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Science is not religion.... but why not make it one?
06-30-2013, 12:04 PM (This post was last modified: 06-30-2013 12:16 PM by StarStuff.)
Post: #1
Science is not religion.... but why not make it one?
There is an idea I've been kicking around lately: what if we were to take religion, remove the supernatural elements and replace them with science, but keep the rest?

Here's what I mean:

Imagine a world where, every evening before dinner, families bow their heads and take a moment to give thanks to the cosmos and the laws of nature that allowed the arisal of the self-replicating process known as life. To remember the millions of generations of ancestors who struggled to survive and reproduce and in doing so allowed us to exist today. To pay tribute to the great scientists who have been able to grant us an understanding of where we truly are in the universe.

Imagine a world where, every saturday or sunday, people would put on their nicest clothes and get together to hear scientists discuss our place in the universe, and the importance of loving each other and protecting the fragile world on which we live. Perhaps they might also read sections of the writings of great scientists.

We could even keep certain social rituals, such as weddings, coming-of-age ceremonies, and so on. Belief in the supernatural is not in any way necessary to gather together and celebrate life's milestones.

I think this sounds like it would be a wonderful world to live in. And I think the framework already exists within our society and within our psychology.

No single step in the search for enlightenment should ever be considered sacred; only the search should.
-Ann Druyan
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06-30-2013, 01:38 PM (This post was last modified: 06-30-2013 01:40 PM by Yefet.)
Post: #2
RE: Science is not religion.... but why not make it one?
That is for the most part Hassdic Kabbalah except the cosmos and the laws of nature we call Hashem
nothing supernatural about it
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06-30-2013, 01:46 PM
Post: #3
RE: Science is not religion.... but why not make it one?
Interesting. I don't really know much about Kabbalah at all; got a link where I can read more about it?

No single step in the search for enlightenment should ever be considered sacred; only the search should.
-Ann Druyan
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06-30-2013, 11:55 PM
Post: #4
RE: Science is not religion.... but why not make it one?
(06-30-2013 12:04 PM)StarStuff Wrote:  There is an idea I've been kicking around lately: what if we were to take religion, remove the supernatural elements and replace them with science, but keep the rest?

Here's what I mean:

Imagine a world where, every evening before dinner, families bow their heads and take a moment to give thanks to the cosmos and the laws of nature that allowed the arisal of the self-replicating process known as life. To remember the millions of generations of ancestors who struggled to survive and reproduce and in doing so allowed us to exist today. To pay tribute to the great scientists who have been able to grant us an understanding of where we truly are in the universe.

Imagine a world where, every saturday or sunday, people would put on their nicest clothes and get together to hear scientists discuss our place in the universe, and the importance of loving each other and protecting the fragile world on which we live. Perhaps they might also read sections of the writings of great scientists.

We could even keep certain social rituals, such as weddings, coming-of-age ceremonies, and so on. Belief in the supernatural is not in any way necessary to gather together and celebrate life's milestones.

I think this sounds like it would be a wonderful world to live in. And I think the framework already exists within our society and within our psychology.

You don't like Super Natural stuff do you Star?

Sorry in advance for the long rant, once again I drank too much coffee.

I will step outside of my Theological beliefs for a moment and present you with my own logic,
I think people tend to search for a higher purpose or some thing to serve or a higher power to govern their lives whether this be Science, Religion, Art, or any thing else I feel people search for a meaning and a purpose and desire that there be a higher meaning or purpose in their life. As Above so Below an Alchemist Philosopher might say.
I feel that people need a higher purpose and to me it doesn't matter what fills that part of their life because once it's filled they achieve happiness it might not be perfect everlasting happiness but for the most part once they have purpose they become happy. I think when people lose their purpose or if they become disillusioned with their current higher purpose, they then become depressed. I believe that Logic is what fills that sense of purpose for those who do not believe based upon Faith or Intuition. I believe that Intuition and Faith are an important part of the human mind and I don't think we really understand it quite yet. The human mind can be as creative as it can logical. Logic is but one side of the human mind. The most powerful tool a person has at their finger tips is their mind. There are many who are content and happy living with a belief based upon Faith and Intuition would you destroy that and their happiness if you could?
Now I do not feel Logic takes precedence in my life because I hold Faith, and strongly believe what I believe to be truth, it can be said that proving God exists is impossible that much I will admit it is also impossible to prove she does not exist. Never the less I believe that God created the Natural Universe as it functions and Scientist are merely discovering how she designed it to function, I do not take scripture literally and also do not take it as perfect, yet I also believe that the human mind is limited to what it can perceive of our universe therefore, I do not believe Logic can be flawless either for at first men perceived flat ground and believe the Earth to be flat when in time it was proven to be round. In a similar manner I say we are limited to 5 senses ,6 if you are like me and chose to believe in things like that, and those senses only have a limited ability to take in information from our environment, our logic is thus formed based upon experience and what we can perceive through them. Just as a lens in a microscope usually has a set range it can magnify to our senses are tuned to a set range. I believe there is much in our universe that may be beyond human understanding and perhaps one core instinct in our nature is to seek understanding, I personally believe that our nature was designed by God with the purpose of improving our selves as individuals and as a group.

