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BFW
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« Reply #20 on: Apr 18, 2008, 06:34AM »

atheists have to make a leap of faith and say God doesn't exist.

Some atheists may indeed make such a leap of faith, but that doesn't mean the concept of atheism requires a leap of faith.

I don't have any evidence that there is a dragon in the next room, so I make a provisional conclusion that there is no dragon in the next room.  I don't find it necessary to say "I don't know" when asked if there's such a dragon.  I don't find it necessary to say "I don't know" when asked if dragons exist, either, because again there's no evidence.  The idea of dragons is barely worth considering, because it is analogous to many other mythical creatures, none of which have any evidence of existing, and for all of which I have formed a provisional conclusion that they don't exist.  I am open to evidence; creatures once thought not to exist have been shown to have been real.  However, I don't feel at all compelled to make allowances for this possibility in my actions or views or statements.  I'm not going to sneak carefully into the next room in case I might be wrong, nor am I going to tread carefully in case dragons are invisible.  I will act and speak and think precisely as if dragons do not exist, and there is not one in the next room.

Similarly, there is no evidence that God exists, and God in the Jewish/Christian/Moslem sense is analogous to any of the other concepts of gods in other cultures, none of which have any evidence of existing.  I feel perfectly comfortable in forming a provisional conclusion that Thor, Hermes, Jupiter, Ganesha, Daikoku, and God do not exist.  Again I am open to evidence, but see absolutely no reason that I should make allowances for this possibility in my views or actions or statements.
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« Reply #21 on: Apr 18, 2008, 06:45AM »

Very nicely phrased, Brian. You have a truly tidy mind, sir.  Good!
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« Reply #22 on: Apr 18, 2008, 06:58AM »

Very nicely phrased, Brian. You have a truly tidy mind, sir.  Good!

Quite!
 
That was a Saganautic job of concisely making the abstract concrete.
 
Very nicely done, my good man!
 
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« Reply #23 on: Apr 18, 2008, 07:23AM »

Atheists don't believe in:

Agdistis or Angdistis, Ah Puch, Ahura Mazda, Alberich, Allah, Amaterasu, An, Anat, Andvari, Anshar, Anu, Aphrodite, Apollo, Apsu, Ares, Artemis, Asclepius, Athena, Athirat, Athtart, Atlas, Baal, Ba Xian, Bacchus, Balder, Bast, Bellona, Bergelmir, Bes, Bixia Yuanjin, Bragi, Brahma, Brigit, Buddha, Camaxtli, Ceres, Ceridwen, Cernunnos, Chac, Chalchiuhtlicue, Charun, Cheng-huang, Cybele, Dagon, Damkina, Davlin, Dawn, Demeter, Diana, Di Cang, Dionysus, Ea, El, Enki, Enlil, Eos, Epona, Ereskigal, Farbauti, Fenrir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigg, Gaia, Ganesha, Ganga, Garuda, Gauri, Geb, Geong Si, God, Hades, Hanuman, Hathor, Hecate, Helios, Heng-o, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Hod, Hoderi, Hoori, Horus, Hotei, Huitzilopochtli, Hsi-Wang-Mu, Hygeia, Inanna, Inti, Ishtar, Isis, Ixtab, Izanaki, Izanami, Jesus, Juno, Jupiter, Juturna, Kagutsuchi, Kartikeya, Khepri, Ki, Kingu, Kinich Ahau, Kishar, Krishna, Kukulcan, Lakshmi, Liza, Loki, Lugh, Luna, Magna Mater, Maia, Marduk, Mars, Medb, Mercury, Mimir, Minerva, Mithras, Morrigan, Mot, Mummu, Nammu, Nanna, Nanna, Nanse, Neith, Nemesis, Nephthys, Neptune, Nergal, Ninazu, Ninhurzag, Nintu, Ninurta, Njord, Nut, Odin, Ohkuninushi, Ohyamatsumi, Orgelmir, Osiris, Ostara, Pan, Parvati, Phaethon, Phoebe, Phoebus, Apollo, Pilumnus, Poseidon, Quetzalcoatl, Ra, Rama, Re, Rhea, Sabazius, Sarasvati, Selene, Shiva, Seshat, Seti, Shamash, Shapsu, Shen Yi, Shiva, Shu, Si-Wang-Mu, Sin, Sirona, Sol, Surya, Susanoh, Tawaret, Tefnut, Tezcatlipoca, Thanatos, Thor, Tiamat, Tlaloc, Tonatiuh, Toyo-Uke-Bime, Tyche, Tyr, Utu, Uzume, Venus, Vesta, Vishnu, Volturnus, Vulcan, Xipe, Xi Wang-mu, Xochipilli, Xochiquetzal, Yam, Yarikh, Yahweh, Ymir, Yu-huang, Yum Kimil, Zeus


Christians don't believe in:

Agdistis or Angdistis, Ah Puch, Ahura Mazda, Alberich, Allah, Amaterasu, An, Anat, Andvari, Anshar, Anu, Aphrodite, Apollo, Apsu, Ares, Artemis, Asclepius, Athena, Athirat, Athtart, Atlas, Baal, Ba Xian, Bacchus, Balder, Bast, Bellona, Bergelmir, Bes, Bixia Yuanjin, Bragi, Brahma, Brigit, Buddha, Camaxtli, Ceres, Ceridwen, Cernunnos, Chac, Chalchiuhtlicue, Charun, Cheng-huang, Cybele, Dagon, Damkina, Davlin, Dawn, Demeter, Diana, Di Cang, Dionysus, Ea, El, Enki, Enlil, Eos, Epona, Ereskigal, Farbauti, Fenrir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigg, Gaia, Ganesha, Ganga, Garuda, Gauri, Geb, Geong Si, Hades, Hanuman, Hathor, Hecate, Helios, Heng-o, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Hod, Hoderi, Hoori, Horus, Hotei, Huitzilopochtli, Hsi-Wang-Mu, Hygeia, Inanna, Inti, Ishtar, Isis, Ixtab, Izanaki, Izanami, Juno, Jupiter, Juturna, Kagutsuchi, Kartikeya, Khepri, Ki, Kingu, Kinich Ahau, Kishar, Krishna, Kukulcan, Lakshmi, Liza, Loki, Lugh, Luna, Magna Mater, Maia, Marduk, Mars, Medb, Mercury, Mimir, Minerva, Mithras, Morrigan, Mot, Mummu, Nammu, Nanna, Nanna, Nanse, Neith, Nemesis, Nephthys, Neptune, Nergal, Ninazu, Ninhurzag, Nintu, Ninurta, Njord, Nut, Odin, Ohkuninushi, Ohyamatsumi, Orgelmir, Osiris, Ostara, Pan, Parvati, Phaethon, Phoebe, Phoebus, Apollo, Pilumnus, Poseidon, Quetzalcoatl, Ra, Rama, Re, Rhea, Sabazius, Sarasvati, Selene, Shiva, Seshat, Seti, Shamash, Shapsu, Shen Yi, Shiva, Shu, Si-Wang-Mu, Sin, Sirona, Sol, Surya, Susanoh, Tawaret, Tefnut, Tezcatlipoca, Thanatos, Thor, Tiamat, Tlaloc, Tonatiuh, Toyo-Uke-Bime, Tyche, Tyr, Utu, Uzume, Venus, Vesta, Vishnu, Volturnus, Vulcan, Xipe, Xi Wang-mu, Xochipilli, Xochiquetzal, Yam, Yarikh, Ymir, Yu-huang, Yum Kimil, Zeus


How different are we?
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« Reply #24 on: Apr 18, 2008, 08:57AM »

Quote
Quite frankly you may as well have just said "I haven't the first clue about what science is all about.


Seeing as how we are being frank all of the sudden. My scale for knowledge neither begins, or ends with you. Get a grip. You are no more intelligent, no more enlightened, and no more logical than anyone else. How obtuse to be so set in your ways that you cant even begin to peer inside another point of view.

Frankly I don't think you're likely anywhere near as presumptuous as you're trying to feign here in defense of faith and religion.

  Im not feigning, nor am I presumptuous. I am, of course, trying to use an illustration. People are so quick to dismiss religion because not all answers line up, or because religion does not provide every answer. Yet, when its science we seem to accept that we will figure it out someday. The "something from nothing" was taken far from context. We cannot answer how something was created from nothing. It completely defies every principle. Somewhere , there was a beginning. For Christians, we believe God is everlasting. Is it so much less a step of faith to believe that the world we live in just always existed? I am not presumptuous at all "IRL". In fact, in real life I would leave you all about your business. However, everyone here  tries to "ace card" the next guy.

"No its not"
"Youre wrong again"
"You have no idea what you are talking about"

 Give me a break.

  Religion and science peacefully coexist in my mind. "My" being personal. If science disproves some theologians view of the age of the earth, fine by me. Genesis is poetry. It should not be taken as a day by day account. The earth could have been created in 7million years for all we know. This leaves the door wide open. Religion doesnt necessarily close the door on evolution, or anything else.

  There will always be fundamentalists. There will always be absolutists. There will always be people who pretend they are more enlightened than everyone else. All are toxic.

 
  I knew this thread would become a hotbox for anyone with an axe to grind. I rarely get involved in religious debate. The people who post are always the same, and its always the same thing. I only posted because Im tired of seeing Christians slammed for somehow being less intelligent or open minded because we have faith in a higher power. Faith in a power that said love Me, and love thy neighbor. There are Christians in the science fields. There are atheists in the fields of religion.


Like Forrest Gump said...

Quote
I don't know if Momma was right or if, if it's Lieutenant Dan. I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.


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« Reply #25 on: Apr 18, 2008, 09:20AM »

**moderator hat on**

Please, folks, let's not get personal.  You're all perfectly capable of explaining why someone's arguments are incorrect.  By the same token, don't take someone else's deconstruction of your argument as an attack on you.

We now return to your friendly neighborhood contentious discussion.
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« Reply #26 on: Apr 18, 2008, 09:33AM »

EnTransit, you do seem to be a very reasonable person, and if all Christians were as moderate in their beliefs as you (tell us you) are, I don't think anyone would ever perceive a major conflict between science and religion.

"Genesis is poetry. It should not be taken as a day by day account."

As I understand it, that's the way it has been interpreted for a long time, and the need to believe that every word in the Bible means what it means is a relatively new idea.

But I do have a couple of questions for you:

"Somewhere , there was a beginning." - Why do you believe this is necessarily true?  It would lead from our (our being the entire human race) personal experience that all things have beginning and an end, but that is not solid  proof that that is so, only that we have only in our history dealt with things having the property of not being timeless or everlasting.

"For Christians, we believe God is everlasting."  - Again a simple 'why?'.  What is different about God that he should be everlasting when your previous sentence seems to indicate that nothing is. 



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« Reply #27 on: Apr 18, 2008, 09:44AM »

The "something from nothing" was taken far from context. We cannot answer how something was created from nothing. It completely defies every principle. Somewhere , there was a beginning.

"Nothing" and "something," even "beginning" are very much human mental constructs, but have little meaning outside of the set of assumptions you have made (or been conditioned to accept by social consensus). Scientists even question the validity of these assumptions in light of observed facts and new multi-verse and string theories. Applying your own set of assumptions, however, surely you must see the problem? If "God" exists, then who created God?" And who created "God's Creator?" And his Creator? And so on? "Faith" in your system seems to imply that you know when to cut this off and say, "Damn it, this where it all begins and ends. My "God" is eternal. He always existed and always will." If one has "faith," it seems to me, one also needs to have the humility and intellectual honesty to say,"I don't know the nature and mind of God, indeed I cannot know it, but have chosen to believe certain things about Him." ("He is three-in-one." "Begetting none, Himself not begotten , none is like to Him, not one." or "He whose name may not be spoken."  )

This is not new to Western Civilization---the religious have always been trying to define the boundaries between faith and reason, and reason always seems to be pushing faith back. A lack of humility, knowledge and understanding is "faith's" undoing----presuming to speak for God leads to bigotry, oppression, pretension and arrogance. Scientists, generally, speak for themselves and invite peer review. They don't claim to speak for God, or to be God, or threaten people with hell and judgment if they don't accept their words as gospel. Lazy thinkers might be attracted to religion because it is easier to pretend that they "know everything they need to" by virtue of faith, but I don't believe that all Christians are necessarily less intelligent, or that religion is the "cause" of laziness.
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« Reply #28 on: Apr 18, 2008, 10:19AM »


People are so quick to dismiss religion because not all answers line up, or because religion does not provide every answer. Yet, when its science we seem to accept that we will figure it out someday.


But that's just the point.  Science is assembling and understanding from the ground up - first principles, building blocks, and so on.  Religion is top-down, assuming the answer before in many cases the question has been framed.  You seem to be making an allegation about science but the "weakness" you identify is in fact the whole purpose and strength of science.
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« Reply #29 on: Apr 18, 2008, 10:32AM »

People are so quick to dismiss religion because not all answers line up, or because religion does not provide every answer.

I don't think this is the case.  It's a vast generalization, it characterizes disagreement as "dismissing," and it doesn't match any of the commentary I can think of on the subject.

I don't think religion provides ANY answers WHATSOEVER about the physical world.  It may help some people think through moral issues, it may provide a focal point for communities, it may provide an opportunity for some people to think about issues outside themselves, but it does not in any way explain the physical world. 

To the extent that it stays outside of that arena, I, too, find it coexists peacefully with science in my mind.

Quote
Somewhere, there was a beginning.

Another conclusion.  Maybe there was no beginning.  That's a question science investigates: how did things get to be the way they are?

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Is it so much less a step of faith to believe that the world we live in just always existed?

If there's evidence, then it isn't a leap of faith, it's a conclusion based on evidence.  If there's no evidence, then it's a hypothesis in search of evidence and open to refutation.  If it's not open to refutation, THEN it's a leap of faith, but only then.

I don't know of any scientific hypothesis that concludes the Earth (aka "the world we live in") has always existed.  I think the hypothesis that the universe always existed (steady state universe) is currently out of favor, due to strong evidence otherwise.  It's all about conclusions based on evidence.

Quote
everyone here  tries to "ace card" the next guy.

We have discussions about contentious issues.  People involved in such discussions generally do not expect their statements to go unchallenged, but rather are prepared to defend their statements.  It leads to some conflict, occasionally, but is interesting and informative for many of us.

Quote
I knew this thread would become a hotbox for anyone with an axe to grind. I rarely get involved in religious debate. The people who post are always the same, and its always the same thing. I only posted because Im tired of seeing Christians slammed for somehow being less intelligent or open minded because we have faith in a higher power.

