Simon Paynton

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  • #29744

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Makes sense.  Somebody called evolutionary anthropology “philosophising with data”.

    #29742

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Surely, science is the study of things, and philosophy is the study of ideas.  But since ideas are about things, the two can cross over and inform each other.

    #29741

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I actually think the article is reasonable – it was unfamiliar territory at first, but now I understand it – up until here:

    There is also mounting evidence of fine-tuning in evolutionary biology, predetermining the course of the development of life.

    God is also required to explain immaterial aspects of the universe, such as consciousness, morality and free will, which, as leading philosopher (and atheist) Thomas Nagel has pointed out, have no plausible explanation within a purely materialistic ‘neo-Darwinian’ framework.

    Jones is now assuming that the evidence of apparent fine-tuning is real evidence of real fine-tuning.  Also, Nagel is waaay out of date now, in his statement about this fast-moving field of “neo-Darwinian” moral philosophy.  Ironically, he contributed to what we have now.

    Now Jones is talking God of the Gaps, and using that to assume that God exists.

    we are rational animals, possessed of a reasoning mind, capable of recognising and responding to truth when we see it, including the truth of God.

    Assumes that the existence of God is true.

    ‘I now believe in a Creator God.’ That is the power of truth.

    Get out of town!

    #29740

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    You need “to walk in their shoes” before you can fully criticize their ideas or build upon them. by walking their ideas forward with your own shoes on.

    I think it’s necessary to fully understand ideas before we criticise them or build on them.  That’s why a muddled writer is not doing us a gift when they don’t explain their ideas clearly.

    #29736

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Can you find anything wrong with this argument for belief in god being rational?

    When an idea is presented clearly, it’s a thing of joy.  I know there are plenty of clear-thinking philosophers around.  I’m wondering if Will Jones at The Conservative Woman is one of them.  I find his article unreadable, whereas the Patheos article is very clear, even if I don’t agree with it.

    #29734

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    The adversarial culture in philosophy does not serve the truth.

    I’m finding the same with this one.  Maybe philosophers are just terrible at presenting their ideas – they don’t know what is relevant to the reader’s understanding of the topic they’re talking about.  They just seem to talk crap, in other words.

    Mathematicians, computer programmers, and psychotherapists make excellent writers of ideas in my experience.

    I notice that the Patheos article and its Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy link about analytical philosophy are both really clear and well written.

    #29733

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Can you find anything wrong with this argument for belief in god being rational?

    What I find wrong with this argument is that it’s difficult to understand because it uses jargon without proper explanation (e.g., “anti-rational”) – more difficult than it needs to be.  Maybe the audience is professional philosophers who would know these terms already.  That is a shame because the general public would be interested a popular treatment of  this kind of thing too, like Aeon or Medium of Quillette or web sites like those, are so good at.  I have to suspect when I see dense wordy arguments like these that the author doesn’t understand them properly.

    #29683

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think the paper is interesting in its treatment of religious fundamentalism in general; it represents not updating beliefs in light of evidence, non-openness, and cognitive inflexibility.  This we already know.

    It would be interesting to see the results of other kinds of fundamentalism, like political fundamentalism.

    It also raises the question: are there any rational religious people?  I.e., is there any evidence that supports being religious?  This is really a silly question, because a look at many religious web sites shows us that many religious people agonise all day long about theological questions, and so, it seems that they do take new evidence on board, and therefore, are rational.

    #29679

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Garden of Eden?  I think the whole world was a Garden of Eden, or certainly tropical places like Africa, before agriculture and city states.  This is because there was not much need for organised religion and strict government, since everyone lived in small culturally homogeneous groups.  After the rise of city states, people were living in large, mixed groups and weren’t able to rely on personal knowledge of other people in order to govern themselves.

    #29677

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    The search for Eden: in pursuit of humanity’s origins.

    I think this article is absolutely fascinating.  It makes sense, from the evidence we have, that humans evolved all over Africa and intermixed their cultures when they were able to.  This demonstrates once again that warfare was more or less unkown in those times, and that humans were collaborating over large distances.

    Also, it raises the interesting question, why is there apparently not much ancient cave art in Africa, but there is in Europe (and Indonesia)?  Perhaps the European art is a result of harsh conditions in the Ice Age – evidence shows an explosion of culture in Europe at that time.  Artistic culture is somehow linked to those harsh conditions.

    #29621

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Providing a view of the cosmos, and explanations for mysterious events, was only one of the functions of religion, and one that has gradually been given up, to the benefit of all, including religion, which probably now looks less silly as a result.

    There are other functions of religion that remain in the modern world, that are not to do with scientific truth.  For example, spiritual matters, regulating people, holding weddings and funerals.

    #29618

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    the obvious superiority of science to religion as a way of discovering what is true.

    But religion isn’t there to discover what is true, necessarily.  It’s there for spiritual matters, among other things.  Another thing is promoting norms.

    #29613

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @ivy, I do understand your point that bad people will always do bad things in whatever circumstances.  But I think that your analogy of alcohol is accurate: religion can sometimes have its own special way of bringing out the worst in people – just like football matches can produce violence in the crowds, for example.

    #29604

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    What a charmer.

    #29602

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Richard Feynman was wrong about beauty and truth in science.

    He may be wrong, and there may well be many ugly true theories.  But as well as beauty being in the eye of the beholder, it’s beautiful when the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle click into place, and a theory starts working like a machine.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 1,687 total)