Science is not a religion. It's a process.
Science is by it's nature a social process and can not therefore can not be separated from the cultures/beliefs/ideologies in which it is embedded. From the foundations of what is taught in school to it's sources of funding science is socially/financially biased to it's core. So even scientists who don't come forward and use their research to justify the direction of public policy are still mired in a tainted system. Studying the sociology of science quickly shows one that the idea of scientists being dispassionate researchers pushing forward human knowledge w/o bias is a myth.
Science has been so co-opted by those in power thru public education that it's become the new defacto state religion in many places and for many people. I read a fantastic critique of Western education (including Soviet) by a couple of Russian's back in the 70s that talks about this very subject brilliantly.
In the greater context large organized religions evolved (if you believe in the science) in part to explain (or help people know and relate to the world) and help those seeking power control masses of people. Science supplanted religion for the knowing the world for many people. And It's most vocal proponents (often communists and socialists seeking to minimize religion) have used it to justify how people should relate to each other.
Please do not confuse religion with morality. More religion certainly does not equal more morality. Looking at how most people judge the behavior of people who literally interpret their religion it would seem obvious to me that the exact opposite is true.
I'm not communicating clearly when I talk about religion. Not all religion is Judeo/Christian. I try when it's not obvious from the context to be clear when I am referring them. I say this because I've seldom not met or read about devout Buddhists and Taoists who were not the most moral people ever.
The good and the bad morality that is documented by religion comes from the mouths of humans. The good messages in religion are unoriginal and largely common sense. The bad moral messages in religion are gleefully glossed over... how do we decide which morals we should take from religion?
If everyone agreed on what is common sense there would not have ever been a need for religion, ideology or methods for group decision making to evolve. That we seem to need such structures to support/glue our societies together is all the evidence I need that “sense” is either not all that common and/or universal.
People develop their morals largely through interactions with "significant others" (parents teachers, clergy, professors). Which morals people chose to follow be the whether derived from religious or secular sources is usually what is most convenient or what they can get away with at the time. I think Cam describe how we come by our morals quite well.
We use our inherent morality. If we have such good inherent morality why would we need to take any queues from religion?
I'm not aware of any inherent morality. Humans can not survive outside of social contexts (even if raised by wolves). So there is no way to know what is a pure "inherent" moral and one that is socially learned/influenced. What society even modern do we have a knowledge of that did/does not have "religion" (belief system)?
To take the writings of a few humans around 1500 years ago and take them to be our moral compass in modern society is foolish, at best.
It's not foolish to learn from history. Modern intellectuals pride themselves on being so much smarter than people in times gone by, however there are many things the ancients knew and could do that we have trouble figuring out today. We can see the same patterns repeated throughout history because people find the social/cultural/moral knowledge of their predecessors inconvenient in relation to present social addenda’s. The reasoning is always that we are smarter and know more than they did. Invariably we end up repeating the same mistakes. It's happening again right now as it always is.
It's fairly ironic that all these global warming deniers were happy enough to consume the results of scientific process by buying cars and packaged food... yet when science starts telling them that they should probably rethink their habits they are wanting to burn science at the stake. How does that morality (or logic) work?
No irony that I see. People behave selfishly today just as moral compass definers of 1500, 3000 years ago understood. Enjoying the fruits of industrialization is easy since the "scientific process" is telling us just to enjoy the new toys not how they should/shouldn’t be used. When "science" does tell us how to use the toys we baulk at it, fighting even things like seatbelt and helmet laws designed to protect us. Unlike being the catalyst for our new toys the "scientific process" is now telling us we can't play with them the way we have become accustomed to. In other words the "scientific process" is trying to establish what is right and wrong. Morality?
Many people born in the West since WWII are accustomed to a lifestyle and level of progress unparalleled in human history and have come to believe it the norm. Just as they have come to believe that increasing standards of living through the progression of technology is the norm. I think we are in for a rude awakening.
While I've enjoyed this exchange I think we are at an impasse based on our different education/experiences are bogging down in semantics and increasingly chasing eachothers tails in ever smaller circles. Please don’t take it as me being rude if I drop out of the discussion on some points as I don’t see how further comments will further help to clarify some things.