Reason / Science / Religion

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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#301  Postby sanja » Nov 11, 2010 1:04 pm

Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg also thought that science cannot discover everything, that there are some things where intuition suits better.
They were scientists.

Do you think their definition of science was woolly and unsustainable?
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#302  Postby Will S » Nov 11, 2010 1:31 pm

sanja wrote:Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg also thought that science cannot discover everything, that there are some things where intuition suits better.
They were scientists.

Do you think their definition of science was woolly and unsustainable?

Good! This is comment worth responding to - that is, it's better than simply saying: 'Schopenhauer would have disagreed with you - and he was an atheist.'

There are two things here. I was very careful to say in the OP that 'there may well be issues which reason can't address, and problems which it cannot solve.' Please note that I went further than saying that there may be problems which science cannot solve.

But ... (big 'but'!) ... if you're going to say, 'there are some things where intuition suits better', then I'd suggest that I can't really comment unless you explain exactly what you mean, and give some examples.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#303  Postby sanja » Nov 11, 2010 2:43 pm

There are some examples in Heisenbergs book "Physics and metaphysics".
For instance, one interesting event is described, happened during one walk Bohr and Heisenberg took.
Heisenberg took some little stone and hit one distant pillar.

Bohr than explained how the hand "knew" where to hit, and if he (heisenberg) have used his reason instead of intuition, to calculate path of the stone, related to air conditions, etc - that he would most probably have missed the pillar.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#304  Postby sanja » Nov 11, 2010 2:46 pm

You have that issue concidered through the whole book - what science can, and what science cannot.
I would gladly reccomend it.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#305  Postby Will S » Nov 11, 2010 3:24 pm

sanja wrote:There are some examples in Heisenbergs book "Physics and metaphysics".
For instance, one interesting event is described, happened during one walk Bohr and Heisenberg took.
Heisenberg took some little stone and hit one distant pillar.

Bohr than explained how the hand "knew" where to hit, and if he (heisenberg) have used his reason instead of intuition, to calculate path of the stone, related to air conditions, etc - that he would most probably have missed the pillar.

It's clear (I trust!) that what we're talking about here is how we acquire knowledge about the universe we live in?

There are many cases, like the one you cite, where we're trying to perform a particular task, and our bodies may "know" better than our conscious minds about how best to do it. But the fact that you and I have both of us put the words "know" / "knew" in quotes demonstrates that we're not talking about knowledge in the normal sense of the word.

I might, similarly, say that my stomach "knows" how to digest my dinner. That's, in a sense, true, but I can't see that my stomach's "knowledge" of how to perform this vital task has any relevance to the OP of this topic! :angel:

Is this your best example, or have you anything better?
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#306  Postby sanja » Nov 11, 2010 4:11 pm

As I've said, the big part of the book I mentioned deals with OP idea.

But ok, let's take some other example.
Here it is: reason cannot solve zeno's paradox.

I will give you one nice essay, sadly, translated by google translator, which cannot always be trusted :(
Here it is:
http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... rmd%3Divfd

The translation is very bad, the first sentence, for example, should have been translated as:
"Do we ever revolve (think through) abidance, or our intelligence deals only with space?"
I do not claim my translation is perfect, but it is much better than google-translate, anyway.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#307  Postby archibald » Nov 11, 2010 4:26 pm

I say we should get a man with an intuitive right arm to hit a distant pillar with a small pebble more than once. After that we could have a competition between him and some scientifically calibrated ordinance. Get some empirical evidence of which is better. :]
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#308  Postby Will S » Nov 11, 2010 4:28 pm

sanja wrote:As I've said, the big part of the book I mentioned deals with OP idea.

But ok, let's take some other example.
Here it is: reason cannot solve zeno's paradox.

I will give you one nice essay, sadly, translated by google translator, which cannot always be trusted :(
Here it is:
http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... rmd%3Divfd

The translation is very bad, the first sentence, for example, should have been translated as:
"Do we ever revolve (think through) abidance, or our intelligence deals only with space?"
I do not claim my translation is perfect, but it is much better than google-translate, anyway.

