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PostAristotle and Science (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 02/12/19 12:05 pm)
The choice of one's God is the most important factor determining who we are and the moral compass we use for our lives. Over the centuries, mankind has invented thousands of gods which have been assigned omniscience and omnipotence based on the blind faith of their respective followers. This has resulted in numerous religious conflicts and devastation. Unfortunately, right or wrong, the choice of one's god is most often made by our culture through our elders, by our governments, or by default where our gods become power, money, drugs, etc. In a relatively small percentage of cases, individuals deliberately choose their own god or choose Atheism.
Perhaps because most people have not deliberately chosen their god and accept them on faith, their belief seems to be relatively weak and vulnerable to the large variety of alternatives, various types of emotional pressure, necessity and hypocrisy. On the other extreme we have religious fundamentalism, where the chosen religion becomes unrealistically orthodox with no respect for other religions, for scientific truth, and in extreme cases leading to criminal acts and destructive behavior.
Last, in response to Massoud Malek (24 January), some comments and conclusions about the old philosophers.
Socrates was a questioner of what is truth through the use of logic. As such he might be regarded as the grandfather of science. Plato was primarily a believer so should be viewed primarily as a religious man. Aristotle supposedly was a believer in the Greek gods, but his real God was knowledge. Right or wrong, the man became a walking encyclopedia for his time, so famous that king Philip of Macedonia hired him as a tutor for his son Alexander who eventually became Magnus at an early age for remaining invincible while conquering numerous nations in Africa and Asia. Unfortunately much of the knowledge espoused by Aristotle was made up and not tested scientifically. Nevertheless, such false knowledge was disseminated across the world and taken on faith for hundreds of years until debunked as just another religion by early scientists like Copernicus, Galileo, Leibnitz, Newton, and many others. While much of the Aristotelian knowledge was wrong and may have been an obstacle to the earlier development of real knowledge, his explanations for reality provided a defined target for the early scientists to debunk. Also undeniably much of Aristotle's knowledge was correct and provided the basis for early scientists to build on; thus perhaps he deserves to be considered as the father of the scientific approach which has greatly benefited mankind.
JE comments: I've always been curious whether a person who "chooses" a religion is more or less likely to move on to another. Meaning, do voluntary converts show more conviction than those who are born into a religion? Arguments could probably made for either case.
Tor, if I may pry into personal matters, does the rest of your family embrace God the Universe?