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Is Spreading Science Justified By Reason?

 
Hippyhead
 
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Hippyhead
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13 January 2015 23:00
 

Hi all,

I’ve stumbled my way back in this forum, and rediscovered this thread we shared awhile back.  If there is any interest in giving this another go, I’ll try to reframe the question.

We limit the powers available to children on the reasoning that they are not mature enough to constructively handle things like driving, alcohol, guns etc.

To what degree, if any, does this same equation apply to adults?  Are we adults mature enough to handle any level of power, or are there limits we should be aware of?

Science is an effective method for developing knowledge.  And new knowledge often leads to new powers.

The development of new knowledge, and thus powers, appears to be accelerating as new knowledge in one area often makes it easier to develop new knowledge in another area.  Computers are a commonly cited example of this.

This accelerating pace of change raises new questions we may or may not be ready for.

1) How much power can human beings constructively manage?

2) What rate of knowledge development can we manage, and what rates of change might be beyond our ability to manage?

What I’m attempting to do here is examine and challenge what I see as our “more is better” relationship with knowledge.

I propose that while such a “more is better” relationship with knowledge was entirely appropriate for a very long time, we may be reaching a point where this ancient assumption needs to be revisited.

Here’s an example. 

For thousands of years a “more is better” relationship with food made perfect sense because humans typically lived on the edge of starvation, one crop failure away from disaster. 

Today, in developed countries at least, obesity is becoming an epidemic, and our ancient “more is better” relationship with food is rapidly becoming outdated and dangerous.

Ok, that’s a reboot maybe, if you’re interested.

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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Gregoryhhh
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14 January 2015 14:12
 
Hippyhead - 13 January 2015 10:00 PM

Hi all,

I’ve stumbled my way back in this forum, and rediscovered this thread we shared awhile back.  If there is any interest in giving this another go, I’ll try to reframe the question.

We limit the powers available to children on the reasoning that they are not mature enough to constructively handle things like driving, alcohol, guns etc.

To what degree, if any, does this same equation apply to adults?  Are we adults mature enough to handle any level of power, or are there limits we should be aware of?

Science is an effective method for developing knowledge.  And new knowledge often leads to new powers.

The development of new knowledge, and thus powers, appears to be accelerating as new knowledge in one area often makes it easier to develop new knowledge in another area.  Computers are a commonly cited example of this.

This accelerating pace of change raises new questions we may or may not be ready for.

1) How much power can human beings constructively manage?

2) What rate of knowledge development can we manage, and what rates of change might be beyond our ability to manage?

What I’m attempting to do here is examine and challenge what I see as our “more is better” relationship with knowledge.

I propose that while such a “more is better” relationship with knowledge was entirely appropriate for a very long time, we may be reaching a point where this ancient assumption needs to be revisited.

Here’s an example. 

For thousands of years a “more is better” relationship with food made perfect sense because humans typically lived on the edge of starvation, one crop failure away from disaster. 

Today, in developed countries at least, obesity is becoming an epidemic, and our ancient “more is better” relationship with food is rapidly becoming outdated and dangerous.

Ok, that’s a reboot maybe, if you’re interested.

I was immediately attracted to what you were saying, Hippyhead, because i liked what you were saying about the children. I would of liked anything said about making it better for the children.

OK, and be that as it may, as perhaps a devil’s advocate, or perhaps not, but, of course more is better - more is better. (more to come later)

I luv your first two sentences “
We limit the powers available to children on the reasoning that they are not mature enough to constructively handle things like driving, alcohol, guns etc.

To what degree, if any, does this same equation apply to adults?  Are we adults mature enough to handle any level of power, or are there limits we should be aware of?

OK, and then i did also especially like the next two sentences (as a student in the process of being a middle school science teacher-19 credits short)

“Science is an effective method for developing knowledge.  And new knowledge often leads to new powers.

The development of new knowledge, and thus powers, appears to be accelerating as new knowledge in one area often makes it easier to develop new knowledge in another area.  Computers are a commonly cited example of this.”


but the rest of your proposal to “prove” your premise that more is better aint so great, using obesity, is a bit weak - i’m just sayin.(maybe not “weak” but ill-fitting? gawd i hate to judge or label shit)

Obesity is a subject ill-used in this case - obesity is a much more serious subject and of particular interest in the colleges of the day - it was an issue in english, and social science, and psychology classes and i must have written 3 or 4 papers about it.

Anyway, I still like your premise that “more is better” may not be all that it’s cracked up to be and as evidence for this premise and i hope you come along with me on this - the evidence i offer is terminator 2 (may the force be with you) no whoops,

But seriously now,  um artificial intelligence may live at the border of three standard deviations above the mean, while we inhabit the region between and betwixt the first and second standard deviation not only far away from three above, but also sadly,  alas, the one or two standard deviations befuckinglow the mean.  As i recall, in Terminator 2 or 6 - the machines did kick some butt - just sayin.
gregory

Post Scriptum: On the other hand, it would not be horrible to learn and if not understand, to accept or gawd forbid even enjoy, the Multiverse of not only String Theorists, but the Multiverse of the cosmologists too.  When the land of the large, and the land of the small converge and begin to use the same words for what they see - gawd! that’s like when they told the world that thunder was not “God” bowling - more to come

[ Edited: 14 January 2015 14:37 by Gregoryhhh]
 
 
glacier
 
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glacier
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15 January 2015 17:45
 
Hippyhead - 22 May 2013 11:19 AM

Hi all,

I was intrigued to join by the title for this site “Project Reason:  Spreading Science And Secular Values”.

I’m not sure what is meant by secular values yet, so I’ll leave that one alone for now.

The site title seems to start with a conclusion, so I’m wondering if that is really reason. 

Also, I’m wondering if the evidence points to science being something that should be spread.  It seems fairly easy to make a counter case, and I’m wondering to what degree science is open to challenge here.

If these questions interest you, would welcome and appreciate any comments you may wish to dive in to.  Thanks.

“Reason” is a cliché that doesn’t really mean anything other than we lean against any notion that there is a supernatural realm. There are both rational and irrational arguments for and against everything under the sun, including religion and spirituality. I’ve been on many web forums over the years, and I must say that the amount of reason and logic is no higher here than any general audience forum. There is a more consistent message, and less debate over certain issues than a general discussion forum, but no more reasonable. You get kooks and illogical nutbars everywhere, including here. You also get well informed, and rational individuals everywhere, including here.

How do you spread science? Not by “reason,” but by giving people the freedom to explore their ideas, even when they diverge from the State, the Church, or the majority consensus.

[ Edited: 15 January 2015 19:03 by glacier]
 
nv
 
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nv
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15 January 2015 18:15
 
Hippyhead - 13 January 2015 10:00 PM

. . .

Science is an effective method for developing knowledge.  And new knowledge often leads to new powers.

. . .

1) How much power can human beings constructively manage?

Can you specify what this power you have in mind consists of? Does it involve strength over a perceived human enemy. . . or nature herself? Are you saying that individuals have newfound access to too much strength? Or maybe nations have such access?

If anything, increases in individuals’ or states’ powers require increased politeness and consideration of the feelings of others. When proportional increases in considerate attitudes and behaviors fail to arrive, many rude people die. Once those rude people have left the scene, others will arrive to take their place. Humanity will either die out fairly quickly—and rudely—or become more polite by way of descent-with-modification. That is, eventually, we’ll either be dead or highly considerate of others. Are you hoping to drag out the process?

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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Gregoryhhh
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16 January 2015 01:02
 
Glacier - 15 January 2015 04:45 PM
Hippyhead - 22 May 2013 11:19 AM

Hi all,

I was intrigued to join by the title for this site “Project Reason:  Spreading Science And Secular Values”.

I’m not sure what is meant by secular values yet, so I’ll leave that one alone for now.

The site title seems to start with a conclusion, so I’m wondering if that is really reason. 

Also, I’m wondering if the evidence points to science being something that should be spread.  It seems fairly easy to make a counter case, and I’m wondering to what degree science is open to challenge here.

If these questions interest you, would welcome and appreciate any comments you may wish to dive in to.  Thanks.

“Reason” is a cliché that doesn’t really mean anything other than we lean against any notion that there is a supernatural realm. There are both rational and irrational arguments for and against everything under the sun, including religion and spirituality. I’ve been on many web forums over the years, and I must say that the amount of reason and logic is no higher here than any general audience forum. There is a more consistent message, and less debate over certain issues than a general discussion forum, but no more reasonable. You get kooks and illogical nutbars everywhere, including here. You also get well informed, and rational individuals everywhere, including here.

