Religion

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
EdgarJPublius
Official Propagandi.... Nifty Poster Guy
Posts: 3712
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:56 am UTC
Location: where the wind takes me

Re: Religion

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:36 pm UTC

Science and religion are mutually exclusive eh? Silly me, I guess... hmm, I don't know what to guess in that case, seeing as my God wants me to uncover as much of the workings of the universe as I can. I'm kinda stuck unless you can tell me how to uncover the greater glory of the creators vision without science.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

User avatar
clintonius
Posts: 2755
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 9:13 pm UTC
Location: Brooklyn

Re: Religion

Postby clintonius » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:58 pm UTC

The thing is, plenty of other people want to discover the workings of the universe, as well -- and want to do so by virtue of their own curiosity, not the admonition of a diety. Felstaff wasn't talking about the motivation to practice science. He was talking about using science to try and prove or disprove the existence of a god, and the reasons this is a futile exercise.
kira wrote:*piles up some limbs and blood and a couple hearts for good measure*
GUYS. I MADE A HUMAN.
*...pokes at it with a stick*

User avatar
tday93
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:07 am UTC
Location: Surf City, CA no, seriously, we own the trademark (suck it Santa Cruz)
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby tday93 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:37 am UTC

And that seems to make sense. The finite cannot comprehend the infinite. My belief personally is that science itself is a form of worship. The ultimate goal of religion (in my opinion at least) is closeness to god, and the best way to do this is through learning more about his creation, because that we can comprehend (mostly).
"Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around, I'd rather lie around. No contest." -Eric Clapton

User avatar
EdgarJPublius
Official Propagandi.... Nifty Poster Guy
Posts: 3712
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:56 am UTC
Location: where the wind takes me

Re: Religion

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:08 am UTC

clintonius wrote:The thing is, plenty of other people want to discover the workings of the universe, as well -- and want to do so by virtue of their own curiosity, not the admonition of a diety. Felstaff wasn't talking about the motivation to practice science. He was talking about using science to try and prove or disprove the existence of a god, and the reasons this is a futile exercise.


A God needn't admonish for someone to do something for their God, plenty of christians worship their god in ways god never told them to, and not, didn't tell them to as in, not in the bible, but as in, people have felt a calling or simply do what they enjoy for the greater glory of their God because that is the best way they know to worship.

Maybe I feel that God reveals It's existence through the elegance and wonder of the universe and all the 'proof' I need is that the stars are beautiful.

Maybe Curiosity is my God.

Saying religion doesn't mix with science is like saying oil doesn't mix with potatoes. Just because I wouldn't want a petroleum covered potato doesn't mean that vegetable oil and potatoes also won't mix to make delicious french fries. Don't presume to believe that one or a few religions are representative of the whole, God doesn't have to be what an old book says It is.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

User avatar
Uber_Apple
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:07 am UTC

Re: Religion

Postby Uber_Apple » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:02 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Saying religion doesn't mix with science is like saying oil doesn't mix with potatoes. Just because I wouldn't want a petroleum covered potato doesn't mean that vegetable oil and potatoes also won't mix to make delicious french fries. Don't presume to believe that one or a few religions are representative of the whole, God doesn't have to be what an old book says It is.


Theres nothing wrong in beliving or not believing in a god or gods and still accepting science. The problem comes when people say 'God ---> science = wrong' because then you are letting the religion interfere with the science instead of coexisting with it.

User avatar
EdgarJPublius
Official Propagandi.... Nifty Poster Guy
Posts: 3712
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:56 am UTC
Location: where the wind takes me

Re: Religion

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:45 pm UTC

right, but putting that in a blanket statement such as 'religion and science don't mix' is ignoring that sometimes they do and generally indicates that whoever said it more or less believes that religion=only Abrahamic faiths.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

Kyo
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:49 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby Kyo » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:19 pm UTC

Religion in itself is not evil or bad, but how people sometimes treat it is.
Religion shouldn't be forced on other people, but the same thing can be said about atheism.
Secondly, religion should only be used as answer to "why?" not "how?". It's amazing that some Americans even need to have discussions about teaching creationism as fact.
Taking things too far is also bad.

I came across a graphic the other day:
Image

This is what happens if any (or all) of the above are being done.

User avatar
roc314
Is dead, and you have killed him
Posts: 1356
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:48 am UTC
Location: A bunker, here behind my wall
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby roc314 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:50 pm UTC

That graphic is wrong. Scientific advancement didn't stop during the Dark Ages, it progressed. Just not very much in Europe. The Mid and Far East both had advancements in scientific knowledge. In fact, it was that knowledge coming to Europe that catalyzed the Renaissance.
Hippo: roc is the good little communist that lurks in us all
Richard Stallman: Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave you alone.
suffer-cait: roc's a pretty cool dude

Outchanter
Posts: 669
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:40 am UTC

Re: Religion

Postby Outchanter » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:19 am UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Maybe I feel that God reveals It's existence through the elegance and wonder of the universe and all the 'proof' I need is that the stars are beautiful.

