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Thread: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    I won't address your claim that there is no evidence, because it is a matter of conversion which depends on you.
    That's the thing though. There is no evidence. Personal visions and attributing divine intervention to random occurrences are not evidence. Neither is a book written by people who had little understanding of many phenomenon we have explained now (a book that was written several years after the facts at that).

    For every piece of evidence that there is a God, there is another, equally valid explanation that does not require God.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert View Post
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    That phrase became kind of a cliche if people don't ask themselves what exactly are they trying to prove and whether the means of proof is adequate. Science in itself is a poor tool to discuss the question.

    I won't address your claim that there is no evidence, because it is a matter of conversion which depends on you.
    So this just became about shifting the burden of proof and trying to get science to prove a negative, big yaaawn Im afraid.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    The thread is settled then.

    How can you see any evidence if you don't what you are looking for ?
    We see plenty of evidence if you are looking for Spinoza's god. Otherwise, what we see seems perfectly natural and logical. One could say that the Universe was made exactly as it was by god and that nature is gods work, but we have no proof of his need at this point. We have unanswered questions only.

    I won't deny that there is a lot of stupid thing generated by philosophy, and it is mostly a licence to say stupid thing, but you do need some knowledge of philosophy -mostly because a lot of people generally don't even know what they knew and why they know it, so philosophy as form of honesty with oneself is important- and theology if you purpose is to discuss question related to god, or then what are you discussing anyway ? You can't just assume a standard definition of god disconnected from any religious tradition, then call it a day.
    Its not really the value of philosophy that is in question, though I think many overstate its value, its the value of philosophy in the discussion of god. One can reach no more of a conclusion about god as a philosopher than as a scientist, and unlike a scientist a philosopher does not have to fall back on any known observations, simply their opinion framed in logical games.

    Now for the theologian, I can offer no hope. Here is a person who has devoted their life, already assuming they know the basis of the question. A theologian does not ask 'If god' a theologian is about 'how god'. Its much like being a master of Ptolemy's astronomy. Its deep and its difficult, it requires deep thought, but its underlying assumption is its undoing.

    Perhaps if theologians just assumed 'how god' from a general standpoint, where god was not defined as anything, there might be something interesting out of it, but instead its 'how god who's properties we have defined and can not be changed ever'.

    The rejection of religion requires not deep understanding of philosophy, or theology. Its simply a rejection of the central idea that there must be a actor behind creation. This bypasses everything.
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    Science is simply not qualified to answer this question.
    Exactly. Science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God or some other deity. All it does is explain the world around us here and now.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by thewolflord View Post
    Exactly. Science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God or some other deity. All it does is explain the world around us here and now.
    Technically science can't prove anything. It's one of the rules of science. You can only disprove, or present evidence for. Never prove though (which I think is just great, because you can never say they were wrong because they've never definitively said anything).
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert View Post
    the Church has only improved mankind in history

    For this there are words, but none that abide by the ToS.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Phier View Post
    The rejection of religion requires not deep understanding of philosophy, or theology.
    You are right that the rejection of religion doesn't require a ''deep understanding of philosophy, or theology'', which is why there are millions of people who don't believe in god because can't experience him in his life, this happens to everyone from church goers to Priests, theologians and nominal believers, and this is wholly normal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phier View Post
    Its simply a rejection of the central idea that there must be a actor behind creation. This bypasses everything.
    This is part of the Scientific pretension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phier View Post
    Now for the theologian, I can offer no hope. Here is a person who has devoted their life, already assuming they know the basis of the question. A theologian does not ask 'If god' a theologian is about 'how god'. Its much like being a master of Ptolemy's astronomy. Its deep and its difficult, it requires deep thought, but its underlying assumption is its undoing.
    How can you disprove something you refuse to acknowledge the status of the question ? What god are you disproving then ? Mars ? Jupiter ? The Great Sequoia ?

    How can you say that X or Y religious text is wrong if you are bypassing centuries of scholarship on it ? That is poor excuse for dishonesty, especially since you can easily select the best pieces of theological work of a given religion to know what it is about.

    How can you even find a proof if you don't know what you are looking for ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
    That's the thing though. There is no evidence. Personal visions and attributing divine intervention to random occurrences are not evidence. Neither is a book written by people who had little understanding of many phenomenon we have explained now (a book that was written several years after the facts at that).

    For every piece of evidence that there is a God, there is another, equally valid explanation that does not require God.
    You are misunderstanding the discussion, I am not saying that discussion about god is not possible, I am saying that Science is not qualified to answer the question.

    There it is normal that people will discuss god, doubt, and reject him, or no church or religion on the planet would try to convert people. So questioning or saying that god don't exist is not a problem.

