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A conversation between a few members in the "pre-marital sex" thread got me thinking. Many ED threads have an undercurrent of science vs. religion, with scientific minded members and religious members both trying to get the other to see the error of their thinking.
I think these sorts of discussions are just hot air as the two sides are unable to actually engage each other in any meaningful way due to their very nature. If enough of us can agree to this then maybe we can avoid such potentially inflammatory (and boring) discussions in the future by referring the people arguing to this thread
Here is what I think: Science is a method of finding out about the world that is based on methodically making guesses and discarding them when they are proved wrong. It basically starts with a big pool of assumed knowledge and whittles it down until theoretically what's left is the truth. Scientists make authoritative claims but these claims are always open to being disproved.
The authority of religion comes in two major flavours, scripture/tradition and personal experience. The first is a method of describing the world that is based on, surprise surprise, a scripture or a tradition. It is not open to change by it's very nature, it is believed because it is held to be the truth, not because it is the most likely scenario.
Personal experience OTOH is based on, well, personal experience of the divine. Neither of these authorities can be tested using science, they lie outside of it by their very nature.
So this means that a person who has a religious belief is not open to changing their mind without invalidating and discarding their whole belief system. Likewise a scientist is not open to the possibility of an unchanging authority not based on testing without discarding their belief in the scientific method. Neither side can express an argument in the terms of the other that can sway anyone who does not already believe.
I think ideas such as intelligent design have made this seem more complex than it is. They are intellectually deceptive, being religious ideas that masquerade as science. Many such ideas claim that because any particular scientific theory cannot be proven unequivocally, that this therefore gives the same scientific validity to any religious theory. This is not the case, as a scientific theory is based on the most likely scenario according to what we know, and is always open to change but a religious thoery is neither. Therefore a religious theory can never have scientific validity and a scientific theory can never be at peace with religion no matter what the two sides call themselves.
Basically what that whole complicated bit of text above is driving at is this: It is impossible to formulate a scientific argument for the validity of religion, and it is impossible to even describe religious belief using scientific terms. This means that when two people, one religious and one scientific, are talking about these things they are actually speaking different languages and can NEVER convince the other using arguments acceptable to the other. You can't use religious evidence to convince a scientist, and you can't use scientific evidence to convince a person of faith.
So they should just agree to disagree as this is the inevitable consequence anyway. I think we should in future therefore avoid any discussion of science vs. religion as it is irreconcilable and has the potential to offend. I must stress that I am not suggesting censorship of our discussions, merely the avoidance of a pointless and insoluble debate, the same way we avoid threads like "which army is the best?" in the main forum.
Is anyone with me?
PS Of course it is perfectly possible to be syncretistic, that is take some of the ideas of religion and maintain a basic belief in science, which is what many people do, and more power to 'em. What I'm talking about here are your more "hard-core" proponents of each theory, your Brother Dariens and your Hard Auns Thes people can never come to an agreement by the very nature of their belief and can only make each other angry.
Last edited by Kahoolin; December 8th, 2005 at 23:42. Reason: a few typos and clearec up bad phrasing
As long as we are ruled by the vanity of relegion, we are forced to stay back and live in obsucrerantism. Modern obsucrerantism is the cause of moral codes in science. We need to reset all moral codes in life to see the general belifes from a third eye.
Last edited by Nagato; December 9th, 2005 at 00:51.
MEAT IS MURDER
Interestingly, what is termed modern science was developed from religion, and by religious figures. It really was a case of "Was this a miracle, or is there another explaination for it?", or alternatively, "How did God create/manage/do this?". Science as we know it was first practised by Popes, Cardinals, and Bishops, partially because they were the ones with unlimited access to the funds needed to conduct the experiments they wanted, and partially because they were the best/only-ones educated to the level required.
The world's greatest scientists have all believed in God, and their main purpose in investigation was to determine how God did it. One of Einstein's better known quote's was "All I ask is to know God's thoughts, the rest is mere detail". Science, at the heart of it all, was about knowing God better, knowing more of what He knows.
A few years ago now, a survey was done of a couple of thousand scientists, on their views on science and religion, and one very interesting result came from it, almost 90% of the world's scientists (on average) believe in God, and all they work to do is to know how God has made things possible, what the Laws of nature He has set in place,and how they were used in order to create this universe and all that occurs in it.
Mysterious Member of the ANZAC Clan
All that may be true, but it I am talking about being religious, not believing in God. They aren't the same thing.
You can believe in God without also agreeing that the bible is his word, or that a priest can absolve your sins, or countless other religious dogmas. I'm not trying to debate the relative values of science and religion. In fact what I am trying to point out is that you can't debate this meaningfully unless all the participants in the debate are coming from the same standpoint. Which kind of defeats the purpose of debating. The two ways of looking at the status of truth and knowledge in religion (not deism) and science are incompatible.
Plus holy crap Nagato I rarely understand everything you're saying but it's always fun to read
Is that good or bad ? I thing I'm going slightly mad by the way.Originally Posted by robotnik
MEAT IS MURDER
It's good. It's like a puzzle (Y)
And, er, slightly mad is the best kind of mad...
Last edited by Kahoolin; December 9th, 2005 at 05:07.
Einstein had some really good quotes lets see if i can remember Some "Religon without Science is Blind, Science without Religon is mute", my other favorite was in refrence to Quantam Mechanics "God does not play Dice" I can't remember the name of the scientist he said it to but his response was "Stop telling God what to do with his dice".
