This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← I Am, Therefore I Rationalize

sbe's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by sbe

It seems that Rtambree needs to take a course in remedial English before he starts pontificating about "intellectuals" and "armchair philosphy".

It was philosophers, not scientists who demonstrated that god does not exist. While Issac Newton was frittering away the remainder of his life worshiping an imaginary deity and trying to turn lead into gold, David Hume was about to revolutionize how we understand reality and knowledge. As John Maynard Keynes once said "Newton was not the first of the age of reason: he was the last of the magicians." Meanwhile Hume's ideas made the modern world possible.

It was another philosopher, Baron d'Holbach who was the first European to have the courage to publicly deny the existence of god at a time when doing so could get you killed. He also coined the the term Atheism.

Yet another philosopher Karl Popper defined and set the standard for modern scientific method and research.

The world would be a very poor place indeed if all the knowledge at our disposal came only from science. Science describes how the natural world works, philosophy describes the consequences of existing in the natural world and even the consequences of having scientific knowledge.

Now for Rtambree's english lesson:

From ra·tion·al·ism –noun
1. the principle or habit of accepting reason as the supreme authority in matters of opinion, belief, or conduct.
2. Philosophy.
a. the doctrine that reason alone is a source of knowledge and is independent of experience.
b. (in the philosophies of Descartes, Spinoza, etc.) the doctrine that all knowledge is expressible in self-evident propositions or their consequences.

ra·tion·al·ize –verb (used with object)
1. to ascribe (one's acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes.

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 10:06:00 UTC | #83518