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Old 03-31-2012, 05:31 AM   #26
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Yes, believing that I'm right and other people are wrong on an issue is totally the same as invading Poland.

Pretty much very ideology attempts to convince people that it is true, every belief system, world view, philosophy, etc. The beliefs of scientific materialism are no more forcing themselves on others than utilitarianism is forcing folks to be happy.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:30 AM   #27
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Science of the modern sort has great explanatory power for many things, but not everything. I see that every day of my working life.

Accusing it of "intellectual fascism" seems akin to the scene in Monty Python's Holy Grail in which the peasant who doesn't like what Arthur is saying screams, "help, help -- I'm being oppressed."
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:43 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Diana Hignutt View Post
What's wrong with us all believing what we like?
Nothing, unless what you like to believe is that those who don't believe what you do should be suppressed, coerced, shamed, or otherwise forced into believing as you do, or at least behaving as though they did. Which is a major tenet of a significant and vocal fraction of the American religious right.

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And, my question for those who accept the precepts of Scientific Materialism...you do wish everyone believed as you do, don't you?
No. I just wish to be left alone. No "scientific materialist" I know of is out knocking on doors to pass out literature, or proselytizing on TV and asking for faith-based donations to further their work.

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Why is this a problem?
The very use of the term "scientific materialism" is a pejorative attempt to turn the concepts of science into a "religion", for the very purpose of making the argument that any other "religious" belief system is equivalent. Which is the argument Creationists have made for decades in their effort to get their particular religious beliefs taught as "science" in public school classrooms. I don't accept that argument. I've never heard any scientist refer to him- or herself as a "scientific materialist." I'm a scientist by profession, and I certainly don't apply that ridiculous term to what I do. It's a derivative of the equally pejorative term "secular humanist", also invented and used as an epithet by the religiously-motivated political right.

Beyond that, I don't care what you choose to believe, as long as I'm not forced to conform to those same beliefs.

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Old 03-31-2012, 02:48 PM   #29
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To be honest, I think the issue here is not 'science' or even 'religion' but rather the extremes of both. I think if you have an extreme view on one pole of an argument there will inevitably be an opposite and equal faction on the other pole who feel they have to use the same methods to get their point across. This is because we, as humans, are contentious and vicious bastards who love a good scrap....

So, the rise in extreme scientific thought has, I think, come about because of the recent rise in religious fundamentalism - the sort of stupid 'I beleive only what the Bible says is literally true even though that sort of belief has not been predominant since the middle ages and it was the founders of your protestant religion who campaigned to do away with such nonsense centuries ago'. Basically, the religious right in America pull out the big guns with respect to abortion, contraception, women's rights and creationism (sorry, Intelligent Design... can't use the wrong term there...) and the atheist scientists feel that they have to pull out even bigger guns to contest it.

This is why I (and a lot of people I know) are not keen on Dawkins because sometimes his writing comes across as dogmatic as any right wing Christian. I personally have a lot more respect for Prof. Ian Stewart* because he has a more moderate approach.

With respect to the growing extremism in religion, I was actually alarmed recently when a friend (himself a Christian) told me that the current Pope had apparently overturned 'the Vatican Compromise' which was the Catholic acceptance of Darwinian Evolution as 'a tool god used to create all living things'. It was a nice piece of Real Politik, IMO, which allowed the Catholics to get on with beleiving that god created the universe and all in it while tacitally accepting that the things science occasionally babbles on about are also true. I also think the majority of Christians are of a similar mind - accept that science is 'the way god does stuff' and leave it at that, mesh the two worldviews into one neat package.

I therefore hope that my friend is wrong in this (I've not seen any evidence to say he is right, but then I haven't had a chance to look yet...) because it is a disturbing trend. Thankfully the extremes still seem to be on the fringes and a minority (though an increasingly vocal one on both sides...)

* He is one of the two** science brains behind the Science of Discworld and is a professor of Mathematics at Warwick Uni. In the Science of Discworld there is an amusing alt reality where Evolution never gets popular and Richard Dawkins is a Churchman. I suspect it is a dig at him...

