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Chinahand

Grayling And Dawkins

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I read Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” recently and then immediately followed it with A. C. Grayling’s “What is Good”.

 

In many ways the two books compliment each other very well. They both take on revealed religions and dismiss them as being of little utility in enabling humanity to prosper. I suppose I could descend into cliché and talk of Dawkins’ broadsides against faith, and Grayling’s dismissive wit and learning. Of course the two books do have slightly different aims; Dawkins wants to de-convert people from having a faith in a revealed truth, encouraging people to rely on evidence and reason; while Grayling reviews how humanity has sought to understand what is for the good, both individually and collectively throughout history and in so doing dismisses revealed truth for failing to provide any underpinning for its ideas.

 

I have to say I did find Grayling devastating. How are we to decide what is good? If you just state that you should do what God has revealed to you as good you are immediately in a cul-de-sac. To pretend that revealed truth is detailed enough to provide guidance is clearly preposterous: you still have to evaluate and rationalize. And then there is the pedant’s charge: if God told you something bad was good, would that make it good? Most obviously it would not, and the claim that God only commands the good is an extremely weak case given the contradictory nature of the revealed books and his desire for such things as Philistine foreskins, the massacring of Midionites and Jihad.

 

Of course, Dawkins is particularly strong on this; he ruthlessly exposes the truth to his claim that any Christian who claims to get their morality from the bible hasn’t read it. One of the more chilling sections concerns in-group and out-group psychology and the battle of Jericho.

 

I’m going to invert Dawkins’ story and start with the control group – partly because I love China and partly because I find the inversion so telling:

 

General Lin said to the people, ‘Shout; for Heaven has given you the city of Xian Long. And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted by the Mandate of Heaven for destruction … But all silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron are sacred to Heaven; they shall go into the treasury of Heaven’ … Then the army of the Kingdom of Qin utterly destroyed all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep and asses, with the edge of the sword … And they burned the city with fire, and all within it; only the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and of iron, he put into the treasury of the house of Heaven.

 

When given this piece and asked “Do you think General Lin acted rightly or not?” only 7% approved, but when General Lin was changed to Joshua, the city of Xian Long to Jericho and the army of Qin to Israel then 66% of Israeli school children so asked approved.

 

Dawkins again and again showed up the divisive nature of religion. On Northern Ireland and other similar conflicts he doesn’t deny the influence of economics and politics in creating the problems, but he is very convincing when he questions how do the protagonists in these conflicts identify who is who and how they label someone as an oppressor or a victim to be avenged. These people are the same colour, speak the same language ( apart from Shibboleths deliberately engendered to allow out- and in-group recognition) they would be unrecognizable as different groups if it wasn’t for the deliberate use of religion in schooling and community to very effectively change a homogenous population into two ethnic groups.

 

Some people may be tempted to say that humanity has always been divisive and will always find ways to divide people into in-group and out-group. I disagree; I believe that civilization is a systematic attempt to extend the in-group as far as is possible, using laws and democracy and justice to ensure people are treated without favour, so it is as possible as it can be for people to cooperate. Only sixty years or so ago, Europe was wracked with war exactly premised on in-group discrimination and a need for lebensraum. That chauvinism is now hopefully gone. I honestly hope that a day will come when the deliberate creation of a false ethnic divide through non-integrated religious schooling in Northern Ireland and else where is ended. I find the current extension of faith schools, whether C of E, Catholic, Jewish or Islamic, a retrograde step and one which is likely to impede integration and the reduction of community tensions.

 

Grayling, in my view correctly, says that a secular state, rigorously impartial to the faiths of its citizens is a vital part of ensuring the Good and I cannot understand the current trend to give religions more and more state protection and encouragement. This is not conducive to an open debate, or to breaking down community divisions. To have multiple segments of the country able to use blasphemy laws or whatever to stifle or ban criticism or debate is no way forward; rather it guarantees sectarian no go areas at least in the mind, and even more worryingly maybe even in the streets. In the UK in the last few years plays have been picketed, books have been burnt and cartoonists threatened with murder all in the sacred name of religion. One person’s view of a culture may be extremely insulting to someone else, but if in responding to that insult intimidation or the censor’s pen is used, rather than dialogue, education and debate, then in my mind the moral authority is lost and I cannot understand the state supporting such action.

