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Offlinephi1618
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Science
    #3331626 - 11/08/04 12:35 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

What distinguishes the scientific worldview from the religious or superstisious?

Why is the claim that the earth orbits the sun more credible than the claim that the earth is the center of the universe?


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Offlineballs
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Re: Science [Re: phi1618]
    #3331721 - 11/08/04 01:01 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Just think of it like this: our gigantic universe is inside a locker in a chamgeroom..the other lockers are other universes. Theres a whole locker room full. Open the door, welcome to our universe. Open another, and who knows where itll take you.


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InvisibleHelp on the Way
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Re: Science [Re: balls]
    #3331746 - 11/08/04 01:13 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

scientific world view generally tests it's ideas with various experiments, collects data from its observations, and uses that data to come to an educated hypothesis.

Religious claims genearlly say "this is the answer"

And about the earth being the center, its all relative :smile:
Read the elegant universe


--------------------
:shocked: *Divine Moments of Truth* :shocked:


"Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns - it calls me on and on across the universe" ~ John Lennon

"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right" ~The Grateful Dead

"Religionists, with their guaranteed eventual paradise, of which they know nothing, taking it all on 'faith,' can't be expected to understand or sympathize with those with a yen to storm the Gate of Heaven and see for themselves what all the praying's about!" ~Robert Hunter


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Science [Re: Help on the Way]
    #3332359 - 11/08/04 07:47 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

slipknot pinned it down perfectly ^


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Invisiblezee_werp
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Re: Science [Re: phi1618]
    #3332445 - 11/08/04 08:35 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Heh, sounds like some essay questions for a university 'philosophy of science' paper.

But basically yes science can be seperated by its formulation of testable hypotheses.

One point of view I like is called 'falsificationism'. Its the idea that we can never prove any given hypothesis, but we can retain ones that haven't been refuted yet. So the logical structure of falsificationism is like this;
1. We propose hypotheses (how we get them doesn't matter)
2. We test those hypotheses
3. Those falsified by observation or experiment are rejected
4. Those not yet falsified are corroborated

Corroborated does not mean 'confirmed' or 'true', it means that we have 'held on' to that theory as of yet because it has not yet been refuted so we continue to use and test it. This is also known as 'inferrence to the best explanation'.

From the falsificationist viewpoint, we can never attain the full truth about something because there is always the possibility of it being refuted, but when we formulate better hypotheses for explaining a phenomenon, Popper (the original dude who rambled about falsificationism) believed that we are infact getting closer to the truth.

Personally I like to view it as a heirachical fractal model of the scientific worldview. Imagine the mandelbrot set (if you don't know about it, look it up). The mandelbrot set itself is infinite in detail. I take this as a simplified metaphor for 'true' reality (of course true reality is more than 2 dimensional though!). Now, think of the scientific worldview as a balloon or bubble within the black region of the fractal. As science tests, refutes and reformulates its hypotheses (perhaps through the process of paradigm shifts), and becomes more and more specialised in different fields, the bubble of theory that is the scientific worldview expands tighter and tighter into the crevaces of the fractal. But it can never quite hug the edge of the fractal perfectly because the fractal is infinite.

So as for the question of why the earth orbiting around the sun rather than it being the center of the universe, well a scientific explanation would be that when we tested the theory of it being the center using astronomical observation etc, the data did not correspond to the predicted outcome, whereas when we use the theory which views it as orbiting the sun, then the observations are more in check with expected results. But yes it is also relative as well.

One of the problems of falsificationism is that a lot of the time, it is very difficult to test a hypothesis in isolation. We always have a set of 'auxillary hypotheses' which the observation rests on. So, for example, to be able to take a telescopic observation of some plantetary motions to be reliable, we must first assume that our theories of optics are correct, and whatever else we need to assume to reach a conclusion. In this respect it becomes difficult to falsify a hypothesis because it is hard to determine if it is the hypothesis of interest, or an auxillary hypothesis, that is the culprit.

So yeah obviously this question goes a LOT deeper. Philosophy of science can get messy at times, like a lot of philosophy I find it becomes more about the words given to the world rahter than the world itself, very abstracted a lot of the time. Its kind of fun to trip out your mind on it sometimes but when it comes down to it no one can know anything for certain, we can just reinforce our delusions while we chase the tail of irrationality, hahaha...


