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ALL Generalizations Are Bad? :)

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Posted by Mario Dovalina on August 30, 2002 14:15:34 UTC

Scott: "You're making sweeping generalizations (very unscientific). ;-) Are there morals which are subjective? Of course. Are there moral gray areas? Yes. However, there absolutely ARE moral truths! Murdering your neighbor is bad. Stealing from your neighbor is bad. Baring false witness against your neighbor is BAD! There are certain moral truths that can't be argued! There are SOME things that really ARE black and white! There ARE moral truths in which subjectivity has no place."

How exactly are you defining moral truth? You would admit that morality has no meaning outside of our ability to define it, right? (it is an internal concept.) If it has no bearing in the outside world, you can hardly herald any moral belief as moral truth. Is Osama bin Laden following a moral fallacy? Is someone who steals bread to feed his family following a moral fallacy? Is someone who murders a man in self defense following a moral fallacy?

"Almost every religious text, be it the Bible, Koran, or Greek Mythology, has it's core basis in historical FACT. It was decreed by "objective" scientists that the city of Troy was a myth. We now know it was a FACT."

Well, sure. Historical fact is another issue entirely from religious fact (i.e. the non-historical claims such as the creation and the flood, etc.) If you want historical fact, pick up a history book or get a shovel and brush and start digging. That's not the issue here, and it does not extablish the validity of religion to say "Hey, Egypt really existed!"

"I could probably say (without exaggerating *too* much) that if the Coliseum didn't stand in the middle of Rome, Italy, "objective" scientists would poo-poo the Roman Empire as biblical myth"

If there was no evidence for the Roman empire at all, no objective historical accounts, no ruins left over, then there would be no reason to believe it DID exist.

Do you believe in Atlantis? Why not? Do you believe in Mu or Lemuria? Do you believe that we are all green octupi from the dimension XQET? Why not? Because there is no evidence for it? No true scientist would totally discount any theory totally (including the octupi thing) however with no evidence to support a theory there is no reason to believe it is true. I never say that God does not exist, simply that there is not enough evidence to establish that he DOES.

"Clearly, the Earth is more than 10,000 years old! (I still don't understand where they get that figure anyway--it's not stipulated in the Bible.)"

It is, indirectly. You get about that age from adding up all the "begats" and respective ages from Adam on.

"it's important not to make either the generalization that ALL theology is subjective and intuative (it's not) or that, on the same tolkin, ALL science is objective (it's clearly not)."

When we are dealing with concepts and not with people, we can make generalizations. Science is, by definition, total objectivity. Of course, scientists themselves are not totally objective. But the aspire towards it. Religious faith is, by definition based on subjectivity (Faith meaning belief without evidence.) If course, religious folks themselves are not totally subjective.

"One group of scientists stands firmly by Theory A, while another group of scientists stands just as firmly by Theory B. Are you going to tell me that that's not a subjective call?"

If both theories explain the observations equally well, then they are equally scientifically valid. It is the human portion that injects subjectivity, but the scientific ideal is not affected by that.

"There are plenty of examples of scientic discovery and research being poo-pooed, laughed at, refused funding, and supressed because it fits outside the preconcieved norm of the "objective" scientific community. They'll soil a man's reputation before they'll ever allow him to prove them wrong"

Yes, and that is wrong and unscientific. We are NOT talking the popular application of science to support subjective beliefs, here. Seperate pure science from applied science, here.

"On the side other side of the coin, it's important to note that "subjectivity" does not necessarily mean that it's an unreliable mode of thought. It is a subjective statement to say that "Mozart was a great composer." But trying to claim that that statement is wrong...would be pretty ridiculous"

Yes, but only because the statement about Mozart is admittedly subjective and has no claim to physical reality. Theists are arguing for the objective (actual) existence of God, but doing so through subjective reasoning. That is flawed.

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