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> There's hope for America after all!, Survey finds that an increasing amount of Americans are veering away from religion altogether
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post Mar 09, 2009, 10:50 AM
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post Mar 09, 2009, 02:58 PM
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Maybe there's hope. We're far behind the most enlightened nations, but far ahead of some others. Progress marches on!
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post Mar 09, 2009, 03:12 PM
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They're just moving away from one kind of religion and towards another. Science is the new popular religion. People have replaced the old ghosts with new ones.
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post Mar 09, 2009, 04:53 PM
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I think anyone would have a hard time justifying the view that science is a religion. No faith is required. Only verifiable and reproducible evidence suffices in science.
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post Mar 09, 2009, 05:22 PM
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The scientist has faith that verifiable and reproductive evidence are a source of truth. Faith exists in scientific laws.
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post Mar 09, 2009, 05:26 PM
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so.... what do the various sciences offer as a source of hope that the various religions are not capable of providing?
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post Mar 10, 2009, 08:38 AM
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QUOTE(boots @ Mar 09, 2009, 06:22 PM) *

The scientist has faith that verifiable and reproductive evidence are a source of truth. Faith exists in scientific laws.

There's a difference between faith and knowledge, you know. Or do you know?
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post Mar 10, 2009, 09:20 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Mar 10, 2009, 04:38 PM) *

QUOTE(boots @ Mar 09, 2009, 06:22 PM) *

The scientist has faith that verifiable and reproductive evidence are a source of truth. Faith exists in scientific laws.

There's a difference between faith and knowledge, you know. Or do you know?

Doesn't science include faith? Doesn't a scientist endeavor to expand knowledge and have faith there is always more to understand and more to experience?
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post Mar 10, 2009, 10:27 AM
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I have a beef with the way organized religion has hijacked spirituality, cluttered its true meaning, and denies a meaninful and constructive way of understanding it. Not with spirituality itself.
Science as a way of religion sounds contradictory. Faith as a practical means to achieve progress is a natural characteristic of man. How can this constitute a new religion?
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post Mar 10, 2009, 11:23 AM
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It's easy to manipulate the semantics but the hole of unsubstantiated make-believe dug by religious faith is not so easy to get out of.

Of course scientists have faith but it merely means an eagerness to discover or understand, or a (possible temporary) satisfaction with present theories. But scientists know that much of what they 'know' and many theories will be modified and change, as more or better evidence is acquired through the accepted scientific method.

Scientists are realists and know that things could change. But they seek the truth and are not so easily fobbed off by fairy stories that debase and demean the human 'spirit' and abilities.

As soon as we are able to prevent the brain-washing of children by religions (some of which is clearly and visibly child abuse), eventually we will be able to show our true potential.

This is not to say that science and its methods or people are perfect. Far from it. But that doesn't empower the fairies, it just needs sorting as and when.
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post Mar 11, 2009, 07:59 PM
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Well in how many ways is science like religion?

Both religion and science involve faith in something more, that this world as we know it is not the ideal world (as our understanding of it is incomplete).


To the Jews, the world was created by God, and mankind has fallen from grace, and must endure the effects of Original Sin on all mankind. The Jews feel that they must grasp for forgiveness in order to attain Heaven.

To the Buddhist, the world is inherently empty, created and sustained by karma, and full of suffering beings. The Buddhist feels that they must "grasp" (poor use of the term in the Buddhist concept, but that's beside the point) emptiness in order to attain Nirvana.

To the scientist, the world is matter and energy, created by a Big Bang, and sustained by natural laws, but our understanding of it is forever incomplete. We can add to knowledge, but will Ultimate Knowledge ever be grasped? Is it even possible, or are there literally endless patterns to be discovered and explained? The scientist grasps for more facts in order to attain Truth.


Jews are consistently adding and commenting on the Talmud.
Buddhists are constantly writing abhidharma, sutras, koans,etc.
Scientists are constantly writing new scientific and mathematical laws.


The similarities between science and other religions seem about as profound as the differences.
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post Mar 12, 2009, 02:08 AM
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The best thing about science is that its changeable. Of course if you go against the grain of orthodox science, or call another scientists accepted theory into doubt, then you might as well be Copernicus against religion!

Copernicus had faith in what he was doing, when the world around him believed in whatever they were spoonfed. Many many people have been brave enough to go against the mainstream beliefs, often to their own demise. Without people like that the world would still be sacrificing animals to the rain gods.

