More of Believe It Or Not

Some beliefs are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them.
p. 52–3 The End of Faith by Sam Harris

Religion is now widely defined by scholars and judges alike, in functional rather than substantive terms. Instead of focusing on some creedal criterion such as belief in God, we look for family resemblances. Do the works of Ayn Rand function like scripture for atheists?According to one common formula, members of the family of religions typically exhibit four Cd: creed, cultus, code and community.

...In fact atheism is more doctrinal than any of the great religions. By definition, atheists agree on the dogma that there is not god...belief is their preoccupation...pg 323 God is Not One by Stephen Prothero.

I am still playing with the idea of man as Homo Religiosus...or at least seeing similarities between the “Angry Atheists” and traditional fundamentalists. From the quote defining Religion above I image a determined Atheist would be pretty put out since it makes a world of difference that their NON-belief is the TRUTH while the religious person's belief is at best wrong headed and according to Richard Dawkins a “lethally dangerous nonsense”.

BUT, the thing is the fundamentalist feels exactly the SAME WAY, except it is their belief that is OBVIOUSLY the truth. So both camps respond with the same emotional pattern.

This is of course a horribly broad oversimplification, and I am just turning the notion over in my head.

Note: I read that Sam Harris feels the above quote is less offensive with more context. But that is also how violent fundamentalist feel. For them the context makes the violence acceptable. In both cases you don't kill people for what the do,  you kill them for what they believe, because they think they know what "they" do later.



Gödel ..

He showed that a formal arithmetical could not be demonstrated to be consistent from within itself. His fifteen page article proved that some mathematics could not be proved – that whatever axioms were accepted in mathematics there would always be some truths that could not be validated. Then there is Neurath's Boat. Nuerath was an antifoundationalist: he believed that knowledge has no secure substructure. By way of illustrations he used a nautical simile: “We are like sailors who have to rebuild their ship on the open sea, without ever being able to dismantle it in dry dock and construct it from the best components. Pg 163

I just wanted to remember this, because even though Gödel is impenetrable to me, this make sense to me.