 

To a large extent that is Dawkins’ thesis, but I have to say that I think he takes it far too far. There is a huge sense of elitist smugness in some of his views on the raising of children; and more than a little bit of the Tyrant. Of course he is responding to the tyranny of the indoctrination of children and there is now a lot of evidence that the Jesuits were correct in their boasts concerning their influence over a persons life if they were just given to them aged seven and under – it is not a coincidence that the majority of religious schools in the UK are primary schools.

 

But Dawkins’ idea that we should in some way invade the family home to censor what sincere parents tell their children is, to me, a massive step too far. By all means let the education system and the state be rigorously secular, but to presume that parents not be allowed to attempt to raise their children within their own traditions is wrong. We must have an open debate, a society without sacred cows or taboos.

 

Grayling so sharply shows the failure of revealed religion to provide guidance in a contradictory environment. Only a person who already accepts the revelation whether Christian, Islamic Hindu or whatever will be able to accept that revelation as authoritative on its own merit, anyone else, faced with other so called Holy Writs or with secular, humanist solutions, will have to rely on their own reasoning to decide a course of action. The power of tradition is very great and much of humanity does simply follow it, but that is surely an impoverished way compared to the considered life.

 

Many religiously minded and/or conservative people lament the self centeredness of modern society, but frankly I find this attitude simply authoritarian or un-thought through. We have to decide what is good, and we have to decide it for ourselves. That doesn’t mean we have to decide it in a vacuum, and it isn’t a prescription for egotism, it means when all is said and done we have to choose, and bear the consequences of our decisions. That isn’t easy, but I believe it is hugely empowering to give people as much as possible the responsibility for this to themselves.

 

Dawkins attacks remorselessly the view that we can abdicate this responsibility to a God, and I am sure he will fully agree with Grayling in seeking a solution to this problem in the ideas of the Enlightenment. Secularism and science seem in some ways to be in retreat in today’s multicultural, post-modern world, but Grayling finds great strength in their world view and shows how the precursors in ancient Greek- and Roman-thought resonate on in the Renaissance and Enlightenment, after surviving the Church enforced dogmatism of the Dark Ages and such Counter-Reformation ideas as the Inquisition and the Index of Banned Books.

 

I cannot better Grayling’s final few paragraphs and wholeheartedly recommend reading him. He is erudite, hard hitting, but essentially humane, and a strong complementary anecdote to the negativity Dawkins engenders in his revelation of, and revelling in, the evils done in the name of religion. Both are, I believe, well aimed in their critiques of our godly delusions, but Grayling is simply more optimistic. Read them both, our world needs to resist the endarkenment the fundamentalists are attempting to foster on us whether from Washington, Jerusalem, Tehran, or some cave on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, but take hope in Grayling’s considered life

 

[T]he scientific attitude … values enquiry, curiosity and observation, rigorous testing of ideas, experiment, open mindedness, [and a] preparedness to think again in the face of new evidence.

When science replaces mythology as the frame work for understanding the world, it brings with it its enquiring, open minded attitudes, and that in turn … makes possible a better and finer understanding of what conduces to the human good.

From classical antiquity to modern philosophy the fundamental ideas has been that people possess reason and that by using it they can choose lives worth living for themselves and respectful of their fellows. The contrast between a humanist ethics of freedom and a transcendentalist claim that man’s good lies in submission to an external authority – the authority of a supposed divine power or transcendental order, which in concrete terms means the teachings of a priesthood or tradition – is therefore a sharp one.

It is impossible to conceive of a free and creative life in the humanist sense as one lived without alertness, sensitivity and insight. This tells us what Socrates meant when he said that the best life is the considered life. To the question ‘What is good?’ then the answer can only be: ‘The considered life – free, creative, informed and chosen, a life of achievement and fulfilment, of pleasure and understanding, of love and friendship; in sort, the best human life in a human world, humanely lived.

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But Dawkins’ idea that we should in some way invade the family home to censor what sincere parents tell their children is, to me, a massive step too far. By all means let the education system and the state be rigorously secular, but to presume that parents not be allowed to attempt to raise their children within their own traditions is wrong. We must have an open debate, a society without sacred cows or taboos.

 

Interesting post.

