[NetBehaviour] questions of faith

james morris james at jwm-art.net
Sun Jul 12 12:35:21 CEST 2009


I agree with you here, thanks for explaining.
james.


On 12/7/2009, "Simon Biggs" <s.biggs at eca.ac.uk> wrote:

>I am not seeking to be offensive (although it is always difficult to avoid
>offending someone). I accept that bad things done in the name of faith
>cannot always be laid directly at the feet of the faithful. Many of the
>faithful have the best of intentions (I will not quote a saying about paving
>and best intentions). Having faith is, in itself, not a guarantee of
>behaving poorly. Nevertheless, I sustain what I said about faith being
>equivalent to and an apologia for ignorance.
>
>Critical thought requires that everything is open to question. It cannot
>function unless predicated on scepticism. As soon as faith comes into the
>equation certain possibilities have to be cut off. If a person of faith
>questions the tenets of their faith and decides they are false then either
>they are not faithful or, if they continue to believe, hypocrites. You
>cannot be open to all possibilities and faithful at the same time.
>
>Some scientists do believe in God. Some scientists believe in science. They
>are both likely to be constrained in their ability to do science. My father
>was a scientist. He articulated his thoughts on this quite clearly and they
>have informed my own understanding. He understood science not as a belief
>system but a set of methods for inquiry; methods continuously open to review
>and critique. As soon as methods become articles of faith science is
>compromised. Methods can only stand for as long as they are repeatedly shown
>to be viable. As for the outcomes of science, they are only ever tentative.
>Science does not create facts but likelihoods. Nothing is ever 100% certain.
>Science is a predicate for an apprehension of the world that accepts the
>contingency of things; a sceptical and faithless world view which, in my
>opinion, facilitates the release of individual and community creativity from
>the bounds of faith. In a word, enlightenment.
>
>I cannot see how faith, in anything, can facilitate freedom of thought
>and/or critical inquiry. It is a brake on human development.
>
>I am not going to get into the good/bad of this. That is a different
>question. You can have very bad people of faith and very bad people of no
>faith. I agree with you that one¹s faith (or lack of it) has no bearing on
>whether you will be an abusive person.
>
>My equating of faith with genocide was predicated on observing how those who
>feel they are privileged by their belief abuse those who do not share it.
>Evidence here ranges from the Conquistadors in South America to the Puritans
>in North America, English settlers in Australia and white¹s in South Africa,
>Nazis and Fascists in 20th Century Europe to the the imposition of a faith
>based state by Israel in Palestine, Year Zero in Kampuchea to inter-tribal
>genocide in Rwanda. I see these same dynamics played out in small ways in my
>street, in my son¹s school playground, all about us. Every one of these (and
>there are many others) is an example of faith (not just of the religious
>variety) both determining and being an excuse for exclusivist notions of
>community and society. I do not see a lot of tolerance in any of it.
>
>I¹ll accept you are tolerant. Believe it, or not, I regard myself as
>tolerant. I do not support the suppression of faith. I might wish to see it
>gone, but I recognise any attempt to do so forcefully will not work and only
>cause conflict. That¹s not a useful outcome.
>
>Regards
>
>Simon
>
>
>Simon Biggs
>Research Professor
>edinburgh college of art
>s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
>www.eca.ac.uk
>www.eca.ac.uk/circle/
>
>simon at littlepig.org.uk
>www.littlepig.org.uk
>AIM/Skype: simonbiggsuk
>
>
>
>From: james morris <james at jwm-art.net>
>Reply-To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
><netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
>Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2009 00:03:58 +0100 (BST)
>To: <netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
>Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] [stuff-it] FW: Only 33 per cent of
>Americansbelieve in evolution
>
>
>Hi Simon,
>
>I find your attitude quite offensive, but I am not of religious faith.
>Maybe I have some kind of faith in something - we all need to have some
>kind of faith. Science has shown faith to have evolutionary purpose in
>our survival. There are scientists who believe in God. You come across
>as extremely intolerant of other peoples faith and beliefs - I think you
>should be intolerant rather of what has been done in *the name of faith*
>by those who abuse their power. To equate faith with deathcamps,
>genocide, and racism is just bollocks, these are all things arising from
>fear, not faith.
