Sam Harris

Moderator: Brian

Re: Sam Harris

Postby 24HourNut » Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:24 pm

Brian wrote:
24HourNut wrote:I am sure there are many people who believe in organized religion that do good work, but that doesn't mean it isn't a negative or an obstacle enough times to warrant wishing it gone.


I'm certainly not saying that it's never an obstacle. What I'm saying is that science only conflicts with religion for a certain subset of people. Other people, though, incorporate religion (or at least, their perception of it) quite nicely into scientific inquiry. Einstein called physics an attempt to read the mind of God.

24HourNut wrote:People don't have to be consistent with their beliefs in order to properly identify religious delusion as a negative.


But if people aren't consistent with their beliefs, it's much less of a problem than Harris believes. If you can believe in an omnipotent creator of the universe, but still study the Big Bang, your religious beliefs almost become moot.


I disagree that science only conflicts with religion for a subset, if you want "conflict" to mean "negatively influenced by" and not just the typical or obvious conflict (which is what I was referring to). I don't want the head of scientific research, inquiry, or exploration to think like Sarah Palin - that the End of Times is coming as it should within his or her lifetime. I don't want stem cell research hindered because the person in charge thinks the cell clumps have souls. Whether it is studying the Big Bang or why humans behave the way they do, I don't want someone heading that study to believe a magical super daddy injected morals into people. Sure, there are situations where a mildly religious person is engaging in some meaningful scientific research as an assistant or something, so their child-like delusions are not getting in the way. But religion and all your beliefs do permeate your decisions, what you are willing to consider, what you want to consider, and believe. It influences everything, like a poison in your body so to speak. We don't need ignorant fools working on human sexuality projects that really think the Devil makes people gay and they will get punished after death.

Give the rational, mature scientists the grants and help. Not the ones who still think God doesn't want them to eat pork or have a beer. Please, there's already enough hindrance to progress ... we need to call out the moronic nature of organized religion and put an end to everything from senseless ignorance to senseless violence.
User avatar
24HourNut
Contributor
 
Posts: 751
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:39 pm

Re: Sam Harris

Postby Brian » Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:43 pm

24HourNut wrote:
Brian wrote:
24HourNut wrote:I am sure there are many people who believe in organized religion that do good work, but that doesn't mean it isn't a negative or an obstacle enough times to warrant wishing it gone.


I'm certainly not saying that it's never an obstacle. What I'm saying is that science only conflicts with religion for a certain subset of people. Other people, though, incorporate religion (or at least, their perception of it) quite nicely into scientific inquiry. Einstein called physics an attempt to read the mind of God.

24HourNut wrote:People don't have to be consistent with their beliefs in order to properly identify religious delusion as a negative.


But if people aren't consistent with their beliefs, it's much less of a problem than Harris believes. If you can believe in an omnipotent creator of the universe, but still study the Big Bang, your religious beliefs almost become moot.


I disagree that science only conflicts with religion for a subset, if you want "conflict" to mean "negatively influenced by" and not just the typical or obvious conflict (which is what I was referring to). I don't want the head of scientific research, inquiry, or exploration to think like Sarah Palin - that the End of Times is coming as it should within his or her lifetime. I don't want stem cell research hindered because the person in charge thinks the cell clumps have souls. Whether it is studying the Big Bang or why humans behave the way they do, I don't want someone heading that study to believe a magical super daddy injected morals into people. Sure, there are situations where a mildly religious person is engaging in some meaningful scientific research as an assistant or something, so their child-like delusions are not getting in the way. But religion and all your beliefs do permeate your decisions, what you are willing to consider, what you want to consider, and believe. It influences everything, like a poison in your body so to speak. We don't need ignorant fools working on human sexuality projects that really think the Devil makes people gay and they will get punished after death.


You might think that people who believe those things are idiots. In fact, I agree with you, in some sense. But a person's ability to think and do research isn't necessarily hindered by such ideas. I've shown you several examples. The fact that someone has crazy ideas (or at least ideas that we perceive to be crazy) doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what kind of scientist they are. Most scientists in the U.S. are some kind of theist, and yet civilization hasn't come to a screeching halt. Liking or not liking the for personal reasons has nothing to do with what kind of research they do.

