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Between science and religion

what makes modern science so unique, so different from all previous traditions of knowledge.

After all, at least since cognitive revolutions, humans have always tried to figure out how the universe works.

This is not something new. Of the last 500 years. Our ancestors, thousands and even tens of thousands of years ago, they put great deal of time and effort in trying to discover the rules that govern the natural world around them.

So,

what is so special and different about modern science?

Well, modern science differs from all previous traditions of knowledge in three critical ways.

First , and the  foremost, it differs its willingness to admit ignorance.

Modern science is based on the admission that “we do not know.”

Modern science assumes that we don’t know everything. Even more importantly, modern science accepts that the things that we think we know, could still be proven wrong as we gain more knowledge.

In modern science no concept, no idea, no theory is considered sacred, and beyond challenge.

So this is the first unique characteristic of modern science.

The second unique characteristic is the centrality of observation and mathematics. After admitting ignorance what modern scientists tried to do is to obtain new knowledge.

They do it by gathering observations on the world, and using mathematical tools to connect these observations into comprehensive theories.

The third unique feature of modern science is that it aims to acquire new powers. Modern science is never content, just with creating theories, and understanding how things work.

Modern science uses these theories in order to acquire new powers, and in particular in order to develop new technologies.

The real aim of modern science is not truth, it is power.

Let us now take a closer look at each of these three main characteristics of modern science.

Is the first characteristic as we said is the willingness to admit ignorance. In this sense, the scientific revolution has not been a revolution of knowledge as it is usually the depicted, the scientific revolution has been a revolution of ignorance. The greatest discovery that launched the scientific revolution forward was the discovery of ignorance.

The discovery that humans do not know the answers to the most important questions.

Pre-modern traditions of knowledge like Islam, or Christianity, or Buddhism. They asserted that everything that is important to know about the world was already known. 

The great gods, or the one almighty God, or the wise people of the past. They knew everything there is to know. And they revealed whatever we need to know in their scriptures and oral traditions. If you want to know the answer to a important questions, all you need to do is read these ancient texts and understand them properly.

It was inconceivable that the Bible, or the Quran, or the Vedas were missing out on some crucial secret of the universe. A secret that must, must still be discovered by us modern people.

Ancient traditions of knowledge admitted only two kinds of ignorance.

First, a particular individual might well be ignorant about something very important, but, in that case, to obtain the necessary knowledge, all that he or she needed to do, was ask somebody wiser.

There was no need to discover, something, that nobody  knew. 

For example, if a peasant in some medieval European village wanted to know how the human race originated, he assumed, and everybody assumed that the Christian tradition held the definitive answer. Maybe the peasant himself didn’t know that all he needed to do in order to receive an answer was to ask the priest. And if the priest didn’t know, then he asked the bishop or the pope, and they knew by looking at the sacred texts, and understanding them.

Secondly, the other, option for there being ignorance in the world is that, not only one person, but all people might be ignorant of unimportant things. By definition, according to the traditional religions and so forth. Whatever the great gods, or the wise people of the past, did not bother to tell us in the sacred texts and traditions, was unimportant.

For example, if a medieval peasant wanted to know, say, how spiders weave their webs. It was pointless to ask the priest or the bishop or the Pope because they didn’t know and there was no answer to this question in any of the Christian scriptures. It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible how spiders weave their webs. However, this did not mean that Christianity was deficient. It meant that understanding how spiders weave their webs was unimportant. 

After all, God, knew perfectly well everything, including how spiders do it. If this was a vital piece of information necessary for human prosperity and salvation, God would have taken care to include a comprehensive explanation of spiders in the Bible, but there was no such explanation so this showed that this was unimportant. Now, Christianity did not forbid people to study spiders if they so liked. People engaged in the study of spiders had to accept their peripheral role in society. And they had to accept the irrelevance of their findings to the eternal truths of the Christian religion and society. No matter what a scholar might discover about spiders, that knowledge was just trivia. With no potential bearing on the fundamental truths of society and politics and economics.

In fact, things were never quite so simple. In every age, even in the most pious and conservative age, there were always people who argued that there were important things of which their entire tradition was ignorant.

