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  1. #1 living in the dark ages 
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    I think mankind is currently living in the dark ages of spirituallity. We only got a fragment of truth about 'what it is' and the rest is wishful thinking regardless of what you say about God and life hear and hearafter. What I go by is what I've read on the internet. No seriously there are many accounts of peoples neardeath experiences where they encounter higher beings who tell them things about it all. Many good books have been written by these people. Then there are the out of body travelers like Robert Monroe who shift consciousness and travel to higher places and bring back knowledge. A common theme is that we are spiritual beings experiencing by our choice an earthly life. We are here to refine the higher self. When we die we review the past life with the help of a counselor to see what we have or have not learned, what can be improved upon. Then after a time we may choose to come back for more. And yet for most of us this life is all and everything and it's terrible to loose ours of someone elses. That's what I mean by living in the dark ages. Someday we on earth may evolve to the point of readily accepting the way things really are and the reasons for our existance here. We hear it said 'if you accept Jesus or believe in him then you will have life everlasting". So fundamental "believers" think they just have to say the words. Friggin nonsense. What that means is that if you can attune your mind/self to the god state then you are free of having to come back for more learning/lives and the deaths that go with it - plug in "The wages of sin is death". That don't mean just one death but that if you sin you keep coming back for more lives and deaths. I think Jesus knew how to attune to the god mind. I could be wrong but I don't think so. In the mean time we just keep refining life after life until we graduate.


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    In the mean time we just keep refining life after life until we graduate.
    There's no evidence for any of this. In its absence, what we should do is to do our best in the only life we can be sure of.

    (It's probably much the same as we'd do if there were any evidence for this reincarnation nonsense, anyway.)


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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    I think mankind is currently living in the dark ages of spirituallity.
    Please define "spirituality" and show that we are, in fact, less "spiritual" than previous (or even future) ages.

    We only got a fragment of truth about 'what it is' and the rest is wishful thinking regardless of what you say about God and life hear and hearafter.
    Please tell us what you mean by "truth" and what "god" has to do with it.

    No seriously there are many accounts of peoples neardeath experiences where they encounter higher beings who tell them things about it all. Many good books have been written by these people.
    What reason is there to take these people, and/ or their books, at face value?

    Then there are the out of body travelers like Robert Monroe who shift consciousness and travel to higher places and bring back knowledge.
    Could you please show us that he does in fact travel "out of his body" and give us some instances of actual "knowledge" that he's brought back?

    A common theme is that we are spiritual beings experiencing by our choice an earthly life. We are here to refine the higher self. When we die we review the past life with the help of a counselor to see what we have or have not learned, what can be improved upon. Then after a time we may choose to come back for more. And yet for most of us this life is all and everything and it's terrible to loose ours of someone elses. That's what I mean by living in the dark ages. Someday we on earth may evolve to the point of readily accepting the way things really are and the reasons for our existance here. We hear it said 'if you accept Jesus or believe in him then you will have life everlasting". So fundamental "believers" think they just have to say the words. Friggin nonsense. What that means is that if you can attune your mind/self to the god state then you are free of having to come back for more learning/lives and the deaths that go with it - plug in "The wages of sin is death". That don't mean just one death but that if you sin you keep coming back for more lives and deaths. I think Jesus knew how to attune to the god mind. I could be wrong but I don't think so. In the mean time we just keep refining life after life until we graduate.
    Please refer to your earlier comments on "wishful thinking".
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    "We only got a fragment of truth about 'what it is' and the rest is wishful thinking including what you say about God and life hear and hearafter."
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    Hello deric, welcome to the forum.

    I am not sure how much time you have spent looking around threads on the forum, but if you have you may have noticed that the majority of the regular members are people who are either scientists or engineers, people with science educations, or people interested in science. Most of these have a common belief in the demonstrated value of evidence and of the scientific method. Therefore your ideas, attractive as they may be to some, will not get a warm reception.

    Let's take a look at some of your points from a scientific perspective:

    1.Scientists are suspicious of the notion of truth. They recognise that as time passes our knowledge grows and ideas change. Scientists do not speak of something as being true, but as offering the best explanation currently available based on existing evidence.
    2. Using the internet as your primary source, without any training in critical thinking, is not a good idea. I could phrase that more strongly, but I do not want to offend you. The internet does contain links to some outstandingly good material, but it also contains an enormous amount of nonsense. Distinguishing the two can be very difficult.
    3. You may not be aware of it, but there is a lot of research on near death experiences, and they are readily explained as an effect of a brain that is in the process of shutting down. There is no serious indication that they represent some genuine contact with 'the beyond'.
    4. There are much more plausible explanations for Out of Body experiences than those offered by Monroe. You may wish to read this as an example, or consult the wikipedia page on the subject. I'm sure there is one.
    5. The common theme of reincarnation, with progressive improvement, is an attractive one to many, but it lacks any meaningful evidence. Evidence is not a story someone tells, no matter how convincingly about their own experiences. Eye witness testimony is not reliable. People are easily mistaken, misled, confused, or may lie, or hallucinate, or otherwise be inaccurate or wrong.
    6. Basing your life on a possibility of what is really going on, without any meaningful evidence to support it, is an excellent way to waste a life.
    7. It is highly questionable whether Jesus ever existed as an individual, but if he did there is no evidence whatsoever that he was the Son of God.
    8. There is no meaningful evidence that the God of the Bible exists and absolutely no meaningful explanation of why he went through such a personality change moving from Old to New Testament times.
    9. You could be wrong, you say, and based upon a critical examination of the evidence, you are wrong.

    I do not expect you to accept any of what I have written. I do hope you will start to think about it and begin to use your critical thinking faculties.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by John Galt; October 19th, 2013 at 06:57 AM. Reason: Correct typo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Hello deric, welcome to the forum.

    I am not sure how much time you have spent looking around threads on the forum, but if you have you may have noticed that the majority of the regular members are people who are either scientists or engineers, people with science educations, or people interested in science. Most of these have a common belief in the demonstrated value of evidence and of the scientific method. Therefore your ideas, attractive as they may be to some, will not get a warm reception.

    Let's take a look at some of your points from a scientific perspective:

    1.Scientists are suspicious of the notion of truth. They recognise that as time passes our knowledge grows and ideas change. Scientists do not speak of something as being true, but as offering the best explanation currently available based on existing evidence.
    2. Using the internet as your primary source, without any training in critical thinking, is not a good idea. I could phrase that more strongly, but I do not want to offend you. The internet does contain links to some outstandingly good material, but it also contains an enormous amount of nonsense. Distinguishing the two can be very difficult.
    3. You may not be aware of it, but there is a lot of research on near death experiences, and they are readily explained as an effect of a brain that is in the process of shutting down. There is no serious indication that they represent some genuine contact with 'the beyond'.
    4. There are much more plausible explanations for Out of Body experiences than those offered by Monroe. You may wish to read this as an example, or consult the wikipedia page on the subject. I'm sure there is one.
    5. The common theme of reincarnation, with progressive improvement, is an attractive one to many, but it lacks any meaningful evidence. Evidence is not a story someone tells, no matter how convincingly about their own experiences. Eye witness testimony is not reliable. People are easily mistaken, misled, confused, or may lie, or hallucinate, or otherwise be inaccurate or wrong.
    6. Basing your life on a possibility of what is really going on, without any meaningful evidence to support it, is an excellent way to waste a life.
    7. It is highly questionable whether Jesus ever existed as an individual, but if he did there is no evidence whatsoever that he was the Son of God.
    8. There is no meaningful evidence that the God of the Bible exists and absolutely no meaningful explanation of why he went through such a personality change moving from Old to New Testament times.
    9. You could be wrong, you say, and based upon a critical examination of the evidence, you are wrong.

    I do not expect you to accept any of what I have written. I do hope you will start to think about it and begin to use your critical thinking faculties.

    Good luck.
    Indeed, my recommendation when looking for serious information is to always narrow down site parameters to certain domains (e.g edu, ac, ac.uk, gov and sometimes org), still need an element of critical thinking however as even these sites can be filled with misinformation (misinformed professor or government propaganda being two examples)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    Indeed, my recommendation when looking for serious information is to always narrow down site parameters to certain domains (e.g edu, ac, ac.uk, gov and sometimes org), still need an element of critical thinking however as even these sites can be filled with misinformation (misinformed professor or government propaganda being two examples)
    From the standpoint of science it goes much further than that.
    1. Is the research published is a peer reviewed journal?
    2. How thorough are the references provided?
    3. Is the method of the investigation properly described and does it seem appropriate?
    4. Are alternative explanations considered in reasonable depth?
    5. etc.
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  9. #8 what is evidence 
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    Respectfull it just goes by what you want to say is evidence. There is no evidence that you or I exist. It could just be illusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    In the mean time we just keep refining life after life until we graduate.
    There's no evidence for any of this. In its absence, what we should do is to do our best in the only life we can be sure of.

    (It's probably much the same as we'd do if there were any evidence for this reincarnation nonsense, anyway.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    There is no evidence that you or I exist.
    Despite the obvious flaws in his argument, I think Descartes answered that one about 400 years ago.

    If you really think you don't exist, you might want to seek professional help (I think there is a name for the syndrome, but I don't remember it now).

    Or you might be thinking of solipsism. But that is so philosophically empty that it can just be ignored, it has no value and leads nowhere. (Obviously it can neither be proved or disproved, but the arguments run out in about 5 minutes and it really only appeals to 14 year old schoolboys.)
    Last edited by Strange; October 19th, 2013 at 08:13 AM. Reason: spulling
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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    Respectfull it just goes by what you want to say is evidence. There is no evidence that you or I exist. It could just be illusion.
    If you actually believe that (despite the logical flaws inherent in the argument 1) then it explains much about the OP.

    1 For one of them: if I don't exist then who is having the illusion?

    Wooooo!
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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    Respectfull it just goes by what you want to say is evidence. There is no evidence that you or I exist. It could just be illusion.
    Science (and most people, most of the time) work on the basis that there is some form of reality and that we are perceiving some aspects of this reality. Science seeks to investigate this using a variety of techniques. The investigations are predicated upon a generally unspoken axiom, if there is a reality then we have determined this about it.... An argument based upon this being a complete illusion takes us beyond science and beyond any conversation I would see value in. (Although others might argue we could still investigate the illusion, since it appears to have characteristics that make it look very much like a reality.)

    So, setting aside the notion that this is an illusion, we are left with your assertion that evidence is ill defined.

    Evidence is not a belief.

    Evidence is not a desire.

    Evidence is not an opinion.


    Evidence is not dogma.

    Evidence is not a suspicion.

    Evidence is not writings of undemonstrated provenance.

    Evidence is not a passionately declared statement.


    Evidence is not an idea.

    Evidence is not what someone told you in a pub.

    Evidence is not a You-Tube video.

    Evidence is not a majority opinion.


    Evidence is not a minority opinion.


    Evidence is measurable, repeatable observation consistent with a hypothesis.

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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    I think mankind is currently living in the dark ages of spirituallity.
    I would argue that we're living in the enlightened period of spirituality when it is becoming acceptable to present yourself as atheist. 'Atheist' has been a dirty word, one people were ashamed to apply to themselves, for so long. Now that science is finally at the forefront of human consciousness and we're able to explore so many of the realms of knowledge previously unavailable to us (we have a robot on Mars for crying out loud), we're beginning to narrow the gaps into which God can slip.

    I think we're on the front lines of the Age of Logic. God is becoming less and less useful in the educated first world.
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    Sure the scientific method is a good thing a world saver but if it weren't for better scientists looking for fire where they saw smoke and not saying a thing can't exist if there is not hard physical evidence where would we be? To say a something can't be because you don't see the reason for it is not being scientific. It's the flip side of psuedoscience. The best answer is "I don't know". Take Brian Weiss. You can't dispute the education or professional status of this man yet he firmly believes in reincarnation. Roll back the clock. "The earth is the center of all it's obvious" Issac Newton science sure but it has it's limits as the quantum age arrives. It's only my opinion. Don't some of you wonder what's beyond the known? Thank you and I'm glad to be on this board.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Hello deric, welcome to the forum.
    I am not sure how much time you have spent looking around threads on the forum, but if you have you may have noticed that the majority of the regular members are people who are either scientists or engineers, people with science educations, or people interested in science. Most of these have a common belief in the demonstrated value of evidence and of the scientific method. Therefore your ideas, attractive as they may be to some, will not get a warm reception.

    Let's take a look at some of your points from a scientific perspective:

    1.Scientists are suspicious of the notion of truth. They recognise that as time passes our knowledge grows and ideas change. Scientists do not speak of something as being true, but as offering the best explanation currently available based on existing evidence.
    2. Using the internet as your primary source, without any training in critical thinking, is not a good idea. I could phrase that more strongly, but I do not want to offend you. The internet does contain links to some outstandingly good material, but it also contains an enormous amount of nonsense. Distinguishing the two can be very difficult.
    3. You may not be aware of it, but there is a lot of research on near death experiences, and they are readily explained as an effect of a brain that is in the process of shutting down. There is no serious indication that they represent some genuine contact with 'the beyond'.
    4. There are much more plausible explanations for Out of Body experiences than those offered by Monroe. You may wish to read this as an example, or consult the wikipedia page on the subject. I'm sure there is one.
    5. The common theme of reincarnation, with progressive improvement, is an attractive one to many, but it lacks any meaningful evidence. Evidence is not a story someone tells, no matter how convincingly about their own experiences. Eye witness testimony is not reliable. People are easily mistaken, misled, confused, or may lie, or hallucinate, or otherwise be inaccurate or wrong.
    6. Basing your life on a possibility of what is really going on, without any meaningful evidence to support it, is an excellent way to waste a life.
    7. It is highly questionable whether Jesus ever existed as an individual, but if he did there is no evidence whatsoever that he was the Son of God.
    8. There is no meaningful evidence that the God of the Bible exists and absolutely no meaningful explanation of why he went through such a personality change moving from Old to New Testament times.
    9. You could be wrong, you say, and based upon a critical examination of the evidence, you are wrong.

    I do not expect you to accept any of what I have written. I do hope you will start to think about it and begin to use your critical thinking faculties.

    Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    There is no evidence that you or I exist.
    Despite the obvious flaws in his argument, I think Descartes answered that one about 400 years ago.

    Did someone say my name?
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    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post


    8. There is no meaningful evidence that the God of the Bible exists and absolutely no meaningful explanation of why he went through such a personality change moving from Old to New Testament times.
    I would agree with these statements.
    I have heard others using the fact there is "no meaningful explanation" of the "personality change" as evidence against the existence of God. There are many rational arguments against the existence of God but that is not one of them.
    All that shows is that the Bible was written by humans and humans make mistakes and get things wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    Sure the scientific method is a good thing a world saver but if it weren't for better scientists looking for fire where they saw smoke
    Except that, in the examples you have given the "smoke" has been looked at. And it turned out be not a fire.

    Take Brian Weiss. You can't dispute the education or professional status of this man yet he firmly believes in reincarnation.
    His qualifications in one subject do NOT mean he's necessarily anything more than a crank in others.

    Roll back the clock. "The earth is the center of all it's obvious" Issac Newton science sure but it has it's limits as the quantum age arrives.
    Hooray!
    Calls on Newton (Although Galileo would have been better) AND a reference to "quantum" in one sentence.
    WTF is the "quantum age"?

    I note that, despite your several replies, you have still failed to provide anything other than vague hand-waving and equally vague rhetoric...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Calls on Newton (Although Galileo would have been better) AND a reference to "quantum" in one sentence.
    WTF is the "quantum age"?

    The "Quantum Age" is a term that describes the tendency for cranks and pseudo-scientists to incorporate the word "quantum" in their ideas,
    despite that "quantum" is solely used to obfuscate the fact that the idea does not contain any more validity than all the ideas in the Trash Can combined.
    Last edited by Cogito Ergo Sum; October 19th, 2013 at 09:42 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    There is no evidence that you or I exist.
    Despite the obvious flaws in his argument, I think Descartes answered that one about 400 years ago.

    If you really think you don't exist, you might want to seek professional help (I think there is a name for the syndrome, but I don't remember it now).

    Or you might be thinking of solipsism. But that is so philosophically empty that it can just be ignored, it has no value and leads nowhere. (Obviously it can neither be proved or disproved, but the arguments run out in about 5 minutes and it really only appeals to 14 year old schoolboys.)
    To be fair Descartes defence 'cogito ergo sum' isn't taken that seriously any more since it arguably fails within its own system .
    I quite like G.E Moore's argument against scepticism - Here is one hand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    To be fair Descartes defence 'cogito ergo sum' isn't taken that seriously any more since it arguably fails within its own system .

    That is something I certainly cannot deny.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    I quite like G.E Moore's argument against scepticism - Here is one hand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    It also helps highlight the fact that the OP is conflating methodological scepticism with philosophical scepticism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    Sure the scientific method is a good thing a world saver but if it weren't for better scientists looking for fire where they saw smoke
    Smoke = evidence; further investigation ("science") reveals more information (fire).

    This example seems to directly contradict your own view (which appears to be something like, "why not believe everything whether there is evidence or not").

    and not saying a thing can't exist if there is not hard physical evidence where would we be? To say a something can't be because you don't see the reason for it is not being scientific.
    No has said, or would say, that something can not exist if there is no evidence. After all, at one time, there was no evidence for Neptune or neutrinos. But no one seriously disputes their existence.

    The best answer is "I don't know".
    Sometimes. Not always. Are all things equally likely or plausible. I don't think so.

    Don't some of you wonder what's beyond the known
    I imagine most people do. That is why we are interested in science which might give us answers. Aimless speculation is almost guaranteed not to give you any useful answers.
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    Take Brian Weiss. You can't dispute the education or professional status of this man yet he firmly believes in reincarnation.
    Let's take the very top academic and professional status available in this world, the Nobel Prize. There are plenty of examples of Nobel Laureates espousing entirely daft - even stupid - ideas on topics other than the one they won the prize for.

    Intelligence, education and qualifications are no defence, let alone a guarantee, against fooling yourself into completely counter-factual beliefs. In fact, people who are extremely clever are also better than average at rationalising and "logicalising" their preferred beliefs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    Sure the scientific method is a good thing a world saver
    I don't think anyone here has made either of those claims. I certainly have not and your post appears to be a reply to my initial response. All I have implied is that the scientific method is an effective means of modelling what we understand to be reality. I make no value judgements as to whether or not this is a good thing. I may like it, but that is a personal view.

    Also, science has had an enormous impact on shaping our world, but not necessarily for the good. There are those who would consider that it is a world killer: think global warming. Think Oppenheimer - here he is in an immensely moving recollection of his emotions on the explosion of the first atomic bomb. "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

    but if it weren't for better scientists looking for fire where they saw smoke and not saying a thing can't exist if there is not hard physical evidence where would we be?
    I am puzzled by this remark. These better scientists were using the scientific method. To continue your analogy:

    They made an observation - there is smoke. They thought that interesting. They wondered what the source of the smoke was, which led to them to fire. They then investigated the nature of fire and its causes. Some went on to find ways of using it and were called engineers.

    But notice that it all began with an observation, a form of evidence.

    To say a something can't be because you don't see the reason for it is not being scientific.
    Again, this is a strawman argument. I have not said this. I have said that if there is no evidence for something there is no prima facie reason to think it may exist. It comes back, once more, to evidence.

    There was evidence in Victorian times for a spirit world and for communication via mediums with the dead. The phenomenon was investigated and found to be caused by a combination of deceit and gullibility. Many other examples of this exist.

    The best answer is "I don't know".
    Incorrect. There are a variety of correct answers. For example:

    Based upon current evidence and theory there is no reason to expect that A is possible.

    Based upon current evidence and theory we can state that A is impossible.

    There is insufficient evidence to form a conclusion about A, but it seems extremely unlikely and does not warrant further investigation at this time.

    There is insufficient evidence to form a conclusion about A, but there are suggestive indications that would warrant further investigation.

    Etc.

    Take Brian Weiss. You can't dispute the education or professional status of this man yet he firmly believes in reincarnation.
    Fred Hoyle is one of my heroes. I believe, along with many others, that he should have received a Nobel Prize for his work on stellar nucleosynthesis. I am also rather partial to the notion of pan spermia, a concept that Hoyle promoted over several decades. However, Hoyle's work in this area is seriously flawed and can, in my view, be discarded for the most part. Genius and outstanding work do not mean your views should be valued on all matters.

    Roll back the clock. "The earth is the center of all it's obvious" Issac Newton science sure but it has it's limits as the quantum age arrives
    I am not sure why you appear to say that Newton believed in a geocentric universe, since he was born the year Galileo died, by which time the heliocentric concept was largely accepted. But we'll set that aside.

    The move from geocentric to heliocentric was prompted by new observation/evidence. The development of quantum theory was promoted by observation/evidence. The Big Bang theory grew out of observation/evidence.

    It's only my opinion
    I believe it to be an insufficiently considered opinion. But then that's only my opinion - backed by evidence.

    Don't some of you wonder what's beyond the known?
    I really do try not swear on the forums. Honestly, I make a real effort, but sometimes it is difficult. No, my natural restraint simply isn't working today, so here goes.

    For ****'s sake. Why the hell do you think we got interested in science for crying out loud? Fascination with the wonders of the universe. Curiosity about ghosts, and ESP and UFOs and dinosaurs and mountain building and other planets. Of course we flaming well are interested in what's beyond the known. And we have discovered that evidence based science is a highly effective way of finding out about that.

    Thank you and I'm glad to be on this board.
    You are welcome. We are glad to have you here.
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    I'm just jive talkin a lot here and some are taking it way too serious and mixing my ideas into something not being said. I get the image of a lot of old retired guys at the morning coffee shop. You'll feel better after you get home to the wife watch the squirrels for a while and take a nap. I have more for tomorrow ) I like to say the world is full of nutty people. Are you going to argue with all of them? Why argue with any? But sometimes it's fun right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    I'm just jive talkin a lot here and some are taking it way too serious and mixing my ideas into something not being said. I get the image of a lot of old retired guys at the morning coffee shop. You'll feel better after you get home to the wife watch the squirrels for a while and take a nap. I have more for tomorrow ) I like to say the world is full of nutty people. Are you going to argue with all of them? Why argue with any? But sometimes it's fun right?
    Ignore list.
    If you just want to talk bollocks that even you don't believe then you're not worth reading.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    I'm just jive talkin a lot here and some are taking it way too serious and mixing my ideas into something not being said. I get the image of a lot of old retired guys at the morning coffee shop. You'll feel better after you get home to the wife watch the squirrels for a while and take a nap. I have more for tomorrow ) I like to say the world is full of nutty people. Are you going to argue with all of them? Why argue with any? But sometimes it's fun right?
    deric, if you talk crap, which you have been, you are going to get called on it. You have me to rights in that I am old and of retirement age. However, I continue working because none of my subordinates is yet showing the imagination or energy to take over from me.

    Frankly, I find your response questionable. There is no hint in your earlier posts that you are just 'jive talking'. You sounded quite serious. It's rather rude to implicitly encourage members to invest time in patiently and diplomatically explaining to you why your ideas are tosh. I'll keep that in mind for our future interactions. Indeed, I can't help feeling that you've taken this line because the counter arguments to your poorly thought out philosophy have thoroughly discredited it.

    From my perspective you remain very welcome on this forum, but I trust you will be less ageist and more honest in future.
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    When we die we review the past life with the help of a counselor to see what we have or have not learned, what can be improved upon.
    Gee, I'd love to be a fly on the wall for some of those conversations. I wonder, hmmmm........

    "Hey welcome back"
    "Good to be back"
    "Let's see, nothing much to report, ahh... you showed no improvement and what's this?.... You didn't get any worse either. How do you explain it"
    "I died at birth"
    "Oh shit, I should have looked this report over more carefully." OK anything you want to talk about?"
    "Yeah, what's the point of all this?" " Why am I talking to you?"
    "Why it's because we want you to improve each time out, you know, keep learning"
    "Sure, and what's in it for me?" "I mean improvement could mean I kill people more efficiently each time out"
    "I suppose it does but, hey, wait a minute....who are you?
    "I was his mother this time, they couldn't save me either"
    " While you're here, could you tell us what you learned?"
    "There is one thing, 11 year old rape victims should have a choice"

    ......and on and on it goes.
    Last edited by zinjanthropos; October 19th, 2013 at 10:12 PM.
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  29. #28  
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    There is a basic difference in the thinking of atheists and religious people.

    Most religious people have three important questions they are want to answer:
    1. Who am I?
    2. Why am I?
    3. What happens when I die?

    These are questions which atheists do not particularly consider, or if they do, they are not considered all that important to present life. Ask an atheist these questions and most of them will answer something close to: 1. My name is (whatever). 2. I exist to pass on my genes to ensure the survival of the human race. 3. I will cease to exist and my atoms will be recycled.

    I cannot speak for other religions, but a Christian would likely answer to the effect: 1. I am a child of God. 2. I exist to glorify God. 3. The essence of my personality will continue into an eternal existence in the presence of the eternal God.

    How important one considers these questions and how he answers them will effect his world view and how he lives his life. The main reason one group's answers do not satisfy the other group is that they are not really asking the same questions.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    Ask an atheist these questions and most of them will answer something close to: 1. My name is (whatever).
    Which is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    2. I exist to pass on my genes to ensure the survival of the human race.
    An atheist, at least a science-minded one, probably wouldn't answer this question as it implies meaning to our existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    3. I will cease to exist and my atoms will be recycled.
    Also true. This is readily observable.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    a Christian would likely answer to the effect: 1. I am a child of God.
    Belief backed by no evidence whatsoever.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    2. I exist to glorify God.
    Belief backed by no evidence whatsoever.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    3. The essence of my personality will continue into an eternal existence in the presence of the eternal God.
    Belief backed by no evidence whatsoever.

    For my part, I don't deny the existence of a God because I want to. I have to. My world view cannot be based upon something which requires abandoning logic and basing life around something for which there is no evidence. I can only imagine most other atheists feel this way as well. We don't want their to be no God, but we cannot accept the notion that there is one purely because there is absolutely no evidence to suggest otherwise.

    If you see smoke, you assume fire, but you don't assume dragons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    These are questions which atheists do not particularly consider
    Unfounded claim.
    Please provide evidence that theists consider these questions significantly more than atheists.

    The main reason one group's answers do not satisfy the other group is that they are not really asking the same questions.
    Really?
    So what questions are they asking?
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  32. #31  
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    Flick Montana said:
    and so forth
    It would seem you agree with me on the statement that those three questions are of no importance to your life. You then seek to lecture me on why you are right and I am wrong. I made no similar claims, but merely attempted to non-judgmentally explain the two views. My implied assertion is that if those questions were of greater importance to you, your answers to them would be different. Thanks for proving my point.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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  33. #32  
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    Dywy: See Flick Montana's reply.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  34. #33  
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    This is an interesting thread, just for the replies.

    What is it about us as a species that we seem to find it imperative to correct the thinking of those who differ from us?

    Merely a rhetorical question in no need of a reply.
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    Dywy: See Flick Montana's reply.
    Perhaps you have trouble with comprehension.
    Flick's reply did not provide evidence that theists consider these questions significantly more than atheists.
    He gave his personal opinion.
    Flick's reply did not state what questions were actually being asked.

    Your reply to Flick implied that the questions were of little importance to Flick/ atheists.
    Could you tell me how stating your name is indicative of "lesser importance of the question" than an unsupported claim about "origin"?
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    It would seem you agree with me on the statement that those three questions are of no importance to your life.
    I wouldn't say they have no purpose. "Who am I? is a philosophical quandary. It could be answered in any number of ways. It's not unimportant, just too ambiguous to answer in a meaningful way.

    I would say that, "Why am I here?" either implies purpose which does not exist and is thus unanswerable, or it can be answered simply with, "I am here because my parents procreated." By the answer you gave, I assumed you intended the former.

    Your third question can be answered easily in physical terms, but cannot be definitively answered in terms of "spirit" or whatever other term you want to apply to the part of you that lives on after you die. It's a comfortable place for purveyors of faith because science cannot explain it. It lies outside the observable realm.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    You then seek to lecture me on why you are right and I am wrong.
    I never said I was right and you were wrong. Like Dyw said in his later post, I was simply pointing out the problems with your line of thought. It is unscientific. You're suggesting we take something completely on faith. There are an infinite number of things for which there are no evidence, so why should I throw away my logical viewpoint and accept yours? Why is it any more viable than believing in unicorns, leprechauns, or grays?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    I made no similar claims, but merely attempted to non-judgmentally explain the two views.
    You answered on behalf of atheists in a way which atheists would likely not reply. You're welcome to explain your belief set, but you need to understand that this is a science forum and we demand certain things from statements like yours and you cannot provide them. Expect us to remain skeptical and critical of your unsupported viewpoint.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    My implied assertion is that if those questions were of greater importance to you, your answers to them would be different. Thanks for proving my point.
    Why should those questions be important? Your choice of questions is the issue, not the fact that I cannot answer them to your satisfaction.
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    At least Flick offers some commentary and though it pretty much aligns itself with my original contentions, it is far better than Dywy's juvenile playground response of "prove it" which seems to be little more than his normal back to the wall comment when he has no actual rebuttal commentary on the subject. Even in his reply, he attempts to make an ad hominem insult which often is his wont. Dywy can easily prove me wrong by saying that he, as an atheist, has oft contemplated these questions and has come to conclusions that do not mostly comport to what I said were usual atheist answers to those questions. Be brave, Dywy, offer some commentary beyond, "I disagree with you because you are a stupid Christian."
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    There is a basic difference in the thinking of atheists and religious people.

    Most religious people have three important questions they are want to answer:
    1. Who am I?
    2. Why am I?
    3. What happens when I die?

    These are questions which atheists do not particularly consider, or if they do, they are not considered all that important to present life. Ask an atheist these questions and most of them will answer something close to: 1. My name is (whatever). 2. I exist to pass on my genes to ensure the survival of the human race. 3. I will cease to exist and my atoms will be recycled.

    I cannot speak for other religions, but a Christian would likely answer to the effect: 1. I am a child of God. 2. I exist to glorify God. 3. The essence of my personality will continue into an eternal existence in the presence of the eternal God.

    How important one considers these questions and how he answers them will effect his world view and how he lives his life. The main reason one group's answers do not satisfy the other group is that they are not really asking the same questions.
    I think those are some broad generalizations and few folks if any appreciate them. I feel like this is dangerous territory because, according to your last paragraph it would seem to lead into causes for morality and principles that certain people may or may not live their lives according to. However I believe I see your point which is that as a Christian you have answers to those questions and unless I am wrong here, that those answers provide you with a model upon which to build and live your life. I can certainly relate as a fellow Christian.

    I certainly don't want to jump into the same bandwagon as most others here so I will try to resort to highlighting a few key differences as well as many of the same characteristics that I and many other Christians have with not only atheists, but folks from any number of beliefs and backgrounds.

    Commonalities:
    1) We both share a level of respect for science and a desire to learn more even if it is above our comprehension.
    2) We both hold a special place for logic in our lives and assert that it must be front and center to continue living and learning.
    3) We want what is best for mankind.

    Those are three uniquely human characteristics that shouldn't be underestimated. I mention those three specifically because there is a level of misunderstanding between atheists and Christians (and religion in general), where one side accuses or places blame on the other for not understanding or following. There is a history behind it as well that unfortunately many folks don't take the time to really understand. There are over 40,000 specific Christian denomination and characteristics so for anyone to generalize all Christians or place blame on all is a rather large mistake. Just as Christians frown upon being lumped together in such a way, atheists have an expectation that Christians will understand whatever position they take hold of, which is just as misinformed. Christians can be lumped together in some ways, for example we all believe in Christ Jesus, that he was resurrected, that the Bible is our Holy Book, etc. It is more difficult to assert an atheists position other than the atheist has a "lack of belief", as Merriam-Webster phrases it.
    -The lack of understanding the person with a different position leads to circular reasoning, arguments, and eventually open-hostility. You can see how, in this respect, atheism is much like religion.
    There is no correlation between religion and logic or intelligence. If I wanted to, I could present more than enough evidence to "prove" that religion actually attracts the more intelligent folks, or that religion in general has a causation effect with respect to intelligence. But those are limited to my experiences and not everyone else. The smartest and most successful folks I know happen to be religious but I don't find there to be a specific correlation.

    So to infer that science and religion are not compatible is not only grossly erroneous but also a highly-uninformed personal opinion.

    A few areas where we don't hash quite as well:
    1) The existence of God.
    2) Creation vs the evolution of man.
    3) Afterlife versus no-afterlife.

    Unless you already hold a belief in God, you won't see His presence. This shouldn't lead to hostility between folks it's just a matter of looking at the same object but through another persons lens. For example: I look at a rock and I wonder: "what kind of rock is that?" "How did it get there?" "Where did it come from?" which are questions anyone, regardless of religion would ask if they're really interested in that rock! What separates those of us who are religious and specifically Christian is the end result of our inquiry. We use science to answer the first three questions: "That rock is quartzite, it's X number of years old, formed at such and such depth under such and such pressure. It came from a location a few miles away and likely ended up here after the last glacial sheet receded and natural events caused it to end up where it is now." After all that we [Christians] may say "God is pretty amazing!" because we believe He created all things.

    So unless you're looking at things through another persons lens, you may not quite gain a full-appreciation for their belief. And by appreciation I mean understanding.

    Regarding evolution versus creation: those of who have proper education do not deny evolution. It is everywhere and it is a continuous process. The only area we might disagree with is in regard to human evolution. This shouldn't be a peace-breaker but it is an important part of science and philosophy that will likely cause debates for years to come. As creationists, Christians believe God created us as described in the book of Genesis. Whether that may be a literal interpretation or not. Some Christians also see human-evolution as a result of a God-inspired process.

    On the after-life: we believe there is an after-life and that each person has a soul that is released upon death to judgment by God for either heaven or hell. This is not science hence why it has never been affiliated with science. This is a belief. No science is needed to support it. Scheherazade asked a very good question (even though she did not expect a reply I think it warrants one): Why do we feel the need to convince someone to think the way we do or agree with us? (my interpretation of her words). So long as it is not inflicting or causing harm, then there is no harm. No harm no foul.


    Let's say I don't agree with two folks of the same sex marrying one another. Is my opinion causing harm on anyone? No! Not isolated it isn't. I am also exercising my rights as a citizen of the U.S. (or any similarly free-country).. Am I right in my thinking? This is typically completely subjective. What is right to one person is most certainly wrong to someone else, with the exception of a few principles or beliefs. If am exercising my rights within all legal means and I am acting in accordance with my faith and not committing harm to anyone, then I shouldn't be the target focus of a particular group, if that groups mission is to bully or insult me. Then they would be in the wrong.

    Like Dwight and Andy from The Office; whatever your belief, ideology, philosophical interpretation, or whatever rules and principles your subscribe to, they should not be the cause of hate or hate-mongering. Each group should strive for tolerance and civility, otherwise they're more of a burden on folks than they're worth.
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  39. #38  
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    Wow!!!! I did not realize I had said so much!!!!

    The OP opened with the statement:

    I think mankind is currently living in the dark ages of spirituallity.
    My point mostly was to say that if true, it is because of the different world views. I don't particularly agree with the idea that this is a dark age of spirituality. Perhaps God and religion are under attack from naturalism and materialism in the West, but that is hardly the entirety of mankind. Spirituality is alive and well in most of the rest of the world.

    The problem with a religion section in a science forum is that there is very little about religion which is scientific or even relevant to science. I have seen very few discussions here or in other science forum religion sections which can be discussed in terms of science. This is as opposed to discussing science in terms of religion.

    I think the three questions I posed are questions which we have all wondered about at some time in our life. I have no idea why anyone should be offended by them, but it does seem that atheists generally find them so. Maybe it is because they don't like their own answers. I set forth what I believe would be the most common answers from a Christian and the most common answers from an atheist. I could easily be wrong, but if I thought that, I would have suggested different answers.

    There was no enmity intended. Atheists do have a world view which is related to the three questions, but I am unable to determine which is cause and which is effect. And just like all of us can pretty much know what the general world view of a Christian is, we can also pretty much know what the world view of an atheist is. It is not like these things are cloaked in secrecy or that Dawkins and Dennett and Hitchings, to name a few, have never written books and lectured out in the open where everyone can see and hear and know the world view they represent. What I find interesting is that it when atheists are reminded of their world view, they seem to become offended!!!

    There is a reason why the question "Why?" is a problem to some.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    The problem with a religion section in a science forum is that there is very little about religion which is scientific or even relevant to science. I have seen very few discussions here or in other science forum religion sections which can be discussed in terms of science.
    That is not the problem.

    The problem is quite frankly too many people, such as yourself, who deliberately or not, fight tooth and nail to obfuscate the fact that religious is just as subject to examination by science as every other human endeavor. The deliberate baiting attempts are also attempts to throw off serious conversation, such as the quips about religious people thinking about grandiose purpose, while trolling shallow, unthinking answers for the non-religious. If you ask me who I am and give me a couple minutes I'll be more than happy to define myself by where I come from, who my parents were, where I've been and what I've done. If you ask me what's my purpose, I'll also be happen to tell you where I intend to go and who I intend to be. If you ask me what will happen after I'm dead, I'll be more than happy to tell you about the impacts I hope to have in the hundreds of kids my life has touched and hope to touch in my last couple decades. It will be anything but the cold shallow answers you imply is the extent of non-religious thought when you say stuff like "we can also pretty much know what the world view of an atheist is."

    Lastly this thread is also somewhat tread bare of science examination of religion. Leaving it for now because I'm too tire to be objective in my actions. But consider it a warning shot--thus far this thread doesn't fit.




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    Lynx Fox said:
    Lastly this thread is also somewhat tread bare of science examination of religion.
    Can you kindly direct me to any thread in which you think religion has been or is currently being subjected to scientific examination?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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  42. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    The problem with a religion section in a science forum is that there is very little about religion which is scientific or even relevant to science. I have seen very few discussions here or in other science forum religion sections which can be discussed in terms of science.
    That is not the problem.

    The problem is quite frankly too many people, such as yourself, who deliberately or not, fight tooth and nail to obfuscate the fact that religious is just as subject to examination by science as every other human endeavor. The deliberate baiting attempts are also attempts to throw off serious conversation, such as the quips about religious people thinking about grandiose purpose, while trolling shallow, unthinking answers for the non-religious. If you ask me who I am and give me a couple minutes I'll be more than happy to define myself by where I come from, who my parents were, where I've been and what I've done. If you ask me what's my purpose, I'll also be happen to tell you where I intend to go and who I intend to be. If you ask me what will happen after I'm dead, I'll be more than happy to tell you about the impacts I hope to have in the hundreds of kids my life has touched and hope to touch in my last couple decades. It will be anything but the cold shallow answers you imply is the extent of non-religious thought when you say stuff like "we can also pretty much know what the world view of an atheist is."

    Lastly this thread is also somewhat tread bare of science examination of religion. Leaving it for now because I'm too tire to be objective in my actions. But consider it a warning shot--thus far this thread doesn't fit.




    I don't think that is quite right.

    I'm picking at a fine line here, but there are several folks on here, most of which claim no religious affiliation, who are doing a fine job preventing any real scientific discourse of religion. That may be what you were inferring as well but after looking over the top twenty threads within "scientific study of religion" there is an obscene amount of folks who, upon asking a very innocent question with regards to religion, are then subject to ridicule and interrogation rather than with questions or answers pertaining to the topic.

    I feel like if there is going to be a category dedicated to the scientific study of religion then we ought to keep it as such and leave personal opinions out, unless there is either a clear indication that it is a personal opinion and the rest of the community is alright with it or if there is a separate category dedicated to more informal discussion. Otherwise, when the rules of the game are not as clear cut we end up with threads that run off into a number of bunny trails, much like one that was recently closed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    I think the three questions I posed are questions which we have all wondered about at some time in our life.
    Yet previously you claimed, and failed to to support, that "These are questions which atheists do not particularly consider" - now you're more or less claiming that the two "parties"are equal.

    I have no idea why anyone should be offended by them, but it does seem that atheists generally find them so.
    Could you quote any replies that indicate the questions were found to be offensive?

    Maybe it is because they don't like their own answers.
    Maybe you should give up on the eisegesis, and practice exegesis.

    I set forth what I believe would be the most common answers from a Christian and the most common answers from an atheist. I could easily be wrong, but if I thought that, I would have suggested different answers.
    You are wrong.
    You gave "answers" according to two different contexts.
    If a policeman asked a theist "Who are you?", would he get the reply "I'm a child of god"?
    Yet you felt it fit/ necessary to apply a similar context to the atheist's supposed reply.

    Atheists do have a world view which is related to the three questions, but I am unable to determine which is cause and which is effect.
    Because you're utterly clueless.

    And just like all of us can pretty much know what the general world view of a Christian is, we can also pretty much know what the world view of an atheist is. It is not like these things are cloaked in secrecy or that Dawkins and Dennett and Hitchings, to name a few, have never written books and lectured out in the open where everyone can see and hear and know the world view they represent. What I find interesting is that it when atheists are reminded of their world view, they seem to become offended!!!
    And what you appear to fail to understand is that Dawkins and Hitchens speak for, wait for it... Dawkins and Hitchens.
    They do NOT speak for atheists as a whole, they do NOT represent atheists as a whole.
    Perhaps you're confusing those two people and assuming that they're the atheist" equivalent" of church elders, or the Pope, handing down current dogma.

    There is a reason why the question "Why?" is a problem to some.
    Because it's asked represented dishonestly perhaps.
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; October 21st, 2013 at 01:05 AM.
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    Dywyddyr said:
    If a policeman asked a theist "Who are you?", would he get the reply "I'm a child of god"?
    It is you, here, who is changing the context. If a policeman asked me my name I would say Dayton Turner; if he asked you, would you say Dywyddyr?
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    It is you, here, who is changing the context.
    Try to keep up.

    If a policeman asked me my name
    That wasn't the question.

    if he asked you, would you say Dywyddyr?
    That's the best you can come up with? A dig at my user name?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    I'm picking at a fine line here, but there are several folks on here, most of which claim no religious affiliation, who are doing a fine job preventing any real scientific discourse of religion.
    If you're implying that our dismissal of scientific examination of God is "preventing any real scientific discourse", then I think you're a little off.

    I believe the vast majority of the religious topics people of faith want to discuss are not available to scientific study. And those topics that are available leave unsatisfactory answers.

    "Is spirit a particle?" is a recent example of pseudoscience which people of faith want treated as REAL science. Not possible.

    "What is a spiritual experience?" is another example which could be explained through biochemistry and neurological science, but that isn't acceptable to people of faith because the answer isn't proof of God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    there is an obscene amount of folks who, upon asking a very innocent question with regards to religion, are then subject to ridicule and interrogation rather than with questions or answers pertaining to the topic.
    Because they are bastardizing science to fit faith. We're not interested in twisting science to fit faith, rather we feel compelled to defend science from being twisted to fit faith.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    I feel like if there is going to be a category dedicated to the scientific study of religion then we ought to keep it as such and leave personal opinions out, unless there is either a clear indication that it is a personal opinion and the rest of the community is alright with it or if there is a separate category dedicated to more informal discussion. Otherwise, when the rules of the game are not as clear cut we end up with threads that run off into a number of bunny trails, much like one that was recently closed.
    This is absolutely what we should do. However, in our attempts to maintain a scientific approach to religion by criticizing those who do not follow proper methodology, you have managed to find us hostile. Some of us are more agitated than others about having to deal with unscientific approaches and may come off a bit aggressive, but our intent is to stay away from philosophizing about the questions in an unscientific manner.

    God is not a scientific topic. Religion can be. Experiences might be. Do not expect us to apply scientific methodology to the examination of what is essentially a supernatural force.
    Last edited by Flick Montana; October 21st, 2013 at 11:53 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    If you're implying that our dismissal of scientific examination of God is "preventing any real scientific discourse", then I think you're a little off.

    I believe the vast majority of the religious topics people of faith want to discuss are not available to scientific study. And those topics that are available leave unsatisfactory answers.

    "Is spirit a particle?" is a recent example of pseudoscience which people of faith want treated as REAL science. Not possible.

    "What is a spiritual experience?" is another example which could be explained through biochemistry and neurological science, but that isn't acceptable to people of faith because the answer isn't proof of God.
    You're generalizing here and missing the mark at the same time.

    I agree with you that "is spirit a particle" is not a relevant topic for scientific discourse but should be to pseudoscience or elsewhere. It's not that the majority of us want to discuss a topic of religion that is not affiliated with science but that a lot of folks who visit this website are not native English speakers. I've noticed several accounts on here where English is most certainly not their first language and they simply post in the wrong area, or there may be a lot of younger people on here who aren't quite understanding. That's why I am pretty tolerant of people here and even though many questions seem strange to me they may represent some significance to someone else in another culture, so rather than insulting them I'd prefer to help, which is much more effective.

    Also, the question "what is a spiritual experience" can only and very, very minimally be explained through chemistry or biochemistry. This is an important topic to many people that really belongs in more of a philosophy section unless they want to try and explain it scientifically. I don't think many folks understand there are many anti-religious folks here who are ready to bite at the first sign of religion, and many don't come from cultures such as that. I am used to it and can hold my own quite successfully against even the most enthusiastic anti-religious person but this is only because of my background and culture; it differs from person to person.

    Lastly, you're so far off the mark it's dangerous. Lumping all religious people into your category of "because the answer is not God" is not only incorrect but also aiming towards extremist, if not fanatical. Not that any of us care what people think including yourself, but I am a person of faith and I do not fit your stereotype. Neither does anyone I know and I come from a very conservative background where everyone in my family happens to be both highly religious and highly scientific. Were all engineers so if you were correct we'd be something other than scientists.. anti-scientists perhaps.. is that a thing?


    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Because they are bastardizing science to fit faith. We're not interested in twisting science to fit faith when we feel compelled to defend science from being twisted to fit faith.
    Who is? I would ask you for individual names but that is entirely inappropriate. If you mean folks of faith then yeah sure. There are some out there who just might disagree with you. So what of it? Does that qualify them for an insult? Wouldn't it be better to correct someone out of love and understanding than responding with a phrase that doesn't make you sound very intelligent? There are religious folks out there who have been raised in an environment where they simply do not understand some aspect of science and when people insult them it gives them more incentive to not want to learn because they see how hostile the other group is and feel no inclination to associate themselves with that. This is what makes great teachers and professors and this is what helps the world go on, evolution take place both inside and outside a classroom setting, and this is what drives innovation and technology. It's helping someone versus saying something like "all people of faith believe this." That doesn't even begin to make sense.


    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    I feel like if there is going to be a category dedicated to the scientific study of religion then we ought to keep it as such and leave personal opinions out, unless there is either a clear indication that it is a personal opinion and the rest of the community is alright with it or if there is a separate category dedicated to more informal discussion. Otherwise, when the rules of the game are not as clear cut we end up with threads that run off into a number of bunny trails, much like one that was recently closed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    This is absolutely what we should do. However, in our attempts to maintain a scientific approach to religion by criticizing those who do not follow proper methodology, you have managed to find us hostile. Some of us are more agitated than others about having to deal with unscientific approaches and may come off a bit aggressive, but our intent is to stay away from philosophizing about the questions in an unscientific manner.
    Who of us has found you hostile? Again, not a good idea to name specific folks but I have seen very few here in comparison with the level of hostility against the faith-based community. I have not yet found anyone save for three people on this specific forum that have tried to answer scientifically or keep to a science-based discussion. I searched through the top twenty threads in this category and found three. Those are not good numbers. I did indeed find several folks trolling and insulting the faith-based community rather than sticking to sound scientific doctrine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    God is not a scientific topic. Religion can be. Experiences might be. Do not expect us to apply scientific methodology to the examination of what is essentially a supernatural force.
    Religion is not religion without God. I don't think understand religion in fact I know you don't, and considering that religion is the source of conversation in this particular category, you don't meet your own requirements to discuss it. Just to prove my statement that you do not understand this thread or religion in general here is the official Merriam-Webster definition of religion: "The belief in a god or in a group of gods". Can you explain to me why you think religion is scientific but God isn't when all religion is centered around God or gods.

    I ask this because it is important to realize where the religiously minded folks like myself come from in discussion forums such as this. I also ask because I think it is important for me to continue to better understand how you view the world and what it means to you. I do believe that God in many aspects is not scientific, other than the fact that I believe He made created science. I don't believe we can use science to prove/disprove Him. If that is what you were referring to then we are in agreement. Religion is something that can be referenced in science for statistical purposes, psychological ones, and others. I feel you might have been suggesting this so we are also in agreement here as well. Just know that when discussing religion, God is bound to come up because without God there would be no religion.


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    I'm just tossing this in for thought as I am seldom around long enough for debates although I do like reading over many of the ones that progress.

    There ARE some facts that science could look at in regard to religions and one of them might be, why is it that so many of the people in the world seemed to develop religions and why do so many still cling to their obvious need for a belief system?

    On some other threads/forums I have suggested the hypothesis that religion is an evolutionary coping mechanism for a developing species in that it provides a framework for societal organization, but most importantly, it provides a purpose to endure the challenges, both known and unknown, that most will encounter in life, a life that observably ends in an unknown, that being death.

    While science and technology have greatly advanced our understanding of things that 'go bump in the night', we still have no knowledge of what may transpire after death or indeed why we should struggle so long and hard in preservation of life when the endpoint remains unchanged.

    Far easier just to quit struggling, is it not? Yet most do not. Mayhaps some people have no need for a belief system yet for many others religion or spirituality provides something important to their sense of well-being.
    Perhaps we will eventually evolve beyond a need for this framework, yet presently, there remains no shortage of wars being fought in the name of various religious beliefs. A very strange structure is such a belief system, in that it can provide inspiration to struggle for survival or to equitably accept death in it's name.

    Religion is a construct of the human brain. How that has come to be and why it remains prevalent is an important subject for scientific study, IMHO. I would think that continued studies of the human brain may eventually yield further insights. Perhaps a starting point would be to study subjects who have experienced religious affiliation and determine why they have turned away from those.

    I reside in a territory where roughly 38% of the population claims no religious affiliation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    a lot of folks who visit this website are not native English speakers. I've noticed several accounts on here where English is most certainly not their first language and they simply post in the wrong area, or there may be a lot of younger people on here who aren't quite understanding.
    I would disagree that this is an issue.

    This forum celebrates the fact that we have people from all over the world on here. I've seen some incidents of people correcting language, but I have not seen someone relegated to the trash because they were not native speakers.

    I agree that some things can be lost in translation, but I've seen a lot of patience and understanding by members here in regards to finding the actual point of the post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    That's why I am pretty tolerant of people here and even though many questions seem strange to me they may represent some significance to someone else in another culture, so rather than insulting them I'd prefer to help, which is much more effective.
    Regardless of the language, some of the questions which are posed here simply are not scientific in nature. In addition, many posters do not come here for discussion, but rather to assert a point or receive affirmation. Those posters are usually dealt with rather quickly and often with little mercy. I would agree that some members here have pretty short fuses, but that should probably be tolerated in the same manner as people who struggle to communicate. You just have to understand that that is the way they are and you can't take it personally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Also, the question "what is a spiritual experience" can only and very, very minimally be explained through chemistry or biochemistry.
    I would both agree and disagree. The question is very much open to interpretation and, thus, a better explanation would be required. However, I fully believe we can explain the majority of "near-death" experiences, "out-of-body" experiences, and other such hallucinations through a better understanding of the human brain.

    The issue, at least for me, is that the brain is not yet well-understood enough to make strong and supported statements either way. This seems to me to be a very relevant part of this sub forum. How does science explain some of these experiences that the laymen doesn't understand well enough to apply meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Lastly, you're so far off the mark it's dangerous. Lumping all religious people into your category of "because the answer is not God" is not only incorrect but also aiming towards extremist, if not fanatical. Not that any of us care what people think including yourself, but I am a person of faith and I do not fit your stereotype. Neither does anyone I know and I come from a very conservative background where everyone in my family happens to be both highly religious and highly scientific. Were all engineers so if you were correct we'd be something other than scientists.. anti-scientists perhaps.. is that a thing?
    I would argue that you're in the minority.

    How many evolutionary biologists believe in creationism? How many geologists believe in a young Earth? How many astrophysicists believe the universe was made in a week?

    I don't think I painted people of faith as fanatical. I simply referred to their belief system. My issue here is that much of a religion is open to interpretation. God used to be the master craftsman who made all of us, but now some people suggest he is just a force that set it into motion. Science does not have the luxury of being pliable when hit with hard data which contradicts it.

    I cannot, for instance, reinterpret tectonic plate theory to suit my personal belief system.

    I will admit that my ability to encompass all of the varying degrees of faith and the accompanying belief sets within each faith is insufficient to make statements which cover everyone of faith. I apologize for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Who is? I would ask you for individual names but that is entirely inappropriate. If you mean folks of faith then yeah sure. There are some out there who just might disagree with you. So what of it? Does that qualify them for an insult? Wouldn't it be better to correct someone out of love and understanding than responding with a phrase that doesn't make you sound very intelligent?
    The latter part of this comment, which I have not included, seemed a bit grandiose considering the fairly humble point I was trying to make.

    To put it simply, science requires, without exception, adherence to scientific methodology. It is the glue that binds science together. Within that methodology is a requirement for evidence. There is no evidence of God. None. You cannot reinterpret evidence to mean anecdotes from relatives or personal experiences you don't understand.

    Therefore, we cannot scientifically address God. To attempt to apply scientific analyses to something which cannot be analyzed in such a way is a misuse of science (in fact, it isn't science). To claim some kind of validity because you can use vague scientific terms in a faith-based ideal is a pollution of the science and is, at least to me, offensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Who of us has found you hostile?
    Eh, you.

    You specifically said "there is an obscene amount of folks who, upon asking a very innocent question with regards to religion, are then subject to ridicule and interrogation rather than with questions or answers pertaining to the topic."

    Then, you failed to include it in the part I quoted. My reply was not to the comment you quoted. I'm not sure if this was intentional and a failure of integrity or not, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

    I did paraphrase your "ridicule and interrogation" part as hostile. It seemed fair enough and if you think I was putting words in your mouth, I apologize.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Religion is not religion without God. I don't think understand religion in fact I know you don't
    Sorry to cut you off, but let's not make assumptions about what I do and don't understand. Religion is a community built around a faith, God is the crux of that faith. While one may require the other (faith requiring God), there can be separate discussions on each.

    For instance, I believe the desire to build a community stems from a biological imperative. I would also suggest that worshiping a higher power stems from a fear of insignificance in an ever-expanding world of knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    , and considering that religion is the source of conversation in this particular category, you don't meet your own requirements to discuss it. Just to prove my statement that you do not understand this thread or religion in general here is the official Merriam-Webster definition of religion: "The belief in a god or in a group of gods". Can you explain to me why you think religion is scientific but God isn't when all religion is centered around God or gods.
    See above.

    One cannot explain God. One can only explain the desire for a God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Just know that when discussing religion, God is bound to come up because without God there would be no religion
    I am well aware of that. This is the primary reason we struggle to scientifically address religion in this dedicated sub forum. I'm not sure if it is simply that a real scientific discussion of religion is unsatisfying or if people misunderstand how scientific methodology works, but many threads started here end up locked or in the trash because of the fact that God cannot be examined by science.

    We can examine what were once considered to be the actions of Gods (thunderstorms, the sun, tides, earthquakes, etc), but that never seems to be enough. If you really want to discuss religion on here, you must put God aside.

    For most, it seems, that is impossible. Until it can happen, I see a great deal of conflict in this particular sub forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    I think mankind is currently living in the dark ages of spirituallity.
    I would argue that we're living in the enlightened period of spirituality when it is becoming acceptable to present yourself as atheist. 'Atheist' has been a dirty word, one people were ashamed to apply to themselves, for so long. Now that science is finally at the forefront of human consciousness and we're able to explore so many of the realms of knowledge previously unavailable to us (we have a robot on Mars for crying out loud), we're beginning to narrow the gaps into which God can slip.

    I think we're on the front lines of the Age of Logic. God is becoming less and less useful in the educated first world.
    Take a look at this. http://y-jesus.com/more/science-christianity-compatible?gclid=CNTnsbHfpboCFStp7AodAFkABA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    I think mankind is currently living in the dark ages of spirituallity.
    I would argue that we're living in the enlightened period of spirituality when it is becoming acceptable to present yourself as atheist. 'Atheist' has been a dirty word, one people were ashamed to apply to themselves, for so long. Now that science is finally at the forefront of human consciousness and we're able to explore so many of the realms of knowledge previously unavailable to us (we have a robot on Mars for crying out loud), we're beginning to narrow the gaps into which God can slip.

    I think we're on the front lines of the Age of Logic. God is becoming less and less useful in the educated first world.
    Take a look at this. http://y-jesus.com/more/science-christianity-compatible?gclid=CNTnsbHfpboCFStp7AodAFkABA

    That settles it then.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Take a look at this. http://y-jesus.com/more/science-christianity-compatible?gclid=CNTnsbHfpboCFStp7AodAFkABA
    Cherry-picking crap.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    I think mankind is currently living in the dark ages of spirituallity.
    I would argue that we're living in the enlightened period of spirituality when it is becoming acceptable to present yourself as atheist. 'Atheist' has been a dirty word, one people were ashamed to apply to themselves, for so long. Now that science is finally at the forefront of human consciousness and we're able to explore so many of the realms of knowledge previously unavailable to us (we have a robot on Mars for crying out loud), we're beginning to narrow the gaps into which God can slip.

    I think we're on the front lines of the Age of Logic. God is becoming less and less useful in the educated first world.
    Take a look at this. http://y-jesus.com/more/science-christianity-compatible?gclid=CNTnsbHfpboCFStp7AodAFkABA

    That settles it then.
    Insurmountable proof that alien Ted is the creator of the Universe and the architect behind DNA.
    You tell me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    Regardless of the language, some of the questions which are posed here simply are not scientific in nature. In addition, many posters do not come here for discussion, but rather to assert a point or receive affirmation. Those posters are usually dealt with rather quickly and often with little mercy. I would agree that some members here have pretty short fuses, but that should probably be tolerated in the same manner as people who struggle to communicate. You just have to understand that that is the way they are and you can't take it personally.
    I agree that many come here to assert a point that is not backed by many, if any at all. And that is not appropriate for them to do so but I gather they do so because they don't understand how a forum works. I think anyone who has a short-fuse and resorts to name-calling and insults should be dealt with quickly and with little mercy. Those kind of people have no desire for formal discussion and neither are they capable of having one, thus they contribute nothing to discussion. That is indeed something that can change if they want to make that change and it's a beautiful component of human genetics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I would argue that you're in the minority.

    How many evolutionary biologists believe in creationism? How many geologists believe in a young Earth? How many astrophysicists believe the universe was made in a week?

    I don't think I painted people of faith as fanatical. I simply referred to their belief system. My issue here is that much of a religion is open to interpretation. God used to be the master craftsman who made all of us, but now some people suggest he is just a force that set it into motion. Science does not have the luxury of being pliable when hit with hard data which contradicts it.

    I cannot, for instance, reinterpret tectonic plate theory to suit my personal belief system.

    I will admit that my ability to encompass all of the varying degrees of faith and the accompanying belief sets within each faith is insufficient to make statements which cover everyone of faith. I apologize for that.
    The issue is that you have been repeatedly and generalizing all people who profess some association with any religion, which is also indicative of not understanding basic sociology. If I am in the minority then wouldn't that create two-groups, one being a majority and the other a minority? So how is it scientifically accurate to use the term "all" or "people of faith" or any phrase related to that?

    Also, you're now suggesting in this latest response that all people of faith (or are you suggesting Christians? Or specifically a minority group of Christians?) believe the earth to be a few thousand years old, and/or that evolution isn't real, and/or that the universe was created in a week. I'm not sure who specifically you are addressing with this point other than "people of faith", but realistically speaking you're referencing a small minority of folks in the Christian faith in any or all of those. It's important to clarify who you're addressing otherwise it's an incorrectly used blanket-statement that means nothing and reveals either a lapse in judgment (which were all prone to) or simply not having the proper education on the matter.

    Creationism is very simple to understand, and difficult to argue against when it is argued correctly. Most of the time, the people preaching it are the very ones who do not understand it and because it's their voices that are heard by the world, other folks of different opinions tend to focus on that and either disregard or forget about the rest of Christians who have a different understanding of scripture.

    Your last paragraph is again, comparing faith to science which doesn't make sense. Additionally, faith is not open to interpretation, but religion may be unfortunately. Since I have always been a Christian I cannot comment on other religions but my own is a constant and arduous process. I am constantly learning, practicing, and refining. In those senses, it is not different than calculus, physics, or chemistry. The more you study and the better tools you have to study and help you understand the information, the better your understanding will be of the material. The Bible is no different and it's unfortunate that many have misinterpreted the Bible and led to the tens of thousands of differing interpretations of the same conceptual frame work. It makes it much more difficult for new or young Christian to understand their own beliefs and that much easier for other folks to misinterpret Christianity in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    The latter part of this comment, which I have not included, seemed a bit grandiose considering the fairly humble point I was trying to make.

    To put it simply, science requires, without exception, adherence to scientific methodology. It is the glue that binds science together. Within that methodology is a requirement for evidence. There is no evidence of God. None. You cannot reinterpret evidence to mean anecdotes from relatives or personal experiences you don't understand.

    Therefore, we cannot scientifically address God. To attempt to apply scientific analyses to something which cannot be analyzed in such a way is a misuse of science (in fact, it isn't science). To claim some kind of validity because you can use vague scientific terms in a faith-based ideal is a pollution of the science and is, at least to me, offensive.
    I never mentioned reinterpreting any evidence. Nor did I say it was appropriate for anyone to do. All I've said is that it is better to correct someone out of love and kindness rather than rebuke and insults. You're also making a logical positivist argument which was defeated by Kantian logic more than a hundred years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Who of us has found you hostile?
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Eh, you.

    You specifically said "there is an obscene amount of folks who, upon asking a very innocent question with regards to religion, are then subject to ridicule and interrogation rather than with questions or answers pertaining to the topic."

    Then, you failed to include it in the part I quoted. My reply was not to the comment you quoted. I'm not sure if this was intentional and a failure of integrity or not, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

    I did paraphrase your "ridicule and interrogation" part as hostile. It seemed fair enough and if you think I was putting words in your mouth, I apologize.
    I did not intentionally misunderstand you. I was sharing my thoughts regarding the observations I have made in the top twenty threads of thus particular sub-forum (Scientific Study of Religion). What did I misunderstand? And where did I say I found you in particular hostile? If I have misunderstood something I do apologize!

    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Sorry to cut you off, but let's not make assumptions about what I do and don't understand. Religion is a community built around a faith, God is the crux of that faith. While one may require the other (faith requiring God), there can be separate discussions on each.