Maybe Curiosity is my God.

That sounds more like mysticism than vanilla religion. But it's worth noting that Ibn al-Haytham - the Persian Muslim dude who basically invented the experimental method - saw his explorations as a way of getting closer to God:

Ibn al-Haytham wrote:I constantly sought knowledge and truth, and it became my belief that for gaining access to the effulgence and closeness to God, there is no better way than that of searching for truth and knowledge.


Which just shows you can't generalize.

User avatar
josephoenix
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:06 am UTC
Location: chicagoland
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby josephoenix » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:37 am UTC

Kyo wrote:Religion in itself is not evil or bad, but how people sometimes treat it is.
Religion shouldn't be forced on other people, but the same thing can be said about atheism.
Secondly, religion should only be used as answer to "why?" not "how?". It's amazing that some Americans even need to have discussions about teaching creationism as fact.
Taking things too far is also bad.

I came across a graphic the other day:
Image

This is what happens if any (or all) of the above are being done.



I agree with most of what you're saying, until you argued religion as solely a "why". I think that attitude is why most people are so conflicted with both the idea of science and religion. I believe that they are the same. In my view, god is always the how, and most times i don't know the why [and i don't really mind not knowing.] It's common, though, for people to take things that can be explained scientifically, and completely dismiss any aspect of it being attributed to any kind of divine action. For example, i was watching an old episode of House [House Vs. God] and a cancer patient's tumor shrunk. A religious healer attributed it to God. House eventually figured out, with medical testing, why her tumors shrunk. Instantly the idea that god had done it flew out the window. This puzzles me. Why can God only act in inexplainable miracles? Why can't he cause the woman to get herpes to shrink her tumors? It seems ridiculous to limit a person, or god, so that he can only do miracles, and not something as simple as giving someone herpes. Normally limits act in "you can't do things above this amazingness level." But in society's general view of Gods, they can only act above a certain level.
I speak the truth that shakes the silent night.

User avatar
McCaber
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:35 am UTC
Location: Coyote
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby McCaber » Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:11 am UTC

Kyo wrote:I came across a graphic the other day:
Image

This is what happens if any (or all) of the above are being done.

That graph bothers me. The middle ages lack of science had nothing to do with Christianity. That was more due to the Roman empire collapsing and barbarian invasions. Not to mention the fact that from about 1200 to 1500 (after Europe had just about recovered) saw a huge technological advancement, in farming, smithing, economics, tools, construction, and many other fields. And the growth of learning and literacy in the Catholic monasteries.
Spoiler:
hyperion wrote:
Hawknc wrote:Crap, that image is going to get a lot of use around here.

That's what SHE said!

She blinded me with Science!

peevo
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:11 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby peevo » Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:53 am UTC

McCaber wrote:I agree with most of what you're saying, until you argued religion as solely a "why". I think that attitude is why most people are so conflicted with both the idea of science and religion. I believe that they are the same. In my view, god is always the how, and most times i don't know the why [and i don't really mind not knowing.] It's common, though, for people to take things that can be explained scientifically, and completely dismiss any aspect of it being attributed to any kind of divine action. For example, i was watching an old episode of House [House Vs. God] and a cancer patient's tumor shrunk. A religious healer attributed it to God. House eventually figured out, with medical testing, why her tumors shrunk. Instantly the idea that god had done it flew out the window. This puzzles me. Why can God only act in inexplainable miracles? Why can't he cause the woman to get herpes to shrink her tumors? It seems ridiculous to limit a person, or god, so that he can only do miracles, and not something as simple as giving someone herpes. Normally limits act in "you can't do things above this amazingness level." But in society's general view of Gods, they can only act above a certain level.

Why muck up a theory with the addition of god? The theory of "her tumor shrunk because of x" is simpler and more likely than "her tumor shrunk because of x AND because God did it".

Edit: to clarify, so people don't think I'm just going against God, the first is more likely because it assumes less. By the first theory, x could be caused by God, not be caused by God, caused by the FSM, Bob, unicorns (pink and/or invisible), or magic. As long as x causes the tumor reduction, it is correct. With the second theory, x has to be causing the tumor reduction and God has to be the cause behind x.
Last edited by peevo on Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:12 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
"Yeah I can break necks with my mind." Tristan, Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Version, Episode 31.

