8 Bit Philosophy: Does Science = Truth?

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Olas:
I think this is where a lot of atheist thinkers go astray. Religion existed for more than explaining the physical facts about the universe, so you can't replace religion with science and think you've got all your bases covered. Atheists should tout culture and humanism at least as much as they tout science as the successor to religion.

You seem to use the past tense as if that was no longer the purpose of religion today or that religion didn't exist today. If this is your meaning please see http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/18/global-religious-landscape-exec/.

TruthInGaming:

. *(no joking intended) Thus being ignorant of something does not preclude ones own knowledge of that ignorance.

To that, I think I would respond that ignorance is categorical whereas knowledge is specific. That is, one can only claim ignorance of categorical fields, because to claim ignorance of a specific statement would require knowing that statement, precluding ignorance of it.

"your experience and understanding is limited therefore all experience and understanding is limited and therefore there can be no experience of understanding that is unlimited."

That is absolutely not the argument I am making.

What I am arguing comes down to knowledge being constructive: it builds on prerequisite knowledge. There are fields of science that are practiced today that deal in subjects that, 150 years ago, scientists did not have the prerequisite knowledge to even be aware of the existence of. That there is a sort of knowledge event horizon, we can be aware of the limits of our understanding, but because those are the limits, we can't be aware of the nature of what's past those bounds.

There's also the practical problem that learning requires time, and the universe has only existed for a finite amount of time. Barring the supernatural, just by that point knowing everything is impossible.

Again however this says nothing about absolute truth other then our own inability to independently verify it. This does not deter from absolute truth since if absolute truth were dependent upon our validation it wouldn't be absolute.

Exactly . If we can't verify it, then how can we know whether or not we have it? It's entirely possible that we could have it, but if we couldn't verify then that's meaningless.

In any case science it would seem is very concerned with the absolute truth in fact its the very goal of science to uncover or as we've moderately reasoned to get as close as possible

Those are two very different statements, though. Of course science works under the philosophical assumption that reality is absolute and that everything that is natural and material is in principle accessible, it does not assume that we can reach an absolute understanding of reality, one where every single factoid in the universe is known. Instead, it seeks general statements in the form of theories that provide qualitative and generalized understanding.

For instance, in general, massive objects attract each other. Science makes this claim only from information available to it, which is limited by default, it is not possible to send out space probes to measure the gravitational potential at every cubic inch of the universe. I do not know the gravitational potential everywhere in the universe, but I do know the equation that gives gravitational potential, at least to a very good approximation (barring whatever we haven't discovered yet that could be messing with it without our knowledge), and I can use that general statement to make valid claims about the universe. Hence my statement that science does not seek the absolute truth but rather increasingly valid general statements.

One of the more credible and persuasive arguments Nietzsche has provided, science should indeed be subject to checks and balances rather than blindly accepted, that's how we refine our scientific theories after all, though care should be taken to separate necessary caution from hysteria about; "delving into things man was not meant to know!!!" and avoiding the latter.

However the question of "Why?" remains immaterial, dare I say even redundant? Perhaps we just need to accept that there is no higher purpose, no reason that fire burns, it simply is by fortuitous accidental alignment of physics.

TruthInGaming:

Nimcha:

TruthInGaming:

A very quaint definition for religion. If applying an equally quaint definition to truth one could acknowledge that science is not religion but whose end goal is the hope to arrive as such.

With the difference that science doesn't threaten people who say 'evolution is not true' with eternal damnation :P

I think it would be a fairer comparison that religion warns people with eternal damnation in the same way science warns people of eternal injury for saying 'gravity is not true.' I don't doubt that both sides would sincerely believe these claims, however, I think most of the "evolution vs. religion" argument is framed around idiots arguing with idiots in an echo chamber. I am not disputing the evidence for either side as part of the problem is a disagreement over acceptance of the authority of evidence they both present. Its pretty easy to see the reasons these groups have issues with each other. However, all too often I find the evolutionist crowd drawing unscientific moralistic reasoning from evolution and indoctrinating it into education at the same time the religious crowd attempts to argue the scientific facts with misinformed moralistic reasoning from religion and indoctrinate it into education. These are issues that need careful and thoughtful articulation and looking at the previous century I'm thankful it is occurring and honestly hope neither side overcomes the other in my lifetime. I don't think most informed religious people have some issue with science but rather the moral conclusions that are drawn from it. In the same regards to evolution I don't think its the atomic theory that upsets most people but rather the way in which it is applied such as nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the same way I don't find most evolutionist have a problem with the idea of most religious doctrine but rather the conclusions that are drawn from those doctrines. Science. Real science. is just a tool in the hands of man. People tend to get upset over how we decide to use those tools. I would ask you to consider that the 21st century was the most bloody century of mankind due to the immoral and relativist attitudes prevailing in that time. Indeed looking back more people were killed by their fellow man in that century then all the previous centuries combined. It wasn't due to a lack of understanding science. Indeed throughout any analysis of history we seem ever more morally ill equipped to deal with the powers which science bestows upon us there are exceptions throughout history but they only exceptions not the trend or narrative.

