01 July 2009

Means to the Ends of Gods

I recently posted the following in a thread at the Richard Dawkins Forum. Perhaps the ideas would be of interest to others.

Philosopher Jagger,

Thank you. Yes, I think we're close, and I'm about ready to call it quits on this thread, but I think that the following is sufficiently important to solving practical problems associated with eliminating the God meme and establishing an objective, rational moral code to warrant my adding it as a postscript. For it, I'll accept risks of oversimplification in exchange for simplicity. I provide more details and admit some of the complications in three chapters starting here. Upon trying to reduce those chapters (and more) to their essence, I'd exaggerate as follows.

If you went to America's Bible Belt, to any Muslim country, or to any similar, backward area of the world and told them that God was a delusion, you'd quite likely be putting your life in jeopardy.

If, as an alternative, you went to them and told them that you could provide them with an objective, rational moral code, you'd likely be rejected (possibly bodily and forcefully).

If, instead, you tried to convince them of the virtues of critical thinking, for its usefulness in studying literature, history, politics, etc. and its essential role in science, you'd probably be considered to be a radical, revisionist, revolutionist, and similar, and be rebuffed.

If, as a final foolish alternative, you proposed that the only sound epistemology is the scientific method, then you'd probably be judged to be another, ignorable, babbling philosopher.

If, however, you pointed out to them that the world is in the midst of a knowledge revolution, that the future will belong to those who are at the forefront of science, that from science flows security and economic strength (including jobs), etc., then almost certainly you'd be more than welcome, invited to help in the design and implementation of science curricula in their schools, etc.

Then, in time, as their youngsters learn science, they'll necessarily learn about the scientific method, begin to determine what it means "to know", slowly become proficient in critical thinking, eventually establish an objective, rational moral code, and finally dump all silly idea of gods in the trash can of human mistakes. QED.