Science and religion

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jeeprs
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 06:31 pm
@jack phil,
All I am saying is, if you are going to make these kinds of claims, they need to be supported by evidence. There might have been such cases but without any evidence is just comes across as the same old anti-religious prejudice that you see so often here.
 
reasoning logic
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 06:35 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;173977 wrote:
All I am saying is, if you are going to make these kinds of claims, they need to be supported by evidence. There might have been such cases but without any evidence is just comes across as the same old anti-religious prejudice that you see so often here.


Would you be kind enough to let us use you as evidence? Would you vote for a atheist as president?:detective:
 
Huxley
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 08:17 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;173977 wrote:
All I am saying is, if you are going to make these kinds of claims, they need to be supported by evidence. There might have been such cases but without any evidence is just comes across as the same old anti-religious prejudice that you see so often here.


link

I gave the link to the bullet-point biography on PBS's website. Note the point labelled "1633". Galileo is a pretty well known case, and PBS is a non-biased source. (well, not KILLING him... that's silly. But they certainly harassed him over a geocentric cosmology which emphasized the importance of the Earth in the cosmos)
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 08:19 pm
@jack phil,
well, I am not a US citizen. I would be very surprised if an outspoken atheist would actually ever get a shot at high office in the US. This has nothing to do with my opinion. The American public is generally distrustful of those professing atheism. You can call it prejudice or bigotry, and it may well be, but it is nevertheless 'realpolitik'.

---------- Post added 06-07-2010 at 12:21 PM ----------

I agree with Huxley in the case of Galileo. NO question and no contest on my part.I infuriated some guywho joined who declared he was Catholic by bringing it up a few months ago. BUT if you really read up on the history of that case, and (for example) on the details of Copernicus, Kepler and Giordano Bruno, it is not nearly so clear-cut as you might imagine.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 08:32 pm
@jeeprs,
Originally Posted by Krumple http://www.philosophyforum.com/images/PHBlue/buttons/viewpost.gif
There have been scientists that were either murdered or imprisoned for making discoveries that contradicted the biblical beliefs. I think at certain times, you were forced to claim you were christian or faced prosecution.

jeeprs;173973 wrote:
Got any examples?


Are you kidding me?

Probably one of the most famous examples is Galileo. He was one of the first to publish his findings that the earth orbited the sun. He was forced by the church to recant his claims, which he actually did promise to do, but later published the work anyways. He was then brought to trial by the inquisition and they determined him guilty of heresy and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Sure it was house arrest but still they punished him for the truth.

How about Giordano Bruno? He was burned at the stake for making the claim that our sun was nothing different than all the other stars seen in the night sky. Brought in front of an inquisition and found guilty of heresy then murdered.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 08:53 pm
@jack phil,
I am not going to defend the Catholic Church in that matter, nor the inquisition, which was monsterous. But I still don't think it proves that Christianity was overall anti-science. Of course we will never know how history would have played out had not Christianity taken root in Europe when it did, but I still believe, on balance, that it was a civilizing influence and one of the main factors behind the rise of Western science. And I don't accept the 'science vs religion' dichotomy, except for in regards to specific issues. I think the philosophical views espoused by the representatives of atheist ideologies are generally incoherent.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 08:57 pm
@Huxley,
Huxley;174025 wrote:
link

I gave the link to the bullet-point biography on PBS's website. Note the point labelled "1633". Galileo is a pretty well known case, and PBS is a non-biased source. (well, not KILLING him... that's silly. But they certainly harassed him over a geocentric cosmology which emphasized the importance of the Earth in the cosmos)


I don't know what the ultimate truth of the matter is, but the book Against Method presented the situation as more complex. According to Feyerabend
not all or perhaps even a majority of scientists agreed with heliocentrism. The Church didn't want the shock of it out, perhaps, until more scientists agreed. Now that's just passing on some information. It's a great book, in any case. Also G disregarded a gentle warning and published a mocking book on the matter. You may already know this. Forgive me if you do. It's an interesting matter.

If society is structured around a belief in God (a belief I don't in any usual sense share), then a radical world-view change is not perhaps something to unleash w/o a little preparedness or excellent reason. An example would be something like this: an asteroid has a 50 percent chance of hitting the Earth in 3 years. Top scientists discover this. Should they release it? It's tricky. Now heliocentrism wasn't an asteroid but could have been a social earthquake.

ANyway, just some thoughts.
recon:)
 
Krumple
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 09:54 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;174041 wrote:
I am not going to defend the Catholic Church in that matter, nor the inquisition, which was monsterous. But I still don't think it proves that Christianity was overall anti-science.


