Dworkin's Religion Without God

Outline of Critiques

Outline of Outline

1. The Metaphysical Core of Religion: Objectivity of Value

1.1. Empirical Consistency of Value

1.2. Practical Falsifiability of Value

1.3. Theoretical Necessity of the Objectivity of Value

2. Beauty of the Universe

2.1. Empirical Consistency of Beauty

2.2. Beauty as a Guide of Science: Mundane and Utilitarian

2.3. Strong Integrity: an Illusion

3. Religious Freedom

3.1. The Rise of Toleration in Europe: A Historical Materialist View

3.2. The Spirit of Religion in the U.S.

3.3. Ethical Independence

1. The Metaphysical Core of Religion: Objectivity of Value

1.1. Empirical Consistency of Value

1.10. Anything that is Objective should Necessarily be Consistent for Everyone.

1.11. Spatial Consistency

1.110. At any given Time, there are different Value Systems based on Culture.

1.111. Example: The Value of Family and Individualism in Sinosphere vs. Anglosphere Cultures.

1.112. Example: The Value of Hard Work now in Greece vs. Germany.

1.12. Temporal Consistency

1.120. For any given Individual or Community, its Value System change across Time.

1.121. Example: The Attitude toward Slavery, Racism, Sexism, and Homosexuality across the ages.

1.122. Example: Revolutions. Rise of Islam. French Revolution. Russian Revolution.

1.13. The Values of Godly Religions in Reality

1.130. Subjective to God/God's interpreters, therefore Inconsistent.

1.131. Example: Heresies, Schisms, Reformations. Occurs in every Religion.

1.2. Practical Falsifiability of Value

1.20. (Mathematics and) Sciences are not "Matters of Faith".

1.21. Sciences are Proven/Disproven through their Practical Applications, not "Interpersonal Agreement".

1.22. Practical Falsifiability is a Necessity for any theory of Science, and its one and only Justification.

1.23. Unlike Science, Values (Especially on a Community Scale) cannot be Falsified in Practice.

1.230. ^Possible Linguistic Distinction: Value Statements are Imperative/Nonconditional.

1.231. Otherwise, only a Single Value System would ever exist instead of multiple ones (1.11.).

1.3. Theoretical Necessity of the Objectivity of Value

1.30. Abundant Evidence exist that Values are (only) Evolutionarily Adaptive.

1.31. Cooperative Game Theory

1.310. Experimental Evidence that Morality is Contingent on Environment.

1.311. Changes in the Environment can Directly and Immediately Affect People's Values.

1.32. Repeated Game & Reputation

1.33. Evolutionary Psychology

1.330. Values, even Maladaptive ones, Can Be Explained by Evolution.

1.331. Previously Adaptive. Evolutionary Relic.

1.34. Neuroeconomics

1.340. Values, Inclinations, Decisions can be directly affected by neurochemistry.

1.35. In the abundance of Predictive, Scientific, Subjective Theories of Values, why is Objectivity Necessary?

2. Beauty of the Universe

2.1. Empirical Consistency of Beauty

2.10. Distinction of Natural vs. Artificial Beauty: A False One.

2.101. The Great Pyramids. The Gold Gate Bridge. The Argonath. "Wonder, Rapture, Awe".

2.102. Which Part is Artificial? Traveling on a Train through the Alps? Wearing Shoes while Hiking?

2.103. (Conversely) Are We, and Our Works, not Part of the Universe?

2.1030. "Look on my works ye mighty, and despair!"

2.11. Psychology: Beauty - Wonder - Rarity. (See also 2.12.)

2.111. Artificial - Can be Replicated Many Times - Not Rare.

2.12. Consistency Across Individuals: Beauty is Subjective.

2.121. Example: Babies look in awe upon everything. Wonder! Rapture! Awe!

2.122. Example: A young peasant sees a train for the first time. Wonder! Rapture! Awe!

2.13. Consistency Across Time: Beauty is Subjective.

2.131. Example: Great Mountains and Canyons are appreciated only after the Romantic movement.

2.1310. Which was a reaction against the Industrial Revolution.

2.132. Example: "Fat" used to be Beautiful. In many cultures (e.g. European, Chinese).

2.1320. "Fat became ugly as soon as the poor became fat."

2.133. Aesthetics depends on Socioeconomic Trends - Subjective.

2.2. Beauty as a Guide of Science: Mundane and Utilitarian

2.20. (Beauty of) Science of The Universe =/= (Beauty of) The Universe.

