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.

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Already, forces of change have been unleashed on the world, which will alter, in some cases radically, the circumstances of large parts of the human family. Even if we were to alter course, even if we were to restrain ourselves and our activities, we have already set in motion forces we cannot change.

Some may call these forces “acts of God”. Some may think that God is bringing violent weather and drought conditions as a kind of punishment, but it is not true. These represent our impact upon the environment.

If you empty the well, the well is dry. If you do not farm correctly, the soil blows away. If you burn too many things into the environment, the weather changes. If you overexploit the world for resources, the resources disappear. It does not take a genius to figure this out. It takes common sense, but common sense is not common, it seems. And so here we are facing the consequences of humanity’s destructive impact upon the world, and these impacts will continue.

God is not creating them though God has created the mechanisms of life and set in motion the geological forces that have shaped the physical Universe and continue to shape it in an evolutionary pattern. Some can blame God for the fact that there are hurricanes. “Why did you create hurricanes?” Some may ask, but God only created the conditions under which hurricanes emerge. That was before there was any life in this world. But God did not create this hurricane to punish humanity. This is foolishness. This is ignorance.

If humanity continues in its present course, it will generate more events of this kind. Large parts of the world will be heavily damaged, and great droughts will fall upon the arid regions, driving people out. Nations will collapse. There will be millions of refugees with nowhere to go.

Humanity will lose its most valuable resources through overexploitation, through ignorant use, through a heedlessness of the future. Not thinking ahead, humanity is going to take everything now, robbing our children of their future, creating a future of unimaginable difficulties. There is no punishment here. It is merely consequence.

GENESIS . . . last chapter

In the end,
There was Earth, and it was with form and beauty.
And Man dwelt upon the lands of the Earth, among the meadows and the trees, and he said,
“Let us build our dwellings in this place of beauty.”
And he built cities and covered the Earth with concrete and steel.
And the meadows were gone.
And Man said, “It is good.”

On the second day, Man looked upon the waters of the Earth.
And Man said, “Let us put our wastes into the waters,
That the dirt will be washed away.”
And Man did.
And the waters became polluted and foul in their smell.
And Man said, “It is good.”

On the third day, Man looked upon the forests of the Earth
And saw that they were beautiful.
And Man said, “Let us cut the timber for our homes and grind the wood for our use.”
And Man did.
And the lands became barren and the trees were gone.
And Man said, “It is good.”

On the fourth day, Man saw that animals were in abundance
And ran in the fields and played in the sun.
And Man said, “Let us cage these animals for our amusement and kill them for our sport.”
And Man did.
And there were no more animals on the face of the Earth.
And Man said, “It is good.”

On the fifth day, Man breathed the sweet air of the Earth.
And Man said, “Let us dispose of our wastes into the air
So the winds might blow them away.”
And Man did.
And the air became filled with the smoke and the fumes could not be blown away.
And the air became heavy with dust, and choked and burned.
And Man said, “It is good.”

On the sixth day, Man saw himself, in skins of many colors;
And speaking many tongues and languages, and Man feared.
And that which he feared, he hated.
And Man said, “Let us build great machines of war and destroy these, lest they destroy us.”
And Man built great machines, and the Earth was fired with the rage of great wars.
And Man said, “It is good.”

On the seventh day, Man rested from his labors
And the Earth was still,
For Man no longer dwelt upon the Earth.
And it was good.

Kenneth Ross
Reprinted from The Idaho Wildlife Review
May/June 1967

• Humanity’s supernatural statements say nothing about nature —

Unless they are treated as testable hypotheses, each falsifiable. However the appropriate testing procedures belong to contemporary science — not 17th century Puritan theology, not 13th century RC theology, and not 11th century Muslim religious philosophy.

Nature itself is neither meaningful nor meaningless. Neither a source of comfort, as in natural theology, nor a source of despair, as in existentialism. Both comfort and despair are interpretive errors rooted in the same mistaken presupposition that meaning or purpose could be found by searching “the starry heavens” for divine agents or by quarrying human inwardness for “the moral law within [us].”

Finally, the existence (or non-existence) of any divinity is irrelevant to our right to be members of a secular, open society.

Even if the immoral, vicious, paternalistic 1-god of the Big-3 Monster Theisms could be proven to exist, even if old Tom Paine’s white-washed deistic divinity could be established by Reason — we have the sovereign right to reject any claim that it must be acknowledged, accepted, or worshiped.

@Bob - Last time I looked popes or archbishops or bishops etc.etc. are not Democratically elected - as are politicians. When a politician has committed a crime, they are kicked out. Popes just keep on going, ignoring the heartache and destitution of families, just as long as the brand keeps going.

