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Author Topic:   What does life do outside of science?
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 3 of 112 (242243)
09-11-2005 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ben!
09-11-2005 10:09 AM


Well... some life searches for meaning and value in life. You simply can't get an answer scientifically at this point.

I find science to be both a source of meaning and value, so it's not clear to me, exactly, what you're talking about here. Why can't science inform us as to the value and meaning of our lives?

Now, if you mean that science cannot provide the answers that some might want, that's probably true - science isn't going to tell us that the universe exists for our sole perusal, or that we hold magisterium over the planet's resources - but that's because those things don't appear to be true.

Science certainly can't provide the lies that some people so desparately need to hear, but I hardly see that as evidence that science is somehow "limited." In fact, in general I don't put much stock in arguments that assert "oh, that's outside the purview of science" with absolutely no rationale of why this would be so.

If it can be sensed; if ideas about it can reside within our brains, then why would it be outside of the purview of science?


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Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 6 of 112 (242259)
09-11-2005 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Ben!
09-11-2005 11:26 AM


Re: I don't get it at all
I'm interested to see you justify a particular operational definition of meaning.

It's the same as yours. If you don't know what meaning is, how can you search for it? How can you know if you've found it?

Isn't meaning simply the information we learn about the world outside us that places our own internal lives in context? Why do you believe that such a thing is somehow beyond science? It sounds to me like science is perfectly suited to addressing the place of an individual within the universe.

Please point me to the scientific study that gives us the meaning of life.

I don't need to do that, any more than I would need a scientific study to prove that science informs us about the natural world. The meaning derived from science comes from science's study of the world, not science's study of meaning.


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 21 of 112 (242734)
09-12-2005 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Silent H
09-12-2005 2:51 PM


Re: I don't get it at all
There is no focus or tools for subjective moral phenomena to be studied via this methodology.

Certainly not to be studied via the scientific methodology, but why can't the results of that methodology form the basis for a morality?

I simply throw this example into the arena so that you can see the distinction I believe Ben is addressing.

And I believe that I've already accepted that distinction. After all, I did say:

quote:
The meaning derived from science comes from science's study of the world, not science's study of meaning.

But accepting that distinction, which I agree is reasonable, doesn't to my mind imply that morality, meaning, and ethics are beyond the ability of science to inform.


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Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 23 of 112 (242740)
09-12-2005 8:51 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by robinrohan
09-12-2005 8:41 PM


The overall judgment about the poem would by helped by science but would not be scientific, in the same way that our overall moral judgment about some matter might be helped by science but would not be scientific.

I read two articles in Science about the role of a certain enzyme in a certain cellular process. The articles present two possible explanations for the same evidence.

Now, I come to a decision about which conclusion I think is most likely, and that process of coming to my conclusion doesn't proceed via scientific methodology but according to my view of how well each article supported their points. Nonetheless science has directly informed my ideas about cellular chemistry, and it would be improper to conclude that I reached my conclusion "unscientifically", or that science couldn't inform me about the world of the cell.

Now, there may not be any scientific test for what morality we should have; that's a conclusion we have to reach ourselves from the evidence put before us. But how is that any different than when I learn about cells? How did science play any less of a role?


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 25 of 112 (242747)
09-12-2005 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by robinrohan
09-12-2005 9:10 PM


You have learned about cells, but your learning, though the subject matter is scientific, is in itself a non-scientific procedure.

Granted. Yet, no one would argue that science is somehow unable to tell us about cells.

So too can science inform out morality and meaning despite being unable to grapple with these things scientifically.


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 27 of 112 (242830)
09-13-2005 7:21 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Silent H
09-13-2005 5:59 AM


Re: I don't get it at all
The basis of morality is not an objective "thing", nor a logical rule/paradigm. Thus the results of science cannot form the basis for a morality.

I'm sorry, but I don't follow. Scientific knowledge about the cell (in the example that I have) isn't an objective "thing" either, but no one could doubt that science forms the basis for my knowledge about the cell.

Since "morality" is simply a set of constraints about how one is going to interact with other physical actors, where's the limit in science that would prevent scientific knowledge about those actors from forming the basis for moral conclusions?


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 58 of 112 (243493)
09-14-2005 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by robinrohan
09-14-2005 12:58 AM


Re: More unscientific questions
Oddly enough, these are questions that, when they arise in my life, I often approach with an empirical methodology. Consider all the evidence, draw the most reasonable conclusion with the least amount of untestable assumptions.

Scientific? No; I don't publish or peer-review. But a kind of low-fidelity scientific method? Sure.


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 75 of 112 (246475)
09-26-2005 8:02 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by b b
09-26-2005 2:49 AM


Re: I don't get it at all
If creation is wrong and I die then nothing happens-I lived a good life for nothing. If scientists are wrong about God and die then they are eternal candles-Less to lose with creation even if it is wrong huh? That's the obvious choice for me hands down.

Unless you've got it backwards, and God wants people to be atheists. Seems pretty likely to me, actually. And you don't really know, do you?


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 85 of 112 (246887)
09-28-2005 7:26 AM
Reply to: Message 79 by b b
09-28-2005 2:47 AM


Re: I don't get it at all
Father forgive him for he know not what he is talking about. Please do not destroy the ignorant. There; I pray for you.

Thnaks, but better you should pray for yourself. After all, you're the one who's facing an enternity of hellfire for disobeying God's single, obvious commandment - "Thou shallt not believe in God."

If he didn't want anyone to know about him, we wouldn't.

We don't. All we have is the fairy tales people make up about him. I don't really consider any of that "knowledge."


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 Message 79 by b b, posted 09-28-2005 2:47 AM b b has responded

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 90 of 112 (247205)
09-29-2005 7:46 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by b b
09-28-2005 10:12 PM


Re: I don't get it at all
Would you explain this idea to me? I'm curious because this is like the 3rd or 4th time you said that.

Isn't it obvious that, if God exists, God doesn't want us to believe it exists? That would explain the lack of intervention, the failure to provide any type of guidance or message, and the irrefutable appearance in the universe of things not being designed. It would explain the fact that, no matter what we study, we can explain it without recourse to the intervention of God. The very nature of the universe proclaims one obvious truth - either God doesn't exist, or it's absolutely determined to convince us that it doesn't. So shouldn't you take it at it's word?

I mean, if God exists, none of us really know what he wants. I have just as much basis for asserting that God wants us to be atheists as you have for asserting any particular dogma of the Christian faith, or of any faith.

That's why "Pascal's Wager" is so worthless - it assumes that you can successfully reduce the problem to two alternatives. What I'm trying to show you is that there's no way to do that; there's an infinite number of alternatives, and they're all equally supported by the evidence. And there's one conceviable alternative that turns your logic on its head, and sends the atheist to heaven and the believer to hell.


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 91 of 112 (247206)
09-29-2005 7:48 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by b b
09-29-2005 12:40 AM


Re: I don't get it at all
There are tribes that do a lot of things of that nature such as firewalking and probably drinking various potions.

Dude, you can firewalk in your backyard. There's nothing magic or supernatural about it. Hot coals are a poor conductor of heat.


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