On BioScience and Life and Such

Posts Tagged ‘religion’

A christmas revelation

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2016 at 10:17 am

Well, two revelations actually.

Yesterday I set out to watch Westworld.

HBO, for some reason, sort the episodes from bottom to top. Me, not always the master of clever, thought through decisions, pressed the top episode.

As I was watching the season finale, thinking it was the first episode, I thought to myself “Wow, this was an intricate and elaborate way of starting out, I hope at some point they explain the plot a bit more”. They didn’t. So I watched the whole season finale, and then I stopped watching Westworld.

From this I got two revelations:

  1. There’s a lot of time to be saved watching just the last episode.
  2. In the Michelangelo picture “The creation of Adam“, God sits within a human brain. We create God in our brains, not the other way around – this should be obvious to everyone and not really the revelation in itself. The revelation, rather, is that Michelangelo managed to communicate this right under the noses of the Christian authorities, in the centre of their power houses,  – and managed to get paid for it. What a great man Michelangelo was.

 

P.S

The shape around God, the angels and saints, may also be interpreted as a uterus. In this interpretation the green vail symbolizes an umbilical cord. Combining the two interpretations leads to the conclusion that not only is God a figment of our imagination, but the offspring we produce are god-like. Michelangelo comes full circle: We are the gods of our minds.

Merry christmas

Creación de Adán (Miguel Ángel).jpg

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A train (wreck) of (religious) thoughts

In Uncategorized on February 1, 2009 at 11:50 am

post to news.thinkgene.com

Early science, particularly geometry and astro...
Image via Wikipedia

I made this argument in the last post that being “natural” (or biologically unaltered, which is more accurate in this setting) means keeping our self-reliance. And, loosing that self-reliance may be one of the main reasons people fear biomedical technology.

Then it occurred to me, what about religion ? After all mankind at all times have used religion in one form or another to justify/explain our existence, – and usually there is one or more almighty deities that are in control. Pledging allegiance to a god must certainly be to give away self-reliance ?

I’d like to argue the opposite. Religion is our way of pretending we control things that are clearly outside of our control. Thus, with a deity on our side we are self reliant even though it’s quite obvious in our daily lives that we are not. The central underlying assumption is that this God is on our side, – on our team.

Technology on the other hand does not take sides. Statistics, mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology are (in theory) completely objective – sometimes cruelly so.

The real delusion then is not the one that Dawkins points out – that God is a delusion (and I have commented on this before,  his arguments really doesn’t make a difference because beliefs or faith can easily be called delusional, but still serve the same purpose). Rather the real delusion is that God is on our side, – that god makes our team self reliant.

And consequently that science does not. But the naked truth is that the concept of self reliance is what is delusional – making scientific development go in the direction we want is  the least delusional and by far the safest way to make sure our reliance will be upon something benign.

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Quote of the month October 08

In Uncategorized on October 7, 2008 at 1:35 pm

I mostly disagree with Rebecca Taylor at Mary Meets Dolly, but this quote has a point, – several points actually, – and different ones I guess, depending on where you stand on religion….

Because science has no internal way to decide on ethical issues, it needs philosophy, history, theology and the law to be it’s moral compass. Nothing is quite as scary to me than the idea of science with no ethical constraints. Science without guidance from such scientifically distasteful things as “religion, politics, and personal ideolgies” is a horror I never want to witness.

Richard Dawkins: an Evangelical atheist ?

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Something that should strike anyone reading, or listening to, Dawkins arguments against religion is: Being clever on hindsight is always easy.

Knowing what we know today, it is easy to see that God and religion are delusions (or faith as one might call it). Throughout history however, alternative explanations to existence has been sparse and religion has simply been the best explanation around. Consequently all known societies has had one or more Gods. Religion has been at the root of building society as we know it today, including the flaws.

Today, science builds society (including the flaws) more than religion does , – and increasingly so. Science is therefore at risk of becoming the new religion, and Dawkins may be destined for one of the new Archbishops. We should all learn from the history of religion and avoid the pitfall of discrediting and ridiculing what we cannot explain or things we currently cannot find supporting evidence for. What science cannot explain today, including any superhuman being or force, is not necessarily wrong for believers to believe in, – and who knows, evidence for some kind of a God may appear in the future when science has advanced further.

John Gray writes in “The Atheist delusion

“Zealous atheism renews some of the worst features of Christianity and Islam. Just as much as these religions, it is a project of universal conversion. Evangelical atheists never doubt that human life can be transformed if everyone accepts their view of things, and they are certain that one way of living – their own, suitably embellished – is right for everybody. To be sure, atheism need not be a missionary creed of this kind. It is entirely reasonable to have no religious beliefs, and yet be friendly to religion. It is a funny sort of humanism that condemns an impulse that is peculiarly human. Yet that is what evangelical atheists do when they demonise religion.”

Instead of concluding the obvious (that God, as explained in the bible or elsewhere, is a delusion), we should take Dawkins’ writings as strong documentation for the continuing misuse of religion to oppress and abuse. The misuse is not caused by faith or religion in itself, but rather by people claiming religious leadership and authority. Their actions are probably more a result of darwinian principles (as the struggle to excede other members of a population, – through oppression or otherwise, is a fundamental darwinian principle), than they are results of religious faith.

This last point is important to remember because science will inevitably be misused the same way, and we as conscientious scientist are obliged to fight back.

This post is an update from the previous post: Richard Dawkins being clever on hindsight