Jump to content

Faith Based vs. Scientific Reasoning


Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

One major problem with President Oaks talk is that he didn't keep them separate.  In that very talk he makes claims about gender identity that are ignorant of the science around gender and in contradiction to it.  He should stick with earlier statements about how general authorities aren't experts on many subjects, and gender is one of them.  The doctrine being invented by recent church leaders on this subject is directly harmful to those in the transgender community and ignorant of a growing corpus of scientific understanding.  

Exactly.  If anyone is interested a pair of podcast episodes talk about his talk in more detal:

https://radiofreemormon.org/

A very good dismantling of his talk.  

Link to comment

"Truth is truth"

A=A

That doesn't say too much about A OR truth.

Edited by mfbukowski
Link to comment
2 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Exactly.  If anyone is interested a pair of podcast episodes talk about his talk in more detal:

https://radiofreemormon.org/

A very good dismantling of his talk.  

I'm not going to listen to that podcast please summarize it and so how he was wrong in the light of my comments above.

He clearly said that he was speaking about the Plan of Salvation which makes it clear that it was not about science.

Edited by mfbukowski
Link to comment
9 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I'm not going to listen to that podcast please summarize it and so how he was wrong in the light of my comments above.

He clearly said that he was speaking about the Plan of Salvation which makes it clear that it was not about science.

I don't know what you are talking about, haven't followed your conversation on this thread.  I am assenting to Hope_for_things' last two sentences as I quoted, and offer for anyone a reference to look more into it.  

Link to comment
2 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I don't know what you are talking about, haven't followed your conversation on this thread.  I am assenting to Hope_for_things' last two sentences as I quoted, and offer for anyone a reference to look more into it.  

Throughout to talk Elder Oaks made it clear it was about the Plan of Salvation NOT about science.

Look at the title for Pete's sake.

The whole first part of the talk was about the difference between scientific truth and spiritual truth. And then he started talking very clearly about religious truth, making it clear and the first sentence of section III.

in order to argue from your point of view you would have to say that the proclamation on the family does not say what it says. 

Not that it's incorrect or non-scientific that is not the context. The point is it says what he says and he was interpreting things according to what Proclamation says.

The proclamation is obviously a religious statement and not a scientific one. Therefore it uses concepts of religion to justify the truth of it.

The talk was logically flawless and well spoken. You may disagree with it but that's another matter.

Edited by mfbukowski
Link to comment
3 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

This strikes me as a good example of how the construction of a narrative controls everything.  Once you have defined religious  thinking as "an appeal to authority" and science as "a process of evaluating evidence" and constantly looking for data to disprove current understandings" you've created an ideology that organizes everything.  As Kuhn says paradigms are defined by “standard examples of scientific work that embody a set of conceptual, methodological, and metaphysical assumptions.” (Kuhn, 103).   And that is what we get here.  An ideology.  A map.  But how well does the map describe the actual territory, if we make the effort to personally explore?

The problem I have is that my own Mormon training has been to obtain personal experience, and to seek ever greater light and knowledge.  When I personally researched the Bible passages that describe what a person should to find truth, it turns out that they do not boil down to "an appeal to authority" and to uncritically submit to "dogma."

Kevin,

Hi, thanks for the insightful thoughts.  I completely admit that my quick summary of the positions was overly simplistic, and you bring up some great points with much more to think about.  I definitely don't think all religious ideas are dogmatic appeals to authority, and I also recognize that there are dogmas within secular organizations as well, case in point would be our current political environment.  I would want to caution that all these forms of dogmatic appeals are limited and flawed in various ways if the end goal is arriving at the best possible outcome.  You also make a good point how paradigms influence our interpretive perceptions.  

3 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

I've occasionally pointed to the building of the CERN super collider and the search for the Higgs Boson as obvious examples of the presence of faith in science.  They made the investment and effort and perform the ongoing research as an expression of faith that their efforts will be rewarded, that the predictions their theoretical models make are sufficiently accurate to justify the extraordinary effort.

I've had skeptics ask me, "How can you know what you know, and believe what you believe?"  (I do think it is a very good question, but better if really asked, and not waved like a talisman to ward off the possibility of belief.)  It is obvious that I have performed my experiments in and done personal research in ways that they had not duplicated.  That is, it is not tradition and dogma, but ongoing and extensive personal experiments that accounts for the differences.