    For example lets take Christianity, in which most of the scientific efforts are focused on external attributes which are themselves secondary to the point of Christianity : You need saving and Jesus is there for you. No amount of fossils proving evolution (with the proxy intent of denying divine creation) will answer these question for you unless try to put them to yourself honestly, such that the proof game is missing the point all together.

    Now if you ask yourself the question and conclude that nope, I don't need anything, good for you man, just don't be intellectually dishonest about by using inappropriate tools and then discarding others experience based on that.
    Last edited by Menelik_I; May 06, 2012 at 03:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    You are right that the rejection of religion doesn't require a ''deep understanding of philosophy, or theology'', which is why there are millions of people who don't believe in god because can't experience him in his life, this happens to everyone from church goers to Priests, theologians and nominal believers, and this is wholly normal.
    So if I studied a little more theology and philosophy I'd experience god? Bold claim.
    This is part of the Scientific pretension.
    Actually no. I rejected religion without a deep understanding of philosophy, theology, OR science. I rejected it because it seemed completely insane. It made absolutely no sense. This doesn't require years of study of other peoples thought. This simply requires looking around the world and a slight amount of logic.

    I felt sorry for a man on Friday. I spend a lot of time at the gym these days, and I usually have to go over lunch due to my schedule during the week (and I'm going again about an hour from now). It seems that if you go during the weekday at these times a majority of men are 50+ and out of shape "working out". Which means walking on a treadmill a bit, but I digress. At any rate one of these 50+ year old fat men was hanging out, barely in a towel with other 50+ year old fat men watching TV. Very loudly this man tells how he was a Deacon, and how he can't wait until we are all united by god and there is no more war and disease will be instantly healed, and on and on and on. I really can't do it justice. The rest of the men were doing what most people do when a lunatic talks, which is nodding slightly and hoping he stops.

    I felt sorry for him because what I saw was a man a few decades past his prime who still believed in a story as ridiculous as Santa Claus.

    Science is not REQUIRED for atheism. Science allows one to be a FULFILLED atheist. I would have been an atheist be it 1200 or the modern era, but were it 1200 I would have so many fundamental questions for which I had no good answer for. I might have even had to reluctantly agree that there must be a God (I don't think I could ever believe it was the official doctrine Christian one). Science removes much of the street magic aspect of the universe.
    Last edited by Phier; May 06, 2012 at 08:21 AM.
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    Actually Dawkin says that the Universe is not consistent with an intelligent designer in the video I posted, so this is not about disproving particular divine attributes a but a blanker rejection of divinity....
    Yes, which is picking and choosing words about a scientist to make him look bad.

    Dawkins position over various interviews, lectures and conversations has been:
    1) In his view there is no evidence for God aka the universe is not consistent with an intelligent designer since it can be explained without one.
    2) As a scientist he cannot disprove God but he is personally pretty certain that he doesn't exist ( I think he gave himself a 8 or 9 concerning his certainity that there is no God)
    3) All believers are atheists since they consider all the other religions gods as false, too, so atheists are not particularly outrageous in their position.
    4) From 3) follows that a Christian/Muslim etc. God is even more unlikely since their are all based on the same level of preconceptions and lack of evidence and shaky sources.
    "Sebaceans once had a god called Djancaz-Bru. Six worlds prayed to her. They built her temples, conquered planets. And yet one day she rose up and destroyed all six worlds. And when the last warrior was dying, he said, 'We gave you everything, why did you destroy us?' And she looked down upon him and she whispered, 'Because I can.' "
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    As a son of Portuguese-African-Belgian ancestors , which person I am supposed to worship Mr PHD in Race based thinking.

    You remind me of this nice lady in this Youtube clip explaining why some voters act:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Depends on the proof you are critically trying to find.
    Your not understand me mate... "White Christ" is just a name for Jesus. Jesus is worshipped like a god and White christ was applied to Christians by the Norsemen and the Vikings. HvÝtakristr = White Christ in Icelandic/Norse.

    HvÝtr = White. But it can also mean Coward and when you call a man Hvit or white your calling him a coward. If you say someones liver is white your saying he is a coward. Thats where the name "lily-livered" comes from.

    Thor was called Red Thor because of his red beard.

    Now Christ wasnt called White because of his skin colour but for the robes Christians wore after baptism, which were white.

    However, Christ was also called the "White Christ" because of the term hvÝtr grew to become a perjorative connotation meaning cowardly, effeminate, and guilty of argr.

    The Vikings revered their warrior god Thor and despised cowardice and thats what they saw in the christians and their god... a coward peace loving god.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    The formal language of mathematics will never satisfy this ongoing discourse. I always find it silly how both sides will often turn to quantitative studies in order to prove or refute the idea of a transcendent being as it exists in the Western understanding of gods. Once this is fully recognized then perhaps we can finally close this endless loop that the damned ancients started.

