On 5/4/2012 2:18 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On May 4, 4:42 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:
On 5/4/2012 12:39 PM, John Mikes wrote:

I see the development into more understanding (did I say: better? No)
of the belief miraculous that governed human thinking earlier.
"Understanding" is one of those words often misunderstood.  It is used to refer 
both to a
feeling of familiarity and empathy and also to an ability to predict and 
manipulate.  Gods
and miracles were easily 'understood' as projections of the intuitive empathy 
for other
people onto agents behind natural phenomena (storm gods, volcano gods, illness
Partly, but it's simplistic. Gods are projected as being associated
with human phenomena as well. Superlative strength, beauty, wisdom, as
well as skills like hunting, sailing, and metal working. What you are
talking about doesn't explain the iconography and pageantry, the
cultural significance of their stories and characteristics.

Science and mathematics brought a much greater understanding in the sense of
prediction and manipulation of natural phenomena, but at a loss of the easy 
understanding.  Instead science and mathematics have to be studied and used for 
a long
time before intuition develops and one gains that intuitive 'understanding'.  
Because one
is easy while the other is hard and takes time,
You are right that there are different kinds of understanding (to me
they fall along the lines of subjective orientation vs objective
orientation) but I wouldn't say that one is inherently easy and the
other hard. Religious scholarship was extensive, and really gave birth
to academia. Science owes all of its discipline and precision to one
form of priestly monasticism or another.

No, science owes its discipline to rejecting the Scholastics idea that one could learn just by thinking and reading Aristotle. Science added observation, experiment, and skepticism to reasoning.

By the same token,
overspecialization of the sciences has promoted a culture that makes
it extremely easy for scientists to ignore all understandings outside
of their narrow range. You can be incredibly intellectually lazy
without appealing to religion or gods.

I'm not saying that science and religion are on an equal footing, but
I think it's a just-so-story to account for it by assuming that
religion must be easier to master and therefore more attractive.

Who has mastered religion? Are there any 'laws of religion' and theorems, any experimental results (well a few which tend to show religion is imaginary). Is the Pope an exemplar of clear thinking and knowledge?

can of course go much further in the sophistication of science, but I
would say that is actually a selling point for the ego. What science
lacks is any satisfactory understanding of ordinary subjectivity, and
as long as that is the case, religion and fundamentalism will continue
to thrive in all of its forms.

As well as mysticism about consciousness.

people tend to suppose that their empathy
and other feelings are REAL understanding and scientific understanding is 
ersatz, that
computations can't produce REAL understanding.
No, computations can't produce real understanding because they aren't
computing for themselves, they are just doing what they are programmed
to do. It is us who produce understanding through their computation.

When I'm doing the computation the feeling of understanding is generated by the 


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