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Barry Pearson's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Barry Pearson

#201062 by robotaholic: I think Richard Dawkins is right tho - the battle between evolution vs ID or w/e is not the real problem - the REAL issue is religion vs Science - and THAT is the battle Richard Dawkins wants to wage hardcore-
I think there is a broader "war" - between "enlightenment" and "unenlightenment". That is multi-dimensional, and more illuminating than more one-dimensional battles such as "evolution vs ID" or "religion vs Science".

I am currently developing my ideas on this, which I will publish as a web page. But so far, I have tentatively identified 5 dimensions (it may become 4) that can act as measures for societies, organisations, and people. Here they are:

1. Dimension: Method of thinking
Enlightened: Freethought, reasoning, logic
Unenlightened: Dogma, doctrine, traditional

2. Dimension: Source of information
Enlightened: Evidence, observation, education
Unenlightened: Revelation, mysticism, divination, sacred texts, superstition

3. Dimension: Coexistence
Enlightened: Tolerance, pluralism
Unenlightened: Intolerance, censorship, fundamentalism

4. Dimension: Governance
Enlightened: Representative government, secularism, freedom
Unenlightened: Authoritarian, aristocratic, theocratic, totalitarianism

5. Dimension: Rights and duties
Enlightened: Universal human rights
Unenlightened: Qualified permitted rights

Note that "evolution vs ID" or "religion vs Science" are really covered by more general dimensions, and sometimes combinations of them, typically "Method of thinking" and "Source of information". (I may merge those).

You could probably "score" (if I provided numbers, which I probably won't) 80% as a moderately/privately-religious scientific tolerant secularist. Or 20% or less as an intolerant totalitarian dogmatic atheist, like Stalin. Who would you rather have as your neighbours? (Probably the only way of getting to 100% would be as an atheist, but how many people in society would ever get to 100%?)

Religions are inherently unenlightened, but to different degrees. And religious people can be more enlightened than their religion. Church of England is moderately enlightened, and some within it more so. The Catholic Church is moderately unenlightened, but not nearly to the level of Islam in its natural state, which is very unenlightened.

We shouldn't measure societies just by how atheist they are, or how scientific their members are. Most people will never really be "scientific", but I'll settle for "reasoning, logic, evidence, observation, education".

Sat, 28 Jun 2008 23:52:00 UTC | #190969