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#25888 - 05/02/08 09:50 PM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: odin1]
Revlgking Offline
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Odin1, your comment about the possibility of there being an "intervention by an ethical or moral society to change..." poses the question: Is it possible to have a totally free, secular and democratic approach to all isms?

I believe it is possible; and ought to be possible.

IMHO, the following: RELIGIONISM, SCIENTISM, RACISM, SEXISM, AGEISM, FASCISM, and the like are all extremes which I want to avoid.

IMHO, in a free, secular and democratic society, no ism ought to be free to impose itself on people who choose to be free from it.

Sure, it is okay for me, or for that matter any member of society, to dialogue about (the method I prefer), debate about, and even declare: My ism (including atheism) is the one true and good ism.

However, I do not have, and ought not have, the right to insist that the state ought to be given the right to impose any ism, including mine, on others.

BTW, am I making it clear where I stand?


Edited by Revlgking (05/02/08 09:53 PM)
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#25893 - 05/02/08 10:53 PM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: Revlgking]
odin1 Offline
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Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hello Revlgking,

I think I understand what you are saying, if not you set me straight. But, I think you may have gotten the impression that an ethicial and moral society would or should force its morality and ethics on the regime in question.

I didn't mean it this way, I was merely making the point that that type of regime would problably not change to the point that its people would really enjoy the fruits of a "good free science" unless the regime fell or was destroyed by a dispute, such as Nazi Germany, and Japan.

Had Germany not invaded Poland, which started the war, who knows how long Nazi Germany would have stayed Nazi, and what their science would have produced. It is very possible that over time the leaders their would have became more receptive to free thinking and that the science would have flourished to a point that it influenced a free society. Or, it could have stayed a facist state and invested only in the gears of war. And, if that scenerio was the road taken, ultimately the gears of war would have to spring on someone, then is when they would be changed by defeat, or would win and continue on a broader scale.

I do not feel anyone should impose their beliefs on anyone.
Hope that cleared it up.
best regards,
odin1

_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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#25894 - 05/02/08 11:57 PM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: odin1]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
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Rev,
I agree with almost everything you have said in this thread except ...
"However, I do not have, and ought not have, the right to insist that the state ought to be given the right to impose any ism, including mine, on others."

You have the right to insist, you just don't have the right to achieve what you insist. Relatively minor disagreement.

I agree entirely that science can be used for good, evil, or either. We need something else to make us good (and able to appreciate freedom). And yet I think I see where Mike, et. al. are coming from. For once they are thinking and communicating on the same poetical (and to me, often irritating) wavelength which I have been inured to associate with you.

Science is a remarkable achievement of the human mind, perhaps the most amazing thing we have ever done. It's not that we have "figured IT out." That's not it at all. We've figured out - and are figuring out - HOW to figure things out, how to extend pure reason to the world we actually live in. It seems so obvious to us today. We take it for granted, "It makes perfect sense." But it has taken us many millennia to figure out how to figure things out.

Because they are thinking in the way you are (or so I believe) they are exhibiting a similar characteristic, but it's a mistake that probably all of us in the modern age, including many or most scientists - to equate science with all the good things we have, the material things that technology has wrought, as well as the knowledge we have gained "gravitation, magnetism, combustion, etc."

But we forget sometimes that Science is more than that. It's a process of figuring out. And this is where the real poetry of what they are saying is sinking in, because while I'm sure they are mindful of that stuff in the last paragraph, I'm pretty sure that Mike and Red get this. What they're missing, I believe, is that not everyone else DOES.

Sagan wrote (approximately):
"They accepted the products of science; they rejected its methods."

That is the thing that many people and indeed some scientists don't get. As a society, we can take science not just as a metaphor, but as an example of how we can interact with each other - everyone learning and striving, generally respecting each other, communicating freely, criticizing without malice, changing gradually, erasing the board and starting over when necessary. These things and many more are lessons that the wider society COULD learn from. But they won't if they don't understand that science is not just their latest mpeg player or their favorite game.

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#25896 - 05/03/08 02:58 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hello everyone,

I just want to say, science has made the world we live in today.
With all the illness, we have cures-we can set thousands of miles apart and discuss subjects like this in seconds. Science has given us the ability to leave our world and look at other worlds. I applaud science and all the people associated with it.
The point I am trying to get across is for all it's good, in the wrong hands it can destroy. Even good ethical people can be forced to do bad things if they are in an "unethical society or regime". For example, Wernher Von Braun in Germany, developed the B-1 rockets that terrorized England in WWII. They killed hundreds if not thousands of people, not to mention the property destroyed. After WWII he goes to America and helps develop the US Space program, which ultimately put a man on the moon. The same man working under two different stimuli, two different results. This is my point. I am on the side of science, but let us never forget it takes more than science to benefit mankind. We need an ethical and moral environment. This is just my opinion.

odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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#25898 - 05/03/08 03:57 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: odin1]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
i don't think that you can attach a tag of "good or bad" to science; science is knowledge(and methodology to acquire new knowledge) which is/are neutral.

