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View Diary: Scientific Americal Article: Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy (11 comments)

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  •  The biggest problem we have with magical (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corwin, johanus, samdiener

    thinking (religion) is that it causes intellectual laziness. One does not have to do the hard work if one can insert a god or other superstition into our gaps in knowledge.  It should never be acceptable in a society who values the pursuit of knowledge.

    A good example of this is a conversation I had with a person who is actually non-religious, but was offering the opinion that an afterlife would be a possibility. So I started talking about it in terms of questions.... like... so if a child dies in infancy never having formed a self awareness and consciousness like you or I, what happens in this "afterlife"?  Does the child grow up and form a full adult consciousness? If so, in relation to what? Does the child stay in an infinite form that is mentally stuck at the point they died?   Does ANY of that make sense?   My point being that the more you take a rational and skeptical response to the idea of a human "afterlife" condition, the less sense it makes. It becomes meaningless and silly.  

    We don't encourage enough of that type of intellectual approach and we are held back constantly by magical thinking and superstition.  The discipline of scientific thinking is so essential in so many other areas besides science.  We need to remember that and encourage science's approach to thinking in other areas of life as well.

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