ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 10:40 am
@edgarblythe,
Jebediah,

Maybe you could provide an alternate definition of religious belief.

Better yet, if I am not definition religious belief-- I am defining something. What is a good term for the set of things that are accepted as fact and as universal truth even though there is it is not testable.

((extra credit if you can come up with a definition that Edgar would agree with)).
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 10:42 am
Atheists are only as pure as the driven slush, when they become militant. There are clusters of them who fit the description of religious or the equivelant. No cookie cut out fits the majority, in my view, but every rule seems to have its exception.
Huxley
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 10:51 am
@edgarblythe,
Do you believe science works better than any other procedure to approximate truth about the world around us? Do you operate under metaphysical naturalism?
ebrown p
 
  3  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 10:58 am
@Huxley,
I have to take this one (if I may).

Science works very well to answer scientific questions-- a scientific question is one that is well defined, can make predictions, and can be tested.

There is a set of questions that science answers very well-- i.e. friction, forces, the path of planets. Science has proven to be quite useful in real measurable ways, from medicine to building the computer you are reading this on.

There is a another set of questions that science has no ability to answer. Some of the questions science can't answer are quite important. What does it mean to be human? What is good and evil? What is beautiful.

When you use undefined terms like "truth" (seemingly to refer to both types of questions) you leave the realm of science. The term "scientific truth" has a very specific definition meaning that it has been rigorously tested and can be used to predict the behavior of things in the Universe.

But there are many other types of truth-- and science can't even say whether any of them have any relevance at all. In fact science can't even say that science has any relevance.

As soon as you start talking about meaning... you leave the realm of questions that science can answer.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 10:58 am
@Huxley,
I tend to the scientific. Science is the work of discovery. It does not answer perfectly every question, but gets us closer than anything I could think of.
Jebediah
 
  3  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:01 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Jebediah,

Maybe you could provide an alternate definition of religious belief.

Better yet, if I am not definition religious belief-- I am defining something. What is a good term for the set of things that are accepted as fact and as universal truth even though there is it is not testable.

((extra credit if you can come up with a definition that Edgar would agree with)).


It is difficult to say exactly what science is and what religion is. The SEP does a decent job though. Here's one bit that stands out to me:

SEP wrote:
The truth here, perhaps, is that a belief isn't religious just in itself. The property of being religious isn't intrinsic to a belief; it is rather one a belief acquires when it functions in a certain way in the life of a given person or community. To be a religious belief, the belief in question would have to be appropriately connected with characteristically religious attitudes on the part of the believer, such attitudes as worship, love, commitment, awe, and the like. Consider someone who believes that there is such a person as God, all right, because the existence of God helps with several metaphysical problems (for example, the nature of causation, the nature of propositions, properties and sets, and the nature of proper function in creatures that are not human artifacts). However, this person has no inclination to worship or love God, no commitment to try to further God's projects in our world; perhaps, like the devils, he hates God and intentionally does whatever he can to frustrate God's purposes in the world. For such a person, belief that there is such a person as God need not be a religious belief.


The point here is that believing in the big bang, even if it isn't testable or knowable, is not religious unless it is connect with a religious attitude (which it could be I suppose). There's a distinct difference in people's attitude towards the big bang if they believe it, and people's attitude towards a Creator if they believe in him.

ebrown wrote:
But there are many other types of truth-- and science can't even say whether any of them have any relevance at all. In fact science can't even say that science has any relevance.

As soon as you start talking about meaning... you leave the realm of questions that science can answer.


Yes, you need philosophy to talk in detail about what the relevance of science is (of course, we don't need philosophy to know what the relevance is. Our feelings guide us--I don't need anything special to see that healing diseases is generally a good thing).
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:02 am
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
It does not answer perfectly every question, but gets us closer than anything I could think of.


Do you see the irony here Edgar?

The term "answer perfectly" is not a scientific question. It is not well-defined and can not be answered by experiment.

You make the claim that science "gets us closer" (I assume you mean that it gets us closer to "perfection") without any evidence. You don't even try to define the terms.

Nothing personal-- but I don't see you as very scientific in the opinions you have expressed in our discussions.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:07 am
@ebrown p,
I don't see anythig particularly scientific in your responses, ebrown.
Krumple
 
  4  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:07 am
Once again, when you talk about atheism there is only one thing that you can infer from it. That the person does not believe in the existence of a god or gods. Anything else you assume about the person will be just that, an assumption based off nothing. You can not determine a persons morality or beliefs based off them saying they are an atheist. Atheism does not say that you believe in the big bang, or evolution. You can be an atheist and not believe in either one so why do people keep making these assumptions, because they lack education.

