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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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My Friend Mycroft, Part Two: Science as Savior

My Friend Mycroft, Part Two: Science as Savior

Echoing anti-theist spokesman Sam Harris, my forum friend Mycroft remarked that: “… a whole branch of science is devoted to the biological and societal reasons for human conditions, the balance of selfishness and altruism, greed and reciprocal behavior, dogma and tolerance, etc.” This is so. There is, indeed, a branch of science dedicated to finding a biological explanation for everything we are and do. Sam Harris has a PhD in this discipline. But the observation begs the question: In what way…

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First of All, Do No Harm

First of All, Do No Harm

I frequently find myself involved in discussions about the role of religion and/or revelation in the world. It is assumed, on occasion, that when religious people talk about what their faith means to them or has done for them, they are saying that without religion, they would never have pondered those subjects at all, or would not consider the consequences of their actions. To be honest, every day experience leads me to believe that not many people actually DO consider…

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Books on Science and Religion #15: Great Britain, The Industrial Revolution and Capitalism

Books on Science and Religion #15: Great Britain, The Industrial Revolution and Capitalism

Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. Bahá’u’lláh Sept 14, 2014 Our last several blogs looked at 19th century developments in the relationship between science, scientism, materialism and religion in France and Germany as outlined in Richard Olson’s historical overview of the 19th century origins of modern scientism, Science and Scientism in Nineteenth-Century Europe. France and Germany were transformed…

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Books on Science and Religion #14: Marxism and Dielectical Materialism

Books on Science and Religion #14: Marxism and Dielectical Materialism

Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith August 31, 2014 Materialism in the 19th century materialism came in many forms and guises. Already, we’ve reviewed several of them already in our series of blogs on Richard Olson’s book Science and Scientism in Nineteenth Century. Perhaps the most famous – and certainly the most notorious – of those 19th century materialisms is what later came to be called dialectical materialism. Developed by Karl Marx…

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Books on Science and Religion #13: Scientific Materialism in 19th Century Germany

Books on Science and Religion #13: Scientific Materialism in 19th Century Germany

Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. Bahá’u’lláh August 24, 2014 What is scientific materialism? Is it more than just materialism? Is it proof from science that – despite our stubborn belief that we have minds and our fullest reality is our thought – everything is just matter? The Baha’i point of view is that we fall into “the…

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Books on Science and Religion #12: The Foundations of German Materialism

Books on Science and Religion #12: The Foundations of German Materialism

Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. Bahá’u’lláh August 18, 2014 Materialism – the word – means several things. It can mean, for example, the pursuit of material wealth – fancy cars, expensive clothes, a beautiful house, a big TV, those kinds of things. People get caught up in it, pursuing wealth to the disadvantage of everything else. It…

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Books on Science and Religion #11: The Beginnings of German Materialism

Books on Science and Religion #11: The Beginnings of German Materialism

Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. Bahá’u’lláh August 10, 2014 Why are so many scientists and intellectuals so critical of religion? The Baha’i Faith tells us that religion – or more precisely – true religion, is essential to humankind’s progress: [The Baha’i Faith] … enjoins upon its followers the primary duty of an unfettered search after truth, condemns…

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Books on Science and Religion Books on Science and Religion #10: Richard Olsen’s Science and Scientism in 19th Century Europe

Books on Science and Religion Books on Science and Religion #10: Richard Olsen’s Science and Scientism in 19th Century Europe

Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. Bahá’u’lláh August 3, 2014 Steven Pinker – the highly capable experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist, popular science writer, and Harvard professor – tells us that … the findings of science entail that the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures—their theories of the origins of life, humans, and societies—are…

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Books on Science and Religion #9: Materialism, Scientism, and Steven Pinker

Books on Science and Religion #9: Materialism, Scientism, and Steven Pinker

Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. Bahá’u’lláh July 27, 2014 Is materialism the “dominant faith” of the modern world? This of course is not a question about numbers of people enrolled in a given religion, but a question about dominant ethical and moral values and their influence. We start by looking at One Common Faith, a document that…

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