The point is that science is indeed a tool to find out truth. Whatever conclusions people make from that truth is highly influenced by their beliefs and biases. The information (aka truth) doesn't change. Some people (like Sam Harris, for example) do believe morality can eventually be derived from scientific information. I find that an interesting hypothesis but don't necessarily believe it.

To sum up, if people draw unscientific conclusions from scientific evidence, it doesn't make the scientific method any less credible. It just gives us the information, it's up to us what to do with it.

TruthInGaming:

Olas:
I think this is where a lot of atheist thinkers go astray. Religion existed for more than explaining the physical facts about the universe, so you can't replace religion with science and think you've got all your bases covered. Atheists should tout culture and humanism at least as much as they tout science as the successor to religion.

You seem to use the past tense as if that was no longer the purpose of religion today or that religion didn't exist today. If this is your meaning please see http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/18/global-religious-landscape-exec/.

I guess I should have said religion HAS existed. I didn't mean to imply that religions no longer exist or have radically changed.

As usual Nietzsche rambles incoherently and people that try to justify it fails to make a point. Facts are truth. Science is the process we use to search for facts. Due to our limited ability, we can never know all facts. That is a flaw with humans as a lifeform, in that we are not all-knowing. We try to learn what we can, and for that we use science. Whether its the best method or not is impossible to say, only that it is far better than the alternatives we know.

This video however goes on to claim that there is something more than how. there isnt. there is no why. there is no purpose. searching for it is therefore fruitless.

Lightknight:
For example, if we learn that we are actually 2D or a hologram then we know that we were created this way even if we don't know the creator's intent.

No. that would only show that we are 2D, not that we were created.

I'd say no. Science is a concept of working/figuring things out, usually through experimentation, but like all things human is imperfect and sometimes wrong. Truth is also imperfect, because of variables and perspectives.

Even if we all unraveled all of the universes secrets, our limited life span makes all of it a bit moot. We are here by a random lottery of events etc, no more no less.

Science can be still be wrong, because no one can ever know everything, no matter how hard they might try. Pluto is a planet one moment and not the next, but overall, the universe cares not about names or labels, only we do.

In both science and truth, one cannot know all, but that doesn't stop some trying. I guess there's a reason why some specialize science into different classes. Allows for narrowed focus on a part of science, say astrology as an example.

Oh, religion is in part the precursor to science in understanding ourselves and the world etc, with the difference being that of science uses experimentation, repetition, notes and facts, and religion largely does not. While not meant in offense to those of a religious nature, organized religion can and has made up stuff as it goes along, borrowing stuff from one belief system here and another there over hundreds and thousands of years. Only problem is that facts on certain religions become obscured in the mists of time, covering up the real facts.

That's just my take on it, and its by no means perfect.

Strazdas:
This video however goes on to claim that there is something more than how. there isnt. there is no why. there is no purpose. searching for it is therefore fruitless.

Then why search for facts at all?

That is a why question, right? If you can't answer that because there is no why, only how, then how do you explain that that you still think science is better than sitting in a ditch and eating your own feces until you die.

Like it or not, science presupposes facts/truth have objective value, which is why they are worth searching for. To say that truth is worth searching for is already going beyond description, it is going beyond the how and into the why.

evilthecat:

Strazdas:
This video however goes on to claim that there is something more than how. there isnt. there is no why. there is no purpose. searching for it is therefore fruitless.

Then why search for facts at all?

That is a why question, right? If you can't answer that because there is no why, only how, then how do you explain that that you still think science is better than sitting in a ditch and eating your own feces until you die.

Like it or not, science presupposes facts/truth have objective value, which is why they are worth searching for. To say that truth is worth searching for is already going beyond description, it is going beyond the how and into the why.

Simple. Due to the way humans work in their phisiology and psichology, answering how allows us to fullfil our needs better and is therefore better than not fulfilling them. It is beneficial to us, which is how we derive better pleasure.

The why is very simple here: because we are humans. there is no answer why we are humans, nor there needs one.

Strazdas:
Simple. Due to the way humans work in their phisiology and psichology, answering how allows us to fullfil our needs better and is therefore better than not fulfilling them. It is beneficial to us, which is how we derive better pleasure.

That's an explanation, not a description.

You said there is no purpose, but now you have explained the purpose. Which is true?

evilthecat:

Strazdas:
Simple. Due to the way humans work in their phisiology and psichology, answering how allows us to fullfil our needs better and is therefore better than not fulfilling them. It is beneficial to us, which is how we derive better pleasure.

