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The End of Faith - a book review

 
 
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 01:48 am
www.samharris.org

See also this video: YouTube - Sam Harris at Idea CIty '05
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,945 • Replies: 16
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Jackofalltrades phil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 01:13 pm
@deepthot,
Yes, Reason will eventually defeat fundamentalism.
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Jacques Maritain
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 02:05 pm
@deepthot,
Fundamentalism is a byproduct of rationalism and modernity; so it's rather odd to present both as somehow the solution to the problem.
deepthot
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 12:31 am
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;173031 wrote:
Fundamentalism is a byproduct of rationalism and modernity; so it's rather odd to present both as somehow the solution to the problem.


Define your terms please.

Show us the logical product, or the operation of a functional relation in terms of set theory; explain why the product is a product. Thank you in advance.

Are you saying no one proof-texted from some "sacred" text before there was "modernity"? For that is often what fundamentalists do.
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Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 12:33 am
@deepthot,
deepthot;168947 wrote:

Spirituality by its nature transcends culture. Whatever is true ultimately transcends culture and tradition.

This is my opinion, as well, and yet it is not the general opinion.
deepthot
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 02:16 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;173296 wrote:
This is my opinion, as well, and yet it is not the general opinion.



I have faith that if what I have written is true that some day it will be widely recognized as sensible, as true, and even as "common sense." An example of what I have written is found in the paper, Ethical Adventures, a link to which is found below:.



The title, The End of Faith ,may sell well; it catches the eye - but we show we have faith every time we step into an elevator on a high floor of a building: faith that it won't plunge down, will carry our weight. Also, every time we step into a dark room, we have faith that the floor will be there and will be solid.
Jackofalltrades phil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 05:25 am
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;173031 wrote:
Fundamentalism is a byproduct of rationalism and modernity; so it's rather odd to present both as somehow the solution to the problem.


One thing that comes out of the above statement, is that surely Religious fundamentalism cannot be the end-product of rationalism and modernity.
I go with deepthot in knowing the meanings of terms, and i guess i can guess where it is coming from. But, for a start, would like to know whether the byproduct is a negative or not.
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 06:01 am
@Jackofalltrades phil,
people like to write one liners jam pack with ideology.
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 08:00 am
@deepthot,
deepthot;173309 wrote:
The title, The End of Faith ,may sell well; it catches the eye - but we show we have faith every time we step into an elevator on a high floor of a building: faith that it won't plunge down, will carry our weight. Also, every time we step into a dark room, we have faith that the floor will be there and will be solid.


This is such a worn out fallacy argument. I don't have faith that an elevator will not plunge to the bottom while I'm inside and I don't have faith that there will be a floor in a dark room. I assume these things and make a choice. There is absolutely no faith required. The only reason this argument comes up is because theist are trying to legitimize their reasoning for faith being a necessary part of every day living. It's simply not the case.

You might be asking, "Krumple how can you deduce this?"

Easy. With religious faith, there is nothing to test, nothing to verify, nothing to examine to find credibility. It remains a guess without any way to make it true. However; stepping into a room you can test if the floor is there, you can varify that the floor is there, you can gather evidence for a floor existing. Stepping into an elevator, you might not be able to test it but others have done the testing, it can be verified that it won't plummet. In fact all elevators are equipped with technology that does not allow it to free fall if all the cables were to be severed. I can trust in evidence to make a choice and feel secure without worry. Am I putting faith in the evidence? No, I don't have to because evidence is testable, verifiable, predictable and reliable. Where as, faith in a religion or dogma is not.
0 Replies
 
Jacques Maritain
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 11:03 am
@deepthot,
Prior to modern times writers interpreted scriptures symbolically, not literally. This began to change with the Protestant Reformation and especially Calvinism, which stressed a more literal interpretation of scriptures. It's from Calvinism that both rationalism and fundamentalism derived from. This especially was seen in the 18th century where the Enlightenment and Pietism both thrived simultaneously. So basically both factions thrive off each other.
Jackofalltrades phil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 01:52 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;173413 wrote:
Prior to modern times writers interpreted scriptures symbolically, not literally. This began to change with the Protestant Reformation and especially Calvinism, which stressed a more literal interpretation of scriptures. It's from Calvinism that both rationalism and fundamentalism derived from. This especially was seen in the 18th century where the Enlightenment and Pietism both thrived simultaneously. So basically both factions thrive off each other.


You are partially right....... as i supposed, your linking up events are fallout of analysis, but the inference is based on skewed logic. Modernity took those baby steps after the protestant reformation, - the calvinistic determinism gave it a spring board to jump into.

But rationalism is something different. I beg to differ on the count that rationalism produced by default fundamentalism. Rationalism although a necessary cause of modernity, and the subsequent antagonism towards modernity by the fundamentalsits and conservative forces, is strectching the idea a bit too far.

Rationality was not the cause of Reformation, it was corruption and greed in the Church which was the factors. Yes, the idea of free will and democracy did play a role, but that does not mean, which i presume is implied in your opening statement, that it eventually lead to modernity and then as a consequence has made fundamentalism more potent than perhaps it ever was.