    For instance, I believe the desire to build a community stems from a biological imperative. I would also suggest that worshiping a higher power stems from a fear of insignificance in an ever-expanding world of knowledge.
    Right and I clarified how the two can be somewhat separated within very small parameters but a discussion of religion may ultimately also lead to God. My clarification was located in my last paragraph. Also, faith in God has nothing to do with fear of insignificance. The only fear we are called to have is that of God. I understand it is only a suggestion on your part but it is a blanket-suggestion that is not correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    See above.

    One cannot explain God. One can only explain the desire for a God.
    This subject to interpretation as it depends on what your definition of explain. I'm quite serious because if you asked me to explain God I'd do so to the best of my abilities according to scripture. If you asked me to scientifically explain God I wouldn't and couldn't.

    I am well aware of that. This is the primary reason we struggle to scientifically address religion in this dedicated sub forum. I'm not sure if it is simply that a real scientific discussion of religion is unsatisfying or if people misunderstand how scientific methodology works, but many threads started here end up locked or in the trash because of the fact that God cannot be examined by science.

    We can examine what were once considered to be the actions of Gods (thunderstorms, the sun, tides, earthquakes, etc), but that never seems to be enough. If you really want to discuss religion on here, you must put God aside.

    For most, it seems, that is impossible. Until it can happen, I see a great deal of conflict in this particular sub forum.[/QUOTE]

    I agree to an extent. If we're going to discuss religion then we must keep the conversation isolated to only discussion. But I would again suggest that people refrain from insulting those who do anyways and better yet, have the mods delete the thread and warn the individual as well as provide them a link of the appropriate rules to posting rather than letting them continue on and feeding the hungry hoard here. And again, I also think that part of the reason many religious folks post material that isn't appropriate for this sub is do to cultural differences and/or language barriers. Some may be quite young as well but either way, it does justify anyone's inappropriate remarks.



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    Last edited by Eighty88; October 21st, 2013 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Edited for proper use of quotations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Take a look at this. http://y-jesus.com/more/science-christianity-compatible?gclid=CNTnsbHfpboCFStp7AodAFkABA
    Cherry-picking crap.
    I am guessing but it sounds like disagreement, do you think he god will ever be found by science?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Take a look at this. http://y-jesus.com/more/science-christianity-compatible?gclid=CNTnsbHfpboCFStp7AodAFkABA
    Cherry-picking crap.
    I am guessing but it sounds like disagreement, do you think he god will ever be found by science?

    Supernatural entities cannot be investigated by science because science investigates natural phenomena only via its methodology.
    So my answer would be no.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Supernatural entities cannot be investigated by science because science investigates natural phenomena only via its methodology.
    That probably explains why there's a global conspiracy to deny the existence of Nüwa and undermine her authority and power with fictitious stories of other deities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Supernatural entities cannot be investigated by science because science investigates natural phenomena only via its methodology.
    That probably explains why there's a global conspiracy to deny the existence of Nüwa and undermine her authority and power with fictitious stories of other deities.

    I think you need to put that message in Caps lock, Comic Sans MS, 14pt and in a red color, in order to really sound like a conspiracy theorist.
    And do not forget to add some spelling mistakes!
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    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Dywy said:
    Cherry-picking crap.
    Great argument when you lack a counter argument or rebuttal material.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    Great argument when you lack a counter argument or rebuttal material.
    Oops, mistake on your part - I've simply not bothered because that article isn't part of this discussion.
    And, given the numerous and significant errors in your posts, you're hardly in a position to talk.
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    This is probably going to be my last time bloviating (just learned that word) on this topic because these kind of responses tire me out, are generally unproductive, and I seriously doubt anyone cares enough about what I say to read it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    I agree that many come here to assert a point that is not backed by many, if any at all. And that is not appropriate for them to do so but I gather they do so because they don't understand how a forum works. I think anyone who has a short-fuse and resorts to name-calling and insults should be dealt with quickly and with little mercy. Those kind of people have no desire for formal discussion and neither are they capable of having one, thus they contribute nothing to discussion. That is indeed something that can change if they want to make that change and it's a beautiful component of human genetics.
    I agree that hostile responses are generally unwarranted, but the fact remains that some of the people on here don't do it simply to be hostile. They just don't want to spend the amount of time that I am spending on these replies when the forum is subjected to these same pseudoscientific threads several times a week.

    Some of the people with short fuses also happen to be very valuable contributors within the parameters of the board.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    The issue is that you have been repeatedly and generalizing all people who profess some association with any religion, which is also indicative of not understanding basic sociology. If I am in the minority then wouldn't that create two-groups, one being a majority and the other a minority? So how is it scientifically accurate to use the term "all" or "people of faith" or any phrase related to that?
    I'm not trying to generalize, but it is my understanding that belief in a God precipitates a belief in creationism. If you believe in God, but you don't believe he had a hand in creating the world or shaping the forces which govern it, by all means let me know. That would be very strange to me indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Also, you're now suggesting in this latest response that all people of faith (or are you suggesting Christians? Or specifically a minority group of Christians?) believe the earth to be a few thousand years old, and/or that evolution isn't real, and/or that the universe was created in a week. I'm not sure who specifically you are addressing with this point other than "people of faith", but realistically speaking you're referencing a small minority of folks in the Christian faith in any or all of those. It's important to clarify who you're addressing otherwise it's an incorrectly used blanket-statement that means nothing and reveals either a lapse in judgment (which were all prone to) or simply not having the proper education on the matter.
    This is where the issues arise. I can't address any group. Faith is so pliable that your beliefs could be completely different than someone else who shares your faith. It's like grasping sand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Creationism is very simple to understand
    Eh? I can't begin to understand how one can believe some being which exists outside the realm of reality could craft all of space and time. It makes string theory look like 3rd grade art class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    , and difficult to argue against when it is argued correctly.
    On the contrary, I've never heard a viable argument FOR creationism so I fail to see how it could be hard to argue against. Unless you're suggesting that the nature of creationism, which revels in the inability to be explained, is so far outside normal debate that it isn't possible to refute it. Refuting interdimensional unicorns is extremely hard as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Most of the time, the people preaching it are the very ones who do not understand it and because it's their voices that are heard by the world, other folks of different opinions tend to focus on that and either disregard or forget about the rest of Christians who have a different understanding of scripture.
    I'm not sure how you can write off others as not understanding their own faith. It's all up to personal interpretation. Who are you to say someone else is wrong about their faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Additionally, faith is not open to interpretation
    I disagree completely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    I never mentioned reinterpreting any evidence. Nor did I say it was appropriate for anyone to do. All I've said is that it is better to correct someone out of love and kindness rather than rebuke and insults. You're also making a logical positivist argument which was defeated by Kantian logic more than a hundred years ago.
    I have no interest in philosophy so if that is where you want to take the debate, you'll have to find someone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Also, faith in God has nothing to do with fear of insignificance.
    Citation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    The only fear we are called to have is that of God.
    This assumption requires faith in the cause in order to explain the effect. That kind of logic doesn't work for me.

    I can't be bothered to address the remainder of your assumptions and beliefs as they're supported by nothing more than your word.

    That is why this sub forum creates so many tenuous relationships and expands so many ignore lists. No one can offer anything of substance in regards to God and when someone like me suggests biology or neurology as being the driving forces behind our "need" for God, it gets met with a succinct "you're wrong" as you so kindly demonstrated earlier in the post.
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    Dywy said:
    I've simply not bothered because that article isn't part of this discussion.
    Stargate, it would seem, did insert it into the conversation, so your hypothesis is contrary to fact. Secondarily, if it was not a part of the discussion, why would you comment on it? -- illogical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    Dywy said:
    I've simply not bothered because that article isn't part of this discussion.
    Stargate, it would seem, did insert it into the conversation, so your hypothesis is contrary to fact. Secondarily, if it was not a part of the discussion, why would you comment on it? -- illogical.
    You're really having comprehension difficulties today, aren't you.
    Yes, it was inserted into the thread.
    No, it's not pertinent to the topic (i.e. the discussion as it pertains to the topic at hand): it was a sideline, a diversion, a non-sequitur. And my comment was a dismissal of it as such.

    I note you still haven't addressed the points I raised in my reply to your earlier post.
    Perhaps you feel you're on safer ground with diversions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    This is probably going to be my last time bloviating (just learned that word) on this topic because these kind of responses tire me out, are generally unproductive, and I seriously doubt anyone cares enough about what I say to read it.

    I agree that hostile responses are generally unwarranted, but the fact remains that some of the people on here don't do it simply to be hostile. They just don't want to spend the amount of time that I am spending on these replies when the forum is subjected to these same pseudoscientific threads several times a week.

    Some of the people with short fuses also happen to be very valuable contributors within the parameters of the board.
    Quite the contrary. These conversations are very important. Just as you correct folks who misunderstand science I correct folks who misunderstand religion and specifically in these case, Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I'm not trying to generalize, but it is my understanding that belief in a God precipitates a belief in creationism. If you believe in God, but you don't believe he had a hand in creating the world or shaping the forces which govern it, by all means let me know. That would be very strange to me indeed.
    Creationism itself has many differing beliefs. This is what I explained to you in my previous reply. You can't lump them all together as you'd like, that's not correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Also, you're now suggesting in this latest response that all people of faith (or are you suggesting Christians? Or specifically a minority group of Christians?) believe the earth to be a few thousand years old, and/or that evolution isn't real, and/or that the universe was created in a week. I'm not sure who specifically you are addressing with this point other than "people of faith", but realistically speaking you're referencing a small minority of folks in the Christian faith in any or all of those. It's important to clarify who you're addressing otherwise it's an incorrectly used blanket-statement that means nothing and reveals either a lapse in judgment (which were all prone to) or simply not having the proper education on the matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    This is where the issues arise. I can't address any group. Faith is so pliable that your beliefs could be completely different than someone else who shares your faith. It's like grasping sand.
    Much like the human race. I hate to break it to you but every person on the planet is different in their thoughts, emotions, values, principles, beliefs, etc. Hence why conversations such as this one is important. It will help you to better understand people with a different train of thought. Faith itself is not pliable, religion and interpretation unfortunately seem to be with many folks. If you cannot address any group then why address them all? Would it not be better to not address any of them as opposed to addressing them all incorrectly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Eh? I can't begin to understand how one can believe some being which exists outside the realm of reality could craft all of space and time. It makes string theory look like 3rd grade art class.
    It's quite interesting you mention string theory. I know a few people invested in it and having listened to Dr. Michio Kaku and others (Brian Greene, Tyson) it actually helps one to associate with the possibility of a supernatural deity. As it was explained to me by a Harvard professor; the more you learn about it the more open-minded you tend to become.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    On the contrary, I've never heard a viable argument FOR creationism so I fail to see how it could be hard to argue against. Unless you're suggesting that the nature of creationism, which revels in the inability to be explained, is so far outside normal debate that it isn't possible to refute it. Refuting interdimensional unicorns is extremely hard as well.
    Logical positivism is very easy to defeat in an argument, which by all means leaves wide-open the insertion for a creationist argument. There aren't many who argue creationism properly so it doesn't surprise me you haven't heard a viable argument for it. Creationism is science, with God attached to it. That's about as simple as it gets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I'm not sure how you can write off others as not understanding their own faith. It's all up to personal interpretation. Who are you to say someone else is wrong about their faith?
    Perhaps I can say they are wrong just as easily as you claim we are wrong, could I not? More logically speaking though, I can refer to scripture much like a physicist can refer to his equations to determine what is right and what is wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Additionally, faith is not open to interpretation
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I disagree completely.
    Can you elaborate on this? Why do you disagree?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    I never mentioned reinterpreting any evidence. Nor did I say it was appropriate for anyone to do. All I've said is that it is better to correct someone out of love and kindness rather than rebuke and insults. You're also making a logical positivist argument which was defeated by Kantian logic more than a hundred years ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I have no interest in philosophy so if that is where you want to take the debate, you'll have to find someone else.
    That has nothing to do with my point, I'm afraid you've misunderstood. My point was that I never mentioned reinterpreting evidence, nor did I say it was appropriate to do so. That's not philosophical, that is factual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Also, faith in God has nothing to do with fear of insignificance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Citation?
    The Bible. There are many verses. Proverbs, John, Corinthians, Psalms, and many more. I like Proverbs 16:6..."By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by fear of the Lord men depart from evil." (KJV)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    The only fear we are called to have is that of God.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    This assumption requires faith in the cause in order to explain the effect. That kind of logic doesn't work for me.

    I can't be bothered to address the remainder of your assumptions and beliefs as they're supported by nothing more than your word.

    That is why this sub forum creates so many tenuous relationships and expands so many ignore lists. No one can offer anything of substance in regards to God and when someone like me suggests biology or neurology as being the driving forces behind our "need" for God, it gets met with a succinct "you're wrong" as you so kindly demonstrated earlier in the post.
    Argumentium ad ignorantiam. I haven't seen any posts from you in this thread referencing biology or neurology. I just looked over several of the top threads in this particular sub-forum and did not see any references to biology or neurology from you. Perhaps you did but I cannot find any of the threads.

