April 14, 2012

The reason why 'I'm Christian unless you're gay" sets a new standard. 2 Extended Thoughts

This is my opinion, my reason, why I choose to accept the assumptions proposed by science, as opposed to any other method of understanding the world.

We the people have different methods of dealing with the world, importance, I believe, is not to be put on _which type_ of method is chosen, but rather _the consequence_ of which one we choose. My choice of method is dependent on its predictability and utility, for others it may be a sense of being taken care of or a sense of safety. No reason is better or worse, true or false, they are merely different depending on what we need and perhaps, what we are raised to/have a disposition for/through experience develops a need for.

We thus choose method depending on what we need to rely on to give us the most compelling reasons for believing in it in the first place. In turn, the most compelling reason is the one that satisfies whatever need we have to be satisfied. Circular arguments do not get more circular than this, allow me to explicate.

Choices on method are varied and great in number, one may choose Religion A, B or C, a modified version A', B' or C', an individually modified one A'', B'' or C'', various forms of pseudosciences or sciences. Even within pseudoscience and science we tend to form smaller groups, similar to the previous contention that religion subdivides to a whole range of different methods of dealing with the world.

It comes down to that Individual A and Individual B are both as compelled to believe what its community tells them. Or, are as compelled to believe the conclusions they come to themselves when reviewing the canons of their method. Even justification for the individual is of the same valence. I.e. subjective feeling about one's chosen method, I believe for psychological reasons, differs little between Individual A and Individual B.

My assertion is that science is a better method of dealing with the world because it has enormous predictive capability compared to any other method. It allows me to understand the world in a rhetoric and structure that satisfies my need for knowledge and stability. This is what is important to me personally.

Utility can be discussed endlessly, especially from a utilitarian perspective and the issue when discussed in folk tongue usually comes down to that of source. Who came up with what? Religion is the source vs Science is the source.

I can understand an argument for religion which states that people with a religion have been behind discoveries as well as atheists. However, this to me is a misconception, the purpose is not to deny religion, but what is to be discussed is not which method the individual relies on but the canons upon which the discoveries have stemmed from. A religious/atheist/XYZ person, relying on the canons of science to find information, uses science to direct the subject matter of his research.

Very few groundbreaking discoveries can be made from the bible, especially since it is not to be added to or explicitly changed -because it would not be God's word (sorry, interpretation of God's word). The same sentences are reinterpreted to fit our everchanging societies, which I think is good and well. Issues evolve however when there are clear contradictions, such as homosexuality being explicitly condemned in the bible but increasingly accepted in society. As a consequence, Individual B has a choice to modify her private belief to that of C or modify her method by changing it to B' or B'' so as to fit her private beliefs more congruently.

On the side of Science, its canons are rarely stable. In between revolutions, which change the fundamental foundations of our understanding of the world around us, we have the incremental progress within those foundations with additions, refinements and revokements. The best part is, even the lenses we use to see the structure of science through are subject to this process. Also, it matters little what one believes in science in respect to what is found in research. I may not like or believe that Theory A is false but I do not get to have an opinion unless it is backed up with value-free experiments/data (in which case it ceases to be opinion). This, to a certain extent, safeguards experiments from being entangled with what we _want_ the world to contain as opposed to what it _does_ contain. It doesn't matter that people believe or not in the theory of evolution, as of yet thousands of experiments support it, and not one has been able to falsify it. I am thus forced to accept the assumptions of evolution regardless of how I subjectively see it, unless I can think of an even more compelling account of how to explain how life evolved from single-cell organisms to the variet of flora and fauna we see around us today.

These arguments persuade me to use the methods given by science to deal with the world around me. Just as a Christian, Muslim or any other religiously affiliated person would agree upon; the world (and indeed universe) is an absolutely stunning, awe-inspiring and mesmerising environment to be allowed to be a part of.


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