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Doc_Daneeka
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20 Aug 2009, 9:28 pm

polymathpoolplayer wrote:
Doc_Daneeka wrote:
polymathpoolplayer wrote:
BTW some personal stuff in my life: I had an only child who had some serious health issues (resulting in her death at the age of 2)


My most sincere condolences. I have a son, and wouldn't wish to imagine the sheer horror of losing him forever.

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BTW Darwin was religious, and did not see the conflict either.


Actually, he was not. He was agnostic (in the sense originally meant by Huxley), and not religious at all, except as a youth. His family and friends (and his own letters) were quite clear on this point. I only mention it because there are a lot of myths about Darwin's views on religion.

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Peace to you all


And peace to you.


OK we disagree: this from wikipedia on Darwin's religion:

Darwin’s family tradition was nonconformist Unitarianism, while his father and grandfather were freethinkers, and his baptism and boarding school were Church of England.[15] When going to Cambridge to become an Anglican clergyman, he did not doubt the literal truth of the Bible.[20] He learnt John Herschel's science which, like William Paley’s natural theology, sought explanations in laws of nature rather than miracles and saw adaptation of species as evidence of design.[22][23] On board the Beagle, Darwin was quite orthodox and would quote the Bible as an authority on morality.[142] He looked for "centres of creation" to explain distribution,[43] and related the antlion found near kangaroos to distinct "periods of Creation".[45]

By his return he was critical of the Bible as history, and wondered why all religions should not be equally valid.[142] In the next few years, while intensively speculating on geology and transmutation of species, he gave much thought to religion and openly discussed this with Emma, whose beliefs also came from intensive study and questioning.[78] The theodicy of Paley and Thomas Malthus vindicated evils such as starvation as a result of a benevolent creator's laws which had an overall good effect. To Darwin, natural selection produced the good of adaptation but removed the need for design,[143] and he could not see the work of an omnipotent deity in all the pain and suffering such as the ichneumon wasp paralysing caterpillars as live food for its eggs.[120] He still viewed organisms as perfectly adapted, and On the Origin of Species reflects theological views. Though he thought of religion as a tribal survival strategy, Darwin still believed that God was the ultimate lawgiver.[144][145]

Darwin continued to play a leading part in the parish work of the local church,[146] but from around 1849 would go for a walk on Sundays while his family attended church.[136] Though reticent about his religious views, in 1879 he responded that he had never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God, and that generally “an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.”[78]

Hence while postulating his theories he was a believer; whether he was near death is irrelevant.


That he may have believed in a god isn't quite the same as claiming that he was religious. For most of his life, he simply was not. He quite clearly described himself as agnostic, and by that he took Huxley's useage of the term, which has quite sadly drifted since then.

I am sorry, I should not have jumped on this point. I did so merely because I have had too many encounters with those who claim that Darwin was either an orthodox Christian, or that he became one on his death bed. You claimed neither, and I attacked reflexively. For that, I am sorry.


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polymathpoolplayer
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20 Aug 2009, 11:14 pm

Doc_Daneeka wrote:
I am sorry, I should not have jumped on this point. I did so merely because I have had too many encounters with those who claim that Darwin was either an orthodox Christian, or that he became one on his death bed. You claimed neither, and I attacked reflexively. For that, I am sorry.


No need to apologize. However, I still insist that he was religious during the time he made those discoveries due to the reference to him calling God the final judge. BTW a person that believes in God cannot be irreligious. They may not be a member of an organized religion, but religious nonetheless.



TheBigM
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23 Aug 2009, 12:07 am

I'm jewish and believe in god, yet i dont consider myself religious. By trying to look at everything both from a religious and a scientific standpoint, as i do, you get a clearer picture



sandra3
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23 Aug 2009, 6:40 pm

I consider myself spiritual and religious. I believe in god and the universe among many other supernatural things.



phil777
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23 Aug 2009, 8:21 pm

Spiritual, but not religious... And i try to remain realistic most of the time though.



