On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 8:23 AM, Robert Hansen <email@example.com> wrote:
> Most scientists fall under deism. They are fine with references to "god", > "mother nature", or just "nature", if only to provide a point of reference > in a philosophical discussion. > > Some scientists fall under theism. They worship a god. >
The above and what follows comprise a good example of how RH puts a private spin on his words, which he sometimes bothers to share, as here, and other times considers poetic license to just use in his special way.
If we don't understand him (and a few here seem to not, and have said as much) its a kind of autism on our part.
We just don't "feel it" the way he does (RH is famous for defining knowing as a kind of feeling).
Here are the Wikipedia definitions:
Deism is the belief that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a Creator, accompanied with the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge.
Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists. In a more specific sense, theism is commonly a monotheistic doctrine concerning the nature of a deity, and that deity's relationship to the universe.
> Being religious doesn't necessarily mean believing in a god, it means > having faith in something that cannot be proven (scientifically I suppose). > Nonetheless, religious and religion are generally associated with a belief > in a god. >
What about when there is no way any science could tell us [ fill in the blank ]?
Think of sheer gambling, risk taking, where the odds may well be against you, but you try anyway.
It cannot be proven that you "did the right thing" except, as luck would have it, things work out in your favor.
Now is such behavior "religious" because it involves "action with no proof"?
In that case, I'd say every human is religious as we simply don't have the luxury of proof most the time.
Physics is about ballistics, not when it's OK to shoot. Life is trial and error. "Just guessing" is an everyday fact of life.
> Atheism, in its simplest use, means not believing in a god. In practice > however, extreme atheism often involves disproving god. But atheism does > not mean not being religious. All people are religious in some way. We > believe in things we cannot prove. I think "how religious" you are depends > on how "careful" you are with the conclusions you reach based on your > unproven beliefs. > > I understand your meaning, as shown above (it applies when gambling, risk taking), but is this how people generally talk?
Do people say "I'm an atheist but of course I'm also deeply religious because I take many risks in my life with no science able to tell me in advance if I'm being foolish".
That's an unusual way of talking about one's religious sensibilities, but would follow the RH rule set.
But then following the same RH rule set you can say "I'm not a theist but I do believe in a god".
> Agnostic is not caring one way or another. > > But you're still deeply religious, lets be clear, because life is a risky game to play, no matter how conservative you may be. No choice is still a choice.
So the "irreligious" or "not religious" would seem insane in some way, in the RH lexicon.
> To sum up. All people are religious, they believe in things that cannot be > proven. People who reference god or nature in discussions are at least > "deistic". People who worship a god are "theistic". People who do not > worship a god are "atheistic". People who don't care about god worship are > "agnostic". > > Bob Hansen >
To sum up: RH has a private language that may be hard to penetrate.
Occasionally he shows his hand and we realize what a strange deck of cards, one of a kind, this guy is dealing with.
One must exert caution before risking a lot on this horse, given the penchant for crypto-poetic meanings.
By the way, I think it's fine to "think different" and to put a spin on words.
What gives such thinking currency is:
(a) a willingness to define terms when required and
(b) an internal consistency, an abiding by the rules, a showcasing of one's meaning
(c) an awareness that one is developing a lot of quirky meanings and so a corresponding ability to bridge to a more mainstream way of talking
I'd say the jury is still out on how influential RH's thinking will be. I think most of the doubts expressed so far have been around (c).