assignment 1The idea of living in a country where “all policy shall be based on the weight of evidence” seems unreal for me. However this idea does not seems so crazy for Neil deGrasse Tyson, who believes this idea could work in a country. But could it really work? The ‘Rationalia’ proposal is about that every idea need to be based on something. It means everything has to follow a process which is gathering data, observation, experimenting and having a conclusion. For a policy to get approved it needs to have the weight of evidence to support it, if it does not have it, then it will not get approve. I found it very interesting how white supremacy supported African slavery and how there was an effort to restricted the reproduction of other races. I feel like this would turn into a chaotic country because there are so many things that science cannot explain, scientist have theories only. Like most of the ancient civilization that had big constructions, ex: The Incas in Peru, there is no explanation for how the Machu Picchu ruins were constructed, or like the Pyramids in Egypt. As the scientist keep researching, new theories originate and no conclusion is made. I do not think religion has all the answers also. Why were women not able to touch their husbands or feed their animals while menstruating? Why a women would be considered contaminated or not pure base on something as normal as menstruation. Or the idea of it is okay for men to have multiple wives but it was not okay for women to get married twice? I do believe that there is a God, but the idea of the men been superior in both science and religion makes me feel frustrated as a woman. It would be very difficult for a country to be ruled by science or by God only. I feel that there should always be a balance between science and religion, even though both want to compete with each other and have the ultimate opinion. There are somethings that I disagree with both of them. There is no need to keep fighting against each other, even the pope supported the scientific view of evolution, and as the article “Nonoverlapping Magisteria” by Stephen Jay Gould said “The Catholic Church had never opposed evolution and had no reason to do so”. For some people like me, science and religion go together.assigment 2In the first reading “Reflections on Rationalia” by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Tyson discusses an idea of developing a virtual world in which all its policies have to be founded based on evidence, meaning that the state would be undergoing constant research, forming a foundation for its government and how its citizens should think. Within the proposal for the new state, Tyson says that a great amount of funding will be given to the continued study of the human sciences, along with extensive training for the young to learn how to obtain, analyze and gather conclusions on data, and citizens would have the freedom to be irrational, simply no policies will be made without convincing evidence. He also mentions that anything can be proposed for policy as long as there is research done to prove or deny the claims leading to the policy. Interestingly, citizens would feel the need to “pity newscasters” for reporting any “opinions as fact” and there would be a freedom of religion, however, it would have little influence on policy without proof, and citizens would be responsible for developing an office of morality. The second reading is a critique of Tyson’s elaborated idea by Jeffrey Guhin, who disagrees with Tyson and called the concept of Rationalia a “stupid idea”. In his piece he discusses that people believe science was expected to do more than teach about how life is, and claims that experts usually get things wrong due to overconfidence, and that being human leads them to make mistakes just like ordinary people. He strongly believes that “science has no business telling people how to live their lives”, and that evidence from past theories and experiments shows us to be skeptical and cautious of trusting science as a way of life. He notes that people generally like science, and those who are religious only choose to deny specific claims that conflict with church doctrine. Towards the end of the piece he says “Science may give us data, but that doesn’t mean that data points to truth- it just means that’s what we currently understand as truth” and closes by noting that Tyson admitted that Guhin’s field of sociology is harder than his own field of physics, and uses that as a challenge to how Tyson can give advice on a topic he knows little about. The third reading talks about the issue of creationism, which according to the author, Stephen Jay Gould, is a belief carried by American Protestants who consider every world in the holy bible to be true. Gould was having a discussion in the Vacation at a breakfast with French and Italian priests, all while being a Jewish agnostic who teaches undergraduates at Harvard University. He is asked if the topic of creationism has come up in his courses, and recalled an event in which a student came to talk about his and his roommates conflicting views, questioning how he could consider himself a Christian and also believe in evolution. This is when he considers if science and religion are in battle together, and cites two roman catholic popes on their views of the relationship between science in religion based on the Humani Generis of 1950 and Proclamation of 1996, the latter given just a year after Gould’s visit to the Vatican. He says that through these works, followers of faith are given permission to believe in science about the human body and how it works, but only up to the church’s authority and must be accepting of the church’s teachings on creationism. If writing an opinion piece on Tyson’s “Reflections on Rationalia”, I would definitely support the idea of this virtual citizenship for the rules and requirements appear clear and easy to follow without causing harm. The current political climate in the United States as of this year, 2017, shows that as a nation, people are suffering under the control of legislators and executives of power who are acting without use of evidence to back up claims and make important decisions. Rationalia requires evidence for the formation of policy, which makes sense, and should be required of all policies, if there are enough statistics to support a claim; it allows a policy to be more reasonable. Its citizens have a freedom of religion, which is appealing, because even if people don’t agree on all aspects of life, they can still practice their faith their own way. I agree with the idea of increasing funding for the human sciences because studying human behavior should be given greater importance than studying business or trade in order to improve life.
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