Very different.

"Popes just keep on going" and going and going and going...Pope Everyready. :D

Well, popes are elected, but you are correct in that they cannot be easily removed.  Of course, the same is true of U.S. Supreme Court justices (and all judges on the federal bench).  They just keep going...

I'm curious if you think modern American democracy isn't ignoring the heartache and destitution of families?  How many millions of people do we have permanently unemployed?   How many hundreds of thousands of innocents did we kill in Iraq over a lie (and over the strong objections of the pope)?  How many tortured?  How many politicians and presidents have committed crimes?   Can you name one president who has actually been impeached and convicted, rather than resigning?

I'm not sure you really want to hold democracy up as the paragon of virtue.  With 90% of Americans in agreement, our elected officials still can't pass a basic background check bill for gun purchases.

@Bob - Yep, the pope has only recently been demoted - not infallible anymore, not god's representative on earth anymore. Catholics know about all the criminal cover ups by successive popes, and were leaving in droves. Wonder if he took a paycut?

Actually, the pope was never considered God's representative on Earth, and the infallibility thing mostly came out of  Vatican I in the late 1800s. 

I'm curious what evidence you have of criminal coverups by actual popes.  Actionable evidence, not just the never-ending conspiracy stuff.  Certainly, there have been Vatican "coverups" at times, if by that you mean efforts to handle things internally rather than turn to the Italian courts. 

Now, by all accounts the Vatican hierarchy in Rome is a swamp that needs to be drained.  Too many bureaucrats currying favor and positions.  We all have some hope for Francis in that role, though it's tougher with Benedict hanging around.  Aside from your personal bias, though, how is that any different from any governing bureaucracy anywhere?  They all fall into stuff and need to be swept out from time to time.  Fewer get jail time than they should, but at least few of ours walk away independently wealthy.

No, that's just where things get interesting to try to figure out!   You should challenge your catechism teacher!  Ask questions, dig deeply, be skeptical. 

If only - I asked the teacher who was a nun, by the way, shrouded in black with hijab. At least that has changed. One didn't question - or one was told to leave and never come back - which is exactly what happened - they were the days.

Every human work has mistakes and contradictions -

The bible is made up from fiction and plagiarised myths.

No mistakes as such, outlandish impossible claims, yes, wickedness and evil, yes, told to believe, yes. I just couldn't believe these as fact of history or how I should lead my life, as the whole shebang, in this case, was to worship a a blood thirsty, punishing god.

Why on earth anyone would want to revere this myth, worship this myth, accept the millions that were killed (supposedly) as fact, is beyond me.

Why would you expect theology to be any different? -

I don't - that is the beauty of coming to conclusions about any religious book - all just made up by men, out of their own little heads - It is only the fact that this superstitious tripe is followed by unthinking, scared people, or perpetuated by people, to make money - that is where I draw the line, and that goes for any religion, it is just that yours in the western world, is the most wealthy.

Once again, I don't care what people want to believe in, there are groups of people that still believe Thor is alive and well, in spirit of course, I don't care, they aren't doing harm, but your lot, along with muslims of course, are doing great harm, great damage.

Atheists have only the most superficial understanding of the Bible -

Do tell, oh, great teacher, where have I gone wrong, what don't I understand?

Never engaged more deeply -

And that is your biggest mistake - analysed the bible, you better believe it, I have come to different conclusions than you.

That's what you sometimes look like to us. - Once again, I don't care what Atheists look like to you - it is only when Atheists are attacked that we will answer back.

A person, supposedly as smart as you, should understand, at the very least, if you were born in an Arabic country, you would now be a muslim saying allah akbar five times a day.

Seeing the light, in that the bible is superstitious hogwash, was in fact, no big deal for me. I could say to my parents, this is evil, why are so many people getting killed by a supposedly good god.

Yaay, no more Catechism, no more church, no more getting depressed when reading this shite, no more questions to be had. That simple.

So, could you give me your thoughts on, I'll keep it simple, say Noah's Ark?

What has your particular version of god, done for humanity in the last 2,000 years.

You are a run of the mill theist, who diverts. Who cares what Tea Party do or don't understand.

Get back to what the heads of your religion are actually doing. I am assuming you didn't read the article on Vatican Fraud - these are your leaders, are they not. If they aren't, why call yourself a catholic, if you do call yourself a catholic, you are also in league with these hypocrites, and they just love people like you, who are the sheep in their cause, the pillars propping up this business, raking in the millions, and that is all it is.