The reason this kind of idea is so dangerous is that it's just another form of religious bigotry. People used to think that Catholics couldn't be good American citizens, because they were "loyal to the Pope". Harris and his ilk frighten me because they're just trying to usher in another kind of bigotry: "Theists can't possibly be good scientists because they have have supernatural beliefs." Well, here's a newsflash: Just because we can't perceive something doesn't mean it's not real.

Let me ask you this: What was Isaac Newton's opinion of black holes?
"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
User avatar
Brian
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:02 pm

Re: Sam Harris

Postby Millennium » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:30 pm

Brian wrote:
24HourNut wrote:
Brian wrote:
24HourNut wrote:I am sure there are many people who believe in organized religion that do good work, but that doesn't mean it isn't a negative or an obstacle enough times to warrant wishing it gone.


I'm certainly not saying that it's never an obstacle. What I'm saying is that science only conflicts with religion for a certain subset of people. Other people, though, incorporate religion (or at least, their perception of it) quite nicely into scientific inquiry. Einstein called physics an attempt to read the mind of God.

24HourNut wrote:People don't have to be consistent with their beliefs in order to properly identify religious delusion as a negative.


But if people aren't consistent with their beliefs, it's much less of a problem than Harris believes. If you can believe in an omnipotent creator of the universe, but still study the Big Bang, your religious beliefs almost become moot.


I disagree that science only conflicts with religion for a subset, if you want "conflict" to mean "negatively influenced by" and not just the typical or obvious conflict (which is what I was referring to). I don't want the head of scientific research, inquiry, or exploration to think like Sarah Palin - that the End of Times is coming as it should within his or her lifetime. I don't want stem cell research hindered because the person in charge thinks the cell clumps have souls. Whether it is studying the Big Bang or why humans behave the way they do, I don't want someone heading that study to believe a magical super daddy injected morals into people. Sure, there are situations where a mildly religious person is engaging in some meaningful scientific research as an assistant or something, so their child-like delusions are not getting in the way. But religion and all your beliefs do permeate your decisions, what you are willing to consider, what you want to consider, and believe. It influences everything, like a poison in your body so to speak. We don't need ignorant fools working on human sexuality projects that really think the Devil makes people gay and they will get punished after death.


You might think that people who believe those things are idiots. In fact, I agree with you, in some sense. But a person's ability to think and do research isn't necessarily hindered by such ideas. I've shown you several examples. The fact that someone has crazy ideas (or at least ideas that we perceive to be crazy) doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what kind of scientist they are. Most scientists in the U.S. are some kind of theist, and yet civilization hasn't come to a screeching halt. Liking or not liking the for personal reasons has nothing to do with what kind of research they do.

The reason this kind of idea is so dangerous is that it's just another form of religious bigotry. People used to think that Catholics couldn't be good American citizens, because they were "loyal to the Pope". Harris and his ilk frighten me because they're just trying to usher in another kind of bigotry: "Theists can't possibly be good scientists because they have have supernatural beliefs." Well, here's a newsflash: Just because we can't perceive something doesn't mean it's not real.

Let me ask you this: What was Isaac Newton's opinion of black holes?





another form of religious bigotry....sounds like Frank alright
Save America, IMPEACH OBAMA! And continue tossing out the deadbeat Democrats that are currently in office.
User avatar
Millennium
Contributor
 
Posts: 1221
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:11 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Sam Harris

Postby 24HourNut » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:54 pm

I believe your beliefs permeate and influence everything you do - it's your world view. It may not produce tangible manifestations in every experiment or decision, but overall, it effects the shape and direction of a vast majority. It has to, because your belief system is what guides you. When you pick what to fund, what to explore, what to set out confirming, proving, testing, or exploring ... your beliefs and perceptions shape that. I am not saying you can't be a great scientist and be religious, I am saying overall we would be better off if that poison was removed from the process to better enable progress and rational thought while chipping down all the negatives that have plagued us for a long time. Again, you can name specific examples where there seems to be no problem, but I am speaking in general. I believe much more would have been explored and understood by now if it wasn't for religion ... from burning those who dared speak of the Earth rotating around the Sun to what people did and did not fund in the past.
User avatar
24HourNut
Contributor
 
Posts: 751
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:39 pm

Previous

Return to Religion & Philosophy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron