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Thread: Is there a testable religion?

  1. #1 Is there a testable religion? 
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    Is any religion testable in any way? Does any holy scripture contain even one fact? I have never found anything other than myth, fable, interpolation and contradiction. I have heard it argued a few times that Buddhism is a testable religion. Presumably they mean that buddhists are more content. Studies suggest otherwise. People in some of the least religious countries are happiest such as Scandinavia for instance. Not only that, Buddhism is not really a true religion if it does not worship a god.
    I guess some criteria for testing must include a change in demeanour towards a better life, the relinquishing of material wealth (rewards in heaven), altruism based purely on scripture. I was a Catholic once. I think I became a better person when I broke away and started to think for myself what was right and wrong.
    I feel sure that Paul Dirac was more or less right when he said:
    I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards—in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.
    Okay, so religion helps keeps the peace among the poor, and maybe that's one reason for its invention. But this reminds me that you can't really have a Scientific Study of Religion because religion by its very nature is not testable in the same way that a scientific or economic model is testable.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Is any religion testable in any way?
    What do you want to test?

    Does anyone believe it? That could be tested; e.g. carrying out a survey or census.

    Does it have benefits for those who believe it? That could be tested; e.g. Seventh Day Adventists are found to have longer healthy lives than the average for their community.

    Do its gods or god exist? Probably can't be tested (other than Pascal's Wager).

    Does any holy scripture contain even one fact?
    Of course. They often mention real places, people and events.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    But this reminds me that you can't really have a Scientific Study of Religion because religion by its very nature is not testable in the same way that a scientific or economic model is testable.
    Then please quit posting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Is any religion testable in any way?
    They do get tested, every day.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    If you want to question the title of this section "Scientific Study of Religion" then indeed there is grounds to question the pertinence of the title (that apparently seeks to elevate or legitimize the Topic of religion) instead of just putting it in the general section along with news, science-fiction etc.

    If the founders of the board had been devout Knitting fans, we might have had a section called "Scientific study of Kitting", to each his own I guess, personally I find a military technology section to be an aberration (like a "torture and rape technologies and techniques" section) but many people have a different perspective/culture/value/outlook that makes them (and maybe you) find that section quite "normal". (Though we may be unfortunate not to be in a 23rd century forum, we can thank god we're not in a Witchburning Medieval Forum with a "Scientific study of efficient Torture and maximizing human suffering" section and "Scientific study of optimal (Witch) human combustion" section).
    Last edited by icewendigo; December 7th, 2012 at 12:20 PM.
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    The trouble with trying to test a whole religion is that a religion is really a big jumble of about 1,000,000 separate claims. You'd have to test each claim in order to refute the whole thing.

    If we narrow the question to the most important claims, then certainly a claim like the existence of an invisible man/woman/thing in the sky is an untestable claim. And I'm pretty sure they all make that claim.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Is any religion testable in any way? Does any holy scripture contain even one fact? I have never found anything other than myth, fable, interpolation and contradiction. I have heard it argued a few times that Buddhism is a testable religion. Presumably they mean that buddhists are more content. Studies suggest otherwise. People in some of the least religious countries are happiest such as Scandinavia for instance. Not only that, Buddhism is not really a true religion if it does not worship a god.
    I guess some criteria for testing must include a change in demeanour towards a better life, the relinquishing of material wealth (rewards in heaven), altruism based purely on scripture. I was a Catholic once. I think I became a better person when I broke away and started to think for myself what was right and wrong.
    I feel sure that Paul Dirac was more or less right when he said:
    I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards—in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.
    Okay, so religion helps keeps the peace among the poor, and maybe that's one reason for its invention. But this reminds me that you can't really have a Scientific Study of Religion because religion by its very nature is not testable in the same way that a scientific or economic model is testable.
    YES

    You use The Bible to explain The Bible, that will show the testable religion and which one will pass the test of being from The Bible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    You use The Bible to explain The Bible, that will show the testable religion and which one will pass the test of being from The Bible.
    That is meaningless. You might as well use Harry Potter to explain Harry Potter and pass he test of being from Harry Potter.

    Please engage your critical thinking faculties before posting on a science forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    You use The Bible to explain The Bible, that will show the testable religion and which one will pass the test of being from The Bible.
    That is meaningless. You might as well use Harry Potter to explain Harry Potter and pass he test of being from Harry Potter.

    Please engage your critical thinking faculties before posting on a science forum.
    Meaningless from your view.

    Jesus used The Bible to explain The Bible and to confirm his teachings.

    2 Tim. 3:16-17

    If one had decided not to be religious this will mean nothing to you; which is as it should be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    Meaningless from your view.
    Meaningless from any view. This is a science forum. Tests should be objective. If you just want to confirm your own beliefs by reference to your own beliefs then you are in the wrong place.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    Meaningless from your view.
    Meaningless from any view. This is a science forum. Tests should be objective. If you just want to confirm your own beliefs by reference to your own beliefs then you are in the wrong place.
    God is the greatest scientist in the cosmos.

    The one who caused the Big Bang.

    This is a sicence/religion section so do not presume to impose your views on me or anyone.


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    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    This is a sicence/religion section so do not presume to impose your views on me or anyone.
    I'm not the one preaching their religion. I am just pointing out your logical fallacies.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    This is a sicence/religion section so do not presume to impose your views on me or anyone.
    I'm not the one preaching their religion. I am just pointing out your logical fallacies.
    Fallacies from your view point not mine or some of the greatest minds of this world!


    You are counterd by those who see things from a larger prospective and great understanding:-

    Dr. Warren Weaver, one of America’s foremost mathematicians, once stated in a popular monthly magazine: “Every new discovery of science is a further revelation of the order that God has built into His universe. God gains in dignity and power through manifestations of His reason and order.”

    Victor Hess, discoverer of cosmic rays, once stated: “It is sometimes said that the ‘necessity’ of the ‘laws’ of nature is incompatible with . . . miracles. This is not so. . . . Many of our physical laws are, in fact, merely statistical statements. They hold for the average of a great number of cases. They have no meaning for an individual case. . . . Must a scientist doubt the reality of miracles? As a scientist I answer emphatically: No. I can see no reason at all why Almighty God, Who created us and all things around us, should not suspend or change—if He finds it wise to do so—the natural, average course of events.”—Faith of Great Scientists, edited by W. Howey, p. 10.

    “Scientific American” magazine (August 1975), says that “for Newton . . . there were two ways to examine the universe God had made, one through the book of nature, the other through Scripture.” Newton gave the following as his standard for studying each of these: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things. . . . He is the God of order and not of confusion.” (See 1 Corinthians 14:33.)

    The famed scientist Einstein, testifying to the existence of God, said: “It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity; to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe, which we can dimly perceive, and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifest in nature.” “I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos.” The noted dean of American scientists, Dr. Robert A. Millikan, a Nobel Prize winner, in an address to a meeting of the American Physical Society at Washington, D.C., declared: “There’s a Divinity that shapes our end . . . Just how we fit into the plans of the Great Architect and how much He has assigned us to do we do not know, . . . But fit in we certainly do somehow, else we would not have a sense of our own responsibility. A purely materialistic philosophy is to me the height of unintelligence. Wise men in all ages have always seen enough to at least make them reverent.”


    So when you say "fallices" you insullt some of the greatest minds in the scientific world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    This is a sicence/religion section so do not presume to impose your views on me or anyone.
    I'm not the one preaching their religion. I am just pointing out your logical fallacies.
    Fallacies from your view point not mine or some of the greatest minds of this world!


    You are counterd by those who see things from a larger prospective and great understanding:-

    Dr. Warren Weaver, one of America’s foremost mathematicians, once stated in a popular monthly magazine: “Every new discovery of science is a further revelation of the order that God has built into His universe. God gains in dignity and power through manifestations of His reason and order.”

    Victor Hess, discoverer of cosmic rays, once stated: “It is sometimes said that the ‘necessity’ of the ‘laws’ of nature is incompatible with . . . miracles. This is not so. . . . Many of our physical laws are, in fact, merely statistical statements. They hold for the average of a great number of cases. They have no meaning for an individual case. . . . Must a scientist doubt the reality of miracles? As a scientist I answer emphatically: No. I can see no reason at all why Almighty God, Who created us and all things around us, should not suspend or change—if He finds it wise to do so—the natural, average course of events.”—Faith of Great Scientists, edited by W. Howey, p. 10.

    “Scientific American” magazine (August 1975), says that “for Newton . . . there were two ways to examine the universe God had made, one through the book of nature, the other through Scripture.” Newton gave the following as his standard for studying each of these: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things. . . . He is the God of order and not of confusion.” (See 1 Corinthians 14:33.)

    The famed scientist Einstein, testifying to the existence of God, said: “It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity; to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe, which we can dimly perceive, and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifest in nature.” “I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos.” The noted dean of American scientists, Dr. Robert A. Millikan, a Nobel Prize winner, in an address to a meeting of the American Physical Society at Washington, D.C., declared: “There’s a Divinity that shapes our end . . . Just how we fit into the plans of the Great Architect and how much He has assigned us to do we do not know, . . . But fit in we certainly do somehow, else we would not have a sense of our own responsibility. A purely materialistic philosophy is to me the height of unintelligence. Wise men in all ages have always seen enough to at least make them reverent.”


    So when you say "fallices" you insullt some of the greatest minds in the scientific world.

    big
    Fallacies are fallacies, no matter who makes them. You are committing the fallacy of "appeal to authority."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    This is a sicence/religion section so do not presume to impose your views on me or anyone.
    I'm not the one preaching their religion. I am just pointing out your logical fallacies.
    Fallacies from your view point not mine or some of the greatest minds of this world!


    You are counterd by those who see things from a larger prospective and great understanding:-

    Dr. Warren Weaver, one of America’s foremost mathematicians, once stated in a popular monthly magazine: “Every new discovery of science is a further revelation of the order that God has built into His universe. God gains in dignity and power through manifestations of His reason and order.”

    Victor Hess, discoverer of cosmic rays, once stated: “It is sometimes said that the ‘necessity’ of the ‘laws’ of nature is incompatible with . . . miracles. This is not so. . . . Many of our physical laws are, in fact, merely statistical statements. They hold for the average of a great number of cases. They have no meaning for an individual case. . . . Must a scientist doubt the reality of miracles? As a scientist I answer emphatically: No. I can see no reason at all why Almighty God, Who created us and all things around us, should not suspend or change—if He finds it wise to do so—the natural, average course of events.”—Faith of Great Scientists, edited by W. Howey, p. 10.

    “Scientific American” magazine (August 1975), says that “for Newton . . . there were two ways to examine the universe God had made, one through the book of nature, the other through Scripture.” Newton gave the following as his standard for studying each of these: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things. . . . He is the God of order and not of confusion.” (See 1 Corinthians 14:33.)

    The famed scientist Einstein, testifying to the existence of God, said: “It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity; to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe, which we can dimly perceive, and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifest in nature.” “I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos.” The noted dean of American scientists, Dr. Robert A. Millikan, a Nobel Prize winner, in an address to a meeting of the American Physical Society at Washington, D.C., declared: “There’s a Divinity that shapes our end . . . Just how we fit into the plans of the Great Architect and how much He has assigned us to do we do not know, . . . But fit in we certainly do somehow, else we would not have a sense of our own responsibility. A purely materialistic philosophy is to me the height of unintelligence. Wise men in all ages have always seen enough to at least make them reverent.”


    So when you say "fallices" you insullt some of the greatest minds in the scientific world.

    big
    Fallacies are fallacies, no matter who makes them. You are committing the fallacy of "appeal to authority."
    NO

    I just agree with greater minds than yours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    So when you say "fallices" you insullt some of the greatest minds in the scientific world.
    You seem to have reading comprehension problems as well. I wasn't commenting on the existence of God or otherwise. I was merely pointing out your flawed logic. And logic does not depend on point of view.

    And, yes, appeal to authority is another logical fallacy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    So when you say "fallices" you insullt some of the greatest minds in the scientific world.
    You seem to have reading comprehension problems as well. I wasn't commenting on the existence of God or otherwise. I was merely pointing out your flawed logic. And logic does not depend on point of view.

    And, yes, appeal to authority is another logical fallacy.
    Thred = "Is there a testable religion."

    I think you have missed the point of this thread, as above!

    Some of the worlds greatest scientific minds used what they had lernt about the world around them and tested it against what they understand about God and when they put the two sets of ideas side by side they saw the work of God in the world, thus tested thier religion and it proved to be right!!!

    So I suggest you rethink? You just seem dogmatic.

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    What? Do you know what religion means? Universally we get religious to unity, and pleasure. Swear people are in the sand. WAKE UP!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    Thred = "Is there a testable religion."

    I think you have missed the point of this thread, as above!

    Some of the worlds greatest scientific minds used what they had lernt about the world around them and tested it against what they understand about God and when they put the two sets of ideas side by side they saw the work of God in the world, thus tested thier religion and it proved to be right!!!

    So I suggest you rethink? You just seem dogmatic.

    big
    All of which is totally irrelevant. You said this:
    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    You use The Bible to explain The Bible, that will show the testable religion and which one will pass the test of being from The Bible.
    Which is the logical fallacy of "begging the question".

    That is all I wanted to point out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    Thred = "Is there a testable religion."

    I think you have missed the point of this thread, as above!

    Some of the worlds greatest scientific minds used what they had lernt about the world around them and tested it against what they understand about God and when they put the two sets of ideas side by side they saw the work of God in the world, thus tested thier religion and it proved to be right!!!

    So I suggest you rethink? You just seem dogmatic.

    big
    All of which is totally irrelevant. You said this:
    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    You use The Bible to explain The Bible, that will show the testable religion and which one will pass the test of being from The Bible.
    Which is the logical fallacy of "begging the question".

    That is all I wanted to point out.
    Logic but no fallacy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    Logic but no fallacy.
    It is such an obvious fallacy that it is even used as an example in the Wikipedia entry for Begging the Question.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Is any religion testable in any way?
    What do you want to test?

    Does anyone believe it? That could be tested; e.g. carrying out a survey or census.

    Does it have benefits for those who believe it? That could be tested; e.g. Seventh Day Adventists are found to have longer healthy lives than the average for their community.

    Do its gods or god exist? Probably can't be tested (other than Pascal's Wager).

    Does any holy scripture contain even one fact?
    Of course. They often mention real places, people and events.
    I don't ask a lot really. I only want to find just one fact that is unique to holy scripture. It could be proof of God, such as one thing which was communicated that humans did not know already or could not have been imagined, or some sort of artefact which would point to God's divine mission to Earth. If there is a god then this planet must be pretty special considering that there could be as many as 1 trillion planets in the Milky Way Galaxy alone. Now if only 1% are capable of life, then...you know the rest!
    If the 7D Adventists have longer lives than average I don't see what this suggests. People that do yoga are sometimes seen to live longer.
    Holy scripture does indeed mention real places people and events, but again I don't see what that proves. Charles Dickens's novel A Tale of Two Cities mentions London and Paris but it doesn't mean the rest was real. According to the Bible the Israelites stormed the city of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down. In reality the chronology has been proved wrong because Jericho was not a city at the time of Joshua and it didn't have any walls.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    But this reminds me that you can't really have a Scientific Study of Religion because religion by its very nature is not testable in the same way that a scientific or economic model is testable.
    Then please quit posting.
    I don't have a problem with religion being scientifically examined provided scientific methods are applied. If some guy comes up with an hypothesis that the Earth is a living organism as with the Gaia theory, then we can apply scientific testing to verify it. So why can't we do it with religion? There are people out there who are Christian Scientists who do not apply science at all. They believe in some mighty strange things and they are wrong. There are people who believe in a recent earth history. There are those who will not question virgin births or people rising from the dead. Surely it is the job of science to examine these claims and confirm or deny them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I only want to find just one fact that is unique to holy scripture.
    If it is unique to holy scripture how would you determine if it was true or not?

    If the 7D Adventists have longer lives than average I don't see what this suggests.
    It shows that [the effects of] religion can be tested. hat was what you asked about. (The results are due to diet.)

    Holy scripture does indeed mention real places people and events, but again I don't see what that proves.
    It answers the question, "Does any holy scripture contain even one fact?"
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    Of course religion can be tested. The psychology of the believers can be tested; the beliefs themselves can be tested; the claims can be tested as well.
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    Religion is a natural entity, please respect vocabulary, also a natural entity.

    Christianity, is bunk. Like the rest of "them."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I only want to find just one fact that is unique to holy scripture.
    If it is unique to holy scripture how would you determine if it was true or not?
    Try the bible story of cosmic creation. While all ancient cultures had their own creation myths, the biblical one could actually be dated at October 22nd 4004 BC. They had effectively scientifically examined the scripture, but they were wrong, so that is not fact. But monotheists present scripture as fact to children, but to adults they present it as faith. They know where the money is. Believe me, if theists held any unique fact which has been confirmed by science or archaeology we would all be constantly reminded of it. In contrast, the scientific findings of cosmic creation is presented not as absolute fact, but as theory, to allow for the possibility of any further refinement. When geological hammers were being heard in the nineteenth century it sent shock waves through the christian community. Could this undermine the scripture? They consoled each other by saying that God had deliberately placed sea fossils on the tops of mountains in order to test out faith. This says everything about the theists sense of reason, because in this they are sadly lacking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Try the bible story of cosmic creation. While all ancient cultures had their own creation myths, the biblical one could actually be dated at October 22nd 4004 BC. They had effectively scientifically examined the scripture, but they were wrong, so that is not fact. But monotheists present scripture as fact to children, but to adults they present it as faith. They know where the money is. Believe me, if theists held any unique fact which has been confirmed by science or archaeology we would all be constantly reminded of it. In contrast, the scientific findings of cosmic creation is presented not as absolute fact, but as theory, to allow for the possibility of any further refinement. When geological hammers were being heard in the nineteenth century it sent shock waves through the christian community. Could this undermine the scripture? They consoled each other by saying that God had deliberately placed sea fossils on the tops of mountains in order to test out faith. This says everything about the theists sense of reason, because in this they are sadly lacking.
    As you say, it is trivial to falsify the Biblical story of creation. Therefore: Yes, it is testable (the answer to your original question).

    But I would point out that you appear to be assigning a minority view (Christian literalism) to the vast majority of Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Shintoists, etc who don't agree with it.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    [/QUOTE]

    YES

    You use The Bible to explain The Bible, that will show the testable religion and which one will pass the test of being from The Bible.

    big[/QUOTE]

    So how do you prove your god is real and all the others are not? Circular reasoning is just making claims to justify other claims...
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    [QUOTE=BELIEVERINGOD;374363]
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Some of the worlds greatest scientific minds used what they had lernt about the world around them and tested it against what they understand about God and when they put the two sets of ideas side by side they saw the work of God in the world, thus tested thier religion and it proved to be right!!!
    Is there any chance you can show us some examples of this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BELIEVERINGOD View Post
    You use The Bible to explain The Bible
    Must be nice to be the bad wolf, Rose. If I could justify my word with my word, the world would be a much easier place.

    The idea that God created himself in a virgin, then sacrificed himself in order to save us from himself is an idea you must be pretty comfortable accepting.

    For me, I'm more comfortable with the idea that the Bible was written by the hands of men. Just like any other book. I take it at face value, which is to say; it's a lovely collection of stories.

    Although, to be fair, I think about 80% of the planet overreacts to Harry Potter books, too. So what do I know...
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    For me, I'm more comfortable with the idea that the Bible was written by the hands of men. Just like any other book. I take it at face value, which is to say; it's a lovely collection of stories.
    Although, to be fair, I think about 80% of the planet overreacts to Harry Potter books, too. So what do I know...
    I'm not so sure how many people (even American Presidents) have in the past been able to separate fact from fiction. As a child you are told of Father Christmas and for a while you believe it, so when it comes to the complexity of scripture you might even believe it for the rest of your life. When you are informed that it is holy and divine then this further adds to its credibility. It seems pretty harmless at times, but there is a genuine problem here. There is a battle going on today between belief and evidence. For sure, science has made mistakes and it will continue to do so, but it does at least admit to its mistakes.
    If history has taught us anything, it is that when belief is perverted into blinkered dogma, reason and logic are abandoned and humanity suffers. Belief versus evidence has moved beyond a battle for intellectual or religious supremacy and become the keystone in the future of humanity.
    Can I make one more appeal. Will any theist provide just one fact which is written down in their scripture which can be evaluated to point to the origin of the universe and life. This must be a fact which has been confirmed by science which up to its theoretical or practical discovery had not been anticipated. It shouldn't be that difficult should it with all you have to work with?
    Last edited by ox; December 11th, 2012 at 07:12 AM.
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    Have you ever studied Islam? Because all religions have contradictions in their scriptures, but I've yet to find one in the Quran.
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    I don't think we need to go into a debate about contradictions in the Quran. Dozens of websites do that already. But it makes me shudder when I hear that children and adults are still being taught by muslim clerics that the earth is flat and it is at the centre of the universe and it is only 6000 years old. I don't normally have any problem with muslims. My girlfriend is muslim and I have other muslim friends. I am just asking for one fact which can prove that scripture is not man made.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I don't think we need to go into a debate about contradictions in the Quran. Dozens of websites do that already. But it makes me shudder when I hear that children and adults are still being taught by muslim clerics that the earth is flat and it is at the centre of the universe and it is only 6000 years old. I don't normally have any problem with muslims. My girlfriend is muslim and I have other muslim friends. I am just asking for one fact which can prove that scripture is not man made.
    I used to be a practicing Muslim and my kids went to a private Muslim school inside a mosque but when they brought home their earth science homework I never saw any remarks about the earth being flat or only 6000 years old. I have seen the occasional youtube showing some weird old Muslim guy claiming the earth is flat and claiming it says so in the Quran but his references are always out of wack and other Muslims would usually regard the guy as senile.

    I guess Muslims can possibly have their sect of young earth creationists as well. But I never encountered them. If i had, especially in school, I would have left Islam a lot sooner than I did. Actually I never would have converted to it in the first place. There is a lot of pro science propaganda sent out from Muslim evangelist organizations (they will deny evangelism til they are blue in the face but they evangelize as much as any Christian sect.) Using psuedoscientific claims of the Qur'an and pointing out how they supposedly line up with science. That is what lured me in. But then I started looking up the actual science behind the claims and found it to be BS. This was one of the contributing factors to me leaving the religion.

