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Science vs. Religion


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#1 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 01:18 PM

This thread is meant to be a continuation of the "God and Me" thread originally created by Ynse. Instead of the thread being about one's personal experiences/beliefs, it turned into a religious debate of sorts. This thread is meant to seperate the debate from the questions.

Over the course of man's existance, there's always been the questions of: Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going?

For many, the answer to all three is simple: God. For others, they believe that deeper meaning/research/insight is needed to solve the riddles. This thread is for those that wish to express/defend their views and opinions, if need be.

It seems that the majority of "evidence" for the religion solution seems to come from LACK of evidence from the scientific solution. In other words, i've been seeing the "It can't be _____ so it must be _____" philosophy.

There are many holes in scientific theories and observations, that's clear. Not everything can be explained by Evolution or the Big Bang Theory. This doesn't mean that it's necessary to create a solution right now, though. Many people say that because science can't explain EVERYTHING, there must be a higher power that created existance. What's the reasoning behind this solution?

Others use the statement that science contradicts itself at so many levels, how could you trust it? It is true that science has changed a lot over the years, and many observations have been flipped, reversed, editted, revised, or completely done away with. It's the simple fact that science is so flexible that it allows for changes based on new evidence. Therein lies its strength. Most religions can't deal with new information, either sidestepping around it or straight-up condemning the findings. Evolution is a huge battle still raging within the religious community, with groups on the sides of "Evolution never happend!" to "Evolution was a tool of God!". How is it possible to achieve advancement under such a restricting doctrine of rules/ideas?

There are others who rely soley on the Bible as the truth, and raise it above all other texts/research. I have personally read a large majority of the bible (although it was extremely hard to get past the continuity/scientific errors on the first page of Genesis) and do not understand from where this information came. The bible is but a single source of information to support an entire belief system. One of my theories is that if the bible did not exist, there would be no external evidence of a higher deity or being. How can you explain Christianity (or any religion, actually) without using the appropriate "Holy Book"?

These are merely a few of my inner ponderings, which hopefully can/will be answered. Anyone willing is able to participate in this debate as long as respect is upheld and the mood remains calm.

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#2 rigel

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 12:04 AM

Hi Heretic Monkey,

I have a hard time with my words, but here it goes.

Besides the bible, I have nothing I can place in your hands that God exists. I can only say for myself that I completely believe in him. There are contradictions in the bible, and even most Christians may fluctuate sometimes while discussing that. The thing I see is that the Bible is the inspired word of God. Men wrote it. Translations differ on some words. There have been some who say that some of the books were wrote to honor their teacher - or wrote in there name... like Moses. I can only say that in Genesis there was a creation story, then some would say another. (When God spoke the creation - "Let there be light" and The Adam story) To that I say... yes.

God created.

Men may have wrote the book, but God gave the words their power. I accept it blindly, as a child would.

The Bible reflects life today. There were murders, adultery, theft, etc... Miracles! Yes I believe in those too, having seen some.

I am one, having walked through some of the things I have been involved with in fire/ems duties. I have been untouched by a guy who beat his girlfriend while they were in her car. She tried to escape by jumping from her drivers window. The same guy that tried to break a deputy's jaw as he locked him up. He never touched me. Just spoke normally and asked me to understand.

I have worked an accident with a power line laying across a truck. I should have been a crispy critter, but was spared.

I have seen death in the worse kind of way. I don't understand why it happened, but I still rest with Christ. I respect His authority. Life is tough, but God is tougher.

I know this isn't anything to you more than a testimony, but I offer my life as proof. I can't see the x-rays that allows us to see broken bones, but I can see the films that are produced. I can't see God, but I can see how his power effects people and produces results that are amazing.

I hope this post fits into what you were looking for.

Thanks for opening this thread, and thanks to BC for allowing it to happen.

Take care,

Rigel

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

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#3 legoman786

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 10:06 AM

Hey heretic monkey,

Like rigelslight, I have a hard time with my words too. While trying to make something understandable, it might not make any sense at all. But here goes.

