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.
I was trained in the Scientific Method and I trust this process for generating knowledge and truth. Of course no one person can have knowledge of everything. But it is not on faith that I accept scientific knowledge in disciplines outside of my training. It is my awareness that the Scientific Method was applied to accrue the knowledge that enables me to accept and incorporate that knowledge in my worldview. When religion has a methodology that can distinguish the explanatory value of one hypothesis from the next then we can continue this dialogue.
@Dianne - my sentiments exactly.
@Bob - I am so glad you are on this site. You reinforce the reason why the catholic church has got away with these Crimes Against Humanity for decades.
I see it exactly in reverse - Of course you do.
If I belonged to a very large family, and I love them dearly, and I found that some brothers, uncles, father were pedophiles, I would be off to the closest police station, to have them charged. I would be at the court case, and hear the children give their testimony, and be very happy that these excuses for human beings go off to jail for life, just so they were not able to do it again.This is not happening in the catholic church.
I'm not willing to dismantle the protections of the criminal justice systems in my country or others just to get that result.
Well, of course, that goes without saying. But these Archbishops, priests, whatever, flouted the law, they are above the law, have not, and will not follow civilized law, laws to protect children.
Even a glance at the number of perpetrators per population from any of them shows them to be on par with clerical abuse in the Catholic Church - so, your point is???? which is, by the way bollocks.
No other organisation has systematically hidden and protected criminals they way the catholic church has. Moved them around, paid millions to keep children quiet, let these priests continue their crimes. The vatican knows the crimes that Bernard Law has committed, but still hasn't given him over to the law.
The Vatican and it's Bishops thought the problem could be buried, but because the parents of these children, went to the authorities time after time, involving many countries, over many decades, many thousands of parents, was the only thing that got the ball rolling against these rampant pedophiles, being protected by the Vatican.
Not the State, not the Vatican and it's subsequent popes, but grass roots people, who had faith and trust in their church.
The following is a petition, from an Archbishop, who knows the extent of the rape and sodomy of thousands of children, and knows the "System" must change. Maybe, then, the Vatican and it's cohorts will finally understand that good catholics will not stand any more, the protection of these criminals.
This is happening all around the world, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Austria, Canada, as well as in your country, as well as mine.
The former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, covered for seventy priests during his time in charge. But, leaving the system as is, by the apologists, nothing will change.
So, be a good christian, be a good catholic, and put your name to the petition, to change the system of protection for the likes of a person, an evil man like Bernard Law, instead of being charged by the law, who, incidentally, is cloistered in a monastery, protected, along with many others, by the Vatican.
You keep mentioning Boys Scouts pedophilia - that is a diversion away from the rampant problem in the catholic church - there is nowhere near the numbers as is the case of the catholic church - There were 2,000 US cases of abuse within the Boy Scouts of America prior to 1994, and one abuse incident in 2006.
For you to say, 'Oh, it is happening over there in Boy Scouts - is obscene. They should all go to jail, the perpetrators who were found out in the Boy Scouts have done, not like the Vatican, protecting the pedophiles in their immediate midst.
The following was written in a National Catholic Newspaper -
Once again, don't care who or what you idolise or put faith in, just don't hide behind how good religion is, how good god is, what a loving god you have faith in, when these men hide behind their cross. Not just criminals, but cowards.
The catholic church is at the top of the pile of these criminal acts.
The following is from a Dallas newspaper -
and tell me it only involves a small amount of people.
I would be willing to grant you the notion that science and religion go hand and hand when you describe to me the formal process by which religion can discern the explanatory power of one religious supposition from the next.
Also, I am not sure why you made the leap that the development of science required a monotheistic God-lawmaker? How can I assess the explanatory power of this claim? As opposed to the claim of the ancient Greeks or Egyptians etc.?
You repeatedly make definitive statements such as "...the quest for understanding of something that is ultimately too big for us to understand." What process do you use to draw these types of conclusions? Are they evidence-based? Logic?
You also outlined that, from your understanding, the atheist perspective is that there is no purpose to existence. Does this relate to ultimate purpose? If so, then for me you would have captured my belief that there is likely no ultimate purpose - we are just part and parcel of a natural phenomenon. Now this is in relation to ultimate purpose. For the here and now, there is much purpose to my life, so I am only talking about ultimate purpose. What do you see as the ultimate purpose? Reconciliation with god? For all eternity? Are you of the William Lane Craig school of thought on this issue?
Doc Bob was WAY off base there - some cultures with multiple gods were deeply invested in science, while the Israeli shepherds were concluding that since their god did everything, there was no need to understand how the world worked. The Israelis were still contending that faith could move a mountain, a couple of thousand years after the Egyptians actually built mountains, the Pyramids, using extensive mathematical and engineering knowledge, or as we like to call it, science!
I haven't read all the posts in this thread all the way though, so I ask in fear I may be repeating what someone else has said. Has no one mentioned the Mayans, with their mastery of astronomy, accomplished entirely without polished glass optics or electronic devices? What about the Hindus, who invented numbers and, some might argue, calculus, 250 years before it was developed by Newton (or, arguably Leibniz)?
As a scientist, I would beg to differ that it is the same thing as engineering. ;-)
It is true we see elements of proto-science in some places, like the Greek schools around the time of Plato. Of course, Plato and many of those schools were also proto-monotheists, so much so that those writings were preserved by the early Church.
@Unseen, mathematics may be a different thing. At least the mathematicians around here would claim so. They would not characterize what they do as "science." There's no need for observation or experiment.
Would those be the same monotheists who forced Galileo to recant his assertion that the earth orbited the sun, and didn't admit he was right until 1998? I can certainly see how that must have advanced science --
Well, no... you're conflating the philosophy of monotheism with the actions of individual monotheists, who were largely acting for political rather than faith-based reasons.
That seems to be a common thing here at TA, but it's sort of silly. Just like me making the parallel claim that Stalin and the Soviets were atheist and therefore atheism leads to mass-murderer. It's a nonsense argument for the most part.
It's not mostly nonsense. Religious and political practices conflate often, in reality. Dogma enforced by presumed divinity, and worship of a father figure is the problem. North Korea's an illustration of this conflation, just not based on a world religion. Religiosity isn't the only cause of rabid allegiance, but it's historically the largest.
Atheism isn't even patriarchal, much less a cohesive religion. Nor is science. But this is a good discussion. Perhaps divinised, enforced dogma is the real evil, with religion just its (historically) most effective tool.
Perhaps divinised, enforced dogma is the real evil, with religion just its (historically) most effective tool.
I think you need to take it farther, @Pope.
I think perhaps the real evil is tribalism. It is our genetic predisposition toward tribalism that insists on seeing some people as "us" and some as "them." Religion can be and often is suborned to this human trait, for sure. So can politics, as the situation in the U.S. at present demonstrates. Raising the specter of fear of another tribe empowers dictators of all sorts.