SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
Science & Secularism: Real Secularism is Scientific
Science is not separable from philosophy. It is a form of philosophy. Philosophy and science depend on the same basic tools. Your eyes and ears and senses are scientific instruments and in fact the most important ones. A telescope is no good unless you have eyes. You need information to start you thinking like a philosopher and that is where science comes in.
Both disciplines require methods and tests so that concepts can be analysed for meaning and for credibility. Argumentation is fundamental to both of them. Both use thinking techniques to root out bad arguments and mistakes. They are on a continuum.
Science and a lot of philosophy is about realism. This leads to them being unable to see spirits as real. Spirits look like something that is only in our heads for spirit is non-material. So we tend to see only what is material, in other words, what what is made of parts or based on parts as real. Spirits are the opposite of material things.
Science defines how the brain is able to determine what is real. Unless some vision can be tested and shown real, it will be categorised as an illusion. Even if it might be an illusion it is treated as one unless further light comes.
Science to an extent is about increasing our our good feelings. What do you think medical science is for? In that sense it is willing to tell us to discard religion and God should they hinder good feeling statistically.
Philosophy is deeply involved in avoiding circular arguments where you pretend you are arguing for x when you have made up your mind already about it and are only pretending to care about using your brain to see if it is right.
Science opposes circular arguments or tautology. Religion says there is evidence for God and God creates the evidence. But that is tautology or circular reasoning. A criminal offering you evidence that he is innocent of the crime is not giving you evidence at all. Evidence has to be independent. For these reasons science is the opposite of God faith and religion. For these reasons, science embraces the philosophy of secularism.
Science is testing claims to find the truth and eliminate the lies and errors - science is about learning the truth through testing and questioning and doubting and revising. Science is not about building the best case for a theory but about debunking all alternatives to see what is left standing. It both tests for evidence and uses a process of elimination. If you say there is a God or indeed that there are spirits it follows that they might tamper with tests. Science flatly rejects this which amounts to dismissing both as nonsense.
Religion cannot be as good as science for it is not about testing. Faith does not test. Faith has no method but religion does. It has methods for inducing faith or making you think you have it. There is no other word for that but manipulation.
Secularism is acting as if there is no God or as if what God wants is immaterial.
How does science relate to secularism?
Science has to take the attitude, "Even if we cannot prove or disprove God or his activity by testing, if there is evidence for his non-existence or existence then we will follow it to the conclusion. The evidence for or against God is what matters which means God does not matter if there is evidence against him or no proper evidence." This cares about evidence for God and not God. This cares about evidence for a no-God and not atheism. Science is secular. If science finds God, it will be like the secularist who has intellectual belief in God but no relationship or love for God. An intellectual belief in God is not the same as a committed religious one. It treats God as a non-God, something not to be related to on the personal spiritual level.
Religion says that, "Faith as in relationship with God depends on belief in God in the same way a husband needs to believe he has his wife if he is to love her." Some think that science if it gives evidence for God would mean that science is now speaking to faith. But science would not talking about to talking to faith. Science giving evidence for the existence of God would not mean that science and religion/faith are now one. It still does not endorse god based faith but opens the door to it. Belief and faith are related but not the same. Science brings you to belief and if there is a God we should start off with belief in God. Then faith can come.
Religion has resolved to ignore science if it proves that all things happened without an intelligent designing God. It says that if science fails to find evidence of God or debunks all evidence for God that it only means there are ways other than science to verify God sufficiently. But a non-testable verification is not a verification at all. It is as bad as saying that if x was proven to have been physically incapable of murdering Tony that there must be another way of showing he did it even if you will never imagine finding it. It is really just politely saying, "Evidence means nothing to me but I cannot admit that." Also, testable reasons for believing something are the best reasons.
Surely an all-good God could design a universe that allows science to be a gift from God that shows us a lot about what God is like? A testable God? A God who is put outside the reach of testing is suspect or rather his supporters are!
