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Philosophy The limits of science

Discussion in 'Social Sciences & Humanities' started by Indian Summer, Mar 17, 2016.

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  1. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    Scientifically, the atom bomb is a fantastic achievement. But it's still a terrifying, horrible thing.

    I think the limits of science are also relevant in discussions about animal rights. We can show that animals are physiologically similar to humans, that they can suffer, and experience joy and happiness like us. But we can't say that science shows that animals have value and should have rights. Or that humans have value and should have rights, for that matter. Rights and values don't belong to the domain of science.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
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  2. beancounter

    beancounter The Fire That Burns Within

    Science equals a heck of a lot more truth than religion which is just one big lie.
  3. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    Well, science is much more accommodating to new evidence, and is therefore more fluid. Religion tends to be more dogmatic and stagnant. Science tries to answer questions about how things are the way they are. Religion tries to answer why they are the way they are, as if there is some cosmic intent or creator. So the two are addressing different areas of human experience.

    Religion can say something about human and animal rights, though. Science can't. Religion can answer those questions by referencing e.g. the 10 commandments, and the covenant about humans having dominion, acting as stewards, over animals.
  4. beancounter

    beancounter The Fire That Burns Within

    Science answers plenty of why questions...

    But using religion to convince people about AR is usually not fruitful. Mostly you hear retorts about mans domain over animals and how god allowed the consumption of meat after some event (I forget).
  5. Well, Christianity maybe. Some other religions not so much.
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  6. Capstan

    Capstan Fleur-de-Lis

    Science not only cannot answer questions about ethics, neither can it answer questions about aesthetics, like, for example, why does the Mona Lisa deserve a place in the Louvre, or why do we consider a Grecian column to be attractive; neither can it answer questions about politics, how to we best organize our societies, or conduct our social and trade affairs. Science is a product of logic. Logic is a wonderful tool, but it's hardly the sum-total of the human experience.
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  7. Blobbenstein

    Blobbenstein .......

    yes, science just creates models. Refines those models gradually, but they are just models.
  8. beancounter

    beancounter The Fire That Burns Within

    This is what science is:

    Science & the Scientific Method: A Definition
    What is Science?

    This really boils down to the health vs. AR "schools" of motivations.

    Science can demonstrate how healthy a vegan diet is, and there is no emotion involved. Religion while it provides motivation on the emotional level is trickier to deal with because of the baggage involved with it.

    The only religions that are intrinsically receptive to veganism are Hindu, Jainism and 7th day Adventist. With all of the others, you will experience an uphill battle. It's not as easy as you may think...
  9. Also some Mahayana Buddhists, and Taoists.
  10. Capstan

    Capstan Fleur-de-Lis

    There is at least one 'modern' religion- established in the late 19th-century- that actually "commands" a change from a carnivorous diet to an herbivorous one (and also a cessation from warfare.) This connects to the "emotional" aspect of religion. Many people- perhaps even a majority- do not want the opportunity to decide things for themselves, but prefer that an authority figure tell them what's right or wrong, and, rather than put their trust in other men, whom they've learned will betray them, place their faith instead in a god. There is some rationale to this. When science tries to predict that the universe will end in a Big Crunch- that all we do will ultimately come to oblivion- (something it can't possibly know,) whereas religion offers a hope of eternal life, it's natural that people will choose the more positive of the two.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  11. Joe

    Joe Celebrity Member

    After man's fall in the garden of Eden. Meat-eating was supposedly a concession to man's fallen nature. And animals had to suffer because they too were tainted by Original Sin. But Adam and Eve were vegetarians/vegans while in the garden before they committed the Original Sin.
  12. MadamSarcastra

    MadamSarcastra 3½+ yrs vegetarian, 11 mos vegan, diggin' it all!

    Wow, NPR had a segment on Talk of the Nation, "Science Equals Truth?" back in '96, updated in '02.... and I can't listen to it now.
    That's actually pretty funny.... :im:
  13. MadamSarcastra

    MadamSarcastra 3½+ yrs vegetarian, 11 mos vegan, diggin' it all!

    (figured I'd just tag along on this thread... befitting, perhaps.... and it might spice things up again.)

    I only listened while my buddy was watching a video (I was roasting garlic), but it sounded pretty mind-blowing.... then we started typing. :eek: It's the monkeys-with-typewriters-write-Hamlet, but on a creepily cosmic scale. Anything that was ever written OR WILL BE WRITTEN is here (within a certain amount of characters). I thought I had an original poem about a nocturnal bird that liked to try to crap on my head while I exited my car.... typed it in, there it was.

    And this doesn't stop with the written word.... go back to the "portal!" I... **gasp** ... this.... :dizzy:... OMG, just check it out. In fact, type something this moment (up to 3,200 characters in English, lower-case letters, only punctuation being space, comma, period).... be original... and type it here: Search the Library of Babel

    (now here's a video.... enjoy.)

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016