You present a world in which ideas of the super natural are not present, it depends first on what a person feels is super natural or some times called Unnatural. I think all things are a Natural part of our universe even the unexplained things, I believe there is a spiritual aspect of our universe that can't be seen, a part of it flowing with energy, I do not believe we are merely a empty shell and brain that dies with death, I believe this energy flows in our universe and we are all a part of it. Superstition about unexplained things does often run rampant, but I have seen unexplained things which support my beliefs.

May Love and peace be with you Always.

"Hidden underneath the stoned cold surface of every Pious Person lays buried a Kinky Pervert, Stop bringing shovels, Where not digging!"-Azrael
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07-01-2013, 12:53 AM
Post: #5
RE: Science is not religion.... but why not make it one?
(06-30-2013 12:04 PM)StarStuff Wrote:  There is an idea I've been kicking around lately: what if we were to take religion, remove the supernatural elements and replace them with science, but keep the rest?

Here's what I mean:

Imagine a world where, every evening before dinner, families bow their heads and take a moment to give thanks to the cosmos and the laws of nature that allowed the arisal of the self-replicating process known as life. To remember the millions of generations of ancestors who struggled to survive and reproduce and in doing so allowed us to exist today. To pay tribute to the great scientists who have been able to grant us an understanding of where we truly are in the universe.

Imagine a world where, every saturday or sunday, people would put on their nicest clothes and get together to hear scientists discuss our place in the universe, and the importance of loving each other and protecting the fragile world on which we live. Perhaps they might also read sections of the writings of great scientists.

We could even keep certain social rituals, such as weddings, coming-of-age ceremonies, and so on. Belief in the supernatural is not in any way necessary to gather together and celebrate life's milestones.

I think this sounds like it would be a wonderful world to live in. And I think the framework already exists within our society and within our psychology.

It's a wondrous idea, definitely.

I too have wondered about a scientific irreligious society that nevertheless maintained a degree of respect that amounted to sacredness for things which today are seen as aspects of science.

Imagine cathedrals for science! The day when telescopes and microscopes become sacramental objects for the purpose of obtaining an increase in comprehension! The day when scientists will be heeded as prophets of truth, not through revelation but through observation.

We will have as our scriptures the Epic of Evolution. We will celebrate our history and advances, and advocate peaceful living. We will not worship a deity, but be grateful for existence itself.

Even though I am a Theist, I think that if in the end Theism goes extinct and turns out false and forgotten, it would be lovely if mankind still filled the spiritual void left with reverence for the cosmos and every-day life and learning, without need for fantasy either.
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07-01-2013, 10:53 AM
Post: #6
RE: Science is not religion.... but why not make it one?
I doubt that such a thing will happen. An example from recent times of an attempt to start a "scientific" or "rationalist" movement is the 'LessWrong' community started by Eliezer Yudkowsky. However this community ended up believing things that became very similar to a form of theism, with a "Friendly AI" machine God. (I can elaborate on this phenomenon if anyone is interested.) So I think even if all theistic religions were to be swept away by the tide of popular atheism, new cults would arise, and grow into religions that could be very similar to the ones we have today.
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07-01-2013, 04:54 PM
Post: #7
RE: Science is not religion.... but why not make it one?
(07-01-2013 10:53 AM)rocketboy9000 Wrote:  I doubt that such a thing will happen. An example from recent times of an attempt to start a "scientific" or "rationalist" movement is the 'LessWrong' community started by Eliezer Yudkowsky. However this community ended up believing things that became very similar to a form of theism, with a "Friendly AI" machine God. (I can elaborate on this phenomenon if anyone is interested.) So I think even if all theistic religions were to be swept away by the tide of popular atheism, new cults would arise, and grow into religions that could be very similar to the ones we have today.