Doc_Daneeka
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23 Aug 2009, 9:35 pm

polymathpoolplayer wrote:
Doc_Daneeka wrote:
I am sorry, I should not have jumped on this point. I did so merely because I have had too many encounters with those who claim that Darwin was either an orthodox Christian, or that he became one on his death bed. You claimed neither, and I attacked reflexively. For that, I am sorry.


No need to apologize. However, I still insist that he was religious during the time he made those discoveries due to the reference to him calling God the final judge. BTW a person that believes in God cannot be irreligious. They may not be a member of an organized religion, but religious nonetheless.


It's a myth that he worked all that out in a flash of insight. He didn't understand natural selection during the voyage of the Beagle...it took him years and years to finally see it. Sure, he was a conventionally religous person during that voyage, but he rapidly lost that after returning home to England. He read, and read, and read, and thought, and thought, and thought. His theories took decades to come to full fruition, as did his views on religion.

The cause and effect relationship between Darwin's early orthodoxy and his later scientific theory is not at all simple, nor is it clear. The best we can say is that he started off with one view, and ended with another. However, it's not hard to see why his scientific discoveries might have altered his religious views.

Might I ask you about your own views regarding evolutionary theory? Feel quite free to PM me if you think that this would derail the thread...


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Doc_Daneeka
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23 Aug 2009, 9:42 pm

Would it be rude of me to ask what 'spiritual, but not religious' actually means? I have never understood what the word 'spiritual' means, in that sense. As best I can determine, it means 'I believe (in some manner), but other believers annoy me, so I will use another term."

I feel a tremendous sense of wonder whenever I take my telescope way up north, and spend the night viewing the galaxy. It utterly blows my mind away. Is this 'spiritual'? I do not believe in anything supernatural, nor (by extension) in any sort of god. And yet, the feeling I get can only be described as numinous.


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phil777
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23 Aug 2009, 10:57 pm

Doc, somewhat close, but you could also relate to magic somewhat, revere the 4-5 basic elements (fire, wind, earth, water and potentially ether). It's more or less that. Think that spirits and a parallel universe might exist. =/



PhilipTraum
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26 Aug 2009, 9:54 am

I am a committed atheist, as well as my father and grandfather. I think genetic variation within the human gene pool probably explains Asperger's, not a God who took a special interest in you and made you different with some greater purpose in mind. Asperger's would have been positively maladaptive on the African savanna where Homo sapiens evolved, although a person with an intense and all-absorbing fascination with seeds and seedlings may have contributed to the rise of agriculture. Enculturation in a technologically advanced society that liberates people from the toil of being mere "gene machines" (see Dawkins), whose only function is to maximize the number of genes that make it into the next generation via gametes, has probably changed certain and perhaps many Aspergerian traits from being maladaptive to adaptive. We did not, however, spend most of our evolutionary history living that way. Most people are NT's because perhaps as much as 200,000 yrs of environmental pressures selected those traits that we associate with neurotypical behavior. Only very recently and only in a few well-organized societies with a leisure class (examples would include ancient Greece, China, Rome, and a few others) would the phenotypes we associate with Asperger's become something beneficial to their owner instead of something almost certainly lethal.



Ralou
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27 Aug 2009, 9:29 pm

I'm an athiest as of last year, but I was a Christian before that, and I took my religion very literaly and seriously. Hypocrisy just drove me up a wall. How can you say you love your enemies and drop bombs on them, or support dropping bombs on them, and worse, on their grandmothers and children? I was also a pacifist to the point where I didn't even think I could kill in self defense. My former religion is still a major part of the underlying weave of my moral fabric, for better or worse, but I no longer have an imaginary friend I call God. I actually see religion as a societaly accepted form of psychosis, and plan to find an athiest psychiatrist if at all possible.

When I found out Santa Claus was made up, I was furious at having been lied to and made a fool of (and I'm still a bit ticked off about it today). I'm somewhat angry over having been a fool for religion, but I try to remember the people who spread this misinformation have been fooled themselves. They're just propagating what they believe to be true. An excuse the Santa yo-yos don't have, even if the Santa people can say they meant no harm and it was all for fun.