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Re: Science [Re: zee_werp]
    #3332911 - 11/08/04 12:47 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Wow!  :thumbup::thumbup:


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OfflinePed
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Re: Science [Re: zee_werp]
    #3333073 - 11/08/04 01:31 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

The primary distinction between the scientific and the religious or "mystic" approaches is this: Science forumlates a hypothesis, burns off the excess facts with reasoning, comparison and experimentation, finally arriving at a conclusion which is accepted as the truth until futher research suggests otherwise. What is "true" is decided by mutual agreement through observation. We can call this approach "method".

Religious schools base their worldview on the teachings of one or more special individuals whose credibility was or is self-evident in their words and actions. Insight is gained by the followers of such teachers by duplicating their way of life, or through a specific discipline transmitted to the student through text or teaching. What is "true" is accepted as a matter of faith until a direct and completely personal experience is gained. We can call this approach "wisdom".

It might be pertinent to highlight the difference between "faith" and "belief". "Faith" in this context implies a kind of dedication, a willingness to suspend one's own assumptions until the truth presents itself. "Belief" is nothing more than a ferverent hope that one's own assumptions are true. "Beliefs" are lazy by their very definition. They have neither scientific nor religious value. The difference between a sincere scientist and a hypocritical scientist, a sincere religious practitioner and a hypocritical one, is their faith.


>> scientific world view generally tests it's ideas with various experiments, collects data from its observations, and uses that data to come to an educated hypothesis.

>> Religious claims genearlly say "this is the answer"

This is oversimplified and misleading.

Religious schools don't arise from nothing. They don't pervade entire cultures by accident. The names of religious figures are timeless not because of a few outlandish claims. Religious figures, and the systems of disciplinary thought which are the result of their influence, are extraordinary individuals who gained their profound insight through direct experience. A mystical individual's direct experience is not something which can be easily replicated in other people to satisfy the faithlessness science. Seeing this as reason enough to invalidate religious thought is foolishly arrogant. But then, I suppose arrogance is the foremost characteristic of institutional science.

It is the faithlessness of science, I believe, which is it's biggest failing. Only a tiny fraction of this world and this reality can be explored by way of hypotheses and repeatable data. Thanks to it's unforgiving rigidity on matters of intuition and mystical insight, science has closed the door on so much, and has set limits to it's own progress. How does this differ from the hard-headed dogmatic stance of most of the world's major religious institutions?

There is no reason to lend favour to science ahead of any other school of thought. By the same token, there is no reason to lend a religious school favour ahead of science.

Religious schools are of course filled with problems. When a group of people decides upon what is true based on belief alone, their faith is destroyed. Unfortunately, it is the tendency of most religious schools to abandon faith and sincere practice in favour of beliefs which are sewed like patches over a culture struggling to discover it's own identity. When religious views are adopted and when religious figures are exalted for the purpose of differentiating one society or invidual from another, they become institutionalized. Corruption and self-limitation flourishes when any system of thought is institutionalized, science notwithstanding.

What is needed, if I may climb atop my soapbox, is a unification of the "wisom" and "method" categories outlined earlier. There needs to be acceptance of people's increasingly common mystical insight, without sacrificing the skepticism which keeps our focus aimed squarely on what's true. There needs to be flexibility on both sides, a willingness to suspend one's own approach and one's own conclusions for the sake of exploring others. If we can accomplish this, our progress into discovery rapid and unconstrained.

In short, we, as curious beings seeking answers to the "big questions", need to develop a heart of faith.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Science [Re: zee_werp]
    #3333074 - 11/08/04 01:31 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

zee_werp said:
Personally I like to view it as a heirachical fractal model of the scientific worldview. Imagine the mandelbrot set (if you don't know about it, look it up). The mandelbrot set itself is infinite in detail. I take this as a simplified metaphor for 'true' reality (of course true reality is more than 2 dimensional though!). Now, think of the scientific worldview as a balloon or bubble within the black region of the fractal. As science tests, refutes and reformulates its hypotheses (perhaps through the process of paradigm shifts), and becomes more and more specialised in different fields, the bubble of theory that is the scientific worldview expands tighter and tighter into the crevaces of the fractal. But it can never quite hug the edge of the fractal perfectly because the fractal is infinite.




