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Cosmology, Quantum Mechanics & Consciousness Message Board › Who wants a soul?

Who wants a soul?

lan B.
user 10895495
London, GB
Post #: 287

Many thanks for this, Will. I think that the most apposite response to what appears to be the main thrust of both your and Andrew's recent postings is this. (A short pasted introductory quote from a somewhat lengthier essay.) I hereby repeat that no-one -- certainly not me, at any rate -- is sneering at religion, but will continue to reiterate that the domain of science is for scientific thinkers and practitioners alone, and mutatis mutandis for religious thinkers. Clearly individual people can have feet in both camps, but they mustn't forget that whichever role they're playing at the time, they're not allowed to transpose elements of their alter ego. Doctor Jekyll cannot co-occur with Mr Hyde. (You decide who's Jekyll: religion or science. In any case, no pejoration either way is implied.) Any attempt to pass religious claims off as specifically scientific (as opposed to "true" in the socially emollient sense) would be utterly bogus, and I'm sure that you agree with that, not withstanding your thought experiment-interesting ruse of catching God out as a result of His playing silly buggers. Similarly, any intrusion of scientific thinking into religious doctrine could only know no end, and if pursued conscientiously, it would only end up by corroding the entire edifice.:

"How critical thinking remained Pious after all
Thursday, 20 December 2012 21:50by Stephen Alexander / Afiya S Zia

The key point is that postmodernism necessarily requires a rejection of any claim to the absolute and this has had an unexpected result. For it has allowed religious individuals and institutions to rebrand their teachings as legitimately alternative views within a plural market place of competing ideas

I: Sceptico-fideism reinforces religious obscurantism

Nietzsche knew that Kant had ingeniously found a way to remain pious. That the latter prepared the way for scepticism in order to invite mistrust of the intellect and preserved a space for faith by demonstrating the limitations of knowledge.[1] Ultimately, therefore, Kant’s critique of reason was carried out to safeguard the moral order and “however ‘enlightened’ or ‘secular’ its initial agenda might have been, the critique of metaphysical rationalism has ended up providing a philosophical alibi for ... the claim that reason has no absolute jurisdiction over reality, and hence cannot be invoked to disqualify the possibility of religious faith.”[2]

This forms the argument of our paper: that attempts to divorce philosophy from metaphysics have ironically served to protect and embolden those who still secretly retain belief in a recently deceased deity. And this applies to schools on both sides of the phoney divide between Anglo-American and Continental philosophy. Thus, for example, both Wittgenstein and Heidegger share a conviction that their thinking is somehow superior to that of science and that “the sorts of entities and processes postulated by scientific theory”[3] are in some way derivative of their own non-scientific and anti-scientific musings to do with language games and ‘being-in-the-world’.

It is these two emblematic figures – Heidegger and Wittgenstein – who, with their “thinly disguised exaltations of mystico-religious illumination over conceptual rationality”,[4] cast a fateful spell of enchantment over philosophy in the twentieth century. If we have much to thank them for, so too do we have much to curse them for. Why? Because they have ensured our continued fideism in a post-critical world. By refusing to endorse an honest form of atheism in favour of a “profoundly ambiguous species of agnosticism”[5] these two have left the door open for “every variety of religious mystification, and whether it is pagan, monotheistic, or pantheistic in tenor is beside the point”.[6]

This matters, we believe – and very much so. For it helps us understand not only the creeping religiosity of contemporary philosophy, but also why it is that the lunatics of faith have become increasingly emboldened and noisy in the last thirty years or so. By severely restricting the scope of reason, forms of strong correlationism[7] fail to provide rational grounds by which models of religious reality – no matter how insane – might be challenged and ruled out as impossible. In other words, strong correlationism is unable to disqualify irrational beliefs on the basis of their irrationality: for it is rationally illegitimate to do so. This means that Christian fundamentalists, for example, have every right to maintain that the world was created in seven days out of nothingness by a loving and omnipotent God, even if such a statement is logically meaningless and comes unburdened by proof of any kind .. "

lan B.
user 10895495
London, GB
Post #: 288

[BTW, here's the address of the source-text for the quoted essay intro which I've just posted to you]:



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