But we all have faith and take things that science says as Truth. Whenever a new scientific breakthrough comes along, we all post on here about the repercussions on this new 'Truth'. Almost certainly none of us were there; none of us saw the experiment first hand; none of us have done all the experiments that were precursors to the newest hypothesis - Yet we all have faith in the results of our scientific 'sages'.

People can be very wrong, religious or scientific, its safeguarding and sanity checking ourselves which should be done above all else.

Spirituality is extremely valid in our lives. I believe true spirituality actually drives the inquisitive mind into science, because to truly understand something brings a lot of joy. We still don't know the answer to the big questions, and we probably never will. We still feel awe and wonder when we bring a new life into existence, and emptiness and sadness when we lose a friend. This cyclic nature of life and the nature of love are all genuine reasons for spirituality.

So I'm with Code on this one. Religion is 5% genuine spirituality, and 95% political padding.
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post Mar 13, 2009, 09:36 AM
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Religion is not unlike like a child learning to walk, tho its taken thousands of years for it to digress and progress should we kick the child for stumbling or live in truth and wisdom to give it an example to live up to?
If you're too busy kicking the child and telling it what it's doing wrong, what example will it have to see any differently? Won't it just develop its own beliefs and a need to protect itself under attack?

Wouldn't it require a greater faith in humanity to see that what exists in the evolved Self lives within the child that is learning to walk?
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post Mar 13, 2009, 11:22 AM
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QUOTE(boots @ Mar 12, 2009, 03:59 AM) *

Well in how many ways is science like religion?

Both religion and science involve faith in something more, that this world as we know it is not the ideal world (as our understanding of it is incomplete).


To the Jews, the world was created by God, and mankind has fallen from grace, and must endure the effects of Original Sin on all mankind. The Jews feel that they must grasp for forgiveness in order to attain Heaven.

To the Buddhist, the world is inherently empty, created and sustained by karma, and full of suffering beings. The Buddhist feels that they must "grasp" (poor use of the term in the Buddhist concept, but that's beside the point) emptiness in order to attain Nirvana.

To the scientist, the world is matter and energy, created by a Big Bang, and sustained by natural laws, but our understanding of it is forever incomplete. We can add to knowledge, but will Ultimate Knowledge ever be grasped? Is it even possible, or are there literally endless patterns to be discovered and explained? The scientist grasps for more facts in order to attain Truth.


Jews are consistently adding and commenting on the Talmud.
Buddhists are constantly writing abhidharma, sutras, koans,etc.
Scientists are constantly writing new scientific and mathematical laws.


The similarities between science and other religions seem about as profound as the differences.
So we just believe in fairies, although there is no evidence? Very profound!
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post Mar 13, 2009, 02:42 PM
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I was thinking more along the lines of giving something more inspiring to humanity than sarcasm.. dry.gif
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post Mar 13, 2009, 03:08 PM
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QUOTE(Joesus @ Mar 13, 2009, 10:42 PM) *

I was thinking more along the lines of giving something more inspiring to humanity than sarcasm.. dry.gif
Me too! tongue.gif
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post Mar 13, 2009, 04:48 PM
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QUOTE
So we just believe in fairies, although there is no evidence? Very profound!


All I'm saying is that science and religion have equal inherent value.



"We are all of us very arrogant and conceited about running down other people's ghosts but just as ignorant and barbaric and superstitious about our own"

"The problem, the contradiction the scientists are stuck with, is that of mind. Mind has no matter or energy but they can't escape its predominance over everything they do. Logic exists in the mind. Numbers exist only in the mind. I don't get upset when scientists say that ghosts exist in the mind. It's that only that get me. Science is only in your mind too, it's just that that doesn't make it bad. Or ghosts either.

Laws of nature are human inventions, like ghosts. Laws of logic, of mathematics are also human inventions, like ghosts. The whole blessed thing is a human invention, including the idea that it isn't a human invention. The world has no existence whatsoever outside the human imagination. It's all a ghost, and in antiquity was so recognized as a ghost, the whole blessed world we live in. It's run by ghosts. We see what we see because these ghosts show it to us, ghosts of Moses and Christ and the Buddha, and Plato, and Descartes, and Rousseau and Jefferson and Lincoln, on and on and on. Isaac Newton is a very good ghost. One of the best. Your common sense is nothing more than voices of thousands and thousands of these ghosts from the past. Ghosts and more ghosts. Ghosts trying to find their place among the living."