I am a muslim, and I really do accept that God created the world and the Qur'an is the holy book. But I can't really say how he is there, or how he created all the living things. Many of the scientific revalations in our holy book, scientist are just learning about. Why don't they just read a book from 1500 years ago, and learn everything from there? Why waste money that can be used for schools on trying to figure out something that was revealed in a text 1500 years ago, when there was no modern science!!

I also offer my life as proof. I have been nearly ran over by cars dozens of times. Not by utter stupidity, but by not having the knowledge. This all happened in my childhood, BTW. I don't know how, and I don't know why, but here I am typing this. I guess religious people can call it God's miracle.

Religion and God are just two things in life that people either accept or don't accept.

Oh, BTW, for the people who know about Judgement day and how it is to happen. The sun is dangerously close to rising from the east. I am just the messenger.

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#4 jgweed

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 11:34 AM

This is a vast subject that has certainly occupied better minds than mine, but perhaps a few comments about just one aspect is not out of order or above my poor ability to think. As Descartes advised, when confronted with a large problem, break it down to its simplest parts.

As a warrant for action or projects, or for argument, an appeal to the Bible( or the Koran) is to base it on authority, rather than to the accumulation of scientific knowledge or rational understanding. But the source of that authority needs to be carefully examined:

1. If one takes the Bible literally, does that refute the concept that God may have used more primitive ideas or stories to explain truths to early cultures? How are we to understand parables or to interpret the Song of Solomom?
2. Which Bible is THE Bible? To what extent, for example, are non-canonical books to be taken as the word of God? Why should, morever one early text be used over alternative and tempory versions?
Was God involved in the choice of one text or version over the other when the Bible was cut and pasted together from various fragments and accounts by different hands?
3. To what extent are the various translations of the Bible to be accepted as dogmatically authentic by readers who understand neither Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek?
4. Can the Bible be justified as the Word of God (assuming God uses words) without referring to itself and avoiding a circular argument?
5. To what extent are the writings of the Patristics of especial importance, or as divinely inspired? Or the Dead Sea Scrolls?
6. Supposing a discovery of a new book of the Bible (say another Epistle by Paul), what criterion would be used to accept it as divinely written, or authentic, or worthy to be added to the canon ?


These are questions that seem to me to shed some light on the place of a divinely written authority in at least the Christian religion.

Regards,
John

Edited by jgweed, 17 July 2005 - 12:41 PM.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#5 rigel

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 08:35 PM

John...

4. (assuming God uses words)


Let's look at three different "religions": Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In all three, Moses was recognized as the author of the first five books of the Bible, and the Qur'an (Correct me if that is a false statement). Moses went up on the mount and for 40 days spent time with God. He brought the 10 Commandments off the mountain for his people to follow. That implies he "wrote" in their language. Several times in the Bible, he also spoke to Moses, Paul/Saul and others.

5. To what extent are the writings of the Patristics of especial importance, or as divinely inspired? Or the Dead Sea Scrolls?
6. Supposing a discovery of a new book of the Bible (say another Epistle by Paul), what criterion would be used to accept it as divinely written, or authentic, or worthy to be added to the canon ?


There were other books that never made it into the Christian Bible. The Catholics have the Apocrypha. It contained several books that aren't used in the King James version. There is also a common missing link called "Q". This book was lost or destroyed at some point. Most scholars think that Q was use when Matthew and Luke were written. Mark and "Q" where part of there bases.

God shapes life. I don't know how that influenced/guided the designers of the known Bible, but He does.

3. To what extent are the various translations of the Bible to be accepted as dogmatically authentic by readers who understand neither Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek?


I know Martin Luther translated the Greek Bible into German during the Reformation period. He wanted the common man to be able to read it without the help of priests or popes. My studies of Luther state that he struggled with meanings of words. The context and theme gave path to translations there.

Question to legoman786:

Let's look at three different "religions": Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  In all three, Moses was recognized as the author of the first five books of the Bible, and the Qur'an (Correct me if that is a false statement). 


I have been taught that this is a true statement, and that in fact, Ishmael of my Bible was the division of our two faiths. If that is true, the God of Abraham is also the God of the Qur'an. What is your feeling on this?

