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What will quantum physics research do to Atheism?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac
in this recent debate with Rowan Williams, Dawkins very briefly mentioned that quantum research is one of those things that makes him a little bit uncertain.

So there is probably a limit to how much we can know given our brain capacity.. most people can't even grasp or visualize the fundamentals of it so that says something. But the use of mathematical savants, technology, and plain old hard work should allow for more exploration into it over coming years.

How will this change the whole landscape of religion/non-religion?

People have yet - it seems - to discover that the brain is purely a problem-solving tool.
Not knowing this, they apply intellect to everything, always.
With entirely predictable results:
Lacking a problem to solve, the brain will reliably create one. Then two. Then three...
The nature of reality is not a brain-interpretable  thing.
Mystics know this, at least some of them.

Quantum physics is always going to be theoretical. Humans are just too big to get intimate with such particles.
So nothing will change except for many new unanswerable questions being raised.
And the only useful way to answer such questions, is not to bother asking them.
Unless, of course, the goal is to become crazy.



And the only useful way to answer such questions, is not to bother asking them.
Unless, of course, the goal is to become crazy.


I believe Foucault said that as death is the limit of a human's life, madness is the limit of a human's thought.

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Dawkins very briefly mentioned that quantum research is one of those things that makes him a little bit uncertain.

Ba-dum tsssss.

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don't know why a scientific research should do anything to any philosophy/religion.

You wouldn't logically think so, but it happens doesn't it? (or is that just correlation?). Everything is connected in the mind.

I am watching this now, but Dawkins says a lot of things to appease theists and not to limit his ability to get paid to participate in debates with them. If his answers were always concretely "um no dude science has proven the orgins of humanity, the orgins of religion both historically and biologically, and the origins of the universe have nothing to do with magic and any argument is a god of the gaps and nothing more" then people would stop trying to debate him and he would limit his income potential.

But before seeing what he has to say here, I too believe the study of Dark Matter/Dark Energy and and quantum theory and other concepts I can barely understand at full presently is the only place any sort of God figure may hide.

In my experience most of us are in the middle. I'm neither a theist nor an atheist. One thing I don't believe in is unicorns and God talking directly to man. If God's out there, it's as a force we tap into, not a personality. Atheism is bleak but I really hate Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. They are self-righteous and generally liberal religions that mislede people who waste half their lives trying to make the plastic statue of Jesus happy.

I am a strong atheist, who provides .0000000000001 % room for wiggle in terms of some macro self replicating life process that evolved before us and is so large or composed of elements so vast and poorly understood at present that may have for its own amusement impacted the carbon based life on this planet's development somehow. But I should probably add about ten more zeros.

These things are called theories by Christians, but they're just as factual as gravity.

Evolution of humans from non human ancestors is fact.

The development of current forms of monotheistic religion from earlier stages of non-monotheistic religion is approximately equally understood. If Christianity is "human" and pre-Christian pagan beliefs are animals we understand the evolution of religion about as well as we do humans.

Religious texts are absolutely human creations and are loaded with inconsistencies and clearly human based errors.

We know religion and faith provided tremendous selective advantages for human beings early on, and serve as a replacement for foreground instincts.

We know belief in god and super natural is a brain function that can be measured and sometimes even reproduced in labs.

Personally, I think some humans will always be religious as our evolution has dictated, but this type of research isn't going to do anything negatively to it, and any assumption it will comes directly from someone who wants to believe in it. Get out of here with that shit. No god, no Lord shall live.

That debate was fantastic. Watch it or die a poser.

I think that religion appears when you can overcome your basic needs (like food) and serves as a guide for living for those that can't be fully concentrated and live up to their ideals, because without a strong spiritual guide people will fall into conformity.


"You wouldn't logically think so, but it happens doesn't it?"

Well it is a thing that mostly ruins religion, because turds always go "lol u lied zeus doesnt move winds etc" without ever realizing what is the purpose of religion. Now there is a question: what shall religion look like without ever having a chance to fall into the trap like this?

Your first point is on track, but in actuality as our species developed, strict organized religion served to create conformity and this provided selective advantages. Humans live with a brain that became so intelligent it could override basic instincts and needs like food, reproduction, or even survival. In a godless amoral universe(the real universe) there is inherently no value to anything. For me, reproduction is my sole motivation for wanting to protect my family, bloodline, and the culture that is best suited to my bloodline and inherently tied into it, but this is hardly true for the population at large. Rationality and sentience can only exist without finite "foreground instincts"*(birds know how to fly even if they have their wings bound to their bodies until adult hood, fish just know to live in a school, spiders just know how to build a web). Rationality, human ingenuity implicitly requires humans to be able to deviate from convention in order to solve problems. We can't be smart and have ultimate foreground instincts at the same time. With an infinite number of different ways data can be interpreted with no absolute frame of reference, humans could think and experiment themselves out of existence. In micro terms, a tribe could never figure out what is "good" and "bad" if everyone had different morals utterly relative to themselves, and in a larger sense groups could immediately within several generations become very culturally diverse from each other, decreasing the level of affinity and potential for cooperation. Religion works by assigning arbitrary values in place of these instincts which do not exist. Christianity helped unite all of Europe into a larger cultural tradition of Christendom. Christendom started from Hellenized Jews and was in many ways Greco-Roman in its essential nature from the beginning**, and over time picked up more European Pagan traditions, serving to bridge the gap between very different subsects of European ethnic and cultural groups. I think the Greco-Roman heritage of the Church allowed for the positive aspects of Old Europe's culture to be amalgamated with Germanic, Baltic, Slavic and Celtic traditions contributing to cultural and ethnic unity on a larger scale which in actually may not have been possible otherwise. Christianity brought Europe together, and created the scholarly tradition among Europeans that eventually will lead to its Ultimate Demise at some point in the distant future.