 

I think this bit is one of the many bits that people have latched onto and misunderstood with Dawkins' book. There's a tendency to think that Dawkins is advocating a kind of "thought control" through legislation, especially by religious parents who want (and should have) the right to raise their kids as they see fit. But I don't believe this is what he is proposing at all.

 

Throughout the book he is quick to mention this concept of "consciousness raising", and he cites examples such as the de-insultifying of the word "queer" by the gay community. At no point does he mention that this kind of thing should be enforced by law, but more discouraged through disapproval. Whenever we hear the phrase "Christian child" or "Muslim girl", we should tut disapprovingly. I'm not sure that this kind of thing would be very effective, but it's all part of the slow shift away from indoctrination towards freedom of choice.

 

I think Dawkins is of the opinion that society needs one "clean" generation of children, raised without the dogma and conditioning - no matter how innocent and well intentioned - of a religious upbringing. If we get this, we break the cycle of "infection" and any religion that then exists would be religion that people have come to in full possession of the facts. The trouble is, religion - especially Christianity - has evolved mechanisms that make it impossible for parents to forgo their child's indoctrination. The concept of original sin is a master stroke that leaves parents little choice other than to get their kids on the right path as soon as possible.

 

Dave

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...which is all very nice, but the very fact that you're reading these books means you really don't need to read these books.

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...which is all very nice, but the very fact that you're reading these books means you really don't need to read these books.

 

How very true. The people who do need to read them never will...

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IMHO, the irony of Dawkins is that his behaviour approaches that of a religious zealot.

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IMHO, the irony of Dawkins is that his behaviour approaches that of a religious zealot.

 

An early evocation of Blake's Law

 

In any discussion of atheism (skepticism, etc.), the probability that someone will compare a vocal atheist to religious fundamentalists increases to one.

 

Please understand the fundamental difference between Dawkins et al and the religious zealots - one lot demands evidence, the other demands faith.

 

Having a passion for rigour and evidence does not make you a religous zealot. It is close to being the diametric opposite.

 

I like this attempt to understand the difference:

Rather than putting the divide onto two axes: thus:

tern1.png

 

Rather see it as a three axis problem: zeal is a common feature, but in the religious faith vrs scientific evidence debate the important difference is the reliance on faith and empiricism (evidence).

 

tern2.png

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I read Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” recently and then immediately followed it with A. C. Grayling’s “What is Good”.

 

In many ways the two books compliment each other very well. They both take on revealed religions and dismiss them as being of little utility in enabling humanity to prosper. I suppose I could descend into cliché and talk of Dawkins’ broadsides against faith, and Grayling’s dismissive wit and learning. Of course the two books do have slightly different aims; Dawkins wants to de-convert people from having a faith in a revealed truth, encouraging people to rely on evidence and reason; while Grayling reviews how humanity has sought to understand what is for the good, both individually and collectively throughout history and in so doing dismisses revealed truth for failing to provide any underpinning for its ideas.

 

I have to say I did find Grayling devastating. How are we to decide what is good? If you just state that you should do what God has revealed to you as good you are immediately in a cul-de-sac. To pretend that revealed truth is detailed enough to provide guidance is clearly preposterous: you still have to evaluate and rationalize. And then there is the pedant’s charge: if God told you something bad was good, would that make it good? Most obviously it would not, and the claim that God only commands the good is an extremely weak case given the contradictory nature of the revealed books and his desire for such things as Philistine foreskins, the massacring of Midionites and Jihad.

 

Of course, Dawkins is particularly strong on this; he ruthlessly exposes the truth to his claim that any Christian who claims to get their morality from the bible hasn’t read it. One of the more chilling sections concerns in-group and out-group psychology and the battle of Jericho.

 

I’m going to invert Dawkins’ story and start with the control group – partly because I love China and partly because I find the inversion so telling:

 

General Lin said to the people, ‘Shout; for Heaven has given you the city of Xian Long. And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted by the Mandate of Heaven for destruction … But all silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron are sacred to Heaven; they shall go into the treasury of Heaven’ … Then the army of the Kingdom of Qin utterly destroyed all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep and asses, with the edge of the sword … And they burned the city with fire, and all within it; only the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and of iron, he put into the treasury of the house of Heaven.

