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Author Topic: Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism  (Read 26665 times)

lyner

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #50 on: 14/06/2008 17:37:42 »
Atheism and theism are both beliefs. Choosing one or the other need make no difference to how one approaches the models proposed in Science.
Religion has been spoiled by the way humans 'use it'  and so has atheism.

I was listening to 'The Moral Maze' BBC R4 the other night and I was saddened, but not to surprised to hear more than one 'eminent' Scientist / Atheist making incredibly arrogant statements implying that Science WILL REVEAL ALL, eventually. Such a subjective statement just has to be based on Faith just the same as the arguments put forward by the Christian speakers. The evidence has actually only been to the contrary, in the long run.

They're all as bad as each other. Richard D's faith is just as strong as (or even stronger than) St. F of Assisi.
People seem to find it impossible to do without it.
Give me a good old Agnostic any time. At least they are prepared to listen to both sides.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #51 on: 14/06/2008 20:18:40 »
"They're all as bad as each other."
People killed in the name of religion; lots
People killed in the name of science; not nearly so many (and most of those were by people who's grasp of science wasn't up to much.
Somehow, I don't have any difficulty telling the two groups apart.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #52 on: 15/06/2008 11:10:52 »
How is it faith to not accept the claim that something exists, if there is no logical or rational reason for it to exist, and for which there is not a shred of evidence? I think you need to return to the basics of the scientific method(s). The default position of science towards all propositions, prior to the acquisition of supporting evidence, is non-belief. There is an infinite amount of things we could believe. What standards would we have for which things to accept and which to reject if not evidence and rational thought? Science >is< atheistic.

Sophie, the evidence is to the contrary of what? Are you saying that the amount that a phenomenon is examined scientifically does not affect the probability of it being understood or explained? Surely, given enough time and effort, the answer to any question can be found.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #53 on: 15/06/2008 13:57:32 »
Science may or may not, in time, explain everythig and give us all the answers we need or want. Religion never will and never can- all it will say is some variation on a theme of "It's God's will". In particular it will never explain where "God" came from. OTOH science might just answer that question.
 

lyner

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #54 on: 15/06/2008 15:45:43 »
Quote
Science may or may not, in time, explain everythig and give us all the answers we need or want.
I'm sure it has, at least, already explained why we make use of a God. Humans and all other animals have needed optimal rules to work by in order to survive best and propagate the various species.
A highly intelligent species like H. Sapiens needs a built-in strict controlling influence to make it 'behave right' and it is not surprising that genes have evolved to give us a need for a higher authority. We behave badly enough as it is and, without a God figure, we'd have hacked each other to pieces long ago.
But the sad thing is that so many Scientists seem to think that there is no limit to what they could explain. That is so arrogant.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #55 on: 15/06/2008 16:21:12 »
I think it's optimistic rather than arrogant.
 

lyner

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #56 on: 15/06/2008 22:02:41 »
No - there's too much unreasoning 'faith' behind such  a statement and it's a really crap way to counter a religionist argument. I don't think you can forgive a 'great man' for letting his testosterone get in the way of his reason. It's arrogant. And it is all the more arrogant than the equivalent statement from a religionist because it assumes the person making the statement is using himself as the authority. At least when God is included in an argument they offload the ultimate authority onto someone else.
If your 'great man' is so great (and he will be very bright) then he must have thought it out and come to that conclusion. I have a feeling that such statements are merely an ill-judged show of over confidence in order to show the religionist is wrong.

If Science is a map of things the way they are then, to be complete, it would have to include itself on the map and the map of itself should also contain a map of those maps etc. etc. So it can never know it all.

In any case, why should we desire to know everything? It's as scary an idea as living for ever. Acceptance of our limitations is probably the ultimate way to find peace of mind.  Let's hope there's a gene for that buried somewhere inside us all (or at least a gene for the propensity for it). It's our only hope.
But, if we get too laid back about things, everything will grind to a halt.
« Last Edit: 15/06/2008 23:27:43 by sophiecentaur »
 

lyner

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #57 on: 17/06/2008 16:48:45 »
I didn't mean YOUR statement, BC, I meant the statement I was discussing. I thought I may haver offended you and we can't have that can we?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #58 on: 17/06/2008 19:03:45 »
"If Science is a map of things the way they are then, to be complete, it would have to include itself on the map and the map of itself should also contain a map of those maps etc. etc. So it can never know it all."
Actually, I have a map like that, it's not very practical but it does include everything, It's called a universe. It is a 1:1 scale map, but it really does exist.


