Eduk wrote: ↑
November 30th, 2018, 5:05 am
Ktz in the specific case of attempting to stop genocide by an insane group then perhaps a sincere and truthful belief in some religion might be the only path which might stop them. This is possible. It is still being wise after the event. The probability is that such a genocidal group won't ever meet you, plus unreasonable beliefs increase the chances of genocidal groups.
While I certainly hope this to be the case, I imagine the people of Charlottesville thought the same thing before the neo-Nazi demonstrations there. I live in America where I'm more likely to be killed by gun violence than any other first world country, but I guess your position on religion is empirically supported by the fact that America also has the smallest secular population compared to any other first world country.
I mean. Perhaps if we assume that humans are too flawed to operate under reality you could maybe make an argument for madness? But I don't believe that is the case and I also believe that ultimately reality will win that particular argument.
As you say actions speak louder than words and nothing speaks louder than reality.
I'm reminded of that scene from a Few Good Men, where Tom Cruise is yelling, "I want the Truth!" and the response he gets from Jack Nicholson is of course, "You can't handle the Truth!" Some people, perhaps, cannot yet handle the full truth, and would operate best under a different framework for understanding reality...
Out of curiosity, are you familiar with the "Seven Blunders of the World"?
Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.
Religion and its prevalence seems to me to have been one method of attempting to avoid some of these blunders. Its efficacy is certainly in question these days, I certainly can't blame anyone for their skepticism or subscription to secular ideas in modern times.
Oh and regarding instances of taking some historical belief and then proving it to have benefit scientifically. This certainly happens. Science can then remove all the superstition leaving only that which is effective, to the betterment of all. This is again not a problem with science.
It's not science I tend to have a problem with -- it's the common devotion among scientists to various degrees of logical positivism, the idea that only scientifically provable and empirically valid claims are meaningful and actionable. Often you can lose sight of a holistically coherent view -- for example, the pharmaceutical industry's tendency to perform studies and market isolated psychoactive compounds without a deep consideration the natural environment in which the compound is found, which often contain other auxillary compounds which have co-evolved to mediate the effects of the original compound. Consul mentioned earlier the prevalence of fashion in philosophy, and in fact science can be guilty of the same -- most egregiously, for example, the story of Ignaz Semmelweis, who pioneered the idea of sterile technique in medicine but was rebuked and committed to an insane asylum for his trouble. Marconi who developed radio encountered similar resistance.
I understand some of the very apparent and dangerous risks of releasing the constraints of positivism, like getting sucked into various kinds of quackery and pseudoscientific initiatives a la Steve Jobs in his final battle with cancer, but maybe this can clear up a bit why I strive for a kind of practical Godelian understanding that what is true and effective is not necessarily limited to what is provably true.
You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg.