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The Forum > General Discussion > secular humanism

secular humanism

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George thoughtful comment.
Have we as yet concluded the only truth is secular humanism and all will ultimately bow to its superiority? Or are we to conclude it ranks like all other "isms" as merely a position of belief? and we allow everyone a democratic belief systems?
Posted by Philo, Saturday, 8 August 2009 1:17:00 PM
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Dear Philo,

If one is a secular humanist wouldn't it go against
their ethos to not allow democratic belief systems?
Posted by Foxy, Saturday, 8 August 2009 1:39:30 PM
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George
"there is Truth in the metaphysical or religious meaning of the word"
Is metaphysical truth, truly truth or just a truth of our fantazy?
Personaly I am not sure if what I see or touch is truly truth or only a part of the truth.
You are very lucky if you can create truths from your fantazies. BUT while you are lucky for the fake truths, your believers should worry very much for this kind of truths!
Please ask david f for the HUMANISM (secular) I think you have good points for this kind of hypocricies, fantazies and mind games!
Antonios Symeonakis
Adelaide
Posted by ASymeonakis, Saturday, 8 August 2009 2:15:11 PM
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"Nevertheless, to ask a believer to prove the tenets his/her world-view is built on, is like asking a mathematician to prove the axioms he builds his/her theory on."
I wonder, are the words 'unprovable' and 'not dis proven' synonymous? Axioms continue to be accepted, because they continue to work.
Religious belief appears remarkably selective in whom it works for, and whom it doesn't.
Weren't some of the last words of Jesus: "Father, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Posted by Grim, Saturday, 8 August 2009 2:45:31 PM
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Dear George,

You wrote: "Nevertheless, to ask a believer to prove the tenets his/her world-view is built on, is like asking a mathematician to prove the axioms he builds his/her theory on."

I agree. However, my statement was: "I think one bad idea is regarding faith in unprovable propositions as somehow the truth that other people should follow."

I didnít ask that believers prove their worldview. I see it as a right for religious people to have their worldview without having any obligation to prove it. I see it as unreasonable to expect other people to also believe that worldview. Mathematicians do not claim their axioms are true. They are merely a series of propositions one can build a system on.

Girolamo Saccheri (1667Ė1733) was a brilliant Jesuit. He decided to prove the Euclidean parallel postulate that is one of the foundations that Euclid built his system on is independent of the other axioms. The parallel postulate stated simply is: Only one line can be drawn parallel to a given line through a point not on that line.

Two lines are parallel if there is a plane on which they both lie and they do not meet however far they are produced.

Saccheri decided to prove the Euclidean parallel postulate by a reductio ad absurdum proof - one denies the initial assumption and shows a logical sequence that gets a result that is a contradiction.

Saccheri denied the parallel postulate in two ways:

1. No line can be drawn parallel to a given line through a point not on that line.
2. Any number of lines can be drawn parallel to a given line through a point not on that line.

Keeping the other Euclidean axioms unchanged Saccheri developed two geometrical systems based on his two denials of the parallel postulate. The results were clearly absurd and contradictory on the Euclidean plane.

However it really wasnít absurd at all. If we consider a plane surface as one of two dimensions we can determine any point on that plane by two numbers.

continued
Posted by david f, Saturday, 8 August 2009 5:16:56 PM
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continued

The two coordinates, longitude and latitude can determine any point on the surface of the earth. The first denial of the parallel postulate produced a new geometry called spherical geometry.

The second denial produced a new geometry called hyperbolic geometry. This is the geometry of space-time used in relativistic physics a twentieth century development long after Saccheri.

To return to the religious analogy the propositions that religions are built on may be adequate for the society in which the religion has come into being but may no longer be adequate for the society of the future.

Catholicism has produced many encyclicals and other ecclesiastical pronouncements as it met the challenges of the times, as past doctrines were no longer adequate in themselves. Judaism has done the same. The Talmud is commentary on the Bible, and discussion of religious questions is still going on in a body of writing called the Responsa.

One of the bases for the split between Christianity and Judaism was whether Jesus was the messiah or not. However, it is vastly over-simplistic to say the difference between the two religions in the present world is that one regards Jesus as the Messiah, and the other is waiting for the Messiah. Both religions have almost two millennia of history since the split and have had to deal with challenges during the years. Both religions realise that we are not living in a Messianic Era, and the original reason or reasons for the split no longer is adequate to define the difference between the two religions
Posted by david f, Saturday, 8 August 2009 5:22:15 PM
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