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View Poll Results: What is your status re: God (anonymous poll)

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  • Atheist

    23 50.00%
  • Agnostic

    10 21.74%
  • Believe in some undefined god

    8 17.39%
  • Subscribe to an established religion

    9 19.57%
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Thread: Why do so many scientists and scientific minds feel the need to be atheists?

  1. #1 Why do so many scientists and scientific minds feel the need to be atheists? 
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    It seems that many people today feel that science has "disproven" religion. Aren't these two almost exclusive realms? Science cannot disprve what is not known, and religion may be able to make assertions of fact (i.e., Abraham had 12 children), but is not the scientific method by any stretch.

    Some scientists have been brought to God by science, but it seems that todays bunch of scientists are dominated by atheists and agnostics.


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    todays bunch of scientists are dominated by atheists and agnostics.
    where is the citation for this?

    Some scientists have been brought to God by science
    please name some.


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    They are two different fields, but science follows evidence and explains things in terms of physical laws and experience... so when religions make silly claims that have no experimental evidence and sound like they're made up any serious scientist gets a tad skeptical. More people are more agnostic about God but more and more people are starting to see that without cultural bias the idea of God would be just as absurd as a unicorn or a dragon.
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    Why would you care?
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    eh? Wouldn't agree. Religion for many is as much about wanting to believe in something greater as it is explaining how stuff work.

    I reckon many scientists are theists, because they reckon they're finding out how God made the universe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlinsomes View Post
    eh? Wouldn't agree. Religion for many is as much about wanting to believe in something greater as it is explaining how stuff work.

    I reckon many scientists are theists, because they reckon they're finding out how God made the universe.
    Honestly, they're only wreckin' their frontal lobes.
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    I don't believe in God, but if he exists maybe he wrote the laws of physics, who knows? don't care if he did, it's not my issue..
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlinsomes View Post
    I don't believe in God, but if he exists maybe he wrote the laws of physics, who knows? don't care if he did, it's not my issue..
    The fact that you would consider such notion and refer to a deity as a "he" suggests that you do believe in a god.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Why would you care?
    This is the philosophy forum. If you care about philosophy it is a significant point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    todays bunch of scientists are dominated by atheists and agnostics.
    where is the citation for this?

    Some scientists have been brought to God by science
    please name some.
    I confess it is just what I get from general discussions. Lawrence Krauss has been on a tour with Richard Dawkins to promote atheism, but he is only one scientist.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    This is the philosophy forum. If you care about philosophy it is a significant point.
    And if you knew anything about philosophy you'd know that unsupported assertions aren't philosophy.

    It seems that many people today feel that science has "disproven" religion.
    Science has "disproven" a whole swath of claims made by religion: there's not much left to cling to.

    Aren't these two almost exclusive realms?
    If only religionists realised that.

    Science cannot disprve what is not known
    So you admit that religion doesn't know?

    and religion may be able to make assertions of fact (i.e., Abraham had 12 children)
    Um yeah.
    Except that religion isn't responsible for - or capable of - showing that those facts are indeed "facts".
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; June 2nd, 2017 at 05:37 PM.
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    Science has not, and never will, attempt to disprove God. Anyone who thinks science is anti-God doesn't understand how science works. The whole point of examining something from a scientific mindset is to discover what explanations best fit phenomena by ruling out the processes which don't pass your model. God doesn't pass the first stage of ANY scientific model because he has no basis in reality. There is no observation, measurement, or evidence of any God interacting with the known universe in any way. Of course, many religious people will debate that point, but they don't understand the criteria for something to be considered evidence by science.

    As for me personally, I find your poll and thread title misleading. I cannot speak for everyone, but I did not choose to be atheist. I don't even understand why there is a term for people who don't believe in God. There isn't a term for people who DON'T believe in anything else. I don't believe in leprechauns, magic, or talking vegetables either. Why are there no terms for those?

    Being an "atheist" is just the product of not being able to pick and choose your reality based upon what you find comforting or needing an explanation for everything so badly that you're willing to fill in your areas of ignorance with some vague, omniscient being of inconceivable power.

    Ricky Gervais said it brilliantly:

    So next time someone tells me they believe in God, I’ll say “Oh which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra?…” If they say “Just God. I only believe in the one God,” I’ll point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Science cannot disprve what is not known
    So you admit that religion doesn't know?
    It does not know in the scientific sense of knowing. Religion can state facts that people can choose to believe on faith, and which science is incapable of addressing. Some of these facts are outside the realm of science. Whether Abraham had 12 children is not, but science has a very limited capability to prove or disprove this because of lack of records, time elapsed, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    It does not know in the scientific sense of knowing. Religion can state facts that people can choose to believe on faith
    If all you have to show that they're "facts" is faith then they are not, by definition, facts.

    Some of these facts are outside the realm of science. Whether Abraham had 12 children is not, but science has a very limited capability to prove or disprove this because of lack of records, time elapsed, etc.
    If there are no records or any other way of verifying - (other than "faith") then - then it's not a fact it's a belief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Religion can state facts that people can choose to believe on faith, and which science is incapable of addressing.
    Science is only incapable of addressing things that fall outside of our ability to examine. This can either be because we do not yet have the technology to make observations (think bacteria before the microscope) or because such things fall outside the realm of reality (think spirits after we die).

    The former is the reason science is always pushing the envelope. It's the power of curiosity that compels us to design new methods of observation and detection, to create new models and theories. The latter is simply of no interest to science.

    If your system of determining "facts" has no rules, then it is of no practical use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    ...but I did not choose to be atheist. I don't even understand why there is a term for people who don't believe in God. There isn't a term for people who DON'T believe in anything else. I don't believe in leprechauns, magic, or talking vegetables either. Why are there no terms for those?
    Let's get real. It is not intended to be an insult to atheists. Religion has played a very substantial role in history and culture.

    We have a term for the sun setting or the moon rising. The sun and moon play a huge role in our life. Why don't we have a term for orbiting space junk piece number 234,532 setting? or satellite #3,457? Because no one really talks about those objects. As a society and culture we tend to create terms for things we find significant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    It does not know in the scientific sense of knowing. Religion can state facts that people can choose to believe on faith
    If all you have to show that they're "facts" is faith then they are not, by definition, facts.

