Debunking Ancient Fantasy

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  • #1
Max Faust
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This may move along the edge of what's allowed in this forum... but I want to express a certain amount of grief over watching bright people like Richard Dawkins spend so relatively much time on confronting superstitious nonsense. It quite simply hurts in my heart to watch it, on youtube or wherever. There are of course questions that science cannot possibly answer - simply because they address things that science never professed to have any capacity to deal with in the first place. How can we move past this issue?
 

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  • #2
zomgwtf
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This may move along the edge of what's allowed in this forum... but I want to express a certain amount of grief over watching bright people like Richard Dawkins spend so relatively much time on confronting superstitious nonsense. It quite simply hurts in my heart to watch it, on youtube or wherever. There are of course questions that science cannot possibly answer - simply because they address things that science never professed to have any capacity to deal with in the first place. How can we move past this issue?

Well firstly, Dawkins makes money off what he does so he's not really your 'average typical joe' who likes to counter 'fantasy' ideas. Secondly I do not think that anyone has ever professed that science can answer everything... As well most knowledgable people will not even attempt to utilize science to answer things which are beyond the scope of science (such as existence of God(s)) They do however use science to debunk things which ARE in the realm of science. Normally scientists are naturally critical thinkers and therefore skeptical about things.

How can we move past the issue, I assum you mean spending large amounts of time debunking that which is outside the realm of science? I think this is very easily done by just accepting it as false and moving on with life. Works for me for the most part, unless someone comes to me or brings something up which is completely off on a tangent somewhere.

I think debunking most 'fantasy' ideas is very important for society as it helps people better understand science and phenomenas without having to resort to such fantasies. This is what Richard Dawkins has tried to do (for the most part) and most of the people on youtube do.
 
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  • #3
DavidSnider
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Dawkins wrote 1 relatively short book about this topic. He's spent over 30 years of his life writing 9 very good science books. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
 
  • #4
Ivan Seeking
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This may move along the edge of what's allowed in this forum... but I want to express a certain amount of grief over watching bright people like Richard Dawkins spend so relatively much time on confronting superstitious nonsense. It quite simply hurts in my heart to watch it, on youtube or wherever. There are of course questions that science cannot possibly answer - simply because they address things that science never professed to have any capacity to deal with in the first place. How can we move past this issue?

Interestingly, you seem to be the one preoccupied with other people's beliefs. That aside, how is this not a thinly veiled attack on religion? Does Dawkins address non-religious beliefs?

If your point is to move beyond beliefs that science cannot address, what justifies the leap in faith that all beliefs that you don't accept, are false? Is the justification merely a matter of your personal opinion? If not, then what is the basis for your complaint if you can't call upon science?
 
  • #5
Max Faust
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Well, I'd have to say that this is - more than anything else - a *political* issue, and that you have to accept personal beliefs for what they are: Personal beliefs. It is impossible to prove or disprove certain metaphysical ideas, whereas they might be personal ways of getting a good night's sleep. In my opinion, the REAL issue is that claims that are unfalsifiable (by the standard definition) is taken into primary school tutoring; and that in such a context, the work of "the new atheists" (Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, et al) is actually a *political* struggle, to keep the element of epistemological DOUBT alive (otherwise we might as well discard all of science and go for whtever arbitrary claims that whatever body of authority is putting forth as a claim). I just think it's a sad testament to the dissolution of the core tenets of civilization as we know it that "faith" is being championed as equal to, or in some cases even better than, science.
 
  • #6
Ivan Seeking
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Well, I'd have to say that this is - more than anything else - a *political* issue, and that you have to accept personal beliefs for what they are: Personal beliefs. It is impossible to prove or disprove certain metaphysical ideas, whereas they might be personal ways of getting a good night's sleep. In my opinion, the REAL issue is that claims that are unfalsifiable (by the standard definition) is taken into primary school tutoring; and that in such a context, the work of "the new atheists" (Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, et al) is actually a *political* struggle, to keep the element of epistemological DOUBT alive (otherwise we might as well discard all of science and go for whtever arbitrary claims that whatever body of authority is putting forth as a claim). I just think it's a sad testament to the dissolution of the core tenets of civilization as we know it that "faith" is being championed as equal to, or in some cases even better than, science.

What you ignore is the fact the people often base their beliefs, or at least claim to, based on personal experience.

Again, however, if this is strictly another attack on religion, then please say so as the thread should be deleted.
 
  • #7
Max Faust
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if this is strictly another attack on religion, then please say so

It is borderline. I will leave it up to you to judge.

The problem I am trying to address is how unfalsifiable claims of "faith" are occupying a lot of time (however money they may be making, which should be of no interest) of good scientists who should be using their time in better ways than to be on silly talkshows with people who quite frankly seem to be insane (but they still have, for some reason I fail to understand, political leverage).

I would like to address the relative importance which is placed on personal and private "faith" and how this is juxtaposed with a body of science that is striving towards *evidence* (which is often discarded by the "faithful" for completely irrational reasons).
 
  • #8
Ivan Seeking
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As long as we stay away from religion bashing and consider only the general case, it is okay for now.
 
