Author Topic: Talking to Nigel  (Read 8897 times)

tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2017, 10:24:26 pm »
"Science" dumbed down for the masses isn't science anymore. People do need something easy to follow, that takes little effort and gives them someone to feel superior to. It's just that there is no such thing that is also non-destructive and effective. The best we can hope for is all-out nuclear war, which is at least non-destructive after a few million years.
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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2017, 10:46:12 pm »

So what's to replace religion in the strange times?

How does religion reach that part of people that can convince them of things that reason cannot?

Religion is, essentially, just a bunch of simple rules that don't require any thought to follow, imbued with a sense of special importance to get people to actually follow them.

That's it.

We, as a society, have managed to kind of sort of get most people to follow some other simple rules, like washing your hands after you poop, brushing your teeth regularly, and following basic food sanitation guidelines.

If you have ever been frustrated by a conversation in which the other person really wanted a black-and-white, always-or-never type of answer, when the real answer is always context-dependent, and you couldn't figure out why it is they simply couldn't grasp the fact that the answer is "it depends", the reason is the same as why people like religion. It packages rules up in easy bite-size instructions that they can simply obey without all that laborious thinking.

Science rarely, if ever, offers simple binary rules that are independent of context. That's because the real world is complex and variable, and outcomes depends heavily on context.

So, pretty much the only thing that fits the bill is superstition, ie. religion. I include the occult in there, as well as nature worship in all its forms (including "natural healthy living" superstition) because it's really just simplistic rules dressed up in pointless complexity to make its practitioners feel smarter than they are.

The method that has worked the best for humanity, for the longest, is the practice of hiring really smart people (for people) to do the complex thinking about complex problems, and then follow their leadership. This tends to fall apart periodically, especially when the advice of the really smart people contradicts the simplistic rules of superstition.

“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”