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Thread: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

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    Marie Louise von Preussen's Avatar Reine
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Science is not concerned with questions of religion, just as religion is not concerned with questions of Science. Whenever Religion defies Science, it defies thanks to principial, moral and metaphysical questions tangentially involved, not with the fruit of scientific observation per se. As such, while Science has no opposition from religion, Scientism on the other hand has total opposition.

    The questions here lifted are remarkably irrelevant. The problem of evil is not a scientific question, just like the existence of God is not a scientific question.

    All remarked, if people were taught decently and properly in school as opposed to being stuffed with secularistic ideology - they would not even feel the need to discuss these things from such an approach.
    Last edited by Marie Louise von Preussen; May 06, 2012 at 11:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Science shouldnt try to prove or disprove god, just the religion part when required, Such as when religious ideas conflict with scientific Theorys or when those ideas are being applied to society.
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Pretending that your beliefs are special and above empiricism only gives the impression that your beliefs are an antiquated delusion that is not open to rational argument. No-one is offering any good reason as to why religious beliefs deserve their "special status" as untouchable by empiricism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jean de la Valette View Post
    Whenever Religion defies Science, it defies thanks to principial, moral and metaphysical questions tangentially involved, not with the fruit of scientific observation per se. As such, while Science has no opposition from religion, Scientism on the other hand has total opposition.
    Or, if we hold it up to the same standards as everything else that humanity observes, it's complete and utter rubbish. Give me a reason to think otherwise. Until you do, I'm not going to give your faith an "evidence exempt" status.

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    MathiasOfAthens's Avatar Praefectus Legionis
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    If people were taught properly in school they wouldnt what?

    Please rephrase this because it sounds like your saying there are atheists because they were taught religion improperly in school.

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    basics's Avatar Auxiliarius
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    " If people were taught properly in school they wouldnt what? Please rephrase this because it sounds like your saying there are atheists because they were taught religion improperly in school."

    MathiasOfAthens,

    I think that the writer is stressing that in today's education system very few teachers are religious, teach Darwinism as if it is fact thus enduring into the young mind that that is the only explanation for why and how we are here. I am saying that they are becoming atheists because they are not taught that there is an alternative. I think you already know that.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    The varies Religions could and should only be taught in a Philosophy style class with a broad overview of all Religions and so forth, it must not of course be taught in other subjects expecialy the Sciences (though it could be taught in History i geuss...but in the correct way)...though realy Religion is the job of the Parents to teach and not the school system.
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    Aruthiel's Avatar Hastatas Posterior
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    Is delusion is to expect Scientific proof for the existence of god
    That's called special pleading. Why should we exempt god from being put under the scrutiny of science? Because he's "divine" (Whatever that actually means)? If you claim that he exists, then that claim can be scientifically tested, if no evidence is brought to light on the deity's existance then that claim can be dismissed. Or is it more likely because you're scared that your beliefs in his existance can be disproven and that you then have to
    a) Change your fundumental beliefs about the universe
    b) Live in some sort of shame of being wrong (the most childish but still most natural thing to occur, considering we deal with this in every day life). Admitting your mistake and moving on is part of being an adult.
    c) Fearful of the reaction of your friends, family and peers because you risk estranging them all (this happens all the time, as sad as that is)


    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    Not only is it not his field, but His field, Physics, cannot answer the god question.
    Dawkins is referring to physicists' reasearch, not asserting that he's doing physics himself and thus attemptint to disprove god.

    And as others have said, deities are irrelevant to science. In a way science is like the Borg from Star Trek, indomitable, relentless and any obstacles are irrelevant because they will eventually be overcome.


    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    Religion and science trait of two different set of question and this where the confusion spring, so you cannot say that there is a choice between believing in evolution and divine creation.
    Really? You sure you want to play that game? Not too long ago (and still today) religions were imposing their views on what science is and should be and how it ought to operate. There was a time when religions imposed such views on the world that the earth was the center of the universe, it was flat and held up on four pillars. If you sailed too far out in the sea, you'd fall down. When explorers from Europe sailed around the world, they disproved that assertion, and the god of the gaps became that much smaller.