    One claim if you want to look it up, I don't remember specific ayat numbers or anything but it is claimed in the Quran that a human embryo resembles a piece of chewed gum and because if you look at an embryo at the right angle it does sort of look like a piece of come if it were bitten in a very particular fashion. Another claim has to do with the salinity of the red sea and how the salt water is kept separate from the fresh. It all looks good when you want faith and you want to believe that something out there wants you to live. But when you give up the need for holy validation you realize that shit just happens and some day no one will care or remember that you ever lived you better able to see the claims for what they were.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    You're right. Websites talk of contradictions in the quran, but all those contradictions have been turned away with amazing explanations from muslim scholars. So those contradictions are not really contradiction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I don't think we need to go into a debate about contradictions in the Quran. Dozens of websites do that already. But it makes me shudder when I hear that children and adults are still being taught by muslim clerics that the earth is flat and it is at the centre of the universe and it is only 6000 years old. I don't normally have any problem with muslims. My girlfriend is muslim and I have other muslim friends. I am just asking for one fact which can prove that scripture is not man made.
    besides, 6000 years old? The quran does not say that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I don't think we need to go into a debate about contradictions in the Quran. Dozens of websites do that already. But it makes me shudder when I hear that children and adults are still being taught by muslim clerics that the earth is flat and it is at the centre of the universe and it is only 6000 years old. I don't normally have any problem with muslims. My girlfriend is muslim and I have other muslim friends. I am just asking for one fact which can prove that scripture is not man made.
    I used to be a practicing Muslim and my kids went to a private Muslim school inside a mosque but when they brought home their earth science homework I never saw any remarks about the earth being flat or only 6000 years old. I have seen the occasional youtube showing some weird old Muslim guy claiming the earth is flat and claiming it says so in the Quran but his references are always out of wack and other Muslims would usually regard the guy as senile.

    I guess Muslims can possibly have their sect of young earth creationists as well. But I never encountered them. If i had, especially in school, I would have left Islam a lot sooner than I did. Actually I never would have converted to it in the first place. There is a lot of pro science propaganda sent out from Muslim evangelist organizations (they will deny evangelism til they are blue in the face but they evangelize as much as any Christian sect.) Using psuedoscientific claims of the Qur'an and pointing out how they supposedly line up with science. That is what lured me in. But then I started looking up the actual science behind the claims and found it to be BS. This was one of the contributing factors to me leaving the religion.

    One claim if you want to look it up, I don't remember specific ayat numbers or anything but it is claimed in the Quran that a human embryo resembles a piece of chewed gum and because if you look at an embryo at the right angle it does sort of look like a piece of come if it were bitten in a very particular fashion. Another claim has to do with the salinity of the red sea and how the salt water is kept separate from the fresh. It all looks good when you want faith and you want to believe that something out there wants you to live. But when you give up the need for holy validation you realize that shit just happens and some day no one will care or remember that you ever lived you better able to see the claims for what they were.
    Muslims do have sects, and our Allah has warned us not to do that, but you see, things happened. In the end though, one should see the religion through it's holy book. And the sciences in the quran prouved to be bs? I don't see how.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WisdomSeeker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I don't think we need to go into a debate about contradictions in the Quran. Dozens of websites do that already. But it makes me shudder when I hear that children and adults are still being taught by muslim clerics that the earth is flat and it is at the centre of the universe and it is only 6000 years old. I don't normally have any problem with muslims. My girlfriend is muslim and I have other muslim friends. I am just asking for one fact which can prove that scripture is not man made.
    I used to be a practicing Muslim and my kids went to a private Muslim school inside a mosque but when they brought home their earth science homework I never saw any remarks about the earth being flat or only 6000 years old. I have seen the occasional youtube showing some weird old Muslim guy claiming the earth is flat and claiming it says so in the Quran but his references are always out of wack and other Muslims would usually regard the guy as senile.

    I guess Muslims can possibly have their sect of young earth creationists as well. But I never encountered them. If i had, especially in school, I would have left Islam a lot sooner than I did. Actually I never would have converted to it in the first place. There is a lot of pro science propaganda sent out from Muslim evangelist organizations (they will deny evangelism til they are blue in the face but they evangelize as much as any Christian sect.) Using psuedoscientific claims of the Qur'an and pointing out how they supposedly line up with science. That is what lured me in. But then I started looking up the actual science behind the claims and found it to be BS. This was one of the contributing factors to me leaving the religion.

    One claim if you want to look it up, I don't remember specific ayat numbers or anything but it is claimed in the Quran that a human embryo resembles a piece of chewed gum and because if you look at an embryo at the right angle it does sort of look like a piece of come if it were bitten in a very particular fashion. Another claim has to do with the salinity of the red sea and how the salt water is kept separate from the fresh. It all looks good when you want faith and you want to believe that something out there wants you to live. But when you give up the need for holy validation you realize that shit just happens and some day no one will care or remember that you ever lived you better able to see the claims for what they were.
    Muslims do have sects, and our Allah has warned us not to do that, but you see, things happened. In the end though, one should see the religion through it's holy book. And the sciences in the quran prouved to be bs? I don't see how.

    When I started questioning things I took various claims from hadith and/or the Quran and presented them to people I knew to be knowledgable in the feilds of science relavant to the claims. I did not tell them where the claims came from but asked them to explain the claims and any validity they held. At the same time I asked scholars to put the claims in terms I could understand better, then reiterated the claims in my own words to see if they felt I had a firm grasp of the claim. it was then this confirmed accurate paraphrasing that I passed on to scientists to verify the claims and to determine if the knowledge was obtainable at the time it was presented. Some of the reports came back inconclusive to validity but most came back as bunk. I would expect a truly holy book presented by an omnipotent being to have better odds than that. Needless to say I was devastated at the realization I had come to considering I had risked my own life and those of my children for the sake of my Muslim faith. I wanted my faith to be justified but it was not.

    So in keeping with the op, you can say that Islam is a testable religion. I tested it and it failed. I am sure other religions and the claims made in their texts can be tested. But a claim alone is not the religion itself.

    Forgive me for not going into specifics of my inquiry on Islam. it was a test for my own benefit and I have no desire to strip anyone of their faith or to insult a belief that is so dear to you. I think Islam, outside of the verses that are clearly easy to interpret to support bigotry and violence against dissenters, offers a lot of wisdom and promotes a lot of healthy habits, such as staying clean. I see it as one of the most practical religions.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by WisdomSeeker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I don't think we need to go into a debate about contradictions in the Quran. Dozens of websites do that already. But it makes me shudder when I hear that children and adults are still being taught by muslim clerics that the earth is flat and it is at the centre of the universe and it is only 6000 years old. I don't normally have any problem with muslims. My girlfriend is muslim and I have other muslim friends. I am just asking for one fact which can prove that scripture is not man made.
    I used to be a practicing Muslim and my kids went to a private Muslim school inside a mosque but when they brought home their earth science homework I never saw any remarks about the earth being flat or only 6000 years old. I have seen the occasional youtube showing some weird old Muslim guy claiming the earth is flat and claiming it says so in the Quran but his references are always out of wack and other Muslims would usually regard the guy as senile.