I'd, respectfully, suggest that, in a discussion forum of this kind, participants should present their own arguments (which, of course, will in many cases involve paraphrasing what they're read or heard somewhere else.)

Of course, in some cases, a participant may persuade others to read some particular recommended book or article. However, I don't think it's reasonable to expect other participants to read anything other than what's actually posted to the forum - especially when, as seems to be the case here, the article is written in a language of which I have no knowledge, and where I'd have to rely on a Google translation!

I suggest that you're asking rather too much of me! :(
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#309  Postby IanS » Nov 11, 2010 4:42 pm

sanja wrote:Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg also thought that science cannot discover everything, that there are some things where intuition suits better.
They were scientists.

Do you think their definition of science was woolly and unsustainable?


Neils Bohr and Werner Heisenberg are not likely to be unusual in saying they think "science cannot discover everything".
That's just a statement of what is likely to be in practice, the blindingly obvious. It's like saying that we cannot do literally "everything". That's not even worth saying.

Nor is it likely that any scientists would rule out "intuition" as entirely useless. It all depends what sort of investigative situation you are talking about.

In most everyday situations it would be a practical impossibility to make a detailed rigorous scientific analysis.

Instead in everyday situations like that, we usually just make an educated guess (ie we use our "intuition"). Eg, if you like hearing a certain piece of music, you are hardly likely to insist that you must delay any judgement about whether you liked it or not until you have made a full scientific analysis of all the sounds & frequencies involved, all their effects on human hearing and their associated effects on the human brain and upon historical & social conditioning etc etc.

But that does not mean it's better to rely on intuition rather than making scientific experiments and mathematical calculations when doing serious scientific research.

IOW - you are in danger of making a semantic argument in the misuse of words ... eg in order to suggest a false conclusion (ie that intuition is sometimes a better method than proper research in solving specific scientific problems, such as how our universe came into existence).
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#310  Postby sanja » Nov 11, 2010 4:55 pm

But that does not mean it's better to rely on intuition rather than making scientific experiments and mathematical calculations when doing serious scientific research.

who said that?
have I said that?
I do not remember that I did. :dunno:
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#311  Postby sanja » Nov 11, 2010 5:01 pm

Will S wrote:
I'd, respectfully, suggest that, in a discussion forum of this kind, participants should present their own arguments (which, of course, will in many cases involve paraphrasing what they're read or heard somewhere else.)

Of course, in some cases, a participant may persuade others to read some particular recommended book or article. However, I don't think it's reasonable to expect other participants to read anything other than what's actually posted to the forum - especially when, as seems to be the case here, the article is written in a language of which I have no knowledge, and where I'd have to rely on a Google translation!

I suggest that you're asking rather too much of me! :(

You are completaly right.
And I never do such things on serbian or croatian forums, where I do not have problems to express my thoughts properly.
But I just do not feel able to discuss some complex issues in english :(
That's why I did it.
Sorry.

I will try to think of some example I could translate in english properly.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#312  Postby IIzO » Nov 11, 2010 5:08 pm

sanja wrote:There are some examples in Heisenbergs book "Physics and metaphysics".
For instance, one interesting event is described, happened during one walk Bohr and Heisenberg took.
Heisenberg took some little stone and hit one distant pillar.

Bohr than explained how the hand "knew" where to hit, and if he (heisenberg) have used his reason instead of intuition, to calculate path of the stone, related to air conditions, etc - that he would most probably have missed the pillar.

That just looks like muscle memory.Pretty much the same way you don't use reason in order to walk and generally use your limbs.It's not the same type of propositional knowledge we usually talk about in science.
Between what i think , what i want to say ,what i believe i say ,what i say , what you want to hear , what you hear ,what you understand...there are lots of possibilities that we might have some problem communicating.But let's try anyway.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#313  Postby katja z » Nov 11, 2010 6:28 pm

sanja wrote:
Will S wrote:
I'd, respectfully, suggest that, in a discussion forum of this kind, participants should present their own arguments (which, of course, will in many cases involve paraphrasing what they're read or heard somewhere else.)

