Is superstition more circumspect that rationalism?

Joe_Canon
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Is superstition more circumspect that rationalism?

I can probably anticipate the answers to this.

As rationalists we pride ourselves in being critical correct? After all, it was critical examination of the world that dispelled much superstition through science. And God knows how much science has helped civilization (and how much it has hurt, I suppose). My question is: Is a person who can at least consider the possibility of a different metaphysical outlook not more critical than those who would limit reality to sensory-data? To be sure, initially rationalism and science were more critical than superstitious beliefs as they considered the possibility of non-God explanations for things (risking life and limb!). But now, rationalism has created parameters of reality than prevent it from being critical. I know, I know-- it is because there IS no reality beyond or involved with that which we perceive and quantify through the senses. But this presupposition would preclude super or para natural reality. If one is a true rationalist, one cannot be truly circumspect if there is anything beyond.


EXC
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Supernatural is bullshit.

Joe_Canon wrote:
But this presupposition would preclude super or para natural reality. If one is a true rationalist, one cannot be truly circumspect if there is anything beyond.

To me, the whole concept of supernatural or paranormal is complete nonsense. If God, ghosts or demons exist, their existence and effect on the universe would be a natural phenomenon. If our life was like in the Matrix, a virtual reality experience, this to would be as rational as experience of virtual reality experience we get from Television or movies.

So I think rationalism is all inclusive except for bullshit concepts like supernatural. As a rational thinker, you can present any possibility you want as a theory. It's just people will reject as extremely unlikely extraordinary claims with little or no evidence to support it(a bullshit filter).

How can anything be supernatural or paranormal?

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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I think you're conflating

I think you're conflating openness to new information and acceptance of unjustified conclusions. But let's acknowledge that there are limits to how an approach, which imposes on a subject certain parameters, would be dumbfounded by something not consistent with that model of reality. Incoherence could be a double-edged sword: perhaps something is incoherent because it represents a failure of logic; or perhaps the subject's failure in comprehension prevents him understanding an apparently valid concept.

But theists have had the proverbial hundred monkeys, at a hundred typewriters, for thousands of years, to make their cases. What we see from them consistently overlaps with known quirks of subjectivity: delusion, indoctrination, things like what Dennett calls a hyperactive agency detector, etc.

 


HisWillness
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Joe_Canon wrote:But this

Joe_Canon wrote:
But this presupposition would preclude super or para natural reality. If one is a true rationalist, one cannot be truly circumspect if there is anything beyond.

I know it's boring, and it would be more fun if life were like Ghostbusters, but super- and para-normal reality really haven't shown up. I mean, they've come up as scams and gimmicks that play off of people's desire to believe in magic, but outside of fiction, paranormal events don't seem to happen.

Mind you, as someone with a scientific view of the world, I accept the idea that there may be things that happen that we haven't been able to measure yet. Science is young! I'm sure there will be lots of discoveries. But I'll go with what's more reasonable, which is the explanation that we continue to be non-magical.

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Joe_Canon wrote:I can

Joe_Canon wrote:
I can probably anticipate the answers to this. As rationalists we pride ourselves in being critical correct? After all, it was critical examination of the world that dispelled much superstition through science. And God knows how much science has helped civilization (and how much it has hurt, I suppose). My question is: Is a person who can at least consider the possibility of a different metaphysical outlook not more critical than those who would limit reality to sensory-data? To be sure, initially rationalism and science were more critical than superstitious beliefs as they considered the possibility of non-God explanations for things (risking life and limb!). But now, rationalism has created parameters of reality than prevent it from being critical. I know, I know-- it is because there IS no reality beyond or involved with that which we perceive and quantify through the senses. But this presupposition would preclude super or para natural reality. If one is a true rationalist, one cannot be truly circumspect if there is anything beyond.

One can speculate all they want about the supernatural and the paranormal, but from a scientific perspective there is not a shred of evidence that either exists.  To believe in something just because it may be conceptually plausible is absurd if you ask me.  Once there's a justifiable reason other than "because I said so" to believe something might at least be theoretically possible I'll just stick with my "it doesn't exist until you can demonstrate it so".  Suggesting that one does not believe those things due to a lack of evidence does not suggest that one might not be convinced of them if presented with evidence in the contrary nor that they would not be receptive to said evidence.


Hambydammit
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Quote:My question is: Is a

Quote:
My question is: Is a person who can at least consider the possibility of a different metaphysical outlook not more critical than those who would limit reality to sensory-data?

You clever dog you!  You tried to sneak in that whole "limit reality to sensory data" thing... sneaky, sneaky.

In any case, you're not making a very good case.

1) Science showed us that superstition was not reliable.

2) Now, we know how to get reliable data because we're not superstitious.

3) Therefore, we should become superstitious, just in case we aren't missing something.

 

Sounds fishy to me.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Joe_Canon
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Well said.  I did not mean

Well said.  I did not mean to put in those terms, but I suppose I did.  Personally I wonder if maybe science overstepped its bounds in pursuit of truth.  Maybe there always have been super or para natural aspects to reality, but people have been too superstitious and not rational enough.  Science, in its crusade of eradicating superstition, explained away many superstitions, but then overstepped its bounds by saying ALL super or para natural reality are invalid.  

Evidence you say?  Miraculous claims, possession claims, healing claims, by millions all throughout history.  But this is not able to be reproduced!  Unscientific! But untrue? What about the witnesses who support such claims?  What about actual healed people?  What about people being freed from possession (mental disease only?!) right after prayer and the witnesses who support the claims? 

But claims like these are not scientific! I understand.  But that is because the scientific method refuses to ackowledge such claims (after all, this stuff just does not happen!) 

 

This is digression for sure; my apologies.  But in that vein, I have a separate question for my friends who insist upon objectivity. If reality is so objective.  If can be so readily known, why are there so many conflicting views about it?  We're not talking one or two disagreements about one apsect of reality; we're talking the ESSENCE of reality being debated.  I find it hard to believe in the accesibility of such objectivity when there is so much conflict over its nature.

 

Man, this is a mess!  Pick and choose friends, I am sure there is enough fodder here by which my boats might be sunk.


HisWillness
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Joe_Canon wrote:Evidence you

Joe_Canon wrote:
Evidence you say?  Miraculous claims, possession claims, healing claims, by millions all throughout history.  But this is not able to be reproduced!  Unscientific! But untrue? What about the witnesses who support such claims?  What about actual healed people?  What about people being freed from possession (mental disease only?!) right after prayer and the witnesses who support the claims?

This is known as "anecdotal" evidence. I'd doubt the number of claims is in the millions, but there's little or no data on claims, so that helps you keep the mystery alive despite assertions from my side that it would have to happen under controlled circumstances. And why is that unreasonable? Why shouldn't I expect that eventually we'll catch a miracle on video if they happen so often?

Joe_Canon wrote:
But that is because the scientific method refuses to ackowledge such claims

No, it's that the scientific method has never recorded such claims. Nor has any other method, to be honest. 

Joe_Canon wrote:
If reality is so objective.  If can be so readily known, why are there so many conflicting views about it?  We're not talking one or two disagreements about one apsect of reality; we're talking the ESSENCE of reality being debated.

Where are people reading this about the essence of reality being debated? This is the third time someone's come on here and said that without a citation.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence