Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I'm on at Cheltenham Science Festival June 7th

CHELTENHAM SCIENCE FESTIVAL
Event Title:
S109 DOES SOCIETY NEED RELIGION?
Time:
16:00
Venue:
Pillar Room
Date:
Saturday 7 June 2014
What is the role of religion?

Religion has been helping us find our place in the world for millennia. But with the scientific understanding we now have, could we be growing out of a need for religion? Without its guidance and moral teachings would society collapse? Author of The Young Atheist's Handbook Alom Shaha leads a discussion, with philosopher Stephen Law and sociologist Linda Woodhead, about the role of religion in modern society.

6 comments:

Philip Rand said...

A deeper and in many ways more interesting topic would be:

DOES SOCIETY NEED CRITICAL THINKING?

I like the oxymoron in this post...

Philip Rand said...

Actually, one could make an argument that society does need religion on economic reasons.

For example, in our society...capital can be privately owned (i.e. individuals), publically owned (i.e. governments)...or an intermediate form, i.e. moral persons, meaning organisisations that have a particular purpose, i.e. foundations and churches.

Clearly, private capital has evolved, i.e. slavery...it is possible that "moral persons" capital could be a form of capital that reduces inequality...

Which is interesting...because it suggests that a pure secularist is in many ways an individualist (political view)...that is pro-private ownership which potentially leads to greater in-equallity (in economic terms) is our society...

Steve Frenchman said...

Regrettably I think there is something just a little ridiculous about this debate. Whether theistic or non-theistic (Buddhism does not reject God, it just does not preoccupy itself with unanswerable questions) at the heart of religion lies the idea that science and materialism are not the exclusive purview of knowledge. In that sense the whole science/religion debate merely revolves around whether Dawkins and his ilk are willing to accept the possibility that they can NEVER know everything and that some ideas can not be expressed conceptually. If you don't understand what I'm getting at then I hope that you won't ask me to clarify!

However if you really do need more then I would recommend a talk given by Edward Feser.

http://www.thomasaquinas.edu/news/lecture-dr-edward-feser-what-we-owe-new-atheists

I agree with him about the nature of God and about Inteligent Design but I suspect that he is mistaken in his conviction that scholasticism is the answer.

Philip Rand said...

Steve Frenchman

I did have a read of that Feser talk...not very cohesive (why is it all these papers be they viewed from the Athiest or Theist perspective be so muddled?)

I mean, why when Feser says that Searle is a good philosopher and uses the Searle quote:

"For us [that is, the citizens of modern secular society], if it should turn out that God exists, that would have to be a fact of nature like any other. To the four basic forces in the universe — gravity, electromagnetism, weak and strong nuclear forces — we would add a fifth, the divine force. Or more likely, we would see the other forces as forms of the divine force. But it would still be all physics, albeit divine physics. If the supernatural existed, it too would have to be natural. (p. 35)"

It is perfectly clear that Searle is a bad philospher...I mean, how can God be a part of physics?

God afterall is supposed to be "reason", i.e. the thing-in-itself...so how is it possible for reason to affect my reason (i.e. the thing that goes on in mind)?

I mean, come on Searle...the Divine Force? What does this mean? The Reason Force?

So God has an exact IQ (I mean according to Searle He must because that is how we measure reason...and is IQ a force? Is IQ even real?

How exactly could this be part of physics?

Though I hate to admit it...I think Krauss has a point...philosophers are full of non-sense...

Philip Rand said...

Perhaps, non-sense is perhaps too strong a word...

Perhaps, as Wittgenstein wrote...Philosophers get bewitched with langauge and this "bewitchement" requires therapy...

Philip Rand said...

You know Dr Law....Dawkin's comments concerning childrens Fairy Tales at the Festival were egregious...

His idea that stories that have the following model:

frog->turns into Prince

Should not be taught at school on account of the very low probability of this occuring so only high probabilities should be taught is worrying...

I mean, the probability of a safely designed nuclear reactor suffering a major malfunction is extremely low...BUT, BUT, BUT...the consequences of a major malfunction is HUGE!

And again... the proability of the Challenger Space Shuttle being launched on sub freezing or freezing day in Florida is pretty low as well...so discount this probability...which they did...this should please Dawkin's...

Your positions concerning rationality and the world I find quite worrying for science...you chaps are going to undermine science itself!!!!!