Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Pop: Intelligence vs Science and Religion

All scientists and religious people argue. That’s all they ever do, both with an awful smug arrogance that makes me want to surgically remove their abilities to speak. I am neither a scientist nor a believer in any religion. That’s because I’m intelligent and intelligent people seek knowledge over all else. It isn’t about truth, it’s about acquisition of knowledge because truth is impossible to discover. 

Before I begin properly let me start with that science and religion are, because essentially they are the same thing. Both are systems of belief that assert that their truths are all absolute truth that they must spread to the world. But they are nothing more than systems of belief and in the search for knowledge they are merely tools that intelligent people use to further their goal. 
Throughout the ages people have always needed something to believe in. Something which they called truth so that more people could ratify their beliefs and make them feel like they were better than other people. If you can gain a majority voice for your version of truth you feel superior. For a long time in England this was Christianity because it was a fantastic form of social control which encouraged a good set of morals. 

When people felt bored of Christianity they moved onto science because it appeared to ever increasing technology. Believers in science were encouraged to mock Christianity thereby pushing more people away from it. Now science has gone as far as to develop into what’s known as social Darwinism where Richard Dawkins tells people that they are more evolved if they believe in science. Believers in religion are genetically backwards. Science is no different from Christiantiy in its method of delivery or way of behaving. It is a system of belief and no closer to fact or truth than anything else. We are simply brainwashed into seeing it as fact from an early age just like a Catholic child or the entire society when Christianity was at its peak. 

The truth of science is pitifully easy to destroy. Science is based entirely on observation. If we see something happen enough times it must be correct. But the theories and the facts we base modern observations on are also based on human observation. If we can’t trust our senses then our observation cannot be trusted, never mind the fact that there is always the possibility that some time a ball might fall the other way. Repeated testing isn’t enough evidence for something to be fact. 

Scientists react to this with ‘well it’s only a theory’ but in the basis of that ‘theory’ are facts which were theories too until enough time had passed that people forgot they hadn’t been tested properly. When I was young it was known as the big bang theory, now they base other things off it and call it fact that the universe was created like that. Because we see stars through a telescope we all believe in stars as factual entities but eyesight is not enough. We have no proof of the validity of any of the facts that social Darwinists call us ‘unevolved’ for if we don’t believe in them. 

The arguments for Christianity produce the same problem. No proof. There is no record of Jesus, no proof of God. Nothing at all. The whole thing is as thinly woven as science but we are threatened with hell if we don’t believe the exact right thing. It’s childish. ‘Believe what we believe or suffer.’ Well I don’t respond to threats and if God was actually real then he wouldn’t have to threaten. Whatever the truth is, it will be obvious when we find it. No threats or punishments needed. 

Intelligence leads people to alternate ways of thinking. Intelligence leads to the creation of new fields of study, new theories and new belief systems. We require the sheep who practise science or religion because it provides background information, tests already completed and with all your arguing you provide a fantastic social experiment. 

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  1. You claim scientists and religious individuals argue with a smug arrogance, but do you not see a smug arrogance in your own writings here?

    While it's true that reality might not be as it appears, filtered by our perception so to speak, this doesn't impact science in any manner. And I should state, science is not a belief system.

    Science cannot be impacted by solipsism because science gives no heed to it. Let's say reality is not what we see, and in fact is just an illusion. If this were the case, then science would be the study of the rules and boundaries of that illusion, not that it would be aware of the illusion. And I would think it fair to say that reality or illusion, what we see is structured and observable.

    You say that intelligence is gaining knowledge and science and religion are just beliefs, but science is the gaining of knowledge. Scientists do not know everything, they do not have an explanation for everything or an all knowing truth as you depict, they're attempting to discover more. The Big Bang Theory and it's off-shoots are still just theories. The reason theories are built on theories is the reason theoretical physicists have jobs. They propose as many ideas as possible that account for certain phenomena.

    And while repeated testing might not be enough to prove something as fact, it's certainly better than nothing.

    Religion on the other hand, depicts an unlikely story(not impossible, however) in either a real world or a dream state.

    Additionally I happened to have watched a lecture with Richard Dawkins earlier today. I never caught any hint that he was calling other people "unevolved" during the Q&A or in any of his remarks upon creationists. Although he was suspiciously rude to one lady who seemed affectionate towards him.

    In fact, in one case he refers to a Harvard PhD (who claims to refuse the theory of evolution even if it was once and for all proven indisputably) as a "disgrace to the human species". A little mean, but he doesn't say they're subhuman.

    Since I consider my first paragraph rude anyway i'm going to say this: I really cannot determine whether or not this post is sarcastic

    My assumption was that it was not and you're a philosophy buff. And in my experience philosophers often have the habit of demonizing both science and religion.

  2. Hi Mr.Anonymous (I'll call you Jerry for ease of use from now on), thanks for the comment. Very interesting indeed and may I say well written compared to some rather visceral reactions people can have at being questioned.

    Let's see, first off you ask if we see smug arrogance in our own writings. Absolutely yes. Sadly, we are both human and we're folly to all traits that humans suffer from, particularly ingnorance and arrogance. Language is also flawed so, upon occasion, we can either misrepresent our own thoughts or even get them wrong entirely. As much as we'd enjoy being flawless, it's not going to happen anytime soon.

    'Science pays no heed to solipsism' is nice. It's the 'fingers in my ears' argument and here's why: Religion pays no heed to science. If science can selectively remove dissenting thought structures, then so can religion. Though I take and agree with your idea of science as analysing an ultimately unbreakable illusion.

    Intelligence is gaining knowledge, as is science. Religion, I concede, seems more content with stagnation over 'progress' (which is just a biased term for 'change'.) Our main issue with science is that, while gaining knowledge and theories, there is a presumption that there is a kernel of truth at the core of it all. This is as absurd as any fairy story. Every truth revealed, every proof put forward and every nugget of logic applied can be mystified by the presence of impenetrable illusion.

    Also, yes repeated testing is better than nothing but then so is juggling doughnuts but neither have any connection to 'truth'.

    Another side note: Religion presents an unlikely story to happen in a dream world? That's either plain ignorant or hopefully clinging to something you consider superior (like science). I've ridden on ivory turtles through giant rainbow-filled valleys of coco-pops while being chased by disease-ridden yaks in my dreams. Is that any less likely?

    As for Dawkins, I can't entirely condemn him. He's a very intelligent individual with a great many sensible and interesting opinions. His willingness to accept and mediate between different points of view seems to have improved a whole lot over the years. He started from a position of absolute denial, at least, if his books are anything to go by. My problems and revulsions are with 'social darwinism', which isn't a sole Dawkins theory but he has supported it in the past.

    We are both philosophy buffs, as you put it, and I agree with you that philosophers tend to be critical of, even as far as demonisation, both religion or science or indeed any rigid belief structure.

    Once again, I accept science isn't itself a rigid belief structure but it has rigid beliefs of truth built into it.

    As for sarcasm, my best answer is a vague one. Philsophy is, at best, mockery. I don't consider my source of thought and knowledge any higher or better than any other source and that's what keeps me free to say this: We have no opinions. No beliefs that persist. We simply move around debates applying logic where we can for the sheer intellectual fun of it. In simpler terms, this post was as serious as it was sarcastic but both sides are as important as the other when it comes down to it.

    So Jerry, If I could return with a question, whether answered or not, this post seemed to interest and excite you enough to write a comment. A rather good one too. If our 'mission-statement' is to inspire thought and/or debate, did we succeed?



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