Thursday, February 23, 2017

646: Is science a religion too...?

In our search of the meaning of life there has shown up an idea in our discussions which I’d like to address.
The meaning of life seems to be closely related to the beliefs someone hold. A serious question about beliefs is how they are justified.
Beliefs are important, because they shape our social life. My beliefs have consequences for the people around me. Therefor the importance of justification.
A few times it is suggested here that science is eventually a belief system just like religions. And thence 
you might get the impression that science is equivalent with for instance islam, buddhism or christianity.
This however is not the case. Science is not a religion in that sense. In a way it is a belief system indeed.
Centuries of philosophy still have not come forward with the ultimate epistemological answers, but we could say this:
Science is a formal system. Any Formal System has 3 constituents : a language, a set of axioms or postulates ( certain expressions in that language ) , and rules of inference.
Axioms or postulates could be, that every object has extension, that we have duration and time, that events are sequential - and here we can start a complex debate about causality - and so  on.
The rules of inference are the basic rules of logic. Thus we can come to a scientific method and formulating and testing hypotheses .
Of course the postulates are assumed to be true, although we have no way to prove them by means of a logical deduction.
But by postulating them we can explain and predict and test our assumptions about reality. And even more important everyone can repeat the tests, question the results and so on.
And in this sense science is totally different from religious beliefs, also in its social consequences. However, this early means, that science is THE road to follow to find a meaning of life.
Science describes and explains our reality, but it does not tell us why we are here. It only tells us how we are here as organisms and part of nature.
So our search for the meaning of life can go on, because as we saw in the previous lecture, religions too do not offer a real answer.
Nowhere we find an answer of the question WHY we were created and if the answer would be, that it is to serve our creator and his creation,  
that would be a poor meaning of life. It would mean that we only exist for our creator. But what when I do not want to be a religious gardener?
What is in it for me as a person?
Religion has found an answer to that question: the better gardener we are the higher will be our reward in the afterlife.
The leap of faith which is required to have this view should also to be understood clearly. 
This is the belief that a God, of whom we can not know whether he exists, has a purpose with  a life after death for us,  of which we have no indication that there really will be one. 
Furthermore, we would like to have confidence, that this goal is one where we would be happy with.

So just believing that this afterlife is really the big thing is not a satisfactory way to me to answer the question of the meaning of life.
Thank you for your attention… ^_^