Anyway, I think the "scientist's" idea is simply that, for just about everything that we have sought an explanation, we have found one. Given time, perhaps we will find an explanation of everything.
Optimistic, but not particularly arrogant. Extrapolation is potentially very misleading, but it's very common practice in science.
For the alternative to be proved true you would need to show the scientist a problem that cannot, even in principle, be explained. I don't know of any.
 

lyner

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #59 on: 17/06/2008 20:22:59 »
Quote
Actually, I have a map like that, it's not very practical but it does include everything, It's called a universe. It is a 1:1 scale map, but it really does exist.
No, that's not a map and it isn't the answer to any question. (A bit glib there, I'm afraid BC)

And there is loads and loads for which we haven't found explanations.
As for getting to sort everything out - just look at medicine. We have now more or less run out of antibiotics and, with so much neo-natal care, we are in danger of the tail wagging the dog. Individuals are surviving who never would have, earlier in history, and magnifying the effect of loads of less viable genes in the general pool, as a consequence.
There's a nice moral dilemma there but it demonstrates that Science is far from potentially getting us to any nirvana.
I think there is a hint of an entropy argument here. You may be able to solve most (not 'any') problem but at the expense of generating even more.
Why not just accept this and deal with it rather than deny it's true and guarantee disappointment? I, personally, don't have a problem with the idea of limits.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #60 on: 18/06/2008 05:13:14 »
Sophie, organisms have been evolving immune attacks and defenses for billions of years. If there is a way to attack, there is a way to defend. How have we run out of antibiotics? Have you heard about rational drug design?

Who is even able to say that a particular problem is completely unsolvable? If there are scientifically valid questions that are unsolvable, which are they, and why? How do you know that advances in science and technology in the future will not enable those "unsolvable" questions to be answered? That's how it has been for the questions asked since science began. It is not an unreasonable or arrogant optimism. Who is qualified to put a limit anywhere?

I would like to support BC's universe-map idea, it's a poetic concept, but I would consider the scientific method to be a more practical map.
 

lyner

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #61 on: 18/06/2008 10:40:18 »
I appreciate that a certain amount of optimism is necessary or the species would give up trying.

'The real thing' is not a map of the real thing. A totally one-to-one mapping of one system onto another takes up space, resources, mass etc. This system is, by definition, not part of the original system so it does not 'contain' the totality of information. This is a bit of a red herring but I used it as a counter example to the idea that Science can ever know it all.

As far as antibiotics are concerned, I thought there were strains of TB for which we had no drugs. Is that no longer true?

But, in any case, we are into diminishing returns, here. All over the world there are human bodies in which there are new strains of disease evolving. There are a very few laboratories responding to this and all they do is the best that they can. In the end, we aim at a least worst solution. Resources tend to be channeled into diseases which affect the privileged. The poor masses are catered for much less.

No one is actually qualified to identify the limit - it's set by the amount of resources that humans want to, or can afford to, put in.

The logical proof (are there holes in it?) to my original statement is that there are more problems than people with time to solve them. That implies that we can never solve them all.
BUT this is not a gloomy fact; it needn't bother anyone any more than the existence of death. We just do our best and shouldn't need to ask any more than that.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #62 on: 18/06/2008 10:44:08 »
I'm sure it has, at least, already explained why we make use of a God. Humans and all other animals have needed optimal rules to work by in order to survive best and propagate the various species.
A highly intelligent species like H. Sapiens needs a built-in strict controlling influence to make it 'behave right' and it is not surprising that genes have evolved to give us a need for a higher authority. We behave badly enough as it is and, without a God figure, we'd have hacked each other to pieces long ago.