    Also, you're right. Fear of God requires faith.

    I am very interested in hearing whatever thoughts you have on religion with respect to the biological or neurological aspect. If you'd like to share I suggest starting another thread and we can have a very appropriate discussion.

    Lastly, I suggest you learn some basic level of philosophy if you're going to argue a point with anyone otherwise you're a fish in a barrel.



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    Creationism itself has many differing beliefs. This is what I explained to you in my previous reply. You can't lump them all together as you'd like, that's not correct.
    I think you can. Basically, creationist beliefs rely on mystery.

    Whether it's the mystery and majesty of one all-powerful capital G God, or the multiplicity of gods and other mystical beings doing magical and mysterious things in Hindu or Dreamtime creation stories, that just depends on how you've been raised or what you've decided to believe. Either way it's a matter of faith and commitment, not of reason and investigation.

    It's the kind of mystery that obscures rather than illuminates the real and fascinating mysteries of the real world.

    The only differences among the various forms of creationism is how much they obscure rather than whether they obscure.
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    Dywy said:
    Why are you ignoring Moi?
    Well, maybe he didn't say that yet.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Take a look at this. http://y-jesus.com/more/science-christianity-compatible?gclid=CNTnsbHfpboCFStp7AodAFkABA
    I assume it was put up as an example of logical fallacies wrapped in pseudoscience?
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post

    It's the kind of mystery that obscures rather than illuminates the real and fascinating mysteries of the real world.
    Can you provide a factual basis for that? Because I don't think you can. I interpret creation as God created all things. This is faith-based keep in mind. You're making the most common error of attributing something of faith for something of science. This is exactly what religious folk are accused of yet it would appear that it is not something isolated to just them.

    Assuming that religion or faith in a Higher Power leads to some sort of distorted view of science is not correct. I am very religious and I'm an engineer. I'm also an accountant. A builder. A drafter. Soon to be economist. An analyst and at times a consultant. All of those rely upon science to some degree right? If religion had the ability to obscure the wonders of our universe how would any of that be possible?

    Also, it's important to note that many religious fundamentalists come from a science or engineering background. Note that these are not just religious folks, but fundamentalists and extremists. The ones more than happy to die for their faith. Most of my friends are also highly religious ranging from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, to Buddhist, and even Zoroastrian. And most of them are also either scientists or engineers. Their faith doesn't seem to have gotten in the way, on the contrary!

    Many religious people have a huge desire to learn about the world they live in. The idea that they're closed-minded to science has no credibility. We see the world as something God-created and feel it is not only our responsibility to learn about the world but also our natural curiosity is typically highly encouraged by our parents beginning in our youth.

    It's easy to throw out blanket-statements with no merit.



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    I've never really understood how "God created the universe" can be considered an ultimate explanation for anything. To me, "God created the world" leads to the immediate question: "who created God?". Then God's origin is danced around by various handwaving such as "we aren't meant to know". Adelady is right, creationism is largely obfuscation, not explanation.
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    I interpret creation as God created all things. This is faith-based keep in mind. You're making the most common error of attributing something of faith for something of science.
    Exactly. God (or any other gods) is unknowable - and ineffable and non-human and transcendent and inscrutable and mysterious - or whatever words a given sect uses to describe or refer to the divine.

    Putting a god, several gods, or the one and only jealous God, (yup, I was raised knowing the KJV pretty well) between humans and the idea of the world is what faith does to put a mysterious veil or a firm barrier between direct understanding of the world and "understanding" mediated by divine being(s).

    I've learned to take my mysteries neat rather than diluted by further mysteries.
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    If religion had the ability to obscure the wonders of our universe how would any of that be possible?
    It's called compartmentalisation.

    People who can say "God created all things" when talking faith talk but also understand the distinction between big bang theory and the origin of the universe, who also converse knowledgeably about the distinction between evolution and abiogenesis when it's science talk, are walking on science stepping stones across the bottomless pool of faith. They might be comfortable doing so, but it's a dangerous course. Too many people without suitable training or analytical thinking skills might try to follow - and they will slip into the murky woo of rigid creationist nonsense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    Dywy said:
    Why are you ignoring Moi?
    Well, maybe he didn't say that yet.
    And here I was hoping that if you can't be rational you could at least try to be honest.
    Ignore list.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Take a look at this. http://y-jesus.com/more/science-christianity-compatible?gclid=CNTnsbHfpboCFStp7AodAFkABA
    I assume it was put up as an example of logical fallacies wrapped in pseudoscience?

    Possibly. If member Stargate (or any other member) feels to need to make a separate thread about this article,
    then it stands to reason that other members and I will provide a more elaborate analysis of the article.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Hello deric, welcome to the forum.

    I am not sure how much time you have spent looking around threads on the forum, but if you have you may have noticed that the majority of the regular members are people who are either scientists or engineers, people with science educations, or people interested in science. Most of these have a common belief in the demonstrated value of evidence and of the scientific method. Therefore your ideas, attractive as they may be to some, will not get a warm reception.

    Let's take a look at some of your points from a scientific perspective:

    1.Scientists are suspicious of the notion of truth. They recognise that as time passes our knowledge grows and ideas change. Scientists do not speak of something as being true, but as offering the best explanation currently available based on existing evidence.
    2. Using the internet as your primary source, without any training in critical thinking, is not a good idea. I could phrase that more strongly, but I do not want to offend you. The internet does contain links to some outstandingly good material, but it also contains an enormous amount of nonsense. Distinguishing the two can be very difficult.
    3. You may not be aware of it, but there is a lot of research on near death experiences, and they are readily explained as an effect of a brain that is in the process of shutting down. There is no serious indication that they represent some genuine contact with 'the beyond'.
    4. There are much more plausible explanations for Out of Body experiences than those offered by Monroe. You may wish to read this as an example, or consult the wikipedia page on the subject. I'm sure there is one.
    5. The common theme of reincarnation, with progressive improvement, is an attractive one to many, but it lacks any meaningful evidence. Evidence is not a story someone tells, no matter how convincingly about their own experiences. Eye witness testimony is not reliable. People are easily mistaken, misled, confused, or may lie, or hallucinate, or otherwise be inaccurate or wrong.
    6. Basing your life on a possibility of what is really going on, without any meaningful evidence to support it, is an excellent way to waste a life.
    7. It is highly questionable whether Jesus ever existed as an individual, but if he did there is no evidence whatsoever that he was the Son of God.
    8. There is no meaningful evidence that the God of the Bible exists and absolutely no meaningful explanation of why he went through such a personality change moving from Old to New Testament times.
    9. You could be wrong, you say, and based upon a critical examination of the evidence, you are wrong.

    I do not expect you to accept any of what I have written. I do hope you will start to think about it and begin to use your critical thinking faculties.

    Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I interpret creation as God created all things. This is faith-based keep in mind. You're making the most common error of attributing something of faith for something of science.
    Exactly. God (or any other gods) is unknowable - and ineffable and non-human and transcendent and inscrutable and mysterious - or whatever words a given sect uses to describe or refer to the divine.

    Putting a god, several gods, or the one and only jealous God, (yup, I was raised knowing the KJV pretty well) between humans and the idea of the world is what faith does to put a mysterious veil or a firm barrier between direct understanding of the world and "understanding" mediated by divine being(s).

    I've learned to take my mysteries neat rather than diluted by further mysteries.
    Can you clarify that statement? How does faith in god create barriers to the accessibility or understanding of science? At this point, you're running on a dry opinion with no fuel. I asked you earlier and you didn't. Us science folks consider that the opposite of science.


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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    If religion had the ability to obscure the wonders of our universe how would any of that be possible?
    It's called compartmentalisation.

    People who can say "God created all things" when talking faith talk but also understand the distinction between big bang theory and the origin of the universe, who also converse knowledgeably about the distinction between evolution and abiogenesis when it's science talk, are walking on science stepping stones across the bottomless pool of faith. They might be comfortable doing so, but it's a dangerous course. Too many people without suitable training or analytical thinking skills might try to follow - and they will slip into the murky woo of rigid creationist nonsense.
    So let's recap here for a moment.

    Right now you're saying its possible for faith-based folks to learn science through compartmentalization. Earlier you said
    "It's the kind of mystery that obscures rather than illuminates the real and fascinating mysteries of the real world. "

    I'm not sure if you realize this or not but those are two different distinctions you're making. One highlights the ability of the religious to have faith and still comprehend science because they have the ability to compartmentalize. The latter statement emphasizes that science is obscured from religious folks because of their faith.

    Which is it?

    Also; I could argue from your own inference that the ability of the religious to compartmentalize information gives them a one-up over their non-religious peers.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I interpret creation as God created all things. This is faith-based keep in mind. You're making the most common error of attributing something of faith for something of science.
    Exactly. God (or any other gods) is unknowable - and ineffable and non-human and transcendent and inscrutable and mysterious - or whatever words a given sect uses to describe or refer to the divine.

    Putting a god, several gods, or the one and only jealous God, (yup, I was raised knowing the KJV pretty well) between humans and the idea of the world is what faith does to put a mysterious veil or a firm barrier between direct understanding of the world and "understanding" mediated by divine being(s).

    I've learned to take my mysteries neat rather than diluted by further mysteries.
    Can you clarify that statement? How does faith in god create barriers to the accessibility or understanding of science? At this point, you're running on a dry opinion with no fuel. I asked you earlier and you didn't. Us science folks consider that the opposite of science.


    Cheers!
    Exactly. God (or any other gods) is unknowable - and ineffable and non-human and transcendent and inscrutable and mysterious - or whatever words a given sect uses to describe or refer to the divine.
    This makes sence to me if you are talking about your own experience, I have heard so many people who testify that he is real for them. I do not know that for myself except when I place myself in the position to be god. However who am I to disbelieve them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    If religion had the ability to obscure the wonders of our universe how would any of that be possible?
    It's called compartmentalisation.

    People who can say "God created all things" when talking faith talk but also understand the distinction between big bang theory and the origin of the universe, who also converse knowledgeably about the distinction between evolution and abiogenesis when it's science talk, are walking on science stepping stones across the bottomless pool of faith. They might be comfortable doing so, but it's a dangerous course. Too many people without suitable training or analytical thinking skills might try to follow - and they will slip into the murky woo of rigid creationist nonsense.
    So let's recap here for a moment.

    Right now you're saying its possible for faith-based folks to learn science through compartmentalization. Earlier you said
    "It's the kind of mystery that obscures rather than illuminates the real and fascinating mysteries of the real world. "

    I'm not sure if you realize this or not but those are two different distinctions you're making. One highlights the ability of the religious to have faith and still comprehend science because they have the ability to compartmentalize. The latter statement emphasizes that science is obscured from religious folks because of their faith.

    Which is it?

    Also; I could argue from your own inference that the ability of the religious to compartmentalize information gives them a one-up over their non-religious peers.



    Cheers!
    Firstly that is not what he said. So I call strawman.
    And you believe being closed minded makes you one up on the open minded, lol. I'd think again.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Does anyone here comprehend Kali Yuga?
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    Lynx Fox said:
    I assume it was put up as an example of logical fallacies wrapped in pseudoscience?
    This is the typical response to all ideas which use the same information that materialists use to show a different result. This is what real science does -- it looks at all possible results without prejudging them. Materialism does not disprove God any more than spiritualism proves God. Nobody KNOWS how we got here or why . Whether you are a materialist or spiritualist the only person you are fooling if you think you know is yourself. There are a number of scientists such as Michael Behe, William Dembski, David Berlinski, and Phillip Johnson to name a few of published repute, who have looked at the same information as those with a materialistic bias and come to different conclusions as to what the information shows. The non-scientific materialists think that by calling them crackpots and non-scientists, they have effectively rebutted their findings. Real science looks at their conclusions and tries to show how they are inaccurate. This non-science oriented materialism is the typical argument we find here also. It goes to the effect that if you are not a materialist and do not agree with materialism you are prima facie (or even a priori) wrong and you are an inferior being with no ability to have rational thoughts. It is virtually impossible to actually discuss anything because so many of the contributors claiming to be scientifically oriented are little more than anti-religious hacks. They are more interested in being as insulting, disrespectful, antagonistic and as rude as they possibly can. And then they are offended if those of us who are not materialists reply in kind.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    Nobody KNOWS how we got here or why .
    Yes, but some possible explanations are backed with evidence.
    "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 daytonturner View Post
    This is the typical response to all ideas which use the same information that materialists use to show a different result. This is what real science does -- it looks at all possible results without prejudging them. Materialism does not disprove God any more than spiritualism proves God.

    Materialism does not prove nor disprove anything. It is a philosophical viewpoint.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturnner View Post
    Nobody KNOWS how we got here or why.

