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@Rickiepooh. "Really well" has no objective value. So the scientist cannot quantify it. It is therefore meaningless in that context.
Music is not just mathematically related vibrations. That would be as you point out sound waves. Sequenced sound waves perhaps, but this tells us nothing about what we define as music, why it can be so evocative, why a series of tones can unlock forgotten memories.
While science may provide a model to tell us how such tones cause a surge of neurotransmitters to a region of the brain, it cannot tell us what those memories are, what they mean, because objectively they have no meaning.
But does the fact that I experience something that is not quantifiable, explainable, or tangible and do not refute it's existence make me a non-atheist and/or a non-realist?
does the fact that I experience something that is not quantifiable, explainable, or tangible and do not refute it's existence make me a non-atheist and/or a non-realist
God's not going to piss on you for wearing a comfortable golf shirt from Casual Male XL when you go to work
Just because someone is a Christian doesn't automatically mean that they're an anti-gay bigot. There are Catholics who use birth control. There are Muslims who have no problem with the idea of representing the prophet Mohammed in representational art. There are Jews who eat pork and drive a car on saturday. Do these people sometimes get crap from others of their faith who hold with opposing viewpoints? Sure, and those who are completely inflexible about things like this and demand the same rigidity out of others are *assholes*.
How pissed off do you think a bisexual person feels when a homosexual person says to them "you aren't really gay"? Quite a lot, really.
@Verus -- Whose job is it to define identity? This is one of the key questions of humanity, in my opinion, and it's not an easy one that's going away anytime soon.However, I'll throw in another two cents on this score. I'll start with my own Judaism. There are roughly three major branches of Judaism: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. There is a HUGE disparity between these branches, and lots of other divisions within each branch, to the point that trying to contain all of Judaism within those three categories may already be outdated.Orthodox Jews (which includes Hasiddic Jews, the ones who wear the dark suits and hats, thick beards, and curly sideburns) tend to be the most hardcore about dogma. They try to adhere to as many mitzvot (roughly translated as "good deeds" or holy commandments) as they can, such as resting on Saturdays, peforming certain observances, and so on. Many orthodox Jews believe that the more mitzvot they perform or adhere to, the sooner the Messiah will come.Reform Jews (such as myself) tend to known as cherry-pickers. We're encouraged to study and understand the whole broadness of Judaism and Jewish thought, and then observe those customs or mitzvot that feel right and relevant to us. Some Reform Jews don't wear head coverings, for example, but some wear them just as much as an orthodox jew would, depending on the person. Reform seminaries will ordain female rabbis, wheras Orthodox does not.Conservative Jews fall somewhere in between Reform and Orthodox -- not as strict as most Orthodox, but not as choose-your-own-adventure as Reform Jews.There's also Humanistic Jews, who are essentially atheists but still revere their Jewish ethnicity and cultural heritage. Reconstructionist Jews, who take a even more modern-adaptive view than most Reform (such as considering Miriam, the sister of Moses, as a full Prophet of God, on equal terms with Moses). And even, awkwardly, the Messianic Jews, or "Jews For Jesus."The debate between these factions over "What Is A Jew?" is nonstop, and can get extremely heated at times. It seems like most of the row happens between Orthodox and Reform, with Conservatives getting caught in the middle like a kid stuck in a messy divorce. About the only thing these three DO agree on is that the Jews For Jesus make them EXTREMELY uncomfortable. One of the bigger defining traits of Jews being that they don't believe the Messiah has come yet, and that while Jesus is a prophet worthy of study and respect, that he was not of divine origin. Jews For Jesus fly in the face of that, and it doesn't help that JFJ folks tend to aggressively evangelize at other Jews. So there's all sorts of debate going on as to if any one faction are "Really" Jewish or not. Even the Orthodox are not 100% in keeping with The Old Ways. In fact, the Hassidic Jews were *THE* radical rabblerousers of their day, centuries ago, but now they're the Old Guard. Times change, even with the hardcore.So the debate goes on. It's our faith, and we'll happily debate this until the sun goes out. But how could we presume to judge some other faith? I have two Catholic friends who use birth control, and in fact want to make sure they never have kids. It would be ridiculously rude and disrespect for me to presume to judge her. "Oh, you're not REALLY a Catholic, everyone knows Catholics don't ever use birth control. You're a FAKE Catholic." How snide!Let's be even more specific. This whole thread started because an Atheist had an experience that they weren't sure what to make of, that caused them to wonder about issues of religion and science and how the two interact. If a person of faith, or even an agnostic had said to her in this thread, "You know, Atheists aren't allowed any doubts. I denounce you as a Fake Atheist, and will ostracize you if you ever claim to be such a thing ever again", that would've been the height of nasty, crude, cruel, and disrespectful. "The problem is that the inflexible ones are the one that are doing it right, they are folowing the actual rules of the religion. If you take away those rules, and the priests say, well, you can do pretty much do whatever you think is best because in all honesty I don't know any better than you do, doesn't it mean that's Catholic in name only?"There is no One True Way of doing it right, even within a faith! Even within a denomination within a faith! Even within one single church or synagogue of a denomination of a faith! Some people within that faith might *claim* there is, but they are assholes and hypocrites and should be scorned as such. So where does someone who's not even claiming inclusion within that group, claim the right to judge qualifications for it?If a non-Jew told me that I wasn't REALLY a Jew because I eat pork, drive on saturdays, don't wear a yarmulke, don't do this or that or the other, I would be PISSED. Really, seriously pissed. Does that critic know the first thing of what goes into being Jewish? Have they ever recited, or even read, the Shema? Stood for the Amida? Read from the Torah before a minyan at their Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Read from the Talmud or Mishnah? Given respect to a Mezzuzah placed upon a threshold? Contemplated the meaning of freedom and the horrors of slavery on Passover? There are untold thousands or more aspects of being a person of any given identity or group, and *no one* is going to meet all of them. We are not monolithic clones, we are human beings with differences. Viva la difference.One last thought. How pissed off do you think a bisexual person feels when a homosexual person says to them "you aren't really gay"? Quite a lot, really.
I'm going to be honest here: as an atheist, it just frustrates me that when I look at history (at least anything before the Renaissance) almost all the major artistic accomplishments seem to be linked to religion. Especially in literature. Also, it seems a bit sad. Weren't people allowed to write about other things? Or am I somehow overlooking a vast body of secular literature?
Its also worth remembering that there was a time when the Church was a sponsor of the sciences...