Edited by rigelslight, 17 July 2005 - 08:39 PM.

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#6 legoman786

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 12:28 AM

Question to legoman786:

Let's look at three different "religions": Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  In all three, Moses was recognized as the author of the first five books of the Bible, and the Qur'an (Correct me if that is a false statement). 


I have been taught that this is a true statement, and that in fact, Ishmael of my Bible was the division of our two faiths. If that is true, the God of Abraham is also the God of the Qur'an. What is your feeling on this?

Prophet Moses (aka Musa) (Peace be upon him) indeed reveal several books, but as to what their names are, I have no clue. Prophet Mohammed (PBOH) revealed the Qur'an. If they taught that Prophet Moses reveald the Qur'an they are teaching it fasely. Have they even done the research to teach that? I don't wanna be rude or anything, but thats my belief and opinoin.

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
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#7 rigel

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 04:48 AM

Hi legoman786,

My apologies. I had heard that his books were used in the Qur'an. I have never seen the Qur'an, so I was speaking from information that was given to me. I think people were trying to find a common link between the two faiths.

Take care,

Rigel

Edited by rigelslight, 18 July 2005 - 04:50 AM.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

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#8 legoman786

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 08:02 AM

No problem rigelslight, this topic is to share our opinions and beliefs, and somewhere in the mix learn new things.

BTW, I wanted to add something last night to post, but my mom kicked me off the computer.

The media is making Islam look bad as it is, then when religious schools teach false information, that just draws the line. I have had a couple of friends that attend catholic school approach me with information so messed up, I just wanted to go in that school and punch everyone. No offense to any Catholics or people with the same beliefs.

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
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#9 seafox14

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 07:50 AM

My personal opinion is that science and religion (take your pick) are not 100% mutually exclusive. there are archeological findings that have confirmed the History given in the bible (I'm christian). However religion (especially christianity) has a serious problem. False Teachers. A false teacher is one who takes the Word of God and either out right alters that Word, or takes it so far out of context that they make it say what they want it to say. A good chunk of the New Testament are warnings about false teachers who will come.

When modern science began it's goal was not to disprove God's existence but to learn how God made everything. There are some who have used science to say "There is no God". I say that science is showing that their is a God (again take you pick. I chose the God of the Bible) by the sheer complexity and balance of the world and all the rest of creation.

These are my personal views and beliefs. Accept, Reject or disagree with them as you chose. I'm just glad that this site has these discussions where people can share their opinions with out it degrading into a shouting match. In the meantime I'll still defend the right of people to believe what they want to. That is what freedom of religion means. To be able to hold what ever religious views (even non religion aka atheism).

Enjoyed the opinions and debate :thumbsup:
Seafox
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world

#10 BanditFlyer

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 08:22 AM

I think there are false teachers of both science and religion. Anyone who is overly confident is usually wrong. That's my rule of thumb.

You might be right about the origins of science in the Islamic tradition, but I thought the origins of science in the Christian tradition was alchemy, which was ultimately concerned with wealth, not religion. From what I remember, alchemy was concerned with turning lead into gold. Science spawned from this.

In the Islamic nations, science was devoted to finding proof of God in nature, but that has changed significantly. I have had Muslim friends who think that the Qur'an contains all of science within it. I have read that this is the belief that ended the Islamic lead in the realm of science.

Please let me know your ideas on this. I welcome additional input.

#11 medab1

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 01:51 PM

∞ says it all. (infinity)

#12 ryan_w_quick

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 08:01 PM

Hi legoman786,

My apologies. I had heard that his books were used in the Qur'an. I have never seen the Qur'an, so I was speaking from information that was given to me. I think people were trying to find a common link between the two faiths.

Take care,

Rigel


"Believe half of what you see and nothing that you hear." someone said that.

Creationism can never be proven over evolution 100%, or vice verca. But, there are always things that cast doubt on one or the other. Here below is an example...... .......