** The other one is Jack Cohen who was a professor at my old University - Birmingham
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:33 PM   #30
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I'm a bit concerned that there's a blurring here between science and atheism.

Science is a process for discerning the underlying causes and mechanisms of repeatable phenomena (see my first post).

Atheism is either a rejection of or simply nonacceptance of the idea of gods (sometimes extended to nonacceptance of non theistic religions, but that's splitting hairs). This often leads to materialism which is the idea that the only things that exist are in the material world.

The OP here blended the two concepts into scientific materialism.

Science does not depend on materialsm. Repeatable external spiritual phenomena could be as accessible to the scientific method as any material phenomenon.

There is a strong overlap between scientists and atheists but it is certainly not 100% on either side.

If we look at the two most famous atheists of our time: Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens the former is a scientist, the latter was a writer and journalist.

If you listen to either of them speak, they're both very materialist, but at the same time both are/ were strongly moved by and open to the same mental phenomena that are often associated with a more spiritual mindset. Hitchens often objected to the idea that an atheist is cut off from the numinous.

The fight between religion and science these days was, bluntly, started on the religious side (not all religions, just some sects of some religioins) with an insistence on inerrancy in sources, and a demand that whatever is discerned about the world must fit the teachings they wanted given.

Most scientists were and are content to do their work trying to understand the universe. They only started producing combatants like Dawkins because they were being attacked.

Francis Collins who was head of the Human Genome project and is now head of the NIH is a geneticist and evangelical christian.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins
He is not mentioned much by the religion side of this argument because he doesn't fit the image of the evil scientist trying to destroy the works of God.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:31 PM   #31
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True, there is a distinction but I don't think the OP was so much against atheists as she was against scientists. So, it is scientists who are scientists first and atheists second rather than people who are atheists first...

Of course, what annoys me are those people who feel capable of commenting on 'science' without truly knowing what it is. These people are on both sides of the fence...
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:55 PM   #32
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This is why I (and a lot of people I know) are not keen on Dawkins because sometimes his writing comes across as dogmatic as any right wing Christian. I personally have a lot more respect for Prof. Ian Stewart* because he has a more moderate approach.

You know, I'm not a huge fan of Dawkins; he can be a jerk, and he has blind spots. But people like Dawkins and Hitchens who mouthily proclaim atheism as true and say religious believers are idiots are necessary. They are also in no way equivalent to religious believers who say atheists are ungodly sinners who aren't be trusted and shouldn't hold public office. An atheist bad-mouthing the religious can hurt a few fee-fees, just like "scientific materialists" who say woo and psychics and aliens and vibrating dimensions and homeopathy is nonsense, but they aren't trying to deprive anyone of their rights.

So, yeah, Dawkins is "as dogmatic as any right wing Christian," but not nearly as dangerous. Also, his views are correct and the right wing Christian's aren't.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:28 PM   #33
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You know, I'm not a huge fan of Dawkins; he can be a jerk, and he has blind spots. But people like Dawkins and Hitchens who mouthily proclaim atheism as true and say religious believers are idiots are necessary. They are also in no way equivalent to religious believers who say atheists are ungodly sinners who aren't be trusted and shouldn't hold public office. An atheist bad-mouthing the religious can hurt a few fee-fees, just like "scientific materialists" who say woo and psychics and aliens and vibrating dimensions and homeopathy is nonsense, but they aren't trying to deprive anyone of their rights.

So, yeah, Dawkins is "as dogmatic as any right wing Christian," but not nearly as dangerous. Also, his views are correct and the right wing Christian's aren't.
I'm ambivalent on Dawkins and Hitchens. While their vocal qualities and willingness to challenge any one to a debate on the merits was and is invaluable they both have some problematic blind spots.

Hitchens' conception of what religion is was so strongly based on the kind of Christianity that is belief based that he dismissed any other conception of religion. In one of the debates I posted a link to one of the other side was a liberal (female) British Rabbi, who was talking about the core of her religion being observance not belief. As someone brought up Jewish I understood what she was talking about, but Hitchens asserted that the only thing religion could be was taking the Bible literally as a matter of belief.