And this is basically the story of Socrates and the Oracle at Delphi.
"I know what I do not know." = as the fractal increases, the void also proportionately increases

Of course, both of these equivalent concepts work on the assumption that there is no limit to knowledge. I guess you wouldn't know how close you are to such a limit until you've reached that limit.

Neither one really addresses my favorite possibility: we asymptotically approach the knowledge limit (closer and closer, but never touching).


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OfflinePed
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Re: Science [Re: Sclorch]
    #3333149 - 11/08/04 01:53 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

>> Neither one really addresses my favorite possibility: we asymptotically approach the knowledge limit (closer and closer, but never touching)

Have you ever tried to see the back of your head? To touch your own fingertip? To bite your own teeth?


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: Science [Re: Sclorch]
    #3333173 - 11/08/04 02:04 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Neither one really addresses my favorite possibility: we asymptotically approach the knowledge limit (closer and closer, but never touching).




This would mean that scientific discoveries become less frequent or less knowledge-giving as time goes on, unless I'm mistaken. Which sounds a bit counter-intuitive.


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Re: Science [Re: phi1618]
    #3333909 - 11/08/04 07:38 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I have three points of view to contribute: Scientific, Religious, and Spiritual.

Science views are based on value-free observations, tests, studies, experiments, and conclusions and so forth.

Religious views, are based on value-inflated subjective human experiences, anecdotal-evidence, and conclusions that are usually in the absence of scientific/factual knowledge.

In many ways, Science and Religion are similar in structures; as with all dogmatic-notions, of any ?genre?, both are rooted in the notion that thought can encapsulate reality.

There are many different variations of definitions of Spirituality, so keep in mind, my perspective is only one of many.

Spiritual views are transcendental in nature, it goes beyond scientific and religious polarities or ends. Part of it is the realization that thought is a construction, division mechanism.

Thoughts attempts to understand things either by constructing it from its parts or by dividing into pieces.

It?s mechanisms of definition, identification and storage is the knowledge of what ?seperates? a Thing from everything else.

When you think of a circle, the first thing you notice is the periphery, the thing that separates it from others, the thing that defines the inner?and outer.

When you think about a building, the first thing you notice is its periphery, it?s overall drawing in space?

?that?s why, the thoughts are divisive, fragmenting? Me and the other, This and That, Good and Bad, God and Evil.

Very good for Science [or religion], very good to earn a living but very bad to??live? a life of Peace? to love, to joy.

Because peace is totality. Peace contains everything and peace arises only after the acceptance of totality? including all polar opposites it contains?! Non-duality.

Peace cannot happen by accepting any One side, because as long as the other side is not Totally accepted too? it will keep pricking, it will keep making noise? and ultimately even the ?acceptance? of one-side too would just become an attachment? not an acceptance.

...and, an attachment is NO Peace. It is just another kind of noise.


You can never get peace, by accepting love, as long as you keep
resisting hate.

...and, what arises after accepting both love and hate is ...beyond
both of them!
...and, it has No Opposites.



Because, totality has No opposites.

You can say ...Nothingness is the opposite of totality. But, then
you will realize that totality includes Nothingness!

...and, in fact ...Nothingness and totality are both the Same!

:smile:



--------------------
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


Edited by SkorpivoMusterion (11/09/04 07:33 AM)


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Science [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #3333940 - 11/08/04 07:45 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

In many ways, Science and Religion are similar in structures; as with all dogmatic-notions

Religion = Zero inventions + plus lots of wars and suppression of personal freedom.

Science = cool toys and inventions, increased comfort, reduced labor, eradication of some disease, etc.

Yup, almost identical mindsets.  :rolleyes:


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflinePed
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Re: Science [Re: Swami]
    #3334910 - 11/08/04 11:35 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

What sort of meaningless nonsense is that? Here, let me come up with something equally skewed:


Religion = Helpful ethical guidelines, increased appreciation of self and the environment, greater sense of empathy with others, inner peace and wellbeing.

Science = Nuclear missiles, chemical and biological warfare, suppression of personal freedom through surveilence technology, pesticides, increased human dependence on drugs, etc.


Anyone can pluck a few positive attributes from one side and a few negative attributes from the other and create a foolishly biased and totally inaccurate comparison. Try a little harder next time.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Science [Re: Ped]
    #3335389 - 11/09/04 01:04 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Religion = Helpful ethical guidelines, increased appreciation of self and the environment, greater sense of empathy with others, inner peace and wellbeing.