Now there is the problem of how people have to deal with complexity.  I work in the field of Computer Aided Engineering, where "hierarchy is a strategy for dealing with complexity."  It is a very successful strategy.  It means that we trust that other specialists will do their job so that we can do our job, so that the product will work.  The human body is a microcosm of the strategy.   People who use that strategy can also be self critical, and search for "greater light and knowledge" whether in the fields of religion or of secular science.

If I approach the problem differently, say, using the Perry Scheme of Cognitive and Ethical Growth,  it turns out that positions 1 and 2 of the 9 positions point to human developmental tendencies to "trust authority" and "in group", which means that the issue is not science versus religious, but human development in the face of the known and the unknown, and the functioning of what Nibley calls, "The gas law of learning: any amount of knowledge will expand to fill any intellectual void, no matter how large."  What it is easy to create a narrative in which the religious are gullible and controlled by authority and dogma, that narrative is selective and incomplete, and not representative of the best that is available.

People at Position 9 of the Perry Scheme, whether believing or secular skeptics, have learned that "the knower contributes to that which is known."  Which is what Jesus told us with the parable of the Sower.  "Know ye not this parable?  How then will ye know all parables?"

When it comes to theoretical physics there are certainly conceptions of how the universe works that are so difficult to test that they look more like faith propositions and less like empirical science.  For example we really didn't have a whole lot of empirical evidence for Einstein's theory of relativity until in recent decades when the mathematics has needed to be put to practical use, and the theory has been implemented in a practical way for things like the way our GPS systems work.  

However, I still see these scientific theories as very different in the sense that they aren't making claims based on zero empirical evidence, but rather building on the empirical evidence we have, and stretching that into areas that are beyond our current observational limits.  Whereas with religious claims, like the claim of an afterlife for example, we have literally zero empirical evidence to support that claim, yet religions are claiming that certain unverifiable events, like someone having an encounter with the spirit of a dead relative, constitutes actual evidence in the same way that empirical evidence is used to support a scientific theory.  Faith claims are very different, and shouldn't work this way.  

I'm not attempting to say religion has not place in society, on the contrary I think it is a very powerful way form of meaning making and community building, and has been used for good and ill throughout history.  It speaks to a part of our minds that have evolved to respond keenly to this genre of thinking.  However, as will all our evolved traits, while they may have served us well in the past for various reasons, it doesn't mean we shouldn't be cautious about how it is functioning in our rapidly changing modern world.  In other words, our instincts and intuitions can lead us astray, and we out to use our ability to reason, and higher learning skills to strategically act upon the better angels of our nature.  

 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

He did not cross over and made that clear as a bell in part III of the talk

"III.
                
                I will now mention some applications of these eternal truths, which can be understood only in light of God’s plan."

He stated it clearly.

"Only in light of God's plan."

If that is not a statement about religion I don't know what is.

Its a rhetorical slight of hand.  He's essentially just playing the God card to then move into territory that can't be supported by his actual knowledge on the subject of gender. 

The huge problem with this of course is that his words are literally having a collateral damage impact on this extremely vulnerable segment of our society.  Honestly, I think Oaks has blood on his hands for how he's acted towards the LGBTQ community, and I'm not exaggerating.  This is based on my connections and interaction with people in this community and the very real impact that his words and the church's policies are having.  This is much more serious than just having an anti-evolution stance or anti-scientific stance as the church has espoused in times past.  Its evil. 

Link to comment
3 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Its a rhetorical slight of hand.  He's essentially just playing the God card to then move into territory that can't be supported by his actual knowledge on the subject of gender. 

The huge problem with this of course is that his words are literally having a collateral damage impact on this extremely vulnerable segment of our society.  Honestly, I think Oaks has blood on his hands for how he's acted towards the LGBTQ community, and I'm not exaggerating.  This is based on my connections and interaction with people in this community and the very real impact that his words and the church's policies are having.  This is much more serious than just having an anti-evolution stance or anti-scientific stance as the church has espoused in times past.  Its evil. 

No sleight of hand, science is irrelevant to his argument. That is why he does not talk about science!

In the beliefs of science the Earth and Humanity have no purpose.

To affirm another position is to mix science with religion and tantamount to saying that religion and science are speaking in the same context

They are not.

It is terribly sad that others do not understand this distinction and are therefore confused, and condemn him for his lack of knowledge about science.

That is absurd. 