Dawkins sometimes undertakes the least practical areas of attack. He was on Up with Chris Hayes last week with a number of other non-believers and he proposed that one should argue against the irrationality of transubstantiation. From a purely pedantic modern scientific meaning of substance he was accurate (in that if one examined the host and the wine one would not find human muscle and blood cells), but it's not a line of attack likely to convince anyone and it made him sound like a crank. He's far stronger talking about the beauty of the scientific world view and the strong evidence for evolution.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:43 PM   #34
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I'm ambivalent on Dawkins and Hitchens. While their vocal qualities and willingness to challenge any one to a debate on the merits was and is invaluable they both have some problematic blind spots.

Hitchens' conception of what religion is was so strongly based on the kind of Christianity that is belief based that he dismissed any other conception of religion. In one of the debates I posted a link to one of the other side was a liberal (female) British Rabbi, who was talking about the core of her religion being observance not belief. As someone brought up Jewish I understood what she was talking about, but Hitchens asserted that the only thing religion could be was taking the Bible literally as a matter of belief.

Dawkins sometimes undertakes the least practical areas of attack. He was on Up with Chris Hayes last week with a number of other non-believers and he proposed that one should argue against the irrationality of transubstantiation. From a purely pedantic modern scientific meaning of substance he was accurate (in that if one examined the host and the wine one would not find human muscle and blood cells), but it's not a line of attack likely to convince anyone and it made him sound like a crank. He's far stronger talking about the beauty of the scientific world view and the strong evidence for evolution.
I think this is the issue... and while I agree to a certain extent with Amadan that they are not so dangerous as the extreme Christians, I still contend that the existence of said christians is what has caused them to exist. Dangerous or not, they are still dogmatic and they have been forced to be dogmatic to oppose what they perceive as a threat. My personal opinion is that I do not think it is necessarily the right approach to take. Unless someone is actively doing harm to themselves or others, I see no need to tell someone that their long held beleifs are wrong. Either they will see the evidence and come to that conclusion on their own or they will not. I actually don't care which so long as they also leave me alone.

There is a certain element of 'comparing apples to oranges' arguing here. Theological and scientific debate are actually two very different things. The examples here are typical and it works both ways. The arguments against evolution I have seen have been ludicrous* and you can poke holes in ID theory really easily. Both failures to argue effectively IMO stem from one side trying to make a theological argument against a scientfic issue and the other trying to make a scientific argument against a religious issue.

*Opponents of evolution claim that 'it is only a theory therefore they haven't proven it yet' without really understanding what a 'theory' is and mistaking it for an hypothesis. The actual state of evolution research is not whether it actually happens or not. We have very strong evidence that it does which has been supported and reinforced for more than a century. The issue now is the exact mechanisms and the controversy that Darwin was actually wrong about the time scales involved (recent work has shown some cases of evolution can happen a lot quicker than he beleived...). However, opponents insist on fighting the 'does it happen or not' battle.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:10 PM   #35
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Unless someone is actively doing harm to themselves or others, I see no need to tell someone that their long held beleifs are wrong. Either they will see the evidence and come to that conclusion on their own or they will not. I actually don't care which so long as they also leave me alone.
If they kept their beliefs to themselves, that would be fine. But they don't. Many of them actively proselytize. Others oppose beliefs that conflict with theirs (like science).

If someone believes in their own head that Queen Elizabeth is a reptoid, fine, whatever. As soon as they put that idea out there in public, they are inviting engagement.

And many of these beliefs are harmful. Religious opposition to civil rights. Anti-vaccinationism. The opposition to evolution isn't just some academic debate that doesn't really matter; it's a big reason why the U.S. has lower standards of scientific education than much of the world today, because schools have to plan their books and curricula around a small, vocal minority of people who will scream loudly if anything is taught that conflicts with their religious views. This is even worse in the case of sex education.

