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Science & The Supernatural: A Discussion of the World Around us - Based on Science with an Interest in the Supernatural ...
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PostPosted: 17 Jan 2009, 23:06 
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HavenMage wrote:
So it would be accurate then to say that all religion is belief, but not all belief is religion? I can live with that.


I don't know that you could say that "all religion is belief", but you might be able to say they're predicated on some sort of belief ... I mean, what about those adherents who pay the religion lip-service. They may be likely to gain the benefits without ever 'believing' as long as they uphold the ethics ... :dontknow:

dug_down_deep wrote:
Also, I think that many secular-minded people (like myself, to a certain degree) tend to believe that they don't hold beliefs in the same way that the religious do. Like with accents, it's everyone else that has one, not me.


BTW, I love this, ddd. In some ways it's argued that if you subscribe to string-theory tenets as aiding in explaining the universe's mechanics, then you're having belief in something that science can't prove, hence a supernatural belief. But, of course it's based on scientific (or at least sci-fi :cheeky: ) principles, not gods or spirits ...

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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2009, 10:24 
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I would argue that there is a qualitative difference between a religious belief and a scientific one.
The former is primarily based on wishful thinking and indoctrination; the latter is a matter of mental convenience.
For example, I believe that a multi-dimensional model of space-time is a workable concept that leads to further research.
Where such scientific beliefs are untenable, they are modified or discarded.
This is not as true with religious beliefs.
Such beliefs tend to require that the believer either modify her perceptions or else ignore those that contradict the belief.
This is, in many rational people's minds, inherently insane and leads to very strange behavior by the religious believers.


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2009, 19:56 
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Taliesin wrote:
I would argue that there is a qualitative difference between a religious belief and a scientific one.
The former is primarily based on wishful thinking and indoctrination; the latter is a matter of mental convenience.


Hmmm ... But in looking at many religious systems (especially those codified before they had a great amount of scientific understandings), they serve to be a matter of "mental convenience", in that they explain the workings of the world in a systematic way, though that way may be explained through supernatural means since the natural ones are unrecognized, or perhaps at the tech level, unrecognizable.

Taliesin wrote:
For example, I believe that a multi-dimensional model of space-time is a workable concept that leads to further research.
Where such scientific beliefs are untenable, they are modified or discarded.
This is not as true with religious beliefs.
Such beliefs tend to require that the believer either modify her perceptions or else ignore those that contradict the belief.
This is, in many rational people's minds, inherently insane and leads to very strange behavior by the religious believers.


So then where would space-time or string-theory adherents fall in this who believe that it is possible to slide through walls by setting all the atoms in your body just off from the atoms in the walls (atoms being made of mostly empty space and all).

Is that rational? Is it any more rational than believing that one has a psychic/ supernatural ability to slide through a wall, since we can't test string-theory stuff or many of the space-time ideas?

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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2009, 10:55 
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Hex wrote:

So then where would space-time or string-theory adherents fall in this who believe that it is possible to slide through walls by setting all the atoms in your body just off from the atoms in the walls (atoms being made of mostly empty space and all).

Is that rational? Is it any more rational than believing that one has a psychic/ supernatural ability to slide through a wall, since we can't test string-theory stuff or many of the space-time ideas?


I suppose the difference would be if one could apply the scientific method to the process.
If a supernatural force were subject to scientific analysis, then wouldn't it be a natural but unexplained force?
I tend to think of the supernatural as being inherently inexplicable and thus outside the purview of science.
Which is why I also tend to believe that there is no such thing as the supernatural.


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