I for one (as people might have guessed) think that science and religion can be reconciled. At its most basic level, the Bible (or any other holy text) makes claims about the nature of the world, and if such claims are verified, then there is reason to believe that there is a link. To use two well-known examples, evolution and Creation.
Evolution, in parts, I agree with. Natural selection is observable, and only a fool would question it. However, I do not agree with common descent. It is extrapolation, which some people (most notably Hume) have said is false reasoning. For example, there is no reason why the sun should rise tomorrow. Past experience has shown that it does, but the past has no prescriptive bearing on the future. To use examples to demonstrate, people's tastes change ("I never liked this before..." *tucks into spam*), and that of puberty ("Eurgh, girls!" to "Woo, girls!"). If the past defined these examples exactly, then they would never change, but this is blatantly not the case. And so extrapolation without evidence (the fossil record is incomplete) shouldn't be taken as proof of a theory.
For the six-day creation, because I'm not too keyed up on Relativity Theory, I'll let someone else do the talking: http://www.geraldschroeder.com/age.html
In essence, he suggests that time dilation is the cause of our perception of the Universe being as old as it is. That because we're far away from the point of creation (in time and space), it seems a long time ago that the universe was created. Bear in mind that I haven't been able to check the figures he gives for the length of each day.
I hope this goes some way towards explaining my views at least on religion and science being reconcilable.
Actually, no one has yet made me angry, for several reasons.Originally Posted by robotnik
- No one has yet come up with any kind of sensible, coherent counter to my own beliefs
- It's not worth getting angry about
- I don't do anger anywayNow, this I must admit I find interesting. I know enough about the timescales involved to see the correlation that Schroder is discussing (even though he does the usual trick of using dodgy and distracting similies and metaphors). However, the 'fit' is by no means accurate (although in more or less the right order), and it could certainly just be an amusing co-incidence, prompted maybe by some intelligent suppositions by the original authors of the Torah (after all, how difficult would it be for a primitive culture to work out several arbitrary levels of 'complexity' of the perceived Universe? And didn't they get some of the order wrong?Originally Posted by XerzesHow come plant life and water came before the sun, moon and stars? I think we have to assume this is terrestial water and plant life, btw - not another biblical 'get-out' like icebergs in space, or intergalactic plant spores.Originally Posted by wikipedia/genesis
And certainly, seeing as how a lot of the 'problems' associated with the Christian bible stem from the way it has been constantly and prejudicially edited and translated over the centurys, it makes sense to cut the crap and go back to the pure original source - the Jewish Torah (the first five books IIRC), and look at it with Jewish translation skills.
But what does it suggest? As far as I am concerned, I have no particular problem with the concept of 'something' kicking the whole Universe process off, and we could call that anything we like, even God. But what evidence is there that he interferes in the everyday running of the joint? None, as far as I can see (which is pretty far - I read a lot, and devour science and current affairs like you would not believe).
I don't think that 'He' has ever done a stroke of work since the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago. Which makes Him a lazy sod/God. 'He' certainly doesn't 'talk' to people on an individual basis - the nature of the human mind/psyche is such that it can easily 'create' alternative discrete personalities and these can have 'conversations' within the individuals brain, as if they were two separate intellectual entities. I'm not gonna label this mental illness, its not my place to. But its a widely spread phenomena and I would suggest that its the more likely explanation of the 'still small voice of God'. Particularly in the most suggestible periods of the human intellect, the times of day when one is either going into, or coming out of sleep - these are known as the hypnogogic and hypnopompic periods, and they are when the subconcious mind is overriding the conscious mind. Is it by chance that just before sleep is also a traditional time for prayer?
Anyway, it's the idea in some peoples heads that they have a personal connection with a deity, who sanctions arbitrary acts and attitudes against other members of human society that really worries me. People who think they have a God-given right to kill or otherwise disadvantage other human beings (and thus deplete the gene-pool) are anathema to me.
Last edited by Hard A**; December 9th, 2005 at 18:40.
Ryan Dancey, Vice President of Wizards of the Coast, believed that TSR failed because of "...a near total inability to listen to its customers, hear what they were saying, and make changes to make those customers happy." Are you listening, Games Workshop ?
Believe it or not, but religion is actually very prevalent in the mathematical and computational theory fields. The mathematicians I deal with on a regular basis are very vested in their faith.
I asked one of them, playing the Devil's Advocate, how someone whose career stems from proofs and absolutes can take anything on faith.
The reply was, "God created, along with everything else, mathematics. Within mathematics are absolutes. Mathematics, however, did not set forth our code of basic human morality, God did. I am worshipful of God because I thank Him for creating the universe and its mathematical principles, and I hope to, through mathematics, be able to receive even a small part of His wisdom."
One of the defining aspects of the scientific mind is the ability to accept that which it cannot explain, not dismiss it. ...of course, that's not to say that one of the defining aspects of the scientific mind is not also the need to explain that which it cannot explain.
We've all experienced things before that we are at a loss to explain. My own experience deals with the concept of ki through Aikido. The concept of ki is not something prevalent in Western cultures, so I cannot fully explain it. However, I have, throughout my study of Aikido, seen things which cannot be simply explained through physics and biomechanics. I still don't fully believe in ki, but I am not going to flat-out say it doesn't exist because I cannot resolve it.
Last edited by Quick; December 9th, 2005 at 18:30.
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