RE: MD On Faith

From: Scott Roberts (
Date: Thu Oct 07 2004 - 18:49:25 BST

  • Next message: Scott Roberts: "Re: MD A bit of reasoning"


    > True. Some scientists believe in the supernatural or withhold judgment on
    > the existence of a higher power. I dare say, however, that most
    > are atheists although I can't at the moment point to a survey that says
    > so.

    Perhaps. There might be a larger agnostic set, but yes, it seems likely
    that atheists plus agnostics outweigh those with religious beliefs. Does
    anyone know of a survey?

    > I don't think you can deny that science is based on certain unprovable
    > assumptions (which I have pointed out) and that as such, those
    > are accepted on faith. I would call that "scientific doctrine" and a
    > Subject-Object Metaphysics. (SOM). I fail to see the relevance of your
    > distinction that science is an "activity" because religious practices are
    > also activities.

    I can deny it, up to the point that one could say that we all do everything
    based on certain unprovable assumptions. If I discover water on the floor
    after it rains, I will start making hypotheses that I have a leak here or
    there, and test them. I have assumed that the water didn't just magically
    appear, though I can't prove that. Similarly, I can make a hypothesis that
    rocks fall to earth at a steady acceleration, and I can test that. In doing
    that, I need not have assumed that this is a purposeless or amoral cosmos,
    nor that chance is involved, nor that everything that I think is true must
    be empirically verified (though I have chosen to verify this hypothesis
    empirically). Nor do I need to assume materialism, or that all events have
    a cause (though I may be be looking for a cause in this case), or that
    everything is deterministic, or that nature is independent of human
    observation (I am looking for patterns -- it doesn't matter whether those
    patterns exist independently of my observation or not), and so forth. No
    doubt most scientists do believe in a lot of these things, but it is not
    necessary to believe in these things in order to do science. However, it is
    necessary to believe in God if one prays to or worships God.

    There are cases, though, where scientists pretty much have to believe in
    materialism to proceed. One example is the attempt to find a material cause
    of consciousness. Strictly speaking, a belief in materialism is not
    required but it is extremely unlikely that one would expend that effort
    without the belief. No one likes to do things with the expectation of
    negative results.

    > Finally, terrorists adopt the biological moral code of "might makes
    > right." That's what makes terrorism a biological pattern.

    You've got it backwards. If I believe that my social group is being
    oppressed by another, that means that I think that there are social
    patterns that my group wants to pursue that the other is not allowing me to
    do, and that it is able to oppress my group because it is mightier than
    mine. So if I believed that "might makes right" I would accept the
    oppression -- it is right that I be oppressed. I become a terrorist when I
    decide to fight that perceived oppression, and since I assume the oppressor
    is mightier, I resort to terrorizing, as opposed to frontal assault, in the
    hope that those terrorized will decide it is not worth continuing to
    oppress my social group (which is not to say that I may also be motivated
    by vengeance, or whatever -- and I hope you don't assume I am attempting to
    justify terrorism). This is adopting a violent means to a social end.

    There may be other reasons for terrorism, like a belief that my social
    group is superior to all others, and therefore the others should be
    converted to my group's way. But again, the use of force is as a means to
    this social end, it is not what makes the social end right.

    - Scott

    MOQ.ORG -
    Mail Archives:
    Aug '98 - Oct '02 -
    Nov '02 Onward -
    MD Queries -

    To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Oct 07 2004 - 18:51:57 BST