    Some of these facts are outside the realm of science. Whether Abraham had 12 children is not, but science has a very limited capability to prove or disprove this because of lack of records, time elapsed, etc.
    If there are no records or any other way of verifying - (other than "faith") then - then it's not a fact it's a belief.
    You are implying that the scientific method is the absolute arbiter of truth. Many people do take it that way, but others do not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    ...but I did not choose to be atheist. I don't even understand why there is a term for people who don't believe in God. There isn't a term for people who DON'T believe in anything else. I don't believe in leprechauns, magic, or talking vegetables either. Why are there no terms for those?
    Let's get real. It is not intended to be an insult to atheists. Religion has played a very substantial role in history and culture.

    We have a term for the sun setting or the moon rising. The sun and moon play a huge role in our life. Why don't we have a term for orbiting space junk piece number 234,532 setting? or satellite #3,457? Because no one really talks about those objects. As a society and culture we tend to create terms for things we find significant.
    That doesn't even come close to addressing my point.

    You say we have terms for the passing of the Sun through our sky. What is the term for the absence of a Sun passing through our sky? Such a thing doesn't exist. It doesn't exist because we do not name things which do not happen.
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  20. #19  
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    Oh, and your poll is flawed: agnosticism is an epistemological stance, not one of belief.
    One is either a theist or an atheist. (Believe or not).
    After that then agnosticism/ gnosticism comes into it. (Claim to have knowledge/ that knowledge is possible about the object of that belief).
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    It does not know in the scientific sense of knowing. Religion can state facts that people can choose to believe on faith
    If all you have to show that they're "facts" is faith then they are not, by definition, facts.

    Some of these facts are outside the realm of science. Whether Abraham had 12 children is not, but science has a very limited capability to prove or disprove this because of lack of records, time elapsed, etc.
    If there are no records or any other way of verifying - (other than "faith") then - then it's not a fact it's a belief.
    You are implying that the scientific method is the absolute arbiter of truth. Many people do take it that way, but others do not.
    He doesn't appear to be implying anything. He appears to be saying that you cannot determine truth if you do not have a set of guidelines by which truth is determined.

    If I told you I had a vision last night that I am the second coming, you would have to choose to believe me or not based upon no structure whatsoever.

    If I told you that last night I created a particle with mass that moves at the speed of light, you would choose to believe me or not based upon my ability to reproduce those results.

    Only one method works.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    You are implying that the scientific method is the absolute arbiter of truth. Many people do take it that way, but others do not.
    That's their delusion.
    Other than science what reliable methods are there for determining "truth" 1?
    Faith certainly isn't a method for doing so.
    And I'm NOT implying that at at all: I'm simply pointing out that an unsupported belief remains an unsupported belief and cannot (and should not) be called "fact".

    1 In point of fact "truth" isn't something that science deals with.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    You are implying that the scientific method is the absolute arbiter of truth. Many people do take it that way, but others do not.
    That's their delusion.
    Other than science what reliable methods are there for determining "truth" 1?
    Faith certainly isn't a method for doing so.
    And I'm NOT implying that at at all: I'm simply pointing out that an unsupported belief remains an unsupported belief and cannot (and should not) be called "fact".

    1 In point of fact "truth" isn't something that science deals with.
    If God did create the universe, and science will not even address the question or allow it to be addressed, then science perhaps has failed in its mission. That does not mean that if we fail to understand how the universe was created we automatically just say God created it. And to some degree, I would say that science may be incapable of addressing questions such as this. But it still holds that God may have created the universe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    ...If I told you I had a vision last night that I am the second coming, you would have to choose to believe me or not based upon no structure whatsoever.

    If I told you that last night I created a particle with mass that moves at the speed of light, you would choose to believe me or not based upon my ability to reproduce those results.

    Only one method works.
    There is theological structure to examine the first question. The second question is better addressed by science. Both methods work in their realm.
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    But it still holds that God may have created the universe
    That assumes that god exists. There is no evidence that is so.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    You say we have terms for the passing of the Sun through our sky. What is the term for the absence of a Sun passing through our sky?
    Night?
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    If God did create the universe, and science will not even address the question or allow it to be addressed, then science perhaps has failed in its mission.
    Whut?
    I'm not sure what YOU mean by "science will not address the question or allow it to be addressed" but,
    A) if you're talking about the start of the universe then you're drastically wrong.
    B) if you're talking about "god" then first you have show some evidence that "god" exists to the extent that it's worth investigating. (Science - contrary to your claim - does not "not allow it to be addressed", science simply says "there's no evidence to base an investigation on2).

    That does not mean that if we fail to understand how the universe was created we automatically just say God created it. And to some degree, I would say that science may be incapable of addressing questions such as this. But it still holds that God may have created the universe.
    Yeah, you've apparently got a skewed view of what science does and what it's looking at.

    Edit: and you STILL haven't addressed my point about "facts" - all you're doing here is diverting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post

    Edit: and you STILL haven't addressed my point about "facts" - all you're doing here is diverting.
    I am treating as "facts" statements that are true. As to proving the fact, this is another matter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    I am treating as "facts" statements that are true. As to proving the fact, this is another matter.
    In other words you're not using the word "fact" correctly.
    How do you know your "facts" are"true" if you can't show them to be so?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    I am treating as "facts" statements that are true. As to proving the fact, this is another matter.
    In other words you're not using the word "fact" correctly.
    How do you know your "facts" are"true" if you can't show them to be so?
    In some cases, it comes down to faith. And I agree you have to be very careful when accepting facts on faith. Did Abraham have 12 sons? I choose to believe so, though I cannot prove it to you scientifically. Maybe you do not accept this as a fact. Then we are talking about semantics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Did Abraham have 12 sons? I choose to believe so...
    May I ask why do you desire it to be true?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    ... though I cannot prove it to you scientifically.
    I'm curious. Are you able to "prove" it to yourself, or do you rely solely on belief to determine what is or isn't true?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    In some cases, it comes down to faith. And I agree you have to be very careful when accepting facts on faith.
    In other words you're using the word "fact" incorrectly.

    I choose to believe so, though I cannot prove it to you scientifically. Maybe you do not accept this as a fact.
    No. YOU'RE using the wrong word. Completely the wrong word.

    Then we are talking about semantics.
    Why do so many people resort to this "argument" when they actually mean that they wish to consider it a matter of mere quibbling?
    Considering that semantics is "the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning" it's not in the least bit trivial.
    If you can't agree on meaning then you're not communicating.
    If you're using words purely to your own "definition" then you're not communicating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    ...but I did not choose to be atheist. I don't even understand why there is a term for people who don't believe in God. There isn't a term for people who DON'T believe in anything else. I don't believe in leprechauns, magic, or talking vegetables either. Why are there no terms for those?
    Let's get real. It is not intended to be an insult to atheists. Religion has played a very substantial role in history and culture.

    We have a term for the sun setting or the moon rising. The sun and moon play a huge role in our life. Why don't we have a term for orbiting space junk piece number 234,532 setting? or satellite #3,457? Because no one really talks about those objects. As a society and culture we tend to create terms for things we find significant.
    That doesn't even come close to addressing my point.

    You say we have terms for the passing of the Sun through our sky. What is the term for the absence of a Sun passing through our sky? Such a thing doesn't exist. It doesn't exist because we do not name things which do not happen.
    The sun not passing through the sky is really not of interest. Maybe you are shaving the point too close? Not believing in God is/was a significant thing in recent (few hundred years) times, and thus was given term. Since most people did believe in God, they were called theists. When people started (in significant numbers and of significant stature) stating they did not, in order to accomodate the discussions that followed, the term a-theists was proiposed by someone, and apparently stuck.

    Why are you so sensitive about this (not a criticism, just a question)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Did Abraham have 12 sons? I choose to believe so...
    May I ask why do you desire it to be true?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    ... though I cannot prove it to you scientifically.
    I'm curious. Are you able to "prove" it to yourself, or do you rely solely on belief to determine what is or isn't true?
    I do not desire it to be so, I just accept it because I see no reason to reject it (see the next point).

    I have to depend on the veracity of the witness, and the authority of the magesterium of the Catholic Church (in my specific case). And, yes thereis an element of faith in this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    In some cases, it comes down to faith. And I agree you have to be very careful when accepting facts on faith.
    In other words you're using the word "fact" incorrectly.

    I choose to believe so, though I cannot prove it to you scientifically. Maybe you do not accept this as a fact.
    No. YOU'RE using the wrong word. Completely the wrong word.

    Then we are talking about semantics.
    Why do so many people resort to this "argument" when they actually mean that they wish to consider it a matter of mere quibbling?
    Considering that semantics is "the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning" it's not in the least bit trivial.
    If you can't agree on meaning then you're not communicating.
    If you're using words purely to your own "definition" then you're not communicating.
    I am new to this forum, and not an expert in formal logic. My apologies. Hoperfully we will develop a language as we discuss this. Who is the final arbiter of language use? Webster?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    You say we have terms for the passing of the Sun through our sky. What is the term for the absence of a Sun passing through our sky?
    Night?
    Good observation, Strange! Sometimes the obvious escapes us as we box ourselves into specific language.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    The sun not passing through the sky is really not of interest.
    Apart from astronomers. And the vast majority of people for the vast majority of history - before we got cheap reliable lighting - you mean.

    Maybe you are shaving the point too close? Not believing in God is/was a significant thing in recent (few hundred years) times, and thus was given term.
    Except that the term dates back far longer than that.
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Who is the final arbiter of language use?
    The "final arbiter" would be common usage, which gets placed into dictionaries - that's where you find the definitions.
    Can you find any definition of "fact" which supports your usage? (I.e. one that doesn't include actually being the case?)

    Webster?
    I prefer the OED, Webster had trouble spelling correctly.
    But, whichever dictionary you use, you should NOT make up your own definitions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    You say we have terms for the passing of the Sun through our sky. What is the term for the absence of a Sun passing through our sky?
    Night?
    Good observation, Strange! Sometimes the obvious escapes us as we box ourselves into specific language.
    I'm pretty sure he was joking. Forget that analogy. What do you call someone who doesn't believe in leprechauns? Aliens? Time travel?

    An atheist is simply someone who doesn't believe in something which cannot be shown to exist. Just because deity worship is still practiced by a large number of people (less so in more educated societies), doesn't mean it is correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Why are you so sensitive about this (not a criticism, just a question)?
    I don't like labels prescribed to me. "Atheist" simply means "one who is not a theist". There are an infinite number of things which I am NOT. To name them all would be silly. To name even one seems pretty silly. I'd prefer to at least be labeled by what I DO believe. Call me a "Realist" if you want to call me something. I'd be happy to call you an "Arealist" if that wouldn't bother you.
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    Agnosticism is a philosophical stance where you don't ascribe truth values to things you can't prove. It allows the possibility for all kinds of mystical stuff to exist, but you don't arrogate the fact that you know them. I feel like this this opens doors to the mysteries of it all, not closing them. Spiritual folks should try it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    It seems that many people today feel that science has "disproven" religion.
    That's somewhat different from your thread title. Many scientists feel no need to be RELIGIOUS since there is no scientific evidence for religion, and good scientific evidence that many Biblical claims (creation, the flood etc) are false. It does not mean that religion has been disproven, just that no evidence exists for it.
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    I always sum up this way:

    - science cannot prove that god doesn't exist.
    - there is no scientific proof that god exists.
    - you are free to believe whatever you want.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    If God did create the universe...
    Let me stop you right there. Science is not in the business of studying concepts based upon wild and completely unfounded statements that begin with "if". If a giant space-faring bunny pooped out all the planets...

    See what I mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    and science will not even address the question or allow it to be addressed, then science perhaps has failed in its mission.
    This only demonstrates a lack of understanding regarding what science actually DOES. By taking something as popular and widespread as faith and dismissing it entirely, science actually succeeds in its primary goal; to rule out the least plausible options.

    There is no evidence for creationism, so it isn't even a contender for possible explanations of origins. Sometimes I feel like creationists are MORE upset not that science is always talking about God, but that science does talk ENOUGH about God. She doesn't get past round one wherein some kind of observation or measurement must be possible so She gets sent packing. No consolation prize. Sorry. Science lives and dies by its structure and that is how it must be.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    That does not mean that if we fail to understand how the universe was created we automatically just say God created it. And to some degree, I would say that science may be incapable of addressing questions such as this. But it still holds that God may have created the universe.
    All of this is true. We should not fill in the ever-shrinking areas of our ignorance with God. That is a very poor way to approach the phenomena around us. It's also true that we may never really know how life began on Earth or how the universe winked into existence. In fact, it IS possible that an omniscient being created everything. Unfortunately, many people have adopted as truth something which is so absurd that my space-faring bunny turds give it a run for its money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    I do not desire it to be so, I just accept it because I see no reason to reject it (see the next point).

    I have to depend on the veracity of the witness, and the authority of the magesterium of the Catholic Church (in my specific case). And, yes thereis an element of faith in this.
    You do realize that you've just admitted to yourself that you've utilized at least one logical fallacy in establishing a shaky foundation for holding true values right?

    I'm not sure what your intentions here are, but using logical fallacies in the Philosophy subforum can be interpreted as an invitation for welcomed scrutiny.
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    Belief in god does not necessarily condone everything written in the bible. True faith allows one to accept things they (or, we if you combine humanity), have little control of. Science is about, the human mind having the ability to find the true meaning of everything. Thinking we are many generations away from that. What science has been able to prove is, as a race we are on the verge of self extinction. We stand on a razors edge of believing in ourselves (collectively) and less in that of our fellow man.
    A lot of science has been taken by greedy people, manipulated, for individual gain. Some of technology has been used to kill our fellow man (the second world war is a reasonable citation for that). There are many questions, I have witnessed asked in these forums, and the best answer anyone can come up with is, "that's just the way it is".
    I don't think religion has many answers, personally. I know science has a lot that seems to fall under the category of faith.
    Perhaps we should drop the name "god" and just use the word "faith".
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  46. #45  
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    I know science has a lot that seems to fall under the category of faith.
    If there is 'a lot' could you please just name a few.
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    Ok maybe not alot, but enough. Much of the BB, much of black hole theory, some of the nature of light (particle or wave).
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    Oh yeah, 99.9% of energy is dark. Science is pretty good at detecting energy, "dark energy"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by carlinsomes View Post
    I don't believe in God, but if he exists maybe he wrote the laws of physics, who knows? don't care if he did, it's not my issue..
    The fact that you would consider such notion and refer to a deity as a "he" suggests that you do believe in a god.
    This is not true. Not even considering a notion is not scientific. Sure, you may not think it is worth any real amount of your time, but anyone who even considers the notion of G-d must believe in G-d? That is nonsense. And he probably uses the pronoun He for cultural reasons. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Religion doesn't need to be an enemy of science. Human beings are capable of compartmentalizing. What I am saying is that if a religious person approaches science without the need to presuppose that their faith based ideas are literally true, and takes the evidence for what it is, it shouldn't interfere with their science. In the same way, a scientist can have strong philosophical views but put those opinions aside when assessing data and scientific ideas. It is wholly possible to maintain your faith and cultural identity without being unscientific as long as you are willing to give science its room. This sometimes means not accepting your religious doctrines as literally true, or at least not true in the sense you previously believed/were taught.
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    I have faith in my fellow man (who knows why), and in Deity. Neither of which I would debate with anyone, unless I had a very close relationship with. Most of one's opinions should be open to debate, lest he looses his ability to grow. Truth is however truth, and denial of faith leaves one an empty shell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    This is the philosophy forum. If you care about philosophy it is a significant point.
    And if you knew anything about philosophy you'd know that unsupported assertions aren't philosophy.

    ....
    It isn't totally unsupported for there is a poll above and everyone here can vote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    This is the philosophy forum. If you care about philosophy it is a significant point.
    And if you knew anything about philosophy you'd know that unsupported assertions aren't philosophy.

    ....
    It isn't totally unsupported for there is a poll above and everyone here can vote. Atheists and agnostics combined are leading the bunch.
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  53. #52  
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    wonder if I could figure out who's who
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    I can't really vote in the poll, (which my voice typing feature on the iPhone originally wrote as I can't really go in the pool which is much better,) because despite believing in G-d mainly as an abstract, I can't really call my belief in G-d undefined, (it takes specific forms and I mainly identify with a well known religion.) And yet I neither fully accept nor am fully accepted by a formalized, established religion. A 'personal religion' option would be nice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    I can't really vote in the poll, (which my voice typing feature on the iPhone originally wrote as I can't really go in the pool which is much better,) because despite believing in G-d mainly as an abstract, I can't really call my belief in G-d undefined, (it takes specific forms and I mainly identify with a well known religion.) And yet I neither fully accept nor am fully accepted by a formalized, established religion. A 'personal religion' option would be nice.
    Just vote in the undefined section for God's sake!
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  56. #55  
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    help us.....help us.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    I can't really vote in the poll, (which my voice typing feature on the iPhone originally wrote as I can't really go in the pool which is much better,) because despite believing in G-d mainly as an abstract, I can't really call my belief in G-d undefined, (it takes specific forms and I mainly identify with a well known religion.) And yet I neither fully accept nor am fully accepted by a formalized, established religion. A 'personal religion' option would be nice.
    Just vote in the undefined section for God's sake!
    Haha, okay, jeez. (: I just have high standards for precision. Probably not worth splitting the categories for such a distinction, I guess .
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    I can't really vote in the poll, (which my voice typing feature on the iPhone originally wrote as I can't really go in the pool which is much better,) because despite believing in G-d mainly as an abstract, I can't really call my belief in G-d undefined, (it takes specific forms and I mainly identify with a well known religion.) And yet I neither fully accept nor am fully accepted by a formalized, established religion. A 'personal religion' option would be nice.
    Just vote in the undefined section for God's sake!
    Haha, okay, jeez. (: I just have high standards for precision. Probably not worth splitting the categories for such a distinction, I guess .
    I fit somewhere in between too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Who is the final arbiter of language use?
    The "final arbiter" would be common usage, which gets placed into dictionaries - that's where you find the definitions.
    Can you find any definition of "fact" which supports your usage? (I.e. one that doesn't include actually being the case?)

    Webster?
    I prefer the OED, Webster had trouble spelling correctly.
    But, whichever dictionary you use, you should NOT make up your own definitions.
    There is no final arbiter. Language is by definition arbitrary. We have to come to agreements about words to facilitate communication, but any usage of a word understood within any community is valid. Anything else is linguistic prescriptivism, which is only useful in formal settings.
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    I will be spending a good part of tonight observing... So I will put it up here that while climbing the hill to the Observatory. I will ask of 'GOD' ( any and all ). That a sign be given me tonight.. I WILL report if able tomorrow..
    ~ I am just testing the com link...
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    I will be spending a good part of tonight observing... So I will put it up here that while climbing the hill to the Observatory. I will ask of 'GOD' ( any and all ). That a sign be given me tonight.. I WILL report if able tomorrow..
    ~ I am just testing the com link...
    May the Force be with you! It is a clear night here in Levin so could be the same up the coast Mark. It wasn't that long back Zinjanthropus saw something unexplainable. You never know your luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Oh, and your poll is flawed: agnosticism is an epistemological stance, not one of belief.
    One is either a theist or an atheist. (Believe or not).
    After that then agnosticism/ gnosticism comes into it. (Claim to have knowledge/ that knowledge is possible about the object of that belief).
    I don't accept Gnosticism.
    If there were a god who could make someone know, why does everyone not know.
    Assertions of a god testing faith are non sequitur, and quite stupidly anthropomorphic.
    I was raised to be a theist, but logic got in the way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by G O R T View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Oh, and your poll is flawed: agnosticism is an epistemological stance, not one of belief.
    One is either a theist or an atheist. (Believe or not).
    After that then agnosticism/ gnosticism comes into it. (Claim to have knowledge/ that knowledge is possible about the object of that belief).
    I don't accept Gnosticism.
    If there were a god who could make someone know, why does everyone not know.
    Assertions of a god testing faith are non sequitur, and quite stupidly anthropomorphic.
    I was raised to be a theist, but logic got in the way.
    Evolution has been here since day 1 too, but Darwin gets the credit for discovering it. Is God something similar? Always there but if you want evidence you have to discover it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    I always sum up this way:

    - science cannot prove that god doesn't exist.
    - there is no scientific proof that god exists.
    - you are free to believe whatever you want.
    That is reasonable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    Oh yeah, 99.9% of energy is dark. Science is pretty good at detecting energy, "dark energy"?
    Yes. Dark energy is interesting. It exists only because otherwise, theories would fail.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    I do not desire it to be so, I just accept it because I see no reason to reject it (see the next point).

    I have to depend on the veracity of the witness, and the authority of the magesterium of the Catholic Church (in my specific case). And, yes thereis an element of faith in this.
    You do realize that you've just admitted to yourself that you've utilized at least one logical fallacy in establishing a shaky foundation for holding true values right?

    I'm not sure what your intentions here are, but using logical fallacies in the Philosophy subforum can be interpreted as an invitation for welcomed scrutiny.
    I do realize that philosophy forums are dangerous territory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    Belief in god does not necessarily condone everything written in the bible. True faith allows one to accept things they (or, we if you combine humanity), have little control of. Science is about, the human mind having the ability to find the true meaning of everything. Thinking we are many generations away from that. What science has been able to prove is, as a race we are on the verge of self extinction. We stand on a razors edge of believing in ourselves (collectively) and less in that of our fellow man.
    A lot of science has been taken by greedy people, manipulated, for individual gain. Some of technology has been used to kill our fellow man (the second world war is a reasonable citation for that). There are many questions, I have witnessed asked in these forums, and the best answer anyone can come up with is, "that's just the way it is".
    I don't think religion has many answers, personally. I know science has a lot that seems to fall under the category of faith.
    Perhaps we should drop the name "god" and just use the word "faith".
    A lot of speculative science is based on faith (i.e., cosmology).
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    wonder if I could figure out who's who
    I thought about makiong the poll public, but as you stated above, one's faith is very personal. It can be in Jesus, dark matter, Brahma, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    I will be spending a good part of tonight observing... So I will put it up here that while climbing the hill to the Observatory. I will ask of 'GOD' ( any and all ). That a sign be given me tonight.. I WILL report if able tomorrow..
    ~ I am just testing the com link...
    Maybe you will discover a new comet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    You do realize that you've just admitted to yourself that you've utilized at least one logical fallacy in establishing a shaky foundation for holding true values right?

    I'm not sure what your intentions here are, but using logical fallacies in the Philosophy subforum can be interpreted as an invitation for welcomed scrutiny.
    I do realize that philosophy forums are dangerous territory.
    I try not make it a habit of telling people what they should or should not believe, but so long as you aware that your belief system rests on shaky foundations due to how you have decided to validate true values, I guess that will have to do.

    In any case, may I ask why you have decided to create this thread and poll in the philosophy subforum? Is there any philosophical aspect of this topic you wish to discuss or have questions about?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    You do realize that you've just admitted to yourself that you've utilized at least one logical fallacy in establishing a shaky foundation for holding true values right?

    I'm not sure what your intentions here are, but using logical fallacies in the Philosophy subforum can be interpreted as an invitation for welcomed scrutiny.
    I do realize that philosophy forums are dangerous territory.
    I try not make it a habit of telling people what they should or should not believe, but so long as you aware that your belief system rests on shaky foundations due to how you have decided to validate true values, I guess that will have to do.

    In any case, may I ask why you have decided to create this thread and poll in the philosophy subforum? Is there any philosophical aspect of this topic you wish to discuss or have questions about?
    Are not my questions philosophical?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Are not my questions philosophical?
    You do realize that your OP (opening post) contains no question marks right?

    There is only one single question and that is the thread title of "Why do so many scientists and scientific minds feel the need to be atheists?", of which can be better phrased for precision, but it should be noted that your question also requires us to answer on their behalf.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Are not my questions philosophical?
    You do realize that your OP (opening post) contains no question marks right?

    There is only one single question and that is the thread title of "Why do so many scientists and scientific minds feel the need to be atheists?", of which can be better phrased for precision, but it should be noted that your question also requires us to answer on their behalf.
    I considered this the opening question: Why do so many scientists and scientific minds feel the need to be atheists?

    Often I have used the title as part of the dialog on forums. I guess it is a matter of style. Interesting observation though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    I considered this the opening question: Why do so many scientists and scientific minds feel the need to be atheists?
    I do not know about you, but that does not qualify as a philosophical question. The following link may be regarded as an attempt at one though if you require an example.

    Moral Luck (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    I considered this the opening question: Why do so many scientists and scientific minds feel the need to be atheists?
    I do not know about you, but that does not qualify as a philosophical question. The following link may be regarded as an attempt at one though if you require an example.

    Moral Luck (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
    Your standards are very high for a lowly discussion forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Who is the final arbiter of language use?
    The "final arbiter" would be common usage, which gets placed into dictionaries - that's where you find the definitions.
    There is no final arbiter. Language is by definition arbitrary. We have to come to agreements about words to facilitate communication, but any usage of a word understood within any community is valid. Anything else is linguistic prescriptivism, which is only useful in formal settings.
    You have contradicted yourself here and confirmed the point made by the Duck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Who is the final arbiter of language use?
    The "final arbiter" would be common usage, which gets placed into dictionaries - that's where you find the definitions.
    There is no final arbiter. Language is by definition arbitrary. We have to come to agreements about words to facilitate communication, but any usage of a word understood within any community is valid. Anything else is linguistic prescriptivism, which is only useful in formal settings.
    You have contradicted yourself here and confirmed the point made by the Duck.
    Who has? You have quoted three parties.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Who is the final arbiter of language use?
    The "final arbiter" would be common usage, which gets placed into dictionaries - that's where you find the definitions.
    There is no final arbiter. Language is by definition arbitrary. We have to come to agreements about words to facilitate communication, but any usage of a word understood within any community is valid. Anything else is linguistic prescriptivism, which is only useful in formal settings.
    You have contradicted yourself here and confirmed the point made by the Duck.
    Who has? You have quoted three parties.
    There are those "Urban Dictionary" sites which give words their modern usage. The distinction between the classic dictionaries e.g Websters, and these urban ones is what is causing the confusion here IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Who is the final arbiter of language use?
    The "final arbiter" would be common usage, which gets placed into dictionaries - that's where you find the definitions.
    There is no final arbiter. Language is by definition arbitrary. We have to come to agreements about words to facilitate communication, but any usage of a word understood within any community is valid. Anything else is linguistic prescriptivism, which is only useful in formal settings.
    You have contradicted yourself here and confirmed the point made by the Duck.
    My point is that a dictionary has no real authority, only imagined authority, and since many words have many common usages one isn't better than another. Every community has its own vocabulary just as sub-cultures tend to have their own dialects.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    My point is that a dictionary has no real authority, only imagined authority, and since many words have many common usages one isn't better than another. Every community has its own vocabulary just as sub-cultures tend to have their own dialects.
    An the Duck and I have both clearly stated that the authority is the community, that they exercise that authority through usage, that that usage is captured in dictionaries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    My point is that a dictionary has no real authority, only imagined authority, and since many words have many common usages one isn't better than another. Every community has its own vocabulary just as sub-cultures tend to have their own dialects.
    An the Duck and I have both clearly stated that the authority is the community, that they exercise that authority through usage, that that usage is captured in dictionaries.
    Not really. Any common usage of a word is valid, and the dictionary tries to filter 'slang' from 'proper use' which is pretty meaningless. But words constantly evolve. When people say, "Actually, you are using that word wrong. It actually means-" they are probably being prescriptivist. The person probably used the word in a way that sees common usage, so they are fine. The word literally, for example, has two common meanings. One is 'actually true.' The other is just an emphasizer that only has contextual meaning. Both are valid, because both see use. The dictionary has no real authority and it is always a few years behind.

    Another great example of why the dictionary isn't an authority is because the dictionary only represents one or two dialects that it considers proper. There are plenty of sub cultures that have their own dialect and vocabulary not recognized by the dictionary. And that language is just as good as every other dialect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    I do not know about you, but that does not qualify as a philosophical question. The following link may be regarded as an attempt at one though if you require an example.

    Moral Luck (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
    Your standards are very high for a lowly discussion forum.
    Not really. The Philosophy subforum does have a brief description of "Investigate the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods." as a header.

    ▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼

    One neither requires a background in science or have a "scientific mind" to hold an atheistic stance, nor does one require a desire (in response to theistic claims) to hold an atheistic stance. An atheistic stance is simply a position one holds with regards to theistic claims that the individual do not regard as validated to be true (as a value). There are three keywords in your question that is the thread title; "Why do so many scientists and scientific minds feel the need to be atheists?" that requires our attention in addressing before the question itself is answered.

    "Why" in the context of your question asks for reason(s). Reasons that are best answered by the participants on an individual level, as to speak for them on their behalf requires familiarity and there will likely be assumptions on our part.

    "Need" in the context of your question suggests necessity or a desire for, of which is an assumption (as part of your question) that it is borne out of a necessity or the motivations for which stems from a desire for.

    "Atheist(s)" in the context of your question may be referring specifically to individuals that do not hold a theistic claim to be true within a specific (religious) genre, or it may be referring to atheists in general who do not hold theistic claims to be true with regards to all (religious) genres. Example; a christian from the monotheistic abrahamic genre may hold an atheistic stance with regards to theistic claims from hinduism, but a hindu may not necessarily hold a similar atheistic stance when viewing other theistic claims. So, depending how and what the word atheists means to you and to select groups of people, it may hold different meanings to each of them.

    Putting all the above back into your question. A recommended revision of your original question may be in order for precision and clarity sake.
    Last edited by scoobydoo1; May 11th, 2014 at 04:35 AM. Reason: minor edits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    Ok maybe not alot, but enough. Much of the BB, much of black hole theory, some of the nature of light (particle or wave).
    Those are all solid theories based on large amounts of evidence. So you appear to have falsified your own claim. Well done.
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    Oh yeah, 99.9% of energy is dark. Science is pretty good at detecting energy, "dark energy"?
    Dark energy is a name for something (an observed effect) we don't (yet) understand. What was your point, again?
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    The dictionary has no real authority and it is always a few years behind. .
    I am leaving you to argue with yourself, since you persist in misinterpreting what I and the Duck have written. Neither of us has claimed that the dictionary has any authority. You are the one who keeps bringing that up then arguing against it. That is the Strawman logical fallacy and I have better things to do today than engage with illogic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Not really. Any common usage of a word is valid
    You appear to agree completely, so I don't know why you say "not really".

    and the dictionary tries to filter 'slang' from 'proper use' which is pretty meaningless.
    I'm not sure what you mean by "filter". Dictionaries will mark wards for things like "informal", "derogatory", "archaic", etc. I'm not sure why you would consider that meaningless.

    Another great example of why the dictionary isn't an authority is because the dictionary only represents one or two dialects that it considers proper.
    No one is saying the dictionary is an authority.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    The dictionary has no real authority and it is always a few years behind. .
    I am leaving you to argue with yourself, since you persist in misinterpreting what I and the Duck have written. Neither of us has claimed that the dictionary has any authority. You are the one who keeps bringing that up then arguing against it. That is the Strawman logical fallacy and I have better things to do today than engage with illogic.
    Then I've just misinterpreted you. I'm not trying to set up a strawman, but when it is stated that the dictionary is reflective of common usage, in context, I interpreted what was being said as 'we can go to the dictionary to find the proper meaning of a word that you should be using.' If that is not what was meant, sorry, I misinterpreted. I didn't set up a straw man because that would imply I set up an argument I knew you weren't making but was similar to make your argument look bad. This is what I believed you were advocating.

    It is likely I am oversensitive to this issue and quick to jump to conclusions. Organizations like the French government and a number of historical figures who advocated freezing language irk me enough that I am probably biased when I hear arguments that sound even vaguely similar to theirs. This is a bias on my part, so my bad, but if I am being fallacious, my fallacy is in jumping to conclusions. Not dishonesty or setting up strawmen.
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    Why do the percentages in the poll add up to more than 100?

    I see on the side I'm being described as "Forum Cosmic Wizard" that is an honour thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Why do the percentages in the poll add up to more than 100?

    Because there are 17 answers yet only 14 voters due to the option that a voter can pick multiple answers.
    The percentages are based on the number of voters, not on the number of answers. Hence the sum is larger than 100%.
    Last edited by Cogito Ergo Sum; May 11th, 2014 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Clarification.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    It isn't totally unsupported for there is a poll above and everyone here can vote.
    You're missing the point.
    Assertions made in the OP require support.
    A poll only gives people's "conclusions" - not supporting argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    A lot of speculative science is based on faith (i.e., cosmology).
    Nonsense. Working on something while accepting for the sake of "argument" that "X is the case" is not "faith".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    Ok maybe not alot, but enough. Much of the BB, much of black hole theory, some of the nature of light (particle or wave).
    Those are all solid theories based on large amounts of evidence. So you appear to have falsified your own claim. Well done.
    what does it mean when one says "the laws of physics break down"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    what does it mean when one says "the laws of physics break down"?
    I assume you are referring to things like the earliest period of the universe or the centre of a black hole where we know our current theories do not apply. So, "the laws of physics break down" is journalese for "we don't currently have models for these conditions". All theories have domains of applicability (e.g. Newton's laws of gravity and motion only apply as approximations in low energy situations).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    Oh yeah, 99.9% of energy is dark. Science is pretty good at detecting energy, "dark energy"?
    Dark energy is a name for something (an observed effect) we don't (yet) understand. What was your point, again?
    Dark energy is really a placeholder for missing physics, no? Basically, cosmologists first assumed expansion was occuring (because they assumed redshift = expansion). They chose to use Einstein's general relativity because he had incorporated the lambda factor into it. They felt that they were safe in setting lambda pretty close to zero (i.e., neither expanding [much] or contracting [much]) within the precision of their measurements. In 1998 they came across supernovae that based upon the assumption that redshift = distance were travelling laterally at such a velocity that they needed to interpret the velocity as super-luminal (due to the extrapolated assumed distance from the red shift assumption). So now they needed some way to explain an accelerating expanding universe, so they invented the term dark energy to explain it.

    You say it is an observed effect. I would say the observed effect is increasing angular separation in time. The superluminality is an interpretation. Therefor the need for dark energy is an interpretation. Therefor dark energy is more or less a placeholder for missing physics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    Dark energy is really a placeholder for missing physics, no?
    I don't know what you mean by "missing physics". if you mean "something we can't currently explain", then yes.

    Basically, cosmologists first assumed expansion was occuring (because they assumed redshift = expansion).
    Wrong. I wonder if it is worth wasting time explaining the basics of the history of modern cosmology to you. I suspect you are not really interested. But anyway, expansion was not "assumed". Various other explanations were attempted (one of the first involved "tired light"; still much favoured by Internet cranks for some reason). Then it was realised that the FLRW solution (*) to Einstein's equations would match observations exactly. (There is, of course, more to it than that. The clinching observation was not red shift, but the CMB. Plus all the other evidence.)

    They chose to use Einstein's general relativity because he had incorporated the lambda factor into it.
    This is so wrong, I'm not even going to comment on it.

    You say it is an observed effect. I would say the observed effect is increasing angular separation in time. The superluminality is an interpretation. Therefor the need for dark energy is an interpretation. Therefor dark energy is more or less a placeholder for missing physics.
    whatever model you want to come up with (which you haven't) you will need to explain the fact that at some point in the past the whatever-it-is (red-shift, expansion, magic-woo) started increasing. There is some unknown-thing (dark-energy, new-physics, magic-woo) that appeared to have caused that. Apart from name changes, you are no better off. (And you don't have a workable model just a jumble of words based on your misunderstanding of cosmology.)

    p.s. not really relevant but the "L" in FLRW is Lemaitre, a Roman Catholic priest (and physicist).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    A poll only gives people's "conclusions" - not supporting argument.
    I can't remember in which book I read it but it happened years ago . . . At some sort of scientific conference on one subject, maybe it was BB vs. Steady State, a poll was taken. There were several questions on the poll. The results of the poll were read back to the conference. The results for each question were split -- except for the last question. The last question was something like this: "Do you think polls like this have any effect on science? " The unanimous answer was "NO".

    (Maybe someone with a better memory than me can find the source.)
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    A poll based on a misunderstanding what "agnostic" means. It simply means not sure and can apply to either atheism (I'm an agnostic atheist--not sure but I think there's no god), or theist (not sure but I think there is a god). The other categories being the ones where someone is sure of their position, such as there being a god (ie., gnostic theist) or sure there isn't one (gnostic atheist).

    The reason I'm an atheist, even though I can't vote in the messed up categories, is because the most basic ideas about reasoning default to nothing being real without credible evidence--there is non for any god, or other mythological creatures (e.g., gnomes, giant cat's pulling a Finish god's sled) therefore basic reasoning means I think they don't exist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post

    Basically, cosmologists first assumed expansion was occuring (because they assumed redshift = expansion).
    Wrong. I wonder if it is worth wasting time explaining the basics of the history of modern cosmology to you. I suspect you are not really interested. But anyway, expansion was not "assumed". Various other explanations were attempted (one of the first involved "tired light"; still much favoured by Internet cranks for some reason). Then it was realised that the FLRW solution (*) to Einstein's equations would match observations exactly. (There is, of course, more to it than that. The clinching observation was not red shift, but the CMB. Plus all the other evidence.)
    There are other explanations. If earth is in the center if a void in an inhomogeneous universe (such as possibly a Lemaitre-Tolman-Bondi model), then the redshift could be attributed to a gravitational well (plus expansion could be overlayed I think). LTB models are becoming very popular now, I believe largely because the anisotropies in the CMB are making inflation untenable, and LTB does not require inflation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    They chose to use Einstein's general relativity because he had incorporated the lambda factor into it.
    This is so wrong, I'm not even going to comment on it.
    There is no other model available that I know of that allows for expansion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    You say it is an observed effect. I would say the observed effect is increasing angular separation in time. The superluminality is an interpretation. Therefor the need for dark energy is an interpretation. Therefor dark energy is more or less a placeholder for missing physics.
    whatever model you want to come up with (which you haven't) you will need to explain the fact that at some point in the past the whatever-it-is (red-shift, expansion, magic-woo) started increasing. There is some unknown-thing (dark-energy, new-physics, magic-woo) that appeared to have caused that. Apart from name changes, you are no better off. (And you don't have a workable model just a jumble of words based on your misunderstanding of cosmology.)

    p.s. not really relevant but the "L" in FLRW is Lemaitre, a Roman Catholic priest (and physicist).
    No. If the universe is not assumed to be expanding, then dark energy is not required. That is part of why LTB models are pretty popular now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    A poll based on a misunderstanding what "agnostic" means. It simply means not sure and can apply to either atheism (I'm an agnostic atheist--not sure but I think there's no god), or theist (not sure but I think there is a god). The other categories being the ones where someone is sure of their position, such as there being a god (ie., gnostic theist) or sure there isn't one (gnostic atheist).

    The reason I'm an atheist, even though I can't vote in the messed up categories, is because the most basic ideas about reasoning default to nothing being real without credible evidence--there is non for any god, or other mythological creatures (e.g., gnomes, giant cat's pulling a Finish god's sled) therefore basic reasoning means I think they don't exist.
    I do not want to force my interpretation, but many people claim to be "agnostic". My interpretation is that agnostic just means that a person does not fit theist or atheist categories, and wants to state that they are just not sure. I am not sure why that is messed up. The poll is informal, and just gives people a choice of commonly chosen categories with the hope of engendering interesting discussion (which I think it has- great forum). I guess I could have had agnostic- atheist leaning or agnostic-theist leaning, but I wanted to keep it simple. That is also why I allowed users to pick multiple categories (i.e., agnostic+theist for instance). The issue there is that being anonymous, the cross-terms get lost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSixPack View Post
    There are other explanations. If earth is in the center if a void in an inhomogeneous universe (such as possibly a Lemaitre-Tolman-Bondi model), then the redshift could be attributed to a gravitational well (plus expansion could be overlayed I think). LTB models are becoming very popular now, I believe largely because the anisotropies in the CMB are making inflation untenable, and LTB does not require inflation.
    This seems to mix up a number of different things. The TLB (note, same L as FLRW) metric is an alternative solution to the Einstein Field Equations. It is not something I know much about but it still describes an expanding universe (because it is a solution to the EFE). I gather it could provide an explanation for the apparent acceleration (i.e. it would be "dark energy") but I don't believe this is generally accepted.

    As for red-shift being due to gravity: citation needed.

    There is no other model available that I know of that allows for expansion.
    That appears to have nothing to do with your garbled statement about why "they" (whoever "they" are) chose to use GR.

    No. If the universe is not assumed to be expanding, then dark energy is not required. That is part of why LTB models are pretty popular now.
    If the universe is not expanding (and there are models in which this is the case; although, as far as I know, not TLB) there will still need to be an explanation for the change in red-shift.

    BTW, just to make sure we don't forget the point, whether the universe is expanding or not and whether an alternative replaces the FLRW/Lambda-CDM model, is not really the point. All of these possibilities are science not assumptions, as you claim.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Why do the percentages in the poll add up to more than 100?

    Because there are 17 answers yet only 14 voters due to the multiple choice incorporated into the poll.
    The percentages are based on the number of voters, not on the number of answers. Hence the sum is larger than 100%.
    So can a voter tick more than one category?
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    I will be spending a good part of tonight observing... So I will put it up here that while climbing the hill to the Observatory. I will ask of 'GOD' ( any and all ). That a sign be given me tonight.. I WILL report if able tomorrow..
    ~ I am just testing the com link...
    Did Mark make it back down the hill?
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