1998-09-18 - Re: Democracy… (fwd) The Nature of Religion

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From: Michael Hohensee <mah248@is9.nyu.edu>
To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Message Hash: c35fb2a9a011c07a841af6db6054ee1617f09314075940325a59fd28efcced03
Message ID: <3602E3DA.91CC48D4@is9.nyu.edu>
Reply To: <33CCFE438B9DD01192E800A024C84A192846AD@mossbay.chaffeyhomes.com>
UTC Datetime: 1998-09-18 09:47:47 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 17:47:47 +0800

Raw message

From: Michael Hohensee <mah248@is9.nyu.edu>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 17:47:47 +0800
To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Subject: Re: Democracy... (fwd) The Nature of Religion
In-Reply-To: <33CCFE438B9DD01192E800A024C84A192846AD@mossbay.chaffeyhomes.com>
Message-ID: <3602E3DA.91CC48D4@is9.nyu.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
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Michael Motyka wrote:
> Michael Hohensee wrote:
> >
> > Actually, you may be interested to know that *everyone* is religious, in
> > some manner.  Everyone has at least one untestable assumption about the
> > world.  That is, everyone has a kind of faith.  Let's give some
> > examples:
> >
> > Christians believe that there exists a Being, called God, which somehow
> > Moslems believe in the existance of a different God, and have different
> > Atheists believe that God *doesn't* exist, which is essentially the same
> > Even people who are nonreligious, or agnostic, have a religion.  For
> > The Transcendentalists of the 19th century, for example, do not really
> > Scientists tend to think differently.  Their beliefs can be described by
> Lots of scientists look pretty religious about their 'science' to me.

I believe that I said that.  We religiously believe that the universe
exists, but, since we're honest with ourselves, we admit that we can't
prove it, and simply choose to act under the assumption that it is real.
(after all, that model seems to work pretty well)

> Their untestable assumption being that they are capable of comprehending
> what may be beyond them. 

No.  All we assume is that the universe exists.  Whether or not we can
fully comprehend everything about how it works is another question
entirely.  We currently understand all kinds of interesting things about
how the universe works, but no one says that that's everything.  If
something is physically beyond our understanding, then of course we
won't be able to understand it,  but we haven't hit such a wall yet. 
Who knows, if we ever do hit that wall, we may be able to build machines
which can help us understand (or at least take advantage of) things
beyond that wall.

I'd say to worry about it when we come to it. :)

> I'm now an avowed Apatheist - I don't give a damn what the answers to
> unanswerable questions are. Especially when those answers come from
> someone with an obvious agenda. Is that religious?
> Put a worm on the hook, pop the top off my beer. Argh! It's Coors. I
> only wish it were imaginary. If not Guiness, at least let it be a
> Corona.

So you do believe (or at least act under the assumption) that the
universe is real, then? ;)