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Comment: Re:Finally (Score 1) 852

by micahraleigh (#49719143) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US
"However you make the hypothesis more exacting, you incompass more detail and you can answer bigger questions"

I concede you can answer *BIG* questions (or, as Dr. Hume would correct me), you would *SEEM* to be able to answer bigger questions. But a bigger question does not necessarily make for a better question.

Suppose you could confirm 2000 people around the world die every second. That could seem like a big answer ... but what can you infer from this about when you are going to die personally? You are *only* one guy, so this is a *SMALLER* question. But is it less significant to you? The same could be said about how many people get married everyday, or how many people have babies every day.

Anyway, back to Hume. Hume is not trying to motivate you into the arms of Jesus (I'll take you understand this and not belabor it) like I am, but he understood that science doesn't really prove anything at the end of the day. Science just says what is probable based on past observations. If that is what you prefer to hang the final moments of your life on (which could be 10 years from now or today for all you or I know) then that is your prerogative.

Science isn't giving you any kind of Cartesian certainty about anything. Any it certainly can't explain what is meaningful to you. (Even as far as appearances go, you can't reproduce ameoba's transitioning into primates, and -even if you could- you didn't necessarily reproduce the exact path of their origin).

So call it an excuse or whatever you please, but at the end of the day you are condemned (to use a different athiest's word) to decide how you are going to live your life and how you believe the universe originated.

Comment: Re:Finally (Score 1) 852

by micahraleigh (#49698817) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US
So you have a framework: science.

Let's say you observe the natural phenomenon that flashy electronics seem very desirable (confirmed by sensors in your head!). Posit that you don't have enough money for a piece of electronics and hypothesize that, yes, you can steal electronics and get away with it.

To test out your hypothesis you examine newspaper and police reports and on the basis of these break in reports determine that it is possible to steal electronics and get away with it. And this observation is repeatable (and thereby scientific).

Sometimes people get caught, and sometimes they don't, but suppose you learn that those who do get away with it consistently apply certain characteristics (more sub-hypotheses).

So let's say you dig a little deeper and identify the people who successfully stole electronics and conduct some monitoring of them.

They are breathing. Their hearts are still beating. They seem (on the surface, because that's the realm of science) to be doing just fine.

You are not able to (scientifically) detect that they are dealing with any kind of remorse. You don't detect they are trying to run away from having to understand their own actions. You don't detect their despair or lack of self-awareness or dred.

Or another example. By making scientific (and very sketchy) observations you can determine which females are healthy and functionally capable of breeding well. That's not going to tell you anything about any individual person you observe. Only their bodies.

So science can tell you practical things, but there is nothing inspiring about it. Certainly it cannot tell you who you are or what is important to you. If you elevate science over love, morality, religion, etc. you are really going to live on the surface and let life pass you by.

Elegance and truth are inversely related. -- Becker's Razor