He knowingly made the distinction at the beginning of the talk and that's really all there is to say about it.

Edited by mfbukowski
Link to comment
19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

No sleight of hand, science is irrelevant to his argument. That is why he does not talk about science!

In the beliefs of science the Earth and Humanity have no purpose.

To affirm another position is to mix science with religion and tantamount to saying that religion and science are speaking in the same context

They are not.

It is terribly sad that others do not understand this distinction and are therefore confused, and condemn him for his lack of knowledge about science.

That is absurd. 

He knowingly made the distinction at the beginning of the talk and that's really all there is to say about it.

He doesn’t appeal to science because there isnt any scientific evidence to support his assertions.  He makes statements of fact that conflict with the best scholarly evidence we have today on the subject.  

I don’t understand how you can think that the first part of his talk gives him a pass on fallacious statements he makes later in the talk. 

Link to comment
4 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Its a rhetorical slight of hand.  He's essentially just playing the God card to then move into territory that can't be supported by his actual knowledge on the subject of gender. 

The huge problem with this of course is that his words are literally having a collateral damage impact on this extremely vulnerable segment of our society.  Honestly, I think Oaks has blood on his hands for how he's acted towards the LGBTQ community, and I'm not exaggerating.  This is based on my connections and interaction with people in this community and the very real impact that his words and the church's policies are having.  This is much more serious than just having an anti-evolution stance or anti-scientific stance as the church has espoused in times past.  Its evil. 

^this^   truth is truth.  As far as gender goes, Oaks is out of his league.  He is not a scientist, and it appears he has done little reading on the subject.  It seems his talk and his actions are political and legally motivated (after all he is a lawyer).  Oaks has a long history with dealing with the LGBTQ issue for the church.  He continues to double down on this despite scientific evidence to the contrary.  The result of this being that in a few years after pubic pressure mounts, his rhetoric and the current gay policy will be disavowed.  Just like the racist practices of the past were disavowed. 

Link to comment
57 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

^this^   truth is truth.  As far as gender goes, Oaks is out of his league.  He is not a scientist, and it appears he has done little reading on the subject.  It seems his talk and his actions are political and legally motivated (after all he is a lawyer).  Oaks has a long history with dealing with the LGBTQ issue for the church.  He continues to double down on this despite scientific evidence to the contrary.  The result of this being that in a few years after pubic pressure mounts, his rhetoric and the current gay policy will be disavowed.  Just like the racist practices of the past were disavowed. 

Yes, and he actually made things much worse with this talk by elevating these ideas to unquestioned truths from God.   I find his tactics very disturbing and un-Christlike. 

Link to comment
15 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Throughout to talk Elder Oaks made it clear it was about the Plan of Salvation NOT about science.

Look at the title for Pete's sake.

The whole first part of the talk was about the difference between scientific truth and spiritual truth. And then he started talking very clearly about religious truth, making it clear and the first sentence of section III.

in order to argue from your point of view you would have to say that the proclamation on the family does not say what it says. 

Not that it's incorrect or non-scientific that is not the context. The point is it says what he says and he was interpreting things according to what Proclamation says.

The proclamation is obviously a religious statement and not a scientific one. Therefore it uses concepts of religion to justify the truth of it.

The talk was logically flawless and well spoken. You may disagree with it but that's another matter.

I would probably respond with something like Hope_for just responded to you with:

Quote

He doesn’t appeal to science because there isnt any scientific evidence to support his assertions.  He makes statements of fact that conflict with the best scholarly evidence we have today on the subject.  

I don’t understand how you can think that the first part of his talk gives him a pass on fallacious statements he makes later in the talk. 

But, as it is, I didn't really argue anything.  I responded to Hope_for_things agreeing with something he said and offered further resource on the topic for any interested parties.  

Link to comment
11 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

As far as gender goes, Oaks is out of his league.  He is not a scientist, and it appears he has done little reading on the subject.  It seems his talk and his actions are political and legally motivated (after all he is a lawyer).  Oaks has a long history with dealing with the LGBTQ issue for the church.  He continues to double down on this despite scientific evidence to the contrary. 

What science are you talking about?.....science has proven more than 2 genders? Please elaborate. 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I would probably respond with something like Hope_for just responded to you with:

But, as it is, I didn't really argue anything.  I responded to Hope_for_things agreeing with something he said and offered further resource on the topic for any interested parties.  

