1) Overgeneralization/Lack of precision (essentializing & stereotype)
2) Downright myth and stereotype
3) Straw-person attack
4) Under-inclusive logic claiming to be over-inclusive. Over-stating the data.
5) Wrong framework, Wrong paradigm
6) Name calling
7) Denialism about meaning and purpose
8) Denialism they use intuition and emotion or that those are important to the human experience
I think the other disciplines are ways of thinking and ways of knowing…..I’m not sure I see a need or reason to draw a distinction…..much less exclude one or the other.
But…when science has ultimate authority….to speak through something like neuroscience….and not be informed by other disciplines and ways of thinking….it misses the point. (see also Neuroscientist at Stanford Professor Newsome). I’ve also seen extensive refutations of the theory of determinism from
Plus….science takes place in the context of the other disciplines both:
1) at the scientist & science community level (interpretive)
2) the level at which that which is studied (data)
A scientist and/or system theorist must come to terms with these mediations. So for instance, the underlying contexts extend to philosophy and psychology. Without understanding those two you aren’t likely to understand.
Our lives are fundamentally multi-dimensional. The areas science studies are fundamentally multi-dimensional. It needs and we need a full range of multiple-dimensional tools to study those multiple dimensions.
I think also approaching problems from the role of the scientist and the role of an artist or creative (or lateral thinker). I think that’s ultimately what separates a number of our top Nobel prize winners and inventors–because they understood how to integrate the two versus just using the scientist thinking model (Da Vinci, Edison, and Einstein were all noted for their creativity and insights and innovation).
Science isn’t always in a position to make value judgements about itself (biology, chemistry, and physics don’t have all that many ethical maxims). Honesty, consent, respect for human dignity or personhood, etc… are all potentially important.
What is it you think is unfair about Dawkin’s and the New-Atheist attack on religion?
Well, for one thing…..I don’t believe in all religions…..I believe in one religion. Or even more specifically I believe in Jesus. I’ll take Jesus in any debate against anyone thank you very much. Plus Jesus is the
His approach at all religions is disingenuous for philosophical, logical, and scientific reasons.
1) I’m not a Catholic or a Muslim (and don’t buy into any ideology that would cause me to attach myself to their ideologies). This is the same for most of America. Abuses of the Catholic power and mismanagement are not God or Jesus–they are the opposite.
2) Much of the critique falls on isolated parts of church leadership or church institutions….not the core of believers.
3) Its a geneaological account of sorts of religion. All institutions had difficulty which such a critique (science, human rights, the US government, etc…). This doesn’t speak to my issues in my faith-based walk now. What happened 200 or 2000 years ago in the church doesn’t quite matter to my faith. We had slavery and still have racism in America….but understood in context….America is still on balance better than other alternatives.
4) I’m not responsible for those who have abused the name of Jesus–because I don’t behave like that. In fact, the words of Jesus provides accountable.
5) Detachment from the reality. I choose a spiritual home and identity for myself.
I don’t choose all religion. I choose one…..and often in a very nuanced way.
6) Over-generalization, Lack of representativeness, and Lack of precision is a logical fallacy. He’s cherry picking examples.
7) The above suggests his attempts aren’t grounded in an academic search for truth, but rather a Witchhunt. (the ethics of which is truly manipulative and dispicable)
8) He didn’t really look at the real history of philosophy & theology (as a true academic would). His was far more like a manipulate Michael Moore (or worse) than a factual and respected Ken Burns. Michael Moore is an entertainer….Ken Burns is a real educator. (I didn’t borrow this from the NYT review below, but he actually makes this point in passing).
9) Dawkins, et al fail to understand the ways that science and reason are faith based
10) Particularly when inference, intuition, subjectivity, and emotion are actually eliminated or put in a diminutive status……because you ultimately paralize human action.
11) Hate speech against religion, ill informed polemics and hit-pieces, and even eliminating religion doesn’t really do any good. It only stirs the pot and engenders hate. If Dawkins had said the same things gays, women, or racial minorities that he about Christians (this one did bad things….ergo the whole group is rotten there would be 100,000s of thousands complaining to his publisher….and distributors). Playing the guilt by association game is a low blow indeed–not to mention intellectually dishonest (hasty generalization and poisoning the well–mostly the later–not to mention all the hate and vitriol which was created).
12) Using shady either/or logic and science and religion….rather than fully understanding the ways in which one informs and supports the other. Using shady either/or logic with respect to faith and reason. Most Christians I know don’t subscribe to a Kierkeggardian conception of faith…..in an absolutist sense. Faith doesn’t mean blind faith. Its that simple. And Dawkins avoid dozens and dozens of legitimate scholars he could have engaged…..but cherry picked…..to make for a tabloid-esque controversial story rather than an incisive and philosophical analysis. There was nothing scientific about his approach.
Ultimately, I see zero justification for war or conflict in the person of Jesus. I only see justification for peace and conflict resolution.
“The reductionist flatting of Shakespeare’s drama was rooted in the larger reductionist-materialist worldview Freud inherited and embraced, a view that grinds the intricate fabric of life, of all life, to a lifeless, homogenous pulp. At the heart of this view is the belief that nothing essential is lost in the grinding because there is no ultimate difference between living and non-living things. This assumption leads to poisonous paradox: a fundamental aim of modern biology, life science, is to eliminate the commonsense notion that “living” is a fundamental category worthy of its own science.”
