Ask A Genius 366 – Mitigating Risk (1)
June 15, 2018
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: We share the hope for the hollowing out of the more harmful aspects of religion. Many religious individuals share this concern as well. In common, decent people, it is a common desire to see religion cause less harm.
Rick Rosner: I expressed hope that in the future that there will be a hollowing out of some of the more pernicious aspects of religion as technological points. As technology explains more and more of the world and takes over more and more of the functions that religion has prompted, religion traditionally promises people.
But then I had a second thought which is that, since our thoughts are created and stored in our brain and the mind is the source of the reacting to the environment with memories and all that, and various stimuli are the contents of our awareness, the heart of our mind’s construction from moment to moment.
It means that at some moments you could believe in religion, in other moments you can believe wholeheartedly in science. And you can hold both those things in your head with difficulty simultaneously, but not with that much difficulty simultaneously.
And we don’t have enough information and awareness; we don’t have an infinite amount of information in our awareness at any given time. So, we don’t have infinite resistance to believing something that may go against other beliefs we have.
So, people may continue to be religious if in the future, even as they’re more and more tech and are persuaded by the efficacy of technology, as long as religion still satisfies emotional or cultural needs, it would be hard to eradicate it.
There is no need to eradicate it unless religion, religious beliefs, are messing up the world. I’ve always liked this quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald: ‘The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind, at the same time and still retain the ability to function.’
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: That runs back to Aristotle.
Rosner: Even if…I never read Aristotle.
Jacobsen: He said, “The mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain the thought without accepting it.”
Rosner: I mean that’s a good quote too.
Jacobsen: I mean the basic assumption behind that quote is you already have another thought in mind.
Rosner: So, while I don’t have that much beyond that, that’s more like half a thought.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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