Is your trust in science based on faith or based on science?

What I mean is this: how much do you actually know about the science most atheists parrot? Most atheists know as little science as most Christians know as little theology. Just as a Christian trusts his priest to tell him what he believes, an atheist trusts scientists with a Ph.D. tacked to their name to tell them what they believe. But how many times have the scientists turned out to be wrong? I only ask this because it seems this is central to the problem that most atheists have. They are repulsed by the phrase “believe” – they are addicted instead to the phrase “know”. But honestly, do you really know, or are you just believing what you’re told? I would like to remind you that in the 1970′s the scientists of the day were seriously concerned that we were about to enter an ice age, and less than 30 years later they are now convinced Earth is about to turn into a desert.

Unless you’ve observed something yourself, or observed and interpreted the evidence yourself and drew your own conclusions, you are just as guilty as faith as any religious person.

Views: 5839

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

"So long as there is signal, though, it is possible for humans to discern over time."

Do you suppose it's buried in the solution to pi?

<Smile>  Wouldn't that be a stitch. 

I found Contact as a novel to be truly dull, with the sole exception of that interesting concept. 

Oh, what a delightful thought, @Kris.  I'm sorry I missed this earlier in @Gallup's rantings.

I'm not sure I'm quite understanding all of that, but I think that some of it at least is about right from my perspective.  Whether I'm trying to puzzle out features of the universe from observation, or experiment, or kicking ideas around with other people, it's a human endeavor.  The universe doesn't particularly care about peer-reviewed journal publications or wearing funny robes as we induct new scientists into the profession.  Those are human rituals to help us structure the quest for understanding of something that is ultimately too big for us to understand.  That doesn't mean that those human social rituals aren't useful.  They are!  At very least, they allow the quest to continue from generation to generation.

Same with religion.  Religion like science is another community, and is a human response to the quest for understanding of a different aspect of the universe: the questions of human social interactions and society and personal fulfillment and such.   Its rituals are rituals, with different publications and different funny hats, but they also are useful.  At very least, they allow the quest to continue.

The two for me go hand in hand.  They are aspects of the same thing, a human quest for understanding of something much bigger than ourselves. 

In each quest, we do make some assumptions, or at least start with some axioms.   In science, we believe that there really are "laws" which govern the universe, and that those can be discerned through observation and experiment.  That notion of Natural Law is what allowed modern science to come into being, because if the universe is really the product of pantheistic spirits each with independent will, then there's no point in trying to discover laws.  The development of science required a monotheistic creator God, a lawgiver.  That's why we started looking for Natural Laws, instead of trying to please the spirits of each object to get what we wanted.

Now, it's possible that for human societies and human fulfillment and relations to divinity and such that there are no laws, there is no purpose.  That's the atheist position, from my perspective.  It's all fake and isn't worth pursuing, like the notion of Natural Law is to pantheistic cultures. 

Me, I like the quest for understanding, and I really think that understanding is possible, and the pursuit of that understanding is useful.  I think we have learned some things that are pretty sound, and others that are good working theories, and that those understandings of man's interactions with each other and with divinity have advanced human society as much as our progress in other areas of thought.

RE: "ultimately too big for us to understand" - to which, I would add one word: yet.

RE: "The development of science required a monotheistic creator God, a lawgiver." - Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, laws existed LONG before the concept of a "monotheistic creator God" - you're not talking to a Sunday School class here --

laws existed LONG before the concept of a "monotheistic creator God"

Well sure, but narrowing a doctrine down to "there's only one god, and I'll tell you what he wants" makes it easier to unify (and manipulate) your followers.

(I'm not being cynical here... just pointing out the survival value of monotheism as opposed to believing in various other, random spirits.)

To which, PP, I'm inclined to quote Seneca:

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers, as useful."
-- Seneca --

Well sure, but narrowing a doctrine down to "there's only one god, and I'll tell you what he wants" makes it easier to unify (and manipulate) your followers.

I'm not sure it makes it easier, @Pope.  Shamans and witch doctors and other folks who claim to be able to influence the spirits in pantheistic religions do a pretty good job of control, too.  I agree, though, that any time humanity creates a leader or authoritative person in any sphere, there is a risk that the leadership will be abused, or poorly used.   That's no different in religion or politics or academics.

Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, laws existed LONG before the concept of a "monotheistic creator God"

Archy, Archy, Archy, I'm making a social science/anthropological argument here.  Yes, the universe existed long before humans, but the question is what were the necessary ingredients in human culture and thought to cause the emergence of the idea of modern physical science?  There's a reason why it grew out of only one particular culture in human history, and even now is resisted by other cultural groups.