 

When given this piece and asked “Do you think General Lin acted rightly or not?” only 7% approved, but when General Lin was changed to Joshua, the city of Xian Long to Jericho and the army of Qin to Israel then 66% of Israeli school children so asked approved.

 

Dawkins again and again showed up the divisive nature of religion. On Northern Ireland and other similar conflicts he doesn’t deny the influence of economics and politics in creating the problems, but he is very convincing when he questions how do the protagonists in these conflicts identify who is who and how they label someone as an oppressor or a victim to be avenged. These people are the same colour, speak the same language ( apart from Shibboleths deliberately engendered to allow out- and in-group recognition) they would be unrecognizable as different groups if it wasn’t for the deliberate use of religion in schooling and community to very effectively change a homogenous population into two ethnic groups.

 

Some people may be tempted to say that humanity has always been divisive and will always find ways to divide people into in-group and out-group. I disagree; I believe that civilization is a systematic attempt to extend the in-group as far as is possible, using laws and democracy and justice to ensure people are treated without favour, so it is as possible as it can be for people to cooperate. Only sixty years or so ago, Europe was wracked with war exactly premised on in-group discrimination and a need for lebensraum. That chauvinism is now hopefully gone. I honestly hope that a day will come when the deliberate creation of a false ethnic divide through non-integrated religious schooling in Northern Ireland and else where is ended. I find the current extension of faith schools, whether C of E, Catholic, Jewish or Islamic, a retrograde step and one which is likely to impede integration and the reduction of community tensions.

 

Grayling, in my view correctly, says that a secular state, rigorously impartial to the faiths of its citizens is a vital part of ensuring the Good and I cannot understand the current trend to give religions more and more state protection and encouragement. This is not conducive to an open debate, or to breaking down community divisions. To have multiple segments of the country able to use blasphemy laws or whatever to stifle or ban criticism or debate is no way forward; rather it guarantees sectarian no go areas at least in the mind, and even more worryingly maybe even in the streets. In the UK in the last few years plays have been picketed, books have been burnt and cartoonists threatened with murder all in the sacred name of religion. One person’s view of a culture may be extremely insulting to someone else, but if in responding to that insult intimidation or the censor’s pen is used, rather than dialogue, education and debate, then in my mind the moral authority is lost and I cannot understand the state supporting such action.

 

To a large extent that is Dawkins’ thesis, but I have to say that I think he takes it far too far. There is a huge sense of elitist smugness in some of his views on the raising of children; and more than a little bit of the Tyrant. Of course he is responding to the tyranny of the indoctrination of children and there is now a lot of evidence that the Jesuits were correct in their boasts concerning their influence over a persons life if they were just given to them aged seven and under – it is not a coincidence that the majority of religious schools in the UK are primary schools.

 

But Dawkins’ idea that we should in some way invade the family home to censor what sincere parents tell their children is, to me, a massive step too far. By all means let the education system and the state be rigorously secular, but to presume that parents not be allowed to attempt to raise their children within their own traditions is wrong. We must have an open debate, a society without sacred cows or taboos.

 

Grayling so sharply shows the failure of revealed religion to provide guidance in a contradictory environment. Only a person who already accepts the revelation whether Christian, Islamic Hindu or whatever will be able to accept that revelation as authoritative on its own merit, anyone else, faced with other so called Holy Writs or with secular, humanist solutions, will have to rely on their own reasoning to decide a course of action. The power of tradition is very great and much of humanity does simply follow it, but that is surely an impoverished way compared to the considered life.

 

Many religiously minded and/or conservative people lament the self centeredness of modern society, but frankly I find this attitude simply authoritarian or un-thought through. We have to decide what is good, and we have to decide it for ourselves. That doesn’t mean we have to decide it in a vacuum, and it isn’t a prescription for egotism, it means when all is said and done we have to choose, and bear the consequences of our decisions. That isn’t easy, but I believe it is hugely empowering to give people as much as possible the responsibility for this to themselves.

 

Dawkins attacks remorselessly the view that we can abdicate this responsibility to a God, and I am sure he will fully agree with Grayling in seeking a solution to this problem in the ideas of the Enlightenment. Secularism and science seem in some ways to be in retreat in today’s multicultural, post-modern world, but Grayling finds great strength in their world view and shows how the precursors in ancient Greek- and Roman-thought resonate on in the Renaissance and Enlightenment, after surviving the Church enforced dogmatism of the Dark Ages and such Counter-Reformation ideas as the Inquisition and the Index of Banned Books.

