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  1. #21  
    Surely the simplest explanation for moral behavior is the old "do onto others as you would have done to you"? If we do not act in a fair and compassionate manner, we could not really expect the same in return from our fellow community members. We are only taking part in shaping the society we wish to live in. No god needed to explain that phenomena.

    Surur
  2. #22  
    good, right, fair, compassionate...

    What is the imperical basis for these concepts? Why are they revered (especially when they don't tend towards self-preservation)?

    "that's the way people should be"
    based on what?
  3. #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    good, right, fair, compassionate...

    What is the imperical basis for these concepts? Why are they revered (especially when they don't tend towards self-preservation)?
    As above. Its in our greater interest to have a fair society. Even according to the bible the 10 commandments came long after the advent of community living.

    Surur
  4. #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    As above. Its in our greater interest to have a fair society. Even according to the bible the 10 commandments came long after the advent of community living.

    Surur
    In a theistic context, the value of fair society is clear. I'm looking for a basis for such in purely "scientific" terms. Or, more specifically, I'd like to understand how such characteristics contribute to enhanced chance of propogating ones genes.

    Why should I be "fair" if I can dominate?
    What concern is there for justice if I have might?
    What value is there to compassion, when your weakened condition presents a reduction in the number of potential threats to my access to the food supply?
    Is there a universal definition of "right" and "wrong"?
    Without such, on what basis can one determine what "should" be?
  5.    #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by aairman23 View Post
    We are all free to put our faith in anything; you can even place your faith in nothing (agnostics/atheists). What I don't understand is why certain people on this board seem to make it there life mission to discredit religion and faith. While I support their right to start posts like this…...they end-up looking just as pathetic and annoying as the religious fanatics going door to door or holding signs out on the streets of NYC. APRASAD!!! We get it; you think faith is useless blah blah blah (Bob Lablaw). You are far out-numbered get over it! Stop shoving your anti-faith down our throats.
    Isn't an exchange of ideas is what this "Off topic" forum is for? Discussing sports and women gets boring after a while. Even there one could opine: "Stop shoving your politics down my throat!!"

    Why do you feel that any ideas are being "shoved down your throat" (being forced upon a reluctant participant)? Feel free to ignore my posts or threads if you feel forced upon. The amount of discussion in these threads (aren't most of these started by Shopharim ?) tells me that there is interest in these discussions.

    Why do I post these links to interviews etc? I guess it comes from a propensity to think for my self and eagerness to be exposed to other ideas. Remeber, I am still looking for answers to questions for which the best Science can do is "We don't know".

    However, I fully understand the reluctance of someone depending on FAITH to shut out other ideas. Faith cannot be "defended" in any objective way. The best that can happen is people agree to disagree. You know what is the worst that happens when faiths get "defended". No one gets killed in the name of Science.
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  6. #26  
    Because the ability to cooperate is a survival trait, allowing a community to do more than the sum of their parts would suggest. Compared to a group which would not be able to cooperate (e.g. not being able to hunt in packs) they would get less food and be less successful at . To be willing to cooperate their needs to be trust between the participants that they will benefit in proportion to their effort.

    Competition explains a lot. If a community would be at a disadvantage to another, that community will eventually be wiped out, and more successful behavior would be passed on.

    One must also not forget that society is an organism all by itself, and we are it's cells. It generates rules to serve itself and ensure its survival, and these are not necessarily in the interest of individuals, e.g. sending men to die in war, but from the point of view of society it all makes sense.

    Surur
  7.    #27  
    Don't ants and bees cooperate? I bet they have a very moral society.
    --
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  8. #28  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    As above. Its in our greater interest to have a fair society. Even according to the bible the 10 commandments came long after the advent of community living.

    Surur
    We all want to live in a fair society but is that motivation enough to be fair? Clearly we all don't always want to be fair. I don’t even think it could be said that some of us always want to be fair or all of us sometimes want to be fair.
  9. #29  
    Religion has been used as a tool to kill many many people througout the ages, and is being actively done today. Its dangerous to mix politics with religion, especially for a government to put forward one faith to the exclusion of another.

