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View Diary: Kansas legislature contemplates allowing (and requiring) doctors to lie to women (166 comments)

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  •  Yeah but they're mostly the greedy type of (0+ / 0-)

    republicans pissed off because their money making machine went away. Not the fundie crazy type of republicans.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 04:29:42 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's surprising how many docs are not scientists (0+ / 0-)

      Let me rephrase that: it's shocking. In my experience, they turn out to be every bit as good at compartmentalizing knowledge from belief as engineers, farmers, etc.; and dismayingly given to dogmatic beliefs.

      •  Some scientists are also... (0+ / 0-)

        ...good at compartmentalizing knowledge from belief outside of their specialty.

        Else, how could any of them believe in a deity (or similar) after applying scientific methods to that belief?

        At most, I don't see how they could be more than agnostic. However, given that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence coupled with the complete lack of evidence of a deity, I really can't see how they could be anything but atheists.

        It may be (I don't know one way or the other) that a substantially larger percentage of scientists are agnostic or atheists than the general population, but there seem to be a least a substantial minority that profess not to be.

        This is not, of course, to say that a scientist can not apply scientific methods to study why humans seem predisposed to believe in a deity like higher power.

        (I would guess this predisposition is the result of evolution because societies that believed in some higher being were more successful than those that didn't. Perhaps they were more likely to adhere to a social code that ended up, in some cases, to be beneficial to the community. Perhaps it helped people/communities struggle through hard times without despairing and giving up -- after all, that "the FSM works in strange ways" is mighty convenient in dealing with hard situations.)

        •  Science applies to knowledge that can (1+ / 0-)
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          be shared and measured. Numinous/religious perceptions and experiences take place in 'existential space,' and cannot be shared (e.g., love, awe, horror, lolcat kewtness, etc.). Thus there is no intrinsic conflict, hence no compartmentalization is required. (Fwiw, I'm a molecular biologist by training and a God-perceiver, and both fit together as comfortably and interestingly to me as light-behaving-as-particle and light-behaving-as-wave. They is that they is.)

          Science by definition can only describe measurable space-time. For those of us who feel love, the presence of God, and other inner states of being, that leaves a lot of territory that does not lend itself (so far) to quantitative and qualitative characterizations.

          And yet science may someday come to bear on at least some aspects of our numinous/religious experience. Preliminary PET-scan data, as well as observations of human culture across millennia, intimate that the capacity for God-perception/numinous perception has a genetic basis. Certainly this tendency or trait is extremely highly conserved in our species (studies to date indicate that only 1.6 to 4.4% of the species does not perceive or believe in a universal spirit/First Cause/Creator/deity, even in increasingly religion-less Europe). Thus, it likely has an as-yet-undiscovered basis in space-time. Keep in mind that the notion of atoms was conceived thousands of years before we had the science to actually detect atoms and selectively/predictively manipulate them.

          •  Perhaps. (1+ / 0-)
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            Thus, it [a belief in a universal spirit/First Cause/Creator/deity] likely has an as-yet-undiscovered basis in space-time.
            However, if I were going to live long enough to collect on the bet, I would bet it turns out to be that it's useful to believe in such a thing rather than that the thing actually exists.

            It seems humans have historically used religion to explain phenomena which they don't understand (ref rain gods, fertility gods, etc) while subsequent or alternate cultures dismiss these religious explanations as science advances to reveal a scientific explanation for the phenomena.

            Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single scientific advancement or discovery that has tended to increase the general population's acceptance of a specific religious explanation for a phenomena. On the other hand, history is rife with the inverse.

            That said, I think the reality is that religion is an inevitable force in society near and mid term because a propensity to accept/seek it is "hard wired" in our brains.  Therefore, it's something society must factor into the equation.

            Although, personally, I view it as something to be accepted and tolerated, but not to be glorified or encouraged. This is much as I view the design of humans' trachea and esophagus - it could likely be improved to reduce choking risk, but I know it's not practical to change it, so we should accept the "defect" whose origin is rooted in antiquity and accommodate it (such as teaching the Heimlich maneuver and making sure that emergency personnel have emergency airways available).

            And, no, I have no idea where the first entities (energy?, particles?, gravity?) that resulted in the creation of the universe came from. Nor, likely, will the human species survive long enough and advance far enough to convincingly answer this question. However, I don't think that God created these first entities just because I don't have another explanation.

            •  Perhaps the difference between us is (1+ / 0-)
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              that I perceive the existence God and you do not.

              I don't "believe" in God the way my grandkids "believe" in Santa or the way I "believe" in the American Dream. I feel the presence of God as palpably as I see colors or taste food. It sounds to me as though you do not.

              The notion of "accept[ing] and tolerat[ing]" belief in/perception of God seems very strange to me, as strange as talking about "accept[ing] and tolerat[ing]" color-blindness, brown hair, or IQ > 120.

              Fwiw, my guess is that it's a multi-gene trait and as developmentally and behaviorally complex as gender identity and sexual orientation.

            •  And with respect to (1+ / 0-)
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              Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single scientific advancement or discovery that has tended to increase the general population's acceptance of a specific religious explanation for a phenomena. On the other hand, history is rife with the inverse.
              ... This should be no surprise. Religion is not the proper tool for explaining measurable phenomena, just as science is not the tool for characterizing numinous/religious/existential experiences. It has taken centuries of social evolution to begin sorting out the valid realms of science and religion. When religion is the only tool in one's toolbox, except for flint axes and knives, everything looks a lot like a religious problem. By contrast, if one's toolbox includes a "belief" in science that overreaches its realm of validity, one mistakenly believes all of human experience can be fully characterized and shared.

              For all our enormous gain in knowledge across the millennia, 95+% of our species, across education levels, income levels, and cultures, perceives or believes in a deity/First Cause(s)/universal spirit/Creator, whether or not they respond to it with attention, resources, worship, apathy, discomfort, etc. Not "a single scientific advancement or discovery" seems to have changed that.

              Measurable/shared experience and individual/existential experience are two ways that we experience being. Neither is "more right" any more than light-behaving-as-particle is "more right" than light-behaving-as-wave. Both sets of experience together encompass our life experience. My existential experience just happens to include the perception of something I call God, for lack of a better word; yours seemingly does not.

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