 

I cannot better Grayling’s final few paragraphs and wholeheartedly recommend reading him. He is erudite, hard hitting, but essentially humane, and a strong complementary anecdote to the negativity Dawkins engenders in his revelation of, and revelling in, the evils done in the name of religion. Both are, I believe, well aimed in their critiques of our godly delusions, but Grayling is simply more optimistic. Read them both, our world needs to resist the endarkenment the fundamentalists are attempting to foster on us whether from Washington, Jerusalem, Tehran, or some cave on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, but take hope in Grayling’s considered life

 

[T]he scientific attitude … values enquiry, curiosity and observation, rigorous testing of ideas, experiment, open mindedness, [and a] preparedness to think again in the face of new evidence.

When science replaces mythology as the frame work for understanding the world, it brings with it its enquiring, open minded attitudes, and that in turn … makes possible a better and finer understanding of what conduces to the human good.

From classical antiquity to modern philosophy the fundamental ideas has been that people possess reason and that by using it they can choose lives worth living for themselves and respectful of their fellows. The contrast between a humanist ethics of freedom and a transcendentalist claim that man’s good lies in submission to an external authority – the authority of a supposed divine power or transcendental order, which in concrete terms means the teachings of a priesthood or tradition – is therefore a sharp one.

It is impossible to conceive of a free and creative life in the humanist sense as one lived without alertness, sensitivity and insight. This tells us what Socrates meant when he said that the best life is the considered life. To the question ‘What is good?’ then the answer can only be: ‘The considered life – free, creative, informed and chosen, a life of achievement and fulfilment, of pleasure and understanding, of love and friendship; in sort, the best human life in a human world, humanely lived.

 

 

Try Sam Harris' End of Faith now.

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What is your score on the

.

 

I got 5 points.

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Zero. I'm guessing you got 5 on the medetation question? I liked the balanced summary at the end :)

Edited by ai_Droid

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What is your score on the
.

 

I got 5 points.

IMO the index is flawed by having Yes/No answers i.e. not giving probabilty options. As an agnostic I probably really scored 0.000001

 

The scoring assessment is also flawed. I too could probably be classed as somewhat 'Batshit crazy', as I have a desire to destroy large swathes of the human population that follow religion and continually allow it to f*** up my world.

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Zero. I'm guessing you got 5 on the medetation question? I liked the balanced summary at the end :)

Like Chinahand I also got 5 points - and this was on the meditation question: "Do you believe that a deeply contemplative act ...can result in ... understanding not attainable through ordinary thought?"

 

That isn't to do with God delusions, but cognitive psychology and states of consciousness. There's a fair amount of empirical scientific evidence to do with this and alpha and theta waves. These are the kind of slow wave get when in low arousal meditative state, sometimes also called flow-state by Csikszenmihalyi, and is associated with insight and creativity - the 'Eureka' moment kind of thing. (5 points)

 

ai Droid - is getting zero is a kind of unwillingness to consider such a possibility contra to scientific and empirical method? perhaps from zealous atheism which tries to deny any phenomena that smacks of religious belief? (or just not knowing about these studies - or maybe not considering the question carefully?)

 

Maybe there should be a negative scale, so ai Droid would score -5 on the index (which is in the normal anti-God score range), but maybe a lot higher if he refused to be persuaded otherwise by well-conducted scientific studies. I've not read the book, but there are a few things I heard Dawkins say which surprised me, and I think would put him in the mildly deluded anti-God category (e.g. about moral values not having any basis other than simply convenient conventions - which completely overlooks evolutionary psychology, genes, innate behaviours in social species etc.).

Edited by Skeddan

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Like Chinahand I also got 5 points - and this was on the meditation question: "Do you believe that a deeply contemplative act ...can result in ... understanding not attainable through ordinary thought?"

That isn't to do with God delusions, but cognitive psychology and states of consciousness. There's a fair amount of empirical scientific evidence to do with this and alpha and theta waves. These are the kind of slow wave get when in low arousal meditative state, sometimes also called flow-state by Csikszenmihalyi, and is associated with insight and creativity - the 'Eureka' moment kind of thing. (5 points)

ai Droid - is getting zero is a kind of unwillingness to consider such a possibility contra to scientific and empirical method? perhaps from zealous atheism which tries to deny any phenomena that smacks of religious belief? (or just not knowing about these studies - or maybe not considering the question carefully?)

