You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 11, 2016, 04:04:41 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Are YOU a believer in miracles?  (Read 6508 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Brandon

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2010, 04:37:50 PM »
Faith is the affirmation of truths that we can not perceive or at least that's how I define it. Religion is when a specific faith becomes organized by a group of people.

Science falls in the category of both of those definitions. It explains phenomena that the human senses can not perceive and no one can dispute that with entire scientific communities its certainly organized. Science also has some sacred texts in the form of the scientific process

So how can science not be another religion?

Edit: I feel I also need to point out something else. In roman catholocism (I dont know about other religions) you are not told how to act, you are only told that there are consequences for acting a certain way. If you live (or try to live) as a good person you will go to heaven. If you live as an evil person your destination is hell. Its a subtle difference but an important one
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 04:47:19 PM by Brandon »

Offline Hemingway

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2010, 04:47:09 PM »
Even by your made-up definition, science is not a religion. By your definition, belief in extraterrestrial life is a religion. Belief in witches is a religion. Belief in carbon monoxide is a religion. Must I go on?

Religions are more complicated than that. Religions have rituals, supernatural beliefs, shared world views and moral codes, prayer and meditation - at least a few of these, and others I haven't mentioned or thought of.


Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2010, 04:49:54 PM »
Nobody has disproven the dog though, as you so eloquently put that example.  The dog was not disproven; the teacher is merely making an assumption.  That assumption violates her own constrains and tenets for absolute proof which dictate she satisfy before assuming that the homework is not being eaten by a dog.  She is in fact lying if she makes the statement that she has disproven the dog’s existence.

Science has indeed explained many things, but has also proven many false things when its tenets were abandoned in favor of being “right.”  People are tied to the infrastructure of science and so are fallible, which science attempts to minimize by having their rigorous standards.  I do not think it wise to make claims of explanation without following the scientific method.  Such things have lead to disaster in the past and are still leading to future disasters.
The difference between science and religion however, is that science does not make claims without evidence.  It doesn't presume to know anything baselessly.  Scientific claims have been incorrect in the past (think Newtonian Physics) but they were always reasonable theories constructed from evidence to suit reality.  That's not what religious people do when they proclaim a miracle; they always bring their external belief systems into the equation.

I'm not going to argue the specifics of the analogy because that's removed from the point (and I think your objection is correct too).  The point is, the religious have been making claims for centuries about how the world works, and those claims have constantly been repudiated.  The religious claim a duality between the physical and the metaphysical (supernatural), and regularly blame the latter for things they cannot explain.  When the former is shown to be the cause, they simply move along to the next claim, still believing that the latter does in fact exist.  Yet there is no reason to believe that such a duality exists; the physical has been used to explain nearly everything, and there is no solid reason to believe in anything else.

Perhaps a better analogy would be the teacher having no proof that the dog exists, learning of other reasons for why the student is failing, and the student continuing to tell her that yes, the dog is real.
Both science and religion have given untold advantages to our species.  They have given us a great deal to be thankful for and have also given us many horrors and problems.  I will not deny either their place, but if people are going to use them then they need to use them as intended.  If people are going to make the statement that something is supernatural, then their beliefs had better encompass that statement.  If science is going to claim an explanation, then that explanation must be proven by their tenets.
Science is a method which relies on the assumption that the world is logical and behaves in logical ways.  Just as religion requires you to have faith in divinity, science requires faith in reason.  The difference between the two, of course, is that faith in reason is born out by reality and faith in god is not.

I've never been struck down by lightning for proclaiming all manner of blasphemous things, but nearly everything around us is a product of reason; without it we'd all be sitting in a cave striking two stones together while taking homeopathic medicine, doing a rain dance, and strongly believing its opposite day (yes, I realize none of that makes any sense; that's the point).
I was going to post something long-winded about how this ends up being a question over which is more important; facts, or feeling good.

