Paul feyearabend and his take on the state of science

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  • #26
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I think it is very unfair to say that, to the point I would call it either extremely ignorant or the worst kind of historical revisionism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democritus

Religion has had, for the most part, a very negative impact on empirical science. Sciences historical origins are anti-religious as they question the current dogma of any given age.

How has religion itself had a negative impact on modern science any more slapstick comedy has helped hinder the progress of science? Perhaps people in positions of power like the Catholic Church during the middle ages use religion as a tool to keep people ignorant by condenmning and executing anyone who challenged biblical scripture; But any tool, religious or non-religious could have helped keep the masses helpless and stupid, if there was one person or a select group of people who had enough power to influence and control the masses. You know, The father of modern physics and one of the igniters of the Enlightenment era, Issac Newton , was a religious nutjob and devoted more studying the bible than studying science; Yet , his religious idiosyncrasies did not deter him from establishing classical physics and creating calculus ; Islamic texts during the middle ages inspired muslims to create and developed the modern branches of science we are all familar with and they established many scientific institutions. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_in_medieval_Islam )
 
  • #27
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How has religion itself had a negative impact on modern science any more slapstick comedy has helped hinder the progress of science?
Are you kidding? Religion is about divinely 'revealed' truth. It is the anti-thesis of empirical investigation. Slapstick doesn't make claims to truth that conflict with science. Its entertainment. If people treated religion as entertainment, the world would be a better place, I agree with that.
Perhaps people in positions of power like the Catholic Church during the middle ages use religion as a tool to keep people ignorant by condenmning and executing anyone who challenged biblical scripture;
Perhaps????
But any tool, religious or non-religious could have helped keep the masses helpless and stupid, if there was one person or a select group of people who had enough power to influence and control the masses.
But it wasn't any tool, it was religion. Religion was key to the suppression of knowledge in the European dark ages, and its key to suppression of knowledge in the middle east, africa, and other places, right now. Even in the United States, one of the most technological societies on the planet, science's biggest opponent is religion, and not just one religion.
You know, The father of modern physics and one of the igniters of the Enlightenment era, Issac Newton , was a religious nutjob and devoted more studying the bible than studying science;
Yes, indeed, when asked about the biggest accomplishment of his life, he said, chastity. Just think about what the man could have accomplished if he hadn't wasted so much time studying the bible. He was a genius inspite of his religious nutjob status.

Islamic texts during the middle ages inspired muslims to create and developed the modern branches of science we are all familar with and they established many scientific institutions. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_in_medieval_Islam )

And here are some quotes from that article...

Most notable Arab scientists and Iranian scientists lived and practiced during the Islamic Golden Age, though not all scientists in Islamic civilization were Arab or Muslim. Some argue that the term "Arab-Islamic" does not appreciate the rich diversity of eastern scholars who have contributed to science in that era.

As a result, the Islamic governments inherited the knowledge and skills of the ancient Middle East, of Greece, of Persia and of India

Muslim polymaths were known as "Hakeems" and they had a wide breadth of knowledge in many different fields of religious and secular learning, comparable to the later "Renaissance Men", such as Leonardo da Vinci, of the European Renaissance period. Polymath scholars were so common during the Islamic Golden Age that it was rare to find a scholar who specialized in any single field at the time

Religion was just a part of these societies. But it was the devotion to open secular learning that created progress, NOT the narrowminded memorizing of scripture which dominates the most backward societies, in all Ages.
 
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  • #28
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I think it is very unfair to say that, to the point I would call it either extremely ignorant or the worst kind of historical revisionism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democritus

Religion has had, for the most part, a very negative impact on empirical science. Science's historical origins are anti-religious, if anything, as they question the current dogma of any given age.

i would be willing to discuss this with you at length. Perhaps you can start by refuting the examples that I have given.

You appear to think that religion is ideologically monolithic. But in my opinion,the belief in God was not really questioned much until modern times. The real argument was between the dogmatists and the people who wanted to understand the hand of the creator in the universe. In my mind,science's historical origins are not anti-religious. They are anti-dogma.

By the way JoeDawg, I partake in this forum to have an informative and fruitful discussion, not to spout prejudice. I am an atheist personally and come from a family that includes several famous scientists all of whom are atheists. I try not to be uninformed and while I may not know very much and may make mistakes, I try not to make ignorant statements. And I prefer to have dialogue than to be insulted.
 
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  • #29
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But it wasn't any tool, it was religion. Religion was key to the suppression of knowledge in the European dark ages, and its key to suppression of knowledge in the middle east, africa, and other places, right now. Even in the United States, one of the most technological societies on the planet, science's biggest opponent is religion, and not just one religion.