The moon has a fraction of an inch of dust piled upon it. When we went to land on the moon, we were prepared for tens and possibly hundreds of feet of dust, because according to evolutionists and others who believe that the earth has existed for billions of years, this is how much there should have been. However, the fraction of an inch that was found is the amount that would have been accumulated over 6,000 years. This is about what year the Jewish calendar is in, and about how long creationists would say the earth has been around. Now, there are very radical creationists who would chalk this up as a major victory for creationism and thus completely disproving evolution. But, is it not possible that the moon was once, maybe 6,000 years ago, a part of the earth. And it decided (or the laws of physics made it) to break away from the earth and get caught in its gravitational field.

You see, there is evidence that supports both creationism and evolution. We will never, at least in our earthly lives, know for sure.

Concerning the coexistence of religion and science, it is very possible. In fact, the father of evolution, Darwin, was not an aetheist. He was a Deist, meaning he believed the God, or a supreme being, created everything, and then just decided to leave and never come back.

More examples where science and religion do contradict...

"Sun, stand still on Gibeon! You, moon, stop in the valley of Aijalon!" This is what Joshua said when he was attacking the city of Gibeon. This is because he wanted to finish the battle in the light, and did not want to continue fighting into the night time. With the power of God, he commanded the sun to stand still over the city of Gibeon. However, most people (i wish everyone) now accept that the earth spins around the sun. Joshua's quote implies that the sun moves around the earth, so we have a contradiction.

In addition to my statement about the moon and dust, there is another plausible explanation for the amount of time that the earth has existed.
It has to do with Einstein's theory that time slows down as things begin to move faster. This has been proven and I will not go into details for I do not wish to type that much and insert many links. Anyway, here is a plausible idea:
There is a center of the universe, most scientists agree upon this. The earth, inside of its solar system, inside of the milky way galaxy, has been orbiting around that spot for who knows how long. But, the speed at which it was orbiting could have changed drasically. We do not observe this difference on earth, we infact feel that we are not even moving, unless we physically get up and walk. But is it not possible, that our sense of time has been construed because of the speed with which the earth moves, possibly causing fossils to appear either older or younger than they have actually been in the ground. This topic of the speed of light is difficult to understand, and even more difficult to explain. If someone with a very good understanding could do a follow up post to better explain what I have attempted to explain, that would be much appreciated.


The final statement that I would like to make is that observation is NOT, in my mind, evidence that has enough weight to prove or disprove anything. Because we all know that we are moving at many miles per hour right now, but we feel like it is zero. This would be an incorrect observation. It is all relative and a matter of perspective. And if I see a combustion reaction of dinamite on a cliff side, I observe that the rocks have been destroyed. But matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Another incorrecto observation.

After all that, I will say how I feel. I am personally a Christian that believes many aspects of science, especially physics, to be truth. I cannot remark and evoulution because I do not have enough proof to be convinced. I do believe in micro evolution, which is an entirely differnt thing. If you don't believe in that then you are a fool. As I said, I am a born again Christian that believes Jesus died so that I could go to heaven. However, I am not a radical that believes that everything happens for a reason, because everyone agrees that humans have free will, so how can God have a master plan if everyone can do as they please. I also don't believe that God cures people of disease, because people who pray to survive cancer die all the time. I do believe in coincidence, not fate. True Story: I once got pissed at a friend because he couldn't find his keys and we were going to a concert. We found them like a half hour later in his car. He said this,"God was protecting me from an accident by hiding my keys from me." I am not that gullible. Now to address the topic starter. I do believe in the important part, and that's that Jesus will one day return and I will be judged before God. Whether I am welcomed into heaven or cast into hell will be decided on that day.

Also, has anyone seen Donnie Darko. It completely changed my outlook on life. You should watch it.

Q out
"To do less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." Steve Prefontaine

"The things you own end up owning you." Tyler Durden

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Galileo

#13 BanditFlyer

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:30 PM


Hi legoman786,

My apologies. I had heard that his books were used in the Qur'an. I have never seen the Qur'an, so I was speaking from information that was given to me. I think people were trying to find a common link between the two faiths.