But I'll leave it at that, and focus on what Inkidu said instead, because I find that something offensive and dishonest. Science is a religion? You either have a very broad definition of religion, or of science. It fits no definition of religion that I know of, having no commandments, no rituals, no sacred texts, nothing of the sort. It also doesn't tell people how to act or what to do. It's a tool - how could it?
The religious love to claim science is a religion; well lets see what altar they worship at when their loved one's life is at risk.  Hands on healing certainly doesn't have the same success rate as open heart surgery.
Quote from: Brandon
Science falls in the category of both of those definitions. It explains phenomena that the human senses can not perceive and no one can dispute that with entire scientific communities its certainly organized. Science also has some sacred texts in the form of the scientific process
Except... the scientific process is actually based entirely upon the observable, i.e. that which can be perceived.  Your definition of science and extrapolation based on that is a fundamental contradiction.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 04:51:03 PM by Jude »

Offline Brandon

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2010, 05:02:24 PM »
Even by your made-up definition, science is not a religion. By your definition, belief in extraterrestrial life is a religion. Belief in witches is a religion. Belief in carbon monoxide is a religion. Must I go on?

Sorry but you need to re-read the definitions I gave because you most certainly did not go by them when defining any of that as a religion

Religions are more complicated than that. Religions have rituals, supernatural beliefs, shared world views and moral codes, prayer and meditation - at least a few of these, and others I haven't mentioned or thought of.

This is also not correct. The church of scientology has no supernatural beliefs, to them everything they believe is a natural truth. The ability for souls to travel from body to body, to live outside of what we see as time, to let the body run on autopilot as they...do something (Im not a big scientology expert). All of that is defined by a kind of science lost to humankind.

I would argue that the scientific process is a ritual in and of itself

Prayer and meditation are personal choices not religious ones. I've never been told that I must pray to god or meditate, only that I have the option to speak to god through prayer

World views and morale codes change from culture to culture and religions are certainly cultures but neither comes from religion alone. They are shaped by personal opinion

Online Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2010, 05:03:01 PM »
I do agree that science has become a religion, but I do not believe it was always meant to be so.  Scientists have abused the faith gained by their stance of empirical neutrality and twisted that belief to follow their own agendas.  I do believe science at its more pure and untouched is not a religion, but merely a set of standards to prove or disproven natural phenomenon.
They all start out innocent. Good ideas (Dogma reference) some people were just born to corrupt I suppose.

Online Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #30 on: April 24, 2010, 05:10:26 PM »
Even by your made-up definition, science is not a religion. By your definition, belief in extraterrestrial life is a religion. Belief in witches is a religion. Belief in carbon monoxide is a religion. Must I go on?

Religions are more complicated than that. Religions have rituals, supernatural beliefs, shared world views and moral codes, prayer and meditation - at least a few of these, and others I haven't mentioned or thought of.
Belief that what one sees, tastes, touches, smells, and hears or the effects or consequences therein are all that is important and the rest maybe be ignored. That's science in a nutshell. Science is built on the belief that the world is real that the universe is more or less constant. If I told the scientific community that up was down and gravity was actually a giant vacuum cleaner and I had undeniable proof of such the Scientific community would absolutely would rail against it in full might. At one time the Scientific community didn't believe in the atom but well gee their you go.

A human, and only a human has to believe what he is perceiving to be true. Science does this. That is the basis of their faith.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2010, 05:12:26 PM »
Sorry but you need to re-read the definitions I gave because you most certainly did not go by them when defining any of that as a religion

We can't see, hear, feel, smell or taste any of the things I listed as examples, no more than we can the evolution of birds, the structure of a DNA double helix, or the forces of gravity.

Quote
This is also not correct. The church of scientology has no supernatural beliefs, to them everything they believe is a natural truth. The ability for souls to travel from body to body, to live outside of what we see as time, to let the body run on autopilot as they...do something (Im not a big scientology expert). All of that is defined by a kind of science lost to humankind.

I would argue that the scientific process is a ritual in and of itself

Prayer and meditation are personal choices not religious ones. I've never been told that I must pray to god or meditate, only that I have the option to speak to god through prayer

World views and morale codes change from culture to culture and religions are certainly cultures but neither comes from religion alone. They are shaped by personal opinion

Scientology has no supernatural beliefs, but they believe in souls.

I don't know about you, but I see a contradiction.

Scientology also has its own rituals. Auditing would qualify as one such, and possibly meditation at the same time. It has its own dogma, its own myths for explaining things. Mental illness, specifically.

It fits the definition of religion very well, even if you don't take into account that religions don't need to meet them all.