I think it's more the case that LessWrong created an AI demon because they are extremely concerned about our ability to produce AI that isn't an existential threat. That said, I agree that their attitudes toward that topic are extremely parochial and that ultimately turned me off from the site as well.
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07-01-2013, 06:40 PM
Post: #8
RE: Science is not religion.... but why not make it one?
(07-01-2013 10:53 AM)rocketboy9000 Wrote:  I doubt that such a thing will happen. An example from recent times of an attempt to start a "scientific" or "rationalist" movement is the 'LessWrong' community started by Eliezer Yudkowsky. However this community ended up believing things that became very similar to a form of theism, with a "Friendly AI" machine God. (I can elaborate on this phenomenon if anyone is interested.) So I think even if all theistic religions were to be swept away by the tide of popular atheism, new cults would arise, and grow into religions that could be very similar to the ones we have today.

I think I would like to hear about this. Never heard of "LessWrong" before.
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07-02-2013, 02:24 AM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2013 02:26 AM by rocketboy9000.)
Post: #9
RE: Science is not religion.... but why not make it one?
Essentially, the LessWrong community is based upon the "Sequences", a group of very long (9MB total) series of blog posts written by Eliezer Yudkowsky, which form the basis of their system of thought, a form of rationalist materialism. Highlights (e.g. major things I disagree with) are: The assumption that the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is literally true; the belief that worlds and minds can be perfectly simulated by computers; the belief that two entities that cannot contact each other can still interact by simulating each other; the belief that an A.I. can grow its computing power infinitely by absorbing more hardware, and that this somehow magically leads to a mind, and a type of mind that we can actually comprehend; finally, the belief that suffering can be numbered and summed and mulitplied, and that utilitarianism is the right way to think about morality.
Yudkowsky and his disciples believe that creating any type of advanced AI has the potential to annihilate the human race. He therefore advocates his own "Machine Intelligence Research Institute" (formerly the "Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence") to create "Friendly AI" that he claims can be proven mathematically to be safe. This "Institute" has yet to release anything of scientific merit AFAIK, and prefers to dabble in various branches of philosophy and futurology.
Like many religions, (let's not name any names), the founder is a weak link. Yudkowsky has no actual credentials or formal training in AI or computer science. I have never seen any software written by him. Actual AI researchers surveyed disagreed with his ideas.
(damn, I can't find my sources, I'll edit this later).
Anyway, this led to a certain user named "Roko" posting a theory about friendly AI which amounts to saying that in order to bring about some great moral good in the past, a Friendly AI using utilitarianism might torture simulations of people who didn't help enough to bring about that good, in order to influence the originals by the fact that they cannot know whether thay are the simulation. Which amounts to Pascal's wager, since we can't know what great moral good the Friendly AI wants. (Eliezer of course, would say that donating to his "Institute" is the great moral good...)
So we circle back and it is now a theistic religion.
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09-09-2013, 03:31 PM
Post: #10
RE: Science is not religion.... but why not make it one?
The way I've always heard it is science is men thinking God's thoughts after Him. So, in a real sense, science is religion... Christianity, of course. A few examples-
A 'round' earth. Science once taught (about 500 years ago and for who knows how long before that time) that the earth was flat. Today, science has accepted what the Bible teaches about the earth being 'round'. This is something science has 'accepted' far more than most realize.
Veggies. Science tells us they are better for us than meat. The Bible (Daniel) told us that thousands of years ago. As is the usual science has finally agreed. Imagine that?
Medicine. The Bible tells us that plants have medical value in healing our bodies. Science used to 'bleed' people to cure them- it killed most. Today, science accepts the Bible's teachings. And so it goes on and on.

So, yes, science is man thinking God's thoughts after Him, clearly. But the sad part is we wait and suffer and die and spend needlessly instead of simply reading the Bible to start with to see what it says and accepting it first. Why do we (men, scientists especially) do such dumb things? With all that we have learned from and now accept as facts from the Bible why do we not look there first?
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