 

I see that as ordinary thought, just concentrated, and meditation as a spiritual bunch of 'higher state of conciousness' claptrap.

 

I don't doubt that sitting quietly, relaxing and concentrating ones throughts produces demonstratable benefits. What I don't believe is that it has anything to do with spirituality.

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I see that as ordinary thought, just concentrated, and meditation as a spiritual bunch of 'higher state of conciousness' claptrap.

 

I don't doubt that sitting quietly, relaxing and concentrating ones throughts produces demonstratable benefits. What I don't believe is that it has anything to do with spirituality.

Fair enough - but the question put was to do with deeply contemplative act, and flow-state is not exactly 'ordinary' and everyday mode - but deep contemplation state. True it is nothing supernatural, but the question as presented did not demand that it be considered as a supernatural phenomenon.

 

I think there are connections with 'spirituality'. This phenomena is also described in terms of 'inspiration', the flash of understanding 'out of the blue', which people have though of in terms such as the daemon, a genius, or divine inspiration. i.e. they give supernatural explanations to a non-supernatural phenomena.

 

Some spiritual practices, like mediation, and even deeply meditative prayer can have benefits. They may also reduce stress and increase health, wellbeing, and lead to being better adjusted and avoiding negative consequences of being angry and aggressive, so can lead to positive outcomes and successes. That's entirely different from then assuming this is due to 'channelling' of some supernatural spirit, or because it gains favour from God or some supernatural being etc. or any hocus pocus - those are just simplistic superstitious non-explanations to account for what is otherwise perfectly explicable.

 

To really 'zone out' and have 'no mind' is very far from ordinary. Not many people can do this and there is always a kind of 'chatter' going on in the brain. In EEG studies one generally takes a baseline measurement without stimulus. High coherent alpha waves (a kind of non-activity) is something that is not ordinary - in fact it is quite extraordinary, and is something that can be developed through meditative practices (e.g. Tai Chi, which is a kind of meditation in motion).

 

'Higher states of consciousness' is not really claptrap - well it can be in a way - better to describe this as altered states of consciousness - which is what is found in flow state and is different from ordinary beta-state modes of consciousness or awareness.

 

It's also worth noting how the topic had a role in the foundation of psychology - e.g. William James, varieties of religious experience. We now have a better rational and scientific understanding. All I'm saying is don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

 

Given the wording of the question, I'll stick with 5 points - though I don't believe in supernatural phenomena.

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Zero. I'm guessing you got 5 on the medetation question? I liked the balanced summary at the end :)

 

Your score of zero is about as intellectually questionable as a score of 100,000. I scored 40, because the first three questions were worded around the possibility of existence, rather than the existence itself. The only way to answer these without claiming knowledge that we don't yet have is to answer "yes", no matter how small the probability of is. After question 4 he becomes more definite in the questions he's asking.

 

Dave

Edited by Dr_Dave

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I scored 40, because the first three questions were worded around the possibility of existence, rather than the existence itself. The only way to answer these without claiming knowledge that we don't yet have is to answer "yes", no matter how small the probability of is. After question 4 he becomes more definite in the questions he's asking.

I'd be inclined to agree, and was in two minds about whether to answer yes on these for the reasons you've given. The reason I answered no was a) because the question seemed to be one which was unverifiable either way and so essentially meaningless - in which case it couldn't be answered affirmatively. b) because it wasn't clear what the question meant - 'intelligent being' - what does that mean? (I hate forced choice questions sometimes). Maybe I get a fluctuating score of 45 / 25 / 5? Maybe one should just write off those questions as intellectually questionable, and not the answers.

 

I do agree though that there can be an intellectually questionable 'scientism' - sometimes making unfounded assertions with no genuine basis at all. (Last night I heard a scientist say 'science tells us that when you die, that's that' - and claiming reincarnation was scientifically disproved. I don't believe in it, but I don't think one can claim it has been disproved scientifically or that one can make such conclusive statements). Be interesting to have a test for scientistic delusion as well.

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