And are you really suggesting religion doesn't try to act as a moral guide? What, the ten commandments are just there as filler, or? I mean, I'm sorry, I don't mean to get offensive, but you seem to be missing the point entirely. Saying that religions tend to provide their followers with a moral code, is not the same as saying morality stems from religion.

Edit: What? If you had actual, undeniable evidence, no scientist in their right mind would question you. They'd try to refute your claims, because without that, science would not be science. But if that fails, and your hypothesis is the one with the most compelling evidence, it isn't going to be buried by scientific community.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 05:16:02 PM by Hemingway »

Offline Brandon

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2010, 05:27:56 PM »
We can't see, hear, feel, smell or taste any of the things I listed as examples, no more than we can the evolution of birds, the structure of a DNA double helix, or the forces of gravity.

You still didnt read the definitions I gave but thats ok. I dont expect you to at this point

Scientology has no supernatural beliefs, but they believe in souls.

I don't know about you, but I see a contradiction.

Scientology also has its own rituals. Auditing would qualify as one such, and possibly meditation at the same time. It has its own dogma, its own myths for explaining things. Mental illness, specifically.

It fits the definition of religion very well, even if you don't take into account that religions don't need to meet them all.

And are you really suggesting religion doesn't try to act as a moral guide? What, the ten commandments are just there as filler, or? I mean, I'm sorry, I don't mean to get offensive, but you seem to be missing the point entirely. Saying that religions tend to provide their followers with a moral code, is not the same as saying morality stems from religion.

As I understand it in scientology the soul is another natural phenomena proven through the scientific texts they charge thousands of dollars to get ahold of.

I didnt say scientology didnt have rituals or things that seemed like rituals. Only that they didnt have any beliefs in the supernatural

Im suggesting that moral guides are not determined solely by religion and that some religions, to my knowledge, dont have them (i.e. Scientology or Vodoo). Since morale codes are developed by the culture (not neccesarily religion) it surrounds I dont feel that they can be something that helps define religion

Edit: Also I wanted to note that its difficult arguing my points from a religion that I consider to be a total fraud
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 05:35:04 PM by Brandon »

Offline Hemingway

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2010, 05:41:06 PM »
You still didnt read the definitions I gave but thats ok. I dont expect you to at this point

"Faith is the affirmation of truths that we can not perceive or at least that's how I define it. Religion is when a specific faith becomes organized by a group of people."

What you're saying essentially boils down to this; a religion is something a lot of people ( organized ) believe to be true, that we can't prove. Or am I mistaken?

Because belief in extraterrestrials seems to fit that definition very well. We have no proof that aliens exist. We know it's statistically probably that they exist somewhere in the universe, but we have yet to actually see anything besides apocryphal evidence hinting at actual existence. Yet people still believe it, some more firmly than others. People organize gatherings and the likes. I don't see how that could be anything but organized. Or do you just lump these people together with everything else that isn't overtly supernatural and call it "science"?

Come on. And let it not be said I didn't try to be reasonable.

Quote
As I understand it in scientology the soul is another natural phenomena proven through the scientific texts they charge thousands of dollars to get ahold of.

I didnt say scientology didnt have rituals or things that seemed like rituals. Only that they didnt have any beliefs in the supernatural.

Whether this is what they call souls or not, I don't know, but scientology dogma maintains that mental illness is caused by the spirits of aliens brought to earth and killed. Spirits that somehow latch on to human beings and cause all manner of problems. If this does not fit the label "supernatural", then what does?

And this is, of course, ignoring the point others would have made, that scientology is not a religion at all, but a business venture. A scam.

Online Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2010, 05:47:28 PM »
"Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do." James Harvey Robinson

"Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe."
Voltaire

"Faith indeed tells what the senses do not tell, but not the contrary of what they see. It is above them and not contrary to them."
Blaise Pascal

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't."
Blaise Pascal

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is."
Albert Camus

"God does not play dice with the universe."
Albert Einstein

Then there's one to the effect of: "To the believer no proof is required and to the doubter no proof is ever enough." I couldn't find that one.

I ultimately believe science is a religion because it's run by humans and humans are naturally religious and horribly fallible and to think that you as a human aren't makes you an idiot. 



Offline alxnjsh

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2010, 05:48:26 PM »
I'm a fairly hard core skeptic.

With that said...Yes, I have faith that miracles do happen. Sometimes it's fun just to let things not be described or explained.

Offline Brandon

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2010, 06:45:25 PM »
"Faith is the affirmation of truths that we can not perceive or at least that's how I define it. Religion is when a specific faith becomes organized by a group of people."

What you're saying essentially boils down to this; a religion is something a lot of people ( organized ) believe to be true, that we can't prove. Or am I mistaken?

Because belief in extraterrestrials seems to fit that definition very well. We have no proof that aliens exist. We know it's statistically probably that they exist somewhere in the universe, but we have yet to actually see anything besides apocryphal evidence hinting at actual existence. Yet people still believe it, some more firmly than others. People organize gatherings and the likes. I don't see how that could be anything but organized. Or do you just lump these people together with everything else that isn't overtly supernatural and call it "science"?

Come on. And let it not be said I didn't try to be reasonable.

Not that we cant prove but that we cant perceive. The most important word being perceive which Ill define below

per·ceive
   /pərˈsiv/ Show Spelled[per-seev]
–verb (used with object),-ceived, -ceiv·ing.
1. to become aware of, know, or identify by means of the senses: I perceived an object looming through the mist.
2. to recognize, discern, envision, or understand: I perceive a note of sarcasm in your voice. This is a nice idea but I perceive difficulties in putting it into practice.

You can certainly percieve an alien or a witch if you saw, touched, heard, smelled, or tasted one. You can see, feel, and smell Carbon monoxide. Since we can perceive those things with our senses they dont fall within the definition of faith and by extension religion.

Still Science explains things that we can not percieve with our senses such as electromagnetism or DNA

Let me ask you, how do you know these things exist? Is it because someone in a white coat tells you they do and gives a detailed explanation that makes sense to you or sounds plausible?

Whether this is what they call souls or not, I don't know, but scientology dogma maintains that mental illness is caused by the spirits of aliens brought to earth and killed. Spirits that somehow latch on to human beings and cause all manner of problems. If this does not fit the label "supernatural", then what does?

And this is, of course, ignoring the point others would have made, that scientology is not a religion at all, but a business venture. A scam.

Once again, all that is explained as a natural phenomena in the information that the church charges its followers for.

I will also agree that I think the Church of scientology is a scam, however until proven otherwise in a court of law they must be recognized as a legitimate religion.

Offline Serephino

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2010, 08:55:28 PM »
Yes, I definitely believe there are things that cannot be explained by reason.  I'm also finding this discussion very offensive.  Believing in God is irrational?  Well, if that's the case, then there are an awful lot of irrational people in this world, many of them on this forum. 

And believing in a witch is a matter of faith?  That comment just made me laugh because this post you are seeing right this very second was written by a witch.  While I don't eat little children or sacrifice animals, I do believe in and practice magic.  I'm not asking any of you to believe as I do.  What I am asking a few of you to do is back off. Y'all may choose to put your faith in science, and that is your right, but not all of us feel that way. 

And yes, I hate to break it to you, but your belief in science is faith.  When a scientist tells you something you choose to believe it.  You weren't there when the experiment was done.  A man with a degree does an experiment, writes down the results, interprets those results based on what he knows, then tells you what it means and you accept it as fact without question.  I don't see someone having an experience that they believe as divine intervention and telling me that's proof God exists as being any different.  Someone perceived something, they decided what it meant and passed the info on to me.

Honestly though, why does it seem that some of you use this part of the forum to bash religion?     

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2010, 09:16:07 PM »
Yes, I definitely believe there are things that cannot be explained by reason.  I'm also finding this discussion very offensive.  Believing in God is irrational?  Well, if that's the case, then there are an awful lot of irrational people in this world, many of them on this forum.
An irrational belief isn't necessary a wrong belief, it just means it's based on faith and not reason.  Every religious person out there (at least the sane ones I've known) realize that faith is an integral part of their religious beliefs.
And believing in a witch is a matter of faith?  That comment just made me laugh because this post you are seeing right this very second was written by a witch.  While I don't eat little children or sacrifice animals, I do believe in and practice magic.  I'm not asking any of you to believe as I do.  What I am asking a few of you to do is back off. Y'all may choose to put your faith in science, and that is your right, but not all of us feel that way.
I think I may have told you this before, but I encourage you to look up the James Randi million dollar prize and go pick up your money; all you have to do is show documentable evidence of your magic use and you'll be rich!  Let us know how that goes for you--oh wait, you won't have to, we'll see you on the news, right?
And yes, I hate to break it to you, but your belief in science is faith.  When a scientist tells you something you choose to believe it.  You weren't there when the experiment was done.  A man with a degree does an experiment, writes down the results, interprets those results based on what he knows, then tells you what it means and you accept it as fact without question.
EHHHHRRRR WRONG.  You have an extremely poor understanding of science.  Let me explain to you how the process goes.

1)  Science starts with some sort of phenomenon or problem which needs to be understood.
2)  Scientists brainstorm and come up with possible explanations.
3)  They derive testable implications from that possible explanation and then perform an experiment to see if that testable implication occurs, thus supporting their hypothesis.
4)  The study is then examined by their peers, who pour over their operational definitions, apparatus, and methods of experimentation for any potential flaws.  Assuming that this passes their rigorous test, the study is then published in a peer-reviewed journal.
5)  Other scientific organizations attempt to reproduce their findings to make sure that the original study was performed in good faith and that the result wasn't a fluke.
6)  Assuming that hypothesis passes all of these steps without any problems, whatever claim was derived in step (2) is considered corroborated.  More testing occurs and eventually the claim is included in a theoretical framework that explains the effect in a casual fashion.
7)  After further rigorous testing, the theory eventually becomes a law (based on all of the statistical evaluation that is done, the countless tests, and its comparison to other parts of the field)
8)  This law, which isn't meant to be taken literally (nor is the term theory) may eventually undergo change if in the future scientists find some part of it lacking.

Thus science is frequently in flux, it's constantly evolving and changing to adapt to challenges instead of denying evidence that disproves it (unlike religions which refuse to learn from their failings and instead employ abject denial).

I don't see someone having an experience that they believe as divine intervention and telling me that's proof God exists as being any different.  Someone perceived something, they decided what it meant and passed the info on to me.

Honestly though, why does it seem that some of you use this part of the forum to bash religion?
There's nothing wrong with being religious, I'm sure many of us have said this countless times, the problem comes when the religious claim that their belief is based on reason, and it's not.  If it was, then it would have the predictable and practical value that science has, and no religion does.

EDIT:  If you'd like to learn more about science, and see how scientists actually criticize each other's experimental resources and procedures, check out some of the podcasts on this link:  http://www.theskepticsguide.org/

EDIT2:  On second thought, I don't know if it's irrational to be religious necessarily.  When you have an experience that you interpret as evidence, it can be a very convincing thing, and placing your trust in it doesn't make you crazy.  Most people who have religious experiences accept them uncritically because they aren't aware of just how fallible human perception can be at times.  I do think, fully aware of all of the facts, a lot of religious beliefs are irrational, but again that doesn't make them wrong--and certainly doesn't mean every religious person is irrational.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 09:46:54 PM by Jude »

Offline Brandon

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2010, 10:05:56 PM »
Thus science is frequently in flux, it's constantly evolving and changing to adapt to challenges instead of denying evidence that disproves it (unlike religions which refuse to learn from their failings and instead employ abject denial).
There's nothing wrong with being religious, I'm sure many of us have said this countless times, the problem comes when the religious claim that their belief is based on reason, and it's not.  If it was, then it would have the predictable and practical value that science has, and no religion does.

This is pretty much the only thing Im going to cut you down on besides the condescending attitude Jude. As far as you know religion isnt based on reason. Remember that in science "I dont know" and "I need more data" are acceptable answers. I want to prupose a theory though and get your take on it. Chaos theory supports the idea of an infinite number of other worlds based around the decisions and reactions we make in our lifetimes. Now if somehow a person could look across whatever boundries seperate those worlds and they saw a Utopia of perfection, could that not be heaven? What if they saw the exact opposite, a war torn reality of fire and torment that one could not escape. Could that not be hell?

Now I want to point out that thats not just conjecture its cold hard speculation but its and interesting thought excercise dont you think?

