Main Question or Discussion Point
Can a modern scientist be religious or even have a religion?
Well stated. I would only add that people are religious for many different reasons, not all relying on a deep faith in God. For example, many follow a religion the same as they would any other family or cultural tradition they grew up with. And, only a few religions teach beliefs that are really incompatible or contradictory to scientific knowledge, most others are pretty neutral on the subject.It is a fact that many scientists are religious people. So the OP's question has an answer: "yes". Beyond that, we're drifting into the realm of Should a Modern Scientist Be Religious?
I maintain that the answer to that is none of our business.
It'd be a mistake to assume that every religous person swallows scripture whole- or at least, takes it literally and swallows it whole. Both the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches have publicly acknowledged evolution as a scientific fact.There's lots of different kinds of scientists. As long as what the scientist is studying and/or teaching about doesn't conflict with any religious doctrine, I could easily see him or her being religious. Now if you're a cosmologist or an evolutionary biologist or something like that, I don't see how you could honestly be religious, since you would be gathering information that contradicts scripture.
What do you mean "either way"? The proposition under question is whether x exists. A complete lack of evidence of x combined with no good reason to believe x, doesn't require the Scientist to abstain from believing that x probably doesn't exist, even absent the fact that belief in gods and goddesses is ridiculous, prima facie.In the case of God(s), there does not seem to be any convincing evidence either way, so I will remain neutral until shown otherwise.
That is if you limit evidence to mean scientific evidence. We have over 4000 years of history as well. There is also personal experience. Faith is often motivated by experience and the experiences of others.What do you mean "either way"? The proposition under question is whether x exists. A complete lack of evidence of x combined with no good reason to believe x, doesn't require the Scientist to abstain from believing that x probably doesn't exist, even absent the fact that belief in gods and goddesses is ridiculous, prima facie.
So are you saying that once a scientist, only a scientist? Science is a tool for discovery that has limits. You make it sound more like a religion.Sure, technically, all REAL Scientists are atheists about everything. And qantum uncertainty makes, literally, anything possible. But as Bertrand Russell said, "I cannot prove that no Chinese teapots orbit Mars. But I consider the likelihood so remote that there is no detectable distinction between my opinion on the matter and complete disbelief".
Agnostics are cowardly atheists, fearing popular opinion, death, or both.
Note that none of the above precludes awe and wonder.
This bashing of agnostics as being indecisive and cowardly is really ridiculous and annoying. As if its not enough to bash the theists, any one who is not atheist must be bashed as well. It seems a rather "either yer with us er agin us" sort of attitude.Agnostics are cowardly atheists, fearing popular opinion, death, or both.
Yes, I often am!Faith is often motivated by experience and the experiences of others.
I disagree. You can imagne that God does exist and that he has communicated evidence for his existence to a prophet. Suppose then that a religious text is found somewhere that is scientifically confirmed to be thousands of years old. If the text gives details about scientific facts such as the exact mass ratios of fundamental particles, facts about astrophysics (e.g. facts about our solar system, nearby solar systems etc. etc.), then confirming this information would prove beyond a resonable doubt that the prophet had received the message from some unknown intelligence.Proving whether or not a deity does exist is totally out of the domain of science.
He wasn't a modern physicist. He didn't know about evolution or the big bang theory.Sure why couldn't they? Issac newton , who established the foundations for basic physics and created calculus was a religious zealot and devoted more time to christian rituals and practicing alchemy than physics.
It's impossible to try to prove that something doesn't exist. Scientists can't prove god doesn't exist, and neither can they prove that santa clause or invisible pink unicorns don't exist. It doesn't mean that there's a good reason to believe in those things. You can't prove a negative, that's a law of logic.I don't think you are automatically irrational because you believe in a deity or you are religious nor do I think you are automatically a rationalist or a person of scientific inquiry if you choose not to believe in god . You have to actively against in scientific inquiry to be a rationalist . You might be consisted with your disbelief in god best on the little evidence you are given for the existence of god, but be irrational and ignorant in a completely another field , like economics for instance .Science hasn't dispproved that god does not exist, science cannot proved that god exist given the tools humans used to conduct and form experiments to tests hypothesis/observations and formulated theories based on those experiments. Proving whether or not a deity does exist is totally out of the domain of science.