Well, Brent, this was a post that requires multiple replies (marked JM) and a
longer reflection (with my apologies).
"...individuals within that "belief system" will have a variety of views. Some
will have some views in conflict with the belief system."
JM: right. Some are converted to Islam as well.
"...they may simply stop thinking about it and rely on faith ..."
JM: my late brother in law did not 'dare' to die because he - catholic and an
excellent natural scientist - lived in sin (had a 2nd marriage) and was afraid
In my wordset an atheist requires a god to deny and agnosticism may be an
irrelevant mindset 'who cares'.
About my 'opinion' "Big Bang": I wrote it several times, in varied detail, that
Hubble was a genius thinking of the redshift as an optical equivalent to
Dopler, marking an expanding universe, but it was not scrutinized before the
scientific establishment took it for granted. Lookiong for 'other' explanations
was seen as heretic and unscientific.
Since 1922(Hubble) - 3 generations of scientists were brainwashed into that,
(including you and me) and literally millions of experiments were carried out
for *proving* it
only. If a result was 'not good' it was rejected (alternate (oppositional)
opinion of mine landed a quip in a friendly discussion (1997) without any
further word from an MIT cosmologist: "HOAX").
As I said: I owe myself the distinctions of the extenf of
a 'belief system'. One may be a western natural scientist and have an unusual
'belief' imbedded in it, what does not make one so 'obtuse'. The applied math
is so reassuring. The fact that the regression counted backwards linearly and
it was detected that the 'moves' in cosmology go nonlinearly (call it chaotic?)
(e.g. many body interactions) - but more importantly: that the physical
connotation was recognising in the vastly different (concentrated into a
miniaturized?) universe quite similar 'laws' to our present (expanded?) world,
leading to hard to swallow paradoxes - is a basis for my disbelief. Then
marvellous ideas were invented (assumed?) to solve the controversial math:
inflation in the first place, and others, what makes me call the cosmological
Big Bang view a scientific narrative. However: mathematically/theoretically
proven. Even new theories added and adjusted.
The starting point still remains: did the spectra shift to a lower frequency by
receding lightsources, or (guessably) by passing magnetic/electric/or else(??)
fields that slow down the (observable/registrable) 'frequency' in our model of
light? Or by some effects yet to be discovered, not fitting into our
conventional (historic) model of the 'physical wiorld'?
I consider Hubble of similar importance to the DeCusa-Copernicus duo in their
establishing (changing?) a geocentric physical worldview into a heliocentric -
for the coming generations - it was also temporary and later on gave place to a
That's all, not any denigration for people with a more conventional
'scientific' basis. I even value the practical
results of reductionist scientists (I am one of them).
Trying to step out from the quantized reductionist model-view and its (beyond
model) conclusions makes me a scientific agnostic and renders my 'talk' vague.
I feel we are not there (yet) and I try a different path from the UD or comp
etc. ways, with less founding, eo ipso struggling in a "scientifically"
(=math) not so convincing train of thoughts. The quantized physical edifice of
the world (in
applied math) is very impressive, results in technology admirable at today's
level of our expectations. When it comes to fundamental understanding
(elimination of the paradoxes at least to our limited mental capacity), lately,
new ideas emerged. One proof is this list. Its present lines don't represent a
monopoly. Academic tenure or a Nobel prize do not mean the ultimate 'truth'.
Science is not even a democratic vote.
And I love the humor of G. Carlin.
So what else is new?
Have a good day
----- Original Message -----
From: Brent Meeker
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 6:35 PM
Subject: Re: Believing ...
John M wrote:
> as usual, you have hard replies. Just one exception:
> I do not mean 'each and individual mindset' as the term 'belief system',
> but this is hard to explain. Most scientifically educated westerners -
> or many religious faithfuls can argue among themselves. I never tried to
> speculate about identifying what constitutes a 'different belief
> system', but 'system' must be more than just shades of individual
> differentiation in the details.
> John M
If you don't mean something individual by "belief system", but rather some
general summary of what a group of people think, then individuals within that
"belief system" will have a variety of views. Some will have some views in
conflict with the belief system. And some can have their views changed by
argument. People are converted from Christianity to atheism everyday. And
rational argument plays a large part in this. Most theists are also rational
people who want to have beliefs that are coherent and consistent with empirical
observation. When they become sufficiently uncomfortable with conflicts
between Church teachings and science and they may simply stop thinking about it
and rely on faith - or if they are theologians they may assign tortured
meanings to words to avoid the conflict - or they may reject those aspects of
Church teaching that are empirically wrong and become agnostics or atheists.
I notice that you frequently imply that there is something wrong with "the
Big Bang"; but you have never, so far as I know, provided an argument or any
evidence for this opinion. Instead you imply that those with a contrary view
are just too obtuse to see other possibilities. This shows a certain contempt
for your readers.
"Atheism is a belief system the way "Off" is a TV channel."
--- George Carlin
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