How do you spread science? Not by “reason,” but by giving people the freedom to explore their ideas, even when they diverge from the State, the Church, or the majority consensus.

Say what you say my friends Glacier and Hippyhead, but reason, defined as “The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic” is not, not, not as Glacier says: a cliché that doesn’t really mean anything . . . “

When i read:  “How do you spread science? Not by “reason,”  - it hurt my eyes, and it hurts the children in more ways than one - it is nonsensical. Though reason and logic may not be sufficient, reason and logic are necessary to save us from the hyper religious, the hoarders. and to save us from ourselves.

In the old days it was the kings and the priests who had all the money and property (though they knew how to strategically give some of it to friends and relatives). Today the kings have been replaced by the likes of the 400 richest Americans with their staggering superfluousness, they who control more wealth than over half of all Americans. 400 people have over half the wealth of the richest counrty in the world. That is changing, it’s not up for a vote, you don’t need to believe it, nor is either necessary or sufficient to be for, or against it.

So the kings have been replaced by the hoarders, and the God damn priests have successfully increased themselves in name and number. All three of the Abramic God’s religions that man invented have greedy fat fingers in the pie.

I know science and reason are disappointing to some. It’s like when the scientists (defined as above) declared that thunder is not God bowling - and the sun does not revolve around the earth - come on, you know there was great disappointment and a fair bit of torturing and killing people to suppress that information, hec, the Catholic part of Christianity finally admitted in the mid 1800’s what Copernicus declared in 1543.

gregory

Post Scriptum: It is a serious, studious ignorance to deny or inhibit, any person or child the pleasure of engaging the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment (science).

[ Edited: 16 January 2015 01:06 by Gregoryhhh]
 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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Gregoryhhh
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16 January 2015 01:14
 
gsmonks - 15 January 2015 07:19 PM

Science is simply the means we use to prevent stupid people from doing stupid things that affect everyone.

That’s pretty good, gsmonks - And science is also defined as “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.(Oxford Dictionaries)

Science is disappointing to some. It’s like when the scientists (defined as above) declared that thunder is not God bowling, and the sun does not revolve around the earth. The powers of the day, seriously objected the spreading of that heretical fiction by torturing and killing people.
gregory

 
 
glacier
 
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16 January 2015 02:13
 

Dear Gregory, if you would check again what I had written, you would see that it was in quotation marks. Therefore, it [reason] does not mean what you are telling me that it means.  Obviously truth can be spread by reason (and should be), though most likely not as effectively as the Jihadic approach would do.

Telling everyone you’re about reason does not make you more reasonable.  Almost everyone claims to spread their ideas by reason, and since there is no perceptible difference between this site and another other web forum in terms of overall quality and reasoning ability, I consider the term a meaningless cliche. That is my opinion, and you’re certainly welcome to disagree.

[ Edited: 16 January 2015 02:18 by glacier]
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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16 January 2015 05:22
 
Glacier - 16 January 2015 01:13 AM

Dear Gregory, if you would check again what I had written, you would see that it was in quotation marks. Therefore, it [reason] does not mean what you are telling me that it means.  Obviously truth can be spread by reason (and should be), though most likely not as effectively as the Jihadic approach would do.

Telling everyone you’re about reason does not make you more reasonable.  Almost everyone claims to spread their ideas by reason, and since there is no perceptible difference between this site and another other web forum in terms of overall quality and reasoning ability, I consider the term a meaningless cliche. That is my opinion, and you’re certainly welcome to disagree.

Ok Glacier, help me understand what you are saying - We really must start with a definition of reason - what is your definition?

I really didn’t get your writing that said:

“it was in quotation marks. Therefore, it [reason] does not mean what you are telling me that it means.” First of all, please do not give me credit for the definition- Oxford is defining not me. And perhaps you can explain how “reason” being in quotation marks negates the Oxford definition.Thanks,
gregory

 
 
glacier
 
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16 January 2015 22:00
 

I define reason with the dictionary: “to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.”

 
Gregoryhhh
 
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Gregoryhhh
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17 January 2015 02:25
 
Glacier - 16 January 2015 09:00 PM

I define reason with the dictionary: “to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.”