This isn't how I see the discussion at all.  I don't see Christians in general being called less intelligent or open minded, and I don't see any of the characterizations of any groups to be based on them having faith per se.  This is where discussion is useful: correcting misconceptions, clarifying arguments, challenging statements.
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« Reply #30 on: Apr 18, 2008, 11:38AM »

An aside - I find the order of nouns in the thread title quite telling. "Science vs Religion" makes it sound like "Science" is in the habit of deliberately attacking "Religion", when the truth of the matter is the opposite.
Thanks for that MoominDave. It made me think about the title. I don't know if the title implies that one is actually attacking the other. If one starts a thread of 'Salt vs. Pepper' they are not attacking one another. It means they are different. Herein lies the problem with the title. It does not specify a context. In the realm of history, science and religion are identical. They make assumptions about the past which can not be proven. In the context of faith, they are apples and oranges. One can be a scientist and religious simultaneously. Neither science nor religion makes contributions to society ... people make contributions.
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« Reply #31 on: Apr 18, 2008, 11:40AM »

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« Reply #32 on: Apr 18, 2008, 11:53AM »

Versus doesn't necessarily imply an attack or even any antipathy.

Vs. can denote a comparison. "Pilates vs. Yoga" doesn't mean one's out to get the other.

This topic may be a bit duplicative, but it seems more focused on the proper place for religion and science in the thinking of someone who rejects neither.
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« Reply #33 on: Apr 18, 2008, 03:46PM »

This topic may be a bit duplicative, but it seems more focused on the proper place for religion and science in the thinking of someone who rejects neither.

Agreed. And I find it quite interesting to read how others harmonize potentially contradictory ideas within their minds. (Typical of me, as I usually am more interested in why people think and believe the way they do than I am in what they think or believe. :/)
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« Reply #34 on: Apr 18, 2008, 07:19PM »

Well, many seem to be saying the same thing. The reason I say that Christians are treated as being less intelligent in these topics is because of statements like this:

little meaning outside of the set of assumptions you have made (or been conditioned to accept by social consensus).


 Im sure Evan meant no disrespect, but this raises some eyebrows. Being "conditioned" to accept something makes it sound as though Christians cannot thing logically, and that we our logic is governed by the same rules as Pavlov's dogs. Again, not accusing Evan of any intent either way. Semantics is a tricky business when it comes to the internet.


  I am going to answer some questions/allegations to the best of my ability and leave it there. I think that this discussion is more focused than previous discussions, but it still turns into a few people against an army.


Quote
"Somewhere , there was a beginning." - Why do you believe this is necessarily true?  It would lead from our (our being the entire human race) personal experience that all things have beginning and an end, but that is not solid  proof that that is so, only that we have only in our history dealt with things having the property of not being timeless or everlasting.


  Are you asking why "I" believe, or are you asking how I justify that belief? Well, thats a bit of a loaded question. Honestly, I do not have a good answer for you. I am completely willing to accept that something has no beginning. I accept God as eternal, and accept that I cant fully understand something that was not begotten. The reason I cannot understand it, is because outside of God, this condition does not exist.

Quote

"For Christians, we believe God is everlasting."  - Again a simple 'why?'.  What is different about God that he should be everlasting when your previous sentence seems to indicate that nothing is.


   Well, I was not trying to indicate that nothing is everlasting. What I was doing was trying to illustrate that science requires faith at some point. Cells divide, where did the first cell come from? We must make a leap of faith there. (Or not, as others have pointed out) Christians believe that God created the earth.



Quote
I don't think religion provides ANY answers WHATSOEVER about the physical world.

   I think many scholars would disagree. While some may not believe in the extra-worldly ideas in the Bible, the history is very accurate. The cities, and people were real. There is no disputing that Jesus was real. The argument is in his divinity. The civilizations, the kings, the wars. These are very real. Perhaps the Bible does not give up the age of the earth, but there are many physical answers that are provided, depending of course on the questions you ask.