>
>James.
>
>
>On 11/7/2009, "Simon Biggs" <s.biggs at eca.ac.uk> wrote:
>
>>There is no reason to respect faith. Faith is the human <quality> evoked
>>when people refuse to recognise they might be wrong. Faith is a cover for
>>ignorance and an apologia for lacking respect for others. I agree with
>>Richard Dawkins on this and see no reason why faith should be tolerated,
>>much less respected.
>>I have no respect for the Pope¹s beliefs, although I respect him as a human
>>being, no matter what he does (and some Popes have done terrible things in
>>the name of faith). All people, even the most difficult, should have our
>>basic respect.
>>However, I do not see why people¹s beliefs should be
>>respected, especially if that means other¹s have to censor their behaviour.
>>Think of what happened to Salman Rushdie when he critiqued a religious and
>>nationalist delusion and those that peddle it. In the name of respect he had
>>a fatwah placed upon him and has had to live with that ever since.
>>Historically, far worse has been done to those who risked the wrath of the
>>faithful.
>>I do not see how, in a society that aspires to recognise that knowledge can
>>only be attained through the free and robust critique of what we already
>>know, we can respect faith. Faith is the very opposite of that. Faith is
>>ignorance. Faith is deathcamps, genocide, racism and exclusivist concepts of
>>identity.
>>Regards
>>
>>Simon
>>
>>
>>Simon Biggs
>>Research Professor
>>edinburgh college of art
>>s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
>>www.eca.ac.uk
>>www.eca.ac.uk/circle/
>>
>>simon at littlepig.org.uk
>>www.littlepig.org.uk
>>AIM/Skype: simonbiggsuk
>>
>>
>>
>>From: Dawn Hayes <realrainmaker at gmail.com>
>>Reply-To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
>><netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
>>Date: Sat, 11 Jul 2009 09:49:55 -0400
>>To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
>><netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
>>Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] [stuff-it] FW: Only 33 per cent of Americans
>>believe in evolution (fwd)
>>
>>I try to be respectful of faith, but it does not surprise me when
>>others do not offer the same courtesy or consideration.
>>
>>There are plenty of non-Christians that do not believe in the theory
>>of evolution. There are scientists that question evolution. Some are
>>Christian and others are not. Plenty of contributors to science and
>>other fields of "reason" that we all appreciate came from folks who
>>believed in God as Christians. Be careful not to turn this into a
>>ridicule of faith. It may require you to do less "politically correct"
>>things, like ridicule, say, Islam. God forbid (and I do capitalize my
>>spelling of God).
>>
>>Truth is not relative, but we live in a time where relativism
>>increasingly colors our opinion of what we perceive as true. Perhaps
>>that is the real problem.
>>
>>Cheers,
>>
>>Dawn
>>
>>On Sat, Jul 11, 2009 at 12:16 AM, Montserrat Bru
>>Manobens<zumzumgallery at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Don´t know what The Province means by Americans. Does it include Canadians,
>>> Mexicans and the rest of the Americas, or its just U.S.A?
>>> Lets hope that the survey referred is more "scientific" than the article.
>>> Yes, its a matter of hope & faith that the results are accurate.
>>> Well, lets say it refers to the U.S.A and this is what wikipedia says about
>>> the believes of their people
>>>
>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States#Religion
>>> According to a 2007 survey, 78.4% of adults identified themselves as
>>> Christian,[141] down from 86.4% in 1990.[142] Protestant denominations
>>> accounted for 51.3%, while Roman Catholicism, at 23.9%, was the largest
>>> individual denomination. The study categorizes white evangelicals, 26.3% of
>>> the population, as the country's largest religious cohort;[141] another
>>> study estimates evangelicals of all races at 30­35%.[143] The total
>>> reporting non-Christian religions in 2007 was 4.7%, up from 3.3% in
>>> 1990.[142] The leading non-Christian faiths were Judaism (1.7%), Buddhism
>>> (0.7%), Islam (0.6%), Hinduism (0.4%), and Unitarian Universalism
>>> (0.3%).[141] From 8.2% in 1990,[142] 16.1% in 2007 described themselves as
>>> agnostic, atheist, or simply having no religion.[141]
>>>
>>> Since 78,4% seem to be Christian, and knowing the bible´s approach on
>>> science: Clever Adam took from the tree of science, could discern between
>>> good and evil and became too inquisitive, independent... and mortal! Nice
>>> plot created by them clever god mongers: Wanna eternal life? Take from our
>>> tree of life, but u must not question or even reason or doubt, because u´re
>>> a natural born sinner. Just believe what we say, make regular contributions
>>> to the church, preferably in cash and if u´re afraid of dying, rest assured
>>> u´ll go to heaven.
