Sunday, August 7, 2011

«Science Saves Souls»

Science Saved My Soul.

"There might yet be a heaven, but it isn't going to be perfect, and we're going to have to build it ourselves."


  1. Someone should tell the poor Brit doing the narrating that everything he is saying is a paraphrase of Epicurus from ~400BC. The Epicureans worshiped science and claimed that science would save us from superstition. At the time they thought they were science geniuses and everyone else was an idiot. In hindsight, however, Epicurean science was by far the worst of the ancient world, thus, we don't talk about this anymore.

  2. To add to Looney's point, Christianity, Buddhism, and others are still popular today, while the Epicureans' science is hopelessly irrelevant. Sixteen hundred years from now, our science will be laughable too but religion will persist. (I assume that we won't have all died except for the gays in space by then.)

    This is because religion and science don't overlap. They explain different things. When this guy tries to explian souls and heaven and such without religion, it doesn't work because only religion can explain that, and science deals with physical, provable truths.

  3. @ Looney : I think some of the images towards the end of the video suggest that the "poor brit" knows very well whose ideas he is building upon.
    @ Looney & Vid : I don't know much about Epicurus, and just looked him up on Wiki, but it seems to me that Epicurus started the scientific method of thinking. If his specific ideas are no longer in favour, that is because this is how science works - building upon previous ideas and finding out more and more detailed things. This is the joy of science. It enables us to gain a deeper comprehension of the way the universe works. We can marvel at it all the more when we better understand what is going on. Religion cannot "explain souls and heaven and such", it can only assert.

    (I'm sure Marf will argue this much better than I can).

  4. @ Linda: What you said sounds good to me. I wasn't even going to argue the point. I know nothing of Epicurus. I did glance over the wiki page, and decided that I wasn't going to learn enough from the wiki to make a solid argument about Epicurus either way.

    Also, with the depth that Looney reads into ancient philosophers, it's a topic I'd never be able to compete with him on. I've got to pick and choose my battles.

    I will say that although science and philosophy overlap on many fronts, there are far more observable truths today than was available to Epicurus in his time. We have equipment that has allowed us to perform experiments, to finally observe if what was philosophized is actually what happens.

    Philosophy is fun, but no different than mental masturbation if you don't have some evidence to back up your conclusions. I suspect that is the core difference between Epicurean science and modern science.


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