    I guess Muslims can possibly have their sect of young earth creationists as well. But I never encountered them. If i had, especially in school, I would have left Islam a lot sooner than I did. Actually I never would have converted to it in the first place. There is a lot of pro science propaganda sent out from Muslim evangelist organizations (they will deny evangelism til they are blue in the face but they evangelize as much as any Christian sect.) Using psuedoscientific claims of the Qur'an and pointing out how they supposedly line up with science. That is what lured me in. But then I started looking up the actual science behind the claims and found it to be BS. This was one of the contributing factors to me leaving the religion.

    One claim if you want to look it up, I don't remember specific ayat numbers or anything but it is claimed in the Quran that a human embryo resembles a piece of chewed gum and because if you look at an embryo at the right angle it does sort of look like a piece of come if it were bitten in a very particular fashion. Another claim has to do with the salinity of the red sea and how the salt water is kept separate from the fresh. It all looks good when you want faith and you want to believe that something out there wants you to live. But when you give up the need for holy validation you realize that shit just happens and some day no one will care or remember that you ever lived you better able to see the claims for what they were.
    Muslims do have sects, and our Allah has warned us not to do that, but you see, things happened. In the end though, one should see the religion through it's holy book. And the sciences in the quran prouved to be bs? I don't see how.

    When I started questioning things I took various claims from hadith and/or the Quran and presented them to people I knew to be knowledgable in the feilds of science relavant to the claims. I did not tell them where the claims came from but asked them to explain the claims and any validity they held. At the same time I asked scholars to put the claims in terms I could understand better, then reiterated the claims in my own words to see if they felt I had a firm grasp of the claim. it was then this confirmed accurate paraphrasing that I passed on to scientists to verify the claims and to determine if the knowledge was obtainable at the time it was presented. Some of the reports came back inconclusive to validity but most came back as bunk. I would expect a truly holy book presented by an omnipotent being to have better odds than that. Needless to say I was devastated at the realization I had come to considering I had risked my own life and those of my children for the sake of my Muslim faith. I wanted my faith to be justified but it was not.

    So in keeping with the op, you can say that Islam is a testable religion. I tested it and it failed. I am sure other religions and the claims made in their texts can be tested. But a claim alone is not the religion itself.

    Forgive me for not going into specifics of my inquiry on Islam. it was a test for my own benefit and I have no desire to strip anyone of their faith or to insult a belief that is so dear to you. I think Islam, outside of the verses that are clearly easy to interpret to support bigotry and violence against dissenters, offers a lot of wisdom and promotes a lot of healthy habits, such as staying clean. I see it as one of the most practical religions.
    Don't ask me for forgiveness, and atleast you don't follow religion blindly, which is a good thing. As for asking other people, I've done the same, without telling them were I got things from, and for me it did not fail. I understand, and thanks for being so kind rather then rude and arrogant. Honestly, I've been in Islam, then half out and now I hope God will keep me in for life. So I should hope you will find your way back. You know what they say, even goodness the weight of a grain will help you in front of Allah.
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    Howzit going ox?
    Still bashing religion? Good reliable ox
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Is any religion testable in any way?.
    Yes!
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Does any holy scripture contain even one fact?
    Strictly speaking: No... But eh ...some religion perhaps has some facts in, it but I suppose that is of no consequence because there are no holy texts.
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I have never found anything other than myth, fable, interpolation and contradiction.
    Admit it you are lazy! You just didnt research them ALL!
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post

    I have heard it argued a few times that Buddhism is a testable religion. Presumably they mean that buddhists are more content.
    How can that safely be presumed? There are better ways. According to buddhistic dogma life is pain so life is paradise for masochists.

    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post

    Studies suggest otherwise. People in some of the least religious countries are happiest such as Scandinavia for instance.
    Yeah! We swedes are blessed.
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post

    Not only that, Buddhism is not really a true religion if it does not worship a god.
    Nah! Religiosity is NOT really about the semantic content of the credo! Its the attitude towards that content that counts! Anything from sticks and stones to science and philosophy can be worshipped! Theres where the true sickness resides not in the object selected for the worshipers. When will you face facts?

    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post


    I guess some criteria for testing must include a change in demeanour towards a better life, the relinquishing of material wealth (rewards in heaven), altruism based purely on scripture.
    Yawn!!! Sorry what did you say?

    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post

    I was a Catholic once. I think I became a better person when I broke away and started to think for myself what was right and wrong
    Youre absolutely correct (What a surprise!)
    But as with children if they dont get the proper stimulation when its needed
    irreparable damage occurs. You will never become a healthy intellect.
    You are forever a reformed Xian. Damaged goods.
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post

    I feel sure that Paul Dirac was more or less right when he said:
    I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards—in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.
    I oppose: Dirac shows symtoms of an early religious addiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post


    Okay, so religion helps keeps the peace among the poor, and maybe that's one reason for its invention. But this reminds me that you can't really have a Scientific Study of Religion because religion by its very nature is not testable in the same way that a scientific or economic model is testable.
    And you think YOUR belief was some kind of proof. You still carry the religious stigmata: Unfounded belief!
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    Quote sigurdv:
    Admit it you are lazy! You just didnt research them ALL!
    Yeah, okay I'm a bit of a lazy ox. I do prefer others to have done my thinking for me rather than blindly rely on scripture which contains no logic at all, and certainly no unrelenting logic that it would take to prove the existence of God.
    Until the age of eighteen I continued to believe in a Deist's God, because the First-Cause argument seemed to me irrefutable. Then in John Stuart Mill's Autobiography I found that James Mill had taught him the refutation of that argument-namely, that it gives no answer to the question "Who made God?"
    Actually that wasn't me, it was the philosopher/mathematician Bertrand Russell, but it could have been me. If God created the universe then what created God? And if that was something else, then what created that, and so on. Russell had found an argument which then enabled him to think for himself. We owe a huge amount to the likes of Russell and Dirac and Darwin and Dawkins. These are my personal favourites and they are all English.
    There is no getting away from the fact that if you are a scientifically illiterate theist you are a creationist, and you come of age in this world when you start to doubt these beliefs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote sigurdv:
    Admit it you are lazy! You just didnt research them ALL!
    Yeah, okay I'm a bit of a lazy ox. I do prefer others to have done my thinking for me rather than blindly rely on scripture which contains no logic at all, and certainly no unrelenting logic that it would take to prove the existence of God.
    Until the age of eighteen I continued to believe in a Deist's God, because the First-Cause argument seemed to me irrefutable. Then in John Stuart Mill's Autobiography I found that James Mill had taught him the refutation of that argument-namely, that it gives no answer to the question "Who made God?"
    Actually that wasn't me, it was the philosopher/mathematician Bertrand Russell, but it could have been me. If God created the universe then what created God? And if that was something else, then what created that, and so on. Russell had found an argument which then enabled him to think for himself. We owe a huge amount to the likes of Russell and Dirac and Darwin and Dawkins. These are my personal favourites and they are all English.
    There is no getting away from the fact that if you are a scientifically illiterate theist you are a creationist, and you come of age in this world when you start to doubt these beliefs.

    This time I applaud you! Not a nanogram of sarcasm in me in this moment. I really think this explaining above is Excellent!
    It needs just a few corrections: AGAIN NO SARCASM.

    so. yOU THINK THERES SOMETHING WRONG IN THE FOLLOWING PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF GOD: (SORRY FOR SHOUTINGthat damned caps lock hits the text again...and im lazy...let it stay. You have thought the proof through earlier in your life, perhaps not in the words I use... But youre a scientist and should be able to make sense of formulae:

    (0) Definition: if x is a cause of existense then x is a god
    (1) for every x theres a cause y and it is not the case that x=y (causality principle)
    (2) there is existence (observational fact)
    (3) there is a god (conclusion)

    And gods existence is proven.
    This is close to the first cause principle
    the difference is that there is no quantifier in this proof.
    It says only there is at least one god...so there may be more!