User avatar
roc314
Is dead, and you have killed him
Posts: 1356
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:48 am UTC
Location: A bunker, here behind my wall
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby roc314 » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:51 pm UTC

peevo wrote:Why muck up a theory with the addition of god? The theory of "her tumor shrunk because of x" is simpler and more likely than "her tumor shrunk because of x AND because God did it".
Well scientifically, the two would look the same. As such, there is no way to prove that it is the first and not the second. If we are looking for a cause, then obviously, we would choose the first one. However, that does not mean the second is impossible, just that we have no evidence for whether or not it's true.
Hippo: roc is the good little communist that lurks in us all
Richard Stallman: Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave you alone.
suffer-cait: roc's a pretty cool dude

User avatar
Andrew
Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:59 pm UTC
Location: Manchester, UK
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby Andrew » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:50 pm UTC

roc314 wrote:
peevo wrote:Why muck up a theory with the addition of god? The theory of "her tumor shrunk because of x" is simpler and more likely than "her tumor shrunk because of x AND because God did it".
Well scientifically, the two would look the same.

Only in the sense that a scientist will look at the second one and cross out the last bit as stupid.

The tumours shrinking because of herpes is consistent with the hypothesis that God Done It in the same way that results from Fermilab are consistent with the hypothesis that MMR causes autism -- you can't contradict something without investigating it. You can gather as much consistent evidence as you like simply by carefully avoiding any accidental relevance. That's not how truth is found. That's why the idea "goes out the window": it's the same reason that you stop worrying about arming yourself against zombies when you stop playing the Left 4 Dead demo: sure, there might still be zombies lurking around, but why would you think so?

Besides, all you've done is to move God back a step. If House investigated the cause of the herpes he'd probably find that something else caused it. And sure, you could credit God with causing that, but House can keep investigating and pushing God's action further down the causal chain until the series ends, and you're left arguing god-of-the-gaps just the same as creationists, with the added fun for any skeptics watching that you're crediting God with increasingly mundane things -- we're one step down the line and it's already gone from curing cancer to giving some woman an STD.

scwizard
Posts: 519
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:29 pm UTC
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby scwizard » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:26 am UTC

Does anyone here believe in the existence of heaven and hell?

If you do then why do you believe in the existence of those things?

If you do believe in the existence of those things, tell me what criteria is used to decide who goes to heaven and who goes to hell?

Why do you believe that those specific criteria are used to decide who goes to heaven and who goes to hell?
~= scwizard =~

User avatar
TheAmazingRando
Posts: 2308
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:58 am UTC
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Religion

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:29 am UTC

Scwizard, you may be interested in this topic. And this one.

scwizard
Posts: 519
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:29 pm UTC
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby scwizard » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:27 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:scwizard, you may be interested in this topic. And this one.

Thank you. The reason I'm asking though is because I'm curious whether the people in this thread who believe a god just believe in a god, or believe in the whole mythology. I'm interesting in arguing about religion and not what hell is, so I think I'll stay in this thread.

EDIT:
On an unrelated note, graphs that have undefined units like "awesomeness" or "scientific advancement" in either of the axles don't belong in serious discussion because they're about as serious as the proximity to cats v inaneness graph.
~= scwizard =~

User avatar
TheAmazingRando
Posts: 2308
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:58 am UTC
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Religion

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:38 am UTC

I think what someone perceives hell as is pretty important, though. Saying "I believe in hell" can mean various different things depending on how you define hell.

For example, as a Christian, I believe in heaven and hell. I believe that the requirements of salvation, as outlined in the New Testament, are sufficient for salvation. I also believe that God can do whatever he damn well pleases, so it is possible for non-Christians to go to heaven as well. These beliefs are based on Christian scripture. I accept that they are beliefs based solely on faith and not something I could convince anyone else of.

However, when I say I believe in hell, I don't mean I believe in a place of fire and never-ending torture, so in that sense I don't necessarily "buy in" to the whole mythology of it. I believe that hell is precisely what atheists believe happens to the body upon death: annihilation and oblivion. I believe the rest is baseless embellishment.

I think there's a big difference between saying "you're probably right about what happens to you after death" and saying "you are going to be mercilessly tortured forever" so I think getting a definition of hell is crucial.

scwizard
Posts: 519
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:29 pm UTC
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby scwizard » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:12 am UTC

In science you have evidence, and using that evidence you make assumptions. Then using logic you demonstrate that the conclusion follows from the assumptions.

To be honest I don't really understand how religion works, it seems to work different ways for different people. But apparently for TheAmazingRando s/he has some assumptions such as "every word that Jesus Christ has uttered is true" and using those assumptions he logically demonstrates the conclusion that the "afterlife" of people who have fulfilled a certain set of requirements will be more pleasant than the "afterlife" of people who have not fulfilled those requirements.