    Scientists in general do not tell religions what to teach, but religious people still have the gall to tell science what it may or may not do. Irony, much?


    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    Dawkin is entitled to his opinion as Citizen C.Q Public, not as Physicist, this is a subject for philosophers and theologians.
    Go back and actually look at the video again. Pay attention that time and you might come to the conclusion that he's only stating what scientists are doing to answer a similar question (Namely: how did the universe come to be? And not: Does god exist?) It's the theists who are afraid that science might dicover that a god need not be necessary for the universe to exist, and that scares the hell out of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by basics View Post
    MathiasOfAthens,

    I think that the writer is stressing that in today's education system very few teachers are religious, teach Darwinism as if it is fact thus enduring into the young mind that that is the only explanation for why and how we are here. I am saying that they are becoming atheists because they are not taught that there is an alternative. I think you already know that.
    Oh, it's you again.

    Teachers are compelled by law to teach science, not darwinism because science works. And many of the things that science does teach *are* fact, like for instance the Theory of Evolution (yes, that's a fact), Light Theory, Newton's laws of gravity and so on. And when it comes to darwinism, just so we're clear on definitions:

    Darwinism is a set of movements and concepts related to ideas of transmutation of species or of evolution, including some ideas with no connection to the work of Charles Darwin.[1][2][3] The meaning of "Darwinism" has changed over time, and varies depending on who is using the term.[4] In the United States, the term "Darwinism" is often used by creationists as a pejorative term in reference to beliefs such as atheistic naturalism, but in the United Kingdom the term has no negative connotations, being freely used as a short hand for the body of theory dealing with evolution, and in particular, evolution by natural selection.[5]
    And as for your assertion :
    Quote Originally Posted by basics View Post
    I am saying that they are becoming atheists because they are not taught that there is an alternative. I think you already know that.
    Science and education is not a democracy. Get over it. In science we give the best possible explenation that we have today (and not something attested by goatherders in the middle east a few thousand years ago) with the best possible experimentation and equipment we can bring to bear. We can not give "alternative" options to education because anything alternative that is being tested (like your God) can not be verified - hence it is rejected out of science and also the school curicculum. We do however study religions in other classes, but we don't kneel in prayer before class because that's silly and insulting to people who do not share the majority's beliefs.

    And as for alternative views: many of us (yes including us who work in scientific fields) are still or used to be religious, but we have learned to either a) not let science interfere with your diety of choice (but rather explain his/hers/their wonder(s)) or b) rejected it because a rational socratic mind cannot accept something for which there is no evidence. One more thing on alternate views: how many alternate views did the Church offer to their students for the centuries that they reigned unopposed in Europe? Did they teach their students about Islam and the Pagan beliefs and gave those religions a sense of equality next to christianity?

    I think we both know the answer to that one.
    Last edited by Aruthiel; May 07, 2012 at 06:04 AM.








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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by basics View Post
    *snip*I am saying that they are becoming atheists because they are not taught that there is an alternative. I think you already know that.
    I would actually say it's slanted in the other direction.

    All through Primary school, years 1 through to 6, I had to sit through scripture. No alternative arrangements were made available until 6th year, where I was sat at the front of the class in a corner so I didn't have to participate (but still had to listen).