    You must now be given time to check my reasoning so far.
    I really feel slightly embarrassed making fun of you
    (no real insult ever was intended I was only kidding)
    each other time we meet. Please accept my apologies.
    (But my arrogance probably still will defeat me each other time we meet...
    we will see...wont we?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    (0) Definition: if x is a cause of existense then x is a god
    (1) for every x theres a cause y and it is not the case that x=y (causality principle)
    (2) there is existence (observational fact)
    (3) there is a god (conclusion)
    And gods existence is proven.
    This is close to the first cause principle
    the difference is that there is no quantifier in this proof.
    It says only there is at least one god...so there may be more!
    Very impressive, but with at least one major fault, and you can't get away with pseudologic like that.
    Theists love to talk about perfection, but they are wrong. The Universe is governed by entropy and not perfection. If there is entropy then that alone should be proof that there is no such thing as God as described by the monotheists. Entropy proves that not only is everything imperfect but the Universe itself is dying. Why should God's intention be to kill his creation?
    The idea of god or gods is one which through the ages has been reinterpreted by nearly every single generation. It is logical to assume that this will continue. The repressed state of Man's consciousness in the Universe is the most likely cause of his belief in the almighty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Theists love to talk about perfection, but they are wrong.
    Yes they are..

    The repressed state of Man's consciousness in the Universe is the most likely cause of his belief in the almighty.
    how would you suggest is the best way to unrepress Man's state of consciousness?

    ---
    <backstory>
    I am Pro-God.
    I am Anti-Religion.
    if you pick apart religion, i will join you..
    if you pick apart God, i will throw your own words against you..(same arguments apply to both sides of the issue)
    do not assume i believe in God the same as others..
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    Quote Originally Posted by NMSquirrel View Post

    ---
    <backstory>
    I am Pro-God.
    I am Anti-Religion.
    if you pick apart religion, i will join you..
    if you pick apart God, i will throw your own words against you..(same arguments apply to both sides of the issue)
    do not assume i believe in God the same as others..
    Sounds interesting. Glad we got your problems sorted.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Sounds interesting. Glad we got your problems sorted.
    Thank you..
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    Quote Originally Posted by NMSquirrel View Post
    if you pick apart God, i will throw your own words against you..(same arguments apply to both sides of the issue)
    Could throw worse things. But of course, if you throw my words back against me, it'll only be clear you couldn't come up with a better argument.
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    Hey NMSquirrel, glad to see you here.

    ______________________________________________

    I have been rereading this thread and there is one statement that was made that I see repeated over and over by my fellow atheists that bugs me. Maybe I am just mincing words or being nitpicky. I am guilty of this more often than I like to admit but this one really bothers me.

    The statement:
    For sure, science has made mistakes and it will continue to do so, but it does at least admit to its mistakes.
    or any of its equal variations.

    It comes across weird to me because it sounds as if science is being talked about like it is a living thing that has a mind of its own, thinks and plans and has an agenda of its own. Science is a process. Like oil painting is a process. The process if practiced with skill of hand can produce stunning results, but when its done wrong, you end up with a mess. Science does not make mistakes. Science was not created by humans. It was discovered by humans. HUMANS make mistakes in executing science. HUMANS make mistakes in interpreting the results of science. The process of science on any topic can be left incomplete due to lack of data, but that does not mean that it has failed or that it is wrong.

    Humans who practice science are USUALLY willing to admit mistakes in their execution of science or that another human's execution of science was better but scientists sometimes resist opposition to their views as vehemently as any devout theist will defend their beliefs. Sometimes, those scientists end up humiliated when their peers go over the results of the scientific processes used and determine that the one so diligently defending their research has committed a major flaw that led to their final result. Sometimes they discover that a piece of data that had no been previously considered was vital to the new interpretation of the results of the process. But this never means that science was wrong or mistaken or that science itself admits a mistake. To err is human, someone once said.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NMSquirrel View Post
    ox:The repressed state of Man's consciousness in the Universe is the most likely cause of his belief in the almighty.
    NMSquirrel: how would you suggest is the best way to unrepress Man's state of consciousness?
    Probably to stop taking for granted the existence of God. Theists and philosophers down the ages have taken up far too much time in thinking about God.
    Let's remind ourselves of St. Thomas Aqininas's 5 'Proofs' of God's existence.

    1. There must have been a first mover. That mover was God.
    2. There must have been a first maker. That maker was God.
    3. Only God could create something out of nothing.
    4. Humans relate to high standards. Therefore there must be a perfect being called God.
    5. There is design in nature. The designer was God.

    As the first 3 are virtually the same that leaves us with 3 'proofs'.
    There is also St. Anselm's ontological argument: If the mind can conceive of a perfect being then God must exist.
    He does at least concede that it could all be in the imagination, and he was right there. All primitive peoples believed that if you could imagine something then it must exist, and we can still relate to this even today. Sometimes it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. And no wonder. The Universe has no single history as it plays out all possible histories. And our minds can only build a model of the world around us (model dependant realism).
    We further have to make our minds up about theological or scientific determinism. According to Aquinas there was not chance but only intention governed by God. Even Kepler believed that the orbiting planets had a mind of their own. Maybe he was influenced by Aquinas and obviously we now know it to be false.

    So may I humbly suggest Ox's 5 Proofs of the non existence of God.
    1. Everything is doomed to destruction by the process of entropy. Even soaring cathedrals will fall down one day.
    2. The Big Bang Theory proves that creation does not need a creator.
    3. Evolution by natural selection proves that design does not need a designer.
    4. The Uncertainty Principle proves that there is no perfection.
    5. The future cannot ultimately be determined, however you try. Theological determinism is pure fantasy.

    There is also Ox's Creed, as a substitute for all the fictional theological creeds:

    I believe in the revelation of science to describe all things visible and invisible, but of what cannot be known, I am content to be ignorant.
    When I have no knowledge I have no faith.
    I will not bind myself to my state of mind today, because it is my duty to become wiser tomorrow.
    I will never surrender my own consent, nor require the consent of another, to anything that cannot be proved by evidence or demonstrated by reason.
    Happy Sol Invictus (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere)

    Love ox.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Theists and philosophers down the ages have taken up far too much time in thinking about God.
    It does seem to take up approximately 100 percent of your time.

    Your "proof" is silly, as a hypothetical God would not be bound by physical laws.
    Last edited by Harold14370; December 21st, 2012 at 11:48 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Hey NMSquirrel, glad to see you here.
    just to prove my point about the same argument applying to both sides of the argument..:



    <edits mine>_____________________________________________ _

    I have been rereading this thread and there is one statement that was made that I see repeated over and over by my fellow atheists that bugs me. Maybe I am just mincing words or being nitpicky. I am guilty of this more often than I like to admit but this one really bothers me.

    The statement:
    For sure, Religion has made mistakes and it will continue to do so, but it does at least admit to its mistakes.(ok..maybe religion doesnt admit its mistakes)
    or any of its equal variations.

    It comes across weird to me because it sounds as if Religion is being talked about like it is a living thing that has a mind of its own, thinks and plans and has an agenda of its own.< Religion is a process. Like oil painting is a process.>(religion is a process) The process if practiced with skill of hand can produce stunning results, but when its done wrong, you end up with a mess. Religion does not make mistakes. Religion was not created by humans. HUMANS make mistakes in executing Religion. HUMANS make mistakes in interpreting the results of Religion. The process of Religion on any topic can be left incomplete due to lack of data, but that does not mean that it has failed or that it is wrong.

