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Thanks -- Some Clarification:

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Posted by Paul R. Martin on August 4, 2002 21:15:36 UTC

Hi Mario,

***[Paul:] With this definition, science gets sort of "religified"."

[Mario:] I can't totally buy this one, sorry. :)***

Maybe you can buy it if I explain my use of "sort of". I admit that I was trying to stretch the definition in an attempt to reconcile the disagreement between Mike and Luis as to whether science should be "religified".

***I think religious thinking is better defined as beliefs on origins and meaning which incorporate a designer or at least a purpose.***

I agree with you completely.

***You can stretch the meaning to include scientific thinking, but I think then you lose the meaning of both 'religion' and 'science.'***

I don't think it is a stretch. I think you are right about "meaning which incorporate a designer or at least a purpose", but not about origins. Science does talk about origins, in particular about the origins of life, species, and the cosmos. This is where I think they get "sort of" religious. Another area that is a little fuzzy is the question of what is real.

Science adamantly denies the reality of anything not accessible for experimentation. Now if they take this position simply as a rule for following the scientific method, then I'd say that position does not resemble a religious belief. It would simply be an expedient. But if they held that position to be absolutely true, based only on their faith that it is true, then I would say that sounds "sort of" religious.

I think that by stretching the definition in this way, you would not "lose the meaning of both 'religion' and 'science.'", but instead would make the two terms a little more compatible and maybe reduce the level of hostility and argumentation.

As you noted from my post, in order to do so, science wouldn't have to change much at all. The change would have to be made in religious organizations by the abandoning of their claims of knowledge of absolute truth.

Warm regards,

Paul

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