2.201. Laws of Physics =/= Laws (if any) of the Universe. Any Physicist knows this.

2.202. No theory is ever Perfect or "Final". Any Physicist knows this.

2.202. Here Dworkin is making a Fatal Epistemological Error.

2.21. Beauty in Theories of Science == Simplicity

2.210. Symmetry - Less (1/N amount of) Information - Simplicity.

2.2101. Example: Left-Right Mirror Symmetry - Amount of Information is Halved.

2.22. Beauty/Simplicity in Science is Utilitarian

2.221. Simple == Easier to Understand == More Enjoyable.

2.2210. Bounded Rationality. Cognitive Load.

2.2211. A Simpler Theory is More Pleasant because it's Less Mentally Stressful.

2.2221. Beauty is not truth. But it makes truth easier to accept.

2.222. Simple == Less Chances to be Proven Wrong.

2.2220. Occam's Razor.

2.2221. Beauty is not truth. But it makes truth more likely.

2.223. Example: Quantum Theory of Gravity

2.224. Example: Faraday's Work == Maxwell's Equations

2.3. Strong Integrity: an Illusion

2.30. Strong Integrity is an Illusion Held by Amateurs like Dworkin.

2.31. Mathematics does NOT have Strong Integrity.

2.310. Dworkin, in his Ignorance, claims the opposite (p.89.).

2.311. Choice Axiom: Logically Independent from the rest of the Axioms (Z-F System) of Logic.

2.32. Physics does NOT have Strong Integrity.

2.33. Biological Sciences Have Always Been the Opposite of Strong Integrity

2.331. And are steadily developing further along that direction.

2.34. Most Practical Ethics Systems Do Not Have Strong Integrity.

2.341. Which is Why They have been under constant Modifications and Amendments!

2.35. The same (as 2.34) can be said for Legal Systems.

2.36. Few Non-Imaginary Systems have Strong Integrity.

2.37. Strong Integrity is As Hopeless an Objective Standard of Beauty as Symmetry (2.21).

3. Religious Freedom

3.1. The Rise of Toleration in Europe: The Historical Materialist View

3.10. Dworkin: Religious Toleration in Europe as a Reaction against the Violence of Religious Wars

3.100. See Violence and Destruction - Try to Avoid

3.101. This is Counterintuitive: See Some Infidels kill our Brothers - Let's Embrace the Infidels!

3.102. Historical Counterexamples:

3.1021. Spain took part in the most Religious Wars, and it had been the least Tolerant.

3.1022. By Dworkin's Logic, Spain would have been the most Tolerant.

3.11. Instead, both Religious Wars and Religious Toleration are motivated by Economic Factors.

3.110. They can be viewed as alternative solutions to the same economic problems.

3.111. And as a Result, they have developed in Parallel to each other, instead of Sequentially.

3.12. Because of this error, Dworkin Underestimated How Early Tolerance developed in Europe.

3.120. This lead to the further error regarding Ethical Independence (see 3.3).

3.13. Examples of Economic Cause of Religious Wars

3.131. Holy League vs. Ottoman Empire, for control of Mediterranean Trade with the Near East

3.132. Fourth Crusade & Sack of Constantinople: Same Reason

3.133. Swedish Intervention in Thirty Year's War: Control of Baltic Trade after Decline of the Hansa

3.14. Examples of Economic Cause of Religious Tolerance (see also 3.321)

3.141. Venetian Tolerance of Orthodox citizens in the Stato de Mar: Trade Above Everything

3.142. Dutch Tolerance and the Golden Age: To compete with established economies (Spain, England)

3.143. Frederick the Great's Tolerance: In order to quickly modernize Prussia

3.2. The Spirit of Religion in the U.S.

3.20. Religious Diversity and Conflicts are not Endemic to the U.S.

3.201. The U.S. was Founded by predominantly Protestant (and often Puritan) Immigrants.

3.202. Catholics (for example) have long been a weak minority

3.2020. JFK, a Catholic President, was considered Unusual.

3.203. Religious minorities have been introduced to the U.S. in gradual and controlled steps.

3.2031. So that the Protestant Majority's social values have continued to dominate.

3.2032. Culture acclimatization and assimilation have been powerful (see 3.22).

3.21. The Differing Spirit of Religion in America vs. Europe

3.210. Tocqueville: l'esprit de religion essential for the workings of Democracy in America.

3.211. This is because a Uniform Religious Spirit strongly induces Ideological Unity.

3.2112. Which is essential for the Internal Stability of a Democracy (R. A. Dahl)

3.212. In the 21st century, America is much more religious than Western Europe.

3.213. Europe's Endemic Religious Diversity has Resulted in Different Developments (see also 3.321).

3.2131. Diversity - Conflicts & Tolerance - Decline of Religion in Modern Europe.

3.2132. As the King is forced (by compromise) to acknowledge 2 Faiths, Religion started to decline.

3.2133. Examples: Henry IV of France. James I of England. The Anglican "Middle Way".

3.214. Lack of Endemic Religious Diversity in the U.S. - Little Decline (ala 3.213) of Religion

3.22. Maintaining the Religious Spirit in the U.S.: Acclimatization and Assimilation.

3.221. As the U.S. expanded across the continent, it absorbed French/Spanish, Catholic territories.

3.222. The new acquisitions are strongly acclimatized into the Anglo-American Way.

3.2221. In terms of Language, Law, Religion, and other aspects of Culture.

3.223. Immigration has been Gradual and Controlled to maintain the Religious and Cultural Unity.

3.2231. U.S. government has always consciously favored Immigration from Culturally Similar Sources.

3.2232. Currently (2010) the most Common National Ancestry in the U.S. is (Protestant) German.

3.3. Ethical Independence

3.30. Contradiction with Objective Value

3.300. Religion based on Objective Value ([OV], Religion withou God) vs.

Tolerance as Ethical Independence ([EI], Tolerance without Rights)