Of course, in some cases, a participant may persuade others to read some particular recommended book or article. However, I don't think it's reasonable to expect other participants to read anything other than what's actually posted to the forum - especially when, as seems to be the case here, the article is written in a language of which I have no knowledge, and where I'd have to rely on a Google translation!

I suggest that you're asking rather too much of me! :(

You are completaly right.
And I never do such things on serbian or croatian forums, where I do not have problems to express my thoughts properly.
But I just do not feel able to discuss some complex issues in english :(
That's why I did it.
Sorry.

I will try to think of some example I could translate in english properly.

Sanja, the text you linked is about Henri Bergson. Bergson being a major French thinker, at least some his writings are of course available in English translation - I haven't actually read anything but it must be far better than the terrible results of the wretched google translate. ;) I'd suggest some googling for Bergson quotes in English, especially ones from the book Duration and Simultaneity which actually deals with physics, could turn up interesting material for discussion here.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#314  Postby sanja » Nov 11, 2010 6:57 pm

archibald wrote:I say we should get a man with an intuitive right arm to hit a distant pillar with a small pebble more than once. After that we could have a competition between him and some scientifically calibrated ordinance. Get some empirical evidence of which is better. :]

I do not think that intuition is scientifically observable :whistle:

If he wanted to hit that pillar - that would not be intuitive.
So, if you put some man with an intuitive right arm to hit a distant pillar with a small pebble more than once - he would not be able to do that intuitive.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#315  Postby sanja » Nov 11, 2010 7:11 pm

katja z wrote:[

Sanja, the text you linked is about Henri Bergson. Bergson being a major French thinker, at least some his writings are of course available in English translation - I haven't actually read anything but it must be far better than the terrible results of the wretched google translate. ;) I'd suggest some googling for Bergson quotes in English, especially ones from the book Duration and Simultaneity which actually deals with physics, could turn up interesting material for discussion here.
:cheers:

Thank you for your suggestion. I didn't know what english translation of the book was.
I will search for it. :thumbup:
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#316  Postby katja z » Nov 11, 2010 7:15 pm

sanja wrote:
katja z wrote:[

Sanja, the text you linked is about Henri Bergson. Bergson being a major French thinker, at least some his writings are of course available in English translation - I haven't actually read anything but it must be far better than the terrible results of the wretched google translate. ;) I'd suggest some googling for Bergson quotes in English, especially ones from the book Duration and Simultaneity which actually deals with physics, could turn up interesting material for discussion here.
:cheers:

Thank you for your suggestion. I didn't know what english translation of the book was.
I will search for it. :thumbup:

Wikipedia is your friend here. Switching between languages (by clicking on the list in the left-hand column) can yield a lot of this kind of information (to be cross-checked, always).
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#317  Postby IanS » Nov 11, 2010 7:27 pm

IanS wrote:
sanja wrote:Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg also thought that science cannot discover everything, that there are some things where intuition suits better.
They were scientists.


OK good. So when you said the above, although you were quoting famous scientists and talking about science and also about intuition, what un-scientific things were you proposing to be better understood simply through "intuition"?

Do you mean claims about supernatural Gods?
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#318  Postby sanja » Nov 12, 2010 6:18 am

IanS wrote:
IanS wrote:
sanja wrote:Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg also thought that science cannot discover everything, that there are some things where intuition suits better.
They were scientists.


OK good. So when you said the above, although you were quoting famous scientists and talking about science and also about intuition, what un-scientific things were you proposing to be better understood simply through "intuition"?

Do you mean claims about supernatural Gods?


Let me quote Bergson:

Bergson rejected what he saw as the overly mechanistic predominant view of causality (as expressed in, say, finalism). He argued that we must allow space for free will to unfold in an autonomous and unpredictable fashion. While Kant saw free will as something beyond time and space and therefore ultimately a matter of faith, Bergson attempted to redefine the modern conceptions of time, space, and causality in his concept of Duration, making room for a tangible marriage of free will with causality. Seeing Duration as a mobile and fluid concept, Bergson argued that one cannot understand Duration through "immobile" analysis, but only through experiential, first-person intuition.

