Well, there are a lot of people who feel they're getting an explanation of a phenomenon through a description of the brainwave activity of a person undergoing the phenomenon.
I understand that some - it seems to me, a very few - people think that everything about the human experience will ultimately be understood by science.
The above statements fly in the face of those who
... want to believe that we're special ...
Unfortunately, for those people, we aren't. We are just an organic result of millions of years of selection and evolution. When science catches up (if the race lives long enough) and can create an inorganic computer with the capabilities of our organic one ... what will you say then? Artificial Intelligence is coming ... maybe not in our lifetime, but it's coming. When it gets here, do you revise religion to give the A.I. a soul?
We have developed into creatures that can realize their own death. Because we can't stand the thought of being dead, we've created a "place" (heaven) where our ... lifeforce? ... soul? ... essence? ... whatever you want to call it, will continue to live after the body dies. If you accept that, then you can do good deeds for how they make you feel, not because it qualifies you to be god's friend and allows you a seat at his table. That turns your whole life into a hazing event, to prove your good enough to join god's fraternity/sorority.
We are just an organic result of millions of years of selection and evolution.
Well, scientifically speaking, that's exactly what we are. But it's a mistake to say that's all we are. I'm a humanist who believes there's something unique and meaningful about human existence and potential; I'm not surprised science can't tell us what it is, because it's not really a scientific question.
Science will, if we live up to our meaning and potential, be able to tell us everything that we are. The only meaning and potential we have is to take the steps necessary to continue our existence.
Science will, if we live up to our meaning and potential, be able to tell us everything that we are.
You're a true man of faith.
That's almost an insult. I'll take it as a joke.
ABE: Let's not make science sound like something it isn't (namely religion). It's a tool humans developed to understand natural phenomena through empirical testing. It's not supposed to tell us the meaning of life.
Maybe it's not supposed to, but it already has. The purpose of life is to continue the species. We are just another animal on this planet of life. There's nothing more "important" about us than that.
newbie question ... I've seen "ABE:" written before a comment before. What does it mean?
Once again, I wonder why we're supposed to believe that science is equipped to describe the human condition in any more ennobling terms than this.
You're not! Because it can't. Because we aren't "noble". That's just what religion is all about. Some way for humans to "feel" they are more than just another one of evolution's creatures. If you say science tells us we're just gene machines, then I submit that you're expecting science ---a useful tool in many areas--- to validate your prejudices about human potential.[/qs]
I don't expect science to validate anything. I am always pleased when science reveals another truth. Or develops another item that makes our lives better. But I don't expect it to "reveal" any "truths" about humans. Since I am not seeking a "reason" for my existence, I don't need science to tell me there isn't one. Only those afraid to face that truth, need a god to make them feel important.
My loyalty is to my fellow human, not to some imaginary god.
The academic research and industry apparatus of science are staggeringly well-funded. My wife works at MIT, where the humanities are treated with contempt next to those lucrative hard sciences.
They're treated with contempt because they just don't produce real results. Tell a shrink that his field isn't lucrative, he or she will drive off in their Lamborghini, laughing their heads off. Tell a social worker that his field isn't lucrative ... and he'll laugh at you from the oval office.
And the power science has over our imaginations in this millennium is hard to overestimate.
Yeah ... science fiction is dead ... why, I haven't seen a new sci-fi movie for ... a week? Imagination is alive and well ... it's just not steered toward god, anymore.
The audience for this sort of cheerleading has been groomed by a culture where gadgetry is more important than the arts or humanities...
Nonsense ... I, for one, don't even own a smart phone, and the text feature on my account is disabled. Gadgetry just gets in my way. There isn't anyone who believes the world would be better off without social programs ... but they shouldn't be the ONLY support structure for half the population. We believe ...
... science as if it's synonymous with reality, or that it's self-evident that it's the only source of knowledge worth considering.
... because it's mostly true. Science reveals reality. Faith and religion NEED to ignore reality.
Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Add some blank lines - I just looks better then.
... it's like there's all these facts, things like cells and species and atoms, out there waiting for humanity to discover them.
It's not "Like" that ... it IS that.
Your view ...
And there's a lot of controversy over how much of reality we discover and how much we create in the process.
Is the cat dead or alive? Existentialism is as much a fairy tail as god.
How about Krauss telling us that we're "cosmically insignificant"?
I don't consider either of these messages very humanistic ...
Might not be "humanistic" ... but it's also not humancentric. First the Earth was flat ... false. Then the Earth was the center of the solar system ... false. Then the Sun was the center of the universe ... false. Now you think Humans are special in evolution ... this is also false.
Why would you think we should feel "awe" when confronted with great art, music, or poetry, if it's all just an illusion generated by brain chemistry?
There is nothing in reality as defined by this life-shrinking science that even begins to correspond to the meaning to be found in the work of the greats we've all listed here.
So ... you require some "higher power" or belief in god to appreciate the meaning of a piece of art? You require a soul to appreciate the music of the classics? Does this mean that a 12 year old who can't stand to listen to Beethoven does have a soul? A pastor who doesn't understand the perfection of a Dali painting is without spiritualism? Appreciation of beauty is a function of a thinking mind. The electro-chemical reactions in the mind ARE the only reason you appoint meaning to anything.
Serial killers the world over are thanking you. Since they get the same "Meaning" in their hearts when the take a life ... they must be connected to Jesus ... because he's the reason behind their feeling's of joy and awe and their reason for living.
... because her body contained organs for carrying a fetus, she's nothing more than a procreating machine. I presume everyone here would agree this is objectionable. But why isn't being reduced to a "bag of chemicals" just as bad?
Men and women both, are thinking, emotional creatures. Referring to women as procreating machines would be debasing and objectionable. But, biologically, it would be correct. However, referring to humans as "bags of chemicals" is correct. It is not debasing or objectionable because it is not directed at any specific race, sex, age blah blah blah. Just like you shouldn't be insulted knowing that you're an animal ... just like all the other animals on this planet. The only difference ... you're ancestors developed a more analytical brain that then developed self awareness and intelligence.
The immature way you talk about science makes it sound suspiciously religious: ...
So, you're admitting that religious people talk about their gods in immature ways. Cool, I agree with that statement.
... it's an answer for everything ...
Well, it will be, if we live long enough for science to advance that far.
... it's the way and the truth and the light ...
It's not ALL that, but it's going a long way to showing us all that.
... and no one should say anything bad about it.
It's not so much that you shouldn't say anything bad about it ... more that saying anything bad about it is like complaining about sunshine. You might not like it shining in your eyes, but you'd miss it in the middle of a cold, dark winter night.
Actually, I've seen some VERY AWESOME procreating machines. Living in Florida, the beaches are FULL of them. Of course, if I was to get to know any of them, I am sure they would turn out to be more intelligent than many of the folk h ....
Well, let me just say, I love women. I put them on a pedestal. They are evolution's ultimate pinnacle. My Wife knows just how much I love her, respect her and need her. We are perfect together. She greatly admires the male forms walking up and down the beach, too. We're people watchers. We're members of the top of the food chain (at the present) and proudly admire all our achievements. We also credit ALL of those achievements to Humans and our own abilities ... not to some mythological father/son/ghost conglomerate creature.