If one has studied the different cults attached to the catholic church, like Legions of Jesus and the loony tune violent, manipulative Opus Dai away from you.

Why didn't the Vatican expose them. Why doesn't the Vatican excommunicate them.

Too many people involved, spread across the world, bringing in too much money.

Why hide the thousands of pedophile priests, because they don't give a shite about children - they had to protect the brand, and rake in money, keep heir lifestyle, travel the world - brilliant fraud.

If your church actually did no harm, it would all be good. Once again, this hierarchy absolutely needs people just like you, to obfuscate, make excuses for, divert attention away from what is really going on. Top of the heap as far as fraud is concerned.

You live in a bubble of a wonderful life - good for you - in the meantime families are struggling in third world countries waiting on word from the pope, even though he lost status, and is no longer god's representative. Even the vatican knew that was a stretch, so is now all humble. This works for the sheep of the church.

I think, Bob, that you should team up with Warren Jeffs - he has a direct link to Jesus.

A person, supposedly as smart as you, should understand, at the very least, if you were born in an Arabic country, you would now be a muslim saying allah akbar five times a day.

If I were born in an Arabic country, I would understand the Koran and Islamic culture much better than I do, to be able to make a less biased observation.   I would still have a choice.   Yes, people grow up in places and learn initially what their parents teach them, but at some point we all choose.

You grew up in a Christian family in a predominantly Christian nation, but have made a choice not to believe.  As a person, a scientist, an educator I made the same choice, except that mine was to be a Catholic Christian.  In both cases, they were choices.  Neither of us was bound by our upbringing or our culture.

If one has studied the different cults attached to the catholic church, like Legions of Jesus and the loony tune violent, manipulative Opus Dai away from you.  Why didn't the Vatican expose them. Why doesn't the Vatican excommunicate them.

I'm reminded of the caretaker in Harry Potter.  "I want to see some PUNISHMENT!!"

I've known a few Opus Dei members.  They're a group of folks that meets occasionally to talk about how to live a Christian life in the world.  How to be faithful to family, how to be good researchers, good accountants, etc.  The one I know best is an eastern European immigrant who fled communist Czechoslovakia with nearly nothing, and who has a delightful family.  He's an engineer.  Why do you want us to shun him?

The Legionaries of Christ (not Legions of Jesus) are a religious order that was founded by a Mexican pedophile.  He was eventually stripped of his title and positions and sentenced to a life term under house arrest by Pope Benedict, who also sent a team to do a massive housecleaning of the order.  That housecleaning is still going on.   Personally, I agree with you, the order should just be suppressed entirely.  At the same time, there are still a lot of good, well-meaning men who took up a vocation there.  They're a bit conservative, but that's not a crime.  Why do you want us to shun them all, rather than just deal with the real problems and re-assign the rest?  Guilt by association?  Punish the whole group for the crimes of a few?

What has my church done for humanity?  Here in the U.S. there are now over 6,800 Catholic schools (5% of the national total); 630 hospitals (11%) plus a similar number of smaller health facilities; and 244 colleges and universities. Many of these institutions are known for excellence: seven of the leading 25 part-time law school programmes in America are Catholic (five are run by Jesuits). A quarter of the 100 top-ranked hospitals are Catholic.

Worldwide the numbers are even higher, because we operate in many nations that don't have well-developed education or health care systems.  The Catholic Church manages 26 percent of health care facilities in the world - 117,000 health care facilities, including hospitals, clinics, orphanages as well as 18,000 pharmacies and 512 centers for the care of those with leprosy.  Worldwide we run 93,315 elementary schools, 42,234 secondary schools, and our second- and third- world education outreach has resulted in a 28% increase in enrollment over ten years, particularly among girls.  One thousand three hundred fifty eight colleges & universities.

The Vatican itself takes in about 250 million Euros a year, with matching expenses.  That money has to maintain diplomatic offices throughout the world, a number of museums, collections, and historical buildings around Rome, as well as the central organization serving 1.2 billion people.  By contrast, the U.S. State Department operational expenses alone come to around $15 billion, to serve only 300 million people.  Who is raking in the money?

If you really care about the children, and the sick in Africa and all the rest, why aren't you there?  We are.

If I were born in an Arabic country, I would understand the Koran and Islamic culture much better than I do, to be able to make a less biased observation.   I would still have a choice.   Yes, people grow up in places and learn initially what their parents teach them, but at some point we all choose.

The vast majority "choose" to conform.

The vast majority of those who are taught science choose to understand and "believe" it. 

Sometimes they would even be shunned or made fun of by peers and atheists if they didn't.

Does that make science wrong?

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