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Category: Semantics

My Friend Mycroft, Part Three: Mycroft on Religion

My Friend Mycroft, Part Three: Mycroft on Religion

Having discussed the role of science in the life of humanity, my atheist forum friend Mycroft turned to the subject of religion. The points of view were thus: Mycroft=science is a savior; Me=science is a tool for the exploration of reality Mycroft wrote: “The major organized belief systems are incoherent. Half of mosaic, christian, and muslim theology over the last millennia is devoted to the task of belatedly producing some kind of consistency—often by declaring something impossible a “mystery”, or adding afterthoughts.”…

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Independent Investigation 2—Colorful Word Art

Independent Investigation 2—Colorful Word Art

As a writer of fiction, my job—according to colleague and wise-woman Ursula LeGuin—is to put into words what cannot be put into words. Tall order. The tools with which I am supposed to do this are words. Words arranged in such a way that I can convey to my reader what my characters are sensing, feeling, thinking and doing. I need to be able to subtly and not-so-subtly manipulate the reader’s thoughts and feelings to get the action, atmosphere and…

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Science Wins! (Rerun!)

Science Wins! (Rerun!)

My apologies for posting a rerun. I hope to have new blogs soon. I’m about a month out from knee surgery and the time I’m not spending doing physical therapy, icing down my leg and taking care of family necessities, I must write and edit to make a living. A thousand pardons, and I will try to answer any comments … eventually. 🙂 “Science Wins!” This was the headline on a another blog site I frequent. It was in reference…

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The Scientific Spirit #3: Russell on Unity and Plurality

The Scientific Spirit #3: Russell on Unity and Plurality

One of the most convincing aspects of the mystic illumination is the apparent revelation of the oneness of all things, giving rise to pantheism in religion and to monism in philosophy. — Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays, “Unity and Plurality” Thus Bertrand Russell begins a chapter on Unity and Plurality in which he explores the metaphysical or mystical concept of “oneness”. The words “unity” and “oneness” are much-used in both religion (or mysticism) and philosophy, but are also prominent…

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Intelligence Squared 5: The Cage of Physics

Intelligence Squared 5: The Cage of Physics

No time to ‘splain. Let me sum up…  The setting is an Intelligence Squared debate in which we have two teams: Team A, composed of physicist Lawrence Krauss and writer Michael Shermer, arguing the motion that “science refutes God” and Team B, composed of political commentator Dinesh D’Souza and physicist Ian Hutchinson, arguing against the motion. The debate moved to a secondary subject, which was the nature of physical laws. Team A (spokesman Laurence Krauss) opened the dialogue this way…….

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Intelligence Squared 4: The Value of Empty Space

Intelligence Squared 4: The Value of Empty Space

The story so far…  The setting is an Intelligence Squared debate in which we have two teams: Team A, composed of physicist Lawrence Krauss and writer Michael Shermer, arguing the motion that “science refutes God” and Team B, composed of political commentator Dinesh D’Souza and physicist Ian Hutchinson, arguing against the motion. Lawrence Krauss continued his discussion of the inhospitable universe with this ramble: And if it were much bigger than we measure, it’s true that galaxies couldn’t form, and…

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Intelligence Squared #2: That Vague Old Notion Called God?

Intelligence Squared #2: That Vague Old Notion Called God?

This is part two of my “class report” on a recent Common Ground Group homework assignment, specifically, to read the transcript of the Intelligence Squared debate of the proposition that “Science Refutes God”, consider its implications and comment on it. The motion (Science refutes God) was argued by two teams. The A Team (A is for Atheist) was composed of Michael Shermer—American science writer, science historian and founder of The Skeptics Society—and Lawrence Krauss, Canadian-American theoretical physicist, cosmologist and professor…

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Intelligence Squared #1: Krauss’s Motion—Science Refutes God

Intelligence Squared #1: Krauss’s Motion—Science Refutes God

Recently the crew here at Common Ground Group assigned ourselves some homework—to read the transcript of the Intelligence Squared debate of the proposition that “Science Refutes God”, consider its implications and comment on it. Since I was unable to attend the gathering at which the debate was discussed, I forwarded my impressions to Stephen Friberg (a co-founder of Common Ground Group) and he asked me to share them with our general readership in a series of blogs. Those of you who…

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Rules of Various Metals Part 2: Passing the Demon Buck

Rules of Various Metals Part 2: Passing the Demon Buck

Last time I posed a question about what exactly we (believers and non-believers alike) are professing when we claim adherence to the Golden Rule: “do to others as you would have them do to you.” In that context, I’d like to examine the reasonableness of the assumption that because some believers consign non-believers to Hell (whatever they imagine that to be) ALL believers do so. This is an assumption that arises frequently in my dialogues with self-identifying atheists (or anti-theists…

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Rules of Various Metals Part 1: When We Assume…

Rules of Various Metals Part 1: When We Assume…

When I dare to tread the electronic byways of forums intended for laypeople interested in science or humanism, and mention that I believe in God, it is generally assumed that I’m defending beliefs that are irrational and inimical to science and reason. I’m not. As a Bahá’í, I understand the consequences of irrational thinking only too well. There are now over 100 Bahá’ís in prison in Iran for simply being Bahá’í. Historically, over 20,000 of my co-religionists have died in…

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