    Science on the other hand, does not have the long track record of political abuse that religion has, but the potential is there, for example Hitler had tried to use it to prop up his evil vision of the dominance of the Aryan race.

    Nowadays, there is enough freedom in the scientific world so that people can speak up if there is some ongoing harm taking place which is caused by an incorrect interpretation of science. That is what has taken place with regard to global warming. However, now that global warming and man's involvement in it is generally established beyond any reasonable doubt that does not mean everything is over. Good scientists are always looking to disprove a currently accepted theory, and they become famous by doing it. Every good scientist would love to dispel global warming, and someday someone might do it.

    With religion, it is more difficult to contradict the flawed interpretations that could lead to other people getting hurt. The threat that willful misinterpretation of religion brings is not CO2 emissions but instead violent conflicts and even religious wars. People's beliefs in religion are not based on known facts, but rather on faith. And once someone formulates a deep religious belief, and there are no data to disprove it, then it is a difficult thing to convince the person otherwise. Its not an argument of the head, its one of the heart. Therefore religion remains a useful tool for callous politicians to pit one group against another. To promote hate of one group over the other group. There is too much of this going on in the world in general, even in our country right now. If our founding fathers did not take pains to separate church from state there might be a whole lot more of it going on here.

    Finally, there is some type of an attempt on the forum to make science anologous to atheism, or in an indirect way to throw them together, implying that believing in one leads to believing in the other. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There is absolutely no incompatibility with believing in a higher being, and believing in science, evolution, etc.

    One of the things that you learn as a scientist, as we discover more data, is that there is a nearly infinite amount that we dont know, that we have just scratched the surface on our knowledge of the world. If you are religious, then every piece of data you learn can be interpreted as the workings of a higher being. But using religion to reconcile scienctific advances, (aka intelligent design) is still a faith based belief. In that sense intelligent design is an extension of one's religion, and not something that can be proven or disproven by science. Therefore intelligent design should not be taught in science classes, but rather in religious studies classes.
  10. #30  
    If there were a "god" wouldn't the study of said god be a scientific endeavor?
  11.    #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix View Post
    There is absolutely no incompatibility with believing in a higher being, and believing in science, evolution, etc.
    Richard Dawkins (who does not represent all atheists, BTW) disagrees. See the OP.
    --
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  12. #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    good, right, fair, compassionate...

    What is the imperical basis for these concepts? Why are they revered (especially when they don't tend towards self-preservation)?


    based on what?
    Why does it have to be based on anything? Doesn't anyone believe that there are good people just because that's the way they are? I have studied evolution to great extent because it's one of my Autistic son's focus subjects and it is one of the reasons I began to doubt my faith. Catholicism was drilled into me since birth and I believed in it whole-heartedly. But, the more I expanded my knowledge of other beliefs and theories, the more implausible it all became.
  13.    #33  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    If there were a "god" wouldn't the study of said god be a scientific endeavor?
    Scientific endeavor is anything that follows the scientific process. Observations, repeatable, by many, etc etc.

    Someone meditating and "finding" books or tablets of divine inscriptions does not count.

    Study of God, by its nature, is a personal experience. Scientific endeavors are not.
    --
    Aloke
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  14. #34  
    atheism is totally irrational.
    FSVO atheism == God does not exist. For other values of atheism, not so much.
    In a theistic context, the value of fair society is clear. I'm looking for a basis for such in purely "scientific" terms.
    Enlightened self interest. Think Adam Smith for socionomics.
    Or, more specifically, I'd like to understand how such characteristics contribute to enhanced chance of propogating ones genes.
    Did you ever see PCU? The scene where the Wymynists learn that if you're nice to men they bring you stuff?
    Why should I be "fair" if I can dominate?
    Eventually the 'dominated' can turn on you. Or someone even more dominating comes along.
    What concern is there for justice if I have might?
    Might is fleeting.
    What value is there to compassion, when your weakened condition presents a reduction in the number of potential threats to my access to the food supply?
    What value is there to money?
    Is there a universal definition of "right" and "wrong"?
    No.
    Without such, on what basis can one determine what "should" be?
    Within the context of one's social structure.
  15. #35  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    If there were a "god" wouldn't the study of said god be a scientific endeavor?
    Of course it would be, just like we study whales and gravity. It would however be subject to the same constraints such as repeatability, reproducibility and predictability. Just like most psychic phenomena, the study of God is lacking in these areas.