Educate yourself. Atheism is only a lack of a belief in the existence of a god or gods. That is it. You can't determine anything else about a person from that title. If you do then you are being an idiot.

edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:08 am
I should not have to write a dissertation on the big bang, when we already know what it is.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:08 am
@Krumple,
Krumple wrote:

Once again, when you talk about atheism there is only one thing that you can infer from it. That the person does not believe in the existence of a god or gods. Anything else you assume about the person will be just that, an assumption based off nothing. You can not determine a persons morality or beliefs based off them saying they are an atheist. Atheism does not say that you believe in the big bang, or evolution. You can be an atheist and not believe in either one so why do people keep making these assumptions, because they lack education.

Educate yourself. Atheism is only a lack of a belief in the existence of a god or gods. That is it. You can't determine anything else about a person from that title. If you do then you are being an idiot.


0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:10 am
@Jebediah,
The Big Bang is scientific. It is certainly testable-- and has been quite tested. When scientists developed the theory in the 1960's they made all sorts of predictions... saying, if our ideas are correct, we should see this type of radiation, and should be able to observe these values in our experiments. Then we spent quite a bit of money building satellites and equipment to test out these predications. (This may be a tangent).

Let me state it this way.... It is impossible for science to ascribe any meaning. Science can say nothing about goodness or beauty. Science can observe that life exists, but science can say nothing about the value (or insignificance) of life.

And, science has absolutely nothing to say about morality. You can not make a scientific argument for what is right or wrong (unless you start with one or more unscientific assertions that must be accepted on faith).

Let me give an example: I believe in the intrinsic value of human life. This belief impacts my behavior, my sense of personal identity and my moral code.

However there is nothing in science that says that human life has any value (in fact nature is quite happy to wipe life out without any thought). I must accept any value on life on faith.

If an atheist lives as if human life is sacred, but doesn't believe in any deity-- isn't this a religious belief?
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:12 am
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
I don't see anythig particularly scientific in your responses, ebrown.


I don't claim to be scientific. I am quite religious-- just as you are. The difference is that I admit that I hold many values and beliefs that can't be supported (or denied) by science.
manored
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:12 am
While I dont think atheism can be called a religion, atheists can certainly be as dogmatic as theists, although they tend to be more open-minded.
Jebediah
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:13 am
But ebrown. As I noted, the deliberately head in the sand pretense of the religious side of the argument is that they pretend atheists or scientists have no intuition, and no capacity for philosophy.

0 Replies
 
G-Thomson
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:16 am
Atheists are not expected to know everything about the science behind disproving gods, because as has already been pointed out, it is merely a lack of belief in a god or gods.
However, I feel that Theists have an obligation to do some research into the texts or ideologies that they base their belief system on. Because they have texts that they are meant to follow.

Now you may point out that you don't have to read the texts and know about your religion to be religious, but I disagree with that.

Pretending to know about your religion is more false to me than actually believing in it.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:16 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Quote:
I don't see anythig particularly scientific in your responses, ebrown.


I don't claim to be scientific. I am quite religious-- just as you are. The difference is that I admit that I hold many values and beliefs that can't be supported (or denied) by science.

That's because you are so steeped in religion you can't fathom one who lives without it.
ebrown p
 
  0  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:17 am
@manored,
Quote:
While I dont think atheism can be called a religion, atheists can certainly be as dogmatic as theists, although they tend to be more open-minded.


My personal experience is that atheists are no more open-minded. If we could define a measure of open-mindedness (I am assuming we will let people self-identify whether they are atheists or not), we could test this hypothesis scientifically.
0 Replies
 
manored
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:34 am
@edgarblythe,
ebrown p wrote:

If an atheist lives as if human life is sacred, but doesn't believe in any deity-- isn't this a religious belief?
He thinks he does not believe in any deity, but if human life is sacred, there must be a divine being that says so. Therefore he does believe in a deity, except he does not care to give it a form or a name, and doesnt even thinks about the deity, he only cares about that one law.

edgarblythe wrote:

That's because you are so steeped in religion you can't fathom one who lives without it.
I think the point he is trying to make is "Everyone has to take some things on faith", what is correct, since our ultimate objectives cannot be chosen scientifically. I may be wrong about the point he is trying to make though.

ebrown p wrote:

My personal experience is that atheists are no more open-minded. If we could define a measure of open-mindedness (I am assuming we will let people self-identify whether they are atheists or not), we could test this hypothesis scientifically.
Well, my personal experience is that atheists are more open-minded, but then I think about it, I may be biased in their favor due to the fact of that they are less bothersome than theists =) Also, atheism seens closer to agnosticism (my belief) than theism, since the only assumption atheism makes is that god doesnt exists, while theism assumes a lot of things. That is another factor of bias.
gungasnake
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:39 am
@daredevil,
The main problem with atheism is that you almost have to believe in evolution to be an atheist and nobody with brains or talent believes in evolution anymore. The disproofs (of evolution) are too numerous and too overwhelming.
 

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