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Discussion in 'Quackenbush's' started by libertytxn, Jul 3, 2012.
Penn said something like atheism being a belief system is like not collecting stamps is a hobby.
I find religion to be perhaps the biggest component of intentional ignorance of physical and natural phenomena. The "Law written upon your heart" is included in that.
when men were ignorant of causes and course of almost all natural phenomena he came up with explanations that made sense given what little he did know. What we now call religion was used to fill in the gaps. How did we get here? How did the earth form? Etc.
These guesses became entrenched and priesthoods formed to watch over the sacred and to insure everyone understood. They came to have considerable power and protected it as well as the "truths" that constiuted the collective wisdom.
As observation and science chipped away at the supernatural explanations they accomodated and so now you have anthropology being conducted and taught at religious universities. Etc.
Most of the religious no longer believe literally in the old "truths," understanding that they were parables attempting to make sense of the universe.
New truths are popping up like crazy and religion of the old kind recedes.
But please note that there are many of the old questions that remain unanswered or only partly answered. What was before the Big Bang, for example? And did somebody light that fire? Who came before God if there was/is one.
The big question for me is whethere there are some things that are unanswerable or merely not answered of yet.
Relgion remains the realm of the unanswered.
Reason and Intelligence are social constructs. Most things are not subject to their limited capabilities.
The other day I was watching some butterflies flitting around in the yard and thinking about what i know of how they got that way. What we know about them is a lot more than they know of themselves or are capable of knowing of themselves.
But I will never be able to understand how they decide which flower to light on next. I can guess and be wrong almost all the time. It is unknowable. I suspect the answers to most of what we consider ultimate questions is likewise unknowable. That would be the realm of what we call God, another social construction.
Reason and intelligence are constructs?
Why even waste breath (or keystrokes) trying to make an argument, or an assertion of any type, if there is no basis for making arguments or assertions in the first place?
I mean, seriously, you just said that reason has no objective or natural value, and then you tried to justify that assertion by using reason. You tried to make the argument that "X isn't true by virtue of the fact that X is true".
because trying to use reason and intelligence, constructs though they may be, is better than sitting in the corner drooling?
If I use reason, limited though it may be, I can get past some points but not others. Probably.
Everything we know is subject to alteration later as we learn more according to our lights.
God made rainbows to tell us about his future practices re floods. That was a good enough use of intelligence at one time. And it satisfied the smartest guys in the tribe. Then some other smart guys started playing around with the concept of optics and came up with other explanations.
Do we know all there is to know about optical effects? No, most definitely not. It is probable we know almost nothing about optics. Our intelligence will allow us to advance so far and then it stops until how we conceive of intelligence and reason change and allow us to kick the can further down the road. Whether we are on the right road or one that leads anywhere is another proble
Using my intelligence and reason suggests I should flee the coast when hurricanes come up. Assuming that avoiding drowning is a good use of intelligence. It might not be, depending on how you look at it. A catastrophic flood might be better in the long run than my surviving it, though in the socially constructed use of reason available to me it would seem not.
Reason and intelligence are tools that are more or less useful depending on what point in time they are being used. And what is reasonable is determined by what we believe about what has been learned. At a given time.
And Coel, I did not say there was no basis for making determinations, I said they were social constructions.
You work with what you have; you dance with who brung you, or in the words of Donald Rumsfeld, you don't go to war with the army you wish you had but with the one on hand.
Excellent. I don't have time to respond at length right now and Plato and the Sophists went over this territory at some length a couple thousand years ago ( "the ideal situation" and "more ideal situation" have such a nice pedigree, no?) but this was one of the most enjoyable posts I've ever read. Thank you.
Please note that I edited my original post and took out the reference to Protagorus; it has been a long time since I read the dialogues and I am thinking it was one of the others where they hashed out means of knowing. It was the only one where I thought the Socrates character got pinned. Or couldn't stand his ground, depening on how you look at it.