Do you mean we need religion to give us morals? You say without a god figure we would have hacked each other to pieces, what about all the people that have been hacked to pieces in the name of religion?
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #63 on: 18/06/2008 15:02:25 »
Regarding antibiotics, there are pathogens we don't have treatments for now, but which given enough R & D could be combated in future.

I'm glad that you've said that the limit depends on time, resources, etc, rather than some intrinsic limit on which valid scientific questions can be answered, which was how I understood your position initially. In this case I agree with you.
 

lyner

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #64 on: 18/06/2008 16:22:14 »

Do you mean we need religion to give us morals? You say without a god figure we would have hacked each other to pieces, what about all the people that have been hacked to pieces in the name of religion?

Yes - but we haven't hacked ourselves totally to pieces, yet.
We all need a Jimminy Cricket in there to control our worst excesses and to help us make 'good' choices. We are a very social species and get our initial life training from parents or equivqlent. As a group it is reasonable to invent a common super-parent figure which is described as God to replace the parental influence. Sometimes this was the Chief of a tribe or Emperor.
Humanism can achieve self regulation too, but it is a very intellectual 'faith' which is atheistic. Your average person may not have the time to think each decision out from square one and Religion provides the same sort of answers that a Parent would have given to children.
People will naturally fight each other and, human nature (another gene) often makes them hijack the God influence and use it as an excuse for shocking behaviour. I am not forgiving what religions have done, I am merely explaining it away.
Although I am not a believer I feel that (the better behaved) religions are better for a society than no religion. That sounds very condescending / smug, I know, but I often feel that, if more people thought about ethics and 'spiritual' matters as much as I do, personally, the World would be a nicer place to live in.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #65 on: 19/06/2008 09:11:44 »
Although I am not a believer I feel that (the better behaved) religions are better for a society than no religion. That sounds very condescending / smug, I know, but I often feel that, if more people thought about ethics and 'spiritual' matters as much as I do, personally, the World would be a nicer place to live in.

Indeed, but I also think if more people thought full stop the world would be a nicer place, the ethics and morals come naturally.

"Children should be taught how to think, not what to think".
 

lyner

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #66 on: 19/06/2008 14:00:40 »
Absolutely.
But, by making that comment, you have demonstrated yourself to be thinking on a higher level than most  (compliment) and would probably 'behave yourself' in a way that would be better for the species.
However,  you  have made the mistake of thinking that other people are ever likely to 'think'  in a useful way, collectively, without the help of a 'Metaphor', such as a God.
My thesis is that evolution has caused humans to use this Metaphor in lieu of  'thinking'.

This, unfortunately, is no more able to be proved than is the actual existence of a God.
 

Offline captnsaj

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
« Reply #67 on: 21/08/2010 18:43:21 »
"Atheism is as much a faith as Christianity "
In the same sense that bald is a hair colour.

Strictly speaking, since I can't prove that there is no God, I ought to be described as agnostic on this matter.
Oddly, nobody describes me as agnostic when I say I don't believe in the tooth fairy, but my reasons for disbelief are pretty much the same. Equally, I don't know of anyone who describes a child's fear of the "monsters under the bed" as being a matter of religious faith.

Atheism is generally taken not just to mean the belief that there is no God, but a more general feeling that one only believes in things for which there is positive evidence.
As it happens, science generally does the same thing.

The atheists that I have met are dead set on the fact that there is absolutely no God. period.  I have no idea what they base this "fact" on and the tout it as scientific fact.  You may personally not believe in the toothfairy, but science can come up with a set of experiments based on the definition of a toothfairy to prove or disprove his/her existence.  Even then, there would be a certain amount of uncertainty (the p value).
The God that most religions believe (the "Big Three" as it were) is thought to exist outside the rules of our known Universe.  Afterall, how can He create something and then be bound by it?  Therefore, we cannot scientifically prove nor disprove God.
I have an old blog post about this:
newbielink:http://captnsaj.blogspot.com/2007/06/atheism-is-not-scientific.html [nonactive]
« Last Edit: 21/08/2010 18:45:10 by captnsaj »
 

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Science has been unfairly hijacked by atheism
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