Friday, February 01, 2008

Enlightenment 2.0 - a review by Impartialism

reposted from:

The reviews
Talk 1, Session 1 of 2, First Day
BB2:Does the Enlightenment need an upgrade? Darrin McMahon
He focuses on the social tyranny associated, certainly by its critics, with the Enlightenment and concludes, without good reason, that it does not need an upgrade. He fails to show how we can identify such Pseudo-Enlightenment movements, falsely blamed by critics on the Enlightenment and so learn how to prevent them.

Talk 2, Session 1 of 2, First Day
BB2: The Enlightenment as a Populist Movement: Margaret Jacob
She focus on the growth of Enlightenment thinking as a populist movement from 1680s, with the England and Holland as fertile ground for writers and thinkers to vocalize and refine the popular feeling against the Catholic Church and for a "movement towards the light". Why is this not a populist movement anymore, is, unfortunately, a question she fails to tackle.

Talk 3, Session 1 of 2, First Day
BB2: Enlightenment 2.0 has a bug, it is still religion: Edward Slingerland
He argues that Enlightenment 2.0 has a bug -metaphysical non-factual values - and this makes it still a religion, albeit superior to others. He has a mistaken conception of the Enlightenment and one can do without metaphysical values and so his argument fails.

Talk 4, Session 1 of 2, First Day
BB2: Look at the Pre-Enlightenment - Are we re-inventing the wheel? : Donald Rutherford
He argues that the issues over having a this-worldly grounding for a meaningful life, are no different to those in the times of the Epicureans. The dichotomy between this-world and other-world beliefs grounding meaning is both a false and misleading one, since the real question is over harmful false beliefs - whether from this world or otherwise.

Talk 5, Session 1 of 2, First Day
BB2: Teach the four Rs, the fourth being religion! :Daniel Dennett
He is concerned that the emotional upset of teaching adults the truth about religion might be too dangerous and seeks away to avoid confronting this. His solution that we need to teach the facts and only the facts of all world religion to all our children, to defend against the future dangerous excesses of it, to teach the Four Rs, the fourth R being religion.

Talk 6, Session 1 of 2, First Day
BB2: Is the "New Atheism" a stealth religion? :David Sloan Wilson
Wilson develops the theme of stealth religion, where dogmatically holding onto naturalistic but false beliefs can provide an adaptional advantage, and ponders whether "New Atheism" is such a stealth religion. His dilemma is that he has not shown where a "stealth religion" has an adaptational advantage over the factual alternative, whether it applies to "New Atheism" or not.

Informal Discussions, Session 1 of 2, First Day
BB2: Informal Discussion Session 1, First Day
Discussing metaphysical postulates, sacred values, human rights, theory of mind, happiness and moral realism.

Talk 1 , Session 2 of 2, First day
BB2: Enlightenment 2.0 requires Morality 2.0 :Jonathan Haidt
Haidt argues for a 5-dimensional moral domain for Enlightenment/Morality 2.0 compared to the 2-dimensional - harm and fairness - moral domain of Enlightenment/Morality 1.0. He has highlighted a key feature that needs to be understood, particularly the current resistance to Enlightenment 2.0 but his constraining assumptions on religion prevent him developing the argument further.

Talk 2 , Session 2 of 2, First day
BB2:Trade creates trust to resolve tribalism:Michael Shermer
Shermer changes the subject from the so far dominating religion/morality themes and instead looks at how trade can help create trust between otherwise antagonistic tribes. He ends creating a rather Panglossion view of this issue, rather than focus on the problems that trade and free markets have brought and suggesting how they can be resolved.

Panel Discussion, First Day
BB2: Panel Day One - Part 1 of 2
Covering economics; rationality versus intuitionism; the engine of hypocrisy; existential security; New Atheists and science; and incompatible solutions.
BB2: Is Evolution the best way to understand religion - and which version do we use?: Panel Day One - Part 2 of 2
Covering incompatible Darwinian solutions; did god exist in the past; is atom-world verus lattice-world a flase dichotomy; New Atheists and science (again!) and is Natural Selection the best language to understand this problem?

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