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  1. #51
    Yugo full of anvils bronze trophy hillsy's Avatar
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    A religion is effectively set in stone, like the Ten Commandments. I think religion is far too static to be compared to science.
    Science can be pretty static too. Just b/c a new, more predictive model of something becomes available, doesn't mean that everyone suddenly abandons the old one. Sure, they maybe should, but the point is they don't. There's something at work here beyond the continuous objective refinement of scientific knowledge.

    But I do believe belief means nothing. Hmmm.
    Recursive dismissal of your own beliefs. I like that .
    that's me!
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  2. #52
    SitePoint Member ladybracknell's Avatar
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    On God and stuff:
    Karl Marx:
    "Religion...is the opium of the people" 1843
    Groucho Marx:
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped" 1959

    Hell, next reincarnation as dung beetle now I suppose.
    When the ball hits the net....
    Sitepoint's other resident Brighton & Hove Albion supporter!!

  3. #53
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Elledan

    Conclusion: science is NOT a religion
    Oh, but science IS a religion and "reason" is its God. Seriously, I find more similarities between science and religion than differences.

    There are two levels of faith: faith in everything you can observe or can conclude using methods like Mathematics and blind faith, which is faith in something which is not the result of observations, reasoning or calculations.
    And yet again we get to this issue of beliefs. You are presupposing that a) mathematics exists as more than a useful way of understanding things. Your argument is circular, here, as all end up being. You use science to prove itself. Of course, all this is aside from the fact that the scientific method is only ONE of MANY ways of knowledge generation. Remember Einstein on the light beam? His method of formulating the theory of relativity was hardly based on "reasoning" and "calculations". Rather, his reasoning and calculations were based on intuition, which incidentally plays a large part in religious beliefs.

    Only the latter is an example of closed-mindedness if the person puts blind faith in certain ideas or ideals. This person is then beyond reason and unable to accept any new ideas.
    That's rather ridiculous. I believe zealots of any sort, scientific or religious, are rather "closed minded". Though that is a nice catchy little phrase that people like to use as though it somehow proves them right and superior.

  4. #54
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Plebius
    Remember Einstein on the light beam? His method of formulating the theory of relativity was hardly based on "reasoning" and "calculations". Rather, his reasoning and calculations were based on intuition

    This isn't true. He was merely wondering what it would be like to ride on a beam of light, and he had the knowledge of maths and physics to work it out. Now, he started with various hypotheses, such as 'the mass of an object doesn't change with speed' (a true example), and those hypotheses could reasonably be classed as intuition, but they were often wrong as with the example above, and he had to use maths to work out that they were wrong....in the case of Einstein and the light beam then, intuition had nothing to do with working out the result.
    Not to say that your general point is false, but this example wasn't a good one. Now if you had mentioned Kekule and the discovery of the shape of the benzene molecule, I would consider that a better example.

    Further to the 'science is a matter of faith too' argument: Science, more than anything, teaches you to doubt things. Religion cannot stomach doubt. Science does not teach you to have faith, science teaches you that what you believe could well be false. Science is not at all the same as religion as regards faith, it is the opposite.

  5. #55
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Plebius
    Oh, but science IS a religion and "reason" is its God. Seriously, I find more similarities between science and religion than differences.
    Have you read "The Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra? Although I personally can't get my head around quantum physics and the particle/wave duality of light and all the other wacky crazyness that goes on at a sub-atomic level, it was a very entertaining read for a lay person. Fritjof Capra is a new age kind of thinker, and attempts to create parallels between Eastern philosophy, mysticism and religeous and the discoveries of the "new physics".

    Another very interesting author who writes on the subject of the theology of physics and the universe is Paul Davies. I don't know where he is kicking around these days. He was Professor of Physics (or Mathematics or something related) at Adelaide University for some time. I have only ever read one of his books "The Mind of God", but he has written several other books too. About ten years ago he won a theology award presented by one of the mainstream Christian churches. He is a physicist who has reached the personal conclusion that there is probably a God. Of course reaching such a conclusion depends on your concept and definition of God.

    Nothing is real - everything is permitted.
    - prologue to a William Burroughs novel (can't remember which one).
    Last edited by freakysid; Jul 11, 2001 at 02:34.

  6. #56
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    I have a copy of 'Are We Alone' by Paul Davies. I'd certainly recommend that, but I haven't read any other of his stuff.

  7. #57
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Polymath
    Further to the 'science is a matter of faith too' argument: Science, more than anything, teaches you to doubt things. Religion cannot stomach doubt. Science does not teach you to have faith, science teaches you that what you believe could well be false. Science is not at all the same as religion as regards faith, it is the opposite.
    Does it? Seems to me Philosophy/Seminary can be awfully similar to "teaching you to doubt."

    Besides: science does not teach one specific thing, because, unlike The Bible, there is no universal Science book, or course, or anything of the sort. As a result, Science CAN be a religion. Whether or not it usually is is irrelevant.

    Religion cannot stomach doubt? Be careful, and only speak for yourself. I have doubt in my religion, but I still believe it. I'd be a fool to not have some doubts no matter WHAT I believed.

  8. #58
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TWTCommish
    I'd be a fool to not have some doubts no matter WHAT I believed.
    I think T-double-ya has a point here - I myself question stuff quite a bit but you have to realise God's ways are above our understanding...
    I refer to my 'driving a car' analogy.