That's an explanation, not a description.

You said there is no purpose, but now you have explained the purpose. Which is true?

the truth is you did not understood me. I did not explain the purpose, i explained one of the methods of achieving something many see as one. science allows us to feel better. why we need to feel better is unanswered. we just do. thats how humans are. you want to blame somone blame evolution. Noone knows who created evolution (note, created, not discovered). noone cares. its not relevant. we only know that it is.

Olas:

TruthInGaming:

Olas:
I think this is where a lot of atheist thinkers go astray. Religion existed for more than explaining the physical facts about the universe, so you can't replace religion with science and think you've got all your bases covered. Atheists should tout culture and humanism at least as much as they tout science as the successor to religion.

You seem to use the past tense as if that was no longer the purpose of religion today or that religion didn't exist today. If this is your meaning please see http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/18/global-religious-landscape-exec/.

I guess I should have said religion HAS existed. I didn't mean to imply that religions no longer exist or have radically changed.

Very good.

Nimcha:
Religion is unchanging dogma by definition.

Wrong. You don't have to believe in a deity, dogma or the supernatural to be religious. All religion is is a narrative structure by which we contextualize our lives and works that provides a sense of identity, culture, community, and shared values.

IOwnTheSpire:

Nimcha:
Religion is unchanging dogma by definition.

Wrong. You don't have to believe in a deity, dogma or the supernatural to be religious. All religion is is a narrative structure by which we contextualize our lives and works that provides a sense of identity, culture, community, and shared values.

Based on dogma as prescribed in some sort of historic text. That's unchanging. I never said anything about having to believe in some deity to be religious.

Nimcha:

IOwnTheSpire:

Nimcha:
Religion is unchanging dogma by definition.

Wrong. You don't have to believe in a deity, dogma or the supernatural to be religious. All religion is is a narrative structure by which we contextualize our lives and works that provides a sense of identity, culture, community, and shared values.

Based on dogma as prescribed in some sort of historic text. That's unchanging. I never said anything about having to believe in some deity to be religious.

You said religion is unchanging dogma, which is untrue.

IOwnTheSpire:

Nimcha:

IOwnTheSpire:

Wrong. You don't have to believe in a deity, dogma or the supernatural to be religious. All religion is is a narrative structure by which we contextualize our lives and works that provides a sense of identity, culture, community, and shared values.

Based on dogma as prescribed in some sort of historic text. That's unchanging. I never said anything about having to believe in some deity to be religious.

You said religion is unchanging dogma, which is untrue.

It is not. People may choose whatever way they wish to adhere to whatever religion they want (it is all man made after all), the foundation of the religion always stays the same. It has to, it's its foundation. You can interpret the books all you want, the letters don't change.

Nimcha:

IOwnTheSpire:

Nimcha:

Based on dogma as prescribed in some sort of historic text. That's unchanging. I never said anything about having to believe in some deity to be religious.

You said religion is unchanging dogma, which is untrue.

It is not. People may choose whatever way they wish to adhere to whatever religion they want (it is all man made after all), the foundation of the religion always stays the same. It has to, it's its foundation. You can interpret the books all you want, the letters don't change.

It IS untrue. You're making dogma seem inseperable from religion when they are in fact separate things. Not every religion is based on something written in a book. Religion is much more complex and broad than your narrow mind is making it out to be.

IOwnTheSpire:

Nimcha:

IOwnTheSpire:

You said religion is unchanging dogma, which is untrue.

It is not. People may choose whatever way they wish to adhere to whatever religion they want (it is all man made after all), the foundation of the religion always stays the same. It has to, it's its foundation. You can interpret the books all you want, the letters don't change.

It IS untrue. You're making dogma seem inseperable from religion when they are in fact separate things.

I can repeat myself if that helps. A religion is based on dogma per definition. That's what makes it a religion.

You denying that won't make it so, I'm afraid. The reason for your denial intrigues me though.

Nimcha:

IOwnTheSpire:

Nimcha:

It is not. People may choose whatever way they wish to adhere to whatever religion they want (it is all man made after all), the foundation of the religion always stays the same. It has to, it's its foundation. You can interpret the books all you want, the letters don't change.

It IS untrue. You're making dogma seem inseperable from religion when they are in fact separate things.

I can repeat myself if that helps. A religion is based on dogma per definition. That's what makes it a religion.

You denying that won't make it so, I'm afraid. The reason for your denial intrigues me though.

And I'll repeat myself again: religion is a narrative structure by which people contextualize their lives and works that provides a sense of identity, culture, community, and shared values. By definition, you're the one who is wrong and in denial.

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