The bolded part is simply a very limited view of how science and religion interact in the modern world. Do you not think that religion and science clash in other ways? Like these for example: Abortion Refusal of Blood Transfusions Refusal of Autopsies Preaching about the evil of condoms on a continent devastated by the AIDS virus Opposition to genetic research Declaring certain (non-harmful) foods as forbidden, in a world with mass hunger issues Refusal of c-sections Opposition to voluntary euthanasia The reliance by some people on "faith healing" at the expense of modern medicine. I could go on, but it is enough to note that you have made some impressive philosophical points in your post. Unfortunately you have clearly overlooked many real-world examples.
First bold: And yet I proved otherwise upthread. Second bold: I will hazard a guess here - I reckon more beliefs with widespread appeal have been proven to be harmful than useful. One only has to look at our current world. Anti-vaxxers? Undoubtedly harmful. The 'year one' believers in Cambodia? Undoubtedly harmful. Traditional medicine exponents in Asia that lead to the massacre of animals? Undoubtedly harmful. The middle east is littered with harmful beliefs. White supremacy? Undoubtedly harmful. I could of course go on, but the point is made. Third bold: Perhaps I should qualify what I meant. I meant that we have no idea at this point in time where science will take us. Never is a long time. Do you seriously think that people running around in the 1700's would have thought that we would have planes? Only 40 years ago, the idea that people could wring their hands about beliefs with people all over the world instantaneously would have been preposterous. Finally, your link about Godel was incomplete and didn't work.
Depends what 'truth' you're looking for. Atheism is only disbelief in god(s) after all. Generally (but not always) if you scratch an atheist you find a skeptic. Skeptics look for evidence to back up the 'truth' claim. And the Abrahamaic god is no kind of good moral entity. One need not look past the absolutely horrific nature of the ark story to know that*. *cue no true Scotsman response...
On the first comment, you must then concede that collective belief is not a reasonable basis to suggest accurate belief. On the second paragraph, there is no "goal". Like the good Mr O'briain said, science knows it doesn't know everything. Otherwise it'd stop. Your position is that science has limitations. I say that is just too bold a declaration to make. As to the 4th bit, it was an example. By recognising that you would not like it, you express the same view that all homosexual couples reach when told they cannot marry because it is against god. You reach the same view that women who want to have a medical procedure reach when told (usually but not always by men) that it's better for them face death than have that procedure because of the beliefs of the lawmaker.
Yes, I meant "no better". Nothing to say about all the other examples I listed? Your argument was to the effect that collective belief means correctness of belief. I raised all the other examples to point out the falsity in that position. To only address one of them smacks of evasiveness. I would correct your next statement to: Science provides some ever-increasing knowledge of the laws of nature, physics and the way things interact with other things. Your point is just the hackneyed old "god of the gaps" fallacy. Then I would quote the comedian Dara O'briain (who is also a physicist): "Science knows it doesn't know everything. Otherwise it'd stop". Who is to say that science will not discover a "why" answer at some stage in the future? Not me. But I'm not closed-minded enough to suggest that it never will. Then I have a minor quibble with the way you worded the summary of the study you linked. The paper said: "Participation in religious organizations may offer mental health benefits beyond those offered by other forms of social participation" (my emphasis). You said: "Religious people are happier". Finally, I did not ask you if you would be happy to live in a theocracy. I asked you if you would be happy (as a Christian) to be forced into participating in Ramadan. It is a different question and I would still appreciate your answer.
Millions of people used to believe that disease was caused by demons, or "humours", or spirits or curses etc. millions of people used to believe the earth was flat. Millions of people used to believe that thunder and lightning was the gods fighting. Millions of parents told their kids Santa Claus was real, too. Collective belief is better than individual belief, when compared to actual understanding. No, it really isn't. There is no respect for the other person's non-belief. There is no respect for the other person's possible alternate belief. Believers who use the "I'm doing what my belief tells me to" justify anything in their own minds. The assumption that you refer to is the problem. The assumption that others are in need of saving is the mistake. Let me put it this way - would you be happy if you were forced to participate in Ramadan by reason of law?
Yeah I get that. But you are misrepresenting my point. That is that proposed laws should not be based on codifying beliefs. Whether those beliefs are religious, anti-vaccination, federal funding of homeopathy, etc etc. Calling that approach "libertarian" or using examples like the one you proposed is simply papering over the point. It still has to be a sensible law in the first place.
How do you mean, mate? My only view is that laws like this should be based on actual evidence. If (as the example said) the studies show that there are less accidents and deaths and unsociable behaviour when alcohol is legal, why criminalise it because the county people think it's teh ebil?
The type that shows how many more women die or put their lives in danger in backyard procedures when abortions are not allowed legally. Like has been shown in the other thread currently on the front page of the forum.