 Yet such people, before the modern age, they were usually marginalized or persecuted or else they founded a new tradition and began to argue that they now knew everything that there is to know. For example, the prophet Muhammad began his religious career by condemning his fellow Arabs for living in ignorance of the divine truth. Yet, Muhammad, himself, very quickly, begin to argue that, he knew the whole truth because it was revealed to him by God. And the followers of Muhammad, therefore, began calling him the seal of the prophets. The last prophet. Because after Mohamed, there is no need of further revelations. His revelations contain all the truth humanity needs to know.

Modern day science is very unique, because it openly admits our collective ignorance regarding not trivial matters, but regarding the most important questions of all. And scientists when they say that previously we didn’t know, scientists usually do not start arguing that now they know everything. Darwin, for example, never argued that he was the seal of the biologists. The last biologist and that now he has solved, once and for all, all of the big questions of life. Even after centuries of extensive scientific research, biologists, and physicists, and chemists, and so forth. They admit, that they still don’t have any good explanation, for example, for the way the brain produces consciousness. So, we don’t know how the brain does it. Physicists admit that they don’t know what caused the Big Bang and they don’t know how to reconcile quantum mechanics with the theory of general relativity.

So this is the first to characteristic of modern science, its willingness to come and say, we don’t know, to admit ignorance. This willingness to admit ignorance has made modern science far more dynamic and inquisitive than any previous tradition of knowledge. But modern science does not stop there. Once it admits ignorance, it begins to seek new knowledge.

Source :

A Brief History of Humankind 
by Dr. Yuval Noah Harari

https://class.coursera.org/humankind-001/lecture/89

svsr

Just wondering

If from a religious point of view we people we are created to worship god , and domesticated animals are created to serve us ,and wild animals are created to regulate the eco-systeme , i still can’t get why such ugly, unknown and bizarre creature (like in the picture below ) do exist.

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and not only bizarre creatures , but also why does the space exist , why does such number of galaxy planet and stars exist , well some will respond that this exist to show us the greatness of the god , but i don’t think so , humanity does exist for so long time before and they didn’t know about how big is the space until very late time from our existence as human , I guess if all of this were created only to show us ( the very little , stupid , tiny creature ) how great is the god i guess it would be easier to him to show his face to us , than creat all of this , that’s look like waste of space …
And i’m just wondering , and i guess that the question about the meaning of life is the secret of life , without it we would stop asking thinking and evolving and simply we will disappear

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Letter for my mom

 

I know that my mother don’t read english and she never read in my blog i don’t need her to read it and i will never say to her what i feel .
She suffered so much when she was little , and i don’t want to make her suffer anymore , i love her so much and i don’t want to loose her , we used to have a great relationship , but since i start to be agnostic things go more and more sad and ugly , everytime the subject of religion is opened it end up with a lot of crying , screaming , and sadness, she feel sad and angry because i don’t think like her and i don’t think like it’s supposed to think,
I feel sad cause she don’t accept me the way i’m , i can understand that she act like that basing on her love and fear cause in her believes i will go to hell with my thoughts, and what break my heart she feel like a loser , she feel like she failed her mission cause i’m different, and i’m not religious anymore .She take it personally, she take it like something about her ,and she forget that that’s about me , it’s my decision not her way of raising me , she never accepted my difference, when i was young she used to hate me and refuse me because i was different from her expectation, than things get better cause i tried my best to get closer to the image of the beloved daughter in her mind, and i earned her confidence and love.
Now i’m different one more time, and i’m about to be rejected one more time i don’t care this time , i will not change who i’m for what she want , i used to hate myself and feel not good enough because she’s never happy with my way to be me , now i’m here and i’m like that , i don’t want to cry any more cause i’m different.

mom I appreciate your love and care but let me be me .

Thought of an afraid girl

I started a conversation anti-religion today and i feel afraid,
well the conversation was ok and my interlocutor is a friend and she is very comprehensive and tolerant , but despite of that I feel afraid I feel afraid of me , of myself ,
i’m afraid from what i find , i’m afraid from informations that i had can be false , what if they have right what if i just had the wrong sources of informations , what if it’s just me the one who misunderstand . I don’t know any more .
Maybe all of these is just normal consequence to the Intellectual terrorism that i lived in all my life , it’s normal to feel afraid cause if i’m wrong than i will be punished . The religious system don’t appreciate thinking too much , and if you think and your thought are different from what it say so it’s just normal to be punished .
I hope that i find peace and a part of the truth at least

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