    Surur
  16. #36  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    If there were a "god" wouldn't the study of said god be a scientific endeavor?
    i don't know if this is what you had in mind but here is last year's news.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/he...900000&ei=5088
    http://www.templeton.org/pdfs/press_...STEP_paper.pdf
    The only thing it proves is the need for further studies.
    The reaction of religious folks to it is however highly amusing.
  17. #37  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad View Post
    Richard Dawkins (who does not represent all atheists, BTW) disagrees. See the OP.
    could you please elaborate the part of his argument where he disproves that someone can believe in religion and science too? I am not a believer in intelligent design myself, but nonetheless I cannot disprove those who do.
  18. #38  
    Interesting study...

    Some thoughts...

    How can the scientists be sure not a single soul prayed for those in the non-prayer control group? Surely somebody knew they were sick and may have snuck a prayer in somewhere. A passers-by to the hospital may casually pray for "Everyone in there".

    Now we get really sticky... They picked a specific phrase that must be included in the prayer, but what if that specific request is not how people are "supposed" to pray? Are we not to pray for God's will to be done, and not demand He give a quick healing??

    Even stickey-er... They picked specific religious groups to do the praying. What if, hypothetically, those particular religious groups are not following the "true God in the True way"? Then He'd not have to hear their requests and grant them, would He?

    Here's more to ponder... Sometimes God hears us, but His answer is "No"! In that case He may hear your prayer, but decide that it is more to His glory to not heal in a specific situation. Maybe He wants the person to come Home to be with Him. Maybe He wants the survivors to grow stronger in their faith or life without their loved one. We may never know why, but often the answesr is indeed "No".

    I do not think we have come to the point where when we tell people about someone's illness we have to add "Please do not pray for them".
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  19. #39  
    could you please elaborate the part of his argument where he disproves that someone can believe in religion and science too?
    I can't speak for Dawkins (my thoughts on the subject are more in line with Feynman's), but it is quite hard to reconcile a sincere belief in most religious dogmas and an informed belief in science.
    I am not a believer in intelligent design myself, but nonetheless I cannot disprove those who do.
    The issue is that a belief in something with no evidence or testability to support it is at direct odds with a 'belief' in science, and George Will agrees, so it must be true.
  20. #40  
    Quote Originally Posted by duanedude1 View Post
    Interesting study...

    Some thoughts...

    How can the scientists be sure not a single soul prayed for those in the non-prayer control group? Surely somebody knew they were sick and may have snuck a prayer in somewhere. A passers-by to the hospital may casually pray for "Everyone in there".

    Now we get really sticky... They picked a specific phrase that must be included in the prayer, but what if that specific request is not how people are "supposed" to pray? Are we not to pray for God's will to be done, and not demand He give a quick healing??

    Even stickey-er... They picked specific religious groups to do the praying. What if, hypothetically, those particular religious groups are not following the "true God in the True way"? Then He'd not have to hear their requests and grant them, would He?

    Here's more to ponder... Sometimes God hears us, but His answer is "No"! In that case He may hear your prayer, but decide that it is more to His glory to not heal in a specific situation. Maybe He wants the person to come Home to be with Him. Maybe He wants the survivors to grow stronger in their faith or life without their loved one. We may never know why, but often the answesr is indeed "No".

    I do not think we have come to the point where when we tell people about someone's illness we have to add "Please do not pray for them".
    Not to support or criticize this research, but one wonders what one could do to disprove the existence of God.. There will always be a core group that just say "God is testing my faith by using these scientists and their 'results'".

    Surur
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