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  1. #1
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    Default Deists and scientist from war to peace

    Deists and scientists: peaceful coexistence


    I would very much like to know what people on this website think about peaceful coexistence between those who study our material world (scientists) and those who study our spiritual world (theologians). My attempt to write an essay on that subject failed, as you can see at:

    http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/theology3.html

    The webpage was prepared to generate a discussion. Those who post comments should refer to specific “contributions,” as numbered (or to specific persons, as numbered at the beginning). This will simplify the discussion.

    And let us keep in mind that the main topic is peaceful coexistence. Is it possible? Is it desirable? What should we do promote it? etc.

    Thank you in advance,

    Ludwik Kowalski
    Professor Emeritus
    Montclair State University
    .
    on-line autobiography --> http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html
    .

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    Default Re: Deists and scientist from war to peace

    I was once told that at least 60% of all humanity are stupid - and 90% of the rest are apathetic. This would indicate that a very few people influence the majority.
    My experience is many of these “few” are extremist and are rarely tolerant of anyone who does not see things the way they do.
    I don’t think peaceful coexistence is possible for these people and unfortunately they are the “squeaky wheels” and take far to many of the “ignorant masses” with them.

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    Default Re: Deists and scientist from war to peace

    "Only with bow and arrow at hand can one sit in peace; else all one does is nothing but stir up trouble" - Nietzsche, Zarathustra Ch 7

    I personally believe that peaceful coexistence is a necessary need; yet perhaps war is just one means of weeding out the "squeaky wheels" that Mr muscogeemike mentioned.

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    Default Re: Deists and scientist from war to peace

    Muscogeemike might be correct. But 90% of the remaining 40% amounts to 36%. That means that 4% of "all humanity" (one out of 25 people) is neither stupid nor apathetic. These "few," motivated to do something good, and not tolerant toward bad things, makes me think that improvements are possible.

    Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia), whose profile is at:

    http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kow...y_profile.html

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    Default Re: Deists and scientist from war to peace

    kowalskil, I sincerely hope you are right (that improvements are possible) but from what I’ve learned of human nature I doubt it.

    "Look for evil in every man and you will not be disappointed." Budda

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    Default Re: Deists and scientist from war to peace

    Hi,

    For me, I think that peaceful co-existance is increasingly difficult in our modern world, because of the growing tenedency of scientists to treat deists with sneering contempt. You need look no further than men like Richard Dawkins for this kind of view.

    I think that science needs to accept that it does not, and indeed can not, know everything. Furthermore, the intellect they have been given is in itself a gift from God.

    To remove the notion of God not only seeks to prove a negative, which is impossible, but seeks to remove from countless millions the comfort of knowing a higher being is caring for them in this life and the next.

    The key difference is that on the whole, religion does not seek to extinguish science (though in the past this has been attempted), but science is seeking to replace religion as the source of peoples faith.

    In fact, in earlier times, deists and scientists were intextricable, as most scientists were churchmen and it was within the monestaries of Europe that the learning of the ancient scientists was preserved for us to study.

    Living in peace is both possible and desirable, but requires the scientific community to stick to what they are good at and cease meddling in the spiritual lives of the wider populace, as Mr Dawkins insists on doing.

    Kind regards,

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    Default Re: Deists and scientist from war to peace

    Quote Originally Posted by Smoking Frog View Post
    Hi,

    For me, I think that peaceful co-existance is increasingly difficult in our modern world, because of the growing tenedency of scientists to treat deists with sneering contempt. You need look no further than men like Richard Dawkins for this kind of view.

    I think that science needs to accept that it does not, and indeed can not, know everything. Furthermore, the intellect they have been given is in itself a gift from God.

    To remove the notion of God not only seeks to prove a negative, which is impossible, but seeks to remove from countless millions the comfort of knowing a higher being is caring for them in this life and the next.

    The key difference is that on the whole, religion does not seek to extinguish science (though in the past this has been attempted), but science is seeking to replace religion as the source of peoples faith.

    In fact, in earlier times, deists and scientists were intextricable, as most scientists were churchmen and it was within the monestaries of Europe that the learning of the ancient scientists was preserved for us to study.

    Living in peace is both possible and desirable, but requires the scientific community to stick to what they are good at and cease meddling in the spiritual lives of the wider populace, as Mr Dawkins insists on doing.

    Kind regards,
    Yes, indeed. Instead of trying to annihilate each other, scientists and theologists should change attitudes toward each other. How can this be accomplished?

    Ludwik Kowalski
    Professor Emeritus
    Montclair State University
    .
    on-line autobiography --> http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html

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    Default Re: Deists and scientist from war to peace

    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil View Post
    Yes, indeed. Instead of trying to annihilate each other, scientists and theologists should change attitudes toward each other. How can this be accomplished?

    Ludwik Kowalski
    Professor Emeritus
    Montclair State University
    .
    on-line autobiography --> http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html
    If history, from Galileo to the Scopes so-called 'Monkey trial' to the Iranian theocracy to current American fundamentists demanding that creationism be substituted for science in schools is anything to go by, it can't be accomplished because there are two cultures which are antithetical to each other.

    One is empirically based and the other is faith based.

    While each has elements of the other, such as adherents of religions basing their beliefs on what is to them empirical evidence, such as the Bible, Old Testament, New Testament, Torah, Koran, etc and adherents of science basing their beliefs on the scientific thinking of the time, such as the pre germ theory efficacy of firing cannons to disperse the miasma causing disease, the difference is that science, despite many great battles against challenges to the contemporary orthodoxy, is capable of changes which contradict the previous orthodoxy.

    For example, the Nobel Prize awarded to Marshall and Warren for indentifying the role of bacteria in gastric and peptic ulcers overcame the preceding orthodoxy and vindicated their research in the face of professional derision.

    There is no comparable process in religions as they cannot adapt to new evidence which contradicts their faith systems, because faith systems are not evidence based. Anyone who challenges such faith systems is usually labelled a heretic and driven out of the faith or, when the faith has the powers of a state, dealt with as criminals.

    The short answer is that science and religion are incompatible, because they don't share common values.

    The longer answer is that the problem is not between scientists and religion, for many scientists are religiously observant and faithful and vice versa, but with the leadership of religions which insist upon adherence to their faiths rather than evidence based research and knowledge. Nothing will change until the leaderships change their attitudes.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 08-07-2011 at 09:02 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Deists and scientist from war to peace

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    If history, from Galileo to the Scopes so-called 'Monkey trial' to the Iranian theocracy to current American fundamentists demanding that creationism be substituted for science in schools is anything to go by, it can't be accomplished because there are two cultures which are antithetical to each other.

    One is empirically based and the other is faith based.

    While each has elements of the other, such as adherents of religions basing their beliefs on what is to them empirical evidence, such as the Bible, Old Testament, New Testament, Torah, Koran, etc and adherents of science basing their beliefs on the scientific thinking of the time, such as the pre germ theory efficacy of firing cannons to disperse the miasma causing disease, the difference is that science, despite many great battles against challenges to the contemporary orthodoxy, is capable of changes which contradict the previous orthodoxy.

    For example, the Nobel Prize awarded to Marshall and Warren for indentifying the role of bacteria in gastric and peptic ulcers overcame the preceding orthodoxy and vindicated their research in the face of professional derision.

    There is no comparable process in religions as they cannot adapt to new evidence which contradicts their faith systems, because faith systems are not evidence based. Anyone who challenges such faith systems is usually labelled a heretic and driven out of the faith or, when the faith has the powers of a state, dealt with as criminals.

    The short answer is that science and religion are incompatible, because they don't share common values.

    The longer answer is that the problem is not between scientists and religion, for many scientists are religiously observant and faithful and vice versa, but with the leadership of religions which insist upon adherence to their faiths rather than evidence based research and knowledge. Nothing will change until the leaderships change their attitudes.
    Each side should recognize that most people on earth live in two different worlds, material and spiritual. Methods of validation of claims made by theologians, specializing in spiritual doctrines, are very different from those used by scientists exploring our physical world. God is not a material entity and attempts to refute God’s existence by performing scientific experiments are not appropriate. The same is true for attempts to refute scientific claims, such as the age of the earth, on the basis of disagreement with holy books.

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    Default Re: Deists and scientist from war to peace

    Quote Originally Posted by Smoking Frog View Post
    Hi,

    In fact, in earlier times, deists and scientists were intextricable, as most scientists were churchmen and it was within the monestaries of Europe that the learning of the ancient scientists was preserved for us to study.

    Living in peace is both possible and desirable, but requires the scientific community to stick to what they are good at and cease meddling in the spiritual lives of the wider populace, as Mr Dawkins insists on doing.

    Kind regards,
    If I remember correctly it was the Christians that saw the knowledge of the ancients as a threat and, for centuries, actively tried to destroy it (the burning of the library in Alexandria and destruction of the accumulated knowledge of the Maya’s, and the “Dark Ages” were perpetrated by Christians). I believe that for the most part it was the Moslems who preserved the ancient knowledge, with some credit to the Irish as well.

    “Living in peace” is very subjective and may not be desirable. Who defines what the state of “peace” is? The Church? History shows us that any time the Church dictates - things do not go well for most folks. Stress and competition stimulate humans, “peace” could make us cattle.


    An argument can be made that war at least “thins the heard”. Overpopulation results in fewer resources, disease, and misery for the less fortunate. Large parts of the world are starving today and fresh water may become more precious than oil in the future if we don’t stop re-producing at our current rate. And I know of no religion which discourages procreation, if fact the opposite is the case, every church wants more members, believing as they do of course.

    Then there is your statememt that “…the scientific community" should "...stick to what they are good at and cease meddling in the spiritual lives of the wider populace“, meddling in the lives of the wider populace is exactly what religion does as doctrine. It is intolerable for most churches to accept any belief other than their own.
    Last edited by muscogeemike; 09-24-2011 at 04:21 PM.

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