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Re: [Socrates-Cafe-Louisville] Upcoming August 10th Meeting

From: Jeff
Sent on: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 3:51 PM
I was headed down this path, myself but I'm not sure it's the right direction for this discussion. ?Philosophy and science intersect at metaphysics (among many other places). ?Metaphysics examines the nature of reality - what is real, what can we know about it - certainly this is the work of Einstein, Newton, and Copernicus, as well as FH Bradley, Aristotle, and Descartes. ?Jim says that religion does the same thing (so we can add St. Aquinas, Maimonides, and a guy named Plotinus to the list). ?In each of these cases these amazingly brilliant thinkers are really devising ways to DESCRIBE reality. ?Math and physical laws don't exist in any way other than conceptually; many philosophers actually consider math to be a language. ?The value of math is, of course, that it is precise and?maybe even?free of interpretation - and that is a lot of value.
?
That said, all of these guys are responding to the same need to believe, the same urge to understand and they've each put forward their own interpretations or built on the legacies of their intellectual forebearers. ?I think that the point of this discussion is to look at "why", not "how". ?What is the source for our need to believe? ?What do we make of people who are motivated, not only to believe one thing or another, but to share it with (or even force it on) other people?
?
Whaddya think?
?
?
On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 1:49 PM, jetroy<[address removed]> wrote:
> Here's my take on 'The Purpose of Belief'
>
> A belief in a view of the physical world is called a scientific hypothesis
> which is set up to serve as a straw man so that the implications of it can
> be discussed and tested; the belief can be modified if it is found to be
> less than perfect.? A hypothesis is a useful belief.
>
> A belief in a God is called a religion and is set up to provide
> psychological comfort to the believers and status,money, and power for its
> priests. Religions try to promote their ideas by promising eternal happiness
> or virgin maidens for believers and eternal damnation for non-believers. Any
> attempt to modify the religious beliefs is called heresy and is ferociously
> resisted. Religions usually try to propagate their particular fantasies so
> as to infect the largest number possible - the goal is a world wide
> religious clusterf**k of believers whose brains have been disabled.
>
> Jim
>
> ?
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Old Bull Lee
> To: [address removed]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 05,[masked]:31 AM
> Subject: Re: [Socrates-Cafe-Louisville] Upcoming August 10th Meeting
>
> I think you nailed it that's what?I was going for,?why do?we believe
> anything without evidence or flimsy evidence and why do we need to express
> and defend those beliefs. What purpose are we really serving;?if I believe
> in Bigfoot does it really matter and why tell anyone about it, as the bard
> tells there in lies the "Rub."?
>
> ________________________________
> From: Jeff <[address removed]>
> To: [address removed]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 5,[masked]:58:10 AM
> Subject: [Socrates-Cafe-Louisville] Upcoming August 10th Meeting
>
> John took care of the review of this meeting's discussion (thanks John!).
> You can see his write-up on the Message Board. As it happens, John also
> posed the winning subject for next week's meeting (and I may not word this
> right): why do humans have an urge to create, or perhaps just buy into,
> beliefs? John's example was a friend of his who believes in ghosts (what's
> up with that??).
>
> It seems that the immediate response is that our human intellect has a
> primal urge to understand the world around us and to do that we seek out
> patterns and order to the world (we recognize these). Maybe in many cases,
> we actually impose a false pattern on the world that has less to do with the
> way things really are and more to do with helping us feel that we have some
> control in a frightening, dangerous world.
>
> Is there a difference between "real" patterns and "imposed" patterns? If so,
> how can we tell the difference between them? Do we owe it to ourselves to
> learn which are real and which are not? For many people - maybe for all of
> us, these patterns provide meaning to our lives. If this is so, do we have
> an obligation to make others aware of their imposed patterns?
>
> Frankly, I don't know if I've got John's idea right at all. If not, I'm sure
> that he'll correct me...
>
>
>
>
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?
?

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