But what's wrong with making assumptions that are not based on evidence? After all science begins by assuming that the perceptions of our five senses are accurate to a degree.

In my opinion there is nothing fundamentally wrong with making assumptions that are not based on evidence. However if an assumption you make not based on evidence contradicts a different assumption that is based on evidence, it's irrational to chose the one not based on evidence over the one based on evidence.

Also if assumptions you make that are not based on evidence make your life less pleasant, then I don't understand why you would hold those assumptions.

Finally if due assumptions you hold not based on evidence you have acted to harm me or harm people I have sympathy for (see proposition 8), then I have an issue with those assumptions and with you.
~= scwizard =~

DavidoDoom
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:55 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby DavidoDoom » Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:03 pm UTC

But what's wrong with making assumptions that are not based on evidence? After all science begins by assuming that the perceptions of our five senses are accurate to a degree.

In my opinion there is nothing fundamentally wrong with making assumptions that are not based on evidence. However if an assumption you make not based on evidence contradicts a different assumption that is based on evidence, it's irrational to chose the one not based on evidence over the one based on evidence.


There is a difference between assuming our five senses are accurate and assuming everything that hasn't been disproven. There is a possibility that our senses are wrong, and that we live in some sort of Matrix, and while philosophers may ponder this, to understand the world one must have something to observe it with. Being able to experience things around you is a requirement of any science that requires some sort of observation (most besides math, and maybe even that depending on your definition of "observation"), and if there is anything we can trust more than our senses, we use it. Also, it is a pretty reasonable assumption that our senses are accurate, and each sense can be individually proved by using the other ones to "check" it (which will not help at all if we are all brains in jars, but assuming we are brains in jars has no evidence to back it up, while our senses do have an amount of evidence)

Also, I believe believing in things until evidence creates a more reasonable solution (if the original belief if based off of nothing) is an insecure state of self-denial, where you are willing to accept you are wrong, but until some proof comes along, you will believe in your beliefs despite the lack of evidence.

I think Russel's Teapot is a good demonstration on why you cannot believe anything because it has not been (or cannot) be disproven.

User avatar
EdgarJPublius
Official Propagandi.... Nifty Poster Guy
Posts: 3712
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:56 am UTC
Location: where the wind takes me

Re: Religion

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:19 pm UTC

What is evidence? Especially what is evidence of God?

Some might say that there can never be such evidence, while a religious person might believe that certain experiences they have had or things they have seen constitute sufficient evidence to at least theorize a God.

Things like supposed miracles, or artifacts, like holy texts or stories (espescially cross-cultural stories like flood myths) and even phenomena such as the X structure in the core of galaxy M51
Image
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

scwizard
Posts: 519
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:29 pm UTC
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby scwizard » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:17 am UTC

DavidoDoom wrote:Also, I believe believing in things until evidence creates a more reasonable solution (if the original belief if based off of nothing) is an insecure state of self-denial, where you are willing to accept you are wrong, but until some evidence comes along, you will believe in your beliefs despite the lack of evidence.

I think Russel's Teapot is a good demonstration on why you cannot believe anything because it has not been (or cannot) be disproven.

I googled Russel's Teapot and I still don't get it.

http://russellsteapot.com/ wrote:If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense.

Most people who believe in god don't believe that it's a "intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt." It's unreasonable to assume the existence of such a teapot, but it's not immoral to.

And there's nothing wrong with being unreasonable. If someone wants to assume that they have an invisible guardian angel that watches over them and protects them from misfortune, if that assumption makes them happy there is nothing wrong with it. It's an unreasonable assumption, but it seems to make them happy and does psychological help rather than harm.

EdgarJPublius wrote:even phenomena such as the X structure in the core of galaxy M51

How the fuck does an X structure in the core of a galaxy imply a creator god? That seems like a extremely anglocentric view, I mean the dominant language on this planet doesn't even have an X symbol as part of it...

Saying that because the sunset is beautiful means it was designed is complete silliness. It's ok for you to have your beliefs, just don't go saying that they're founded on evidence at all because they're not. Calling such things evidence is an offense to the concept of evidence itself.
~= scwizard =~

User avatar
EdgarJPublius
Official Propagandi.... Nifty Poster Guy
Posts: 3712
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:56 am UTC
Location: where the wind takes me

Re: Religion

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:25 am UTC

scwizard wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:even phenomena such as the X structure in the core of galaxy M51

How the fuck does an X structure in the core of a galaxy imply a creator god? That seems like a extremely anglocentric view, I mean the dominant language on this planet doesn't even have an X symbol as part of it...

