RE: MD On Faith

From: Scott Roberts (
Date: Wed Oct 06 2004 - 18:57:41 BST

  • Next message: Scott Roberts: "RE: MD On Faith"

    Horse, Chuck,

    [Chuck:]> > "Scientism" is still a hell of a lot more coherent than
    anything any
    > > religion has ever had to offer.
    {Horse:]> Which reminds me of a quote from Richard Dawkins:
    > "I want to return now to the charge that science is just a faith. The
    more extreme version
    > of that charge -- and one that I often encounter as both a scientist and
    a rationalist -- is
    > an accusation of zealotry and bigotry in scientists themselves as great
    as that found in
    > religious people. Sometimes there may be a little bit of justice in this
    accusation; but as
    > zealous bigots, we scientists are mere amateurs at the game. We're
    content to argue
    > with those who disagree with us. We don't kill them."
    > I'll take argument any day.

    Note that Chuck said "scientism" is coherent, while Dawkins is talking
    about science. Dawkins is correct that science is not a faith. Scientism
    is, however. Science is a way to learn things about the inorganic world.
    Scientism is a belief that science is the only way to know anything.

    As for killing, zealots and bigots kill for their beliefs, whether those
    beliefs are religious or not. The problem is zealotry and bigotry, not
    religion. Religion is a huge sprawling affair, good, bad, ugly, beautiful,
    coherent, incoherent, irrational, and rational. To dump all religion
    because one has focused solely on the negative is itself a form of bigotry.
    (Which is not to deny that one may have other reasons to dump all religion,
    such as it just seems to offer nothing useful for one's life.)

    - Scott

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