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
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post Mar 13, 2009, 05:58 PM
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QUOTE(boots @ Mar 14, 2009, 12:48 AM) *
Laws of nature are human [i]inventions[/i
I think you'll find they are discoveries not inventions.
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post Mar 13, 2009, 06:05 PM
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QUOTE(boots @ Mar 14, 2009, 12:48 AM) *
It's all a ghost, and in antiquity was so recognized as a ghost, the whole blessed world we live in. It's run by ghosts. We see what we see because these ghosts show it to us, ghosts of Moses and Christ and the Buddha, and Plato, and Descartes, and Rousseau and Jefferson and Lincoln, on and on and on. Isaac Newton is a very good ghost. One of the best. Your common sense is nothing more than voices of thousands and thousands of these ghosts from the past. Ghosts and more ghosts. Ghosts trying to find their place among the living."
If you are being poetic here and implying that 'ghosts' are the residual theories, discoveries etc, indeed the wealth of human history, then I can go along with that. But if you are implying that actual ghosts are around, then that is an invention of the human mind, and there is no hard evidence, merely hypothesis. How would you test that hypothesis? In other words, I'm asking you to prove your case.
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post Mar 14, 2009, 02:55 PM
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Like its stated in my signature, those ghosts are echoes of the zeitgeist from times gone by. There is only repetition of ideas and behaviours, recombined and spat out into the mass of the hive mind. I also believe the Holy Ghost is a recognition of this ever present environment that we all contribute to.

I don't think its something you can test; its merely a view from another angle on the external pressures on our capacitor like reflecting minds. Your first assumption is how I took Books statement.
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post Mar 14, 2009, 07:26 PM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Mar 14, 2009, 06:55 PM) *

.... There is only repetition of ideas and behaviours, recombined (reconfigured, re contextualized and repackaged) and spat out into the mass of the hive mind....


Welcome to the wonderful world of postmodernism!!!
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post Apr 06, 2009, 12:15 PM
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post Jan 15, 2010, 12:01 PM
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QUOTE
Mar 09, 2009, 07:53 PM, Rick wrote (Post #4|): I think anyone would have a hard time justifying the view that science is a religion. No faith is required. Only verifiable and reproducible evidence suffices in science.
Rick, I agree. I also agree with the basic thesis of this thread--More Americans are veering away from organized religion.

BTW, I missed this thread, because last March we were in Florida. I will be there, again, this March. My wife and I have visited Treasure Island, St. Petersburg area, since 1966--over 40 years. Apropos to the theme of this thread, while there we have attended Pasadena Community Church--a Methodist Church
http://www.pasadenacommunitychurch.org/

Interestingly, the current series of sermons are on such themes as:
When Bad Religion Happens to Good People & When Tragedy Strikes--about what is happening to Haiti, and to the people, including Methodists, who live there.
=========================================================
About PCC
PCC is a large congregation. The church seats 3000 with a choir of 300 voices.
Recently we have noticed that the church is not as full as it used to be. The last time we were there the choir loft was less than half full.
===========================================
Rick, how do you feel about psychology? Do you feel that it is a pseudo-science, and nothing more? What about sociology?

As a long-time student of psychology I certainly do not think of it as a hard science, but it is not possible to approach it with a scientific attitude of mind? Or of spirit? If so, I say the same thing for pneumatology, which, as I have said grew out of psychology.

If psychology, pneumatology, sociology and the like are not sciences, what are they? Just philosophies? As such, have they no value? If so, what value do they have?

I like what Will R Durant said in his, History of Philosophy: All science starts as a philosophy and ends as an art.
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post Jan 15, 2010, 12:45 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Jan 15, 2010, 12:01 PM) *
... Rick, how do you feel about psychology? Do you feel that it is a pseudo-science, and nothing more? What about sociology?

As a long-time student of psychology I certainly do not think of it as a hard science, but it is not possible to approach it with a scientific attitude of mind? Or of spirit? If so, I say the same thing for pneumatology, which, as I have said grew out of psychology.

If psychology, pneumatology, sociology and the like are not sciences, what are they? Just philosophies? As such, have they no value? If so, what value do they have? ...

Psychology is certainly a valid science. One only needs to read the peer-reviewed research papers of psychology to know that. Similarly with the social sciences. Are there peer reviewed research papers in pneumatology? Are there international conferences or peer reviewed journals?
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post Jan 15, 2010, 12:54 PM
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QUOTE(boots @ Mar 11, 2009, 07:59 PM) *

Well in how many ways is science like religion?

Both religion and science involve faith in something more, that this world as we know it is not the ideal world (as our understanding of it is incomplete).