What you quoted included this:

"He doesn’t appeal to science because there isnt any scientific evidence to support his assertions.  "

Think about that statement.

There is no need for scientific evidence because he is deliberately not speaking about it scientifically.

He is speaking about morals.

There is no scientific evidence that murder is wrong either. Science has nothing to do with morals.

I really don't understand why this is such a difficult concept.

Science is totally A-moral, so statements about morality do not need scientific justification.

he is saying that certain acts are immoral. If you disagree you must disagree on moral grounds, not scientific ones.

But then there will be no scientific evidence for your assertions either.

So agree or disagree. If you disagree don't support the church. That's all there is to it. But he has no problem with his logic.

It is the critics who do not understand logic.

Link to comment
42 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

What you quoted included this:

"He doesn’t appeal to science because there isnt any scientific evidence to support his assertions.  "

Think about that statement.

There is no need for scientific evidence because he is deliberately not speaking about it scientifically.

He is speaking about morals.

There is no scientific evidence that murder is wrong either. Science has nothing to do with morals.

I really don't understand why this is such a difficult concept.

Science is totally A-moral, so statements about morality do not need scientific justification.

he is saying that certain acts are immoral. If you disagree you must disagree on moral grounds, not scientific ones.

But then there will be no scientific evidence for your assertions either.

So agree or disagree. If you disagree don't support the church. That's all there is to it. But he has no problem with his logic.

It is the critics who do not understand logic.

I didn't argue against his logic.  I'd suggest though, if science was supportive of his points he'd mention it.  That's all.  Since there is no science that supports his point he simply isn't going to use it to support his assertions.  And yes his talk was quite full of argument by assertion and very little else.  Kind of odd since he cautioned people from trusting or accepting positions from others.  We can't just accept his teaching because he says so, at least that'd not how I intend to operate.  

Link to comment
20 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Kevin,

Hi, thanks for the insightful thoughts.  I completely admit that my quick summary of the positions was overly simplistic, and you bring up some great points with much more to think about.  I definitely don't think all religious ideas are dogmatic appeals to authority, and I also recognize that there are dogmas within secular organizations as well, case in point would be our current political environment.  I would want to caution that all these forms of dogmatic appeals are limited and flawed in various ways if the end goal is arriving at the best possible outcome.  You also make a good point how paradigms influence our interpretive perceptions.  

When it comes to theoretical physics there are certainly conceptions of how the universe works that are so difficult to test that they look more like faith propositions and less like empirical science.  For example we really didn't have a whole lot of empirical evidence for Einstein's theory of relativity until in recent decades when the mathematics has needed to be put to practical use, and the theory has been implemented in a practical way for things like the way our GPS systems work.  

However, I still see these scientific theories as very different in the sense that they aren't making claims based on zero empirical evidence, but rather building on the empirical evidence we have, and stretching that into areas that are beyond our current observational limits.  Whereas with religious claims, like the claim of an afterlife for example, we have literally zero empirical evidence to support that claim, yet religions are claiming that certain unverifiable events, like someone having an encounter with the spirit of a dead relative, constitutes actual evidence in the same way that empirical evidence is used to support a scientific theory.  Faith claims are very different, and shouldn't work this way.   

I'm not attempting to say religion has not place in society, on the contrary I think it is a very powerful way form of meaning making and community building, and has been used for good and ill throughout history.  It speaks to a part of our minds that have evolved to respond keenly to this genre of thinking.  However, as will all our evolved traits, while they may have served us well in the past for various reasons, it doesn't mean we shouldn't be cautious about how it is functioning in our rapidly changing modern world.  In other words, our instincts and intuitions can lead us astray, and we out to use our ability to reason, and higher learning skills to strategically act upon the better angels of our nature.  

 

You are welcome.   I notice that the rush-to-judgement here puts me in mind of this passage quoted by Alan Goff.

