A friend of mine is a pretty die-hard Christian (shock horror, both of his parents are missionaries/vicars) and he often posts little sayings of some kind or another on Facebook, which I usually ignore. However, today he posted something that really irritated me for some reason:
"The more I look at science, the more in awe of God I become."
And just to make that worse, one of his Christian friends commented "Boom" as if he had made some kind of infallible argument. Somehow, I feel as though nothing I say will make any difference because they must be incredibly deluded already to believe that God just "invented" science. Basically, this is the guy who thinks he's a "modern and intelligent" Christian by saying that things like Noah's Ark are "just stories and aren't meant to be taken seriously by Christians". But if that is true, then why take ANY of the Bible seriously and where does he draw the line between stories and (what he believes is) the truth?
In the past I asked him and his friend where the evidence was. He claimed science (yes, seriously) helped prove Christianity and that Christianity was about "opening yourself" to it and believing, and then you "feel God" or whatever. How do you argue with someone like that??
What do you all say to religious people (not necessarily just Christians) who claim that science is just an invention of God? Is there a specific way to argue with someone who twists everything to awkwardly suit modern day thinking?
For a bird-lizard that must take some effort. :)
I'm here to tell ya --
"Funny how no one can say how the universe leapt into existence, and how life began, but have no problem conclusively deciding that there is no God."
Well, no one here has discussed that because that's a long discussion with no definitive answer. There are some excellent ideas floating around concerning the origin of life and the origin of our universe that we've all discussed at length before, and they can be found by perusing our archives. If you are curious, then look for it. If you can't find it for some reason, create a new discussion. It's my advice that if you want answers, and you want people to be fair about giving you those answers, then state that you simply want to know what the naturalist perspective is on the great question of "where do we all come from?" Let people know that you aren't going to attack their answers, but that you might inquire further and that your goal is only to seek understanding of our perspective and it's more likely (even considering the tone of some of your posts around here) that you will be well received. That isn't to say that you will be, just that it's more likely. There will be people that get defensive; it seems like clockwork that once a month there is a theist or some person with a complex and off-the-wall spiritual philosophy starts asking questions and then starts throwing punches. We don't like that, so it's best to resist the urge.
While it might seem a strange dichotomy to you to say "I don't know how things began" and "God does not exist," we find that there is a natural connection. God, the Christian deity, has certain claims to his existence, power, and nature. If these claims don't hold, then as he doesn't exist as he is thought to be. The same can be said for Allah, Jesus, Yahweh, Shiva, Rama, Ganesha, Ra, Osiris, Zeus, Quetzalcoatl, and all other gods. Secondly, we can trace the lineage of these figures through the spread of thought in archeological inscriptions and figures. That's how we know that God was Yahweh and he was El the Canaanite god who took the place of Baal as the chief patron deity. Thirdly, there's the scientific evidence regarding the existence of god. Intercessory has gone through studies and proven not to work. Miracles are, when allowed to be investigated, refuted. Then there are all the other little things. For instance, doctors did a Functional MRI of the brain of several subjects. They had them think about a situation and then think about how they themselves would act, how others would want them to act, or how god would want them to act. The doctors found that when thinking about oneself and God set off the same parts of the brain, but thinking of others set off a different part of the brain. It's evidence that when we think about what God wants us to do, we are really thinking about what we want to do. In short, most of us have a lot of reasons for claiming that God, the Christian god, does not exist.
Many of us atheist live our lives based on evidence. The evidence is lacking for a supernatural creator, and while you may say that a lack of evidence is not indicative of non-existence, at some point the lack of evidence in the face of a claim renders that claim to be reasonably false. It's like a trial. Imagine a prosecutor saying they have evidence for a murder and holding up a gun yet that gun can in no way be liked to the defendant. There would be reasonable doubt as to the veracity of the defendant's guilt. It's the same thing only the defense has over time picked more and more holes in the prosecutor's case.
Right now, we don't have the evidence we need to say conclusively what started the Big Bang or how exactly the chemical soup of early Earth give rise to live, but that doesn't mean we can't find out or that we won't ever know. That, in a nutshell, is why we have no problem refuting the claim that God exists and still can't say conclusively how everything began. It comes down to a matter of evidence.
Funny how no one can say how the universe leapt into existence, and how life began, but have no problem conclusively deciding that there is no God.
Well, that's the difference between you and us, isn't it?
We're satisfied not to know whereas you propose the rather silly notion of some sort of super ghost creating a cosmos.
I did take in a rather interesting discusion group at the local LOGOS house once, but they did not take kindly to having their sacred cows looked at with a magnifying glass! A few of the folks that frequented the house were in the OSU science department, one working on cosmology, or was it cosmotology....
The church was just not in the position to negotiate details about orbital dynamics, or the gravitational constant....
While Richard's comment is sarcastic and abrasive... he does make a valid point. Most people are curious and inventive people. Humans seem to have an instinctual ability to make and use tools. Just because someone is religious, doesn't mean that person is incapable of discovering, "new things, perhaps new forms of transport, or medicine."
While I do agree that religious doctrine can and in some specific ways does close off discussion, new ideas, and curiosity (all one has to do is look to theological arguments against stem cell research practices for a more recent example), it doesn't mean that theism as a whole prevents invention and discovery or asking the question "why." If that was the case, then this (which proudly and ironically claims Galileo as a member) wouldn't exist.
On the other hand, it seems where supernatural belief is not strong or important in human history is where advances in science and thought are more prevalent (Athens, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment for instance).
protecting western knowledge during the Dark Ages? Yes, Christians have contributed as well.
What? I'll skip the other items in the list which were also wrong but THIS?!
You just went full retard.
Never go full retard.
You basically just said fire kept the coal wet.
You administered it to yourself with your fallacious arguments.
Especially by using arguments against evolution so silly that (as kOrsan pointed out) Answers In Genesis pleads with people not to use them.
When even your own side says your arguments are stupid, you are asking for it.