To the Jews, the world was created by God, and mankind has fallen from grace, and must endure the effects of Original Sin on all mankind. The Jews feel that they must grasp for forgiveness in order to attain Heaven.

To the Buddhist, the world is inherently empty, created and sustained by karma, and full of suffering beings. The Buddhist feels that they must "grasp" (poor use of the term in the Buddhist concept, but that's beside the point) emptiness in order to attain Nirvana.

To the scientist, the world is matter and energy, created by a Big Bang, and sustained by natural laws, but our understanding of it is forever incomplete. We can add to knowledge, but will Ultimate Knowledge ever be grasped? Is it even possible, or are there literally endless patterns to be discovered and explained? The scientist grasps for more facts in order to attain Truth.

Jews are consistently adding and commenting on the Talmud.
Buddhists are constantly writing abhidharma, sutras, koans,etc.
Scientists are constantly writing new scientific and mathematical laws.

The similarities between science and other religions seem about as profound as the differences.

Now this is a bit different than saying that science is a religion. It seems to me that your thesis is actually that people express their needs to pursue or construct their world models with similar dedication, and that, further, these ways of expression fall into two major categories, scientific (or rational) and religious (or irrational).

For instance, the scientist or science enthusiast is constantly acquiring new facts to integrate into scientific models and the theologian or religious practitioner is constantly practicing his devotion or creating devotional art.
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post Jan 15, 2010, 12:57 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Jan 15, 2010, 08:01 PM) *

QUOTE
Mar 09, 2009, 07:53 PM, Rick wrote (Post #4|): I think anyone would have a hard time justifying the view that science is a religion. No faith is required. Only verifiable and reproducible evidence suffices in science.
Rick, I agree. I also agree with the basic thesis of this thread--More Americans are veering away from organized religion.

BTW, I missed this thread, because last March we were in Florida. I will be there, again, this March. My wife and I have visited Treasure Island, St. Petersburg area, since 1966--over 40 years. Apropos to the theme of this thread, while there we have attended Pasadena Community Church--a Methodist Church
http://www.pasadenacommunitychurch.org/

Interestingly, the current series of sermons are on such themes as:
When Bad Religion Happens to Good People & When Tragedy Strikes--about what is happening to Haiti, and to the people, including Methodists, who live there.
=========================================================
About PCC
PCC is a large congregation. The church seats 3000 with a choir of 300 voices.
Recently we have noticed that the church is not as full as it used to be. The last time we were there the choir loft was less than half full.
===========================================
Rick, how do you feel about psychology? Do you feel that it is a pseudo-science, and nothing more? What about sociology?

As a long-time student of psychology I certainly do not think of it as a hard science, but it is not possible to approach it with a scientific attitude of mind? Or of spirit? If so, I say the same thing for pneumatology, which, as I have said grew out of psychology.

If psychology, pneumatology, sociology and the like are not sciences, what are they? Just philosophies? As such, have they no value? If so, what value do they have?

I like what Will R Durant said in his, History of Philosophy: All science starts as a philosophy and ends as an art.
So you're saying that pneumatology, the study of spiritual beings and phenomena (most commonly defined in a religious context and thus, if honest, referring to god[s] and their activities) can be bundled with behavioural and cognitive phenomena (of all animals), the latter taking a strictly scientific approach to observation, recording and interpretation of data (except in a few sidelined and archaic instances) then you are wrong. Your attempts to redefine pneumatology and steer away from its almost universal association with god are unsuccessful and you are fighting a losing battle in trying to win a new definition. There are plenty of better terms to use, if the godless meaning is what you are really after. I suspect that you don't really wish to redefine the term, but instead are attempting to draw the susceptible into acceptance in order that they are 'converted' and then you have them in the clutches of religion, but achieved covertly in these times of dwindling acceptance of unsubstantiated fairy stories.