Islam did the exact same with the tribes of Arabia and most of the rest of Semitic speaking world, and even helped for a while unify Arabia with Persian people when they are in many ways very antipathetic towards each other. All the great societies of the past built monuments of magnitude to their gods, priests or god kings. No religion in Egypt, no Pyramid, no Pharaohs, none of those wonderful achievements and advancements.

The second point you make is something I often ponder, as for as many benefits as Christianity gave to the West, it has done its share of destruction as well. I often wonder what the west would be like if we could go back to 70AD and massacre every Christian in the world. I think monotheism in the West has run its course and is now working to destroy what it built. I do not know how to answer what a non-shitty religion would look like, but I imagine it would be more like classical pre-Christian religions. Probably something Zoroastrianism. Some of the benefits of monotheism while providing many of the benefits of pre-Abrahamic faiths. Maybe something more like Germanic religion.

*there are a lot of competing ideas on how to discuss human instincts, if humans have instincts, what we have if we don't have instincts but I'll use a model I prefer ; Foreground and Background instincts. I am sure a smarter person who I haven't read yet at some point has developed a better way to define this.
**while it is true Buddhism and Eastern religious traditions had direct influence on Christianity, the early religion was basically an amalgam of various myths made more palatable for gentiles of Greek and Roman times. 

I am watching this now, but Dawkins says a lot of things to appease theists and not to limit his ability to get paid to participate in debates with them. If his answers were always concretely "um no dude science has proven the orgins of humanity, the orgins of religion both historically and biologically, and the origins of the universe have nothing to do with magic and any argument is a god of the gaps and nothing more" then people would stop trying to debate him and he would limit his income potential.

But before seeing what he has to say here, I too believe the study of Dark Matter/Dark Energy and and quantum theory and other concepts I can barely understand at full presently is the only place any sort of God figure may hide.
Dawkins doesn't actually say much about quantum physics. he just mentions quantum physics along with some other things briefly in a sentence.

also LOL @ "i don't know what epistemic means"... he would be so much better if he got acquainted with philosophy.

also LOL @ "i don't know what epistemic means"... he would be so much better if he got acquainted with philosophy.

My problem with Dawkins.  Was anyone else pissed off at his woeful misinterpretation of Anselm in "the God Delusion"?

I respect Dawkins for recognizing the monster he has created (New Atheism) and going to these lengths to dispel it. He recently declared himself Agnostic, I believe.

I respect Dawkins for recognizing the monster he has created (New Atheism) and going to these lengths to dispel it. He recently declared himself Agnostic, I believe.

No. He says he is a 6.9 if a 1 is someone who absolutely knows there is a God and a 7 is a person who firmly knows there absolutely is no God. He considers himself one of the four horsemen of the New Atheist movement. Which really isn't new, but at least people are talking about it. His position is the only logical position one could take if they can shut off their the religious parts of their temporal lobes and do a couple hours of study into religious history, evolution, physics and geology.

Gravity is real. Evolution is real. Religion offers zero truth. No evidence for any super natural thing at all has ever existed. Form from that whatever conclusions you wish.

Evidence, from the Latin "evidere", "to look out".

Science, from Latin "scientia", "knowledge [of the physical]".

Religion, from Latin "religio", "knowledge [of the Gods]".

A bit of etymology clearly shows the problem we're facing here.  Too many people believe that the object(s) of their religion(s) are (or should be) tangible, physical things that exist in the material universe with which we interact.  As far as I understand it, any "spiritual" aspect of life is necessarily interior, thus, instead of evidence, we must attain invidence.

A man floating face up on the water will never know the depths beneath him, though the sky may entertain him.  You need to turn your perspective around before you can begin to explore whatever's behind your experience.

Evidence, from the Latin "evidere", "to look out".

Science, from Latin "scientia", "knowledge [of the physical]".

Religion, from Latin "religio", "knowledge [of the Gods]".

A bit of etymology clearly shows the problem we're facing here.  Too many people believe that the object(s) of their religion(s) are (or should be) tangible, physical things that exist in the material universe with which we interact.  As far as I understand it, any "spiritual" aspect of life is necessarily interior, thus, instead of evidence, we must attain invidence.

A man floating face up on the water will never know the depths beneath him, though the sky may entertain him.  You need to turn your perspective around before you can begin to explore whatever's behind your experience.

Don't get me wrong, I am increasingly relativistic to a fault, so I understand what you're saying. And I love thinking myself in philosophical circles and masturbating my ego with such things but this to me just seems like fluff to dress up the fact we :

 A. want, perhaps need to believe.
 B.  have no proof at all in the physical realm.

If there is a god that interacts with the universe, it is a testable hypothesis. The absence of evidence is evidence of its absence. These are things Dawkins argues, and are the same things I said long before I knew who he was.