• Does "Science" refer to anything? Is it useful?
    There is no essential feature that makes a field "scientific", and there is no such thing as the "scientific method".darthbarracuda

    It looks like your "moderately educated opinion" is not worth very much.

    Science, as already stated, is a methodology for the exploration and categorization of knowledge. The scientific method has been carefully laid out and has a common core shared by all branches of science. The basics of the method are easy enough to grasp but learning it with proficiency is something that takes years of education.

    A scientist is someone who has been trained and educated in the use of the scientific method. A physicist is not just someone that learns physics, but someone that learns how to apply the scientific method in the exploration of physics.
  • Math is the Ultimate form of Reasoning (Someone help me filter this out in my head)
    Formal logic is not that important. If you want to understand the world around you then yuou need some level of math; how much is hard to say. Personally, I would go for at least enough to read and understand scientific articles founded on the mathematical sciences.
  • Math is the Ultimate form of Reasoning (Someone help me filter this out in my head)
    While mathematics will help develop quantitative reasoning, problem solving and critical/analytical skills, it is not the only path to sharpening your rational edge.

    Should I become extremely competent in math before I delve into politics? Or maybe the other way around?rickyk95

    If your focus is politics some math will be needed. You'll mainly need an understanding of statistics, which at advanced levels requires a large amount of math; however, much of statistic can be learned with nothing but college level algebra, since it is largely conceptual. Understanding the conceptual aspect of statistics for a politician is probably more important than knowing the math itself.
  • Math ability and intelligence
    I would call your response - uncompassionate. Some day the shoe will be on the other foot and you may need some compassion.woodart

    I think you are being over dramatic.
  • Math ability and intelligence
    It seems to me there are two types of thinking that I call "System 1" and "System 2". System 1 is the intutive, creative and visual part of your mind -- the part that instantly understands words without having to analyze them, and the part that engages in metaphorical and visual thinking. I consider myself fairly skilled in this department, because I have an intuitive sense for language, writing and visualization. I find that philosophers are generally very skilled in this department, and uses brilliant metaphors to describe the nature of reality. It seems to me that philosophy entails mind activity beyond mathematics and symbols to get to the very fabric of existence.Avidya

    I also recognize two types of thinking. I call them making crap up and learning. Some people just make crap up, because they are to lazy to go out and learn. For example some people are bad at math, because they don't try hard enough and make excuses.
  • Religion will win in the end.

    You are the one making claims about what they said without any citation at all, accept some responsibility.
  • Religion will win in the end.

    I rather read them for myself, than have you tell me about them. I am well aware that there are some studies out there, and have seen a few for myself but they generally leave a lot of room open for debate. I also would want to review their sampling methods and statistical procedures used.
  • Religion will win in the end.
    I think it will be difficult to prove that believing or not believing makes a difference because it won't be possible to isolate belief (or no belief) as a measurable variable. It will be found to be tied in with too many other factors.Bitter Crank

    A statistical analysis could only show if there is a difference it could not prove the cause of that difference. As there is simply no way you can randomly assign beliefs to people. Without that type of random assignment it would be restricted to observational studies, which do not establish cause, but it would be a start.

    I bet if Mongrel actually took the time and effort to look into it there are probably some relevant studies out there. Mongrel has a thesis the next step is to actually research that thesis.
  • Religion will win in the end.

    Logic is not a magic wand you can wave and suddenly truth appears, it is a tool to help you in your considerations. Further more the OP is not employing logic; there is a differences between a rationalization and logic.

    "Philosophy" is not an excuse to shrug off doing proper research, although I know many at these forums certainly treat it that way.
  • Religion will win in the end.
    God forbid someone in a philosophy forum actually suggest a need for evidence.
  • Religion will win in the end.
    So Mongrel hasn't provided decent evidence that religion helps. Maybe her standards for evidence are low, but what kind of evidence would you accept?Bitter Crank

    The entire OP hinges on one claim, even as a rhetorical argument it fails horribly.

    The thesis is: "dependence on religion will return and atheism will be eclipsed (again)."

    Which is supposedly explained by: " religious people handle adversity better than atheists"

    If you have no evidence to support your one and only claim, then at least attack it from different angles.

