kudayta wrote:You want me to prove that science is more effective than religion? Wow, that's a lot easier. The drugs, social techniques, etc are all products of science. Religion has produced none of that. Ergo, science wins.
That's not proof, that's your opinion.
kudayta wrote:I would contest that an atheist's life has but superficial meaning. Speaking as an atheist, I find a rather profound sense of meaning in the pursuit of knowledge, especially knowing that I only have a few decades in which to gather up as much as possible to pass on down the generations.
What about when the world ends on December 21, 2012 and everything you ever did your entire life was for nothing? (NOTE: I don't think the world will end in 2012, the mayan calander mess is just that, a big stinking pile)
kudayta wrote:But to insist that life has no meaning unless some cosmic intelligence gives it to you is like saying that all sweaters are ugly because your grandmother makes ugly ones. It just doesn't hold up.
I never said life has no meaning without religion. I am saying there's no deep fullfillment, for many people, without it.
kudayta wrote:Well, secular morality has been around for centuries. You should read up on Kant, Rand, Kurtz, Dennett and many others, since insisting that without a diety morality becomes relative is simply not correct. In many cases, morality is relative to context. But there is an objective standard. I personally hold to humanism, as I think the axiom "whatever improves the quality and/or quantity of life" is the best way to go about devising tactics.
I also take issue with the notion that very few people would decide that the best course of action is what improves their situation only. Just as religion has shaped our culture, biology has as well. And our biological history is a lot longer than the Church's. Humans are social animals, we instinctively protect the tribe from outside danger. A rather ironic example of this occurred in 1987 when the theocrats in Louisiana passed a bill requiring creationism be taught in public schools. And the plaintiffs screwed up the oral arguments, so much so that it was looking really bad for the proponents of science. So 72 Nobel laureates got together and submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court to save the day. Now these 72 guys (along with a few state academies of science and various other organizations) are really competitive people. That's how it is in the world of research science. But they circled the wagons when an outside threat approached, and they set aside their professional differences and worked together for a common cause.
I wonder, is secular morality an oxymoron? Let me attempt to be more clear:
1. Humanity wakes up tomorrow, all religion is proven undeniably false.
2. All places of worship are abandoned or converted for secular use around the globe.
3. All nations unite as they throw off the shackles of geographic belief systems and religious based morals.
4. Eutopia ensues as humanity pauses to consider the ramifications (i.e. all wars end, at least temporarily)
If then, the best course of action, relative to our species, is providing the best of everything for humanity, where do you draw the line? Who gets to decide what 'best' is? Who gets to decide how we create 'best'.
This opens up a whole area which we might consider 'evil' now. For a large portion of society, life would begin to have no value (i.e., the life of others). We can see this tendency already. For example: Two Wisconsin boys, 13, charged with brutal hatchet slaying of great-grandmother to get change to buy pizza
You have have a very difficult time conving more and more of society, as time went on, that taking the more 'noble' route is best.
Ace, I do enjoy talking with you about these sort of topics. Feel free to email me if you wish to continue. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry, I'm too lazy to follow up via email.
Besides, plenty of other topics, which don't get derailed, turn in to garbage very quickly.
I think we're safe, even from the future Defcon mod, whomever that might be.