Which language is that? there are Christ worshipers that speak it and they certainly brought the X symbol with them. and it's not just Christ worshipers that have a cross or X shaped symbol as part of their religion.

scwizard wrote:Saying that because the sunset is beautiful means it was designed is complete silliness. It's ok for you to have your beliefs, just don't go saying that they're founded on evidence at all because they're not. Calling such things evidence is an offense to the concept of evidence itself.


Don't say that a beautiful sunset or an X shaped structure in a faraway galaxy isn't evidence for a creator until you have an idea of what would constitute evidence for a creator.

Sometimes, evidence isn't direct. How much of string theory or quantum mechanics is founded on nothing more than 'elegance' a neat way to explain why certain things are the way they are that can't really be tested or otherwise proven currently.
How many other theories started out as an interesting idea with no way to test?

Fermat's last theorem for example was eventually 'proven' with the help of centuries of time and technological advancement and Alan Turing once proposed that a 'universal' machine could be created (though the time between his idea and the eventual validation was a lot quicker than for Fermat).
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

peevo
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:11 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby peevo » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:44 am UTC

scwizard wrote:And there's nothing wrong with being unreasonable. If someone wants to assume that they have an invisible guardian angel that watches over them and protects them from misfortune, if that assumption makes them happy there is nothing wrong with it. It's an unreasonable assumption, but it seems to make them happy and does psychological help rather than harm.



Until they decide that their guardian angel dictates that Established Theory X is wrong, because the guardian angel told them. Or that because you believe in a guardian angel named Bob, and his is named Chuck, that they must kill you. So on and so forth. You could argue that not every, or even most, religious person disagrees with Established Theory/wants to kill people for faith based reasons, but religious moderates allow for extremism to develop. Richards Dawkins has a much more compelling argument but I don't have my copy of The God Delusion.
"Yeah I can break necks with my mind." Tristan, Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Version, Episode 31.

scwizard
Posts: 519
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:29 pm UTC
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby scwizard » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:02 am UTC

If by a X you meant a cross you should have said so. I thought you were referring the letter X instead of the Christian holy cross.

Don't say that a beautiful sunset or an X shaped structure in a faraway galaxy isn't evidence for a creator until you have an idea of what would constitute evidence for a creator.

It's the responsibility of the person who brings up the evidence to demonstrate how the evidence enforces their conclusion.

peevo wrote:You could argue that not every, or even most, religious person disagrees with Established Theory/wants to kill people for faith based reasons, but religious moderates allow for extremism to develop. Richards Dawkins has a much more compelling argument but I don't have my copy of The God Delusion.

And water can lead to deadly scalding steam, but that doesn't mean that water itself is bad, just that the misuse/mishandling of water is bad.
~= scwizard =~

DavidoDoom
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:55 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby DavidoDoom » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:42 am UTC

Most people who believe in god don't believe that it's a "intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt." It's unreasonable to assume the existence of such a teapot, but it's not immoral to.


The point of the teapot is to put the assumption of a god based off of nothing in an object that doesn't contain anybody's bias. Because of the reason you said. People who believe in god of course do not believe it is unreasonable, so they are naturally biased that their theory makes sense because it cannot be disproved, and because they have faith, which cannot be disproved. The teapot takes this idea and places it in an object without bias.

User avatar
EdgarJPublius
Official Propagandi.... Nifty Poster Guy
Posts: 3712
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:56 am UTC
Location: where the wind takes me

Re: Religion

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:43 am UTC

scwizard wrote:If by a X you meant a cross you should have said so. I thought you were referring the letter X instead of the Christian holy cross.

I thought the picture would have spoken for itself, I'll be more careful of that in the future.

Don't say that a beautiful sunset or an X shaped structure in a faraway galaxy isn't evidence for a creator until you have an idea of what would constitute evidence for a creator.

It's the responsibility of the person who brings up the evidence to demonstrate how the evidence enforces their conclusion.
[/quote]
What would you accept as proof? I (and many religious people) could sit here and point to how all sorts of things imply a creator. But like, say, M theory or other string theories, we're gonna run short of testable hypotheses.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

scwizard
Posts: 519
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:29 pm UTC
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby scwizard » Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:01 am UTC

Don't say that a beautiful sunset or an X shaped structure in a faraway galaxy isn't evidence for a creator until you have an idea of what would constitute evidence for a creator.

It's the responsibility of the person who brings up the evidence to demonstrate how the evidence enforces their conclusion.

What would you accept as proof? I (and many religious people) could sit here and point to how all sorts of things imply a creator. But like, say, M theory or other string theories, we're gonna run short of testable hypotheses.

Which is why I don't believe string theory either.

