Science and religion

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Jackofalltrades phil
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 03:03 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;172852 wrote:
Is science description or explanation? If you argue it's explanation, than what sort of explanation? Is explanation for natural science a description of causal relationships? What are the limits of this?



Science and religion - both are ad-hoc understandings of life.
Both are an attempt by mankind to find meanings of the natural world and co-relate them to our sensory and spiritual perceptions.

Science describes what can be observed. Religion attempts to explain what cannot be obesrved.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 03:08 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;172880 wrote:
why do you think being dogmatically anti-religious is any more reasonable than being dogmatically religious?
Quote the post in which I made this claim.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 03:25 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;172879 wrote:
I think claims like "modern science could only have arisen in a Christian society" are extremely offensive, indefensibly inaccurate and serve no purpose outside of the promotion of christianity. Those with positions of secular authority who abuse their position to promote this kind of crap get nowhere near my criteria for "impressive".


Why do you think this? It is a fact that the European university system and the intellectual tradition which gave rise to it, gave rise to Western science, and this tradition was a Christian tradition.

How you could find this argument 'extremely offensive' if you are not anti-Christian? On what other basis would you find it 'extremely offensive' and 'crap'?

Please explain yourself.
 
Jackofalltrades phil
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 03:27 am
@jack phil,
jack;172467 wrote:

Now the Big bang hypothesis (and the empirical facts) says that reality was created 15 billion years ago (and these years are relative, and there is no time outside of space, nor center of reality).
Is this not a clear case of science trying to replace religion? If religion is not scientific, how can science replace it? And what question is answered by the Big Bang Hypothesis?


The Big Bang Theory is an abstract theory, just like the theory of the origin of species, or theory on UFOs or alien life forms.

Similarly, is the theory of God.

Religion is a belief system of material, cognitive and imaginative facts while science is a knowledge system of material and sensory facts. Both are based on perceptive, intuitive and cognitive ability of man
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 03:30 am
@Jackofalltrades phil,
Jackofalltrades;172882 wrote:
Science and religion - both are ad-hoc understandings of life.


Sorry Jack I can't let that one go by either. This is a meaningless generalization. You can say that one or another argument is an ad hoc argument but I think it is meaningless to say this about broad subject areas such as science and religion.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 03:33 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;172889 wrote:
How you could find this argument 'extremely offensive' if you are not anti-Christian?
I would find it equally offensive if the claim was about islamic countries.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 03:54 am
@jack phil,
You still haven't put forward an argument, only a prejudice.
 
Jackofalltrades phil
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 04:33 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;172891 wrote:
Sorry Jack I can't let that one go by either. This is a meaningless generalization. You can say that one or another argument is an ad hoc argument but I think it is meaningless to say this about broad subject areas such as science and religion.


hey........ jeep which side are you, and i would back you up????........ ha ha.

Anyway, i just thought you will contest my submissions. Since you mentioned, i also used to ponder on generalisations. tell me, Isn't generalisations meaningless.

And if we think harder, all theories are generalisations. You should agree, from the linguistic approach all generalisations are ad-hoc arrangements.

"broad" ...... a generalisation.

Moreover, when we say they are 'broad' it is in a general sense of description. Which would mean, to follow, that there is nothing concrete or specific; which in turn means, it is subjective. The 'science part is a bit tricky, i admit, - in the sciences you have the theories, in the realm of speculations, and some like the uncertainty principle which has strong basis to it, or the atomic theory which has evidences to prove beyond doubt, but yet we have string theories, and quantum 'super position theories which cannot be proven conclusively. And then the laws of physics are also quite persuasive, yet the elliptical orbital movements defies our logic.

Now tell me ...... are not theories evolving?
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 04:36 am
@jack phil,
jack;172589 wrote:
You seem to have a bit of your timeline mixed up...

Why? Our undertanding of these things is greatly improved by the manner in which they gel with the Big Bang.

Quote:
Newtonian mechanics makes reality appear as if it needed winding up; something that Newton said was not true to reality.

He also believed in alchemy and angels. We don't have to abide by everything he did or said - because science doesn't regard great scientists like religion does great prophets - he's only as good as those ideas are, and some of them are stunning paradigm leaps, and others aren't.

Quote:
What makes a hypothesis true? When do we cease doing work and start explaining away existence?