rev wrote: "Is it possible to have a totally free, secular and democratic approach to all isms?...IMHO, in a free, secular and democratic society, no ism ought to be free to impose itself on people who choose to be free from it."

i think that the idea of democracy is incompatible with many isms; especially in western society: the doctrines of most isms demand the rejection of all other isms.
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#25900 - 05/03/08 04:22 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: big fat pig]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
I disagree,

you ask the people in England that buried their loved ones because of B-1 rockets if it was bad or good. We aren't talking about knowledge, we're talking about how it's used which is the end result. To the scientist and Nazi's when they pressed the button and the B-1 rocket soared into the heavens, it was a sense of accomplishment. When the people in London heard the buzz from that marvel overhead, they had a different feeling. Also, the Nazi's used this science to impose itself on people who chose to be free. It is not neutral when people are enslaved or intimidated by by those that have the intellectual advantage.

Best Regards
odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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#25901 - 05/03/08 04:31 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Quote:
i think that the idea of democracy is incompatible with many isms; especially in western society: the doctrines of most isms demand the rejection of all other isms.
I agree.
However, all nations, including tyrannies, and even local communities do have courts and laws. The challenge is: avoiding legalism. One of the reasons I love the Golden Rule is that it seems to help us do this--avoid legalism.

It seems to me that freedom is not the right to do as we like; it is have the opportunity to find out what is best--and I realize the question of relativity here--and, also, to have the opportunity to do it.

Here's a question: Am I expressing my prejudice if I say: I feel that the most democratic, just and best societies have been those built on a Judaeo/Christian foundation?

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#25902 - 05/03/08 04:58 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Regarding Fascism and Nazism. I think it is fair to say that the majority of Europeans who were conned into following tyrants agreed to go along with the con because the tyrants promised them economic prosperity. I could be wrong, but I feel that people trapped in the tyranny of poverty, especially when there is a lack of food, do not make good democrats.

This is why, 1n the 1930's, so many people opted either for Communism (labourers+political power) and/or Nazism (industrialists+political power)--both are forms of extreme socialism--wingisms. Left (proletariat--the poorer classes), or right (the rich elite upper classes who control the markets), both are the same, given power.

Germany, Italy, Japan and the like would not be the democracies they are today if the majority had remained poor when they became democracies.
THIS IS WHY I AM SUCH AN ENTHUSIASTIC NUT FOR THE FEATHERS--NOT WINGISM--APPROACH TO THE POLITICAL ECONOMY.


Edited by Revlgking (05/03/08 06:41 AM)
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#25903 - 05/03/08 06:03 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
I've been away- had a great time!- and in reading the whole topic one after the other I am puzzled. What is meant by science? Pure research for discovery sake, saving lives, building ever more clever machines, growing healthier rice- or something else? It seems to me that the conditions for science to prosper in any regime have to allow for unproductive as well as productive science to happen. This can only really occur in an atmosphere that is supportive in all aspects and one that can allow time for development of ideas into discoveries. Therefore the society would probably have to be rich, unencumbered by restrictions of ideology of any sort, possibly democratic (but maybe not) and unafraid of controversial thought. I don't think my ideal crucible for the development of thinking happens anywhere- and I believe that development of original ideas needs all of them/

I am intrigued by the mention of climate as a deterrent of research. Surely climate control of labs can overcome that, if indeed it is a factor, (which I find hard to believe)?

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#25906 - 05/03/08 02:56 PM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: Ellis]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello everyone,

Welcome back Ellis. You know, China will be the perfect regime to watch. They have recently opened their doors to the rest of the world, they are an economic power house now. But, they are still communist. And as far as I know they still do not embrace religion, I know christian missionarys are still sneaking bibles in the country. Will their economic surge, and scientific explosion (such as their space program) change the way China thinks and revert to Democracy? What is you thoughts on this?
odin1

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#25907 - 05/03/08 04:33 PM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: Anonymous]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Quote:
China ... they are an economic power house now. But, they are still communist.
China Communist? That depends on who have their hands on the political and economic power and get to run the government. If the leaders are the rich and powerful elite, China is more fascist than communist. Does anyone really believe that it is a people's democracy--like the USA wink


Edited by Revlgking (05/03/08 04:35 PM)

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#25908 - 05/03/08 05:18 PM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
"Am I expressing my prejudice if I say: I feel that the most democratic, just and best societies have been those built on a Judaeo/Christian foundation?"

well do you know about every judaeo/christian society that has ever been built? i think that's a poor generalization because history states otherwise; the dark ages, the inquisition, the crusades, the massacres of the old testament(judaism), the christian 'priests' of our era, there are many examples.

for a just/moral multicultural society there needs to be tolerance; not totalitarianism

however, the 'isms' of the eastern societies are more tolerant of other 'isms.' an example; the hindi believe that there is more than one 'right-way' and will not try to force their metaphysical opinions on you(tolerance) but a christian, a muslim and a jew will try to convince you that your ism is a lie and will even try to convert you to their ism(totalitarianism)
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#25912 - 05/03/08 10:01 PM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Quote:
well do you know about every judaeo/christian society that has ever been built? i think that's a poor generalization because history states otherwise; the dark ages, the inquisition, the crusades, the massacres of the old testament(judaism), the christian 'priests' of our era, there are many examples.