Also don't ask me what kind of argument I would accept. Just try your best to demonstrate how a cross shaped structure in a faraway galaxy is evidence of a creator god.
~= scwizard =~

User avatar
greycloud
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:18 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby greycloud » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:41 pm UTC

I like the discussion of religion, though I'm not religious. I'm not athiest, but 100% agnostic. I do have a few theories on religion, though...

1) Think of the world like the internet. God would then be the creator of the internet - a person who is largely shrouded in mystery, with most people offering stubborn, though not definite, ideas of who this one person was/is. There are many people who do not care. Most people just admire him, maybe even worship for what has been given to us, but in all truth that person has absolutely no power over this world anymore, even if they were all powerful. (A few facts in the analogy may be off here, but the idea is whats important)

2) Why would the devil punish people for doing his own bidding? This one I've never quite understood... I can understand him being evil and punishing all who enter hell, but why would he focus on those who have been particularly bad? In my opinion, if there is a heaven and hell, you would go to the one which you expect to go to. If you are really evil, and go to heaven, 'God' will punish you. Otherwise, he will not. If you are evil in hell, you will be an asset to some sort of 'devil', who would punish the good.

3) The idea of having one god seems a bit obscure, especially considering most of the original religions have many. Why would we suddenly be more aware that there is only one now? It makes sense that different things are viewed highly by different demons, to show how each person is a unique mixture of each of the influences, and contridicting things can both be considered as 'good'.

These are just ideas and opinions. Feel free to pick them apart :D

nazlfrag
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:54 pm UTC
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby nazlfrag » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:07 pm UTC

That graphic is wrong. Scientific advancement didn't stop during the Dark Ages, it progressed. Just not very much in Europe. The Mid and Far East both had advancements in scientific knowledge. In fact, it was that knowledge coming to Europe that catalyzed the Renaissance.


Indeed, take the work of Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi. While Christian Europe was in a dark age, Islamic scholars took the baton from the Greeks and expanded their knowledge in every direction, setting up universities and advancing the sciences and arts. The Renaissance was mostly a knowledge transfer from the Islamic Middle East and Africa, fused with Oriental input. The chart is only valid from a Eurocentric viewpoint, not a worldwide one.

On the topic at hand though, in the words of a forgotten bard "Fuck religion, fuck politics, fuck the lot of you."

User avatar
TheAmazingRando
Posts: 2308
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:58 am UTC
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Religion

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:45 pm UTC

greycloud wrote:2) Why would the devil punish people for doing his own bidding? This one I've never quite understood... I can understand him being evil and punishing all who enter hell, but why would he focus on those who have been particularly bad? In my opinion, if there is a heaven and hell, you would go to the one which you expect to go to. If you are really evil, and go to heaven, 'God' will punish you. Otherwise, he will not. If you are evil in hell, you will be an asset to some sort of 'devil', who would punish the good.
The bible itself is incredibly vague on the subject of the afterlife, so most of the mythology of it is borrowed from Greek/Roman polytheism. Biblically, satan is punished in hell, but he doesn't rule over it, and he doesn't punish sinners. Since he's there, though, in borrowing from polytheism, he's sort of evolved in popular thought into the god of the underworld, of sorts.
Last edited by TheAmazingRando on Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:42 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Brian
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 1:18 am UTC
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Religion

Postby Brian » Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:23 pm UTC

Re: Evidence of a creator god

Evolutionary theory seems to be the line of research you'd most want to pursue. There have been several well-written books on the topic. The gist being that:
A. Random chance does not occur anywhere near fast enough to fit in to any previously proposed timeline of the earth, even those in the several billions.
B. There are several systems (the most popular being the eye) that simply could not have been product of natural selection.
C. There is no reasonable explanation for the origin of the very first cell. Even should you find one keep in mind that this first cell has to have at least a couple viable systems already in place, such as feeding and reproduction.
D. Should such a cell get off the ground, random mutation is much more often destructive than productive... which is fine when you're dealing with organisms as complex and resilient as humans. But when you only have one cell to work with, there isn't a lot of room for error.

Just recently Ben Stein put out an interesting documentary entitled Expelled pertaining to the inability for scientists to explore alternatives to accepted evolutionary theory. Worth a watch.

No, the gaps being presented in evolutionary theory do not entitle anyone to leap directly to "God did it" or even "God loves me and sent Christ to die for my sins." However, these gaps DO leave us with a few new clues. Namely, SOMETHING helped it happen. It would also appear that something intelligent helped it. Taking note of the complexity of life on earth, it would appear that something VERY intelligent helped it.

Take it or leave it. Either way, go research it please.

WraithXt1
Posts: 576
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:26 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby WraithXt1 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:27 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:What is evidence? Especially what is evidence of God?

