[FoRK] Re: "Thanks for the Facts. Now Sell Them."

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Mon Apr 23 11:57:42 PDT 2007

Bill Stoddard wrote:
> Lion Kimbro wrote:
>>  "A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe
>>   as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of
>>   reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or
>>   later, such a religion will emerge." -- Carl Sagan
Does Carl ever say that would be a good thing or not?
>
> Very interesting departing quote that kind of supports my few words in 
> this thread.  From what I've read, Carl Sagan was not a well respected 
> fellow in the hard science community (and he probably wouldn't have
You can't be a full-time populizer and writer and still actually 
accomplish much hard science directly.  That the general public 
conflates these is understandable.
> been welcome on FoRK either), however, he was enormously popular to 
> the "unwashed masses" :-).  He appealed to our emotions.  Any "science 
> of being" that does not, at least, pay lip service to human emotional 
> needs is going to fall largely on deaf ears. And that's reality.
Absolutely they need to be addressed, but bounded by rationality and 
science.
Star Trek explores this quite explicitly:
Vulcans value logic and forgo any emotionality when possible because it 
is irrational and wild, except for the uncontrolled heat period.  They 
explore and benefit from curiosity and platonic drive.
Klingons value emotion, tribalism, mysticism, etc. and employ logic only 
as far as it serves their drives.
Forengi are driven by their philosophy of being measured by commerce, 
growth, productivity (in a narrow sense).

Humans are some combination of those, hopefully with the best 
combination.  There are humans that live by each of those codes and 
deny, to various degrees, the other viewpoints.

I've said things like this, but this guy has put it succinctly:
(Found from a FoRKed link to something else I think.)

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/04/irrationality_o.html
> Are our sex drives irrational? Absolutely, yes.
>
> Should we consider sex to be as pernicious and harmful as lotteries?
> No, we should regard it as being beneficial and essential for the 
> control/relief of our irrational sex drives.
>
> It is celibacy that should be regarded as pernicious and harmful 
> (assuming celibacy is defined to include abstention from 
> masturbation). This kind of celibacy allows our irrational sex drives 
> to wreak havoc on our mental health, and the concomitant stress and 
> frustration can't be good for our cardiovascular health, making 
> celibacy akin to having a poor diet or to smoking cigarettes in terms 
> of its perniciousness.
>
> Sex drives are irrational; sexual activity protects us from their 
> pernicious influence. It is interesting that by surrendering to the 
> tyranny of these irrational drives, we can keep their pernicious 
> influence at bay.
>
>
> Bill

sdw


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