No, science's biggest opponent is irrational ism and anti-intellecutalism, i.e. lack of curiosity to seek knowledge; There are many people who are religious but where more rational and knowledgeable, than t athiests; Being non-religious doesn't make you automatically more knowledgeable in science than a religious person ; You have to weigh in more key factors about whether the person wants to seek out scientific knowledge and whether they are open to new ideas and new knowledge than just whether that person is non-religious ; People were athiestic during stalin's reign of soviet russia, but they were all devoted to Soviet Union and Stalin

Perhaps???

Yes perhaps. It is obvious that the reason why that science was not able to advance during the dark ages and any country today that resembles medieval europe was suppression of freedom more than anything else. Religion itself cannot force people act irrationally and antagonistic towards science unless a powerful state is their to force people to take religious texts literary. The United states is a testimony to my claim. It has always been more religious than Europe has during the 20th and 19th centuries, but most of the technological advancements has occurred in the United states over the past two centuries; And low and behold, the US has historically , at least for certain demographics, has had more freedom the Europe;
 
  • #30
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i would be willing to discuss this with you at length. Perhaps you can start by refuting the examples that I have given.
I did, Democritus predates Plato, and Plutarch, and he had no such 'rational god', a phrase I find rather amusing considering the Judeo-christian god is anything but rational. Petty and vindictive, for sure, but rational?? That is historical revisionism.
You appear to think that religion is ideologically monolithic.
No, I just think the 'rational god' thing is nonsense. Gods are invariably wrathful and vain, and usually, and certainly in the major religions, represent aspects of human nature taken to an extreme. They do not represent a moderate rational view. Even the various love-gods were not rational. And the gods of Ancient Greece and Rome were anything but rational. On top of that, as I mentioned, it was quite common for those who didn't believe in gods to be the emprical sort. Plato may have advocated rational thought, but it was mostly based on his view that geometry implied a perfection to the universe. He then attributed this to gods. But geometry is a human thing. Nothing in nature is a perfect circle.

But in my opinion,the belief in God was not really questioned much until modern times.
One of the things that Socrates was accused of was atheism. He was put to death.
Gee, I wonder why more people didn't admit to being atheists.
Not a lot of homosexuals until modern times either, I guess.
This sort of persecution continued throughout history, and is generally not conducive to public expressions of lack of belief in the supernatural.
The real argument was between the dogmatists and the people who wanted to understand the hand of the creator in the universe. In my mind,science's historical origins are not anti-religious. They are anti-dogma.
Religion is about revealed truth. The truth of what was on Moses tablets, the truth of the Qur'an, the truth of what Jesus said. From the beginning, even in the east, religions have been about a small number of people telling everyone else how to live. Its about control and being part of the tribe of belief. This is why we have a word like 'heresy', and where the hindu caste system comes from. Even within religions truth is mandated, not discovered. You may want to separate religion and dogma, but history shows this is not the case, and was never so.
And I prefer to have dialogue than to be insulted.

And as an atheist, I find your equivocation of being rational with believing in the supernatural quite insulting.
 
  • #31
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People were athiestic during stalin's reign of soviet russia, but they were all devoted to Soviet Union and Stalin

Stalin was an advocate of communism and used state atheism as a way of stamping out the church's power. There are plenty of religious people in the Soviet Union. It was just dangerous to say so, much like it has been for atheists for thousands of years.

And while that might not technically invoke Godwin's law, close enough for me. Sigh.
 
  • #32
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I did, Democritus predates Plato, and Plutarch, and he had no such 'rational god', a phrase I find rather amusing considering the Judeo-christian god is anything but rational. Petty and vindictive, for sure, but rational?? That is historical revisionism.

No, I just think the 'rational god' thing is nonsense. Gods are invariably wrathful and vain, and usually, and certainly in the major religions, represent aspects of human nature taken to an extreme. They do not represent a moderate rational view. Even the various love-gods were not rational. And the gods of Ancient Greece and Rome were anything but rational. On top of that, as I mentioned, it was quite common for those who didn't believe in gods to be the emprical sort. Plato may have advocated rational thought, but it was mostly based on his view that geometry implied a perfection to the universe. He then attributed this to gods. But geometry is a human thing. Nothing in nature is a perfect circle.


One of the things that Socrates was accused of was atheism. He was put to death.
Gee, I wonder why more people didn't admit to being atheists.
Not a lot of homosexuals until modern times either, I guess.
This sort of persecution continued throughout history, and is generally not conducive to public expressions of lack of belief in the supernatural.

Religion is about revealed truth. The truth of what was on Moses tablets, the truth of the Qur'an, the truth of what Jesus said. From the beginning, even in the east, religions have been about a small number of people telling everyone else how to live. Its about control and being part of the tribe of belief. This is why we have a word like 'heresy', and where the hindu caste system comes from. Even within religions truth is mandated, not discovered. You may want to separate religion and dogma, but history shows this is not the case, and was never so.


And as an atheist, I find your equivocation of being rational with believing in the supernatural quite insulting.

fine. have it your way. there is no more to discuss.
 

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