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Old 06-20-2007, 06:11 PM   #16
RenaissanceMan
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I'm of the view, now.... that science and faith shouldn't really 'converse'. they should talk... then leave the room as the other thinks. There is simply no 'debate' here. All debate does is delay the thinking process. As Harris says: "You don't convince someone through discussion, they convince themselves later" (Or something to that effect)

Two basic worldviews.

I) The religious one, that of the "Non overlapping magisterium" of science and supernatural. This view holds that the supernatural guides morality and ethics... but cannot define or provide evidence for it. In it's extreme, it also holds that the superntural also guides science... but few really take that seriously. Odd since the majority that "Won't go there" have the SAME basis of evidence to support the position that the supernatural guides morality and ethics.

2) The science one, there is no "Overlapping magisterium" There is only nature. The entire universe is nature and follows the natural laws, whatever they are. If something happens that you can't explain? Then that's just due to your ignorance of the natural laws. In the natural view, morality and ethics are driven by nature and the desire to survive... of course, survival is a group sport... so altruistically helping others to survive enhances your own survival, provided there the feeling is mutual.

As a philosophy, science is vastly superior because it forces one to include ALL connected aspects of a thought instead of allowing a single myoptic view to be analyzed with a DIFFERENT set of conditions than other single myoptic views.

Science does this through peer review, a process that allows others to support or disprove a hypothesis from a viewpoint OTHER than the originators.

Just for fun? I'm going to come up with a cool latin sounding phrase for it: OPERATUS UNIVERSALIS. Yeah, that works. It means "Universal operation" I.E. Any event or occurance will be observable within ALL of the event or occurance's scope of observability.

For example: If an event has the sun or moon move abnormally... that movement will be observable from wherever the sun or moon is visable from at the time of the occurance. Hmm... Fatima? Why wasn't the miracle at fatima viewable from wherever the sun was viewable at the time? Hmm? Science's mental discipline sees right through that, whereas religion cannot.
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Lily wrote
Quote:
Kamikaze189 wrote
Quote:
WITHTEETH wrote
Hes bascially saying how can science speak to faith since all it is is a method to explain the world around us.
And religion isn't? The way I see it, religion and science serve the same basic purpose of explaining the world. That's why they were both invented, or at least why religion was bought into. The differences are that religion isn't self correcting and doesn't involve evidence. This makes science a much better answer. Unfortunately, many people let religion override because of "faith."
You are half right, I think. Thomas Kuhn explains the half that I don't think your answer covers. Or, at least, Thomas Kuhn as hijacked by general philosophy.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/thomas-kuhn/
Kuhn was, I think, wrong though on a couple of significant issues. I don't think his notion of a paradigm shift as a separate phenomenon to normal science stands up, and without that, his entire interpretation of history of science is moot.
I did a post on why I think this a loooooong time back.....here we go. Post 14.

Basically I'm a Popperite rather than a Kuhnian. Kuhn seems to lend himself to the "non overlapping magisteria" (henceforth NOM to save me typing it out every time) approach, I suppose, but I don't find either Kuhn or NOM especially convincing.


:offtopic:, whatever....I see the word Kuhn, it's like a big flag saying "post on this!".

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Old 06-21-2007, 05:24 AM   #18
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Old 06-21-2007, 05:25 AM   #19
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Thanks, ADT, for that link. As far as I am concerned, I would be glad to hear more from you on Kuhn. I feel far less confident trying to criticise or praise him as a scientist (or philosopher of science) than in talking about how his "incomensurability" thesis and "paradigm shift" have influenced the way some philosophers and apologists approach the faith/science question (which doesn't seem like much of a question to me ...).
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:25 AM   #20
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I could probably post something but I'm very rusty on this...I did HPS 20 years ago. I'm not convinced about incommensurability but I suppose it may be possible to demonstrate it logically via some offshoot of Godel's theory. I know Rhino is a Quineian and Quine's notion of incommensurability is similar to Kuhn's, but as far as I know incommensurability was never demonstrated via symbolic logic or any other mathematical form. If Rhino knows better I will have to rethink. I think Kuhn made major contributions to HPS but ultimately I think he was wrong.

As I understand it the philosophers and apologists you refer to use the notion of paradigm shift to promote scientific and faith based views of the universe as Kuhnian/Quinian incommensurables, theories that can only be judged as valid within their own frameworks (if you meant something different let me know). I have a problem with this obviously because without the existence of paradigm shifts as historical phenomena such an interpretation lacks an evidential basis.

Sure, it's clear that even without Kuhnian paradigm shifts it is possible to have two incommensurable philosophies, but the claim that Kuhn and Quine make is that you can have incommensurables that are equally valid, since each can be only be validated within its own paradigmatic framework (hence NOM). This seems unlikely to me on the face of it because, as a realist/empiricist, I want to contend that if you have two genuinely incommensurable claims about the world, one (or possibly both) of them must be wrong.

