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View Diary: Schrödinger's Church, or Wait Wait, don't Convert Me! (153 comments)

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  •  Went to bed, woke up... (9+ / 0-)

    like you do, and discovered an awesome discussion of my humble first diary, and a Community Spotlight slot to boot!

    So many great comments, and I think, so many who actually agree with me, in a roundabout way.

    Quasi-quantum metaphysical New-Age feelgood gobbledegook about "multiverses" notwithstanding, the claims of different religions cannot all be true (although they can, of course, all be wrong).  As an unapologetic rationalist, I can only choose the path of declining to embrace any particular group of untestable supernatural claims, since that would necessitate determining all of the others are wrong.

    I am not arrogant enough to outright claim that all religious belief systems are delusions, but I am pragmatic enough to live my life as if they are.  

    I was told there would be sandwiches

    by Aunt Acid on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 07:12:08 AM PST

    •  Thank You ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      scheduled to be re-published by Street Prophets.


      "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

      by linkage on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 07:20:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Devil's advocate here ;)... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But isn't your rationalist standpoint itself a manifestation of faith? It carries with it the presumption that our human capacities for reason and perception can capture the totality of what's real and true - or that things outside of that realm are unimportant.  I'm a little uncomfortable with that, and while I am a great believer in the value of rational scientific discourse (to me, a theme of your diary), I will also allow for things beyond my understanding, beyond things that can be known fully in that way. My religion is my way of coping with that, I guess.

      •  Wasn't it Witgenstein who inveighed against (0+ / 0-)

        even speaking about things beyond our understanding?  In the first place, we don't know what the limits of our understanding are.  Extrapolate the scientific progress of the last 400 years to the next, say, 2000 (assuming that we survive).  Obviously, the limits of our understanding will look much different then.  

        Of course, there are things that are in principle beyond our knowledge, like what happens to our consciousness after we die.  But, if they're beyond our knowledge, what sense does it make to believe in or, as Witgenstein observed, even talk about -- much less kill about -- things that we can never know for certain even exist.  

        •  Well, because we cannot know for certian that ... (0+ / 0-)

          they don't?  And they might be important?

          I'll presume that Witgenstein is a well regarded philosopher because I don't read this sort of philosophy and my own training is limited to a single undergrad course years ago (which was singularly frustrating). So be gentle with me.

          But really, you let this Witgenstein person dictate for you what is proper to think/talk about?  There have been scores of learned people over the eons who have been apologists for religion.  Is it rational to say that they were all wrong?  Similarly there have been scores of people who have experienced things that were outside of a rational explanation at the time.  The rationalist would presumably say that there are rational explanations for these phenomena if only we had better information.  Isn't that a statement of faith?  And even if 99.9% of all these supernatural experiences have rational explanations, we cannot allow that some in fact do not?  

          I would say that humans get glimpses of things that perhaps are outside of a strict rationalist framing from time to time and that the collective wisdom about such things is passed down through religion.  I think that's a valuable thing.

          •  Hm.... (0+ / 0-)

            There have been scores of learned people over the eons who have been apologists for [insert virtually any disgusting practice here]. Is it rational to say that they were all wrong?

            And you're consistently mixing up inference and faith. Inference is the best possible guess, but never an absolute statement of fact about the future. The weatherman may state that it will rain tomorrow, but if it doesn't, he won't have a crisis of faith (though he might examine his data and methods). Faith is an arrogant claim that statements of absolute fact can be made, where a more humble person would either venture an inference or remain entirely silent.

            "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

            by sagesource on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 11:04:03 PM PST

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            •  No. Inference is more than guesswork. (0+ / 0-)

              Inference is making a prediction or explanation in the basis of experience, observation, and logic.  How one decides what is and  isn't acceptable within the scope of your inference is faith.

      •  Stuff beyond understanding... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is beyond understanding.

        Ergo, we need not pay it the slightest attention.

    •  This place LOVES thoughtful newcomers (5+ / 0-)

      Seriously, come here, post a wise, informative or thought provoking first diary and you WILL get noticed.

      It's weird. There's this superficial layer of Daily Kos that includes pie fights and trolls and political humbuggery of all sorts. But underneath there is just this vast ocean of wonderful, thoughtful, loving people: people who will actually go out of their way to help you, people who will console you when you hurt, people who will change their minds when you are convincing, people who will hold respectful dialogue even with those they vehemently disagree with, people who will think and who will make you think, people who will love you and who you will come to love, even if you never meet them in person.

      I like it here. It's really a very nice place. Welcome.

    •  What sense does a pragmatist make (0+ / 0-)

      of love?

      •  Stable family units and family connections... (0+ / 0-)

        They mean a lot to a species where the young take as long to mature and become independent as ours do.

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 11:05:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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