Take care,

Rigel


"Believe half of what you see and nothing that you hear." someone said that.

Creationism can never be proven over evolution 100%, or vice verca. But, there are always things that cast doubt on one or the other. Here below is an example...... .......
...

Also, has anyone seen Donnie Darko. It completely changed my outlook on life. You should watch it.

Q out

I've seen Donnie Darko. I couldn't help but think - why didn't he just do it again? He could have got it right this time. Alas, there would have not been enough time in a movie to explore that possibility. Probably would have ruined the plot, also.

Is there also a book version?

Have you read the book Alive? Or Kon Tiki? Those changed my life. One of the movies that changed my life was Escape from Sobibor.

As I understand it, Creationism can never be proven or disproven ... because it makes untestable hypotheses - the bane of science. But let me know if I'm mistaken on that point.

One quick example of an untestable hypothesis is Freuds talk of Oedipus complex: That every man secretly harbors an unconscious desire to kill his father and sleep with his mother. How could you ever test such a statement for truth value? You can't. You could never prove or disprove a secret, unconscious desire. Therefore, the statement is unscientific.

#14 ryan_w_quick

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 11:52 PM



Hi legoman786,

My apologies. I had heard that his books were used in the Qur'an. I have never seen the Qur'an, so I was speaking from information that was given to me. I think people were trying to find a common link between the two faiths.

Take care,

Rigel


"Believe half of what you see and nothing that you hear." someone said that.

Creationism can never be proven over evolution 100%, or vice verca. But, there are always things that cast doubt on one or the other. Here below is an example...... .......
...

Also, has anyone seen Donnie Darko. It completely changed my outlook on life. You should watch it.

Q out

I've seen Donnie Darko. I couldn't help but think - why didn't he just do it again? He could have got it right this time. Alas, there would have not been enough time in a movie to explore that possibility. Probably would have ruined the plot, also.

Is there also a book version?

Have you read the book Alive? Or Kon Tiki? Those changed my life. One of the movies that changed my life was Escape from Sobibor.

As I understand it, Creationism can never be proven or disproven ... because it makes untestable hypotheses - the bane of science. But let me know if I'm mistaken on that point.

One quick example of an untestable hypothesis is Freuds talk of Oedipus complex: That every man secretly harbors an unconscious desire to kill his father and sleep with his mother. How could you ever test such a statement for truth value? You can't. You could never prove or disprove a secret, unconscious desire. Therefore, the statement is unscientific.



The end of Donnie Darko has been widely debated. No one really knows why he doesn't get out of bed at the end. Some say he believes he will go to heaven, while others say that he thinks that the whole thing was a dream. I haven't seen it, but I heard that the director's cut version answers a lot of questions, but not why he stays in bed. As I understand the director will not grant an interview on the subject.

Freud was a very controversial character. Many psychologists today disregard every theory he came up with. Also, I took a psychology class once. My teacher told me that there are so many different theories in psychology, that one cannot believe or find truth in all of them, or he would be contradicting himself.

And I think that you are exactly correct in assuming that creationism will never be proven or disproven. Because, as I understand it, no one has ever returned from death and told everyone what happens after you die. It is in fact an untestable subject.
"To do less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." Steve Prefontaine

"The things you own end up owning you." Tyler Durden

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Galileo

#15 BanditFlyer

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 05:21 AM

Freud was a very controversial character. Many psychologists today disregard every theory he came up with. Also, I took a psychology class once. My teacher told me that there are so many different theories in psychology, that one cannot believe or find truth in all of them, or he would be contradicting himself.

Thanks for the Donnid Darko clarification.

I was referring to one specific instance where Freud's work can neither be proven, nor disproven, not to the possible contradictions in the totality of his work. You can never disprove a secret desire - that's what makes it a secret, afterall. In order for something to be a hypothesis, you have to be able to phrase it in a way where you can disprove it, or disprove it's opposite. So, since that one particular instance of Freud's work could not be phrased in a disproveable way, it could never be proven true or false by observation.

Therefore, that one specific instance of Freud's work is 'unscientific' because it is untestable.




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