There is ZERO evidence that religious types have hgreater morals or ethics than non-religious types. It is probably the other way araound. Millions killed in The Inquisition was done by whom?

Skewed? Are you serious? Millions of pot smokers in jail predominently from the oppressive conservative Christian right and you call that a greater sense of empathy? How many do you think this agnostic poster would lock up?

suppression of personal freedom
Science is a methodology, not a political viewpoint. It has no ego and no need to suppress. Nice emotional comingling though. And I thought Buddhists were more centered...


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Re: Science [Re: Swami]
    #3335458 - 11/09/04 01:27 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

From a fundamental perspective, religion is the fundamental and science the conventional. The opposite is necessarily true, from a conventional perspective like that of non-believers. Remember, fundamentality is subtlety and conventionality tangibility.


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OfflinePed
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Re: Science [Re: Swami]
    #3335529 - 11/09/04 01:45 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

You are impossible sometimes.

Let's look again.

>> Anyone can pluck a few positive attributes from one side and a few negative attributes from the other and create a foolishly biased and totally inaccurate comparison.

The point here was that your comparison was unfair, biased, and deliberately irreflective of reality. In your comparison, you ignored the negative history of science while bolstering it's positive record. You exaggerated the negative aspects of religon's history while totally ignoring the good that is easily found. This is called a "straw man" argument.

Simply because wars have resulted over religious disagreements does not mean that religion is inherently valueless or negative. Simply because science created the weapons which fought those wars does not mean that science is inherently destructive or negative. Either view is totally erroneous.

Simply because religions offer people an avenue into empathy, kindness, and the happiness that is their result does not mean that religions possess innately positive characteristics. Simply because science has produced many inventions which have improved our lives does not mean that science is inherently good and worthy of exaltation. Either view is totally erroneous.

Again:

Either view is totally erroneous.



>> There is ZERO evidence that religious types have hgreater morals or ethics than non-religious types

Of course. Religious populations are populations like any other. Does this mean that religious schools do not offer people the opportunity to increase the quality of their lives through spiritual practice? Is this a reason to blast religion in favour of science? Of course it is not. There is simply no connection between the behaviour of religious people and the potential religious living has for good results. In the same way, there is no connection between the way misguided people have misused science to destructive ends and the potential science has for the betterment of the world.

Any religion offers an individual the opportunity to better themselves through ethical discipline. It is the individual who is responsible for momentum in that respect, not the religion. This is precisely why it is nonsensical to ascribe positive or negative traits to religion based upon it's resultant misguided population. Just as representatives of religion are not the same as religion, "cool toys" and "increased comfort" are not representative of the whole of science.

There is no logical reason to lend favour to science ahead of religion, or religion ahead of science. Unfairly comparing one to the other simply to bolster one's preconceived allegiances is childish behaviour.


--------------------


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Science [Re: Ped]
    #3335631 - 11/09/04 02:21 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

You are impossible sometimes.
Think of me as a Zen koan.

You exaggerated the negative aspects of religon's history while totally ignoring the good that is easily found.
Where is it easily found?

Of course. Religious populations are populations like any other.
So no ethical supremacy can be found among religious populations, yet this good is easily found?

I am talking to you on my computer which uses electricity and the internet and consists of thousands, if not millions of inventions discovered through science. I look around my house and cannot see any single item that has resulted from religious thinking.

When I expand my view of society, again I still see no contributions from religion and untold numbers from science.

My arguments are not strawmen. Science can stand alone; religion cannot be separated from people.

Naturally, after making your statement about increased empathy among religious types which you could not back up, you avoided the entire War on Drugs which is predominently religious-based.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: Science [Re: Ped]
    #3335770 - 11/09/04 03:13 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

SlipKnot420:
Quote:

And about the earth being the center, its all relative



Good point. I need to be more careful about the examples I use.


zee_werp:
good answer; very close to the answer I would give if asked those questions. Karl Popper is certainly my favorite philosopher, and promoting an understanding of his work was a major motivation for questions.