Quote:
There is a certain element of 'comparing apples to oranges' arguing here. Theological and scientific debate are actually two very different things. The examples here are typical and it works both ways. The arguments against evolution I have seen have been ludicrous* and you can poke holes in ID theory really easily. Both failures to argue effectively IMO stem from one side trying to make a theological argument against a scientfic issue and the other trying to make a scientific argument against a religious issue.
I'm less interested in debating religious questions like "Does God exist?" or "Is there an afterlife?" than "Does God love America best?" or "Are homosexuals going to burn in hell?" The first two are interesting but largely academic questions; the second have material impact on our lives.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:42 AM   #36
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The deepest problem involved in any such discussion is for what purpose the people are speaking.

The evangelical motivation is to convey an understanding that hopefully the people one is talking to will take up. In general the religious side of these arguments have evangelical motivations.

This is also one half of the motivation in teaching anything. In theory the scientific side is trying to do this as well.

There is also the expression of personal opinion which sometimes wishes to be taken up and sometimes is simply that, an expression of opinion.

The distinction comes in how challenges are treated by the person speaking.

The evangelical usually uses what amounts to a self-referential argument, arguing from authority with claims of infallibility to the authority.

The scientific approach has recourse to testing against reality by experiment and observation. In such a method finding a discrepancy with reality can lead to the need to change or abandon a theory.

The opinion approach resembles the evangelical assuming an attempt is being made to persuade, otherwise the statement as statement of opinion stands on its own and is taken or left for what it is.

People arguing from science who do not understand it well often talk evangelically.

People arguing from science who do understand it well, tend to challenge statements on the basis of testing against reality and take small discrepancies or oddities of claims as disproof of theories ( hence Dawkins' transubstantiation comment).

None of these methods works against people unwilling to accept them. Argument from authority has no interest in experiment or opinion.

Experiment has no interest in authority and opinion.

Opinion varies based on the opiner.

Because of this impossible argument situation things are being decided not by disputation, but by legislation. Which, in a Republic is a matter of opinion.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:34 AM   #37
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Like others have mentioned, I don't think scientific materialism is fascistic. Also, I'm not sure what most peoples definition of fascism is; it seems to mean "the thing I really, really hate" for most people. Further expounding on my thoughts, I honestly don't care what people believe or don't believe. Believing in something doesn't make you a bad person; doing bad things makes someone a bad person. If someone thinks that the moon landing was faked, that *insert racial group* are evil, or that the New World Order runs the world, good for them. As long as they don't force their opinions on people, I don't care. (I could go on about what constitutes good and evil, but even I don't care about my thoughts on it.)

As for Hitchens and Dawkins, I think they're both assholes. Hitchens held political beliefs that I found abhorrent, and if he said half the things about Judaism as I've heard, then I don't want to get within a hundred miles of his grave. He's still better then Dawkins etiquette-wise, though. For example, he seems to think the question of whether Hitler was evil or not is difficult:

Quote:
“Yes, absolutely fascinating.” His response was immediate. “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question. But whatever [defines morality], it’s not the Bible. If it was, we’d be stoning people for breaking the Sabbath.”

http://byfaithonline.com/page/in-the...ist-evangelist
And he's made many more statements that are as equally charming.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:28 AM   #38
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Maybe we should start by pointing out that the most vocal users of the term "scientific materialism" tend to be televangelists in 1000-dollar Armani suits and 200-dollar haircuts. The lead such guy in my hometown (Anchorage, Alaska), a Dr. (and don't they love to use that prefix) Jerry Prevo, is now talking about spending a gazoogle of money to erect the world's tallest cross on the property occupied, and exempt from taxation, by his immense church, by far the largest in town, and his private church school, and his broadcasting facilities and offices and other ancillary facilities.

Rather than using those funds to help poor and homeless people, or for any number of other admirable efforts. This (epithet deleted) puts on an opulent display of Christmas lights every year, which has drawn any number of complaints from neighboring residents, which are always ignored. He's also the leading light in opposition to a gay rights ordinance currently on the ballot for the upcoming city election, among various other niceties. But, dang, he sure does wear a nice suit in them televised Sunday sermons. And he commands enough money to bring Kent Hovind, the leading light of Creationist 6,000-year Earth history up north every now and then for a week of exhortation about humans living alongside dinosaurs and how the Flood created the Grand Canyon.

