a query on the status of the world and it's future

iamiam
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a query on the status of the world and it's future

a couple of things first off
i am new
my intro post is here
mods
if this is not the right place for this conversation
let me know
and i'll repost elsewhere

i wanted to post here
because this topic appears to be heavily moderated
and also seems to draw out the most extremes
of each side
kind of like congress

if you have a response
to something in this preamble
or something personal
kindly reply to the intro post
i'd like to at least attempt
to keep this thread clean-ish
thanks

over the past couple of years
my overall train of thought
has progressed to expansive questions
one of the conclusions that i have come to
is that religion, science (and education in general), and government
are all
generally speaking
methods for furthering society
and humanity as a whole

each has pros and cons
but i think we can say
if by no other means than observation
that government is in fact the joining/overarching entity
in that within the umbrella of governing a society
opposing ideas are represented
which include both scientific and religious proponents

so now we come to the question
which i see as both two-fold and the same
how can a diverse society/world
best organize itself
balancing best the happiness/rights of the populace
while at the same time furthering humanity
and also preserving our resources for further existence?
and as a second yet integrally related question:
what is the best forum for determining the answer to this question?
is it the form of organization/government itself?
or something seperate
like
dare i say
an internet forum or wiki?

i realize this question is broad
to say the least
let me start the conversation

some theists have historically claimed
and actually asserted or practiced
that the organization of government should be based in religion
in other words an oligarchy
this is generally not sustainable
historically speaking
and yet religion continues to play an integral role in politics

i would say this is due to the proper assumption
that there must be some form of morals in goverance
but i would say that morals can exist completely isolated from any sense of religion
that people should be able to agree
on some basic set of rights
that must be adhered to
for the betterment of society as a whole
while still allowing that there will be differences
differences that need to be tolerated

i would argue that the true intent of the united states constitution
is an excellent framework
one axiom which i believe the framers
such as franklin and jefferson
would have agreed with
though it was coined later
is "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

but in the U.S.
as well as most other countries
there exists a mix of religions
among which are significant factions
that believe they have a mandate
from a higher power
to convert the rest of humanity
to their specific belief structure
namely sects of both christianity and islam

mainly as a reaction to this
i believe
there has developed an equally defensive/aggressive faction
of staunch rationalists
who berate the religious as ignorant
but this is done predominantly
it seems
as a way of conveying that their beliefs
though not founded on a god or higher being
are just as valid
and they have a right to practice their lives as they wish
just as theists have a right to practice their religion
the both as long as as neither interfers with the basic rights of the others

so how can we exist as a people
when these rights seems to come into stark contrast?
examples are easily at hand
(please do not debate these topics here
they are examples)
abortion is either a difficult choice/reality of individual/family survival or the killing of an innocent life
capital punishment is either necessary or murder
gay marriage is either a deeply personally commitment or an abombination to god
drugs are either a fact of every society or an interference with your natural state

science is either a systematic inspection of the true state of the universe or the pursuit to destroy god
religion is either an antiquated notion or necessary for survival
there is more than this world or there isn't

i tend towards the former of all of these extremes
i suppose
but none are that clear cut
there is too much gray in life
and the lack of willingness to question one's beliefs
however strongly held
will prevent growth
and inhibit truth

science can insinuate
if never prove
the existence of a higher power
with every unraveling mystery

religion can celebrate the beautiful complexity
of the natural world
that is illuminated in science

but i think it is hard for either side
to say either of those things

so how do we live together??
because it seems we have to

there is no solution; seek it lovingly


Fish
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iamiam wrote: religion can

iamiam wrote:
religion can celebrate the beautiful complexity

of the natural world
that is illuminated in science

You seem to be implying that science cannot "celebrate the beautiful complexity of the natural world."

Do you belive that to be true, and if so, why?


Wonderist
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iamiam, please read this

iamiam, please read this thread and watch my two videos about wonderism. It will save me some time from repeating myself.

Quote:
so how do we live together??
because it seems we have to

I found it really enlightening that you used three institutions as sharing the same purpose of improving the world, religion, government, and science. Can you say id, ego, and superego? Or emotion, will, and reason? Fascinating triumvirate you proposed.

