorry, but I'm sure I read somewhere that one should not bear false witness- that is one ought not say that one witnessed someone doing or saying something unless they did.

Now I didn't actually say "My knowledge may be poor, but I don't propose to seek to improve it"

I said "I don't propose to seek to improve it by looking at a site written by just one side of the debate."

 

This is amazing. You admit that you don’t have an adequate grasp of the historical facts, and yet you refuse to read an article because, without any good cause, you think it won’t give an honest account. This while simultaneously referencing an article that you claim supports your position, when in fact it undermines it.

 

 

This narrative you guys have been fed is a fantasy born from fragments of history, fabricated events, ignorance of theology, poor definitions of terms, false premises, flawed reasoning and conjecture about the motives of others. And yet when I make the observation that Galileo was an asshole for publicly and viciously ridiculing his friends and supporters who (correctly, as it turns out) insisted that he hadn’t adequately proven his claims, I’m given a hard time as if I’m the one who’s ignoring the facts. That’s rank hypocrisy.

 

The topic is about the difficulty in integrating religious dogma and science. Hey, I’m right here, a religious guy, yet you don’t bother asking me how it is that I don’t see something that you think is obvious, nor do you spend time thinking about my responses with the assumption that I’m halfway intelligent and acting in good faith.

 

Instead, you see fit to lecture me on your ideas about what my religious beliefs are, and beat me up about them… does it never enter your mind that perhaps you don’t really know what you’re talking about? If you already know the answer to the question, why ask it?

 

You reject all correction out of hand. When called out on a fabrication, you immediately jump to the next one. You deafen yourself to anything that doesn’t support what you are already convinced of. You refuse to critically examine your premises. That’s nothing less than a refusal to educate yourself, period. I didn’t misrepresent you at all.

 

You yourselves are demonstrating what happens when facts conflict with dogma. It's a pitiful sight, and even more pitiable in that you honestly believe that you're thinking rationally.

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I pointed out that wile people at that time may have believed it to be right, it wasn't actually right (in much the same way they once thought the world was flat- but they were wrong)

You are muddling up two things

The truth (slavery is wrong) and belief-in this case, what it says in the BIble (slavery is right).

 

 

Slavery is wrong *now.* It wasn't wrong, then, according to their beliefs. Morals are constructs of the society we live in, the people that exist, and behaviors instill by evolution. There is no absolute morality. To say such a thing exists is wholly unscientific and very poor philosophy.

 

That the world is round is an objective, empirical, scientific fact. To say that slavery is wrong is a temporary, moral "truth." Conflating the two earns you no points in the matter. It doesn't change the FACT that slavery was an accepted social mores at the time.

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Science didn’t advance at a faster rate than it did, therefore the Church must have been standing in the way? What kind of absurd nonsense is that?
The observation that the Christian Church was in essentially totalitarian control of effective means and favorable circumstances of scientific progress during that time was yours, not mine. The two facts that the advances made by those means and in those circumstances immediately before and immediately after but not during this long period of Church control were 1) dramatically faster and more fundamental in particular areas, and 2) in conflict with Church doctrine (provoking severe economic penality, social persecution, and legal violent suppression to the point of imprisonment and torture)

 

may or may not persuade you (or anyone, even me) without further argument, but the obvious suggestions are hardly "nonsense".

 

 

 

“It was the Church that limited medical research, autopsies, and other investigations into matters considered settled and closely connected to the soul and salvation and sin.” This is an absolute fantasy, utterly without historical merit.
No, it isn't.

 

And you recognize that, as is clear by your posting this:

 

Ethics places wise limits on research, but because you’ve made it clear that you object to limits on research regardless of the reasons, it’s clear that you object to ethical limits as well. I’m not making unfounded guesswork about what you believe, I’m paying careful attention to what you’re saying, taking it at face value and following it to its logical conclusion.
. When you jump from my suggestion that the apparent suppression of scientific thought and progress during long periods of Church control, and the obvious conflicts with Church doctrine and policy that erupted as soon as such progress was made and occupy the public discourse to the present day, are together evidence of a cognitive burden imposed by religion then and now

 

to the repeated assertion that I recognize no ethical limits on scientific research

 

you make clear your presumption that the Church was and is the only source of ethical bounds; your agreement that the Church does in fact appear to have been suppressing scientific research, then and now, but in your view only by imposing the ethical bounds that are in its sole authoritative possession still; and your conclusion that my suggestion is therefore a rejection of the entire concept of ethical bounds on scientific research.

 

That is: You end up going far out of your way to make idiotically false claims about irrelevant matters you know nothing of - such as my take on the matter of ethical bounds in scientific research then and now - in public, and defending them as "logical conclusions" with apparent sincerity. And what led you down the nonsense chute was your defense of religious belief.

 

Your "logic" there is yet more evidence - perhaps the clearest in the entire thread - of the cognitive burden of religion.

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Slavery is wrong *now.* It wasn't wrong, then, according to their beliefs. Morals are constructs of the society we live in, the people that exist, and behaviors instill by evolution. There is no absolute morality. To say such a thing exists is wholly unscientific and very poor philosophy.

 

That the world is round is an objective, empirical, scientific fact. To say that slavery is wrong is a temporary, moral "truth." Conflating the two earns you no points in the matter. It doesn't change the FACT that slavery was an accepted social mores at the time.

" It wasn't wrong, then, according to their beliefs."

You seem not to be prepared to accept that the slavery was wrong then and their belief that it was right was also wrong.

They were mislead- not least by Holy scripture like the Bible.

 

There are absolute moral truths and the Bible sums them up as "do unto others as you would have others do unto you".

Unless you think everyone would be happy to be a slave, the Bible contradicts itself (nothing new there).

In case you are interested, the "Scientific" variation on that theme is that your behaviour should be an evolutionarily stable strategy in things like a repeated prisoner's dilemma test.

 

" It doesn't change the FACT that slavery was an accepted social mores at the time."

The FACT that it was accepted was never in dispute, so putting it in CAPITALS is a bit silly.

However, the point remains; they accepted something which is wrong.

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There are absolute moral truths

 

 

Said the atheist to the theist. You really might want to look into the philosophy of morality.

 

 

 

However, the point remains; they accepted something which is wrong.

 

It wasn't wrong at the time.

 

And, seriously, this conversation can't produce any results. I start with the idea that morals aren't real. You think they are. There can be no constructive discourse.

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The conversation will not get anywhere until you stop ignoring the science.

As I said, "the "Scientific" variation on that theme is that your behaviour should be an evolutionarily stable strategy in things like a repeated prisoner's dilemma test."

And the outcome- the so called "Golden rule"- isn't very controversial.

 

So, according to either set of reasoning, the keeping of slaves was just as wrong then as it is now.

And yet you have sought to support it.

I contend that your behaviour shows exactly the sort of double think that the thread is about.

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Said the atheist to the theist. You really might want to look into the philosophy of morality.

 

 

 

 

It wasn't wrong at the time.

 

And, seriously, this conversation can't produce any results. I start with the idea that morals aren't real. You think they are. There can be no constructive discourse.

 

 

I don't think I've ever talked to a theist who thought morals were not objective...

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