Quote

Empiricism in its crudest form is probably the epistemology which is most generally accepted by people without philosophical training. It embodies the most common beliefs about successful science and scientists and is implicit in the images used in the media to depict them. Crude empiricism assumes that the scientist is a sort of spectator of the object of inquiry.  ( Len Doyal and Roger Harris, Empiricism, Explanation, and Rationality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of the Social Sciences (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986), 2

It happens that the vocabulary of "empiricism" and ""unverifiable events" and that "faith claims are different" reminds me of the important discussions of Positivism in Goff's essays, in Ian Barbour's Myths, Models, and Paradigms: A Comparative Study of Science and Religion, and such. Goff explains:

Quote

Positivism began its intellectual decline when the main criterion of logical positivists (any proposition that is neither analytical—that is, true by definition—nor based on empirical observations is non-sense) was shown to be self-refuting. This claim itself is not based on empirical inputs. Yet those innocent of philosophy still adhere to this simplistic way of sorting what is valid proof from invalid evidence. The entire positivistic program began to collapse once this primary support was undermined.  (Goff, 150)

https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/the-inevitability-of-epistemology-in-historiography-theory-history-and-zombie-mormon-history/#sdfootnote68anc

A bit further on:

Quote

Facts are mediated by theories, by metaphysics, by ideologies. As Hawkesworth notes, this notion that facts are free of ideas and epistemologies is left over from a positivistic view designed with particular methodological commitments. “Chief among these is the dichotomous division of the world into the realms of the ‘empirical’ and the nonempirical.’ The empirical realm, comprising all that can be corroborated by the senses, is circumscribed as the legitimate sphere of scientific investigation. As a residual category, the nonempirical [Page 154]encompasses everything else—religion, philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, and evaluative discourse in general as well as myth dogma and superstition—and is relegated beyond the sphere of science. Within this frame of reference, science, operating within the realm of the observable, restricting its focus to descriptions, explanations and predictions that are intersubjectively testable, can achieve objective knowledge.”96 Vogel’s positivism, as my citations demonstrate, falls squarely within the mainstream of positivism. It also sets boundaries about what can be counted as evidence that are designed specifically to exclude rival interpretations (not based on empirical evidence but on metaphysical and ideological commitments) that might challenge his positivistic interpretation.

So considering the notion of an after-life, and evidence, I notice that important qualification "empirical evidence."   Ian Barbour's comments are notable.

Quote

During the 1930’s and 1940’s the positivists had taken science as the norm for all meaningful discourse. Religious language was considered neither true nor false, but meaningless. The positivists had declared the famous Verification Principle, which states that, apart from tautologies and definitions, statements are meaningful only if they can be verified by sense data.69 Accepting an oversimplified view of science as the prototype for all genuine knowledge, they dismissed religion as “purely emotive.”

During the 1950’s positivism came under increasing attack, but many of its assumptions were perpetuated in the empiricism which came to replace it as the dominant interpretation of science. Among the empiricist claims were the following. (1) Science starts from publicly observable data which can be described in a pure observation-language independent of any theoretical assumptions. (2) Theories can be verified or falsified by comparison with this fixed experimental data. (3) The choice between theories is rational, objective and in accordance with specifiable criteria. Philosophers under the sway of such empiricism continued to say that religion can legitimately make no cognitive claims. (Barbour, Myths, Models, and Paradigms, p 3)

Since it turns out that "all data is theory laden" (N. H. Hanson, The Logic of Scientific Discovery), for someone to say that a kind of evidence is not "empirical evidence" not verifiable by the logic and methods and standards of empiricism, a philosophy that is itself not verifiable by the standards of empiricism, Barbour goes on to say:

Quote

Thus in comparing science and religion on a spectrum of degrees of resistance to falsification, I can point to both similarities and contrasts—whereas those who use only two boxes, labeled “falsifiable” and “unfalsifiable,” have no option but to view science and religion either as similar (assigned to the same box, whichever it is), or contrasting (assigned to different boxes). I believe that recent work in the philosophy of science here casts significant light on the protracted debate about falsifiability in religion.  (Barbour, 132-133)

I've got around twenty books on Near Death Experience research on my shelves at home, one of the best being Carol Zaleski's Otherworld Journeys.  And I've heard several people report personal accounts.  And it seems to me that while these accounts may not constitute "empirical evidence" regarding an afterlife, they do provide evidence of a sort.  And the philosophy that decides they are not evidence by the definitions and methods assumed by empircism, rather than by a final and absolute empirical demonstration that there is no afterlife. So it turns out that I have the option of choosing to evaluate these accounts by means of something different than Positivism/Empiricism.  And in comparing two different approaches, the issue is whether I make a judgement based on completely self-referential standards, or, whether I turn to values that are not completely self-referential.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
Link to comment
41 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

What you quoted included this:

"He doesn’t appeal to science because there isnt any scientific evidence to support his assertions.  "

Think about that statement.