    As for the notion that being a scientist equates to being an atheist I believe we can safely say that it is absolute bunk.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    The only thing atheists are saying is there is no evidence for a christian god, a muslim god, a Jewish god or any number of the Roman, Greek and German gods. So why believe in any of them if there is no evidence for any of them.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by MathiasOfAthens View Post
    The only thing atheists are saying is there is no evidence for a christian god, a muslim god, a Jewish god or any number of the Roman, Greek and German gods. So why believe in any of them if there is no evidence for any of them.
    And a theological response to this especially for the Christian understanding of God would be that no empirical evidence is needed nor will it be found. Therefore the loop continues with atheists using empirical/quantitative reasoning while (for this particular example) Christians responding with notions such as faith which is not at all within the same category.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingOfSixth View Post
    And a theological response to this especially for the Christian understanding of God would be that no empirical evidence is needed nor will it be found.
    Who said anything about empirical evidence?

    Any good reason will do, really, even if it comes from philosophy (for instance, I'm sympathetic to the idea that intelligent life probably exists out there despite having no empirical evidence, simply because the corroborating arguments -that admittedly do contain some statistics- are strong enough.

    The real problem is that it isn't just the empirical evidence that doesn't back the claims of Christianity up, it's the philosophical and historical arguments as well.
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Exactly. There was a great quote I read the other day about evil.

    "If God is willing to prevent evil, but not able, he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither willing nor able? Then why call him God?"

    The thing is there isn't even a consensus among the philosophical community about whether there is or is not a God. There isn't even a consensus among the religious community as to what God is, exactly. You can understand why that isn't exactly a convincing case. We're just sort of left with this big... mess.
    Last edited by Lazarus; May 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert View Post
    the Church has only improved mankind in history

    For this there are words, but none that abide by the ToS.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingOfSixth View Post
    And a theological response to this especially for the Christian understanding of God would be that no empirical evidence is needed nor will it be found. Therefore the loop continues with atheists using empirical/quantitative reasoning while (for this particular example) Christians responding with notions such as faith which is not at all within the same category.
    So then you should believe in Zeus and Athena as well since no empirical or other evidence is needed to confirm their existence.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    What more evidence do you need?

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsunegari View Post
    What more evidence do you need?
    I hope you're joking...

    You don't see how we would have hands that match bananas after evolving from primates? Who feast upon bananas? That the theory of evolution would suggest those that can better grip bananas would be more successful? Or indeed better grip anything?

    Grasping at bananas... well it's a change from straws anyway. (I lol'd especially hard when he mentioned how God, like the thoughtful soda companies, put a tab at the top for us).

    Just so that I'm still being fair, I'm still not saying that God can't exist. But if you're looking for evidence that God exists, it won't be found in bananas.
    Last edited by Lazarus; May 06, 2012 at 07:02 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert View Post
    the Church has only improved mankind in history

    For this there are words, but none that abide by the ToS.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tankbuster View Post
    Who said anything about empirical evidence?

    Any good reason will do
    Ah I thought this thread was strictly discussing the use of empirical evidence for God. If we are to expand this for any good reason then we can enter a lovely whirlpool. As to your note about the lack of philosophical and historical claims for the Christians I am not quite sure what you mean by this and I would love some elaboration.

    In the meantime I will direct my reply to Lazarus...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus
    "If God is willing to prevent evil, but not able, he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither willing nor able? Then why call him God?"

    The thing is there isn't even a consensus among the philosophical community about whether there is or is not a God. There isn't even a consensus among the religious community as to what God is, exactly. You can understand why that isn't exactly a convincing case. We're just sort of left with this big... mess.
    The topic of evil has always been of trouble for even the earliest Christian theologians. I think they are all damned boring to read and I don't feel like digging the bastards up because none of them were at consensus as no one today is at consensus over this small matter. In fact we can begin to question what Christianity is, what a world religion is etc... You are correct in saying it is a big mess but that is the only maintainable truth about anything to do with the arts.

    As to MasterOfAthens I very well might sacrifice something to one of the old gods today,
    and that is the fascinating thing about beliefs; they require no empirical evidence.

    My original reply was only to the assumption that this had to do with scientific evidence for a Western understanding of gods. I don't want to muddle the thread with too many topics though if anyone wants to start a new thread for something specific that would be some blather as well .


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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
    I hope you're joking...
    Yes of course i am lol. I actually think an orange would be a better example for creationists to try to use: the way it is easily pulled into different sections after it is peeled suggests ID!

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    If you are claiming that the existence of a divinity is not within the realm of scientific investigation you have conceded the battle. If you say you need faith in order to know God, you have conceded the war.

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