Saturday, August 8
Shadow

epistemology

The Hazards of Well-Intended Ignorance

The Hazards of Well-Intended Ignorance

community, conservatism, contemplation, Creation, critical judgment, culture, Education, epistemology, Ideology, mind, quantum physics, Science, SETI, Skeptic, Spirituality, Wholeness, world
In October of 2014, I published a post on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) in which I distinguished two senses of SETI: scientific SETI and religious SETI. I said that scientific SETI is a legitimate scientific discipline that partakes of all the conventional evidentiary criteria and methodology that attend any other area of scientific research. But I also said that religious SETI is, like virtually all similar misappropriations of science, a pseudo-science in which conclusions are drawn in advance of evidence, with scientific theories being “reverse engineered” to support those preconceived conclusions. This “bass-ackwards” approach thrives in a nation like the United States in which First World communications technology enables people with non- and even anti-scientific...
Amazement at Being Amazed — Torture and the Bible

Amazement at Being Amazed — Torture and the Bible

Atheism, critical judgment, culture, deconstruction, doubt, Enlightenment, epistemology, Freud, Hebrew Scripture, higher criticism, Human Condition, Ideology, Isaiah, monotheism, Philosophy, polyvocality, postmodernism, secularism, Skeptic, Spirituality, Theology
Back in April of 2009, the Pew Forum published the results of a survey The Religious Dimensions of the Torture Debate which attracted little more than passing interest at the time, but which has assumed additional significance in the wake of the publication of the so-called “torture report” under the auspices of Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The survey was updated in early May of 2009, and the updated version was published simultaneously with a cautionary note, The Torture Debate: A Closer Look , about possible reasons for the correlation of religious beliefs and attitudes toward torture. The latter publication wisely notes that, while religious beliefs may be decisive in determining attitudes toward torture, there is an equally strong possibility that both religious beliefs and attitudes toward ...
Of God, SETI, Science, and the "Wall Street Journal"

Of God, SETI, Science, and the "Wall Street Journal"

anthropic principle, Article Review, Atheism, Challenge, Christianity, conservatism, Creation, critical judgment, Ecology, epistemology, extraterrestrial intelligences, Human Condition, Milky Way, monotheism, Nature, Philosophy, Religion, Science, Skeptic, Spirituality, teleology, Theology, wonder
There are some times when I am less skeptical about God than at other times. Back in late October I wrote a post entitled “SETI and Religion: Why We Need Little Green Men”. Now, that post was about the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (hence the SETI acronym), but in that post, as a kind of sidebar, I also alluded to the tendency of Americans, as by a wide margin the most religious of all First World nations, to systematically misrepresent, misunderstand, and misinterpret current scientific theories in order to fit the Procrustean bed of Americans’ often-bombastic and covertly insecure religiosity:  like the victims of the inkeeper Procrustes in the Greek myth, science is often trimmed to fit faith. Well … in what a more theistically devout believer than I might see as an ad hoc d...