Some might say that there can never be such evidence, while a religious person might believe that certain experiences they have had or things they have seen constitute sufficient evidence to at least theorize a God.

Things like supposed miracles, or artifacts, like holy texts or stories (espescially cross-cultural stories like flood myths) and even phenomena such as the X structure in the core of galaxy M51
Image


What most people dont understand is that things like that X structure are bound to happen. Statisticly something like that was bound to show up anyway. Of course, a religious nut will grab hold of that as a sign of Christianitys something or other.

It really hurts me that the human race has such an immature disease such as religion. I can only hope that we "grow up" as a species before it's too late.

User avatar
Gunfingers
Posts: 2401
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 7:15 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby Gunfingers » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:08 pm UTC

Brian wrote:A. Random chance does not occur anywhere near fast enough to fit in to any previously proposed timeline of the earth, even those in the several billions.

Yes it does. Read up on the concept of Abiogenesis.
Scientific research theorizes that abiogenesis occurred sometime between 4.4[1] and 3.5[2] billion years ago. By 2.4 billion years ago the ratio of stable isotopes of carbon (12C and 13C), iron (56Fe, 57Fe, and 58Fe) and sulfur (32S, 33S, 34S, and 36S) points to a biogenic origin of minerals and sediments[3][4] and molecular biomarkers indicate photosynthesis.[5][6]

Brian wrote:B. There are several systems (the most popular being the eye) that simply could not have been product of natural selection.

Irriducible complexity only makes sense if you don't understand the biology. Read up on the evolution of the eye and it becomes obvious how natural selection could produce that system.
Brian wrote:C. There is no reasonable explanation for the origin of the very first cell. Even should you find one keep in mind that this first cell has to have at least a couple viable systems already in place, such as feeding and reproduction.

D. Should such a cell get off the ground, random mutation is much more often destructive than productive... which is fine when you're dealing with organisms as complex and resilient as humans. But when you only have one cell to work with, there isn't a lot of room for error.

This isn't a question with an easy answer, but a basic explanation is given here.
brian wrote:Just recently Ben Stein put out an interesting documentary entitled Expelled pertaining to the inability for scientists to explore alternatives to accepted evolutionary theory. Worth a watch.

I was actually shocked recently when a coworker said the same thing. To put it simply, science doesn't work that way.

User avatar
Phill
Posts: 226
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:36 pm UTC
Location: Colchester, UK
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby Phill » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:29 pm UTC

scwizard wrote:Does anyone here believe in the existence of heaven and hell?

If you do then why do you believe in the existence of those things?

If you do believe in the existence of those things, tell me what criteria is used to decide who goes to heaven and who goes to hell?

Why do you believe that those specific criteria are used to decide who goes to heaven and who goes to hell?


Hi, I'm new to this thread but seeing as I don't think anyone's answered your questions I thought I would get the ball rolling. (EDIT: Just read the answer to your post above ... *sigh*. Thought I read all of them, Well I'll leave this here anyway for posterity!)

I am a Christian, and as such I believe in the existence of heaven and hell. I believe in those things because I believe both are taught in the Bible... of course, whether that's a valid reason for believing something is an entirely different question :) So my versions of 'heaven' and 'hell' are probably different from other religions, but I'll answer from a Christian perspective anyway.

Now, the criteria for people going to heaven or hell is an interesting one. The Bible says in a verse I'm sure you recognise (John 3:16) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life". Romans 3:23-25 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith." In other words, we are "justified" (made right before God, and therefore able to enter heaven) through the saving work of Christ Jesus. Those who accept Jesus and his saving work, who repent and believe, who follow his commands, are the ones who will enter heaven. This is a pretty huge topic so that's just a small scratch on the surface, but hopefully it makes some kind of sense.

Now this leaves the questions: "What about other religions?" and "What about people who have never heard?"

And, on this subject, the BIble doesn't say very much. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe other religions have got the truth - but at the same time I don't believe all followers of those religions are destined to hell. Neither are those who have never heard - or even some of no religion ;) C.S. Lewis explores this a bit in "Mere Christianity" (well worth a read, by the way, if you haven't already. It may seem a little dated now but I still think he's right on the money. He was a very clear thinker).

He makes several arguments, but one which has particularly stuck with me is that only God knows where we start from in life. Some people start with a huge advantage, maybe they're born into a Christian family or live in a country in which Christianity is not suppressed. Other people start at a huge disadvantage, for example if they're born in a strong Islamic country where few people have heard of Jesus - and in fact converting to Christianity is punished with persecution, being ostracised by family, even death, etc. Where you start from has a heavy influence on where you end up. A lot of people end up becoming Christians. A lot of people don't - but I should think a lot of time this is down to circumstances rather than deliberate rejection of God.