How do we live together? Well, let's look at my analogy to human psychology. How does one live a good, successful life? Clearly we need emotion to keep us going, keep us motivated. Clearly we need reason to keep us from making mistakes in our decisions and beliefs. And clearly we need will, a mechanism for putting our emotions and beliefs into action. 

Emotions gone wild lead to self-destructive behaviour. Reason without emotion feels dead and pointless. This illustrates the state of affairs we are in today, with crazy fundamentalists and apathetic existentialists. One driven by wild emotion. The other paralyzed by self-doubting cynicism.

It is possible to balance reason and emotion in one person. I think it will be possible to balance science and religion. Science will tame religion as reason tames emotion. Religion will fuel science, as emotion fuels reason. We're not there yet by a long shot, but I think it is possible and worth trying.

How do we live together? We need a foundation of discussion, so that conflicts can be resolved without self-destruction, while maintaining a healthy diversity of self-expression. This foundation already exists. It's called rational discourse and the idea of freedom of thought and expression.

For the religious, we have to educate them on the importance of rational thinking. For the apathetics, we need to infuse them with inspiration and creativity by showing them the wonders of the universe. 

(Rambling a bit. It's late....)

Here's what I personally think will work. It may sound a bit wierd, but whatever. There's already an atheist movement happening here, on YouTube, with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, etc. Let's extend that to be a philosophical movement to promote a fusion of reason and emotion. Teach critical thinking skills and values through artistic expression. Personally, I plan on writing some science fiction stories to convey my ideas. Greydon Square is already making hip hop songs to express his ideas about rational thinking. The RRS has its radio show and YT videos. Brian Flemming has his movie The God Who Wasn't There. These are good starts. I propose expanding this movement.

We can learn how religions work, analyze their methods, and tame religions by utilizing their own methods against them, to eliminate the fear and emotional trickery. Replace the dogma with critical thinking. Why not rewrite the Bible? Rewrite the Quran? Why not extend their myths and modernize them? Eliminate the doctrine of faith and include a doctrine of doubt? These are just ideas, speculations. But seriously, why not? If we can really understand how memes spread and how to eliminate pathological memes, we could seriously change the course of history (the course isn't looking too good right now).

We can use these mechanism to teach science and critical thinking to kids. Not just teach, but inspire. The universe IS wonderful, and most people don't know it yet! We can fix that. No coercion, no deception. There's no need for that. We can inspire people like Carl Sagan and Albert Einstein did, and maybe even better.

Ultimately, the best tool we have is education and inspiration.

The government, the will, can arise out of that. We already have democracy, albeit a broken one. But it can be fixed. We just need to get the right ideas into the minds of the people and it can be done. Educate the religious, inspire the apathetic.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


iamiam
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Fish wrote: You seem to be

Fish wrote:

You seem to be implying that science cannot "celebrate the beautiful complexity of the natural world."

Do you belive that to be true, and if so, why?

no
far from it
i was making a statement about religion
that i feel the conservative theist
would disagree with
given that science is too often seen
as always trying to break down religion
i don't think it has to

there is no solution; seek it lovingly


iamiam
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naturalthanks so much for

natural
thanks so much for your post
this is exactly the type of idea i wanted to bring out
i'll read the thread you referenced
and hopefully formulate a furthering reply

there is no solution; seek it lovingly


wavefreak
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Fish wrote: iamiam

Fish wrote:
iamiam wrote:
religion can celebrate the beautiful complexity

of the natural world
that is illuminated in science

You seem to be implying that science cannot "celebrate the beautiful complexity of the natural world."

Do you belive that to be true, and if so, why?

 

Actually, this is true. Science doesn't celebrate anything. Scientists celebrate. 


CrimsonEdge
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iamiam wrote: no far from

iamiam wrote:
no

far from it
i was making a statement about religion
that i feel the conservative theist
would disagree with
given that science is too often seen
as always trying to break down religion
i don't think it has to

 

Science doesn't break down anything. It's goal consists of nothing but the pursuit of knowledge. If science happens to destroy an important part of the religion in it's discoveries, then good.

Anybody who sees science as a destruction machine needs to educate themselves in the scientific method.