Big picture is not off track.
Its all part of the over arching narrative and point of the conversation.
So…the Bible discussed slavery, but it does so in the context of a contract in which you treat slaves well. Its not much different than sports contracts. This is also a net improvement (ie its a net improvement in accountability).
Second, Moses did say “Let my people go!” at least in principle
Third, the Bible was the basis for “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” because before TJ wrote it he got it from Locke who deduced that from the Bible (or perhaps other philosophers who were heavily influenced with Biblical principles.
Fourth, the Bible helped serve as a means to check the accountability of slavery
Fifth, the Bible and the church served as the backbone for the civil rights movement.
Six, the church was ahead of many institutions.
Seventh, the Jesus model is amazing in this regard.
Moreover, Galatians 3:28:
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
All of these point to the issue that the arc of history points toward justice. That accountability through ethics and the law brought about social change which moved society forward.
You say my source was dishonest. You see action and assume intent. That article covered lots of ground–and there was lots to cover. Perhaps more could have been covered.
Does the universe care?
Not exactly the right question. To be sure…..we are actually here. We’re not dead….so it may be the universe cares ALOT more than we think.
To date we as a human race haven’t been killed by hurricane, asteroid, or the sun imploding. Wow….that means the universe might just like us….we have actual people that are alive and breathing….sure some populations are struggling….but where there is struggle you also see other humanity often pitching in to help out (ie development assistance) and otherwise lending a hand. We’re imperfect humans–but with an eye for helping out our fellow human being.
Of course when you don’t ask the right question…..in the right perspective….you rig the game (or rather rig the perspective so that people don’t have purpose)…..as those who assert there is no meaning are apt to do.
Is radical skepticism about the meaning of the universe justified?
Well first, it seems to radically prefigure our answer. So maybe other perspectives can come to the party and contribute rather than having the singular voice of a few select and published scientist speak for an issue art, literature, philosophy, and theory has addressed multiple times through the milllenium. Sources of wisdom that you can’t just imagine away…..especially if you have a degree of humility about the nature and purposes of science.
What difference would we be to the universe?
Death of citizens. Death of civilizations.
Intelligent and sentient
Even Darwin, when pressed would have to say something evolutionary about the purpose of the universe rather than de-contextulazing and de-subjectivizing (ie taking all the marrow and choice and humanity out of humanity). Thats a prescription for not knowing what humanity is about or where its going.
At a 3 million mile view…..we are just specks. Thats functionally important. What can we do? What are we capable of? What do our potentialities suggest we can do? What does our history suggest we can do? What are the greatest achievements of humanity? What does humanity do that suggests meaning?
What does this perspective set us up for? What new universe does this pronouncement call into being?
I want a science (or rather worldview/philosophy/belief system) who says not only what is here (ie description) but also maintains a notion of hope and possibility for a new day. I think others in the human community similarly want a system or multiple systems of thought which can do those two functions.
If we define “science” and “scientists” by a strictly naturalist definition….we are probably…..particularly if we decide to worship at their alter of if our lives have meaning or not. To me….I don’t let others make subjective and capricious decisions about my life…….and certainly without grounds to do so. I believe in human possibility far too much…..I realize its been less than perfect…..
Here are a couple more questions to consider in this regard:
• What is our best hope of improving meaning?
• What is our best hope of creating meaning in the future?
• What is our best hope of creating positive difference?
As written this leaves the reader to figure out their own definition for meaning and purpose in the universe.
Why is it that Stephen Hawking, et al have decided to rig the game by looking at a 3 million foot view…..rather than looking at the 3 foot view…..of people eyeball to eyeball or looking at the ground-level reality of people helping other people…..or of leaving great acts of service, community, brotherhood, social change, transformation, progress, and innovation.
And ultimately if there isn’t a purpose to humanity….there is much purpose in the lives of anyone…..or of scientists. It seems to me this philosophy is a fundamental cul de sac–a dead end in terms of worldviews.
Why haven’t the world’s scientists come out against such a view? Why are they all in lockstep behind Stephen Hawking? Apparently they didn’t read Simon Sinek’s book (or TED Talk here). They haven’t watched and taken seriously any TED talk about meaning or purpose. That millions have read and watched his TED talk and not realized what a cognitive dissonance exists between a world portrayed without purpose and meaning–and the absolute need for purpose.
• Why teach?
• Why do science?
• Why write?
• Why make? Why build stuff?
• Why build companies?
• Why be creative?
• Why get up in the morning?
• Why care for your kids?
• Why struggle through adversity?
• Why be on Quora?
• What drives you? What drives those around you?
I’m not content with a hyper-abstracted view of reality…..detached from my experience and entirely detached from the world of reality that most people experience.
Its sad…..we live lives bathed in purpose and meaning…..and yet since its become invisble to us (and it takes sometimes an immaterial form) except when we write it in our journals or goal lists…….but our entire lives circle around our purpose.
Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. You have dreams. Humans have dreams. We want to push forward–we want to progress–we want to discover…..Those are lives of purpose….those are lives of meaning.