Re: [asa] on science and meta-science

From: <>
Date: Wed Nov 11 2009 - 09:48:46 EST

Quoting David Clounch <>:

> > but we still need to know something about this class of things called
> > 'human beings' before we can begin to discuss murder. That's the main
> > distinction I still see here.
> >
> > --Merv
> >
> David C. Wrote:
> Why just knowledge about a class called human?
> Seems to me any sentient being counts here. Why place all sentient beings
> in the class of humans? That doesn't seem justified. Are we really going
> to say the class of all sentient beings exactly overlaps the class of
> humans? On what basis?
> And....if the common attribute is "self aware personhood", why would that
> not include God too?

It's precisely because we can't assume sentient beings are all in the same class
that we need to have knowledge of the specific one (humans) in question before
we can go discussing things (like murder) that happen within that class. You
are exactly right that such assumptions don't seem justified. If one Chimp
kills another Chimp, do we call it murder? Well, some knowledge specifically of
chimpanzees is apropos to such a question. God is in a different class than
humans. The Lord giveth & taketh away, but we don't call that murder. When
humans do it in certain situations, we do. We can know some things about God
via revelation or creation (the center of our controversies here), but how much
we can get away with anthropomorphizing God and when that is a valid way to
understand God is a good question. I do my own share of that. But can I.D.
people legitimately say 'this is what an intelligent God would or would not do
to create or bring about our universe...?' --That is what I'm still not very
convinced about, but remain open. Scripture seems the more authoritative route
(for me as a Christian) to learn about God, than science does. That doesn't
mean science has nothing to say about creation, and can't be used by a Christian
to praise God. But it still seems to me that science can't tell us anything
about God without first standing on sources outside itself (revelation or


> If we spend money on SETI I dont think we are really limiting our
> consideration to humans only. We are assuming not just intelligence, but
> self awareness, personhood, and the ability to do something that doesn't
> take place in nature. All of these are quite reasonable assumptions in SETI.

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Received on Wed Nov 11 09:49:01 2009

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