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Posted by Nicholas on November 9, 2002 00:33:33 UTC

"In my opinion, the only criterion, that is, the best we have, is to look at a theory or a belief on a purely objective ground "

I don't see how there is any way to look at the things I listed on an objective ground. There is evidence that we see something which we call the Earth and this almost certainly exists. But the earth's existence as a "thing in itself" is no more certain than for anything else. Likewise with God. We know that the concept of God exists (in humans), but I don't see how one can say that one religion or set of beliefs is any more likely than the other. At least not when it comes to philosophical concepts. Some things can be based on observation. Creationism is almost certainly wrong because observations have refuted it, but most other religious concepts are beyond our reach (morality, for example, a whole can of worms that I won't write about unless asked to).

"I don't agree that either religion or secularism is responsible for mankind's woes"

That's not what I said. All I said is that religion has been the direct and/or indirect cause of SOME suffering. I don't see how one could refute this statement.

"Yes, but be careful not to equate "all unprovable" with "equally valid." The better an idea fits current observational data, generally the better it is. "

There is no observational data to support or refute many religious concepts (like the ones I listed). For such things, I would include the label "equally valid".

"If mankind is truly psychologically incapable of handling a world devoid of blind faith, I'll think about officially disowning this species."

I'm not sure we have that choice, unfortunately. Sometimes I wish I did. :)

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