Religious beliefs of Iron Maiden fans

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
I don't feel comfortable with religions, Christianity's morals are pretty cool though. I also do not believe that humans are any more special in the grand scheme of things than, say, pine trees. But I do believe that our universal existence is a manifestation of some forces yet unknown. Scientific method is the way to unravel those mysteries, not theology. But on the contrary, scientific world has a problem with fringe sciences.

Personally, I had experiences. I do not wish to discuss them, but I completely and utterly disbelieve that conscience is carried by simple chemical reactions. We don't understand this thing, at all, and we won't if we keep listening to people in stupid robes.
 

Perun

Academic
Staff member
But on the contrary, scientific world has a problem with fringe sciences.
That's not entirely correct. The scientific world has a problem with fields of study that do not employ the scientific method. There are some "fringe sciences" that do employ the scientific method, but these have never yielded any results that are out of the ordinary, and therefore nothing scientifically interesting.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
That's not entirely correct. The scientific world has a problem with fields of study that do not employ the scientific method. There are some "fringe sciences" that do employ the scientific method, but these have never yielded any results that are out of the ordinary, and therefore nothing scientifically interesting.
This simply isn't true, let alone that you missed the context.

Prof Nikolay Yegorovich Zhukovsky (Russian: Никола́й Его́рович Жуко́вский; January 17 [O.S. January 5] 1847 – March 17, 1921) was a Russian scientist, mathematician and engineer, and a founding father of modern aero- and hydrodynamics. Whereas contemporary scientists scoffed at the idea of human flight, Zhukovsky was the first to undertake the study of airflow. He is often called the Father of Russian Aviation.
When Zhukovsky saw that flying machines were reproducible, there was no doubt that calculated flight was possible. His peers patronized him. As flying machines were implemented without involvement of scientists or scientific method, they discarded the flight theory.

See Youtube "hutchinson effect explained" for instance. It is cleanly reproducible with little resources. Yet no meaningful institution wants to apply the scientific method over these hypotheses. This is just one of a thousand examples we're too lazy or too shortsighted to develop further.
 

Black Wizard

Cereal Litigator
I did a project on Zhukovsky's (or Joukowski's) hypothesis for aerofoils. :) Apparently some South African guy discovered it first though. An example of Stigler's law.
 

Perun

Academic
Staff member
I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing when we use the term 'fringe science'. I'm the last one to deny that there are scientific breakthroughs that go without proper recognition, but I was thinking of entire academic and pseudo-academic fields such as Parapsychology.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
I don't want to start a fight either, but I'm sure Hawking did say that Parapsychology is the future...
 

Perun

Academic
Staff member
No offence jazz - honestly - but I don't think you understand what science actually is. Science isn't about claiming to "know" everything that can be "known". It is about finding out. Any scientist worth their salt will tell you that the current state of science is the best approximation of knowledge we can currently obtain, and that in ten, twenty or fifty years, this approximation will have changed, sometimes fundamentally. Einstein never claimed to "know" that the universe is static, it was merely the model he worked with in the absence of better ones. And he contributed to developing a better one; any good physicist will tell you that we will most likely have developed this model further in fifty years because it's their job to do that.

Whatever the consequences drawn from that, and what you think science can and cannot do, should be based on the correct perception of science. My own personal opinion on this, for what it's worth, is that the scientific method is the best way of finding an answer to whatever philosophical or metaphysical questions you may have. It's true, our current state of progress is not high enough to answer what was before the Big Bang or, in my view, whether there is a high commanding or creative force. Maybe we will never know, but we can't know if we never will unless we try to find out.
 

Black Wizard

Cereal Litigator
No offence jazz - honestly - but I don't think you understand what science actually is. Science isn't about claiming to "know" everything that can be "known". It is about finding out. Any scientist worth their salt will tell you that the current state of science is the best approximation of knowledge we can currently obtain, and that in ten, twenty or fifty years, this approximation will have changed, sometimes fundamentally.
This is correct.
 

Perun

Academic
Staff member
That's not a good way of starting a peaceful discussion. Please come down from your high horse a little bit, okay?
That's why I said "no offence" and "honestly", because I realised how it could be perceived. I'm a scientist myself (or a scholar, by the definition in English), and thus I'm not neutral in this discussion. Imagine it a bit like a firefighter talking about his job when the general perception is that his job consists mainly in pouring water on fire.

Take out your latin and remember what 'scientia' actually means.
Okay... so this disqualifies everything I said? Does it bother you that not only another scientist here (Wiz) agreed with me on this, but also that probably most other scientists in the world would? Are they all wrong about their job?