    This is true to a certain extent. Theories can never describe with absolute certainty what happened.
    In other words, it means that there is still plenty of work in the field of science.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    There are a number of scientists such as Michael Behe, William Dembski, David Berlinski, and Phillip Johnson to name a few of published repute, who have looked at the same information as those with a materialistic bias and come to different conclusions as to what the information shows.

    Read: who have misrepresented information in order to push Intelligent Design (which is creationism in disguise) into the U.S. education system.

    Furthermore, you cannot arrive at different conclusions from the same data, neither is bias incorporated in the scientific method nor in the process of peer-review. If they are truly scientists, then you would not mind at all to provide some scientific articles from these writers?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    The non-scientific materialists think that by calling them crackpots and non-scientists, they have effectively rebutted their findings.

    I think that the vast number of scientific papers that refute their findings already do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    Real science looks at their conclusions and tries to show how they are inaccurate. This non-science oriented materialism is the typical argument we find here also. It goes to the effect that if you are not a materialist and do not agree with materialism you are prima facie (or even a priori) wrong and you are an inferior being with no ability to have rational thoughts.

    Read: Stop telling me I am wrong!

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    It is virtually impossible to actually discuss anything because so many of the contributors claiming to be scientifically oriented are little more than anti-religious hacks. They are more interested in being as insulting, disrespectful, antagonistic and as rude as they possibly can. And then they are offended if those of us who are not materialists reply in kind.

    As opposed to your logical fallacies, your denigrating description of other members in this thread, your despicable use of an argumentum ad Hitlerium, your misrepresentation of science and its methodology, your inability to cope with non-Jesus lovers and your preaching in this thread?

    And yet you managed to be surprised?
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    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    To KNOW GOD in the biblical sense.
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    Flick said:

    Yes, but some possible explanations are backed with evidence.
    And some explanations are debunked with evidence.

    Let us look momentarily at the Cosmological question of how did the Universe get here where there are two basic contentions -- crated or natural..

    For many centuries the leading and most effective opponents of a created Universe claimed that everything had always been here. This was pretty hard to prove or disprove. (I don't remember off the top of my head what that Cosmology is called.)

    And then comes along Edwin Hubble who shows that the Universe is actually expanding from which the logical conclusion is drawn that it (the Universe) was probably smaller at some point and had a specific beginning point. This led us to what we now call the Big Bang theory.

    But also at this point, we have some basis for some partial agreement between science and creation in that both explanations of the beginning of the Universe agree that there was no time-space continuum and then, all of a sudden, there was a time-space continuum.

    So now, the discussion moves on to debating the causation of this beginning. However, we are no closer to determining how the Universe got here than we were when the debate was between created and "always-been-here" Universes.

    We are now at a point where we have decided that Hubble was only partially correct. He used his information to show that the energy released at the Big Bang would eventually expand the Universe to its optimum size after which it would begin to recoil and begin to shrink, eventually collapsing back to its starting point.

    The Hubble telescope which is named after him has, ironically, proven his recoil theory impossible due the fact that not only is the Universe expanding, but it expanding at an ever increasing rate meaning that energy is being added to the Universe, and now we have the added question of from whence cometh this new energy.

    So the major discussion on this matter today continues to revolve not so much around what is but around causation. Cosmology has neither proven nor disproven a cause for this phenomenon and this is because we have only effect which can be measured by that which exists within the effect. We can develop different Cosmological possibilities and have been able to eliminate some Cosmological possibilities, but we are far from actually coming to a Cosmological answer to causation.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    I'm confused. You just demonstrated how prevailing theories are expanded upon and grow as our technological capacity to examine them increases in accuracy.

    What is your point? That because we don't have a definitive answer, it is fine to accept something wildly improbable?
    "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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    Let us look momentarily at the Cosmological question of how did the Universe get here where there are two basic contentions -- crated or natural..
    Both speculations, both could be true or false.
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    Flick said:
    theories are expanded upon and grow as our technological capacity to examine them increases in accuracy.
    Actually, the opposite can also be true in that we can use newfound knowledge to narrow possibilities and thereby narrowing the field of scrutiny.

    Flick asked:

    What is your point? That because we don't have a definitive answer, it is fine to accept something wildly improbable?
    You mean like yours? My opinion would be that a natural cause is less probable than an intelligent causative.

    Stargate said:

    Both speculations, both could be true or false.
    It is certainly possible that both could be false, but about the only scenario I can imaging which would make the both true would be a scenario in which God used a natural process to create the Universe. It is more likely that either God was the causative or God was not the causative or there was yet another causative all of which seem to be mutually exclusive of the other two.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    If
    indeed, we are in a dark age
    lacking an objective perspective,
    how would we know this
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    If
    indeed, we are in a dark age
    lacking an objective perspective,
    how would we know this
    All we can do is compare it to the past. Where relative to the science knowledge we probably learn more every ten years, than we learned in centuries before. Our descendants though might consider our age the dark ages though...it might be lack or knowledge, slow speed of progress, or just really poor wisdom to implement what we're learning for the good of the planet, or reluctant to abandon destructive social constructs and mythology, or some combination compared to their age. None of us really know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    To KNOW GOD in the biblical sense.
    Honestly!! I didn't sleep with him!!!!!!
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    but *cough* I was tempted
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    If
    indeed, we are in a dark age
    lacking an objective perspective,
    how would we know this
    Perhaps because science works (in a practical sense: technology as applied science). Unlike religion/philosophy, which may be interesting or even important but don't produce practical results.
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    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    If
    indeed, we are in a dark age
    lacking an objective perspective,
    how would we know this
    Perhaps because science works (in a practical sense: technology as applied science). Unlike religion/philosophy, which may be interesting or even important but don't produce practical results.
    Or, in my opinion, practical results which cannot be otherwise explained in a more satisfactory manner.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    There are a number of scientists such as Michael Behe, William Dembski, David Berlinski, and Phillip Johnson to name a few of published repute, who have looked at the same information as those with a materialistic bias and come to different conclusions as to what the information shows.
    This is an excellent example of why some members believe that you have deluded yourself. Consider the following:

    Michael Behe - Biochemist, so that's OK.
    William Dembski - Mathematician, philosopher and theologian. Hmm, not quite a scientist then.
    David Berlinski - Philosopher, educator and author. So definitely not a scientist.
    Phillip Johnson - Law professor. So very definitely not a scientist.

    Now I am not questioning the elegance of argumentative technique used by these gentlemen. I am not saying that those without formal education in science should be prohibited from examining and commenting on the evidence for evolution, etc.

    This is what I am arguing: you have named four individuals as scientists and used that to help justify your position, even though two of those are not scientists, one might make it if you used a very broad definition of science, and only one properly meets the criteria.

    I don't think you are lying Dayton. I just think you are too ready either to accept what others have claimed, or to make unwarranted assumptions. In other words to delude yourself and then, through public declaration on a forum, try to delude others. There really is not any other viable explanation. Is there?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I'm confused. You just demonstrated how prevailing theories are expanded upon and grow as our technological capacity to examine them increases in accuracy.

    What is your point? That because we don't have a definitive answer, it is fine to accept something wildly improbable?
    I think probability means nothing with so many unknowns. The big bang offers a time of t=0, t1=could be as small as you want it in mechanical time, even if it was a billionth of a second later t1 could be still happening in cosmic time. My point is at the big bang, matter and antimatter were created however, antimatter was annulated a billionth of a second later, are we still in the billionth of a second later?
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    To KNOW GOD in the biblical sense.
    Honestly!! I didn't sleep with him!!!!!!
    If he was a she, I might have done so in expectation that she would have given me some of the secrets of how the universe started. Lol.
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    EDIT: Whoops. Wrong thread.
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    John Galt said:

    This is an excellent example of why some members believe that you have deluded yourself. Consider the following:

    Michael Behe - Biochemist, so that's OK.
    William Dembski - Mathematician, philosopher and theologian. Hmm, not quite a scientist then.
    David Berlinski - Philosopher, educator and author. So definitely not a scientist.
    Phillip Johnson - Law professor. So very definitely not a scientist.

    Now I am not questioning the elegance of argumentative technique used by these gentlemen. I am not saying that those without formal education in science should be prohibited from examining and commenting on the evidence for evolution, etc.

    This is what I am arguing: you have named four individuals as scientists and used that to help justify your position, even though two of those are not scientists, one might make it if you used a very broad definition of science, and only one properly meets the criteria.

    I don't think you are lying Dayton. I just think you are too ready either to accept what others have claimed, or to make unwarranted assumptions. In other words to delude yourself and then, through public declaration on a forum, try to delude others. There really is not any other viable explanation. Is there?
    Technically, you are correct in your assessment that three of the people I mentioned do not have basic practices in a direct scientific application. Perhaps I might have been well advised to call them Christian apologists who comment on relationships between religion and science.

    I might point out that for years the darling of the atheist community was Antony Flew who was hardly a scientist but was famous for his rejection of God based on the scientific principle of falsification.

    Someone, earlier in this thread mentioned "probabilities," presumably dancing around the issue of whether a natural view is more probable than a creationist view. It would seem to me that this is a math problem. So who would you want to attempt to answer a question like that -- a chemist or a mathematician? Dembski, according to Wikipedia, "holds that his knowledge of statistics and his skepticism concerning evolutionary theory led him to believe that the extraordinary diversity of life was statistically unlikely to have been produced by natural selection." I don't know if you have read him, but his work has been influential in causing evolutionists to alter the concepts relating to natural selection as being able to fully explain bio-diversity.

    Berlinski, also according to Wikipedia, did his early studies in molecular biology before moving to mathematics where, as Dembski, he wrote on the improbabilities of Darwinism. He is basically an agnostic who offers no alternate solution. He has been both regaled and skewered by reviewers of his writings and positions from both sides of the aisle.

    Johnson is probably the only one who actually fits your description of a non-scientist but has used his legal training to compare the "evidences" offered from both sides with an emphasis on evolution. He also either coined or popularized the term intelligent design. His writings in this area were a thorn in the side of naturalists for some years prior to health problems curtailed his writing efforts.

    I agree, there were probably other names I could have dropped who would have been more directly connected to the term scientist. All these people, as most of you might know, are members of the Discovery institute, a group devoted to criticism of materialism and naturalism and are people known at challenging some prevailing scientific views as they might relate to the beginning of the Universe and the beginning and development of life forms.

    However, it is interesting the double standard which is often employed by materialists and naturalists. They deplore the idea of non-scientists commenting on science topics
    (although John Galt did not do so in his post) but feel no compunction at non-religious people commenting on religion.

    Nor am I sure that carelessly misuing a word in the middle of changing a thought is an evidence of delusion. John is right -- I mischaracterized those people which, of course, opened the door for him to trivialize the point of the post by emphasizing a minor error. These four people, while perhaps not strictly scientists like Werner VonBraun, are people who are well read students of and well qualified to write and speak on their topics.
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    Dayton, your argument contained, as a core element, the point that there were scientists who held specific views supportive of creation. We set aside the fact that this was an argument from authority, this point was central to that portion of your argument, as written. Since the claim was false it wholly undermines and refutes that argument. More than this, you claimed that these were published scientists.

    This was not a minor misuse of a word, this was wrong and grossly misleading. I do thank you for acknowledging you were mistaken, but it is disingenuous of you to try to minimise the implicit (and accidental) deceit inherent in what you wrote. I did not trivialise the point of the post. I highlighted the loose, wooly, inaccurate, complacent, cherry picking thinking that seems to occur in your posts. I've highlighted that single example. Trust me, you don't want me to examine all of your posts in a similar light - it will leave you looking bad and your argument in tatters. At least I have some hope that this event will make you more careful to avoid glib assertions in future.
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    Well -- again, John, you are not challenging the substance. Are you saying that what these people have written is BS because they technically are not all practicing in a specific scientific field? Are you saying that because three of the four people I mentioned are not technically practicing in science, there are no people practicing in science who hold to views they express? The point was that many people in science and science related fields disagree with the naturalistic, materialistic viewpoint. You do not, apparently, disagree with that.

    Two articles which would seem to bear out the idea that many scientists are believers are cited below. The first is a fairly recent (2012) article which cites and provides a link to fairly recent Pew survey. The second is somewhat older article dealing with a survey conducted by Rice University, both of which tend to show that believing scientists outnumber non-believing scientists/

    Do scientists believe in God? | Wondering Fair

    Scientists' Belief in God Varies Starkly by Discipline | LiveScience

    Typically, someone here will point to a study from Great Britain someplace where a survey showed a huge percentage of college professors responding were not believers without also revealing that many of the believing professors refused to respond because of the form of questions. We've had this discussion here before. As bitter as the pill may be for people here to swallow -- MOST scientists, at least in the U.S., are believers of one sort or another.
    Last edited by daytonturner; October 24th, 2013 at 08:46 PM. Reason: correcting spelling of Rice
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