Yeah. Scientific "materialism" indeed.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:48 PM   #39
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Like others have mentioned, I don't think scientific materialism is fascistic. Also, I'm not sure what most peoples definition of fascism is; it seems to mean "the thing I really, really hate" for most people. Further expounding on my thoughts, I honestly don't care what people believe or don't believe. Believing in something doesn't make you a bad person; doing bad things makes someone a bad person. If someone thinks that the moon landing was faked, that *insert racial group* are evil, or that the New World Order runs the world, good for them. As long as they don't force their opinions on people, I don't care. (I could go on about what constitutes good and evil, but even I don't care about my thoughts on it.)

As for Hitchens and Dawkins, I think they're both assholes. Hitchens held political beliefs that I found abhorrent, and if he said half the things about Judaism as I've heard, then I don't want to get within a hundred miles of his grave. He's still better then Dawkins etiquette-wise, though. For example, he seems to think the question of whether Hitler was evil or not is difficult:



And he's made many more statements that are as equally charming.
Most of what you're saying is reasonable, but you're taking Dawkins out of context on that quote. He's talking about the idea that a lot of ideas of right or wrong change over time (the word zeitgeist is thrown around). The interviewer brings up the point that under those circumstances one could say that Muslim extremists are right, Dawkins is essentially agreeing with the problem that comes from that view and raising the stakes by equating the aforementioned extremists with Hitler.

Dawkins is genuinely concerned with morality, and is as much trying to find a moral path for it. He is mostly challenging the assertion that morality is found in the Bible. He does so as Hitchens did by quoting actual pieces of text prescribing what are now seen as immoral acts.

The fact is this argument is only relevant when disputing fundamentalists. But that's who Dawkins usually has to argue with since they're the primary anti-evoltuionists.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:01 PM   #40
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If they kept their beliefs to themselves, that would be fine. But they don't. Many of them actively proselytize. Others oppose beliefs that conflict with theirs (like science).

If someone believes in their own head that Queen Elizabeth is a reptoid, fine, whatever. As soon as they put that idea out there in public, they are inviting engagement.
But it is the engagement which perpetuates the argument and gives it validity. If allowed to stand alone, many of these arguments would be revealed to be as ridiculous as they actually are. If engaged, the fact that the opposition is making an effort to quash them gives them credence.

You are right about some of the arguments, though. Anything which violates fundamental human rights (and the rights of a lot of people like homoexuals and women are being threatened here, the right to have control over your own body or to have the same rights in marriage as anyone else) should be opposed. I am shocked by the anti-abortion lobby and the occasionally bizarre laws they try (and sometimes suceed) on getting passed in some states (like one I heard of where A&E staff are not allowed to treat a woman until it is determined if she is pregnant or not in case they harm the baby...).

And this is my point... if you are sitting happily beleiving in what you want to believe that is fine. I am even happy with you telling others about your beliefs. Said people are welcome to listen or ignore you as they will. It is when you start preaching harm to others or basing legislation on your religious beliefs (with no other rationale behind it) that I get shirty.

I find it ironic that the US was founded on a policy of religious freedom for all and a constitutional seperation of church and state and yet appears to have a lot more interference from religion than the UK which has (constitutionally) a state religion and a head of state who is also head of that religion.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:15 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Lhipenwhe View Post
For example, he seems to think the question of whether Hitler was evil or not is difficult:
And he's made many more statements that are as equally charming.
I think you are doing Dawkins a disservice. I don't think he's saying Hitler wasn't evil - at least in an everyday sense of the word. I think he's saying that it's a genuinely difficult question as to how we arrive at that judgment.

If you're not religious, ethics is actually a difficult and complicated subject. We tend to have no difficulty perceiving that Hitler was evil, but our justification for that belief is often slippery. Are we deontologists - do we feel that some actions are wrong in and of themselves? Or are we teleologists - do we feel that actions are wrong only by virtue of their effects? Do we feel that something is right or wrong based on the intention of the moral agent involved, or is that of no consequence?