Never - but the best supported body of theory tends to trump everything else until someone explains why an alternative is more worthy of consideration.

Quote:
So what do you think of the article I linked?

Not a lot - it seems to want to ring-fence some things away from scientific enquiry. But part of the point of science is to explore new frontiers. As I said earlier religion might do some things, like consolation or the conjuring up of satisfying ur-myths, better than science can currently (depending on your sense of taste I suppose) but that may not always be the case.

---------- Post added 06-04-2010 at 05:46 AM ----------

Arjuna;172592 wrote:
Oh, come on. Observation of the redshift (ok, most, not all) came first. Incorporating it into general relativity second. No?

I'm not sure what difference it makes. Plenty of relevant pieces of the puzzle were discovered earlier, hundreds of years earlier in fact, but they don't fit together so neatly under any other model - ifaict.
Quote:
And your thoughts on M-theory, which proposes to explain where the big bang really came from?

I think it's in it's infancy and has yet to provide a conclusive picture that could really satisfy a skeptic - nor am I sure it will ever be able to. I think there are some nice ideas about multiverses out there, but figuring out how to demonstrate them isn't yet credibly acheived. That might happen when we can show where the matter engulfed by a black hole goes. If it leaves the universe then M-Theory has some legs. If it doesn't then M-Theory has more work to do.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 05:14 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;172897 wrote:
You still haven't put forward an argument, only a prejudice.
Okay, are you supporting the contention that modern science could only have arisen in a christian country?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 05:41 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;172879 wrote:
I think claims like "modern science could only have arisen in a Christian society" are extremely offensive, indefensibly inaccurate and serve no purpose outside of the promotion of christianity.


Why do you think that? Do you have any facts to support it? It is a simple question.

---------- Post added 06-04-2010 at 10:04 PM ----------

Regarding whether science might have developed in some cultural tradition other than the Christian west, it is impossible to say for sure, as it has only developed once. I am not entirely persuaded that Christianity alone was responsible for this development, insofar as it is but one factor in a confluence of others, not least Pythagorean, Platonic and general Ancient Greek philosophy, which is commonly acknowledged to be of great importance in the origin of Science. However I think that the general influence of what can broadly be called 'Christian civilization' was indispensable in the development of Western science and society. There are many who seem to wish to deny or denigrate the entire spiritual heritage of Western culture. I want no part of that.

In any case, the summary of Jaki's argument is as follows:

Quote:
In Christ and Science (p. 23), Jaki gives four reasons for modern science's unique birth in Christian Western Europe:
  1. "Once more the Christian belief in the Creator allowed a breakthrough in thinking about nature. Only a truly transcendental Creator could be thought of as being powerful enough to create a nature with autonomous laws without his power over nature being thereby diminished. Once the basic among those laws were formulated science could develop on its own terms."
  2. "The Christian idea of creation made still another crucially important contribution to the future of science. It consisted in putting all material beings on the same level as being mere creatures. Unlike in the pagan Greek cosmos, there could be no divine bodies in the Christian cosmos. All bodies, heavenly and terrestrial, were now on the same footing, on the same level. this made it eventually possible to assume that the motion of the moon and the fall of a body on earth could be governed by the same law of gravitation. The assumption would have been a sacrilege in the eyes of anyone in the Greek pantheistic tradition, or in any similar tradition in any of the ancient cultures."
  3. "Finally, man figured in the Christian dogma of creation as a being specially created in the image of God. This image consisted both in man's rationality as somehow sharing in God's own rationality and in man's condition as an ethical being with eternal responsibility for his actions. Man's reflection on his own rationality had therefore to give him confidence that his created mind could fathom the rationality of the created realm."
  4. "At the same time, the very createdness could caution man to guard against the ever-present temptation to dictate to nature what it ought to be. The eventual rise of the experimental method owes much to that Christian matrix."

Source

---------- Post added 06-04-2010 at 10:23 PM ----------

Jackofalltrades;172901 wrote:

Moreover, when we say they are 'broad' it is in a general sense of description. Which would mean, to follow, that there is nothing concrete or specific; which in turn means, it is subjective. The 'science part is a bit tricky, i admit, - in the sciences you have the theories, in the realm of speculations, and some like the uncertainty principle which has strong basis to it, or the atomic theory which has evidences to prove beyond doubt, but yet we have string theories, and quantum 'super position theories which cannot be proven conclusively. And then the laws of physics are also quite persuasive, yet the elliptical orbital movements defies our logic.