So, "duration" would be one of things that science cannot examine/explain.

I do not quite understand how things can be "scientific" or "un-scientific".
Some things are in domain of science, some are not. I believe that is more proper way to say it.

But none of those things are basicly religious issues.
All of them are, primarly, philosofical.
(free will, elan vital, schopenhauer's transcedent will,, etc. Even god, if you like it so much :grin: Btw, I think "supernatural god" is a pleonasm :grin: Although I'm not quite sure what "supernatural" means :scratch: )
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#319  Postby sanja » Nov 12, 2010 6:43 am

Here: Bergson on intuitioin.
I apologise for giving link, but wiki's english is just much better than mine.
And I agree with most bergson's ideas, so they pretty much represent how I think.

Though - I saw, on the bottom of the wiki page about Bergson, that one of philosophers who criticised him was Piagget, who is also one of my favorite thinkers. I should look for his critics.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#320  Postby IanS » Nov 13, 2010 2:26 pm

sanja wrote:
IanS wrote:
IanS wrote:


OK good. So when you said the above, although you were quoting famous scientists and talking about science and also about intuition, what un-scientific things were you proposing to be better understood simply through "intuition"?

Do you mean claims about supernatural Gods?


Let me quote Bergson:

Bergson rejected what he saw as the overly mechanistic predominant view of causality (as expressed in, say, finalism). He argued that we must allow space for free will to unfold in an autonomous and unpredictable fashion. While Kant saw free will as something beyond time and space and therefore ultimately a matter of faith, Bergson attempted to redefine the modern conceptions of time, space, and causality in his concept of Duration, making room for a tangible marriage of free will with causality. Seeing Duration as a mobile and fluid concept, Bergson argued that one cannot understand Duration through "immobile" analysis, but only through experiential, first-person intuition.

So, "duration" would be one of things that science cannot examine/explain.

I do not quite understand how things can be "scientific" or "un-scientific".
Some things are in domain of science, some are not. I believe that is more proper way to say it.

But none of those things are basicly religious issues.
All of them are, primarly, philosofical.
(free will, elan vital, schopenhauer's transcedent will,, etc. Even god, if you like it so much :grin: Btw, I think "supernatural god" is a pleonasm :grin: Although I'm not quite sure what "supernatural" means :scratch: )


Who is "Bergson"?

What exactly are you claiming as the value of what you call "intuition"?

If you are saying it's a good idea & more efficient to use intuition & to make an educated guess for solving many common everyday problems, then I don't think anyone would disagree with you.

But that's just a statement of the obvious.

On the other hand, if you are saying it's better to use intuition rather than science when trying to answer questions about such things as the formation of our universe, then I completely disagree with you.

And every scientist in the world would also disagree with you. That's why they go to the immense trouble of conducting scientific research, rather making the utterly worthless sort of claims that religious people make about their "intuition".

However, I do not see why you would even try to argue about the value of "intuition" on an atheist forum if in fact you are not actually trying to make some sort of religious point.

You may not wish to openly say what religious ideas lay behind your posts. But in that case all that happens is your posts look obviously suspicious, and people will naturally assume that you are in fact making religious claims even if you choose not to say that directly.

When people come on to forums like this arguing that science is not capable of explaining things such as love, morals and "faith" etc., and saying that instead of science what is required is the use of "intuition" &/or "personal experience" etc., then they are almost always making a purely religious argument even if they do not wish to state that openly (the same thing happened countless times on RDF).

However, as I say - if you are not making any religious argument at all, but just saying that in common everyday situations intuition is often a more efficient way of guessing the best solution, rather than making a detailed scientific analysis, then everyone would agree with you and the statement is so trivially and blindingly obvious that there's actually nothing at all to talk about.

The real question here is therefore - are you religious, and are you trying to make a religious argument about intuition? :?
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