Pharyngula

Sheril seems like a well-intentioned person, but when she decides to step into the science/religion wars, it’s a horrendous mistake to label atheists as “fundamentalists” (a term I despise) and compare me to Rush Limbaugh. Without even saying a word about her position on the issue, it’s quite clear where she stands.

While giving us that great big clue, though, she also fails to explain anything about how religion and science are supposed to interact — she just calls for a “discussion”. You cannot get a productive discussion if one side hides their point of view.


Shorter me: Sheril violated Blake’s Law.

Comments

  1. #1 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    July 17, 2007

    Enjoyable thread, much more so than Rob’s odious post or Sheril’s faulty one.

    Wilkins actually managed a great post (see Sherils’ post for links), but petered out into the same lame conclusion as the above mentioned: “We want to see guaranteed respect, not tolerance.” Doubly addled because not only can they not find support for such a policy in social matters, but they will certainly never get it on (or from all of) the subject(s) of religion.

    So your answer is truth does not exist, and if it does, no one knows what it is.

    I’m not sure why you are surprised by the problems here since we can’t agree on the nature of reality, and truth is a much less valuable concept.

    But for what it’s worth, I think it is definable. Truth values are commonly attributed to (models of) facts and theories. And this knowledge is consistent with (a slightly modified) philosophical definition of knowledge as “validated belief”, where observations respectively tests within some scientific method gives the validation. Presumably it is this truth we are discussing.

    The problem with “truth” is that it is contingent. (Which, if it wasn’t obvious before, hints that this isn’t the idealized Truth of dogma or philosophy.) First, both when we measure and theorize we will start from a usually dismissed knowledge value of “don’t know”. Second, there is no guarantee that theories never will be replaced with better ones – in fact, it would be surprising if they weren’t.

    Truth values are by construction better associated with an idealized static or even full knowledge than the one we deal with. So I rather discuss facts and reality than truths.