    We can look at surveys, we can look at long lists of anecdotal reports, and narratives that testify to the benefits of religious belief in times of disaster. It's something, but it's hear-say. There probably isn't any "proof" one way or the other. No brain scans, no blood tests, no behavioral observations or measurements.Bitter Crank

    A statistical analysis would certainly be a good place to start.
  • Religion will win in the end.

    Calling your argument "fundamental" does not change the fact that your standard for evidence is pathetically low.
  • Religion will win in the end.

    Your standard for evidence is pathetically low.
  • Religion will win in the end.
    Feel free to present your own view of things. Or not.Mongrel

    I am fairly certain I already did. My view is that your view needs more support.
  • Religion will win in the end.

    No I don't have any scientific articles — mongrel

    Then you don't really have anything at all. Your whole argument hinges on that one conclusion, and if you can't establish in some meaningful way then you really have nothing at all. To be honest it is very sloppy "philosophy".

    It's just something I came to expect during my time working in a pediatric intensive care unit. Parents who stand at the bedside of their dying child acting like we're at a barbecue or something.. they're atheists. The ones who are present and accounted for are religious.

    Don't care, everyone and their dog thinks they have special insight, but people also suffer from observational bias, which means they tend to see what they are looking for. This is why I ask for data, instead of opinions. Also I can tell you right now that your experience does not meet the standards of a fair representative sample of theists or atheists.
  • Religion will win in the end.

    religious people handle adversity better than atheists — mongrel

    Other than your pseudo-philosophical drivel do you have any evidence of this? And I don't mean your opinion on the matter, I mean a peer review scientific article.
  • The States in which God Exists

    In regards to probability, that is not at all how you from a proper hypothesis, or create a distribution (this is what you are essentially trying to do), and you also don't seem to understand what is "random" in this context or how to use it.

    Man, you just need to pick up a book, or take a few courses to educate yourself. Using probability to do a statistical analysis is something you are going to have to actually work at to learn. I can recommend some books to read if you really like, but you need to get that mathematical base down first. If you at least understand college algebra then an intro to statistics course at your local community college would be a great place to start.

    You essentially want to create a probability distribution and then use it to test your "hypothesis", and to do that you are going to need some schooling. It is not as simple as you think it is, and guess what it relies on empirical data.

    *edit - I would also like to point out that a hypothesis is generally tested at a 90, 95 or 99% confidence level. Testing a hypothesis at a 33% or 50% confidence level is almost worthless (far too much room for error for it to be dependable). Of course you don't actually have a testable hypothesis, all you have is a percentage you have assigned to your personal opinions. For it to be a hypothesis it has to be falsifiable, and to be a statistical hypothesis it has to be falsifiable with in the limits and context of statistics.
  • The States in which God Exists
    Something people need to understand about equal probability: It generally does not just happen on its own, it needs people to make it happen with some type of equal probability procedure.
  • The States in which God Exists
    Let me help you out here. There is either a platypus, a piece of lint, or nothing in your pocket. It's equal odds (of course), but there's now only a 33% chance of there being a platypus in your pocket. Better?SophistiCat

    No, that is not any better, if you say one of these in my pocket and the other two are not. Either a platypus or a piece of lint or nothing.

    Then you have three possible scenarios:

    You have a platypus, but not a piece of lint.

    You have a piece of lint but not the platypus.

    You have nothing.

    This is where the common misconception of probability is, because each scenario does not have a 33% chance of being in you pocket. One of them is 100% true and the other two are 0% true.

    Now I may take a guess but then it is my guess that has the % chance of being right. For example if you rolled a 3 sided die earlier in the morning to pick which to put in your pocket then I could maybe say my guess has a 33% chance of being right. But the chance applies to my guess, not the contents of your pocket. However, there could be confounding variables which compel me to guess one way over the others so not really a 33% chance. I might have a fondness for lint which could cause me to guess lint more often than the other two.

    However, if you did not apply equal probability to determine the contents of your pocket then the actual % chance of my guess being right is unknown because I don't know what confounding variables influence your pocket contents form day to day. I would need some type of random sampling procedure to come up with a predictor.