>>>
>>> That´s hard core successful marketing and yes, people dig on heaven and are
>>> afraid of dying and they´re afraid of thinking and living too!!!
>>>
>>> But anyways, if 33% of U.S.A population believes in evolution, the results
>>> are not so gloomy, seeing that in 2007, only 16.1% described themselves as
>>> ungodly.
>>> It shows that some of those 78,4% have a further, lesser gullible
>>> perspective on the subject. That´s not much, but it´s something
>>>
>>> Best
>>>
>>> Montse
>>>
>>> On Sat, Jul 11, 2009 at 2:40 AM, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> god (?) help us all.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>>> Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 18:53:28 -0400
>>>> From: Michael Gurstein <gurstein at gmail.com>
>>>> Reply-To: stuff-it at vancouvercommunity.net
>>>> To: stuff-it at vancouvercommunity.net, Ottawadissenters at yahoogroups.com
>>>> Subject: [stuff-it] FW: Only 33 per cent of Americans believe in evolution
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Sid Shniad [mailto:shniad at sfu.ca]
>>>> Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 2:01 PM
>>>> Subject: Only 33 per cent of Americans believe in evolution
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> http://www.theprovince.com/technology/Science+beliefs+faltering/1776905/stor
>>>> y.html
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> The Province July 10, 2009
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Science beliefs faltering
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Only 33 per cent of Americans believe in evolution
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Americans still value the nation's scientific achievements, but unlike
>>>> most
>>>> scientists, they often pick and choose which scientific findings they
>>>> agree
>>>> with, especially in the areas of climate change and evolution, according
>>>> to
>>>> a survey released yesterday.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> The survey found nine in 10 scientists accept the idea of evolution by
>>>> natural selection, but just a third of the public does. And while 84 per
>>>> cent of scientists say the Earth is getting warmer because of human
>>>> activity, less than half of the public agrees with that.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> "The public and the scientists have very different views on many different
>>>> issues, including the science of evolution and climate change," said Scott
>>>> Keeter of the Pew Research Center. The centre conducted the wide-ranging
>>>> telephone survey in collaboration with the American Association for the
>>>> Advancement of Science.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> The research included responses from 2,533 scientists in the AAAS, and
>>>> 2,001
>>>> public respondents.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> It found most Americans value the nation's scientific achievements, but
>>>> not
>>>> as much as they did a decade ago.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Although 27 per cent of Americans said scientific advances are the
>>>> nation's
>>>> greatest achievement, that was down from 47 per cent in the group's May
>>>> 1999
>>>> survey.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> The administration of Barack Obama has promised that science will lead
>>>> health-care and climate-change policy, and has pledged to seek a cure for
>>>> cancer, now the No. 2 killer of Americans.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> According to the survey, most scientists and the public agree it is
>>>> appropriate for scientists to take part in political debate over issues
>>>> such
>>>> as stem-cell research.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> And even Americans who disagree with scientific conclusions think highly
>>>> of
>>>> scientists. More than two-thirds of those who say science conflicts with
>>>> their religious beliefs still say scientists contribute significantly to
>>>> society.
>>>>
>>>> !DSPAM:2676,4a5784bf25632001016420!