Who are you reading? I never said the church was anti-science. I don't get where your mind is going or coming from. I said that the early scientists were prosecuted by the church for contradicting the theology. They were murdered for revealing the truth. Never said a single thing about the church being anti-science.

jeeprs;174041 wrote:

Of course we will never know how history would have played out had not Christianity taken root in Europe when it did, but I still believe, on balance, that it was a civilizing influence and one of the main factors behind the rise of Western science. And I don't accept the 'science vs religion' dichotomy, except for in regards to specific issues. I think the philosophical views espoused by the representatives of atheist ideologies are generally incoherent.


I don't think there is any real dichotomy either, I think it is the theists who have a negative point of view on science who invent this sort of war going on between science and religion. They take the point of view that science is some sort of "evil" influence on the world set out to "destroy" religion. That couldn't be further from the truth. Science only wants to discover the truth rather than accept unfounded myths.
 
Soul Brother
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 02:44 am
@Jacques Maritain,
I am sorry krumple for waiting until this time to reply. I will get in to it.

Krumple;173366 wrote:
Yeah, you assume that everyone would just accept the premise that a god or gods have omnipotence. When I argue, it is a factor I keep in mind that it has never been proven that a god would have it. So you have to approach the argument as if it is not a fact. I rarely accept it as a fact in the argument, however; when someone counter argues in this case, typically they use the omnipotence argument as you did.


I can see that you did not understand what I said so I will try to make it clearer. What I implied was that when I enter into an already established debate to correct a certain argument put forth then I will try to adhere to the currently established ideas of that debate (which in this case it was that of an all knowing and all powerful, God, and in your argument krumple you mentioned the problems that this god would have such as where does he get the parts to create the universe and certain other theories that made no sense to you, so since there was not any mention on the idea that this god is not omnipotent I had assumed you were arguing with regard to this notion, as such, I replied to your argument also keeping the matter in regard to this notion.

So what I see here is that the base of our disagreement is that we simply approached the argument from 2 different perspectives (since you failed to express your view at the beginning), and I am guessing that this will also be a resolution to a few more of our disagreements here.

Krumple;173366 wrote:
But who is to say that that being is that much greater? You are assuming again that it would have to be a massively greater being to create the universe. But why does that have to be the case? Provide for me something that substantiates the claim that a god would have to be immensely more powerful to a point we couldn't comprehend. It seems as though we figured out a lot of things about the universe, what's to say we won't discover more? Or find ways to manipulate them at the same time?


Well since we have dropped the idea of omnipotence we cannot assert to the notion that this being would be that much greater, as of course there is no real evidence of this. However when you ask for something that substantiates that such a god would have to be immensely powerful to the point we cannot comprehend, I could corroborate this necessity of such a God maybe not in the manner of scientific method but in a manner of logic or even common sense more of. It is explicitly obvious that if the universe were to be created by such a god than that god would have to be far superior and immensely more powerful than humans as humans do not have the kind of power necessary for such a thing, e.g humans cannot even grasp the nature of time but only recreate inaccurate and inconclusive abstract concepts of the notion, where on the other hand if this God was indeed responsible for the universe than not only does he fully understand the nature of time but he is then powerful enough to create it including all the other constituents of the universe, so if this god has the power to create something that man cannot even comprehend, than he is obviously immensely more powerful than man, which in itself would imply that he would be omnipotent, but which of course is a completely different matter that we are not considering for there is no evidence.

Krumple;173366 wrote:
Krumple;173366 wrote:
well what would those reasons be? Is he paid by the hour so he wants to spread out the work over the week, where as he could have completed it all in one day? What is the motivation? Does it drain it's power, it's ability to create things so it can't do it all at once? If that is the case then it does not live up to the omnipotence definition. So what is the reason? Is it just because he wanted to, without any reason? That doesn't rationally make sense.


As I said before that even if he were omnipotent, how could I possibly know? It would most likely be out of my comprehension, and even if he took just 1 or 100 days we would still have no way of affirming that he did or did not so. But remember that this argument was made upon the idea that he took a certain amount of Earth days, which is a completely uncertain and unreliable proposal to begin with.

Krumple;173366 wrote:
There you go again, making assumptions without any proofs. How do you know that this god is not bound by physical laws? It is funny that you make all these assertions about me not being able to verify the amount of power or ability a god would have but then turn around and make the claim, "not bound by physical laws." How can you make that claim if I can not varify that god's power or ability?