    Humans who practice Religion are USUALLY <Not> willing to admit mistakes in their execution of Religion or that another human's execution of Religion was better but Religious leaders sometimes resist opposition to their views as vehemently as any devout scientists will defend their beliefs. Sometimes, those Religicos end up humiliated when their peers go over the results of their processes used and determine that the one so diligently defending their research has committed a major flaw that led to their final result. Sometimes they discover that a piece of data that had no been previously considered was vital to the new interpretation of the results of the process. But this never means that Religion was wrong or mistaken or that Religion itself admits a mistake. To err is human, someone once said.
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    NMSquirrel, you missed the point.

    Science is not a thing. It's not something that does or does not make mistakes. Throwing the wording back doesn't apply.
    The scientific method was devised as a means of sidestepping human bias.

    Even so, your word replacement was interesting and hit the mark on a couple of occasions anyway. If you agree with everything just said (It's possible you don't because you mirrored and replaced word "science" with word "religion") then it shows an interesting viewpoint that many would not share due to their faith.
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    The argument didn't bounce back exactly, since a couple of "not"s had to be added in and others crossed out, changing the dynamic of the argument, but I agree, some very good points are made about religion that very few of faith will allow themselves to see and so your post is still very good, especially coming from someone of faith.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    (0) Definition: if x is a cause of existense then x is a god
    (1) for every x theres a cause y and it is not the case that x=y (causality principle)
    (2) there is existence (observational fact)
    (3) there is a god (conclusion)
    And gods existence is proven.
    This is close to the first cause principle
    the difference is that there is no quantifier in this proof.
    It says only there is at least one god...so there may be more!
    Very impressive, but with at least one major fault, and you can't get away with pseudologic like that.
    Theists love to talk about perfection, but they are wrong. The Universe is governed by entropy and not perfection. If there is entropy then that alone should be proof that there is no such thing as God as described by the monotheists. Entropy proves that not only is everything imperfect but the Universe itself is dying. Why should God's intention be to kill his creation?
    The idea of god or gods is one which through the ages has been reinterpreted by nearly every single generation. It is logical to assume that this will continue. The repressed state of Man's consciousness in the Universe is the most likely cause of his belief in the almighty.
    Hi old friend! I just love to read your essays! Im sitting here trying to understand your latest. I begin and read the beginning two words: WHAM! What did he say?
    And I must check again...One of these days ill begin reading the third word but I have the suspicion this essay of yours will defeat me. It will probably keep me reading forever... Ok its a bad joke I know... its intended as a praise

    Ill check the end of first argument...A god killing his creation...yes thats a ridiculous god allright. argument accepted. But then your leaving the path to wisdom. But damn you, you are so close to my own thinking here so i wont force you to translate for instance :
    "The repressed state of Man's consciousness in the Universe".
    I dont understand your details but I think your thinking is basically sound. Surprised?

    Heres an exercise: Suppose the only possible way for god to create our universe was to commit suicide.
    Did he do the right thing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Is any religion testable in any way? Does any holy scripture contain even one fact? I have never found anything other than myth, fable, interpolation and contradiction. I have heard it argued a few times that Buddhism is a testable religion. Presumably they mean that buddhists are more content. Studies suggest otherwise. People in some of the least religious countries are happiest such as Scandinavia for instance. Not only that, Buddhism is not really a true religion if it does not worship a god.
    I guess some criteria for testing must include a change in demeanour towards a better life, the relinquishing of material wealth (rewards in heaven), altruism based purely on scripture. I was a Catholic once. I think I became a better person when I broke away and started to think for myself what was right and wrong.
    I feel sure that Paul Dirac was more or less right when he said:
    I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards—in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.
    Okay, so religion helps keeps the peace among the poor, and maybe that's one reason for its invention. But this reminds me that you can't really have a Scientific Study of Religion because religion by its very nature is not testable in the same way that a scientific or economic model is testable.

    If any of the following things were provable, perhaps they could be a test?

    In Tibetan Buddhism when their religious leader the "Dali Lama" dies, they search for him again. In ways like, showing lots of children the departed religious leaders personal possessions. They then find a child believed to be the reincarnation of the departed leader, and then that child takes his place.
    Dalai Lama - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    The Catholic church proclaims Saints. They state you need to perform 1 or 2 miracles to become a Saint.
    Miracle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Some church groups handle dangerous poisonous snakes, with their bare hands, as if the snake was tame, and non venomous. But some of these people get bitten, so this appears to (not) be a good proving test.
    'Serpent-Handling' West Virginia Pastor Dies From Snake Bite - ABC News


    This link also show miricles performed by other religions, besides Christianity.
    Miracle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    It would seem to me that predicting the future, could also be a test for religion.
    Last edited by chad; December 23rd, 2012 at 01:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    If any of the following things were provable, perhaps they could be a test?
    In Tibetan Buddhism when their religious leader the "Dali Lama" dies, they search for him again. In ways like, showing lots of children the departed religious leaders personal possessions. They then find a child believed to be the reincarnation of the departed leader, and then that child takes his place.
    Dalai Lama - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Bunkum. There is no reincarnation. If there was, the reincarnated would remember events in previous lives which could then be verified. In the case of the Dalai Lama, if he had the powers which Tibetans claim, then the Chinese would have been flushed out of Tibet by now.
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    The Catholic church proclaims Saints. They state you need to perform 1 or 2 miracles to become a Saint.
    Miracle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Bunkum. Take the miracles claimed to have taken place at Lourdes in France after the supposed appearance of the Virgin Mary. When these were investigated, and there have been many, it was found that only a handful could not be explained, and none could be attributed to saintly intercession. I live quite near to another place where the Virgin was witnessed, at Evesham in Worcestershire, England. There are no recorded miracles there.
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    Some church groups handle dangerous poisonous snakes, with their bare hands, as if the snake was tame, and none venomous. But some of these people get bitten, so this appears to (not) be a good test.
    'Serpent-Handling' West Virginia Pastor Dies From Snake Bite - ABC News
    Bunkum indeed.
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    This link also show miricles performed by other religions, besides Christianity.
    Miracle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Bunkum.
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    It would seem to me that predicting the future, could also be a test for religion.
    Yes, and when I got up this morning I was mightily relieved to find the Mayan religion was wrong. The world was due to end yesterday.
    I think you will find that prediction is very difficult, especially when it comes to the future!
    Last edited by ox; December 22nd, 2012 at 07:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Is any religion testable in any way? Does any holy scripture contain even one fact? I have never found anything other than myth, fable, interpolation and contradiction. I have heard it argued a few times that Buddhism is a testable religion. Presumably they mean that buddhists are more content. Studies suggest otherwise. People in some of the least religious countries are happiest such as Scandinavia for instance. Not only that, Buddhism is not really a true religion if it does not worship a god.
    I guess some criteria for testing must include a change in demeanour towards a better life, the relinquishing of material wealth (rewards in heaven), altruism based purely on scripture. I was a Catholic once. I think I became a better person when I broke away and started to think for myself what was right and wrong.
    I feel sure that Paul Dirac was more or less right when he said:
    I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards—in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.
    Okay, so religion helps keeps the peace among the poor, and maybe that's one reason for its invention. But this reminds me that you can't really have a Scientific Study of Religion because religion by its very nature is not testable in the same way that a scientific or economic model is testable.