Now tell me ...... are not theories evolving?


I think they evolve constantly, but I don't know if that is the same as saying they are simply 'ad hoc' expressions.

Surely science depends on the ability to discover laws which are predictive, in other words, which will produce results when they are applied, or predict results which can be observed.

There are many speculative elements in science, of course, about which nobody can say whether there will ever be proofs. But consider what science has achieved so far, and also that it is an immense body of very precise knowledge.

Religion also has experience at its core, although in this day and age it is easy to overlook that, as it has often been turned into dogma. But it has an experiential basis, although few are willing to consider it.
 
Jay phil
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 06:56 am
@jeeprs,
Thought provoking posts Jeeprs, thanks.

"Stanley Jaki makes a strong case for the fact that Western science could only have grown out of Christian intellectual culture."

"It is an historical fact that modern science did arise in a Christian society and it is also an historical fact that many of the founders of Western science were Christians."

Would you be willing to broaden the statement to say that the societies of monotheism
(Not just Christianity) gave rise to Western science (or science in general)?

The Islamic cultures did have a big part in the development of science.
 
mark noble
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 07:15 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;172864 wrote:
I know the meaning but there is nothing that implies or supports first of all that there is a god and secondly that there is one that has that trait. If you take a christian biblical account. If god required six days to create everything, that is not very omnipotent if you ask me. Surely a omnipotent god would have been able to create everything in the first second. So why the six days if it is omnipotent?

If we are not talking about the biblical account of a god, then what would be your basis that there is a god and that it is omnipotent? That it can create anything from out of nothing? Which is absurd reasoning, because if a god can do that, why can't the universe?

Here is another thing. If a god were omnipotent could that god destroy itself?


Hi Krumple,

That God (Biblical) is subject to the measurements of man (days - 6) is questionable in its own right. Why would the earths' (not yet in existence) revolutions in relation to its' distance from the sun (not yet existing) be a measurement of said God? "Day" is a human conceptual measurement, after all.

"Something" from "nothing" can never arise. There has always been something - And never has there been "Nothing".

As for the big-bang, it is but, one of an infinite number of events, within an infinite number of events, and so on.

Thank you, and journey well.

Mark...

---------- Post added 06-04-2010 at 02:23 PM ----------

Jay;172934 wrote:
Thought provoking posts Jeeprs, thanks.

"Stanley Jaki makes a strong case for the fact that Western science could only have grown out of Christian intellectual culture."

"It is an historical fact that modern science did arise in a Christian society and it is also an historical fact that many of the founders of Western science were Christians."

Would you be willing to broaden the statement to say that the societies of monotheism
(Not just Christianity) gave rise to Western science (or science in general)?

The Islamic cultures did have a big part in the development of science.


Hi Jay,

What do you mean by grown? Before Islamic scholars - the digit "0" didn't exist. I doubt that western christianity or any other system anywhere on this planet would have evolved beyond the middle-ages without this significant factor?
Don't you?

Thank you, and have a fantastic day.

Mark...
 
Jackofalltrades phil
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 08:25 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;172919 wrote:

I think they evolve constantly, but I don't know if that is the same as saying they are simply 'ad hoc' expressions.

Surely science depends on the ability to discover laws which are predictive, in other words, which will produce results when they are applied, or predict results which can be observed.

There are many speculative elements in science, of course, about which nobody can say whether there will ever be proofs. But consider what science has achieved so far, and also that it is an immense body of very precise knowledge.

Religion also has experience at its core, although in this day and age it is easy to overlook that, as it has often been turned into dogma. But it has an experiential basis, although few are willing to consider it.


Well than, we are on the same plane. Only differences we see is in my 'ad hocity' .......... it is my view point...... and i respect your point of view too. Thanks
 
Huxley
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 09:27 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;172852 wrote:
Is science description or explanation? If you argue it's explanation, than what sort of explanation? Is explanation for natural science a description of causal relationships? What are the limits of this?


It's both description and explanation.


I'll take a stab at the argument, jeeprs.


Quote:
In Christ and Science (p. 23), Jaki gives four reasons for modern science's unique birth in Christian Western Europe:

"Once more the Christian belief in the Creator allowed a breakthrough in thinking about nature. Only a truly transcendental Creator could be thought of as being powerful enough to create a nature with autonomous laws without his power over nature being thereby diminished. Once the basic among those laws were formulated science could develop on its own terms."


People thought about nature before the Christian belief in the Creator. In fact, Aristotle defines nature as that which is ordered. This would mean that the conception of laws of nature preceded the conception of the Christian God.

Physics, book VIII, part 1 wrote:
... nature is everywhere the cause of order.
link

Quote:

"The Christian idea of creation made still another crucially important contribution to the future of science. It consisted in putting all material beings on the same level as being mere creatures. Unlike in the pagan Greek cosmos, there could be no divine bodies in the Christian cosmos. All bodies, heavenly and terrestrial, were now on the same footing, on the same level. this made it eventually possible to assume that the motion of the moon and the fall of a body on earth could be governed by the same law of gravitation. The assumption would have been a sacrilege in the eyes of anyone in the Greek pantheistic tradition, or in any similar tradition in any of the ancient cultures."


I'm assuming that he's referring to the planets and the planets only. Clearly there were divine bodies that walked this earth in the Christian cosmos -- such as Jesus. What's more, we generally don't try to explain that divinity. His divinity is enough of an explanation for resurrection. (or, we take it metaphorically. That's always a possibility)

I'd say that he still fails on the basis of the Physics, again, as every object was in its place due to teleology -- which would be a law -- with a loose occasional connection to "rarity". The assumption that explanation of the Gods as sacrilegious strikes me as a more Christian position than a Greek position, honestly. Discussions regarding the Cosmos varied widely, yet no one raised the ire of then-religious authorities (Not so in the case of Christianity, however. i.e. Galileo)

Quote:

"Finally, man figured in the Christian dogma of creation as a being specially created in the image of God. This image consisted both in man's rationality as somehow sharing in God's own rationality and in man's condition as an ethical being with eternal responsibility for his actions. Man's reflection on his own rationality had therefore to give him confidence that his created mind could fathom the rationality of the created realm."


Rationality and a rational ethic predate Christianity. See Aristotle and Aurelius (as non-exhaustive examples)


Quote:
"At the same time, the very createdness could caution man to guard against the ever-present temptation to dictate to nature what it ought to be. The eventual rise of the experimental method owes much to that Christian matrix."


This is patently wrong. People know that they could be wrong before Christianity told them that they could be wrong. This is why people made arguments in the first place.


I see the argument as a bit offensive, myself, because it's a big wad of cultural chauvinism, arguing people need Jesus to be curious about the world around them and try to explain what and why it does what it does. Further, Christianity hampered the scientific enterprise in its history, and not in a highly theoretical way -- it threatened people who dared offer explanations about the Cosmos. It's a different beast now-a-days, so I won't hold it against the tradition, but the above argument exhibits some willful negligence, I'd say.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 10:07 am
@Soul Brother,
Soul Brother;172876 wrote:
But who said it was supposed to make sense to you? You seem to be sure as to the meaning of omnipotent, but if you are what gives the idea that a human could possibly have the power as to make sense of the workings of an omnipotent being to the point that your insight is at the same level of the being as to which we speak of? if you indeed had the same level of understanding would you not be in posecion of the same level of power of that being's? But since you do not poses the same power, I don't understand how can you came to convince yourself that you could posibly comprehend his workings? I mean its like an ant trying to understand why he cannot flatten a tree the same way an elephant can, he does not poses near the same power. So what on Earth would make you think that you could come to comprehend that which makes sense to one who is omnipotent? I just don't understand.

Humans seem to be in the illusion that they have the power to come to an understanding of nearly everything with science and expect everything to be comprehensible to them, and if there is something they cannot make sense of its nonsense. If this God is indeed omnipotent, science cannot even explain for consciousness so how can we expect it to make sense of a being who created ALL that is including the the natural laws of which science is governed by?



This is a very blind approach, did he tell you that he was working to full capacity to complete it in a shortest time possible? It is said that Leonardo took around 7 years to complete mona lisa, I am more than sure that he could have completed it earlier but this would not justify my assumption as to why he didn't, as It is most certain that he had reasons.



I believe that we are all speaking of an omnipotent being when we refer to God no? But you are totally missing my point, which is why I asked of your understanding of omnipotent. You are taking a very blind approach, you seem to be confusing the limits of an omnipotent being with those of which limit our universe, the notion that something cannot be created out of nothing is one that applies to us and this universe but not to an all powerful being, when you try to understand the workings of an omnipotent being it fails utterly to use your own limitations as being the same of this being's, that is as I said earlier you cannot conceive or even come close to begin to comprehend the workings of an omnipotent being because YOU ARE NOT OMNIPOTENT , your reasoning is very short sighted, you claim that certain workings of an omnipotent being do not make any sense simply because you cannot make sense of them, this is like a child out ruling Einstein's mathematical equations as nonsense simply because they do not make sense to him. If this being is indeed omnipotent than what is possible for him you cannot even begin to imagine, no scientists or no genius will ever comprehend the limits of such a being. You need to do some contemplation on the meaning of omnipotent.


You exhibit the classic switch logic argument. Where you state the case that you know that god is omnipotent, yet if I were to deduce any traits you tell me I can't determine them. I like how you can place any traits that you want to without anything to back them up, but as soon as I try to reason them out, you tell me that I can't. Very typical and your own argument defeats your own position. How is it you know with absolute certainty that a god is omnipotent?

If a god required more than one day to create something then by that very definition it can not be omnipotent. Operating at max is a pointless argument because where is your reference to how much power it would have and why would it need to dial it back? Makes absolutely no sense. Just like if it were omnipotent why would it need to rest? It contradicts the definition of omnipotence.

I also like how you take a finite being as an example of why a omnipotent god would not create something in one take. The irony is screaming there especially when you first make the claim that I could not use my finite understanding to comprehend an omnipotent god but then you turn around and use it in your own argument. So what ever works for you, it is reasonable but if anyone else uses it to point out the absurdity in your reasoning then it is a fault.
 
mark noble
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 10:46 am
@Krumple,
Hi All,

My God (Nature) is absolutely omnipotent and omnipresent, both spiritually and materially - for neither could exist if God were not omnipresent and omnipotent. Apply these factors to a "sower" God and the seed becomes a seperate component. Man-made Gods are not able to function when designed with these factors.
If the Gods of man were, indeed, omnipresent - A) There would be NO free-will. B) There would be nothing other than God present. C) God would be pointless.

Thank you, and journey well.

Mark...
 
apehead
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 10:50 am
@Krumple,
If I may,

A typical disagreement I've been having is whether or not objective truth, or facts can be determined by mortal beings. I would argue that it can't, but since I seem to be in the minority, most begin to ask,

"How can we determine truth?"

Science and religion are both doctrines which suppose that mortal beings can determine objective truth. In my opinion, this makes them both belief systems, and branches of Ontology. The aim of both is to afford individuals objective, absolute knowledge. At this point though, they begin to diverge.

"Science - systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation"

In other words, Science is the belief that objective truth can be determined via intrasubjective consensus. If a majority of individuals agree that observed phenomena actually occured, then it has actually occured. Using rational deduction based upon prior observation, Science also attempts to extrapolate facts concerning unobservable phenomena.

"Religion - a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs."

In other words, Religion is the belief that objective truth is revealed to mortal man by superhuman agents capable of objective observation. These revelations are usually codified.

Both systems are dynamic, in that different interpretations of phenomena or of the revelations compete to gain general acceptance.
 
mark noble
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 11:29 am
@apehead,
Hi All,

I find it both amazing and amusing that the respective zealots of both science and religion, ultimately, end up at each other's throats, with little more to live for than discrediting one another's system of measurement. I mean, Who cares if someone is converted from this to that? I don't.

Not so long ago, I (A Meist) sat down, regularly, to lunch (at work) with 3 of my best friends in life. An atheist, A devout christian and A muslim. We had some great conversations, but NEVER would any of us try to change any of the others.

Why is this world so full of people who proselytise??? One's beliefs only tend oneself.

Thank you, and traipse magnificently, each and every one of you, always.

Mark...
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 11:49 am
@mark noble,
mark noble;172990 wrote:

Why is this world so full of people who proselytise??? One's beliefs only tend oneself.

Thank you, and traipse magnificently, each and every one of you, always.

Mark...
True one's beliefs are personal. We share this world, though. Sometimes it's good for someone to say: what the heck are you talking about? Both parties can benefit.

That would be my goal for this forum: to somehow end up building each other up without being afraid to set fire to any idea. If it survives the flames, there must be a reason.
 
 

 
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