So this was again assuming of omnipotence, but since we have cleared that assumption there is nothing for me to prove as my argument was that such a god would obviously not be bound by physical laws (which is correct) if we assume omnipotence. But you did not explain something to me, what in the world does "where is your reference to how much power it would have" even imply? (since it does not actually even mean anything).

Krumple;173366 wrote:
I haven't forgot, you have not confirmed that any god or gods actually exhibit omnipotence. You are guessing that a god would be, but where is your work? You just keep rehashing it as if I accept the argument that a god or gods are omnipotent in nature. I don't accept it as being the case until you prove it to me.


Again this falls under the assumption of omnipotence.

Krumple;173366 wrote:
It was not I who made the reference to days. It is a bibilical construct and I would agree with you that the reference is flawed but so is the concept of god itself. It is clear by the story in gensis that it is nothing more than the writings of someone making up the story from a human perspective. There is absolutely no validity in the story at all that would lead me to believe that this is how a god did it or that even a god exists and inspired this work. If a god did inspire the work then it did a horrible job at inspiring it.


Now this is a completely different issue as of course there is no evidence for any God, but on the other hand since there is no evidence that there isn't, you cannot state it as a fact.

Krumple;173366 wrote:
Sure I can. If I view a god that would send a person to damnation for a simple mistake like refusing to believe in it's existence. In my opinion I would be far loftier if I said that I would never place any being into that kind of situation. I would consider anyone who did not believe or follow such a god as being loftier than that god in morality. So you can make the claim that that god also has omnipotence but if this is how it functions and this is how it has designed things. Then by all means I am far better in this regard than that god. Just because you have some mighty power it does not make you right or just.


Your own subjective opinion.

Krumple;173366 wrote:
Well I try to answer any questions posed to me, but there might be times when I might miss one or two. So if I have missed any of your questions that you find important to the discussion feel free to point them out, or ask them again and I'll respond to them.


You stuck to all my questions which I appreciate, so for this alone I thank you, It is just that I had moments when entire posts of mine were completely ignored by a certain someone upon proving him erroneous.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 02:58 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;174079 wrote:
Science only wants to discover the truth rather than accept unfounded myths.


It has myths of its own, though. Including the one about not having myths.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 03:27 am
@jack phil,
Sensation and emotion just are what they, as far as I can tell. Piling abstractions on top of these does not reduce them. Explanations on matters such as these seem to me only the hypothetical integration of these into an abstract causal nexus. But we silly humans go on experience taste, warmth, scent, love, hatred, color, touch, lust, fear, sound, cold, etc. in the same old way.

I'm not even saying it's a mystery. I'm just pointing these apparently irreducible aspects of human experience which just happen to be the point of survival in the first place. Has anyone written a love note in partial derivatives? Probably someone, but I bet it didn't go over well. Myth addresses our values, our total experience.

My emphasis concerning the limit of abstractions is also aimed at reductions of myth to propositions that invade the proper territory of natural science.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 03:28 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;174550 wrote:
It has myths of its own, though. Including the one about not having myths.


Yes there are myths even within science however; it still aims to clear them away with the truth. Where as religion doesn't care about truth, it only wants to maintain the myth. There is a difference.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 03:38 am
@jack phil,
Well I don't know about that. I don't think any intelligent believer wants to believe in myths. Myths have a symbolic meaning and if they are interpreted carefully, they can provide insights into many great truths which science can never ascertain for certain.

It is also unarguable that science plays the role of a surrogate religion in many lives, by giving people a sense of the greater story of which they can be part. Many people 'believe in Darwin' in exactly the same way, and often for very similar reasons, that others 'believe in the Bible'.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 09:15 am
@jeeprs,
Krumple;174554 wrote:
Yes there are myths even within science however; it still aims to clear them away with the truth. Where as religion doesn't care about truth, it only wants to maintain the myth. There is a difference.


Yes. It is the "science is not perfect --> therefore we need religion" argument again.

jeeprs;174560 wrote:
Well I don't know about that. I don't think any intelligent believer wants to believe in myths.


But many do believe in myths.
Quote:
Myths have a symbolic meaning and if they are interpreted carefully, they can provide insights into many great truths which science can never ascertain for certain.
Can myths ascertain them for certain? Which ascertains them better?

Quote:
It is also unarguable that science plays the role of a surrogate religion in many lives, by giving people a sense of the greater story of which they can be part. Many people 'believe in Darwin' in exactly the same way, and often for very similar reasons, that others 'believe in the Bible'.
No they don't. Why do you think that? That seems out of left field for me, sorry. If it was true, then you would be fully in favor of science because it could play the spiritual role of religion. But you often argue the opposite.

And even if it was true that, for example, "many people believe in modern medicine in exactly the same way that others believe in herbal remedies and witch doctors", it would still be far better to believe in modern medicine.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 10:30 am
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;174681 wrote:
No they don't. Why do you think that?
I second your question, the claim that "many people 'believe in Darwin' in exactly the same way, and often for very similar reasons, that others 'believe in the Bible'", strikes me as full blown nonsense.
 
Huxley
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 11:50 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;174554 wrote:
Yes there are myths even within science however; it still aims to clear them away with the truth. Where as religion doesn't care about truth, it only wants to maintain the myth. There is a difference.


Do you mind pointing out what you consider to be myths in science?
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 12:04 pm
@Huxley,
Huxley;174716 wrote:
Do you mind pointing out what you consider to be myths in science?


Why don't you ask jeeprs hes the one who insists that science is flawed.
 
Huxley
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 01:28 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;174717 wrote:
Why don't you ask jeeprs hes the one who insists that science is flawed.


I thought perhaps you agreed.


IMO, I don't think jeeprs is stating that science is flawed, but that it has a particular way of approaching knowledge and the world, and that particular way precludes some things if all we accept is science and science only in all our thoughts on life.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 01:50 pm
@Huxley,
Huxley;174759 wrote:
I thought perhaps you agreed.


IMO, I don't think jeeprs is stating that science is flawed, but that it has a particular way of approaching knowledge and the world, and that particular way precludes some things if all we accept is science and science only in all our thoughts on life.


But that is an unfinished thought (it's been bugging me). Two things about it:

1) This is not really science vs religion. It is framed that way, but this is not it. It's about two types of approaching truth, one that is often typified by science, and one that is often typified by religion. Some arguments that work well against pure science are meaningless when you consider the underlying argument.

2) It is possible, isn't it, that the fact that we are precluded from knowing certain things by a method of approaching knowledge, means that we can't know them. As an analogy, I can't draw a perfect circle with a compass, even the best compass ever made. But that indicates that I can't draw a perfect circle, don't you think? Not that if I want to draw a perfect circle, I should try it freehand. So really what is the criticism as stated? It is vacuously true as stated, by the real criticism is hidden and implied. It is often said that god is unknowable anyway.
 
Huxley
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 02:42 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;174771 wrote:
But that is an unfinished thought (it's been bugging me). Two things about it:

1) This is not really science vs religion. It is framed that way, but this is not it. It's about two types of approaching truth, one that is often typified by science, and one that is often typified by religion. Some arguments that work well against pure science are meaningless when you consider the underlying argument.


It isn't? I thought it was, actually. What do you think the argument is actually about?

Quote:

2) It is possible, isn't it, that the fact that we are precluded from knowing certain things by a method of approaching knowledge, means that we can't know them.


I agree that it's possible. I even find it plausible, to be honest with you.

Quote:

So really what is the criticism as stated? It is vacuously true as stated, by the real criticism is hidden and implied. It is often said that god is unknowable anyway.


I think the criticism is somewhat reactionary, but possibly justified. I'm not convinced yet that Science is the best for everything, though I certainly love it. I certainly agree that "Not science --> Religion" is goofy, as you pointed out, though.

The implication of what I stated is similar to the above, but I would hope that there is a larger positive argument supplementing anyone implicating as much. Because the implication, by itself, doesn't hold. I'll attempt my own supplement, though this is an argument from myself and myself only.



There is a controversial assumption, on my part, from which I think the above implication does hold. I often think of science as a sub-set of Philosophy. All science is philosophy, but not all Philosophy is science. (though there may be some room in which neither discipline really talks about the other, as I often try to keep the separate) Therefore it follows that some questions that I hold can't be addressed by science -- those questions which require a different set of assumptions from the scientific (whatever those may be and if they actually are -- that, unto itself, is a difficult discussion) in order to possibly answer are those questions that would be not scientific and philosophic.

Questions of this sort, in a rule-of-thumb approach, would be along the lines of "What makes a play great?", "How can I properly express love?", or "What is the best of all possible worlds?". I find speculative questions of this sort to be interesting and worthwhile to try and answer, even if science can't approach them. So, even if un-answerable, I would feel that I would be neglecting a part of my life if I didn't try to answer them. Therefore it follows that, as science can't address all questions, and I think it important to attempt answering questions even if they are unanswerable, that I should still look at other possible ways of answering questions. So, in some sense, I am sympathetic to the view -- if not because of religion as much, but because of the importance I attach to art.
 
 

 
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