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2010, 10:14:53 PM »
This is pretty much the only thing Im going to cut you down on besides the condescending attitude Jude. As far as you know religion isnt based on reason. Remember that in science "I dont know" and "I need more data" are acceptable answers. I want to prupose a theory though and get your take on it. Chaos theory supports the idea of an infinite number of other worlds based around the decisions and reactions we make in our lifetimes.
Now if somehow a person could look across whatever boundries seperate those worlds and they saw a Utopia of perfection, could that not be heaven? What if they saw the exact opposite, a war torn reality of fire and torment that one could not escape. Could that not be hell?

Now I want to point out that thats not just conjecture its cold hard speculation but its and interesting thought excercise dont you think?
I'm pretty sure that you're wrong about that Brandon.  The only scientific theory that supports the idea of multiverses with branch points at particular choices that I am aware of is membrane string theory.  I'd like to see where you're getting this from if we're going to debate it.

As far as your particular thought exercise, I listened to an interview of one of the membrane string theorists who basically said what you just proposed is completely impossible.  I can dig it up for you if you like, it's on the Skeptic's Guide link I gave earlier somewhere.

EDIT:  Though to be fair, membrane string theory is so far out and unsubstantiated without a tiny bit of empirical evidence to back it up.  Pretty much all of theoretical physics is without any solid data to back it up; I barely consider it a science because it's all about theorizing to match data instead of coming up with a theory and testing it (due to the fact that it's nearly impossible to test at this stage in the game--though I also heard in the same interview that they're coming up with ways of testing it).

Even Dark Matter, right now, is an untested hypothesis.

We're pretty much stuck, as far as I know, when it comes to progress in theoretical physics.  Until the LHC fires up and we figure out whether or not the Higgs-Boson exists, a lot high-level cosmological physics is kind of... crap.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 10:18:37 PM by Jude »

Offline Brandon

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #41 on: April 24, 2010, 10:29:03 PM »
It was something I remembered from my Theoretical science classes a few years ago. Unfortunatly I didnt keep the book but then who keeps college books these days?

Offline Silk

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2010, 02:40:22 AM »
"Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do." James Harvey Robinson

"Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe."
Voltaire

"Faith indeed tells what the senses do not tell, but not the contrary of what they see. It is above them and not contrary to them."
Blaise Pascal

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't."
Blaise Pascal

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is."
Albert Camus

"God does not play dice with the universe."
Albert Einstein

Then there's one to the effect of: "To the believer no proof is required and to the doubter no proof is ever enough." I couldn't find that one.

I ultimately believe science is a religion because it's run by humans and humans are naturally religious and horribly fallible and to think that you as a human aren't makes you an idiot.

Wooo we have ourselves a quote miner

Religion
# a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; "he lost his faith but not his morality"
# an institution to express belief in a divine power; "he was raised in the Baptist religion"; "a member of his own faith contradicted him

Theism
# the doctrine or belief in the existence of a God or gods

# Scientific theory
To scientists, a theory provides a coherent explanation that holds true for a large number of facts and observations about the natural world.
# A well-tested concept that explains a wide range of observations.

Scientific method
# Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.
#The set of rules used to guide science, based on the idea that scientific "laws" be continuously tested, and replaced if found inadequate.

Atheism
# Atheism is commonly described as the position that there are no deities.[1]  It can also mean the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[2]  A broader meaning is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.


You have two different flavours of religion, Theistic religions, such as christianity and islam. Or Athistic religions such as Bhuddism and scientology. A religion isnt defined by having a god or not.

Science in no way has a intrinsic belief in that some divinely ordaned being or some other force has direct control or indirect control over our lives, it is the testing and knowledge of the natural world as we know it to exist. The supernatural by its definition untestable by the scientific method which is why its almost unanimous that scientists have no comment on them, or say we do not have enough evidence at this time.

The scientific "Religion" you are speaking of is called Darwinism, and just because it was born from science, and leans heavily on science, does not itself make science a religion in its own right.

You can believe in the scientific method and religion with no contradictory terms between them, however since 97% odd of scientists are Atheists, they obviously do not see much need to.

Here is my quote to counter yours.
"The greatest tragedy of mankind is that the wise are so full of doubt while the foolish are so damned sure of themselves.