It's easy if we have a book telling us THOU SHALT NOT STEAL, because stealing is a sin, and sin is bad because God doesn't like it. If we want to explore a little deeper than that it's actually quite important that we can ask questions like "What prevents us from saying that Hitler was right?" (NB: Dawkins clearly feels that SOMETHING prevents us. He's interested in what that is.)
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:25 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Siri Kirpal View Post
1) The Klu Klux Klan in the 1920's (I think) got passed a law in Oregon that forebade public school teachers from wearing religious garb. It was intended to prevent Catholic nuns and Orthodox Jews from teaching. Since then, it has also prevented practicing Sikhs and Muslim women from teaching too. A year or two ago, we got the rule overturned. But we wouldn't have if certain Scientific Materialist Atheists had had their way; they tried mightily to keep that rule in force. 2) I used to see a truck in Salem, Oregon, with the bumperstick Freedom FROM God.
Do you have a source on that? The Klan are pretty devout Protestants as I understand it. If they were behind this it was about being anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic, and had nothing to do with atheism, science or materialism. And the law you describe doesn't prevent anyone from teaching, just from doing it in religious clothing in public schools. And rightly so.

As for the bumper sticker - expressing an opinion that deviates from the majority is about as far as you could get from facism. What's your point there?

I'm tempted to call Godwin on the whole damn thread but I'm hoping there's a point beyond bashing science and atheism. There's really nothing to discuss that I can see - there's no organised group that I know of calling themselves "scientific materialists", much less one trying to stamp out dissension and disagreement. Science concerns itself with the material because that's what's observable, not because of any lack of belief in the immaterial. It's just not relevant. Scientific materialism is a silly, ignorant term. And to equate any form of science with facism is ignorant in the extreme - science does not prosper when there is no room for dissent.

And you know what? Where the holy fuck do the religious get off suggesting that expressing a dissenting opinion is facism? That's not directed toward the OP, just the argument in general. It's ridiculously and offensively hypocritical. I hate, hate religion. My personal belief is that it's the worst part of human history. I'd like nothing more than to see all religion disappear. If everyone woke up tomorrow thinking "y'know what? Bugger this god shtick for a laugh" I'd be thrilled, and my hopes for civilisation would skyrocket. But the gap from there to actual political action is vast. I want people to make up their own minds, to educate themselves and decide for themselves. And expressing that opinion, no matter how unpleasant you might find my language and attitude, would not make me a facist.

But to suggest that expressing an anti-religious opinion is facist, especially when the vast majority is religious? Propaganda like the term "scientific materialist"? That's holding down a dissenting minority. That's classic facism, right there.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:47 PM   #43
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Great points, everyone. thank you.

Honestly, I do apologize for the confrontational thread title.

I consider fundamental religions intellectaul fascism...i.e. your Taliban types. That makes sense, right?

Further, you have some evangelizing Sceintific Materialists and your evangelizing Atheists...however...

I am convinced that (thanks to you good people) no...Sceintific Materialism is not now, and not likely to ever be Intellectual Fascism. My thanks.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:09 PM   #44
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[QUOTE=Amadan;7149794]You know, I'm not a huge fan of Dawkins; he can be a jerk, and he has blind spots. But people like Dawkins and Hitchens who mouthily proclaim atheism as true and say religious believers are idiots are necessary. They are also in no way equivalent to religious believers who say atheists are ungodly sinners who aren't be trusted and shouldn't hold public office. An atheist bad-mouthing the religious can hurt a few fee-fees, just like "scientific materialists" who say woo and psychics and aliens and vibrating dimensions and homeopathy is nonsense, but they aren't trying to deprive anyone of their rights.