It may be the case that you can have two (or more) scientific/mathematical models that fit any set of data, but I would contend that in that case they will not ultimately be incommensurable even though it may appear so on the surface. I would not expect them to be because I think the universe has a real structure that we can model accurately by scientific means (I argued with AJF on this a while back, we had fun), and that therefore rival models, if they genuinely reflect reality, should converge, or else one will supercede teh other as new data comes along.

Now from your point of view, if you accept Kuhn, and apply it to science/faith, then surely you are left with the conclusion that since science and faith are semantically incommensurable, science cant' talk to faith or vice versa - the question of whether it should becomes irrelevant? (Of course the same is true if they are incommensurables in my sense that one of them must be a mistaken approach, which seems to be the prevailing view here - no prizes for guessing which one). The only way the question is meaningful is if science and faith are semantically commensurable (in which case one still may be wrong but at least they speak the same language).

I appreciate this is isn't necessarily the bit you wanted to discuss but hey, as I said I'm rusty on that stuff, so you get a bit of a grab bag. These days I'm a music techie. i may do something on Popper v Kuhn and why I prefer Popper later.

(NB can't do posts like this very often these days because we are in last-two-weeks-of-term frenzy of grading etc and I am genuinely very busy, so apologies of its a while till my next reply).

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Old 06-24-2007, 06:55 PM   #21
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I stumbled across a lecture given by Alister McGrath in 2004 earlier today. I just finished reading it and found it very interesting. It is called Has Science Eliminated God: Richard Dawkins and the Meaning of Life". He is very generous in his praise of Dawkins as a scientist and a writer. About the answers he proposes to the "big" questions, McGrath has some reservations.

I recommend it to any of you who are interested in the subject. I am pretty certain you will enjoy it: http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/cis/...h/lecture.html

Edited to add:

ADT, thanks very much for your last response! If you happen to see this message, I want to assure you that I am not only not ignoring what you wrote about Kuhn but you inspired me to go back and read him again, as well as dig out my old philosophy notes-- as soon as I have digested this mess of data, I will write a proper response to your message.
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:04 PM   #22
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i may do something on Popper v Kuhn and why I prefer Popper later.
one good reason: Kuhn was dead wrong and these so-called paradigm shifts are entirely fictional.

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Old 06-24-2007, 07:06 PM   #23
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i may do something on Popper v Kuhn and why I prefer Popper later.
one good reason: Kuhn was dead wrong and these so-called paradigm shifts are entirely fictional.
This, on the other hand, is slightly less inspiring. :whistle:
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:32 PM   #24
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Lily posting in the Sciences section? Medieval literature is a lot more comprehesive than I thought.

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:33 PM   #25
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Lily posting in the Sciences section? Medieval literature is a lot more comprehesive than I thought.
No, it's just not getting milked enough in the threads it normally infests.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:03 AM   #26
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Nah, I'm game. Paradigm shifts (existence of) is a historical issue that bears on the topic of the thread. Lily's a historian. It's fair enough as far as I can see.

You could argue the case either way. You could claim that the citations index is unlikely to contain any papers that precipitate genuine paradigm shifts, for example, but I think given the way the sandpile model fits the data the onus is now on the Kuhnians to demonstrate that paradigm shifts actually exist (for people who don't know what I'm talking about go via the link on post 17). There might also, as I said, be some Godel type proof (e.g. demonstrating mathematically the possibility that semantically incommensurable theories can be abstracted from the same data set) that I am unaware of. Rhino knows about that stuff. Calling Rhino!

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Old 06-25-2007, 07:49 AM   #27
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"Should Science Speak To Faith?"
Yes, as it does to schizophrenia, TLE, or ANY other neurological disorder --- which makes the infected accept irrational concepts forming delusions as if they represented down to earth reality--developing a therapy to fight it. Christians ought to be thrown to the loony bin, specially those running the country.

Christians and other folks infected with delusional beliefs think and reason like schizophrenics or temporal lobe epileptics. Their morality is dictated by an invisible friend called Jesus.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:18 AM   #28
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Faith? Singular? It's a fallacious question. What exactly is science supposed to say to the erudite Roman Catholic? The Evangelical Baptist who believes in a young earth? The traditional Muslim who believes that the creator of the universe gave men license to beat their wives? The practioner of Voodoo who sincerely believes in demonic possession? What kind of cacophonous discussion would that be? Perhaps, the different members of the faith community ought to try speaking to each other first. You know, get their story straight.

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:31 AM   #29
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:40 AM   #30
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Fem-bot. Hmm... Is this supposed to be an example of science speaking to Faith Hill?

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