Humans are infaliable, which is why the peer reveiw literature exists, a hypotosis does not become a theory until it has been left often in the academic gladiatorial arena and defeated all oncomers. All majory scientific theories have done this. Religion has been unable to. Just like you don't have to disprove a yellow and pink striped anteater called ann-marie, it has to be given a valid reason to why it can be proved, god, a supernatural ebign that transends everything to cause everything and is still having a effect on us now, and made us to be his chosen people and will not like non-believers and send them to a sad place but loves us. Is one hell of a claim to make, and the academic arena gladly awaits its return to the stand so it can be tried once again, because we are all getting tired of the religious trying to pass off faith based fables as fact, so please, prove it or shut up about it? :)
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 02:50:28 AM by Silk »

Offline Kate

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #43 on: April 25, 2010, 04:28:23 AM »
Pumkin Seeds - I really enjoy your posts - I don't agree with all of your stances but you really do think things though from more perspectives than those that only support your stance - I really do salute that, you would complement any public debate on issues you have a view on.

Hemingway science practically does have "rituals" (Scientific method) and sacred texts (statistics) - which are used and abused as much as anything is. It also has an institution - try getting your research idea funded if 1/2 of the institution snubbs you as a fraud. But that is a tangent.

What if divine intervention is a natural cause ? What if an exploitable scientific model exists that can predict them occurring ? If one did would "it" belong in science because "one" aspect of it can be modeled scientifically ? Would it belong in science and not religion if the model describes all aspects people could measure with instruments ?

What is "science" and what is "Divine" are not mutually exclusive by definition. Religious scientists exist. Many religious mathematicians exist who see their "findings" as a window on an aspect of "the mind of god". They dont feel that their math is in contrast to the divine, they see their math as an attribute of it. Many scientists share such thoughts. The Pope believes in evolution, an insight science gave them.

Both robes can be worn, or one or neither in the past champions of both perspectives have drawn "hard lines" but pure Science doesnt have equations that imply the lack of the divine. "Divine" subjective experiences do not rule out the relevance of science. Believing an "us vs them" thing is obvious and inevitable between science and religion is a choice.

Remember science "models" what is statistically relevant. "Scientific Laws "estimated models",  accurate enough under many conditions to be exploitable useful - but they do not define anything other than what is statistically exploitable. Believing in the divine's influence in your life is also exploitable from another angle. One gem=life - many facets, some spiritual, some logistic, some physical, some emotional - light can shine through one of them without the others getting jealous of the attention deeming such seriousness is more worthy their way.

Exceptions exist all the time in measurements. Occasional Peaks outside ranges are dismissed until there is enough of them for a statistical evaluation to produce a new expectation landscape.

To those that do not believe in miracles though, dismissing that those who beleive in them as delusional works both ways for my dear horatios, there are more things in heaven and earth than can be dreamt by such philosophy.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 04:46:31 AM by Kate »

Offline Silk

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #44 on: April 25, 2010, 05:09:21 AM »
Kate you are using two different types of ritual and saying they are the same thing. Ritual has to meanings,

Religious:
# the prescribed procedure for conducting religious ceremonies
# of or relating to or characteristic of religious rituals; "ritual killing"

Other:
# any customary observance or practice
# stereotyped behavior

Just because they share the same word doesnt mean their the same thing, example being, Murder can be a flock of crows, or a crime where someone is killed. Same word different meanings.

Offline Kate

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #45 on: April 25, 2010, 05:28:51 AM »
Exploiting the fact ritual can be used in different contexts, was intentional, and was part of my point.

Same Gemstone, light in different facets (different contexts). Interpretation comes from the angle you glance at it and the intention of the perspective which observes it. Releasing a need to interpret from one facet frees it to spin, when it does light shining through one facet ends up shining through all.

My gemstone analogy is useful to model the phenomena I am seeing in this post, it doesnt make it the most useful for all contexts this thread touched on but highly useful for one.

Electron Shells is a useful analogy to model to phenomena some see in chemistry, it doesnt make it the most useful for all contexts of chemistry (some chemistry may drop it if its not useful to describe the phenomena they currently care about )

Divine analogies are useful to some to model phenomena they experience, it doesn't make it useful for all contexts of life, but is highly useful for some.

Divine-excluding analogies are models which are useful to model some phenomena which is experienced, it doesnt make them useful for all contexts of life, but they are highly useful for some.

