[FoRK] Milestones toward the end of religion

Albert Scherbinsky albert
Tue Dec 27 00:10:05 PST 2005


This gets to the heart of the matter. The original
hypothesis, as I see it, was that advances in science
would necessitate the end of religion. For science to
replace religion it would have to replace the utility
of religion. So the relevant question to ask is does
science have the same utility as religion? As you have
described well, the utility of science is to create
simple predictive models. Is this the utility of
religion? Do people go to church to create simple
predictive models or to learn ethics and morality.
Does science deal with ethics and morality?

Perhaps the cosmological role of religion has been
replace by science, but has the moral and ethical role
of religion been replaced?

Albert

--- James Tauber <jtauber at jtauber.com> wrote:

> 
> Back in 2001, on this list, Clay Shirkey suggested
> that Faith is that  
> which is incompatible with Occam's Razor. My
> response at the time was:
> 
> """
> Occam's Razor has to me always seemed useful really
> only for those  
> pursuits
> where the objective is a predictive model. So it
> makes sense for  
> science.
> You have two theories that correctly predict the
> observed phenomena;  
> so you
> pick the simplest. As both theories adequately
> predict the observed
> phenomena, the question of which to pick is not an
> empirical one. So you
> adopt a convention of picking the simplest - not
> because it is more  
> likely
> to be the truth, but because it is more useful in
> trying to make
> predictions.
> 
> [I'm perhaps revealing myself to be a positivist
> like Hawking rather  
> than a
> Platonist like Penrose. General Relativity doesn't
> tell me the  
> universe *is*
> a 4-dimensional pseudo-Riemannian manifold, it just
> tells me it can be
> adequately modeled as one]
> """
> 
> Is this similar to what you are saying?
> 
> James
> 
> 
> On 21/12/2005, at 3:25 AM, J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
> 
> >
> > On Dec 19, 2005, at 8:37 PM, Stephen D. Williams
> wrote:
> >> I can't see that any of my operating principles /
> thoughts are  
> >> faith-based.  Operating logically and based on
> scientific  
> >> principles is not faith-based.  My philosophy is
> not based on  
> >> faith as far as I can see.
> >
> >
> > Religion is explicitly axiomatic, science is
> explicitly non- 
> > axiomatic.  Conflating the two betrays a
> misunderstanding of their  
> > respective natures, and it is often difficult for
> axiom-philes to  
> > imagine reasoning without axioms.  All that
> uncertainty puts weaker  
> > minds into the fetal position.
> >
> > Only axiomatic systems can make claims to The
> Truth, assuming one  
> > does not look too closely at the axioms.  The
> closest one gets to  
> > "truth" in non-axiomatic systems is Kolmogorov's
> Razor, the context- 
> > sensitive "best" hypothesis rather than the
> correct answer.
> >
> > All of which aggravates the situation out here in
> the real world  
> > where people very frequently apply their (broken)
> intuition that  
> > "rational" and "correct" are required to have a
> close correlation.
> >
> >
> > J. Andrew Rogers
> > _______________________________________________
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> > http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
> 
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