    On the other hand though, every single year from 7 to 12, my science teachers made a point of reminding us that science does not have to be opposed to God. My Physics teacher even called you out for blaspheming. My Biology teacher stressed every single time we discussed evolution that God still could have created life, which then evolved on its own. My Chemistry teacher... Well he made thermite. God never really came up with him until I annoyed him about it enough that he said "Well... the concept doesn't make sense to me." and that was all he said on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aruthiel View Post
    And as others have said, deities are irrelevant to science. In a way science is like the Borg from Star Trek, indomitable, relentless and any obstacles are irrelevant because they will eventually be overcome.
    You will be rep'd appropriately for this.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aruthiel View Post
    Scientists in general do not tell religions what to teach, but religious people still have the gall to tell science what it may or may not do. Irony, much?
    While I went down memory lane, I think of how close Darwin came to not even publishing his findings for fear of persecution by the religious masses...
    Last edited by Lazarus; May 07, 2012 at 06:03 AM.
    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

    " I would actually say it's slanted in the other direction. All through Primary school, years 1 through to 6, I had to sit through scripture. No alternative arrangements were made available until 6th year, where I was sat at the front of the class in a corner so I didn't have to participate (but still had to listen)."

    Lazarus,

    I suppose it comes down to what age you are and when you last were at primary school because things have changed drastically as older more religious teachers have retired or died, being replaced by ones not up to the same standards academically and religiously. From my kids experiences it was easier to learn about Islam than it was to even hear about Christianity. To me that was the thin end of the wedge.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    That was only 6 or so years ago.

    Actually that (primary school) was 6 years ago. I could have sworn I was older... and those scientists that showed the utmost respect for religion, that was only last year.
    Last edited by Lazarus; May 07, 2012 at 06:13 AM.
    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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    Aruthiel's Avatar Hastatas Posterior
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
    While I went down memory lane, I think of how close Darwin came to not even publishing his findings for fear of persecution by the religious masses...
    Well here's irony for you, I'm about to thank "god"

    praise the lord that he did publish them, humanity is smarter/less ignorant for it. A step in the right direction.








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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Aruthiel View Post
    Well here's irony for you, I'm about to thank "god"

    praise the lord that he did publish them, humanity is smarter/less ignorant for it. A step in the right direction.
    Don't thank God, thank pride

    He published because someone else started similar independent research and Darwin wanted the glory
    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 Aruthiel View Post
    1. Why should we exempt god from being put under the scrutiny of science?
    The bulk of this page seems to be centered around your wonderful response so I am going to direct my reply towards you. I do not believe anyone has asked that 'god' (I assume we are speaking in Western-Christian terms again) be exempt from scientific observations though as I have said earlier this in itself is a path doomed from the beginning. You mentioned divine and as I have said earlier for quite some time now theologians and philosophers have recognized this as being a transcendent being, meaning being above reality. Kant famously summed up this reasoning in that being human we are locked into a perspective where we cannot view the world outside a temporal and spacial manner. I believe post-Newtonian physics would agree on this point as well being that we cannot escape this understanding of reality. In other words the transcendent Western-Christian God is above our perspective of reality.

    Now at this point you might shake your hands at such an absurdity and I agree that the missing link then is very apparent and the problem of seeing Augustine's beatific vision becomes ever more to the forefront. This discussion is for another topic, however, and what I wanted to explain here is that in most fields of philosophy dealing with the Western-Christian God there is damning conclusion that our questions can never be answered.

    Now as to the religion forcing science argument I must say this is a bit of bunk especially involving the idea of the flat-earth theory and similar cases such as Galileo. In fact the fields of religion and science were understood to be in the one character of philosophy. Newton's Principia was a philosophical response to Descartes' Principia which we now understand as physics due to developments in these disciplines.

    As to Darwinism and education I see no conflict here except perhaps with families who believe in radical Biblical interpretations of history. I believe the official stance of the Catholic Church is that their doctrines do not conflict with modern developments in science, after all however foul a history we might owe them a good deal of early philosophy (science) was dedicated to and funded by ole Peter's seat. Also on the idea that Darwin did not release his work because of religion is a questionable statement as well. The social consequences can be argued to be the real reasons of his hesitation especially considering the volatile topic of slavery in the Anglo-Saxon world - I do not believe Darwin ever totally denounced his belief in a Western god even if it was a god in the most liberal and enlightened form.