C.S. Lewis gives an example of someone who is a Buddhist, who is drawn to some of the more 'Christian' areas of Buddhism, and as such comes to know the true God that way. Only God knows all of the factors in your life, and He will make the right call on the final judgement in determining whether you know Him or don't. I know this is a little vague, but at the end of the day we just don't know who will be in heaven and who won't be. I believe the only way to be sure is to be a Christian, to believe in the God of the Bible as revealed in Jesus :)

Sorry this post has been rather longer than I intended - I didn't mean to cut into the middle of an interesting discussion about science and religion. I might contribute to that in a minute too :)

scwizard
Posts: 519
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:29 pm UTC
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby scwizard » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:20 pm UTC

Phill, that question covers heaven, but not hell. You say that you believe that those who believe in Jesus as their lord and savior shall recieve eternal life. I'm guessing you believe this because Saint John said so, and you believe that what he says is true because he was chosen as a conveyor of truth by Jesus.

What passage(s) in the bible lead you to believe that there is a hell, and why do you believe that those words are true?

Also why do you believe the words of Jesus and his saints to be true, but not the words of the prophet Muhammad?
Last edited by scwizard on Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:24 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
~= scwizard =~

peevo
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:11 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby peevo » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:21 pm UTC

scwizard wrote:And water can lead to deadly scalding steam, but that doesn't mean that water itself is bad, just that the misuse/mishandling of water is bad.

The difference is that water is incredibly useful. You can drink it, bathe in it, swim in it, have water balloon fights, etc. It's also irreplaceable. Whereas religion doesn't provide benefits that not having a religion won't. The exception to this is that, possibly, you won't go to heaven if you don't believe in the correct god, but Pascal's Wager has already been brought up.
Since religion doesn't lead to benefits that only it gives, and it causes harm quite often, what use is it?
"Yeah I can break necks with my mind." Tristan, Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Version, Episode 31.

scwizard
Posts: 519
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:29 pm UTC
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby scwizard » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:28 pm UTC

peevo wrote:Since religion doesn't lead to benefits that only it gives, and it causes harm quite often, what use is it?

The next step would be to demonstrate that religion causes more help than harm, but like the nature v nurture debate it's obvious that it causes a mixture of both, but impossible to prove which is more prevaliant.

Pragmatically though I think it's less useful to say "you believe in god and that's wrong" and more useful to try to show people with irrational and harmful beliefs a more reasonable way of looking at the world that doesn't force them to abandon some of their core beliefs that give them meaning in life.
~= scwizard =~

User avatar
Felstaff
Occam's Taser
Posts: 5175
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:10 pm UTC
Location: ¢ ₪ ¿ ¶ § ∴ ® © ™ ؟ ¡ ‽ æ Þ ° ₰ ₤ ಡಢ

Re: Religion

Postby Felstaff » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:13 am UTC

Whereas religion doesn't provide benefits that not having a religion won't.
Religion doesn't give benefits?

...Christian Aid? The Red Cross? The Red Crescent? A lot of charities are heavily steeped in religion, some of the largest charities in the world, in fact. Even from a personal viewpoint, do you think somebody joining a religion would receive no beneficial effect to their outlook on life? Googling "...and then I found God/Jesus/FSM" will undoubtedly bring up a cascade of results of people who turned to religion to improve their lives, when not having a religion wasn't working for them. Each to their own, but you can't simply shun the beneficial aspects of religion from an international to a personal scale, and all that hooey in between.

Religion gives a lot of benefits--directly and indirectly--to many of the good things in the world. Though the BBC doesn't report it, this heroic surgeon in question joined MSF based on his religious beliefs (I'll sprunge up a reference at some point). MSF itself was created out of the French Red Cross. A man doing 'God's Work' results in a heartwarming tale. It's the most read news story of the day, so it's touched millions of lives already, which is a great thing for such a positive news story. I'd consider that a drip of benefit in a great big ocean of benefit.

scwizard wrote:Also why do you believe the words of Jesus and his saints to be true, but not the words of the prophet Muhammad?
Unfair question. Who says that these two are mutually exclusive? Islam sees Jesus Christ as a mighty prophet, Christianity had established Jesus was the son of God several hundred years before hand. At no point in the Bible or the Qu'ran does it say 'don't believe what the other Guy says'
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

scwizard
Posts: 519
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:29 pm UTC
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby scwizard » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:18 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:Unfair question. Who says that these two are mutually exclusive?

Your right, let me change the question to "do you believe that the words of the prophet Muhammad are truth and if not why not?"
~= scwizard =~


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests