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View Poll Results: What is your religious affliation?

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  • Catholic

    1 2.22%
  • Protestant

    3 6.67%
  • Mormon

    0 0%
  • Jehovah Witness

    0 0%
  • Hindu

    0 0%
  • Buddhist

    5 11.11%
  • Muslim

    2 4.44%
  • Taoist

    1 2.22%
  • Atheist

    25 55.56%
  • Other

    8 17.78%
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Thread: Testing the waters

  1. #1 Testing the waters 
    Forum Freshman Awake's Avatar
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    Since I too am a SciForums refugee, let me test the waters with a poll.


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  3. #2  
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    I have studied many different types of belief systems, but Buddhism would decribe my beliefs the best.


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    Right now, monotheistic and monistic (the belief that everyone worships, in different ways and forms, the one same deity with different names) belief in a single one Goddess. It's been that way for quite some years now, actually.
    Sciforums Refugee.
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    I'll go with other. I believe in the idea of God, but I do not believe in a God.
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  6. #5 Re: Testing the waters 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Awake
    Since I too am a SciForums refugee, let me test the waters with a poll.
    Yah, test me.
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  7. #6  
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    Hardy har har. -_-
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    lol. Well, though I have been atheistic for most of my life (though I enjoyed a catholic education) I converted to Discordianism a while ago. Along with my nihilistic principles it has given me an interesting view on the world. No hope, but rather the joke behind despair.

    Mr U
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    well, after 2 weeks of
    isolation
    binging
    isolation
    binging
    isolatian
    getting stoned
    binging
    isolation

    i have had a good think about my beliefs and find myself more buddhist than agnositc these days, not into the deitys, but the karma system works well for me
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  10. #9  
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    Technically I'm Catholic. I however gave up the religion years ago. I believe in a god still, just not an organized religion. I prefer to believe my existance has some purpose and is not just some random crap that has no meaning at all. I think that would just depress me too much. I'm not so much into the heaven and hell theory.

    I can't wait to wake up and get some answers. I think however if that were the case I would just be reborn and have to do this crap all over again.

    Bahhhhh.

    If anything we are characters in a movie. Wouldn't it be a kicker if we actually are in distant year in the future and are part of a new virtual reality movie. The entire thing lasting a very short time, yet leaves us with the memories of a lifetime. Not original I know. Perhaps the clues to the movie are in the movie itself.

    Perhaps we can only escape this dream when we realize what it truly is, then and only then can we wake up.

    Maybe I should get some sleep.
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  11. #10  
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    Maybe you should look into the eastern religions more. You seem to be describing enlightenment.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Awake
    Maybe you should look into the eastern religions more. You seem to be describing enlightenment.
    Or the Matrix...
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    Atheism is the only logical choice.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katazia
    Atheism is the only logical choice.
    Do tell...
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    Hi Katazia, nice to see you again

    I too am atheist, and indeed agree that it is the only logical and rational choice, (although I did consider being a leprechaunist for a while).

    Take care..
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    No, I say worship of the purple potato god is the only logical and rational choice.
    Sciforums Refugee.
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    Locke,

    Do tell...
    No problem.

    Logic demands evidence otherwise no valid logical conclusion can be reached.
    No religious belief is grounded in evidence.
    All religious beliefs are therefore necessarily illogical.

    Atheism is primaily characterized as the absence of theistic belief and does not make any conclusions concerning existence of gods - this is wholly consistent with logical reasoning.
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  18. #17  
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    I would like to get back to this, but I am currently at work.

    ........To be continued!
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  19. #18  
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    You say logic demands evidence. Evidence is but just another concept that your mind or conciousness, self deludes itself with. How do we know anything to be truely true? Or is everything an illusion based on other illusions.
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    Awake,

    You say logic demands evidence.
    That is the rule for valid logic. It is not my opinion.

    Evidence is but just another concept that your mind or conciousness, self deludes itself with.
    Valid evidence is independent of individual consciousness that is the only way to differentiate between real evidence and self-delusion. Note that religious beliefs are indistinguishable from self-delusion for this very reason.

    How do we know anything to be truely true?
    That is not the issue. We define truth according to the best criteria we can apply based on our current state of knowledge. Logic is the best method we have so far that exercises those criteria effectively.

    Or is everything an illusion based on other illusions.
    Everything is relative to our current state of knowledge. Any other approach is unproductive.
    The welfare of the individual must come before the welfare of the group otherwise life is pointless.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katazia
    We define truth according to the best criteria we can apply based on our current state of knowledge. Logic is the best method we have so far that exercises those criteria effectively.

    Everything is relative to our current state of knowledge. Any other approach is unproductive.
    But what comes before knowledge? The quest for knowledge. However, before the quest is even targeted, there must be a question.

    And before the question there's the most important component of all: the experience.

    Yet, ensuing the experience, and before the question itself, there's the description -- a ghostly illustration of an unknown manifest. But since there's no knowledge of the experience to begin with, to particularise it and segregate it from "unreality" and explain it off succinctly... how can there possibly be, from the onset, logic? And not all men who experience the unknown are scholars or scientists equipped with labs and calculators. All they are left with is a naked experience and a piecemeal illustration.
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    Id say a lot my beliefs and awarenesses stem from modified Buddhism, sw native American, Jesus stuff ( my beliefs and opinions regarding Jesus and Christianity are almost entirely applied to the consideration and conversation about the two, and not day to day thinking). Oh and ethnobiology, entheogens and music and everything else. heh
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  23. #22  
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    Katazia,


    Logic demands evidence otherwise no valid logical conclusion can be reached.
    Logic needs only premises. Logic does not determine the contents of these premises.

    You can write down all logic with a, b, c and logical operators.


    No religious belief is grounded in evidence.
    Compare:

    Valid evidence is independent of individual consciousness that is the only way to differentiate between real evidence and self-delusion.
    To most people, a quantum accelerator is no different than any magic box.

    To recognize something as "evidence" takes specific scientifc knowledge that relatively ***few*** people have, and most can't afford it.

    In effect, we take science on faith. I have no way of knowing whether a quantum accelerator is not merely a magic box.

    But truth is ...
    We define truth according to the best criteria we can apply based on our current state of knowledge.
    ... truth is relative.
    Thank you for a truth that is not what it says it is: true.


    Note that religious beliefs are indistinguishable from self-delusion for this very reason.
    And why quantum accelerators are magic boxes.
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    Hi, water!

    There is unfortunately a logical fallacy in your characterisation of the difference between science and religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by water
    Logic needs only premises. Logic does not determine the contents of these premises.

    You can write down all logic with a, b, c and logical operators.



    No religious belief is grounded in evidence.

    Compare:

    Valid evidence is independent of individual consciousness that is the only way to differentiate between real evidence and self-delusion.
    I'm sorry, water, I don't see either the non-sequitur or the logical conclusion. The first is a factual statement about religion and the second is a factual statement about what evidence is. No religious belief is grounded in evidence, it is all grounded in subjective views which cannot be independently confirmed by another party. No logical knowledge is derivable from subjective opinion, it's a fixed outcome from a fixed input. They are not connected, and neither disproves the other.


    To most people, a quantum accelerator is no different than any magic box.

    To recognize something as "evidence" takes specific scientifc knowledge that relatively ***few*** people have, and most can't afford it.
    What difference does that make? One day in 1905, only one person in the world knew that E=mc<sup>2</sup>. Did that make it any less true, because 2 billion other people did not know that?

    In effect, we take science on faith. I have no way of knowing whether a quantum accelerator is not merely a magic box.
    Your last statement is factually incorrect. You have every way of knowing whether a quantum accelerator is not merely a magic box. All you have to do is study science, perform experiments yourself to show the validity of the various theories involved. About the experiments you cannot perform yourself, you will learn about the integrity of the scientific method by which you know that what makes it into text books and journals as fact is based on reproducible experiments that have been confirmed and reproduced, and those which are the first tentative parts of theorising will extrapolate theory from experimental evidence using rational reasoning and logic, and the other scientists who read such a theory are free to accept the reasoning or reject it, until firmer evidence is available.

    It is perfectly possible to move your status from "faith" to "knowledge" - all you have to do is acquire the knowledge. Now, I know this is not actually a practical proposition. But the point is that the faith we have in science is based upon the fact that the fruits of science are all around us. Some cultural relativists believe that the scientific and mathematical truths we understand through science are in fact culturally conditioned. That they have no more or less validity than a primitive tribe's belief that the gods are angry when there's a drought or a thunder storm. My response consists of going up to a light switch, flipping it on and off a number of times, and saying, "I refute you thus!"

    This quantum accelerator of which you speak (I have no idea what one of those is, by the way) is merely the ultimate expression of the same process that was went through by Edison when he invented the light bulb. Experimentation leads to lots of stuff not working and a little stuff working. Following the lead of the working stuff will lead you to other experiments. If we have a good idea of why something is, we can work on the how, so we develop theories as to why something is. If a theory is correct, it should explain something else, or cause some predictable effect. If it does, and the experiments back the theory as far as it goes, the sum of human knowledge has increased a little.

    Religious belief consists of having a personal belief in a Creator being who deserves worship, or at least some other form of flattery. Rituals such as church services and prayer are designed to maintain the religious person's faith, but one is doing those things in order to placate a deity - nontheless, there is no evidence throuhgout ones life time as to how well you are doing this, and if you are going to heaven or hell. We know we go to one or the other, but no-one has ever come back to give us some guidance on whether a not particularly good not particularly bad life was sufficient to avoid the flames. In fact, no-one can even tell us whether either heaven or hell exist at all.

    And that is the difference between "religious faith" and "scientific faith".
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    logic is a tool, and, as with other tools, a person sometimes accidentally drops it on their toe...

    1) Some people, religious or not, base their ideologies on evidence, some don't. Mostly, people take their beliefs on faith, based upon another person's higher level of understanding of the subject at hand - most religious AND scientific ideas are accepted in this manner. Then there is evidence - what some people accept as evidence for religion, others do not, calling religious insight "coincidence", "emotional effect", or even "insanity". So what? This is only a problem for those who believe in an explicit system which applies to all, and this grasping for a perfect system is the cause of the apparent contradictions which the atheist loves to cite as proof against God.

    2) As Water pointed out, logic is simply a system of thought, meaning is derived only through transposition of logical proofs into "real world" situations, and language (which is a messy business).
    A statement can be derived in a completely logical way and still be untrue, following from false axioms.

    A human being telling you that atheism is the only logical belief system and a crippled man telling you there is only one way to run are pretty much the same thing. We are all "running" low-fidelity mental programs, if you disagree and insist in all-encompassing praise of science and empiricism, you ignore all the glitches, freezes, crashes, and bad data that has been generated.
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    Silas,



    There is unfortunately a logical fallacy in your characterisation of the difference between science and religion.
    I made no logical fallacy. Unless you consider practial realistic concers fallacious.


    What difference does that make? One day in 1905, only one person in the world knew that E=mc<sup>2</sup>. Did that make it any less true, because 2 billion other people did not know that?
    The difference it makes is that I do not have the resources to see for myself whteher those theories are interpersonally provable. So much for interpersonality.

    I do not have the resources or the time to look into the matter myself.


    In effect, we take science on faith. I have no way of knowing whether a quantum accelerator is not merely a magic box.
    Your last statement is factually incorrect. You have every way of knowing whether a quantum accelerator is not merely a magic box. All you have to do is study science, perform experiments yourself to show the validity of the various theories involved. About the experiments you cannot perform yourself, you will learn about the integrity of the scientific method by which you know that what makes it into text books and journals as fact is based on reproducible experiments that have been confirmed and reproduced, and those which are the first tentative parts of theorising will extrapolate theory from experimental evidence using rational reasoning and logic, and the other scientists who read such a theory are free to accept the reasoning or reject it, until firmer evidence is available.
    You have no idea what these things cost, what it takes, have you?

    I have no way of knowing whether a quantum accelerator is a magic box or not -- because I do not have the time or the resources to study so much.
    The same with billions of other people.

    I theoretically do have a way, yes, maybe, if I marry a rich man who pays for my studies and experiments, then I can afford to do proper science. But until then, I am left to mere faith in science.


    It is perfectly possible to move your status from "faith" to "knowledge" - all you have to do is acquire the knowledge.
    How? Do you know how much these things cost?

    One must think real. Science costs money. Big money.

    A simple person canot afford science. They must take it on faith.


    Now, I know this is not actually a practical proposition. But the point is that the faith we have in science is based upon the fact that the fruits of science are all around us.
    So are the "fruits" of religion.

    Both the good and the bad.

    Both scioence and religion have good and bad fruits.


    Some cultural relativists believe that the scientific and mathematical truths we understand through science are in fact culturally conditioned. That they have no more or less validity than a primitive tribe's belief that the gods are angry when there's a drought or a thunder storm. My response consists of going up to a light switch, flipping it on and off a number of times, and saying, "I refute you thus!"
    And? The existence of a lightbulb doesnt' prove anything, except that men strive to be practical and make their lives more comfortable.


    This quantum accelerator of which you speak (I have no idea what one of those is, by the way) is merely the ultimate expression of the same process that was went through by Edison when he invented the light bulb. Experimentation leads to lots of stuff not working and a little stuff working. Following the lead of the working stuff will lead you to other experiments. If we have a good idea of why something is, we can work on the how, so we develop theories as to why something is. If a theory is correct, it should explain something else, or cause some predictable effect. If it does, and the experiments back the theory as far as it goes, the sum of human knowledge has increased a little.
    And this is where Quine comes in.

    From Quine's "Two dogmas of empiricism":


    The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges. Or, to change the figure, total science is like a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience. A conflict with experience at the periphery occasions readjustments in the interior of the field. Truth values have to be redistributed over some of our statements. Re-evaluation of some statements entails re-evaluation of others, because of their logical interconnections -- the logical laws being in turn simply certain further statements of the system, certain further elements of the field. Having re-evaluated one statement we must re-evaluate some others, whether they be statements logically connected with the first or whether they be the statements of logical connections themselves. But the total field is so undetermined by its boundary conditions, experience, that there is much latitude of choice as to what statements to re-evaluate in the light of any single contrary experience. No particular experiences are linked with any particular statements in the interior of the field, except indirectly through considerations of equilibrium affecting the field as a whole.
    The system of science is self-referential at best.


    Religious belief consists of having a personal belief in a Creator being who deserves worship, or at least some other form of flattery. Rituals such as church services and prayer are designed to maintain the religious person's faith, but one is doing those things in order to placate a deity - nontheless, there is no evidence throuhgout ones life time as to how well you are doing this, and if you are going to heaven or hell. We know we go to one or the other, but no-one has ever come back to give us some guidance on whether a not particularly good not particularly bad life was sufficient to avoid the flames. In fact, no-one can even tell us whether either heaven or hell exist at all.
    All nice, but with a major flaw: If you think that religious belief is about "placating a deity", then you have it all wrong, and such a religious belief is not worth much. In fact, it is morally bankrupt as it suggests emotional blackmail.


    And that is the difference between "religious faith" and "scientific faith".
    That difference you propose is derived from a strawman, mind you.
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    I am vehemently opposed to organised religion, as I find that it feeds the darker side of mankinds ego. So even the "other" category in the poll cannot suffice for myself.

    But, having said that, human nature seems inherently endowed with a capacity for a "spiritual" reality which seems to transcend logic. The mere fact that we possess such a faculty would indicate that there is so much more to the universe than meets the eye. The very laws of nature we have decoded and unravelled from their secret lairs, also seem to point to a fundemental principle of uncertainty which potentially accomodates the supernatural. And of course, the epiphanies I have experienced, that still remain after many, many years, amongst the strongest memories and moments that I have experienced. What then is the underlying reality that manifest itself in the experiencing of said epiphanies?

    Allcare.
    Sorrow floats
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    water, that philosopher Quine I will have to study more closely, but it seems clear that he is precisely the kind of cultural relativist I would refute by flipping the light switch. I recommend you read Intellectual Impostures by Sokal and Bricmont.
    Quote Originally Posted by water
    I made no logical fallacy. Unless you consider practial realistic concers fallacious.
    I don't exactly know what's going on there.
    Quote Originally Posted by water
    I do not have the resources or the time to look into the matter myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by water
    How? Do you know how much these things cost?

    One must think real. Science costs money. Big money.

    A simple person canot afford science. They must take it on faith.
    I thought it was evident that I understood that. My point was to demonstrate the difference between the type of faith that you were claiming in science and the scientific world view, and religious faith. You were practically claiming them as the same kind of faith, and I was logically demonstrating that they are not. That one kind of "faith" could be eliminated altogether simply by providing you with all the resources so that you could "see" for yourself. It's not practical to eliminate your faith in favour of knowledge, but it's perfectly possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by water
    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    Now, I know this is not actually a practical proposition. But the point is that the faith we have in science is based upon the fact that the fruits of science are all around us.
    So are the "fruits" of religion.

    Both the good and the bad.

    Both science and religion have good and bad fruits.
    But actually that's not what I meant. By "the fruits of religion are around us" what do you mean? Churches? Art? The wars in the Middle East? When I say "the fruits of science are all around us", I mean literally all around us. Unless you are posting from the middle of the Appalacian Trail National Park, every thing you can see around you, everything you touch, everything you are sitting on, walking on, riding in, wearing as apparel - everything is the result of science - ie the method of trying something out to see if it works. Not one thing appeared through praying for it, or making an incantation for it. That is why I have "faith" in science, and no faith in religion. But the faith in how a quantum accelerator works is simply extrapolation from the evidence of how everything that humans deal with on this planet is the result of the scientific method. Religious faith is a totally subjective experience that cannot even be shared by anyone else in precisely the same way. I was not actually trying to denigrate religious belief per se, merely trying to point out that the faith in scientific endeavour is of a different nature to the faith in religious belief.
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    Silas,


    that philosopher Quine I will have to study more closely, but it seems clear that he is precisely the kind of cultural relativist I would refute by flipping the light switch. I recommend you read Intellectual Impostures by Sokal and Bricmont.
    Quine just went the full course of where the scientific method leads.
    And you can't refute anything by flipping the light switch. Unless you believe in magic or something.


    I thought it was evident that I understood that.
    Yes, you said in one tiny puny sentence.


    My point was to demonstrate the difference between the type of faith that you were claiming in science and the scientific world view, and religious faith. You were practically claiming them as the same kind of faith, and I was logically demonstrating that they are not.
    No, you seem to be equating religios faith with superstition. Religious faith is not about superstition. But the way most people on this planet are able to approach science is that of superstition -- "I don't know why, but I was told it works and I should follow their instructions".


    That one kind of "faith" could be eliminated altogether simply by providing you with all the resources so that you could "see" for yourself. It's not practical to eliminate your faith in favour of knowledge, but it's perfectly possible.
    "It is possible." It is possible that God appears as a burning bush.

    You grossly underestimate the practical concern when it comes to science.


    But actually that's not what I meant. By "the fruits of religion are around us" what do you mean? Churches? Art? The wars in the Middle East?
    People and their lives, the way they live them. I say your thinking about religion is faulty as you treat religion as an alternative to science. I don't know how you can support such a position.


    When I say "the fruits of science are all around us", I mean literally all around us. Unless you are posting from the middle of the Appalacian Trail National Park, every thing you can see around you, everything you touch, everything you are sitting on, walking on, riding in, wearing as apparel - everything is the result of science - ie the method of trying something out to see if it works.
    Yes, faith.


    Not one thing appeared through praying for it, or making an incantation for it.
    That is superstition, not religion.


    That is why I have "faith" in science, and no faith in religion. But the faith in how a quantum accelerator works is simply extrapolation from the evidence of how everything that humans deal with on this planet is the result of the scientific method.
    How can one prove that the extrapolation is correct??


    Religious faith is a totally subjective experience that cannot even be shared by anyone else in precisely the same way.
    And? It's not meant to be the same for everybody.
    Again, are you supposing that religion is an alternative to science?


    I was not actually trying to denigrate religious belief per se, merely trying to point out that the faith in scientific endeavour is of a different nature to the faith in religious belief.
    Whenever you say "religion", you actually mean "superstition".
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    The primary difference between religion and science lies not in the evidence itself but in the rigor of the method used to verify the evidence. Science strives for objective verification; its methods are deliberately designed to eliminate bias. Religion has no formal method and evidence is typically weighed against subjective experience and testimony.

    The success of science lies in its rigor. Evidence is tested and retested until it is as reliable as we can make it. Unreliable evidence is discarded. Religion has no such rigor. Typically, evidence that supports the premise is kept while all contrary evidence is disregarded. Contrary to water's assertion this does indeed lend itself to superstitious or magical thinking.

    ~Raithere
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    Religion is rigorous as well: In spiritual discipline. Something that may not be "interpersonally and objectively testable" – but as I hope, every person knows how very important spiritual discipline is.

    Viewing religion to be an alternative to science is just a strawman used to discredit religion due to not liking the discipline it demands.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raithere
    The primary difference between religion and science lies not in the evidence itself but in the rigor of the method used to verify the evidence. Science strives for objective verification; its methods are deliberately designed to eliminate bias. Religion has no formal method and evidence is typically weighed against subjective experience and testimony.

    The success of science lies in its rigor. Evidence is tested and retested until it is as reliable as we can make it. Unreliable evidence is discarded. Religion has no such rigor. Typically, evidence that supports the premise is kept while all contrary evidence is disregarded. Contrary to water's assertion this does indeed lend itself to superstitious or magical thinking.

    ~Raithere
    With science, you build the ladder in order to climb to the next point of knowledge. With religion, the ladder is already built and you must learn how to climb it. Both require rigorous discipline in order to be successful, both require faith and evidence. And both, if used properly lead to the same thing, self-realisation. Self-realisation, IMO, is the ultimate aim of knowledge.

    Jan Ardena.
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  33. #32  
    Forum Freshman craterchains's Avatar
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    Considering that I am not a religionist and have no religion would that make me an
    atheist? Yet I do accept the so called "christian bible" as a communiqué from those
    "out there" in what we call our universe. Or, would that make me a christian and
    non denominational? FOCL,, sorry
    It's not what you know or don't know, but what you know that isn't so that will hurt you. Will Rodgers 1938
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  34. #33  
    Forum Junior Cottontop3000's Avatar
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    Born and raised southern Baptist (20 years)

    Began to question and then really questioned God's existence (10 years)

    Atheist (or thereabouts) for 5 years now.
    Death Beckons
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  35. #34  
    Forum Freshman Medicine*Woman's Avatar
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    Cottontop3000: Born and raised southern Baptist (20 years)

    Began to question and then really questioned God's existence (10 years)

    Atheist (or thereabouts) for 5 years now.
    *************
    M*W: C3000, I thought you were still christian! Please tell us about your progress from christian to atheist. I'd really like to hear your story!

    Thanks!

    ~ Medicine*Woman
    "Baby, you don't have to live like a refugee."

    ~ Tom Petty
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  36. #35  
    Forum Junior Cottontop3000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medicine*Woman
    C3000, I thought you were still christian! Please tell us about your progress from christian to atheist. I'd really like to hear your story!

    Thanks!

    ~ Medicine*Woman
    Can you give me a few days, or maybe longer? I'm kinda tired of thinking about it right now. Cool? The whole religion thing has gotten old, tiring to me.

    P.S. I'd like to tell you my story though, if you really want to hear it, just not today.
    Death Beckons
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