on science/faith blogging…

miscellaneous thoughts…

  • if the time we spend is to be at all worthwhile, we need to accept that words matter enough to use them and work at our use of them (some key words in science/faith include: ‘knowledge’, ‘evidence’, ‘explanation’, ‘natural’, ‘reality’, etc).
  • it occurs to me that aiming for mutual understanding is infinitely more helpful than aiming to ‘win’.
  • it seems a good idea to avoid the trap of straw-man argumentation, or presenting someone else’s perspective in its worst form – which is often (mostly?) done with little quips or with sarcasm (often the more sustained an argument is, the less ‘straw-man-ish’ it is).
  • don’t post a comment while you’re angry/frustrated (and this obviously does not mean that comments should be –or even could be– totally void of emotion).
  • that is all for now (and I don’t claim to do all these all the time)…

8 thoughts on “on science/faith blogging…”

  1. I agree, I agree, I agree.

    I also would like to add that we need to be aware that words (or concepts) can sometimes be a dead end and that just because something exists as a word it doesn’t necessarily reflect reality. Challenge everything! :)

  2. on words/concepts being a dead end:
    well, even if that’s the case (which I’m not convinced of?), one thing that seems certain to me is that we can at least find out what is/was/has-been meant by a word, or what a concept means/meant/has-meant.

    Oh, and (can’t resist) I must challenge your challenge to challenge everything, then? :)

  3. I know this is mixed company, but Richard Dawkins has a personal scale of Theism versus Atheism.

    1.00: Strong theist. 100 percent possibility of God. In the words of C.G. Jung, ‘I do not believe, I know.’

    2.00: Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. ‘I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there

    3.00: Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. ‘I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.’

    4.00: Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. ‘God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.’

    5.00: Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. ‘I don’t know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be sceptical.’

    6.00: Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.’

    7:00: Strong atheist. ‘I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung ‘knows’ there is one.’

    He subsequent arguments are far more Atheists fall into 5 to 6 scale than Theists fall into 2 to 3.

    On Richard Dawkins own site, 65% of so called-atheists fell into the category of calling themselves a ‘six’ (or de-facto atheist)

    Even though I have yet to see evidence (outside The Bible) Jesus was a living-breathing person, I would also place myself in the six category.

    In my own experience there are far more 1’s than 7’s.

    Ta

    Paul.

  4. I guess I’m currently a 6.
    Ten years as a 1 and a subsequent twelve years or so gradually slipping through to 6. I don’t see how any thinking person could legitimately be a 1 or a 7.

    But I have to admit I’m struggling to see how this relates to Dale’s topic of science/faith blogging.

  5. Hi Paul/Damian,
    (yeah, a bit off topic, Paul?) :)

    I’ve seen this gradient of ‘knowing’ before (going from certain ‘knowing’ the positive conclusion, with the ‘don’t know’ in the middle, and certain ‘knowing’ the negative conclusion).

    Even better, me thinks, to talk about different kinds of knowing (shock, horror – epistemology – oh no!) and the methods/means of gaining them…

  6. I usually think of the a/theist / agnostic divide as being two different answers to two different questions.

    Do you believe that we are able to know whether God exists (binary)?
    Answer: No (agnostic) | Yes (not agnostic)

    Do you believe that God exists (gradient)?
    Answer: No (atheist) | Dunno (agnostic) | Yes (theist)

    Under this interpretation I’m not sure there are many people in the second group of agnostics but most thinking people I’ve met seem to be agnostic in the first group.

  7. hehe… like I say – far better to talk about what kind of ‘gnosis’ (knowledge) we’re talking about, etc. :)

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