There is no need for scientific evidence because he is deliberately not speaking about it scientifically.

He is speaking about morals.

There is no scientific evidence that murder is wrong either. Science has nothing to do with morals.

I really don't understand why this is such a difficult concept.

Science is totally A-moral, so statements about morality do not need scientific justification.

he is saying that certain acts are immoral. If you disagree you must disagree on moral grounds, not scientific ones.

But then there will be no scientific evidence for your assertions either.

So agree or disagree. If you disagree don't support the church. That's all there is to it. But he has no problem with his logic.

It is the critics who do not understand logic.

Its not just a moral claim that he's making though, his claim crosses over into scientifically informed understanding.  Elder Oaks is very careful with his wording.  Read this quote from the talk carefully: 

Quote

Fourth, some are troubled by some of our Church’s positions on marriage and children. Our knowledge of God’s revealed plan of salvation requires us to oppose current social and legal pressures to retreat from traditional marriage and to make changes that confuse or alter gender or homogenize the differences between men and women. We know that the relationships, identities, and functions of men and women are essential to accomplish God’s great plan.

When he talks about confusing and altering gender, this is extremely ignorant of the science on gender.  Tell me what gender an intersex individual is?  These people are estimated to be 1% to 2% of our population.  Who's making changes to their gender?  

Transgender individuals are trying to live a life authentic to the gender that they personally identify as, and this is heavily influenced by biological factors.  His assertion that this is "confusion" and "alteration" is implying its that all of this is unnatural.  His claim here is factually in contradiction with scientific data.  

Link to comment
7 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:

I've got around twenty books on Near Death Experience research on my shelves at home, one of the best being Carol Zaleski's Otherworld Journeys.  And I've heard several people report person accounts.  And it seems to me that while these accounts may not constitute "empirical evidence" regarding an afterlife, they do provide evidence of a sort.  And the philosophy that decides they are not evidence by the definitions and methods assumed by empircism, rather than by a final and absolute empirical demonstration that there is no afterlife. So it turns out that I have the option of choosing to evaluate these accounts by means of something different than Positivism/Empiricism.  And in comparing two different approaches, the issue is whether I make a judgement based on completely self-referential standards, or, whether I turn to values that are not completely self-referential.

Honest question, how should we evaluate the many claims about NDEs any differently than we evaluate the claims of alien abductions or demon possessions that people have written about?  You are saying it is a type of evidence and I'm asking how it can be evaluated in a measured way way with as little bias as possible?  

It seems to me, that without empirical evidence to support any of these claims, we can only evaluate them as psychological phenomena.  And this doesn't mean that the experiences aren't powerful and real for those who experience them.  I feel like I need to keep pointing this out as I'm not anti-religion, and I want to reiterate that I see great value in philosophy and religious ideas as part of the human experience.  I'm not strictly a materialist or positivist.  

Link to comment

I can report how I personally evaluated the many claims of NDEs.

https://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1382&index=2

And of course, without Empirical Evidence to support those claims, you can only evaluate them as psychological phenomena.  That is whole point of me quoting Barbour and Goff and others on Empiricism/Positivism.  Empiricism decides up front that they must be psychological phenomena because Empiricism by definition assigns them to that category.  It does not demonstrate that they can be fully explained that way, nor does it falsify the experiences empirically.  It simply categorizes them as such by definition.

As far as alien abductions, I must admit that I simply do not find them interesting.  On a Halloween episode of The Simpsons, Kang and Kronos deferred an examination that Homer had decided was inevitable by saying "We have reached the limits of what can be learned from rectal probing."  What is the real message from the stories?  (Carl Sagan noticed that they are comparable to fairy or witch abduction accounts.)  Demon possession?  Not a subject I have pursued. 

NDEs represent to me, something else again.  There is a message, cross cultural, widely attested, and thanks to experiences reported in the Book of Mormon, and by many Mormons, including Brigham Young, spiritually significant.   Alma talks about "cause to believe" and experiments that while they do not provide perfect knowledge, are fruitful, mind-expanding, soul enlarging, and promising.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Link to comment
2 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I didn't argue against his logic.  I'd suggest though, if science was supportive of his points he'd mention it.  That's all.  Since there is no science that supports his point he simply isn't going to use it to support his assertions.  And yes his talk was quite full of argument by assertion and very little else.  Kind of odd since he cautioned people from trusting or accepting positions from others.  We can't just accept his teaching because he says so, at least that'd not how I intend to operate.  

