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Re: Re: Re: Re: An Agnostic Stance

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Posted by Benjamin Nelson on February 1, 2001 13:53:19 UTC


The issue of power of science versus the uselessness of religion is settled? Surely you must be joking. In fact, this belief that you can penetrate the veil of contingency and happenstance and behold a crystalline perfection is the deepest of faiths. Indeed, it is a daring leap of faith to believe that the brain evolution gave us to seer our way though earthly labyrinths is equipped to perform these abstractions, to use the power of general relativity to explain the heavens and quantum theory to explain the subatomic realm. Godel, after all, proved that mathematics has its limitations. Wittgenstein demonstrated this in a more general way. He argued that in our search for order, we use language -- verbal or mathematical -- to make theories, representations, "pictures" of the world. But we have no way of explaining how it is that our theories are capable of describing what we take to be reality. To be sure, any effort to explain the world must being with a leap of faith, and I see no difference between your dogma and that of the fundamentalist Christian.

B. L. Nelson

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