virtue of religion

Trippy discussions of moral issues, conspiracy theories, the paranormal and other otherworldly phenomenon.

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Postby Exalted Ugu » Thu Aug 25, 2005 1:16 am

An analogy is an illustration, not to be confused with the real thing.

All the talk about localized increase in order while the overall system order decreases, is exactly what the current theories describe. I used a flaw in the analogy of the teacup to illustrate a potential flaw in, or at least a potential alternate view of, the theory of entropy.


But a flaw in an analogy is just that, a flaw in an analogy. The teacup example was intended to demonstrate one facet of the theory of entropy, that of increasing disorder. It was never intended in any way to allow one to draw conclusions or analyse the theory as a whole. To me, the theory of ever increasing disorder within any given closed system makes good sense. If the system cannot receive any energy from outside, eventually the energy will be evenly distributed throughout the system, and since work can only be performed when energy moves from an area of high energy into an area of low energy, no useful work can be conducted within that system.

If, as you mention as possible, the universe receives energy from some other source, then it is not a closed system, and entropy cannot definitively apply. Of course, your black hole-quasar theory seems to require a concept of meta-universe, the sum of all universes, and there is no reason why entropy would not obtain to that.

How can you "agree with me" when I didn't say that?[

Sorry, editing error. Meant that sentence to start differently.

I do not agree with what you just said. What I think is that faith and religion are the natural results of our need to understand things, our need for order in the universe. And I'm saying that the "need for order" comes from somewhere, from something so innate, so essential to our very being, that until now we haven't been able to see it clearly. So, while religious dogma may miss the mark in terms of objective reality, the need for religion is the result of a fundamental characteristic of existence.


I think that the need for religion is a fundamental characteristic of desperation. I think it reflects a feeling of powerlessness, and the desire to have some control over those things which elude our grasp. You can see this behavior in the extremely public religiosity of american media, for instance, where the idea seems to be that if we can only get enough people to gang up and beg 'god' for something, 'he' will grant whatever we wish. This isn't a desire for understanding, it's a desire for control. It's the fear that the universe is objective and uncaring. It is weakness.

I believe as science gives us more and more explanations for the phenomena around us and the phenomena that are us, faith and religion and science will converge in true understanding.

Ultimately, that is the same thing I predict. As science advances, religions find themselves abandoning old tenets of faith to match what can be proven and demonstrated. When the world can be shown to orbit the sun, religions will abandon heliocentricity, to avoid looking ridiculous and losing followers. As science continues to advance, religions will continue to recede, until religion is merely a thin veneer over science, intended to allow the remnants of a priesthood some measure of the privileged existence their ancestors enjoyed. Sooner or later, it'll end. But mark me, i do not believe that religions have much to contribute to an understanding of the world, though what they DO have to offer differs from religion to religion.

I think you are caught up in the snare of words. To me, the word "supernatural" is meaningless. If "nature" means "the universe," then there can be nothing "supernatural." Was it Heinlein or Lazurus Long who said something along the lines of "Any sufficiently advanced technology will appear to be 'magic' to those ignorant of the technology."


Actually, that's Clarke's third law, from Arthur C. Clark's book Profiles of the Future. And it seems silly to say that the word is meaningless, all words have a meaning, if they don't, they aren't words. In this case, the word has a definite meaning, and i use it to mean exactly what it says. (ref)

Now, Clarke may indeed be correct, sufficient technology may indeed be indistinguishable from magic, and I do not believe in magic. However, should you demonstrate some for me, i then believe in it, but i will be unlikely to accept any mystical explanation for it until i have explored the matter. Though highly advanced technology may seem miraculous, we haven't encountered any miracles, thus i don't believe in them. I am most certainly not positing that super-technology cannot exist, but i am suspending judgement. Moreover, i suspend all judgement on deities and the like, since i have experienced absolutely no evidence of their presence or activities, and i have heard no compelling arguments for their existences. I may disbelieve in specific faiths, but generally only after they have demonstrated their own absurdity.

Also, it may be true that you "don't know," and that you "have long ceased to care", but saying "I have no way of knowing" is simply a statement of faith, not a scientifically accurate statement.


No. It is entirely accurate. At the present time, i have and can find no way to know the answers to any of these questions of cosmology or deity. And neither do you. That's not to say that answers may not occur in the future, indeed, I have been informed that Jesus Christ will arrive "any day now" and tell us all how it all works, but I'm not holding my breath. The fact remains, however, that that statement is complete and accurate. I posess no method for understanding any of the answers to those questions, and that fact bothers me not at all.

Philosophy is excellent exercise for the mind, but not much else.

-ugu
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Postby paleofrrrost » Sun Aug 28, 2005 3:09 am

Exalted Ugu wrote:
paleofrrrost wrote:Also, it may be true that you "don't know," and that you "have long ceased to care", but saying "I have no way of knowing" is simply a statement of faith, not a scientifically accurate statement.


No. It is entirely accurate. At the present time, i have and can find no way to know the answers to any of these questions of cosmology or deity.


The statement that you "have no way of knowing" is a negative assertion that cannot be positively proven. You can accurately say you "do not know" or you can accurately say you "do not know of a way to know", but just because you "do not know" does not mean you "have no way of knowing." You may have a way of knowing, but not be aware of it yet.

To me, the fact that philosophers and theologians thousands of years ago gave descriptions of reality that conflicted with "common sense", but which now sound eerily like the descriptions of reality that theoretical physicists give when trying to translate mathematical concepts into ordinary language, hints that there may be "ways of knowing" that we are not aware of, that were known but lost.

<analogic mode>To me, saying you have no way of knowing is like someone standing in a room in the dark saying, "I have no way of knowing what this room looks like," when in fact, there may be a light switch within reach that they could flick and achieve instant illumination. Just because they didn't know about the light switch doesn't mean that it wasn't there. They had a way to know, but just didn't know about it.</analogic mode>

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