You still seem confused.

Sorry science has nothing to do with the issue. There's no reason to mention it. If his talk was on murder, how is science  relevant?

If it was about capital punishment how is science relevant?

Science neither supports nor hurts arguments about morality.

Edited by mfbukowski
Link to comment
1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

Honest question, how should we evaluate the many claims about NDEs any differently than we evaluate the claims of alien abductions or demon possessions that people have written about?  You are saying it is a type of evidence and I'm asking how it can be evaluated in a measured way way with as little bias as possible?  

It seems to me, that without empirical evidence to support any of these claims, we can only evaluate them as psychological phenomena.  And this doesn't mean that the experiences aren't powerful and real for those who experience them.  I feel like I need to keep pointing this out as I'm not anti-religion, and I want to reiterate that I see great value in philosophy and religious ideas as part of the human experience.  I'm not strictly a materialist or positivist.  

Everything we "know" is psychological phenomena, or we don't know about it, by definition.

I don't know why this seem so hard to understand.

Edited by mfbukowski
Link to comment

Doctors, scientist, biologist, geneticist have determined that there are two sexes, male and female. Males will have an XY genotype and females will have an XX genotype. I am not speaking of choosing the gender one identifies with, but the biological sex of a person, it is one or the other, male or female. Your sex cannot be chosen. If you were born with an XY genotype you are biologically a male. If you were born with an XX genotype you are biologically a female. There are no other choices. This has not changed. Science has not come up with a medical procedure or medicine to change a person's biological sex.

Gender identity can be changed. If desired one can chose to identify, live,  or present oneself as whatever gender that they want to be. One can consider a different gender, discuss being a different gender, change one's mind and go from one gender to another every other week if so desired. However, if one is born biologically a male, he cannot change his sex. His sex is male and he will be considered biologically a male always, (even with gender reassignment surgery a male would still have an XY genotype). However, he can change his gender, he can identify as a woman if he so chooses. The same goes for a female.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has stated their position on this issue. It is the same as the scientist, there are only two sexes (1) male and (2) female.  We are born male or female and when we die we will be in heaven the sex we were born with. I realize this upsets, to no end, the critics. The critics can argue all  they want, but this truth will not change. It has been the same since the beginning, it is the same now, and it will not be different in the future.

My stand between faith and science, here, I side with the Lord's Church and His Prophets and Apostles. Faith and science both see only two sexs, but science also see's many different choice of genders.

Just for those who want to mark a gotcha on your scoreboard, I understand and have not forgotten that there is also the rare case of Hermaphroditism. This is extremely rare and generally the rare person showing both the XX and XY genotype chooses the sex that the dominant attributes show in their body.  For example those who have both sex genotypes there is almost always, (if not always), will be determined by which sex organs predominate. generally a decision is made by the parents at birth, but that can result in confusion and contention if the child grows up feeling a different sex than the one the parents have chose for him/her.

In today's modern times many parents will have a wait and see attitude in which generally the child who grows up with phallus, facial hair, will almost always choose to live life as a male and those who have external female genitalia who menstruate, develop breast during puberty will almost always choose a female life. Again this is so very rare. But, I know if I didn't mention it there would be those on this board quick to point it out.

Link to comment
23 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

You still seem confused.

Sorry science has nothing to do with the issue.

What issue do you think science has nothing to do with?   

23 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

There's no reason to mention it. If his talk was on murder, how is science  relevant?

There was no reason to mention science? then why did he?  There is science involved in murder.  For instance, how did one die?  What tools were use and how did the use of them kill a person?  chemicals?  Suffocation?  there are scientific explanations.  I'm not sure it's easy to neatly separate things like that.  I'm not fond of how he tried to suggest there are only two ways to view the world--in a scientific way or faith way.  Each and every person likely uses both, in overlapping ways to decide their path.  

 

23 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

If it was about capital punishment how is science relevant?

Science neither supports nor hurts arguments about morality.

Not sure that's true.  If say, in capital punishment one finds it more morally right to kill someone quickly and with the least pain and suffering, and through scientific methods they learn the best way to do that, then there is an overlap there.  The debate in a moral way may come down to whether killing someone in any way is just as moral as killing them with the least pain and suffering involved.  

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...