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Thread: Is Flat-Earthism any Wackier than Other Flavors of Religious Woo?

  1. Top | #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    So I suppose you must be claiming that flat-earth beliefs is just more ludicrous than a bible full of ludicrous stories and a catholic catechism equally filled with ludicrous claims and teachings.
    Yes, it is.

    I can’t disprove Catholicism with grade school geometry.

  2. Top | #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowy Man View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    So I suppose you must be claiming that flat-earth beliefs is just more ludicrous than a bible full of ludicrous stories and a catholic catechism equally filled with ludicrous claims and teachings.
    Yes, it is.

    I can’t disprove Catholicism with grade school geometry.
    My take is that absurd, though traditional, religious claims have been around for so long that we're just used to them. Along comes a new and equally absurd religious claim but it's novelty makes it more absurd and garish and intellectually shocking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowy Man View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    So I suppose you must be claiming that flat-earth beliefs is just more ludicrous than a bible full of ludicrous stories and a catholic catechism equally filled with ludicrous claims and teachings.
    Yes, it is.

    I can’t disprove Catholicism with grade school geometry.
    My take is that absurd, though traditional, religious claims have been around for so long that we're just used to them. Along comes a new and equally absurd religious claim but it's novelty makes it more absurd and garish and intellectually shocking.
    I disagree. I think it is harder to disprove most religious claims than Flat Earthism. Knowing the Earth isn’t flat is older than Christianity and the reasons we know are so obvious that school children can point to a sunset to prove it.

  4. Top | #34
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    I went to Catholic schools. The RCC has always been a mix of rational science and theism. In the 90s the position on evolution became that it is part of god's plan. Other denominations have followed to a degree.

    Pseudo science is science that can be proven wrong. The Christian creation myth is neither provable or disprovable.

    From a certain perspective the BB Theory could be considered woo, it is entirely speculative. There is no way to demonstrate it. We accept it generally because it is based on science we can demonstrate and see today.

    I would not label Christianity pseudo science. I call it mysticism and the supernatural. That encompasses a lot.

    Religion usually involves a higher power or sprit. Pseudo science does not.

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    In perspective....


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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    I went to Catholic schools. The RCC has always been a mix of rational science and theism. In the 90s the position on evolution became that it is part of god's plan. Other denominations have followed to a degree.

    Pseudo science is science that can be proven wrong. The Christian creation myth is neither provable or disprovable.

    From a certain perspective the BB Theory could be considered woo, it is entirely speculative. There is no way to demonstrate it. We accept it generally because it is based on science we can demonstrate and see today.

    I would not label Christianity pseudo science. I call it mysticism and the supernatural. That encompasses a lot.

    Religion usually involves a higher power or sprit. Pseudo science does not.
    That's the conditioned bias I'm talking about. People coming back to life, walking through walls, flying around in the sky, doing impossible things generally is as dopey and pseudo as dopey gets. But we give it a pass because it's "religious" and therefore sacred. It's pseudo bullshit woo of the first order. The supernatural is superpseudo.

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    Both F.E. and religion are forms of preference-based belief. Holding the belief serves some sort of emotional appeal or utility function to the person, regardless of whether the belief is accurate. The believer prefers the outcome that results from believing that the claim is true and that preference is the basis of believing that it is true, prior to and without consideration of relevant evidence, even including evidence from personal experience. Because there is no process of information gathering or reasoning, the belief is formed instantly and effortlessly as soon as it's emotional appeal reaches some threshold where the utility of believing it becomes higher than actually understanding reality in that domain. And once the belief is held, it then becomes the causal determinant of how one responds to all relevant experience, knowledge, and information that is relevant to the claim. If information is compatible with the pre-determined preferred conclusion which is the exact opposite of a rational scientific approach in which the process of considering relevant information determines the belief/conclusion.

    So, one could call these anti-rational beliefs because they represent the reversal of the rational thinking process, but that ignores the preferences that are the whole motivation behind these reversal of rationality.

    Likewise, calling F.E. and all forms of preference-based belief "religion" ignores important differences in what gives rise to those motivations, and what social structures exist to enable the irrationality and thus select which types of people are likely to buy into which forms of preference-based beliefs. It's true that all preference based beliefs share some core features of deliberately ignoring/perverting evidence and science to protect preferred ideas, and that similarly applies to religion and F.E., as well as other anti-science beliefs like climate change denial, anti-vaxx, racial supremacy, denial that lack of restrictions on gun access is a huge causal factor in US homicide rates, and many beliefs across the political spectrum that pervert the science for some political/ideological utility. But clearly these are not all "religion" in any meaningful sense, and they differ in important ways.