Sticking to the philosophy of science for a moment:
One point that zee_werp didn't heavily emphasise in his post that I think is very important is that not all true/false statments can logically be falsified. Specifically, universal statements can be falsified while existencial statements cannot. So, it should (in principle) be easy to falsify the statement "All swans are white" while it will be essentially impossible to falsify the statement "There exists at least one swan that is not white"; so the first statement makes a good sciendific hypothesis while the second doesn't.


So, even considering only true/false statements dealing with observable phenomina, science has a limited domain.


Ped:

Quote:

It might be pertinent to highlight the difference between "faith" and "belief". "Faith" in this context implies a kind of dedication, a willingness to suspend one's own assumptions until the truth presents itself. "Belief" is nothing more than a ferverent hope that one's own assumptions are true. "Beliefs" are lazy by their very definition. They have neither scientific nor religious value. The difference between a sincere scientist and a hypocritical scientist, a sincere religious practitioner and a hypocritical one, is their faith.




I like this distinction, though it seems like it might be outside the common usage. As you mention, most actual religions seem to encourage what you would term belief, and not faith.


Quote:

Religious schools don't arise from nothing. They don't pervade entire cultures by accident.




Religions arise through history, and the actions of many people. It doesn't seem obvious to me that a mystically inspired person is sufficient, or even necessary, to the birth of religion.

Clearly, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam are each based around an exalted personality. However, Judaism and Hinduism, for example, seem to lack such a nucleus. And even considering the personality-based religions, how important was the actual mystical experience of the inspiring personality to the establishment of the religion? For example, who was more critical to the early Christian movement: Christ or Paul?


Quote:

A mystical individual's direct experience is not something which can be easily replicated in other people to satisfy . . .science. Seeing this as reason enough to invalidate religious thought is foolishly arrogant.



I agree.

Quote:

But then, I suppose arrogance is the foremost characteristic of institutional science.



Arrogance is a quality of an individual, though the attitue of arrogance can be endemic to a group or institution. Most scientists I have contact with are not particularly arrogant individuals, and I would hesitate even to say that a large portion of scientists look down on all religion (just those that tread on their turf).

Quote:

What is needed, if I may climb atop my soapbox, is a unification of the "wisom" and "method" categories outlined earlier. There needs to be acceptance of people's increasingly common mystical insight, without sacrificing the skepticism which keeps our focus aimed squarely on what's true. There needs to be flexibility on both sides, a willingness to suspend one's own approach and one's own conclusions for the sake of exploring others. If we can accomplish this, our progress into discovery rapid and unconstrained.




I think it needs to be recognised that there are places for science and for relgion in peoples lives, and that these are not necessarily in conflict.

Science has a limited domain. Full knowlege of the human experience, or full experience of the human condition, or... hell, science alone just doesn't cut it. Spirituality and/or religion (I'm not too sure of the distinction yet) has a place in peoples lives.

All the same, religion does not have a good history in producing reliable declarative or exoteric knowlege. The bible is not a history book, and God didn't make the world in seven days. People claiming that they have declarative and true knowlege about the physical world through religion are mistaken. Not even Jesus or Buddah knew that the position and momentum of tiny particles can't be simultaneously determined; that realization required method.

I don't believe a unification between science and religion is possible. They address, or should address, different aspects of life. No amount of meditation will increase your knowlege of particle physics (though a particle physist who meditates might be better in their work thanks to a ballanced life and calm mind); similarly, no matter how deep your knowlege of the scientific mysteries, you're not going to be any closer to the samahdi, or whatever you call the ultimate end of religious contemplation.

Furthermore, I doubt it is possible in a single lifetime to both master the intracacies of a scientific discipline and to fully explore the experience of a religious discipline. Either one is hard enough; there just isn't time in one life for both.

This isn't to say that a very (using ped's terminology) wise person can't have some knowlege of method, or visa versa. Most people should have some knowlege of both, and even the greatest scientists should have some thought for their spiritual life, IMO.


In any case, there's more good stuff in this subject, but that's all I'm going to write on it tonight.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: Science [Re: phi1618]
    #3336198 - 11/09/04 09:05 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Spirituality and/or religion (I'm not too sure of the distinction yet)

Read Firework's and Skorpivo's post here.



--------------------
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


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Re: Science [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #3337401 - 11/09/04 03:28 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

The difference is intention.

Religion isnt inherently spiritually unless the practioners intent is.


--------------------
As the life of a candle,
my wick will burn out.
But, the fire of my mind
shall beam into infinite.



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