>>>>
>>>> ------=_Part_39296_44589596.1247248851811
>>>> Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
>>>> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>>>>
>>>> <html><head><style type='text/css'>p { margin: 0;
>>>> }</style></head><body><div
>>>> style='font-family: Arial; font-size: 10pt; color: #000000'><div><font
>>>> size="2" face="Arial"><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><span style=""><a
>>>>
>>>> href="http://www.theprovince.com/technology/Science+beliefs+faltering/177690
>>>> 5/story.html"
>>>>
>>>> target="_blank">http://www.theprovince.com/technology/Science+beliefs+falter
>>>> ing/1776905/story.html</a></span></p>
>>>> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span
>>>> style=""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><span style="">The Province<span
>>>>
>>>> style="">           &
>>>> nbsp; 
>>>> </span><span
>>>>
>>>> style="">           &
>>>>
>>>> nbsp;            
>>>>
>>>> ;            &nb
>>>>
>>>> sp;            &
>>>> nbsp;</span><span
>>>>
>>>> style="">           &
>>>>
>>>> nbsp;            
>>>>
>>>> ;            &nb
>>>> sp;          
>>>>
>>>>             </sp
>>>> an>July
>>>> 10, 2009</span></p>
>>>> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span
>>>> style=""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><b style=""><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Science
>>>> beliefs faltering</span></b></p>
>>>> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-size:
>>>> 12pt;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><b style=""><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Only 33 per cent of
>>>> Americans
>>>> believe in evolution</span></b></p>
>>>> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span
>>>> style=""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><span style="">Americans still
>>>> value the nation's scientific achievements, but unlike most scientists,
>>>> they
>>>>
>>>> often pick and choose which scientific findings they agree with,
>>>> especially
>>>> in
>>>> the areas of climate change and evolution, according to a survey released
>>>> yesterday.</span></p>
>>>> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span
>>>> style=""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><span style="">The survey found
>>>> nine in 10 scientists accept the idea of evolution by natural selection,
>>>> but
>>>>
>>>> just a third of the public does. And while 84 per cent of scientists say
>>>> the
>>>>
>>>> Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, less than half of the
>>>> public
>>>> agrees with that.</span></p>
>>>> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span
>>>> style=""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><span style="">"The public and the
>>>> scientists have very different views on many different issues, including
>>>> the
>>>>
>>>> science of evolution and climate change," said Scott Keeter of the
>>>> Pew
>>>> Research Center. The centre conducted the
>>>> wide-ranging telephone survey in collaboration with the American
>>>> Association
>>>> for
>>>> the Advancement of Science.</span></p>
>>>> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span
>>>> style=""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><span style="">The research
>>>> included responses from 2,533 scientists in the AAAS, and 2,001 public
>>>> respondents.</span></p>
>>>> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span
>>>> style=""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><span style="">It found most
>>>> Americans value the nation's scientific achievements, but not as much as
>>>> they
>>>> did a decade ago.</span></p>
>>>> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span
>>>> style=""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><span style="">Although 27 per
>>>> cent of Americans said scientific advances are the nation's greatest
>>>> achievement, that was down from 47 per cent in the group's May 1999
>>>> survey.</span></p>
>>>> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span
>>>> style=""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><span style="">The administration
>>>> of Barack Obama has promised that science will lead health-care and
>>>> climate-change policy, and has pledged to seek a cure for cancer, now the
>>>> No. 2
>>>> killer of Americans.</span></p>
>>>> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span
>>>> style=""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><span style="">According to the
>>>> survey, most scientists and the public agree it is appropriate for
>>>> scientists to
>>>> take part in political debate over issues such as stem-cell
>>>> research.</span></p>
>>>> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span
>>>> style=""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm
>>>> 0pt;"><span style="">And even Americans
>>>> who disagree with scientific conclusions think highly of scientists. More
>>>> than
>>>> two-thirds of those who say science conflicts with their religious beliefs
>>>> still
>>>> say scientists contribute significantly to
>>>> society.</span></p></font></div></div>
>>>> !DSPAM:2676,4a5784bf25632001016420!
>>>>
>>>> </body></html>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ------=_Part_39296_44589596.1247248851811--
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> NetBehaviour mailing list
>>>> NetBehaviour at netbehaviour.org
>>>> http://www.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>
>>
>>
>>-- 
>>"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
>>whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
>>life." -John 3:16
>>
>>"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but we are
>>spiritual beings having a human experience."--Pierre Teilhard de
>>Chardin
>>
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>>
>>Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number
>SC009201
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
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