I'll give you a hint: Meditation isn't science.
If you're giving me only vague statements on what your thoughts are and expect me to just know what you mean like that, I'm not sure you should be telling me about high horses.

and I was actually trying to get into a discussion with him, because, as I see it, there are some contradictions in his argumentation.
I'm glad you're honest about this, but if you want to talk to only one person and not have others barge in with their thoughts, I suggest you carry this to a PM conversation.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing when we use the term 'fringe science'. I'm the last one to deny that there are scientific breakthroughs that go without proper recognition, but I was thinking of entire academic and pseudo-academic fields such as Parapsychology.
Misunderstanding, then. We're on the same page regarding para-whatever...
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
When you say "people in stupid robes", I guess you mean dignitaries of organized religions? I agree that there's a hell of a lot of bullshit in most, if not all, organized religions. But there's great wisdom in these ancient texts and traditions as well. And when it comes to the metaphysical, people like Stephen Hawking, who proclaim to know everything there is to know, are at least as ridiculous and stupid as those "people in stupid robes" IMO. Because, for example, you say you've had "experiences" -- I don't know what those experiences are, but I suppose they'll never be scientifically provable or falsifiable. Mystical texts and traditions in different religions (often seen as heresy by the official dignitaries as well) try to describe exactly those.
Yes there is, wisdom in ancient texts, and stuff. Where you see 'dignitaries' I see ordinary people. In robes. With a theology degree. I approach them as normal people, some are plain old idiots, some are enlightened and educated beyond my levels. But that robe 'means' that he's 'closer to God' than you. Which is entirely false.

Men in robes are men in robes. Enlightened people are enlightened people. They can go hand in hand
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
If science proclaims to be the only viable path to knowledge, especially in philosophical questions -- as Hawking does -- then it over-estimates itself and, worse, becomes a new ideology.
There's nothing inherently wrong with something being an ideology. Scientific method is the viable path to knowledge. Science recognizes it can be wrong, it always tests itself out and always refreshes itself. It does not claim to "know everything" as you asserted it does and it never has. On the contrary, science has always been about admitting that we don't know everything, that's what seperated it from dogmatic religious and metaphysical thought.
 

Perun

Academic
Staff member
I'm by no means anti-science, and I'm not attacking you or any scientist for doing your job at all;
I didn't say you were, and I also don't have the impression that you are.

I'm saying that Meditation might be a path to a different kind of knowledge that you can't obtain through science.
The neurological stimuli obtained through the process of meditation could be acquired otherwise; but I know that's not your point. I don't want to deny you the belief that you acquire knowledge through meditation that is something deeper and special, but personally, I don't share it. There is a lot of value in calming down, stepping back, musing and meditating, but there's nothing metaphysical to it.
 

Perun

Academic
Staff member
If I say, ‘Natural laws are the expression of G-d’s will’ there is nothing conceivable that will ever prove or disprove this.
There is no logical value to this statement. If he makes a statement like that and uses it as an argument, the burden of proof is on him, whether he likes it or not. He can't just shrug it off like that.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
By definition, the existence of a divine being cannot be today proven. Zare, I agree with you, quite personally, that the amount of unknowns will decrease as we learn more about stuff, as we gain more information and better technology. But if it's impossible to prove something, that's fine too. For me, personally, things without evidence do not meaningfully exist. That is to say something has to be quantifiable or measured for me to believe in it. I'm perfectly willing to believe there's stuff out there I don't know about. It could be something very, very big, or very very small. We're constantly getting better at detecting both, and science is great for that.

I don't see this is as a quarrel with religious people unless they choose to make it a quarrel. If someone wants to worship whichsoever god they want (with the caveat that their religion not inspire violence, and that it stays out of government and schools), I support that right. In fact, I would defend that right unto the death, if needed, despite being an atheist myself.

There's been a discussion about what knowing means. Lots of religious people know that their god is real, etc. I'm not criticisizing this, other than to say it's a belief. And there's a critical difference between the layman definition of knowledge and the scientific definition of knowledge. I think that's the crux of the disagreement here.

Keep in mind that everyone is entitled to their religious beliefs, or lack thereof, guys and girls, so please do keep the discussion civil.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Jazz, that quote implies that God has a will. Will is something inherent to a subset of carbon-based life, on planet Earth, as far as the proof goes. People made God in their own image. This is the biggest problem I have with major religions, their egocentrism, homocentrism, call it what you will, and geocentrism. Humans on Earth, everything is about them. Well, it simply isn't. Religions native to Americas are like life and death to Abrahamic ones, as far as I can tell, and all "our" holy scripts do not mention that people, and their believes, and what God did to include them in his kingdom. They don't know about them because their knowledge was severely limited, talking about Eurasian peoples 1000-2000 yrs ago, and they see themselves as the Oracle. There was an ancient civilization in Turkey that had implemented in and outs of urban settlements, yet holy scriptures attribute that probably to Mesopotamia. Tons of old and gone ancient 'developed' civilizations, especially around the banks of river Ind.

Human knowledge will never be completed. Everyone who presents his thinking as the ultimate knowledge is wrong by definition. Saying again, I think core Christianity's has great synergy with scientific approach, it's abstract enough. I'm also quite pleased with this discussion and everyone has good points.

LC, we both know that things start "existing" once we start to perceive them. You could be blind from birth and never know something's not OK if you had no interactions in life. You'd walk around like a dog without ever realizing that's not the way it's "supposed to be". That's human mind and that's quantum mechanics :)
 
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Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Misunderstanding, then. We're on the same page regarding para-whatever...
Why qualify it? Many to this day think that about plain old psychology. Sure it tries to play with the big boys buy going into brain chemistry, but that's nothing biology, chemistry ad neuroscience hasn't already looked into.

So I'd like to know how parapsychology is a pseudo-science where plain psychology isn't.
 
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