So, let's talk psychology then with its BSc's and MSc's and scientific methods. Or sociology with it's phenomenological base of the human genome under the influence of environmental factors (including other humans) - actually just social biology simply put, the way many species live and survive together and amongst other species and the changing environment, but much more complex, and for humans at an early time of understanding. The scientific approach to these two disciplines is widely accepted, and though immature in certain areas will definitely continue to develop. A great deal of animal/human behaviour is readily predictable presently and is dependent upon the biological needs of organisms for survival. Even when behaviour is seen to go wrong, it actually doesn't go wrong, but merely deviates from the preferred path of artificially 'normalised' behaviour, and does so quite predictably. How that might be dealt with (for example, for reasons of individual or social health, or social engineering purposes) is far from understood but we are getting there and we have the future, of course, in which to develop the understanding and its application. After all, we have only been scientific for a few centuries, possibly millennia; i.e. we are a young species in a complex world.
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post Jan 15, 2010, 01:10 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Jan 15, 2010, 08:01 PM) *
I like what Will R Durant said in his, History of Philosophy: All science starts as a philosophy and ends as an art.
This depends upon how one would wish to define the three terms, especially art, and I do not agree that their association, interaction or resultant derivation are necessarily as you (or indeed Durant) imply. The statement is, indeed, rather poetic, but as such could be considered one or more of simplistic, overcomplex, directly factual, purely aesthetic, metaphorical, or, better still, invoking of argument and discussion. Indeed the unidirectional nature of the statement is clearly simplistic as, for example, art can stimulate ideas or methods to solve problems in science or technology. Clearly there is a possible web of interaction of the terms, quite a complex web if subdisciplines of the three are considered. Yes, I definitely propose that your 'Durant' hypothesis is false.
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post Jan 15, 2010, 02:00 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 15, 2010, 03:45 PM) *

Psychology is certainly a valid science. One only needs to read the peer-reviewed research papers of psychology to know that. Similarly with the social sciences. Are there peer reviewed research papers in pneumatology? Are there international conferences or peer reviewed journals?
Thanks Rick! When I majored in psychology it was under the department of philosophy. There were also courses in the philosophy, psychology of religion, and pastoral psychology. Check out
http://www.springer.com/psychology/psychol...l/journal/11089

There is an interesting story about Anton Boisen, the founder of Pastoral Psychology, and Milton Erickson. For Boisen, check out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Boisen

Also, there is an interesting story, later, of how Wundt--the son of an evangelical Lutheran minister--who "wooed" psychology away from philosophy.

Wilhelm Wundt--In 1879 he set up a lab in Leipzig--preceded the behaviourists like Pavlov, Watson and B.F. Skinner, etc.,
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post Jan 15, 2010, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jan 15, 2010, 01:10 PM) *
... Yes, I definitely propose that your 'Durant' hypothesis is false.

I can see how it is true, if we look at the terms in their most general usages. It's generally accepted that topics evolve from philosophy to science. Observe how natural philosophy became physics.

When a philosopher speaks of "art" he not only means fine art, but also industrial arts, crafts, mechanics, etc. So when scientists have thoroughly exhausted a scientific topic (theory of heat, for example), they more or less wash their hands of it, saying, "let the engineers handle it now."
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post Jan 15, 2010, 04:01 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 15, 2010, 11:28 PM) *

QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jan 15, 2010, 01:10 PM) *
... Yes, I definitely propose that your 'Durant' hypothesis is false.

I can see how it is true, if we look at the terms in their most general usages. It's generally accepted that topics evolve from philosophy to science. Observe how natural philosophy became physics.

When a philosopher speaks of "art" he not only means fine art, but also industrial arts, crafts, mechanics, etc. So when scientists have thoroughly exhausted a scientific topic (theory of heat, for example), they more or less wash their hands of it, saying, "let the engineers handle it now."
They're reasonable counterpoints, but are you saying that pure science always becomes applied? As an applied scientist (some say that description is an anathema) I have no particular problem with that, but how are Pollock's (or Trip's) abstract drippings (and I don't mean at all to be derisory as I think they're great) anything to do with science? Unless they are directed drippings intended to represent nature, though the definition of abstract could become foggy then. I have a splash of colour with no particular form or reason that I consider to be a painting. It was done by a chimpanzee. I believe it is art. If it is art to me it is art. No connection with science (or philosophy). Trip is needed here maybe for his views. Of course, Durant having described connections does not mean that the connections are exclusive by design or inclusive by the connected fractions, do they? Else all artists are philosophers and scientists, and so is the chimpanzee. Not impossible, of course.

I would be interested to explore this in terms of reductionism. According to and extending Durant then, art might reduce through science (including subdisciplines, e.g. biology, chemistry, physics), mathematics, philosophy, even Samadhi. Eh? And, there might be more, extending beyond each end. Perhaps that is where reality might lie, described by something beyond art or Samadhi? For me this doesn't work and reductionism is a big problem in describing something like mind or consciousness as there could be multiple elements or levels that contribute to create it. Likewise with matter and universes. Personally, outside of restricted/restricting examples, I think the hypothesis is limiting and constraining, though as I eluded, the definitions might be widened so much as to make the argument redundant.
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