 Regardless, I choose to believe what I believe based on the evidence I see around me. "The things of God are clearly seen through his creation". The real of science and religion coexist easily for me. I am not a Christian with a Bible in one hand, and the axe in the other. If you dont believe what I do, that is ok with me. I try to let my life be my example, and I fall short more often than I succeed, but I try. I agree to disagree. Have fun with the debate, as this topic is staying surprisingly civil. I dont normally devote as much time to the forum in a week as I have the last two days with this thread, so I am gracefully throwing in the towel.
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« Reply #35 on: Apr 18, 2008, 07:25PM »



 Im sure Evan meant no disrespect, but this raises some eyebrows. Being "conditioned" to accept something makes it sound as though Christians cannot thing logically, and that we our logic is governed by the same rules as Pavlov's dogs. Again, not accusing Evan of any intent either way. Semantics is a tricky business when it comes to the internet.
We are all conditioned by society from birth---government, religion, media, family. It has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather the creation of a secondary self that allows us to live in society. There is a price to be paid, however.

That a man is killed, brought back to life, and ascended to "heaven" is a matter of "logic" in your mind? And that by believing this story you will ascended, too?
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« Reply #36 on: Apr 18, 2008, 07:31PM »

We are all conditioned by society from birth---government, religion, media, family. It has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather the creation of a secondary self that allows us to live in society. There is a price to be paid, however.

That a man is killed, brought back to life, and ascended to "heaven" is a matter of "logic" in your mind? And that by believing this story you will ascended, too?


 Your reference to being conditioned was in reference to there being a beginning and ending to all things. To answer your question, no I dont believe that Jesus death and ressurection are a matter of logic.
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« Reply #37 on: Apr 18, 2008, 07:54PM »

Seeing as how we are being frank all of the sudden.
This is not a new or sudden feature of voluntary public discourse. It would be pretty extremely naive to think you could express an opinion publicly, particularly a controversial opinion, and expect to remain untouched by criticism.
 
I'll just leave it at that.
 
[hopping off the horse I was so rudely tossed upon ... poor animal]
Quote from: EnTransit
How obtuse ...
I usually find that accusation pretty amusing (and I'll note here that I don't find that language offensive at all, and if it had been backed up I'd humbly take credit for it and move on), just as I do the "you're just closed-minded" charge. Most of the time they're leveled at skeptics precisely because we haven't chosen to be obtuse or closed-minded regarding the facts, arguments and evidence about which the accuser would prefer we were being strategically obtuse or closed-minded. In essence we (skeptics) are typically being accused of closed-mindedness for being too open minded for the accuser's comfort.
 
Again, because I keep getting this presumptuous accusation leveled at me (not that I really expect this to do much good, for some valid reasons, but mostly not so much):
As for me, I rejected the world view I was raised in and very devout and sincere about (i.e. Christianity--I rejected my religious beliefs in my late 20s), not to mention a major sociopolitical position or two (guns and drugs come immediately to mind--I significantly changed my views on both of those issues when I looked into them critically). I changed my mind on these matters because I came to realize that intellectual integrity and honesty require that we refuse to compromise proper standards of evidence and such. When I realized this fact and developed my understanding I internalized it and, while I'm not sure I ever could really quite pull it off, I'm now keenly aware that I'm unable to convince myself of any valid excuse for altering those standards, and so don't really have the option. I'm pointedly open to reason and evidence whether it supports my existing world view or refutes it, largely because I know reality has no obligation to appease my personal sentiments or desires. This does take some self-discipline I suppose, but much more importantly, I think, it requires genuine humility. (Humility that comes from unflinching self-awareness perhaps? Dunno, but that seems to resonate with me.) I recognize that what I feel about an issue is inherently subordinate (at best) to evidence and proper standards of reason and epistemology, and alone forms a thoroughly and utterly insufficient basis for any kind of conclusion or position. I've internalized that concept as well. In my experience very few people exercise this capacity, for whatever reason. Most, I suspect, just aren't that contemplative and such things never come up, or they don't linger long enough to go through the meat grinder when they do.
 