  9. #59
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    Religion cannot stomach doubt.[/B]
    I have a GREAT quote that I heard once that I thought was so great I wrote it in the front of my Bible.
    Where there is no opportunity for doubt, there can be no opportunity for faith.
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  10. #60
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    Oh BRAVO!

  11. #61
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by z7
    Oh BRAVO!
    You putting that in the front of your Bible too? lol

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  12. #62
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    Maybe when I get home from work!

  13. #63
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    here's more food for thought, z7...
    Don't ask God to use you unless you expect to come away feeling used
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  14. #64
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    Interesting....

  15. #65
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    James 1
    5: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
    6: But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
    7: That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord

  16. #66
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    That must be why I am fik.

  17. #67
    SitePoint Wizard Aes's Avatar
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    Well -- I really, really, really wish I had replied to this post (or even seen it for that matter) earlier, because now I've resorted to banging my head against the wall. Now it's a little late, but that first post sums up almost everything I believe. It's great!
    Colin Anderson
    Ambition is a poor excuse for those without
    sense enough to be lazy.

  18. #68
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Polymath
    James 1
    5: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
    6: But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
    7: That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord
    Oh yes, indeed, everything to be taken literally, I suppose? I recall a passage about someone having seen God, and being told to spread the word to others who have not seen Him. I have not seen Him, and as such, I am unlikely to truly know that what I believe is true...but it does not mean I do not believe it.

  19. #69
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    Well, to be honest I only picked that quote to support me. So I went to www.biblesearch.com (I guessed what the URL might be and was right) and did a search on 'doubt'. There was another one with Jesus saying, 'be merciful to doubters', so.....
    But it does seem God wants more faith, less doubt. Which I do think is the opposite of science.

  20. #70
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Correct. To doubt is to be human, but what needs to be realized in that you are unlikely to ever know the truth, and as such, you have to decide where you're going to put your faith. Some people put their faith in science, and some people worship science, in a sense. Some of them use it as their religion. Whether or not most people use it as a religion of sorts doesn't really matter: it CAN be a religion, the same as Christianity, Judaism, etc.

  21. #71
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Polymath
    But it does seem God wants more faith, less doubt.
    I'd say that's true...

    Matthew 8:10
    Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.

    Matthew 8:26
    He *said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.

    Matthew 9:2
    And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, "Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven."

    Matthew 9:22
    But Jesus turning and seeing her said, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well." At once the woman was made well.

    Matthew 9:29
    Then He touched their eyes, saying, "It shall be done to you according to your faith."

    Matthew 14:31
    Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"

    Matthew 15:28
    Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once.

    Matthew 16:8
    But Jesus, aware of this, said, "You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?

    Matthew 17:20
    And He *said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

    Matthew 21:21
    And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen.

    Matthew 23:23
    "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

    Matthew 24:45
    "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?

    Matthew 25:21
    "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'

    ...and that's just the book of Matthew!

  22. #72
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    What "was done to the fig tree"?

  23. #73
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Originally posted by freakysid
    What "was done to the fig tree"?
    I can picture it now: and the Lord took the fig tree, and created Fig Newtons© for the multitudes to feast upon. And it was good.

  24. #74
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Polymath

    change with speed' (a true example), and those hypotheses could reasonably be classed as intuition, but they were often wrong as with the example above, and he had to use maths to work out that they were wrong....in the case of Einstein and the light beam then, intuition had nothing to do with working out the result.
    Well, actually I believe that everything comes from intuition at the base level, unless it has be explicitly taught to you by somebody else. But that's another matter.

    Ok, here's another example. Nikola Tesla would take an electric motor and set it running. At the same time he would visualize starting one in his mind. A month later he'd come back and the wear patterns in his mind were the same as the ones on the motor.


    Originally posted by Polymath

    Further to the 'science is a matter of faith too' argument: Science, more than anything, teaches you to doubt things. Religion cannot stomach doubt. Science does not teach you to have faith, science teaches you that what you believe could well be false. Science is not at all the same as religion as regards faith, it is the opposite.
    I don't see many scientists doubting the premises of the scientific method. Aside from that, I disagree with you. Science is always "proving" things... and anybody who doubts isn't being reasonable, or is being irrational. I always begin to doubt whenever scientists say "This IS the way things are". So, I don't doubt that science doubts, but I do know like any other religion, it only uses doubt in certain contexts. Like I've said before, I'm more interested in what's useful than whether it can be *proved* or not. If somebody finds it personally useful to believe in God, then that's wonderful. No doubt it is useful for many people, just as science has produced a number of things which are useful for many people.

  25. #75
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    Originally posted by freakysid

    Have you read "The Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra? Although I personally can't get my head around quantum physics and the particle/wave duality of light and all the other wacky crazyness that goes on at a sub-atomic level, it was a very entertaining read for a lay person. Fritjof Capra is a new age kind of thinker, and attempts to create parallels between Eastern philosophy, mysticism and religeous and the discoveries of the "new physics".
    I haven't read that book, but I've been interested in quantum physics as a basis for consciousness.

    There's an interesting article at http://www.culture.com.au/brain_proj/stapp.htm

    I'd have to say that IF quantum physics does in fact come into play in consciousness, then things like telepathy and 'psychic' powers may have some scientific basis.

    I, for one, believe our thoughts influence the universe. It's no more outlandish than saying that our actions do in the classical model of physics.


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