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Scott Armstrong


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Does it really matter?

There is a wonderful ongoing battle between religion and science.

Although the two are often pitted together as if they were alternate answers to the same question (which they are not), both schools of belief do put forward theories about the origins of existence. Both are equally far-fetched and interesting.

My question is: does it matter?

Would it help anyone to know, without a doubt, how the universe began? Isn't knowing that a bit like knowing the exact circumstances of one's own death?

Why do people feel the need to choose a camp?

Personally, I don't mind what people believe. Convince me. GO!


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    Oct 26 2013: While this discussion has wonderfully demonstrated Scott's observation that "There is a wonderful ongoing battle between religion and science" I wonder if the tenor of Scott's question - does it matter if we know our origins? -has been overwhelmed in the discussion?

    I suggest that the desire/need to "know" why, or to "know" more, or simply the desire/need to "know" in and of itself, is far more pressing in some people than it is in others. Just as the object of that desire/need 'to know' can easily be more important or relevant to some folks than it is to others.

    So, yes Scott, it does matter.
    That is it matters to some, white to others it does not. And in that context the answer to your question seems to 'yes it does matter' but if it only matters to one single person, it will still matter, at least to them.

    As to "why people choose camps" or take firm positions on issues is a very different conversation.
    At some point the feeling or at least the idea that we "are right" about something takes hold and certainty in that rightness can grow or diminish over time. It matters not whether that certainty is pro or con on the issue. It is the certainty that leads to the camps and the larger the population of a particular camp the stronger the certainty is for many of us.

    Of course the extreme of this is to be found in the camps where those who believe themselves to be "right" grows into a sense of Righteousness whereby they know they are right and because they are right they are Righteous in their belief. Circular reasoning at its finest. It is this all consuming Righteousness that has been behind almost every atrocity perpetrated throughout human history. Of course that Righteousness has also been behind every advancement of human freedom and personhood we have achieved. Therein lies the conundrum. .
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      Oct 26 2013: The people of science do not have a sense of righteousness about the theories. We know the theories are most likely wrong. The only place in science where I personally am susceptible to this righteousness thing is where it comes to the method used to pursue this thing that I call common reality. There may be a better process but I sure don't have a clue what it might be. So until someone can come up with a better idea, I'll continue touting the scientific method with vigor. It has worked way better than any alternative. We can prove things are wrong, we cannot prove them right.

      So, in terms of 'certainty' or righteousness you are discussing the religious crowd, even their pros. The scientific crowd does not play the game of certainty in the same sense. At least not the pros. The two groups are not equivalent in any sense that I can think of.
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      Oct 28 2013: i blame people not religion.

      i have always found it strange that people are quick to blame religion for conflicts throughout history and yet nobody blames the scientific method that has lead to the development of weapons that are instrumental in the carrying out of those same conflicts. most probably because religion tends to elicit are far stronger emotive response in people than science.

      i don't blame science either - again, it's people that are the problem..
      • W T 100+

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        Oct 28 2013: The voice of reason..........one of my favorite sounds on earth.

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