In any case, more often than not I seem to get such accusations from people who are in the process of demonstrating they have very low standards of epistemology for the idiom in question, and at the same time they also usually have exceptionally high standards for any conflicting idiom. Creationists/ID types are the epitome of this dynamic. In short, this is rarely not a case of an iron pot calling a fairly clean, stainless steel kettle black.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Im not feigning, nor am I presumptuous. I am, of course, trying to use an illustration. People are so quick to dismiss religion because not all answers line up, or because religion does not provide every answer.
"People?" That seems to imply you think the majority of "people" aren't religious practitioners. That's not true here on this forum, and it's certainly not true here in the US. It's also not true that I'm just being dismissive toward religion. In fact I was a sincere believer until I realized I was dismissive of atheism and agnosticism. That's almost always really the case rather than the exact opposite, as the accusation generally presumes, just as with the whole closed-minded schtick.
 
Besides, there's not a single such dismissal thus far in here. Every criticism of religion comes with some substantial argumentation (not so much for a few of the posts going the other way, as per usual). No one has argued that religion is faulty because it doesn't have all the answers. The nearest argument to that against religion would be that it claims to have answers it clearly doesn't. I argue that religion uses "faith" as a magic word to justify these alleged "answers" and to imbue them with the false appearance of validity to those who have decided to buy into them. Why does the Validation By Faith Plan only work with beliefs that don't conflict with the given religious apologist's? Why don't Muslims accept Jews claims of knowledge via faith? Why don't Christians accept Wiccan's faith claims? Etc.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Yet, when its science we seem to accept that we will figure it out someday. The "something from nothing" was taken far from context. We cannot answer how something was created from nothing.
No, those who understand science very well and think according to the principles of science accept we don't know. In fact we're very cautious about going from "I don't know" to anything else. Again, the principles of religion--specifically religious faith--are precisely the opposite.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
It completely defies every principle. Somewhere, there was a beginning. For Christians, we believe God is everlasting. Is it so much less a step of faith to believe that the world we live in just always existed?
If I were to make that error it would still require a great deal less faith. I would be choosing to reject an unknown in favor of the presumption that ... well, that somewhere (and some-when) there was a beginning. Religion goes much farther by claiming an impossible being for which we can't possibly have any evidence (inherent to anything "supernatural"--we can only derive knowledge of the cosmos from sensory input, so if something is somehow outside of that realm we cannot derive any knowledge of it, which means it has to be made up--fabricated by the human imagination) on top of the presumption that there must have been a beginning.
 
That there might not have been a beginning to the cosmos may defy human understanding (as does any form of the concept of infinity), but it's entirely possible that some realities are simply beyond our limitations. This is the gap in which religion leaps to presumption. Our religious tendency at this point is to excuse the presumption that God must have done it. There may be things we just can't know, so most of us decide we know that a god exists. "We can't know, so that's why I know." Yeah. That's what it boils down to. It's called the argumentum ad ignormatiam, the argument from ignorance. I suspect you're aware of the fallacy. It's actually religion's best hand, it's most compelling apologetic.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
I am not presumptuous at all "IRL". In fact, in real life I would leave you all about your business. However, everyone here  tries to "ace card" the next guy.
 
"No its not"
"Youre wrong again"
"You have no idea what you are talking about"
 
Give me a break.
Are you saying you're not willing to accept that there's disagreement with what you've posted? What do you expect? "You're right, of course, but here's where I disagree ... "?
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Religion and science peacefully coexist in my mind. "My" being personal. If science disproves some theologians view of the age of the earth, fine by me.
That's to your credit, absolutely. I'd argue that this proper perspective and humility are due to the better angels of your human nature overcoming the religious impulses of the same (religion is just a set of characteristics and behaviors--aspects of human nature ... and I'd argue the characteristics that are definitively religious are its dark side).
 