So, yeah, Dawkins is "as dogmatic as any right wing Christian," but not nearly as dangerous. Also, his views are correct and the right wing Christian's aren't.[/QUOTE]


But, it's still okay if I don't agree with the first part of your sentence, right?
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:15 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by benbradley View Post
The idea that science and religion are "orthogonal" to (independent of) each other has, I think, been around for quite some time (as in a few centuries, since science became a serious study about the time of Galileo, Copernicus and such), but it is perhaps most famously written about by Steven Jay Gould in his essay "Nonoverlaping Magisteria" (commonly abbreviated NOMA):
http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_noma.html
Wikipedia has a good article on it that's shorter than the essay itself:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-overlapping_magisteria

I don't agree with that idea, but it's an interesting subtopic/peripheral topic of this thread.
Yeah, one of the last guys to hold the unified vision of science and religion was John Dee, and he presented a pretty neat theory of everything...nestled, heirarchial, charged fractal vortices around singularities...
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:19 PM   #46
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Do you have a source on that? The Klan are pretty devout Protestants as I understand it. If they were behind this it was about being anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic, and had nothing to do with atheism, science or materialism. And the law you describe doesn't prevent anyone from teaching, just from doing it in religious clothing in public schools. And rightly so.

As for the bumper sticker - expressing an opinion that deviates from the majority is about as far as you could get from facism. What's your point there?

I'm tempted to call Godwin on the whole damn thread but I'm hoping there's a point beyond bashing science and atheism. There's really nothing to discuss that I can see - there's no organised group that I know of calling themselves "scientific materialists", much less one trying to stamp out dissension and disagreement. Science concerns itself with the material because that's what's observable, not because of any lack of belief in the immaterial. It's just not relevant. Scientific materialism is a silly, ignorant term. And to equate any form of science with facism is ignorant in the extreme - science does not prosper when there is no room for dissent.

And you know what? Where the holy fuck do the religious get off suggesting that expressing a dissenting opinion is facism? That's not directed toward the OP, just the argument in general. It's ridiculously and offensively hypocritical. I hate, hate religion. My personal belief is that it's the worst part of human history. I'd like nothing more than to see all religion disappear. If everyone woke up tomorrow thinking "y'know what? Bugger this god shtick for a laugh" I'd be thrilled, and my hopes for civilisation would skyrocket. But the gap from there to actual political action is vast. I want people to make up their own minds, to educate themselves and decide for themselves. And expressing that opinion, no matter how unpleasant you might find my language and attitude, would not make me a facist.

But to suggest that expressing an anti-religious opinion is facist, especially when the vast majority is religious? Propaganda like the term "scientific materialist"? That's holding down a dissenting minority. That's classic facism, right there.
I presented a theory for discussion. There theory was disproved in my mind thanks to the posters on this thread. Therefore, we have proved that Scientific Materialism is NOT a type of Intellectual Fascism... (unlike many fundamental religions seem to be).

...because, that topic is being debated all over the world, but backwards...whether we like it or not.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:41 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Diana Hignutt View Post
So, yeah, Dawkins is "as dogmatic as any right wing Christian," but not nearly as dangerous. Also, his views are correct and the right wing Christian's aren't.[/QUOTE]


But, it's still okay if I don't agree with the first part of your sentence, right?

You think Dawkins is as dangerous as a right-wing Christian?
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:04 PM   #48
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You think Dawkins is as dangerous as a right-wing Christian?
Of course, not...I was simply...pointing out that you maintain the certainty of Dawkins' beliefs...I wasn't considering the "dangerous" critieria.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:06 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Diana Hignutt View Post
Of course, not...I was simply...pointing out that you maintain the certainty of Dawkins' beliefs...I wasn't considering the "dangerous" critieria.
Certainty doesn't precisely describe Dawkins. In The God Delusion he imagines a 7-point scale of belief, from 1 - complete certainty that God exists - to 7 - complete certainty that God does not exist. He pegs himself as a 6.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:23 PM   #50
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Certainty doesn't precisely describe Dawkins. In The God Delusion he imagines a 7-point scale of belief, from 1 - complete certainty that God exists - to 7 - complete certainty that God does not exist. He pegs himself as a 6.
So, certainty almost describes Dawkins.
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