    Also on the note of the 'rational Socratic mind' I am curious as to what this means in regard to the need of evidence. Plato's philosophy was objective in many ways and I would have to say that much of works were examining topics outside of 'empirical' evidence.

    So many points to blather about but I think we are developing something. As to my own beliefs I am not a Christian but I will not allow for arguments against religious history, philosophy, theology etc... etc... to stand without discourse.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by SLN445 View Post
    The varies Religions could and should only be taught in a Philosophy style class with a broad overview of all Religions and so forth, it must not of course be taught in other subjects expecialy the Sciences (though it could be taught in History i geuss...but in the correct way)...though realy Religion is the job of the Parents to teach and not the school system.
    Parents are not really objective teachers. Though Atheist parents might be less bias they still have a position. They tend to expose their children to more religious ideologies and the history of them.

    With that said theres nothing you can really do about parents teaching religion to their children. Except madating a course on world religions in high school.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    It cannot be proven by science. But we do not need to prove anything. We are not the ones making wild claims. If there is a bearded man sitting on a cloud commanding us then prove it, you are making the claim here not us.
    Miss me yet?

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingOfSixth View Post
    The bulk of this page seems to be centered around your wonderful response so I am going to direct my reply towards you. I do not believe anyone has asked that 'god' (I assume we are speaking in Western-Christian terms again) be exempt from scientific observations though as I have said earlier this in itself is a path doomed from the beginning. You mentioned divine and as I have said earlier for quite some time now theologians and philosophers have recognized this as being a transcendent being, meaning being above reality. Kant famously summed up this reasoning in that being human we are locked into a perspective where we cannot view the world outside a temporal and spacial manner. I believe post-Newtonian physics would agree on this point as well being that we cannot escape this understanding of reality. In other words the transcendent Western-Christian God is above our perspective of reality.
    So if we cannot escape the reality that we live in and there indeed is one outside of our own (yet we cannot detect it in any way) how is that any different from fantasy-land and why should we care that some diety (or dieties) live there? Also begs the question why a diety such as Yahweh would want to distance himself from his children/creation in such a manner. (I guess this is where the concept of 'sin' enters and someone tells us how unworthy we are to be in his presence )

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingOfSixth View Post
    Now at this point you might shake your hands at such an absurdity and I agree that the missing link then is very apparent and the problem of seeing Augustine's beatific vision becomes ever more to the forefront. This discussion is for another topic, however, and what I wanted to explain here is that in most fields of philosophy dealing with the Western-Christian God there is damning conclusion that our questions can never be answered.
    ...okay? If our questions about god can never be answered, then asserting that the unanswerable questions contain the truth of the universe (as theists do, because god has all the knowledge of the universe) is intellectually bankrupt and pointless. It leaves us at a dead end and completely ends our quest for knowledge, not to mention - what a fricking boring and uninteresting Universe that would be.

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingOfSixth View Post
    Now as to the religion forcing science argument I must say this is a bit of bunk especially involving the idea of the flat-earth theory and similar cases such as Galileo. In fact the fields of religion and science were understood to be in the one character of philosophy. Newton's Principia was a philosophical response to Descartes' Principia which we now understand as physics due to developments in these disciplines.
    Modern science=/=philosophy (as it was in Newton's day, Newton was a Natural Philosopher, when with today's terminology he would be called Physicist), and there's a hefty debate wether or not philosophy has anything left to contribute to the field of physics (I saw some debate on it with Dan Denett involved, not sure, was some month or two ago). There was a time when science and philosophy were one and the same, but we have moved beyond that point. Religions (and by that I mean mainly religious institutions) have controlled the progress of science, and it wasn't until the renaissance that scientific inquiry got some breathing room - something which I believe Galileo could attest to were he here.