    That said, religion and non-religious preference-based beliefs can share core motives. For example, some people are partly motivated to believe in Abrahamic monotheism b/c it provides an authoritarian order to the world and puts people into clear classes of moral worth. That is a similar motivation behind racial supremacy, or the irrational denial that random chance is the greatest determinant of disparate economic outcomes under capitalism (which is a way of protecting the belief that outcomes are "just" and the result of worth and merit, much like within religion).

  8. Top | #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    I went to Catholic schools. The RCC has always been a mix of rational science and theism. In the 90s the position on evolution became that it is part of god's plan. Other denominations have followed to a degree.
    And for the century prior to the 1990's, the RCC irrationally attacked the science of evolution, using all the same tactics as F.E., anti-vaxxers, and other crazy woo nonsense. The fact that they decided to change their strategy to stem the rapid loss of adherents (and revenue) doesn't make them any less peddlers of woo nonsense or enemies of reason. Also, there change wasn't to really accept the science of evolution. The idea that God guided evolution is simply a form of artificial goal-directed genetic manipulation and selection, where God is analogous to Monsanto. As such, it is logically incompatible the scientific theory of natural evolution where speciation occurs via processes of random variation and happenstance selection depending upon what happens to work well in that context at that time. Theistic evolution also promotes the anti-science notion of evolution as progressive and linear. The type of theistically controlled evolution that the RCC promotes only accepts the most vague broad brush notions that organisms have changed over time, but it promotes the rampant distortions and misconceptions about how evolution actually works and how it historically unfolded.

    Pseudo science is science that can be proven wrong. The Christian creation myth is neither provable or disprovable.
    Creationism is logically at odds with science (as is theistic-evolution). If creationism is viewed as nothing but fictional allegory, then of course it is neutral to science b/c it then it isn't making any claims that are relevant for objective reality. But the RCC, only treats some of the creation story as myth and some as fact, and that makes it incompatible with science and reason.

    In addition, the creation story, and any claim that presumes the existence of an immaterial mind is against the absolute mountain of science strongly showing that everything we concieve of as "mind" is a byproduct of particular, rare organizations of matter. IOW, science strongly refutes the theory of God that the RCC and almost every monotheist believes in.
    Reason is not neutral on God. God is among the most unreasonable and implausible notions ever conceived. Thus, anyone or organization that promotes the idea that God exist is engaging in anti-reason and anti-science, even moreso than the craziest woo pseudo-science believer you can imagine.

    From a certain perspective the BB Theory could be considered woo, it is entirely speculative. There is no way to demonstrate it. We accept it generally because it is based on science we can demonstrate and see today.
    Accepting theories because they are logically supported by the science we can demonstrate today is called science, not woo. Being able to directly observe a theorized event unfold is not a requirement for something to be science. Reasoning about what the observable evidence logically implies about what was most likely to have happened in at a particular point in time is called evidence-based reasoning, not "speculation".


    I would not label Christianity pseudo science. I call it mysticism and the supernatural. That encompasses a lot.
    The RCC and most theists do engage in forms of pseudo-science to try and make their beliefs seem less anti-science and irrational than they inherently are. However, the religions are not in themselves psuedo-science b/c in principle one could just completely ignore science and not even try to appear rational, as Martin Luther the founder of Protestantism advocated. But any theistic religion (or one that promotes an afterlife) is inherently anti-science in that they deny the relevant science that supports ideas which are logically incompatible with their preferred beliefs.

    Religion usually involves a higher power or sprit. Pseudo science does not.
    The notions of a spirit or higher power are more irrational, anti-science, and implausible than the vast majority of non-religious pseudo-science claims. Also, psuedo-science as a method of dishonest rhetoric to hide the irrational faith-based nature of one's beliefs is often engaged by many religious leaders and followers. So, that makes some pseudo-science an aspect of most religions.

  9. Top | #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    In perspective....

    Umm...

    Firstly, is Eratosthenes an Egyptian name (no)? Secondly, he was born a couple centuries plus prior to the world going to AD standard years. People around 6,000 years ago could be forgiven thinking the world was flat.

  10. Top | #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    Umm...

    Firstly, is Eratosthenes an Egyptian name (no)?
    Does that prevent him from being a citizen of Egypt?
    Ellis Island practically made an industry of trampling people's original names by Anglicizing them. If he'd come to New York, he'd have been Error Steen. At least our ancestors had the grace to just tack on suffixes.

    Eratosthenes of Cyrene, or Eratosthenes of Alexandria.

    Or maybe that wasn't their name, maybe they just published their addresses the way some people @ their email with every. Single. Memo.

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