 

You wrote: “Reason” is a cliché that doesn’t really mean anything other than we lean against any notion that there is a supernatural realm. - See more at: http://www.project-reason.org/forum/viewthread/26426/P120/#sthash.LtMyzRdE.dpuf

Cliche is defined as: A phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought: A very predictable or unoriginal thing or person:

So to use your definition of “reason” and the above one for cliche, i am reading you say:

“To think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic is overused and betrays a lack of original thought, and doesn’t really mean anything other than we lean against any notion that there is a supernatural realm.” - the first part of the rephrased claim is clear though nonsensical, but what the jesusfuck does “and doesn’t really mean anything other than we lean against any notion that there is a supernatural realm” mean?

gregory

 
 
glacier
 
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17 January 2015 19:19
 

A word used as a cliche does not mean the same thing as the dictionary definition. People who spout out about why they use reason to come to their conclusions don’t actually use any more reason than those who don’t feel the need to inform other that they use reason. Therefore, to say you use use reason is kinda meaningless, hence the cliche.

 
Gregoryhhh
 
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17 January 2015 22:30
 
Glacier - 17 January 2015 06:19 PM

A word used as a cliche does not mean the same thing as the dictionary definition. People who spout out about why they use reason to come to their conclusions don’t actually use any more reason than those who don’t feel the need to inform other that they use reason. Therefore, to say you use use reason is kinda meaningless, hence the cliche.

um, -

hmmph, i never heard of a one word cliche - or even heard a one word “cliche” - yes, two word cliches like bad egg,  but it seems that the dictionary definition of “cliche” requires a cliche to have at least two words you say “reason” is a one word cliche even though the dictionaries define it as: A phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought:2) “A very predictable or unoriginal thing or person” - geeze Glacier, it seems the word as defined by the Oxford shows you as a the “cliche” not “reason”.

gregory

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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17 January 2015 22:54
 
Glacier - 16 January 2015 01:13 AM

.  Almost everyone claims to spread their ideas by reason, .

Uh, there is a difference between claiming to spread ideas by reason, and using reason to spread ideas. You for instance Glacier, have some strange ideas about reason, though one of them complies with the dictionary (“to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.”)  you also claim reason as the first one word cliche ever invented (by you) to be a one word cliche - though you need to change the definition of cliche in every dictionary ever written, in order for that to happen.

Anyway i am still waiting for a a rephrasing of your:

To think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic is overused and betrays a lack of original thought, and doesn’t really mean anything other than we lean against any notion that there is a supernatural realm”

Whatever does that mean - oh i get it, more non-sense.
gregory

 
 
Thoughtage
 
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18 January 2015 10:01
 
gsmonks - 18 January 2015 12:25 AM

The thing is, science is about knowledge (which belongs to everyone) and broadening it, and knowledge in and of itself entails responsibility. Therefore, the spreading of science is a responsibility, because it entails responsibility.

Are we capable of using all the powers emerging from science in a responsible manner?

Before we answer that, we should keep in mind that we don’t really know what powers science may hand us in the coming years.  So if a reader answers “yes” to my question above, they are really proposing that we can handle ANY power science may provide.

What we do know is that knowledge development, and thus the power available to human beings, is expanding at an ever accelerating rate.  This is because as we learn each new thing that tends to make it easier to learn the next thing.  Computers are perhaps the most common example of this.

This is not fundamentally a complicated question.  We do this very same calculation in regards to children and teens all the time.  We attempt to determine what powers they are ready for, and what is still beyond their ability to manage.

This thread simply asks the same question in regards to adults.
If we should agree that adult human beings don’t have infinite judgement and maturity, then there must be some limit to the powers we should have.  It is the point of this thread to attempt to better understand what those limits might be.

As it stands currently, it seems our entire culture is still operating from a largely unexamined “more is better” assumption in regards to knowledge, and thus power.  In an age of accelerating knowledge development, it seems reasonable to question whether this assumption may now be outdated.

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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18 January 2015 16:33
 

A better question is “are we capable of learning the responsibility required to handle the knowledge or technology we develop?”  And then it becomes not an absolutist yes/no question, but more of a responsive question based on our history of adaptability.

 
 
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