The Discussion

[13:15] herman Bergson: A bit too much? :-)
[13:15] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): SImply put, Science can be prooved, religion can not
[13:15] herman Bergson: statement within  science can be proven
[13:16] Ciska Riverstone: science works with assumptions which are not always proven
[13:16] Ciska Riverstone: because it needs something to relate to
[13:16] herman Bergson: they even can not be proven within the system itself
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed but it is always based on fact
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not supernatural stuff
[13:16] BillMcDonagh: What is fact?
[13:16] herman Bergson: for instance the belief that outside our sensory data there exists a real world independent of our sensory data
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): logical explanations for how things work sort of
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): using mathematics, physics and chemistry
[13:17] herman Bergson: a fact is a statement which can be true or false
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats what drives the universe, nothing less, nothing more
[13:17] herman Bergson: and which canbe proven to be so
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but indeed there are probably things we cant see or understand
[13:18] Ciska Riverstone: describing the world as it is does not make a meaning - thats fact too.
[13:18] herman Bergson: indeed Ciska.....
[13:18] Ciska Riverstone: the evalutaion comes from human beings
[13:18] Ciska Riverstone: and how do we do that?
[13:18] herman Bergson: By looking at our origin we find little that gives us a meaning of life
[13:18] CB Axel: But making up stories doesn't make a meaning, either.
[13:19] Ciska Riverstone: which brings us back to nihilism - yes cb
[13:19] herman Bergson: I'll spend a lecture on making up stories soon CB :-)
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for example, what is dark matter and why is everything crated from all these small elementary particles and why cant anything go beyond the speed of light
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): things like that, we know it is like that but we cant grasp it at all
[13:20] Ciska Riverstone: thats interessting but does it give your life a meaning?
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but its still not anything supernatural about it
[13:20] herman Bergson: I agree Bejiita...
[13:20] herman Bergson: Maybe the WHY question is not applicable in those cases....
[13:21] herman Bergson: MAybe looking at the future in stead of the past will give meaning Ciska
[13:21] Ciska Riverstone: usually when we talk about meaning things like "love" are mentioned
[13:22] Ciska Riverstone: and science cannot grasp that fully - it can describe biochemical stuff going on when we for example fall in love
[13:22] herman Bergson: relations between humans....
[13:22] Ciska Riverstone: or when we love our parents
[13:22] Ciska Riverstone: but it cannot grasp love on a whole
[13:22] herman Bergson: but the biochemical processes are only correlated with behavior we call "love", Ciska
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its  so complex
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Gemma:)
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: but they still do not built up a if then logic
[13:23] herman Bergson: There is a tendency to think that we are our brain.....
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: hello oola
[13:23] oola Neruda: smiles... hello
[13:23] herman Bergson: but that is a too narrow outlook, I'd say
[13:23] herman Bergson: Hi oola :-)
[13:23] oola Neruda: :-)
[13:24] bergfrau Apfelbaum: hi oola :-)
[13:24] oola Neruda: hello all... i don't want to be interrupting
[13:24] herman Bergson: At least we might conclude that looking at the origin of something it doesnt automaticaly offer a meaning too...
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: well thats something we experience very often - don't we?
[13:25] herman Bergson: That we came from the sea as organisms...well....what does it tell about the meaning of life ?
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: yes
[13:26] herman Bergson: So far the only little light we have seen is the existentialist view on our responsibility
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: its great to know how to repair my fridge - and it makes sure I can have veggies for more then one day  - but does not help me with the meaning of life
[13:27] herman Bergson: no...but it is quite handy that you can repair that fridge Ciska :-)
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: heheh
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the fridge is by far the most important electric machine since need fresh food to survive
[13:28] herman Bergson: I guess we are a bit done with looking at origins as a source of info about the meaning of life...
[13:29] herman Bergson: also religions do not offer a real answer...
[13:29] Ciska Riverstone: so now  we can do the storytelling ourselves? ;)
[13:29] Ciska Riverstone: in a way I think thats where the western society is
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): do you have the answer Herman?
[13:29] herman Bergson: Working on it Beertje :-)
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:30] oola Neruda: I've been reading a book about the civil war in america..from the point of view of a nurse..... life and death seem to factor into meaning .... especially an unnatural death
[13:30] herman Bergson: Next lecture I'll discuss the phenomenon of story telling....
[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes...death is a challenging issue in relation to life....
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: In a very odd and really threatening way we find out with trump what happens when someone does the storytelling in a psychotic way.
[13:31] herman Bergson: to put it in extreme wordings...
[13:31] herman Bergson: why should I life if I yet know I'll die and vanish?
[13:32] herman Bergson: That life must have a meaning to me probably?
[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why would we study and work?
[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and not enjoy the sun?
[13:32] herman Bergson: well...that can be answered Beertje....
[13:32] BillMcDonagh: Survival is the root of all our decisions?
[13:32] herman Bergson: When you look at a person living in al kinds of contexts....