    If any of the following things were provable, perhaps they could be a test?

    In Tibetan Buddhism when their religious leader the "Dali Lama" dies, they search for him again. In ways like, showing lots of children the departed religious leaders personal possessions. They then find a child believed to be the reincarnation of the departed leader, and then that child takes his place.
    Dalai Lama - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    As a method of selecting leadership the method has a nice random quality...Also educating the child ... fitting him to conform to ...eh...you get my point dont you?

    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    [



    The Catholic church proclaims Saints. They state you need to perform 1 or 2 miracles to become a Saint.
    Miracle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    Hopefully I aint gonna do any miracles. I have no wish to promote insanity.
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    [

    Some church groups handle dangerous poisonous snakes, with their bare hands, as if the snake was tame, and none venomous. But some of these people get bitten, so this appears to (not) be a good test.
    'Serpent-Handling' West Virginia Pastor Dies From Snake Bite - ABC News .
    Test of what? Snake charming ability?


    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    This link also show miricles performed by other religions, besides Christianity.
    Miracle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    Actually Producing Miracles is a definition of a certain class of gods. Perhaps its presumptuos of me to call the class: "Fakes"
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    [


    It would seem to me that predicting the future, could also be a test for religion.
    I suppose its "predictive" quality is a cornerstone in appraising any theory... So I accept.(With some hesitation: Is history really predictive?)

    Thank you...I never asked myself that question... YES! IT IS! Before the future becomes a past the historian may predict its shape according to the pre history of said assumed future... and later when the future is history he can check the accuracy of his prediction. But I suppose historians in general are to occupied in being occupied in debating how to make sense of the conflicting pictures of the past to find any time left to make predictions...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    NMSquirrel, you missed the point.

    Science is not a thing. It's not something that does or does not make mistakes. Throwing the wording back doesn't apply.
    The scientific method was devised as a means of sidestepping human bias.
    correct, i was using the arguement not as a point to throw back, but more of a if/then statement, IE; IF it is true,THEN it should apply to both extremes, (seriously paraphrasing the scientific method..




    Even so, your word replacement was interesting and hit the mark on a couple of occasions anyway. If you agree with everything just said (It's possible you don't because you mirrored and replaced word "science" with word "religion") then it shows an interesting viewpoint that many would not share due to their faith.
    the point of view that i believe in God and believe Religion is man made?
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    Quote Originally Posted by NMSquirrel View Post
    the point of view that i believe in God and believe Religion is man made?
    Yes. Most believers say that the religion is the inspired work of God and the bible his word.
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    There is a testable religion, I would think its the only one. It is called having faith in yourself. its testable, its realistic, it profound, Its reversible, its changeable, you can prove it, you can disprove it, you can keep it, you can expose it, should I go on. Religion is viable just as prayer is viable because there is power in the word and in the mind. You can create what you want, a God if you like, or a stature if you like. You can go running to a monk and bow down if you like, or you can ask the universe to help you survive, of course you could have some food since it will help you create what you want.


    I would suggest if you have not found a suitable religion with all your searching, try starting your own bassed on you and your interpretation of how to live your life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NMSquirrel View Post
    the point of view that i believe in God and believe Religion is man made?
    Yes. Most believers say that the religion is the inspired work of God and the bible his word.
    the bible is a collection of teachings from ppl who believed what they had to teach was inspired by God..
    it is still susceptible to the authors own humanity..and worse yet it is susceptible to the religious leaders interpretation, as most ppl would rather be told what to do in matters of religion, rather than think it through on their own..(see 'blame God for what the preachers preach')
    God inspires ppl everyday, what that person does with that inspiration is their responsibility..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    I would suggest if you have not found a suitable religion with all your searching, try starting your own bassed on you and your interpretation of how to live your life.
    which is why there are so many denominations..
    think about it..
    this is the begining of the death of religion (long live God)..
    when there are enough religions out there for everyone, then religion will be dead.

    --------

    so the question in the OP becomes is there a way to test God?


    to which i would argue shrodingers cat..
    Last edited by NMSquirrel; December 22nd, 2012 at 06:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NMSquirrel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    I would suggest if you have not found a suitable religion with all your searching, try starting your own bassed on you and your interpretation of how to live your life.
    which is why there are so many denominations..
    think about it..
    this is the begining of the death of religion (long live God)..
    when there are enough religions out there for everyone, then religion will be dead.

    --------

    so the question in the OP becomes is there a way to test God?


    to which i would argue shrodingers cat..
    The way to test God is to create one and test it or him, I call that choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NMSquirrel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mother/father View Post
    I would suggest if you have not found a suitable religion with all your searching, try starting your own bassed on you and your interpretation of how to live your life.
    which is why there are so many denominations..
    think about it..
    this is the begining of the death of religion (long live God)..
    when there are enough religions out there for everyone, then religion will be dead.

    --------

    so the question in the OP becomes is there a way to test God?


    to which i would argue shrodingers cat..
    The way to test God is to create one and test it or him, I call that choice.
    Isnt the god supposed to be the creator? The act of creating the god proves that the god is false.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  67. #66  
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Isnt the god supposed to be the creator? The act of creating the god proves that the god is false.
    Sound thinking...
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  68. #67  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    If any of the following things were provable, perhaps they could be a test?
    In Tibetan Buddhism when their religious leader the "Dali Lama" dies, they search for him again. In ways like, showing lots of children the departed religious leaders personal possessions. They then find a child believed to be the reincarnation of the departed leader, and then that child takes his place.
    Dalai Lama - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Bunkum. There is no reincarnation. If there was, the reincarnated would remember events in previous lives which could then be verified. In the case of the Dalai Lama, if he had the powers which Tibetans claim, then the Chinese would have been flushed out of Tibet by now.
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    The Catholic church proclaims Saints. They state you need to perform 1 or 2 miracles to become a Saint.
    Miracle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Bunkum. Take the miracles claimed to have taken place at Lourdes in France after the supposed appearance of the Virgin Mary. When these were investigated, and there have been many, it was found that only a handful could not be explained, and none could be attributed to saintly intercession. I live quite near to another place where the Virgin was witnessed, at Evesham in Worcestershire, England. There are no recorded miracles there.
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    Some church groups handle dangerous poisonous snakes, with their bare hands, as if the snake was tame, and none venomous. But some of these people get bitten, so this appears to (not) be a good test.
    'Serpent-Handling' West Virginia Pastor Dies From Snake Bite - ABC News
    Bunkum indeed.
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    This link also show miricles performed by other religions, besides Christianity.
    Miracle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Bunkum.
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    It would seem to me that predicting the future, could also be a test for religion.
    Yes, and when I got up this morning I was mightily relieved to find the Mayan religion was wrong. The world was due to end yesterday.
    I think you will find that prediction is very difficult, especially when it comes to the future!


    I don't believe you posted enough evidence, to prove that Tibetan Buddhism's reincarnation beliefs are not real.
    Your statement, "Bunkum, there is no reincarnation", contains no scientific fact.

    You also said, "if he had the powers which Tibetans claim, then the Chinese would have been flushed out of Tibet by now."
    This above statement has nothing to do with reincarnation.


    And as far as miracles. Can you tell me about the handful of miracles, that could not be explained?


    And as far as poisonous snake handling, what if there are many people, that handle these snakes and never get bit?
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  69. #68  
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    Perhaps you all should know, I do (not) believe in God.

    I was just debating from a religious persons side.


    All I did was try to answer your question, and you all attacked my post.
    Last edited by chad; December 23rd, 2012 at 03:41 AM.
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