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Author Topic: Religion...and SCIENCE! (Nee - Re: Oh..those people at westboro baptist are at it again! o3o)  (Read 13332 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Now in catholosism (Im not sure if this is true for christianity but I think they believe the same thing) once we die we are given the chance to confess our sins before god. If were honest, open, and truly sorry for them they will be forgiven and we can enter heaven. Confessions in front of a priest also allow our sins to be forgiven.

That depends a little on your cosmology.  In most flavors of Christianity (Roman Catholicism included), you can have Last Rites, which is the 'deathbed confession' and anointment.  This can forgive (shrive) you of sins.  If you die unshriven, some flavors of Christianity allow for a period in Purgatory where the repentant spend some time before entering into Heaven.  The unrepentant get kicked to Hell.

In my personal belief system, I believe that you end up where-ever you truly believe you'll go at that last moment, be that Heaven, Hell, Valhalla, the Summerlands, etc.

Offline Silk

I would say yes he can. Agian think about it, omnipotent being with an existance beyond human understanding and not a human. If he wants to make a rock heavier then he can lift it he can, and then later on if he wants to make it so he can lift it then he can either make himself stronger or make the rock lighter

Religion from my point of view, demands you ask more questions then atheism does. For atheists, sceince is the one and only answer and for specific atheist religions like scientology and buddism they already have their beliefs. I mentioned before that faith and by extension religion is not a choice, a person can be brought up in a religion by tradition but once they become an adult if they believe they continue to follow it, if they dont believe they go looking for something else or form their own beliefs. This is a questioning process, to find something that makes sense to the individual. Catholisism in particular has always encouraged me to ask questions and find my own answers either within the church or out in the world. Unlike what many people think, Ive never been forced to believe something or to accept an answer that didnt answer my questions but I have been told many times that if I dont like the answer to a question I should find my own answer

I partly agree with you hairy but I think there are mysteries of the universe that can never really be solved because they are beyond our understanding

Yes because saying that the dogmas of don't ask questions, it just is that way asks more questions than that which entire method is based around trying to disprove itself.

How is religion not a choice? If it was not a choice it would not be unchanging biologicaly, a black man doesn't choose to be black, but he can choose to be christian or athiest or FSM that warrents a choice. Just because people don't opt to make use of that choice does not stop the choice being there if they choose.

Your making the logical fallacy. Just because we don't understand it now doesnt mean we will never understand in the future.

Offline HairyHeretic

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I partly agree with you hairy but I think there are mysteries of the universe that can never really be solved because they are beyond our understanding

At one time, fire was beyond our understanding. :)

As the race progresses, we learn more. Gravity, flight, magnetism, the workings of the body, the laws of nature .. they were all once unknowns. I'm not saying we'll know everything tomorrow. But in a century, we (as a species) will know more than we did today. In a thousand years, we'll know more still, and so it goes.

Who knows, maybe one day in the far distant future, whatever we have evolved into will know practically everything.

Or we just go beyond the rim, following the rest of the First Ones :)

Offline Brandon

I already answered your question Silk, maybe you didnt read it?

Ok lets try this, I will point out some philosophical ideas or forces and you guys can explain to me exactly how they work or how the future will discover how they work (and thus allow mankind to manipulate them). Lets start out with two easy ones, Luck and Karma

Offline Wolfy

Luck and Karma are just things made up to explain why bad or good events happen to certain people. Good luck for someone is bad luck for someone else. It's too subjective to be explained or understood, and is just an idea that has no substance nor need to be understood at all.

Offline Oniya

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Luck can be explained through probability theory in many cases.  Unfortunately, due to the fact that most systems are sensitive to changes in the initial conditions (see the works of Lorenz), luck cannot adequately be controlled.

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Such as changing Americans bringing slaves from Africa to "The East Atlantic Triangular Trade" or some other such nonsense. >_>
That's wrong. England got the African tribes to sell other tribes into (or do the dirty work themselves) slavery and they shipped them to America and sold them. America didn't have the necessary ships to bring slaves to themselves. In fact, America was very anti-navy at this point in time. And we all know who had the ships. 

Offline Trieste

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Warning - while you were typing 9 new replies have been posted. You may wish to review your post.

You know what, screw y'all, I'm posting anyway.

Odd as this may sound, I think he might.

He has also put forward the idea that since God made everyone and everything, he has a perfect right do whatever he wants with them. And by his earlier rational, those actions can only be good.

I honestly can't fathom that mindset.

I can fathom it, I just can't agree with it.

Religion is such a many and varied thing that making generalizations really is folly. Is all life sacred, is no life sacred? Is there a higher being, and if so does that higher being (or beings!) care what we do? Is free will sacrosanct? You'll get a different answer to each of those questions depending on who you ask, and it doesn't just vary by country - you'll get different answers across the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia, South Africa, blah blah blah.

As far as rabidity goes, there is no neutral yardstick by which to measure such a thing. By the way, lumping all Atheists in with the anti-Theists because both groups don't believe in the Christian God is just as inaccurate as lumping Catholics in with the WBC just because they believe in God. In the quest to treat Catholicism fairly, its important to evaluate the massive blind spot that can (and does) develop.

I have to say, I can understand the mindset behind evangelical-ism. If you honestly believe that people who don't believe what you believe are going to burn in an eternity of Hell, it seems any compassionate person would do their best to save as many people as possible. However, I think it can be agreed by most people that the WBC takes that particular line and runs way, way far afield with it.

Offline Wolfy

That's wrong. England got the African tribes to sell other tribes into (or do the dirty work themselves) slavery and they shipped them to America and sold them. America didn't have the necessary ships to bring slaves to themselves. In fact, America was very anti-navy at this point in time. And we all know who had the ships.

Wellt, that's what they changed it too...so yeah, Texas is going to know a different history than the rest of America...

Then again...*looks at George W. Bush* I think they already have a different education system...o-o

Offline Trieste

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Ahem.

Bush was educated not only in Texas but also at Ivy League schools. It has nothing to do with where and how he was educated. An idiot at Harvard is still an idiot.

Harrumph.

Offline consortium11

Mankind got where it is today by being inventive and seeking to challenge itself...

o-o..Religion seems to give us an easy answer to everything, rather than facing the tough questions on our own.

Or that's my thoughts on the matter, anyway.

Ironically (especially considering their reputation) people directly associated with Christianity/The Church in the West have been responsible for some of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of all time.

Offline Oniya

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As I recall, Gregor Mendel (the 'father of genetics') was a monk.  Genetics leads to the idea of breeding 'for' a particular trait, which leads very easily into the idea of evolution.

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As I recall, Gregor Mendel (the 'father of genetics') was a monk.  Genetics leads to the idea of breeding 'for' a particular trait, which leads very easily into the idea of evolution.
True.

I personally believe God created the whole of existence but I don't just think he spoke it into being so. (Now to lets say primitive man it would appear to be that way.) I think physics are God's handwriting. (If cave men saw men launching into space never to return wouldn't they think it was godly magic?) I believe in the God particle too, and no one has proved that exists but they're trying.

"Science was the biggest religion of the twentieth century. A religion tarnished by exploding space shuttles, crack babies, and a generation of American's who were happy to let the television raise their children." --Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files: Storm Front.

So I guess make of it what you will.

Offline Jude

I already answered your question Silk, maybe you didnt read it?

Ok lets try this, I will point out some philosophical ideas or forces and you guys can explain to me exactly how they work or how the future will discover how they work (and thus allow mankind to manipulate them). Lets start out with two easy ones, Luck and Karma
... what evidence do you have to prove that either exist?

They're quite easily explained in terms of human fallibility:  luck is the belief that particular persons bend statistical chance in their favor.  The problem here is, that belief is based on a poor understanding of statistics and confirmation bias.  Confirmation bias in that observing someone who has been labeled as "lucky," observers will typically ignore evidence to the contrary due to human nature, which ultimately results in a false positive.  And of course, a poor understanding of statistics in that people tend to make coincidences out to be much more than they are, when in fact they're statistical unlikelihoods, but possible none the less.  Given that there are 300 million people in the United States alone, the inevitable "coincidences" that arise from these large numbers are often misconstrued by magical thinking.

Karma is merely luck with the added component that the luck or unluck is occurring as a result of moral action.  Because this is based on luck it carries the same flaws, with one additional problem:  bad things happen to good people and vice versa.  It only takes one counterexample, which are of course easy to find, to annihilate this entire concept.  And since I know you're a Christian it's very easy for me to present you with an airtight example:  Jesus.  Although I don't believe in the events I will use as evidence, I know you do:  Christianity claims he was absolutely perfect, led a virtuous life, then was crucified, suffered, and died as a martyr.  Karma certainly wouldn't dictate such an end.  And there's even more examples of good people suffering in tremendous ways in the bible:  John the Baptist, Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah, and my favorite example of all:  Job.

Job:  "I LOVE GOD!"
God:  "See Satan, I do have fans."
Satan:  "I bet he wouldn't be your fan if you fucked with him a bit."
God:  "...hmm, that really stuck in my craw, bro.  Lets find out!"

((EDIT:  Fixed inaccuracy--thanks Oniya))
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 02:11:11 PM by Jude »

Offline Oniya

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And there's even more examples of good people suffering in tremendous ways in the bible:  John the Baptist, Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah, and my favorite example of all:  Jonah.

Jonah:  "I LOVE GOD!"
God:  "See Satan, I do have fans."
Satan:  "I bet he wouldn't be your fan if you fucked with him a bit."
God:  "...hmm, that really stuck in my craw, bro.  Lets find out!"

That would be Job.  Jonah was the one swallowed by a whale when he refused to deliver God's warning to Ninevah.

Offline Trieste

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Ironically (especially considering their reputation) people directly associated with Christianity/The Church in the West have been responsible for some of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of all time.

As I recall, Gregor Mendel (the 'father of genetics') was a monk.  Genetics leads to the idea of breeding 'for' a particular trait, which leads very easily into the idea of evolution.

Yes, and Darwin was, as I recall, a creationist. But for many years (decades... centuries...) the majority of educated people were church folk. Unless you were rich, you didn't learn to read unless you were clergy (with some exceptions, obviously) and a thinking mind isn't necessarily a faithless mind.

Intelligence has little to do with faith, and even less to do with religion.


Offline Jude

Yes, and Darwin was, as I recall, a creationist. But for many years (decades... centuries...) the majority of educated people were church folk. Unless you were rich, you didn't learn to read unless you were clergy (with some exceptions, obviously) and a thinking mind isn't necessarily a faithless mind.

Intelligence has little to do with faith, and even less to do with religion.
And if you really want a good measurement of how the two correlate, you simply have to look to statistics today when social pressure doesn't force damn near everyone to accept, or at least profess to accept, religious belief.  There is a negative correlation between scientists and religious faith (that is the percentage of scientists who are religious are lower than the population as a whole), and a negative correlation between intelligence and religious faith (several Gallup poll studies of the general population have shown that those with higher IQs tend not to believe in god).

Offline Trieste

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And, of course, there isn't any pressure at all within the scientific community to eschew belief in an imaginary friend up beyond the clouds.

Hint for all you non-scientists: There is.

Offline Jude

Hm, I hadn't thought of that, that's a good point.  I'm not sure how pervasive or powerful such a pressure would be (whether or not it would be enough to outweigh greater social pressure), but it's something to think about.

Offline Trieste

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Obviously I don't know if it lessens on post-grad level but I do know that at grad and undergrad level it's extremely pervasive. I've found that engineers are a little less anti-faith than those in bio and chem. Also, it would be telling to see if, when that negative correlation was found, they included 'soft' sciences like sociology or psychology. All of the anthropologists I've met have been fascinated with religion but consider themselves dabblers in most of those they've run across, but anthro, soc, and psych students are usually hardcore believers in faith and the human ability to transcend self via spirituality.

This is all anecdotal, but interesting all the same, and might suggest sources of variance depending on how one defines a scientist.

Offline RubySlippers

Why can't a scientist be a Creationist I don't see a conflict one can fully accept the Universe and its mysteries as science is the rationalization of what we see. Creationism is the Mystery of God as to how He made it as revealed in the Bible a matter of simple faith. Just ignore the former when it conflicts with the latter.

Offline Trieste

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"Ignore inconvenient things and hope they go away" is how we get things like thalidomide and fen-phen. ;)

Edit: Sorry, I meant thalidomide given to women during gestation.

I'm sure the various lepers of the world are very glad for it.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 03:08:37 PM by Trieste »

Offline Oniya

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Is that 'ignore religion when it conflicts with science' or 'ignore science when it conflicts with religion'?  I got all turned around in the phrasing.   :-(

Offline Trieste

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Oh! I took it as 'ignore science when it conflicts with religion' since "rationalization of what we see" came before "Mystery of God" which would make science the former and religion the latter. I think.

Offline Jude

Not all religious folks are the problem, just the ones who want to pass off their religious beliefs as scientific theories.  There's nothing scientific about creationism or intelligent design; they're ad-hoc hypotheses formulated from the personal theology of individuals and they fail the most basic scientific test, Occam's Razor.

It's okay to be a monotheist, to believe that god created the universe, and to be scientist; there's nothing wrong with that.  You just can't inject that into scientific proceedings without scientific evidence (and for religion, there is none).  Lots of people are very good at keeping science and faith separate, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Science isn't about belief; there's no belief test for any scientist to join the field.  You don't even have to believe in gravity to be a scientist, but you do have to work with solid evidence and rely on established law and theory (unless you can disprove it).  You can be a religious evolutionary biologist; you don't have to believe that evolution is even real, but you do have to proceed as if it's a scientific fact for the sake of your research.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 03:28:28 PM by Jude »