Yes, the universe existed long before humans, but the question is what were the necessary ingredients in human culture and thought to cause the emergence of the idea of modern physical science?  There's a reason why it grew out of only one particular culture in human history, and even now is resisted by other cultural groups.

I take it, Bob, that you posted this before you read any of the comments by myself and others, about other cultures, of which, the Egyptians certainly predated the little Jewish shepherds, who were doing science.

RE: "Yes, the universe existed long before humans" - what has such an obvious statement like that to do with anything? Or was it a sudden realization, an epiphany, perhaps?

RE: "the question is what were the necessary ingredients in human culture and thought to cause the emergence of the idea of modern physical science?  There's a reason why it grew out of only one particular culture in human history" - are you really referring to the Judeo/Christian cullture? Really? And you really lack awareness of any other culture having developed science? Now I know you're joking --

Yeah, I'm getting a little snarky, but only because your comments are getting weaker and weaker.

From Prof Rob:

I'm not sure it makes it easier, @Pope.  Shamans and witch doctors and other folks who claim to be able to influence the spirits in pantheistic religions do a pretty good job of control, too.

I was thinking about wider-spread religions and political institutions, but that's a minor point. It seems we mostly agree, again. (I'm not here to demonize you for your current beliefs, but to challenge the more militant group-thinkers.)

RE:

No, the pope is not "inspiration personified."

Now this one I've never heard of. Perhaps Arch can elaborate.

That was my way of saying he received divine inspiration, personally, man to - whatever - which you essentially covered with your holy mind-meld.

Ah, @Gallup, again you forget that we Catholics are not fundamentalists, and are unimpressed by out-of-context quotes from a book-based authority.  For that to be meaningful you need to be talking to a fundamentalist. 

What you actually want in order to develop a genuine understanding of our doctrine of infallibility are our conciliar documents from the first and second Vatican Councils.  Specifically Lumen Gentium and nexus mysteriorum.  Plus some works from St. Augustine, and commentaries on the gospel of John. 

The real doctrine of infallibility is that the whole body of the faithful cannot err in matters of belief, when from the bishops to the last of the faithful they manifest universal consent.  When we all agree, then the pope, speaking ex cathedra, can proclaim that universal agreement.

One of the interesting side products of the doctrine of infallibility is that millenial tradition has the force of law.  So if enough of the faithful believe the same thing for a long time, that becomes the teaching of the Church.

All of your other quotes refer to the power of governance, which is a different thing.  Yep, the pope can make rules, appoint bishops various places, decide on what the Swiss Guard uniform should be. 

So sorry, no holy mind-melds.   Dante put quite a few popes in hell in the Inferno, which wouldn't be appropriate if the guy was truly infallible in the way you mean it.  

The pope is just a regular guy serving in an important position. That is what we actually teach.

Nihil obstat.  Imprimatur.

I cited links to the complete relevant texts from the Catechism which were too long to include here.

And again, I have to remind you that we are not fundamentalists.  Not about the Bible, and certainly not about the Catechism, which is sort of an abbreviated compilation of reference material of differing levels.  Quotes from a simplified summary where you do not understand the culture or the language (remember, the original is in Latin) are not dispositive.

I gave you the relevant references.  And, if you were alert, you would also note that my text was taken from the Catechism as well, from the parts that you conveniently skipped over. 

If you were to read that carefully, and understand what it says, you would recognize that the real doctrine of inerrancy is very different from what you seem to think it is.

In many ways it is very similar to what we do in science.  Individuals propose theories.  Theories are tested and with growing evidence are accepted by larger numbers of people.  At some point they start appearing in textbooks (catechisms) and get taught to others.  Sometimes, on certain issues of import senior members and others get together in major conferences and formulate consensus statements (ex. Copenhagen on quantum mechanics, IPCC on climate change), which have great weight (Councils).   While we're always open to learning more, we really do believe that work that has been accepted by the entire community for a long period of time is pretty darn solid.

Yes, the pope would agree with me.  Unlike you, he speaks the language and understands all the source material, and is not coming with such a pronounced bias.  He's just a regular guy, serving in an important position.  Mind-melds are just science fiction.

RSS

Events

Blog Posts

They're Here

Posted by Jake LaFort on November 29, 2016 at 11:54am 20 Comments

Religion & Questions

Posted by Noon Alif on November 28, 2016 at 2:30pm 4 Comments

Services we love!

© 2016   Created by umar.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service