My thought on science:
A decent book that gives some nice insights on human nature, clever, yet simple inventions and evolution.
Science was inevitable. Our advanced use of engineering is what set us apart from our ape cousins. Science just became a systematic way of showing how things fundamentally work in a way we can understand. Why? Curiosity? Maybe, but I think not. Curiosity may drive science at times but really it is our monkey brain wanting to figure out a better way to do something. A way to make our life's easier, a way to increase the chances of our species surviving. Darwin pointed out the most obvious and irrefutable (IMO) law of nature. Everything obeys it. Everything we do is because of it.
Science, of course, like anything human made, is flawed. But it corrects itself. It's a useful tool. It has potential to do 'good'. It may never find the Truth, but neither will religion or philosophy in my mind. Perhaps the Truth is just a construct of our own imagination. Perhaps my truth is not the same as yours. In which case it doesn't much matter.
The main difference between science and philosophy is that at the end of the day, science gives you something physical. That appeases my ape brain, at least for a while... until another problem arises, in which case I need to apply 'the method'.
Lots of potentially horrible things come from that, but lots of good things too. Maslow's hierarchy of needs has been met for many allowing us to reach the highest level of consciousness. It allows us time to think about the rock. About the plant. About the meat we chose or chose not to eat.
I also think what many people want to be science is actually religion. They want their daily affirmation of their little ideals and agree with anything that affirms those, and refute anything that doesn't, despite any evidence. Science without criticism is just religion. In fact it's a very hard way to be. You have to be willing to change your view and admit you are wrong based on where the evidence points you.
I'm not sure I need religion. I think most people do. They need something that is constant that they can't question. I don't mind living in a perpetual state of doubt and uncertainty. I don't want to pretend to have the answers. I don't even know I want to seek them, because I don't think they exist.
Physical is a human construct, but it's hard to think that thing we call the physical isn't independent of our notion of it. I don't think it gives a shit. I don't think the universe cares one way or the other whether we are in it or acknowledge it. But these are just my little thoughts based on some logic I've worked out in my head. At the end of the day it doesn't really matter.
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Science is not looking for answers, but simply explanations (in the human form) of something that doesn't exist.
Philosophy is just about the same. But instead of using technical terms, they use a more poetic approach, trying to reach the same goal with only words and concepts.
I'm not crazy about the word religion, as it implies some country/eduction-specific stories. I like religion, I like to study them all, there's so much to learn. It's great, I have the most utter respect for all religions. But most adepts don't seem to understand the real meaning of their own scriptures. They don't get it at all. In fact, it's quite the opposite. While I think it's the most important thing in the world, I don't wanna be involved with people who don't get such a simple message. Truth is there, but they cannot see it, even with simple stories they can relate to.
So I can't be a religious fanatic, I don't believe in the physical world and I can't stand the boring philosophical concepts anymore, so what's left? How do you spend your time Johnny?
1- Metaphysics. Some say it's science, others say it's philosophy. A good starting point.
2- Spirituality. The study of the essence behind all religions. A good eye-opening program for beginners.
3- Esotericism and Occultism. The truth, for those who are ready for it. For advanced students only.
4- Cross-Country Downhill. Plastic boots forbidden. For advanced students only.
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."
I've always been intrigued by religion, or theology in a broader sense, but I have some deep rooted issues with those most close to me. Judeo-Christainity - although I live by most of the 'morals' set forth by that theology, I don't associate it with anything but law. There is nothing spiritual about it anymore. Maybe at one time there was but even then the history of the rise of Christianity is disgusting if you look at the whole picture. It wasn't all a bunch of martyrs being slaughtered by Romans. In short, it was created by humans for humans, it has no lack of flaws.
I could say the same for all other religions as well. Some are less obtrusive than others and therefor don't bother me as much. I'm fine with religion when it keeps to itself.
I have to say I think that religion, or spirituality, is as natural as engineering. I neglected to point that out in my first blabbering. I'm not all that educated on it but it seems to me every culture has had some sort of religion that has held it together. So that is another point of difference from us and the apes, and well, I don't really know if the apes have a religion because I can't read their minds.
I don't find science over-complicated at all. I find that, at it's root, it is very, very simple. It's like an onion. It has many layers but all the layers are intrinsically simple.
Real life is complicated. In science we try to simplify all the interactions of reality into easy to digest pieces. That is another area where science and engineering diverge. One does not necessarily need to know the science to engineer something, but when one does, you realize the complexity and how to simplify what matters most and try to manipulate it in a way that suits what you want. Call it playing 'God' but it's not even close... or rather it is, because if you believe that evolution drives everything, then it's a matter of slightly educated guessing. A way of cheating trial and error to reduce the number of trials. But for anyone that has ever truly designed anything, you still wind up guessing, analyzing and revising. It's really the only way.
And it's true that science never really gives answers. What is gravity? Gravity is the effect of the warp of space time by objects that have mass. What is mass? Why does matter have mass? etc, etc, etc...
It will never explain what mass or matter is, only the way it obeys. One of the best analogies I've heard explained as to what science is:
If we were to imagine reality is a game, like chess, science would simply be observing the moves of the game to try to best determine the rules. It would never tell us why a king can move any direction and only one space at a time. That is beyond what science can do.
I think we have to be content that we will never know why the rules are the way they are. It isn't for us to know. Call that God or religion, but neither of those provide the answer why. Some things just are. Just because we have the cognition to make rules or understand them, doesn't mean there need be someone or something who created them.
Religion ? Too often superstition masquerading as absolute knowledge.
But where to start ?
We must separate content from form..relish abstraction and put it first.
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I don't wish to counter anything that anyone said at this point, but I'd like to add. Fundamentally, science is a philosophy. It's a rigorous philosophy that dictates we throw out (or revise) any idea we hold that conflicts with evidence.
"In the beginning was the word (Logos) and the word (Logos) was with God and the word (Logos) was god.."
To some ancient Greeks the Logos was the rational "force" that accounted for being..It was the the rational essence of the universe of matter , the very basis of "science"..It was the answer to the questions why anything rather than nothing and why do things behave as they do ? The Logos in all its forms upholds being per se..The logos is being per se..Essentially it's the "logic" of being..God in this sense is identified with Logos --logic or all rationality.. Being is the rational emanation of divine logos..Rationality is being and being rationality..
Ratio est, hoc est basis omnium
Universi est logica