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January 27, 2010

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Smith keeps saying, though never in so many words, "Why can't we all get along?"

Freedom 'of' beliefs and freedom 'from' beliefs is the nearest I can come to the getting along ideal. And I don't think getting along means we need to necessarily agree on every metaphysical position; I think we can get along and disagree.

With science and the scientific method it's pretty hard to argue against it, but it has its limits as to explaining the human experience. Questions of why we're here, why anything exists at all or what's the meaning of it all really fall outside the domain of science. That's not to say that a scientist may 'believe' there's no inherent meaning or why to existence outside what we ascribe to it; but it's just that, a belief and not science.

-John

Brian,

I noticed this statement,

"We have observed that scientists studying religion are subject to the same general cognitive dispositions and liabilities that they identify as natural to the human species and as responsible for some of the central features of religion."

--What kind of scientist or area of science is envolved or engaged in the study of religion? I can see a general sameness of general cognitive dispositions and liabilities within some scientist and religionists.

Roger, quite a few scientific fields investigate religion and religious belief. Anthropology, sociology, evolutionary biology, archaeology, neuroscience.

Probably Smith was thinking of atheist biologist Richard Dawkins when she wrote that sentence. He's the author of "The God Delusion."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_God_Delusion

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