But you are aware, I presume, that you don't speak for all believers (I know you are, of course ... just making the point).
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
There will always be fundamentalists. There will always be absolutists. There will always be people who pretend they are more enlightened than everyone else. All are toxic.
Some people clearly are more enlightened than others. I think it's pretty clear that you're more enlightened than your average fundy ... by far. I don't think that even approaches anything resembling a tough call. I also think you agree, having just pointed them out as toxic. I think your desire to defend the faith is forcing you to try and reign in your reasoning, causing those kinds of clear self-contradictions, and other reasoning errors you wouldn't at all likely make otherwise.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
I knew this thread would become a hotbox for anyone with an axe to grind.
Does giving something a great deal of very careful and critical thought and coming to some conclusions in the process, and openly sharing those conclusions equate to having an axe to grind? Is it because they're unpopular conclusions? I know that when I express the conclusions I've come to through such a process I'm usually presumed to have such an axe-grinding thing going on. Seems there's a pattern to that sort of criticism, oddly enough.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
I rarely get involved in religious debate. The people who post are always the same, and its always the same thing.
Math is the same as it was when I was a kid too (aside from what's developed since, of course), so are the established elements of physics and astronomy and such. Even most of human psychology seems to be more or less the same as it was long ago, though our understanding has increased. Does the sameness pose similar problems for you regarding those other topics? Do you feel the same way regarding religious discussions involving those with whom you generally agree? The paradigm of religion is uniquely resistant to change though, so maybe that's something you might want to consider and compare and contrast. Maybe that has something to do with your response, and maybe it's not so much the sameness of religious discussion after all.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
I only posted because Im tired of seeing Christians slammed for somehow being less intelligent or open minded because we have faith in a higher power.
Nobody loves an iconoclast--that's really what's going on here. It's not that anyone is being slammed, it's that the near universal agreement to tread lightly and under completely different standards is rudely and openly violated by we iconoclastic types. To be so vulgar and uncivil seems to generally be perceived as personal by believers (see the "axe to grind" comment above).
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Faith in a power that said love Me, and love thy neighbor.
And if that were less often and less clearly not the case then ... well, we'd still be having the core of this discussion, actually. I get the impression from most believers that criticism and analysis of their beliefs that doesn't pretend the standards shouldn't be shifted is just going to be touchy and will illicit very negative emotional reactions. Just presenting an iconoclastic position seems to be taken as a direct personal attack by most believers most of the time. I think that's very telling, personally. When a large group of people has more or less the same set of ideas that are off limits to uncensored analysis, and that otherwise perfectly reasonable people with otherwise generally thickish skin also quite often react this way in the specific case of religious beliefs reinforces the same indication. Religious faith inherently compromises intellectual integrity.
 
Byron
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evan51
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« Reply #38 on: Apr 18, 2008, 11:24PM »


 Your reference to being conditioned was in reference to there being a beginning and ending to all things. To answer your question, no I dont believe that Jesus death and ressurection are a matter of logic.
Not exactly---the conditioning comment referred to your suppositions, i.e., that here must be a beginning and an end, and that something was "created" from nothing. Clergy, parents, teachers have had their inputs to this thinking-----but this is not science. For example, the Big Bang presupposes the existence of a "singularity" or a collision of "M-branes" (the boundary between multiverses--infinite in number). So, where is the "something" from "nothing?" To think in those terms is a matter of conditioning, not observation or logic. One believes "God" did it, so you look for Him, even making up evidence ("the human body is so complex, God must have created it.")

BTW---I don't usually talk about "Christians" in general terms. I'll usually say "evangelicals," "fundies," or identify the sect if applicable (Catholic, Presbyterian, etc.,) or just say "the religious." This is because I don't feel obliged to use their self-congratulatory epithets (i.e., "I live by Christ's precepts.") and because "Christian" now comprises such a range of diametrically opposed doctrine and sects that it doesn't mean much.
« Last Edit: Apr 19, 2008, 09:32AM by evan51 » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: Apr 19, 2008, 02:29AM »

Neither science nor religion makes contributions to society ... people make contributions.

Puma, I just needed to point out that, while I'm normally one of the people at odds with your views on these subjects, I have to say that I completely agree with this!

This is what the whole thing boils down to in the end. Good!
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