Primary Values

All sciences are now under the obligation to prepare the ground for the future task of the philosopher, which is to solve the problem of value, to determine the true hierarchy of values.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
I don't know as they, or rather scientists as a whole, are obligated to do this . I do think it's a darned good idea though. Each and every single individual who has ever lived is just as qualified as any other to expound on a given religious belief. What training does it take to have faith and discard or embrace the "revealed" truth of another?

Science is about seeing what is objectively, empirically there, and then rationally and logically explaining how it became so in a manner which is verifiable by anyone, regardless of what their personal experiences and feelings may lead to them believe; or to want to believe.


What is most important for our species survival? How do we practically discern and functionally implement these survival tasks? These values?


John McBride has a reasonable and
valuable perspective.
Religion is not a primary need

JOHN F. MCBRIDE
GUEST COLUMNIST

"Facts are the enemy of truth."

-- Don Quixote de La Mancha

One need look no further than the Middle East and Israel's battle with Islam and Islam's battle with Judaism to be totally baffled by human nature and to cause one to doubt the outcome of humanity's struggle to survive.

Both sides human, neither side "needing" Judaism or Islam to survive, and both sides willing to kill the other and to sacrifice their own to defend the "righteousness" of their position just as Christianity and countless religions and political establishments have before our time, and perhaps will continue to do after us.

Perhaps.

How can such behavior be viewed as an evolved, qualified "tool" for the long-term survival of any species, and in this particular case, ours?

Further, isn't such intellectual or psychological behavior equivalent to an evolved, "physical," environmentally specific tool likely to make us as extinct as any animal that was physically and neurologically very good at being what it was in environment A but couldn't adapt to environment B when environment A ceased to exist or was melded with environment B?

In other words, let's propose that I'm raised Christian, and then encounter Islam, and Islam encounters me. Islam prevails and I refuse to change or Christianity prevails and Islam refuses to change or neither prevails over a third religion and both refuse to change. Neither is necessary since Buddhism works fine, too. And Buddhism isn't necessary either. Nothing is really necessary in place of religion from an evolutionary perspective if it begins to threaten survival since it is a secondary tool for survival, not a primary tool. And even as a secondary tool it evolved in many places in many different forms readily changeable as conversion to any other "philosophy" frequently exhibits.

Food is primary. Air is really primary. Water. Shelter. Procreation. Sleep. Recreation.

Not religion.

So, in the pre-Industrial, Industrial and post-Industrial ages we poison the air, pollute the water, work too long hours, don't get enough rest or exercise, and eat questionable diets.

But we kill each other over religion. By the millions we kill each other.

We plot nuclear war and plan the use of other weapons of mass destruction to assert such "truths." Do we adapt? Not really. We simply negotiate short-term pauses until the next, even more barbarous slaughter. How is it likely that that species long-term prospects for survival are very good?

Is it any wonder so many of us who were religious and have come to doubt religion or who never were involved in religion dismiss it or harbor suspicion toward it?


Comments

  1. I don't think I'm as pessimistic as he is, but he makes a lot of good points.

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  2. Since you started with Nietzsche, perhaps you should continue with him until you find out what truth is...(from "Will to Power")

    493 (1885)
    Truth is the kind of error without which a certain species of life could not live. The value for life is ultimately decisive.


    534 (1887-1888)
    The criterion of truth resides in the enhancement of the feeling of power.


    1067 (1885)
    This world is the will to power--and nothing besides! And you yourselves are also this will to power--and nothing besides!


    In other words, you criticize religion because it is a "revealed" truth, but it would appear that you want to believe that everything in nature AND the universe is NOT a competition for power and survival. Sorry, but that isn't science, it's religion... its' something you want to believe kinda like the possibility of progress, that the truth were something different from what it actually is.

    -FJ

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  3. The criterion of truth resides in the enhancement of the feeling of power.

    That is one bizarrely outmoded and discredited concept.

    What I want to believe is interpreted as True whenever I put my feelings ahead of my observations. Feelings are chemically resultant experiences. They're reactionary signals which may or may not reflect what is actually happening to us. PCP will make a guy my size sure he kill Mike Tyson with his hands. He FEELS powerful. But I wouldn't want to see that fight.

    Nietzche fell short of science by literally equating human emotion with raw energy, but as it was understood by Newtonian physics.

    Relativity shows that Neutrality is a product of positive and negative. Literally. Nothing is not neutral. Unless it's on its way to becoming nothing.

    Figuratively now, it is my Belief, that humans need to control our desire to take whatever we want, regardless that it results in our needing to change and control other peoples' lives without their express permission.

    It doesn't matter our intentions until we ignore their shouts of "No!" Then, no matter the brutality of their next actions, we are the bad guys.

    We are all capable of it because that feeling of power over rides the reason for neutrality. What we call Individual Human Rights.

    There is no positive way for one to gain more of those rights than every one else has. These rights are decided upon consciously, not by nature except in her ability to unintentionally evolve relatively advanced, abstraction capable, intelligence.

    As we learn more of the nature of the universe - knowledge Nietzche will never have had - our understanding of ourselves and our needs as a species, my religion, will lead us to ever higher achievements in technology and economics and psychology; in our understanding of how to live in vastly different ideological cultures to each others' positive results, or at worst neutral, without the negative of murder through war as an option.

    I don't know about Nieztche well enough to know what he would postulate today. I'm fairly sure it wouldn't be those last two quotes.

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  4. Im with michaelbains on this one and to the degree he explains struggle materialisticaly rather than ideologically I agree as well. Religious antagonism is just the facade of the deeper struggle over a fair share.

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