Choosing one to superceed others is a choice, believing doing so is the only path for ALL those seeking thoroughness and coherance
.. is a choice.


Offline Hemingway

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #46 on: April 25, 2010, 06:05:31 AM »
Not that we cant prove but that we cant perceive. The most important word being perceive which Ill define below

per·ceive
   /pərˈsiv/ Show Spelled[per-seev]
–verb (used with object),-ceived, -ceiv·ing.
1. to become aware of, know, or identify by means of the senses: I perceived an object looming through the mist.
2. to recognize, discern, envision, or understand: I perceive a note of sarcasm in your voice. This is a nice idea but I perceive difficulties in putting it into practice.

You can certainly percieve an alien or a witch if you saw, touched, heard, smelled, or tasted one. You can see, feel, and smell Carbon monoxide. Since we can perceive those things with our senses they dont fall within the definition of faith and by extension religion.

Still Science explains things that we can not percieve with our senses such as electromagnetism or DNA

Let me ask you, how do you know these things exist? Is it because someone in a white coat tells you they do and gives a detailed explanation that makes sense to you or sounds plausible?

Actually, you cannot see, feel, taste, hear or smell carbon monoxide. You can only infer its presence by other means. Which apparently means, according to the definition you provided, that belief in it is a faith. Never mind that it can be observed with the proper tools, like everything else in science, and contrary to everything in religion. Electromagnetism, unfortunately, was easily my least favorite subject in physics. However, I still understand it on some level, and experiments we conducted gave us coherent results. Being testable, you can examine these theories for yourself. If they fail to produce the results you were expecting based on what you had read or heard, you are either doing something wrong, or something is not right with the theory. If you try doing the same in religion, you'll get a non-explanation about how god works in mysterious ways, or something to that effect.

What if divine intervention is a natural cause ? What if an exploitable scientific model exists that can predict them occurring ? If one did would "it" belong in science because "one" aspect of it can be modeled scientifically ? Would it belong in science and not religion if the model describes all aspects people could measure with instruments ?

What is "science" and what is "Divine" are not mutually exclusive by definition. Religious scientists exist. Many religious mathematicians exist who see their "findings" as a window on an aspect of "the mind of god". They dont feel that their math is in contrast to the divine, they see their math as an attribute of it. Many scientists share such thoughts. The Pope believes in evolution, an insight science gave them.

If the divine has a natural explanation, then it's hardly divine, is it?

There is also a difference between religious scientists, and scientists who happen to be religious. If you base your research on any religious assumption ( other than possibly god setting events into motion that caused the big bang, and laws of nature took over from that point on ), you're going to get skewed results, because you're deliberately looking for one specific explanation.

If, on the other hand, you were to look into alleged miracles and look for an objective answer, you might find that there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for it, or you might find an entirely new explanation. But even if that explanation was literal, Biblical angels who descended from a literal heaven to help those they determined had strong faith, that would still be an explanation, and to deny it would be unscientific. However, until such evidence is found, to assume such a thing makes no sense at all. If you're saved in the nick of time from a speeding car, it is literally more probable that someone invented an Iron Man suit that simply moves faster than you are capable of observing, and used it to save you. Because at least that can be explained without postulating all kinds of impossibly complex beings.

Offline Kate

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2010, 07:12:12 AM »
Quote
"If the divine has a natural explanation, then it's hardly divine, is it?"
- Hemingway

To those who see the divine in nature .. it is.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 07:13:38 AM by Kate »

Online Doomsday

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #48 on: April 25, 2010, 07:22:12 AM »
Yes, but the same is being done by saying "it's science, we just don't know how."  Someone is simply claiming that it has to be scientific reason with no more basis than the person claiming there is a supernatural explanation.

See: God of the gaps fallacy.

Science is a religion. Just because its phenomena are easier to quantify doesn't mean its not. It's the newest thing telling people what to do and how to act.

What?!?!
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 07:24:43 AM by Doomsday »

Offline Hemingway

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #49 on: April 25, 2010, 07:27:32 AM »
To those who see the divine in nature .. it is.

The willfully ignorant? I'm sorry, but if the explanation is available to you, but you prefer to marvel at it in disbelief, there is no other word for it. And even if you don't understand, that does not make it divine, or magical, or in any way supernatural.