    Galileo is a prime example because he's probably the most known one, and it's a textbook example of where scientific progress was held back intentionally and openly by the church. Another example would be that of Giordano Bruno who had the gall to say that the sun was merely a star and that the universe was filled with many stars and worlds just like our own - something he got burned at the stake for.

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingOfSixth View Post
    As to Darwinism and education I see no conflict here except perhaps with families who believe in radical Biblical interpretations of history. I believe the official stance of the Catholic Church is that their doctrines do not conflict with modern developments in science, after all however foul a history we might owe them a good deal of early philosophy (science) was dedicated to and funded by ole Peter's seat.
    Okay I'm not sure what your point is here because nobody is saying that the church hasn't contributed to some scientific progress, and indeed most scientific discoveries that occurred were by religious men. In some cases they were monks or even priests. So your point is..?

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingOfSixth View Post
    Also on the idea that Darwin did not release his work because of religion is a questionable statement as well. The social consequences can be argued to be the real reasons of his hesitation especially considering the volatile topic of slavery in the Anglo-Saxon world - I do not believe Darwin ever totally denounced his belief in a Western god even if it was a god in the most liberal and enlightened form.
    Darwin was by the end of his life an agnostic, and I'd rather not go into that swamp because that's a completely different topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingOfSixth View Post
    Also on the note of the 'rational Socratic mind' I am curious as to what this means in regard to the need of evidence.
    A critical rational mind cannot accept a claim at face value and accept it as truth with nothing to back it up. If I told you that the sky was green and that the moon is made out of cheese, would you accept my assertion at face value with me presenting no evidence that such is the case? And when you look at the sky you see that it's blue, you travel to the moon and find rocks instead of Camembert and Edamer, would you still accept my assertion as truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingOfSixth View Post
    So many points to blather about but I think we are developing something. As to my own beliefs I am not a Christian but I will not allow for arguments against religious history, philosophy, theology etc... etc... to stand without discourse.
    Mate, I wouldn't care if you prayed to the monkey god Hanuman or Yahweh, or the flying spaghetti monster, as long as you're a decent person - we're cool. And I always do appriciate a healthy discussion. I'd rather we talk about things than sit in silence and brood, because silence builds walls


    Quote Originally Posted by Treize View Post
    It cannot be proven by science. But we do not need to prove anything. We are not the ones making wild claims. If there is a bearded man sitting on a cloud commanding us then prove it, you are making the claim here not us.
    Had they cared for an honest discussion about it, the debate would already be over - and instead of trying to shift the burden of proof they'd be out in the field looking for their god.
    Last edited by Aruthiel; May 07, 2012 at 11:47 AM.








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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by MathiasOfAthens View Post
    Parents are not really objective teachers. Though Atheist parents might be less bias they still have a position. They tend to expose their children to more religious ideologies and the history of them.

    With that said theres nothing you can really do about parents teaching religion to their children. Except madating a course on world religions in high school.

    Still far preferable to have parents teach their own children their views rather then forcing a school to teach it.
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    If the school does it in a bias way that is? I am talking about a history type class that teaches Facts and nothing but facts about world religions. There cant be really anything wrong about that... and honestly its more than what religious parents will teach their kids. Do religious parents honestly know everything about their religion? Other religions? Prob not.

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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Quote Originally Posted by MathiasOfAthens View Post
    If the school does it in a bias way that is? I am talking about a history type class that teaches Facts and nothing but facts about world religions. There cant be really anything wrong about that... and honestly its more than what religious parents will teach their kids. Do religious parents honestly know everything about their religion? Other religions? Prob not.
    Oh in the rush i missed that last bit

    Yeh as i suggested earlier a philosophy class or possibly a history one would be alright aslong as it covered most variety of views. I myself have found it quite interesting learning about the Religions originating in India and China, even though it was probley not the most detailed of learning
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    Default Re: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    Mathias is right. The burden is not on atheists to disprove god, but on theists to prove god. Most of the time you have to prove a theory, not try to prove a negative.
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