3.301. Dworkin made no connection between these two central ideas of the book.

3.302. Likely because the two ideas are inherently Contradictory.

3.303. Objectivity of Value —\ Uniformity of Value — \ /— Multiplicity of Ethics /— Ethical Independence

3.3030. "Multiple Objective Values/Ethics" is an oxymoron.

3.304. Authoritarian Ideologies have used Objectivity of Value as pretext to rob Ethical Independence.

3.305. Examples:

3.3051. Many Religious Value systems claim to be Objective - No Ethical Independence for Heathens.

3.3052. In USSR, Communist Value system is acclaimed as Objective - No EI for Capitalists.

3.3053. In USA, Republicanism is acclaimed as Objective ("Self-Evident") - No EI for Monarchists.

3.3054. In the Third Reich, Racism is acclaimed as Objective - No EI for Jew-lovers.

3.306. Possible Counter: "EI so long as Public Good is not Compromised".

3.3060. Counter-Counter: "Public Good" is itself a Value/Ethics Judgment. Circular Argument.

3.307. Of the Two Ideals he espouses, OV and EI, Dworkin must discard at least one.

3.3070. I have provided ample reasons to discard OV (1.)

3.31. Positive vs. Negative Liberty

3.310. Dworkin's concept of EI instead of Rights is no more than a rephrase of Positive vs. Negative Liberty.

3.311. Isaiah Berlin: Freedom From (Negative) vs. Freedom To (Positive)

3.312. Charles Taylor: Opportunity Concept (Negative) vs. Exercise Concept (Positive)

3.313. Ron Replogle: Positive Liberty is "Contractarian".

3.3130. Rules for Action. c.f. H.L.A. Hart: Power-Conferring, Secondary Rules.

3.314. Erich Fromm: Negative Liberty overcomes Primitive Instincts.

3.315. From All These: Negative Liberty is Easier to Formulate Clearly and Comprehensively.

3.3150. Purely Information-Theoretic advantage.

3.32. History of Ethical Independence

3.320. Ethical Independence Predates Rights as a Concept by Thousands of Years.

3.3201. The U.S.'s unique Foundation and Development has given it a Rights Over EI focus (3.2.).

3.3202. Hence Dworkin's mistaken regard for EI as a (radically) new alternative to Rights.

3.3203. Rights (in the Universal sense) arose as a concept first during the Enlightenment.

3.3204. Ethical Independence/Negative Freedom is as old as Civilization itself.

3.3205. The U.S. is Rights focused to begin with, but most of the World are not.

3.321. Historical Examples of Ethical Independence in Europe

3.3210. These can also serve as examples of 3.213.

3.3211. Kingdom of France. Henry IV and the Edict of Nantes.

3.3212. Swiss Confederation. Swiss Tolerance during the Reformation.

3.3213. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Golden Liberty.

3.3214. Kingdom of Hungary. The Edict of Torda.

3.3215. Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. Dutch Tolerance (e.g. of Spinoza) and Gold Age.

3.3216. Frederick the Great: "I will build Mosques if the Turks come to me."

3.322. Historical Examples of Ethical Independence in Asia

3.3220. In Asia, Religions have always been Inclusive, Syncretic, Tolerant (in the EI sense).

3.3221. The Buddha explicitly said that God is a meaningless concept. Not "God-like" (as Dworkin alleges).

3.3222. Confucianism is as typical a "Religion without God" as it can get for Dworkin. Values included.

3.3223. The Yongle Emperor practiced Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Islam, Simultaneously.

3.3224. Neoconfucianism: Synthesis of Confucianism with Taoist and Buddhist concepts.

3.3225. The Spread and Tolerance of Buddhism during the Tang Dynasty.

3.3226. Hinduism: Hundreds of Different Religions by Western standards.

3.3227. Hinduism's Influence on Buddhist (esp. Tibetan) Cosmology and Deities.

3.3228. Mutual Tolerance of Hinduism and Buddhism in South and SE Asia (Khmer, India).

3.3229. Abrahamic Religions in Asia: Nestorians; Kaifeng Jews; Hui Muslims. Tolerated, "Softened", Absorbed.