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes within the context of survival you need money a job to earn it
[13:33] herman Bergson: for instance
[13:33] herman Bergson: within the context of a society you need education to get a certain place in that society....
[13:34] herman Bergson: so within contexts there is a meaning of life
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but leads us that to the meaning of life?
[13:34] herman Bergson: to some extend yes, I'd say
[13:35] herman Bergson: I want to achieve things....
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): if that's all there is,,,then lets keep dancing:)
[13:35] herman Bergson: so I have to do something...for instance to study...
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I love dancing
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:35] herman Bergson whispers: you would get hungry while dancing on Beertje :-0
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I know..i was a dancer :))
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:36] herman Bergson: hmmm...wonder what I am doing with my pipe? :-))
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): My goal this year will at least be get better on breakdance, i was a bit jelaus of some of the guys at that event before
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it looks so easy too
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:37] herman Bergson: practice Bekiita, practice :-)
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i can do some things at least now already
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its great fun so
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): esp with the guys im hanging oit with
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): out
[13:38] herman Bergson: Well when we are discussing breakdancing now..maybe I could advise you all to go dancing :-)
[13:38] herman Bergson: unless one of you still has a question?
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no breakdance for me:)
[13:38] herman Bergson: or remark :-)
[13:38] oola Neruda: when you sit with people as they die.... as i have done several times.... things change inside you re: what life is about
[13:39] herman Bergson: When you are close to dieing yourself it happens too oola...
[13:39] oola Neruda: yes
[13:39] herman Bergson: For some reason afterwards life becomes more meaningful....I almost can say
[13:39] oola Neruda: meaningful or precious?
[13:40] herman Bergson: at least both, oola
[13:40] oola Neruda: smiles
[13:40] oola Neruda: your values change... what is important
[13:40] herman Bergson: Maybe that is such an axiom...the will to live....
[13:41] oola Neruda: or not worth your attention
[13:41] herman Bergson: It is in our system....
[13:41] herman Bergson: but no science can tell you why it is there
[13:41] oola Neruda: yes
[13:42] herman Bergson: well you could say...purpose is to keep the organism alive....
[13:42] herman Bergson: but again why?
[13:42] oola Neruda: nods
[13:42] herman Bergson: so maybe you can call this one of our axioms of being
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because we want to be alive
[13:43] herman Bergson: based in this axiom you can talk about evolution for instance
[13:43] oola Neruda: as a woman... i find it more important that my child is alive
[13:43] herman Bergson: is not that absolute indeed....
[13:43] oola Neruda: instinct?
[13:44] herman Bergson: instinct is just a word leading to a tautology...
[13:44] herman Bergson: what is instinct...the will to live...
[13:44] herman Bergson: what is the will to live ..instinct
[13:44] oola Neruda: what is tautology
[13:45] herman Bergson: it means saying something twice the same but with different words...
[13:45] oola Neruda: ty
[13:45] herman Bergson: but it suggests that you give some definition....
[13:45] herman Bergson: a tautology does not offer extra information
[13:46] herman Bergson: I guess it might be time for dancing now ? :-)
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): found this finally
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:46] herman Bergson: SO may I thank you again for your participation...:-)
[13:47] herman Bergson: Class dismissed
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): this is one of my dance buddies, he is among the best in the world
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): totally awesome
[13:47] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and a nice guy, great friend he is
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman :)
[13:47] herman Bergson: Bejiita you get an F if you are watching Youtube here in class on your iPhone..! :-)
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and this was also an amazing jorney with all of you
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol Herman
[13:48] herman Bergson: Watching dance movies...!
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): want to give you some inspiration
[13:48] herman Bergson grins
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if there is a guy who can inspire its this guy
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: thanx bejiita
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:48] BillMcDonagh: Thanks
[13:49] herman Bergson: Cool Bejiita....but for me it is Break my bones dancing :-)
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): breakdancing??......i was a ballroom and latin dancer....not so dangerous as breakdance
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe well latin works for me too
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i like mix and mash stuff up and experiment
[13:49] CB Axel: I'll see you all Thursday. °͜°
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): with particle physics as well as dance
[13:50] herman Bergson: Ok CB....:-)
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): eveything i do i turn into science
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :))
[13:50] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you herman and class :-)
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok cu next time
[13:50] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ***** APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***********
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bye for now
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako) ♪♥♪APPLAUDS!!!♪♥♪
[13:50] herman Bergson: Bye sweet heart Bergie :-)

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