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I know all this, I agree with you. I am just pointing out that even fullblown scientists using the skeptical collaborative cross-checking model sometimes happen to have it wrong and consider something as absolutely impossible.

When we speak about religions, we must distinguish what we're talking about.
For me, there are the mystical aspects that I may doubt about (ie, I don't venture defending them in a debate, but I keep an open mind, from reasons explained in my posts above);
there are philosophical aspects with which I came to agree with, after careful consideration;
there is stuff like the creation part, of which frankly, in a debate with a skepticist, I wouldn't know what to say: is it a metaphor, is it something deeply spiritual and without immediate logical value, or something else - this is indeed the realm of subjective, although I wouldn't go as far as to call it irrational;
and finally there are the religion bureaucracies, with the history we all know, and which I don't defend or particularly support.

All this shows why I shy away from giving outright verdicts about this or that, even as I understand your issues with the church bureaucracy or Jerome's with the mystic side of it.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 07:38:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For me, there are the mystical aspects that I may doubt about (ie, I don't venture defending them in a debate, but I keep an open mind,

A skeptic's mind isn't closed. It just has a door policy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:54:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
scientists ... sometimes happen to have it wrong

No offence, but this is just a statement of the bloody obvious. They are only human after all. They do not claim to be infallible.

scientists ... sometimes happen to have it wrong and consider something as absolutely impossible.

Devious wording (again no offence). Science is dealing with describing the nature of things as they are; it is dealing with studying reality (what is possible) not unreality (what is not possible). But in so far as it goes, since science never considers anything to be absolutely proven (hence the concept of falsifiability), a scientist who claims something is "absolutely impossible" might be sticking his neck out a bit. However, he is perfectly entitled to make the claim since it only requires one instance of that "something" occurring to prove him wrong.

But to the broader point, so what if a scientist or group of scientists get it wrong? I hope no one has the idea that there is something wrong about being wrong in science (which is to say drawing the incorrect interpretation from the observations/results). Scientists get things wrong all the time. The point is that science strives to correct its own errors.

Of course, if you believe that there are some errors that science will never be able to correct or some aspects of "reality" that science will never be able to probe, then that is a different story. Such claims are ultimately unknowable, since the identification of an error/omission in current scientific understanding is the start of the process to rectify it.

by det on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 07:32:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No offense taken. I can assure you the intention wasn't devious.

This sub-thread started from an affirmation of religious phenomenons as totally subjective and downright irrational. Many fellow bloggers here seem to be in agreement with that (I feel like saying: DUH! this is why I think the rating system is bad; I doubt certain posts above bear any "excellent" quality to them).
While I too can agree to the subjectivism of certain aspects (eg the creation in christianism), I think we should be much more careful in declaring it all "irrational", especially regarding religions like, say, buddhism.

TBG and JakeS mentioned the necessity of hard facts, and rational processes.
My point is that there were many scientifically sound theories considered wrong for decades before being accepted by the community, despite "rational" theoretical proof and hard-fact experimental proof.
No doubt bearing a grudge against religion, some here treat the religious phenomenons exactly the same way the Vatican treated Giordano Bruno and Galilei. I can't touch it, hence it doesn't exist. Well a lot of stuff was considered impossible even in modern time science, and is now accepted. So if we pretend ourselves evolved and rational, we should at least learn from the past,
namely to be more careful in our sentences (or else, why not, to tag them "Ideological"), more precise in our argumentation (rather than reducing christianism or buddhism to the winged dragons), open minded enough to accept that "impossible" today may be "scientifical fact" 200 years from now.


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:23:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My point is that there were many scientifically sound theories considered wrong for decades before being accepted by the community, despite "rational" theoretical proof and hard-fact experimental proof.

"They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown." - Carl Sagan

No doubt bearing a grudge against religion, some here treat the religious phenomenons exactly the same way the Vatican treated Giordano Bruno and Galilei.

I call Galileo Gambit.

"I can't touch it, hence it doesn't exist." Well a lot of stuff was considered impossible even in modern time science, and is now accepted.

Doggerel.

So if we pretend ourselves evolved and rational, we should at least learn from the past,
namely to be more careful in our sentences (or else, why not, to tag them "Ideological"), more precise in our argumentation (rather than reducing christianism or buddhism to the winged dragons), open minded enough to accept that "impossible" today may be "scientifical fact" 200 years from now.

Markups added for clarity.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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