It is a kind of fallacy to beleive that A caused B, and B caused C, and C caused D, and so on and so forth til Z, and you infer, that A caused Z.

Thats why I said you are partly true, but incorrect if you blame A for causing Z.
Mister Turnip
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 02:01 pm
@deepthot,
Yeah, look. I'm just gonna throw "End of Faith" in with the other books like "The God Delusion" and "god is not Great" that make an embarrassment of philosophy of religion. I respect the guys and their convictions, but Harris is a neuroscientist, Dawkins a biologist, and Hitchens a journalist. No philosophers. Just another classic case of a expert in one area overstepping his boundaries in another. Not to mention the fact that none of them really take into account the work that's been done by theologians since hundreds of years ago to answer their questions before they were asked. I don't have a problem with atheists or atheism, but these angry rants-turned-books shouldn't be taken too seriously by a devoted philosopher.
0 Replies
 
deepthot
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 06:33 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;173413 wrote:
Prior to modern times writers interpreted scriptures symbolically, not literally. This began to change with the Protestant Reformation and especially Calvinism, which stressed a more literal interpretation of scriptures. It's from Calvinism that both rationalism and fundamentalism derived from. This especially was seen in the 18th century where the Enlightenment and Pietism both thrived simultaneously. So basically both factions thrive off each other.



The Unity School of Christianity today interprets the bible symbolically.

Jacquies, you still haven't told us what you mean by "rationalism." Does it have any relation to rationality? to reasonableness? Do you want us to get wrapped up in "isms" so that we become systemic selves? How would you rate Leibniz, Putnam, Foucault? They were wise enough to live lives that were fuller and more meaningful than a neurotic that just is dogmatic about ideologies, wouldn't you agaree?
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 08:02 pm
@deepthot,
deepthot;173605 wrote:
The Unity School of Christianity today interprets the bible symbolically.

Jacquies, you still haven't told us what you mean by "rationalism." Does it have any relation to rationality? to reasonableness? Do you want us to get wrapped up in "isms" so that we become systemic selves? How would you rate Leibniz, Putnam, Foucault? They were wise enough to live lives that were fuller and more meaningful than a neurotic that just is dogmatic about ideologies, wouldn't you agaree?


Hi deepthot I see you spoke of the suffix "ism" [ Do you want us to get wrapped up in "isms" ] I could be wrong but I think I heard that scientist do not use "isms" now days do you have any idea why not? :detective:Thanks Reasoning Self Logic
0 Replies
 
deepthot
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 01:47 am
@deepthot,
Greetings, r.l.

Philosophers use them all the time.

Once previously-vague-and/or- ambiguous concepts get sharpened up and clarified a bit by philosophers, scientists come along and carry the ball forward ...once the concepts become precise enough for scientists to work with them.

Albert Einstein was both a philosopher and a scientist, both at once. And that is true of nearly every great scientist.

Many if not most of the natural sciences today were in the past philosophies. Isaac Newton spoke of all his (empirical) work in Physics and Optics as "Natural Philosophy."
0 Replies
 
Jacques Maritain
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 10:45 am
@Jackofalltrades phil,
Jackofalltrades;173473 wrote:

It is a kind of fallacy to beleive that A caused B, and B caused C, and C caused D, and so on and so forth til Z, and you infer, that A caused Z.

It's also a fallacy to misrepresent my argument and knock it down.

I didn't say that rationalism produced fundamentalism; I said rationalism(thus modern secularism) and fundamentalism both derive from the same source. They both operate within the same parameters of modernity; and thus are two sides of the same coin. They thrive off each other.

One source that might interest you is The Theological Origins of Modernity by Gillespie.
0 Replies
 
Jackofalltrades phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 11:54 am
@deepthot,
It is true that you have not said so, but you did imply it. It is true that rationalism did not produce fundamentalism, but it is equally true that fundamentalism is not caused by rationalism.

If you agree with the first half of the proposition, than logically and epistemiologically we must agree with the second inference drawn out of the first premise.

Thus it becomes easy to conclude, that fundamentalism is not the byproduct of rationalism. It will become a tautology to link the ism's and conclude without refuting the correctness of the premises.

Now, i agree with you and your source, that fundamentalism is, among others, a byproduct of modernity. The source/author has misled you, however, into thinking, that if i mix up 'rationalism' with 'modernity', than one can safely conclude that the product called fundamentalism being a byproduct of 'modernity', and modernity, since it largely, stems from rationalism, hence fundamentalism is also the byproduct of rationalism is not just a bit but quite enough misleading.

My representation was only to point this out. If you think the above is wrong, than i am sorry to be wrong.

----------
okay just an after thought. The above was just to clarify my stand against what your claim or observation was. I do understand what you mean, i.e the general idea that rationalsim and modernity has contributed as factors to fundamentalism. The extent of which can be disputed, thats all. I do not want to hijack or divert your point on a minor scuffle for semantics or appropriate wordings.
So, i broadly agree with you.
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