BFP, the bad examples of J/C, which you give, no more represent the basic teachings of J/C than do any numbers of bad examples I could give of the actions of certain atheists.

For example, how about atheistic Communism--under Stalin and Mao? Do they represent the actions of moral, ethical and loving atheists? I do not think so.

On the basis of what Stalin and Mao, not to mention Hitler, did, would it be fair of me to argue: See, atheism invariably results in gross evils?

BFP, your response to my question, please! I have a feeling you will ignore it. BTW, I agree that I am prejudiced in favour of J/C over Stalin, Mao and Hitler. smile

I agree with you: No beliefs--even noble ones--should ever be imposed. The Judaeo/Christian principles that I value teach this.


Edited by Revlgking (05/03/08 10:16 PM)

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#25914 - 05/04/08 12:36 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
rev; "for a just/moral multicultural society there needs to be tolerance; not totalitarianism"

all of the example that we collectively mentioned were the result of totalitarianism. totalitarian 'isms' are never moral or just simply because they oppose freedom.

the reason i mentioned judaism, christianity and islam is because these 'isms' demand for the rejection of all other 'isms' >>this is called totalitarianism.
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seize the day

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#25915 - 05/04/08 12:37 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Hitler was a Catholic- so I guess he was a Christian. I don't think Stalin was, but Mao was more complicated. For most of his life he was venerated like a god. He certainly believed in himself (joke!)

Still seeking an answer to what is science- or is this discussion about freedom, not only of speech but also thought, and the pursuit of research and discovery for its own sake. We are kidding ourselves if we think research, science and discovery are happening under these ideal conditions in our own countries, just ask anyone seeking a grant to do research from Govts or an institution! Though I suppose if you had massive independent wealth you could pursue your own (lawful) path without hindrance.





Edited by Ellis (05/04/08 12:38 AM)
Edit Reason: grammar

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#25916 - 05/04/08 12:38 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: Revlgking]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
I have my doubts about China becoming a democratic society any time soon. I think they learned from the demise of the Soviet Union. But they are enjoying a burst of economic growth now. All this economic growth can fund the science they need, such as weapons. The question is though, will this growth in economics and science in China, revert it to a Democracy? You can call them Communist or Facist whichever you like best, right now you have a hand full of people in that country that call the shots, and they have a huge army to make sure it stays that way. I hope I am wrong, but I don't trust the Chinese. Because I don't think they have the "ethical or moral" attributes to make sure the science serves the people, instead of the people serving the science.

best regards,
odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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#25918 - 05/04/08 12:59 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: odin1]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
odin- The Chinese are pragmatists. If it is to their advantage they will do something to appear to change. They are also a very proud nation and humiliating them is not a sensible idea. During their history China has always had a very strong central govt. which governs though a large and strong bureaucracy (and I can't imagine that changing soon). The society is also still very stratified according to class. High status depends on the position in the govt rather than money and to a lesser extent birth. It is these same people who are profiting from the present boom-- though it must be acknowledged that the eastern part of China superficially looks like many other prosperous Asian areas. It has also always been a characteristic of China's foreign policy that they rarely invade other countries for conquest. However they retaliate if threatened. Now before I get howled down-- China feels that Tibet (and Taiwan) have always been a part of China.

But true democracy-- that's a long way off if ever!

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#25924 - 05/04/08 01:50 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: Ellis]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hello Ellis,

I don't think they will change either. Right now they are enjoying the best of two worlds, power and money and I am referring to, as you said the bureocracy. And I hope, they keep
that very large army within the boundaries of that very large country. The wrong person in charge Ellis with a few turns in world events---who knows what could happen.

best regards,
odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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#25926 - 05/04/08 03:00 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: odin1]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Quote:
... right now you have a hand full of people in that country (China) that call the shots, and they have a huge army to make sure it stays that way.
Sounds like fascism, to me.

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#25927 - 05/04/08 03:13 AM Re: Science Means Freedom [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Quote:
BFP:... the reason i mentioned judaism, christianity and islam is because these 'isms' demand for the rejection of all other 'isms'
BFP, I have a feeling that this is generalizing. All of the Christians and Jews that I know believe in democracy.

Interestingly, my son is married to an Iranian Muslim. My only three grandchildren are half Persian. She and all of the Muslims I have met, through her, are great supporters of democracy. As an accepting and tolerant kind of person I refuse to generalize. It is just not the moral, honest and useful thing to do.


Edited by Revlgking (05/04/08 03:15 AM)

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