Science is always open to revising for it is based on evidence and therefore belief. Faith is about a personal relationship with God and is not just like mere belief. The argument that religion and science work in separate spheres fails to recognise that some religions like science are into belief not faith. Some religions are not into faith but belief. You could argue that if science shows any interest in belief in God that is religious. Religion is based on secular ideas not just religious or spiritual ones. Religion finds a way by which the secular is absorbed and turned into a part of it.
If there is an inseparable relationship between science and secularism then is it the job of science to show that God probably or definitely does not exist? It is. It would be the central job. It would need to show as far as possible that God does not if he does not. God research then is ultimately its only job. It is because God whether true or not is the biggest and most important idea and theory one can imagine.
God in principle is the being that alone matters which means pressure is put on the scientist to care only about him and that leads to bias. The scientist becomes too unreliable to do science any more. Is it better then for science to be anti-god? Certainly. It takes the pressure off for you will never oppose God with all your heart but you can love him with all your heart (in principle). In other words, do not oppose God as in hate for that is too emotional. But do not love him but oppose him. Then you reduce bias and become free to do your job.
It is said that society on the whole needs politics, science and religion. In fact society needs science the most. Politics cannot function unless people do enough science. For example, we need science to see what is happening in society. We need science to find solutions to problems. The state cannot make money unless it learns from science.
We treat life as an experiment trying to see what works and what does not. So science comes first. Checking things out comes first. Politics then comes second. As for religion we can say that it is the least in importance. Or better still, it is not important at all. A religion is really just every person being their own religion and pretending they all really share the one faith. They might share a similar one but that is about it! Religion as an organised belief system is not important at all. It can be done without. Many societies treat faith as a private matter and they are reasonably thriving and healthy societies. A religion being important in a society does not mean it should be important in it. But science and politics are intrinsically important. The likes of Keith Ward who say that society needs politics and science and religion are showing their underlying religiously motivated intolerance by adding religion in. It's intolerant merely by being added in for it has no right to be in. And religion claims to be sacred and the voice of God - it is claiming to be more important than science or politics. It is saying that it is better for them to collapse than for it to collapse.
Nothing beats testing. Science is about testing. Science gives you no beliefs or dogmas but only tells you what the testing said. The scientist does not ask you to believe what they believe but gives you the tools and information so that you will make up your own mind and if you process the facts adequately you will believe for yourself. If science is the best way to know things it follows that if there is a sensible God then that God is pro-science. But what does religion give us? It gives us a God who does miracles and who writes Bibles full of lies. That is not a sensible God. That is not a God who can be a friend to science. That is not a God who can be friendly to a remotely okay idea of God!
It is maintained by some that secularism does not ask how people can live in the world without God or religion. In other words, secularism does not try to figure out what ethical or scientific or whatever - operating principles we must have if there is no God or if no religion is true. The secularist then is not concerned with ethics or God or anything other than politics.
Those people are not making sense. The secularists have to consider things such as, "How do we stop the state being so unfair to all religions except the state Church?" That brings in the ethical notion of justice. And they have consider, "How do we stop that religion from killing other religions?" If ethics doesn't matter then why care?
Science, many say, cannot tell you that a person is intrinsically valuable or important. It treats a person as a pile of parts not as something inherently worthy of respect. If that is true, then why do those people claim science and religion can fit together? They are lying.
Science does not treat you as a collection of parts. If it cannot say how you are a valuable person that does not matter as long as it treats you as such. And it does. There is no point in science trying to cure cancer just for the sake of a learning experience. No scientist takes that approach.
Some say that atheists who think that religions should not exist at all are really non-secular atheists. Their view is described as completely alien to the logic of the secular idea. But it would be odd to say that you need religions around to be secular!
Science and secularism are inseparable. Where there is no secularism, science cannot emerge or be truly respected Secularism creates an environment where religious and metaphysical and spiritual questions are not looked at or pursued. That allows people to examine religious theories and beliefs and re-visit scientific discoveries.
Science and secularism and democracy, not religious faith and religion, save us. Secularism and science are two sides of one coin.
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