  • #9
Max Faust
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OK, I shall try to not spill it. ;)
 
  • #10
CosmicCrunch
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why shouldn't we be able to religion bash, religion bashes science all the time. u bring up ur scientific beliefs to a religous person (or wannabe religous person, actually the ones who arn't that devout seem to be the worst ones when it comes to science bashing) and immediatly look at you like ur life is not worth living in this world cause u dont believe in god. also u try to start a "scientific church" for lack of a better way to say it, and u get ridiculed beyond belief. im sick of my views being suppressed cause majority of people, dont understand or dont want to understand, or even socially exile you when u speak ur mind, delete this thread if its not appropriate but argument from ignorance has got to come to a stop in this world
 
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  • #11
Ivan Seeking
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Science cannot address the existence of a God, which is the essence of religion, so religion and anti-religion have no place here. Since it is a fallacy to claim that one can argue God out of existence through logic, it would be crackpottery to allow religion bashing.

If you seek revenge against all who offend you, you have come to the wrong place.
 
  • #12
zomgwtf
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Science cannot address the existence of a God, which is the essence of religion, so religion and anti-religion have no place here. Since it is a fallacy to claim that one can argue God out of existence through logic, it would be crackpottery to allow religion bashing.

If you seek revenge against all who offend you, you have come to the wrong place.

Er, I always thought it was out of respect not because it's impossible. I think it's a fallacy of yours to assume that God can not be argued through logic. Just because 'science cannot address the existence of a God' does not mean logic can't, they aren't the same thing.

If you say that arguing against religion is 'crackpottery' on that basis then I'd say 150% of the posts in this forum are crackpottery.
 
  • #13
Ivan Seeking
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Er, I always thought it was out of respect not because it's impossible. I think it's a fallacy of yours to assume that God can not be argued through logic. Just because 'science cannot address the existence of a God' does not mean logic can't, they aren't the same thing.

If you say that arguing against religion is 'crackpottery' on that basis then I'd say 150% of the posts in this forum are crackpottery.

It is basic philosophy/logic. For one, one can never prove a universal negative, such as, "there is no God".

Your frustrations with the limits of science, I understand. Wouldn't life be simple of one had somewhere to look for all of life's answers?
 
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  • #14
CosmicCrunch
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u cant prove there is a god, i dont believe that there is or isnt a god, but so far science/ logic is proving religion wrong in more and more ways, one will never be solved, the god issue, but eventually that will be ONLY thing religion has to hang on too. and if there is a god, it would def. not meet ur expectations or needs for that matter. we could be snowglobe sitting on some young creatures dresser, how would u feel if that was all we were? id be satisfied. id be happy knowing i was living my life the right way by not living according to how a "supreme being" told us to by putting it in a book that, by luck, we could understand, what gamble there right? oh and religionforums.com has a science bashing forum on it, thanx
 
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  • #15
Ivan Seeking
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That is your statement of faith based on the assumption that there is no God, which you cannot prove. So, yes, we each choose what we want to believe; that is, unless one has some kind of genuine interaction the almighty. What many people fail to understand is that allegedly, faith is often based on personal experiences. True, not true, take your choice.
 
  • #16
zomgwtf
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It is basic philosophy/logic. For one, one can never prove a universal negative, such as, "there is no God".

First of all this isn't true at all. I'm not sure what level of philosophy or logic you have an understanding of and this surely isn't the forum to get into a debate about your misconception over universal negatives.

Second of all a debate using logic about God doesn't necessarily mean proving any sort of universal negative, that's a fallacy by you sir.

As well who ever said I personally was frustrated by the limits of science? If that was directed towards me then I see no basis for this condescending attack on myself.
 
  • #17
zomgwtf
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That is your statement of faith based on the assumption that there is no God, which you cannot prove. So, yes, we each choose what we want to believe.

Having no belief in God does not imply a choice to not believe in such a thing. In my mind at least the way I know of 'making choices'. You should honestly just stop with all this non-sense.
 
  • #18
Evo
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u cant prove there is a god, i dont believe that there is or isnt a god, but so far science/ logic is proving religion wrong in more and more ways, one will never be solved, the god issue, but eventually that will be ONLY thing religion has to hang on too
First, why is it that when you post in S&D you write in text speak? It's a guideline violation and I notice that you don't do it in the other forums. Please stop it.

The pursuit of science has zero to do with religion. Gods, goddesses, trout that created the world, science doesn't address these beliefs. If you are talking about myths in religious writings, most people do realize they are just stories and not to be taken literally. The ones that *do* take them literally are a fringe that do not represent the mainstream believers.
 
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  • #19
Ivan Seeking
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Having no belief in God does not imply a choice to not believe in such a thing. In my mind at least the way I know of 'making choices'. You should honestly just stop with all this non-sense.

You choose to not believe the millions who claim religious experiences. That is a choice. Don't get mad at me over it.

Were it someone you trusted that claimed something like this, you might choose to believe the story. You might take them to the shrink. Your choice.
 
  • #20
zomgwtf
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The pursuit of science has zero to do with religion.

All I have to say any further prior to arguement breaking out is that this is not true at all science most certainly does have something to say about religion. Even psychology/sociology/antrhopology have something to say about religions.

I think you meant to say science has no input on the concept of God, which I do agree with.
 
  • #21
zomgwtf
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You choose to not believe the millions who claim religious experiences. That is a choice. Don't get mad at me over it.

Were it someone you trusted that claimed something like this, you might choose to believe the story. You might take them to the shrink. Your choice.

Wrong. It's not a choice by my standards. Much the same way that deducing there is no cosmic tea cup is not a choice. I will get mad at you since you are a mentor and I do not believe you are conducting yourself as a Mentor should. Also, I do not like the idea of Mentors spreading blatant misinformation. "Athiesm is a choice much in the same way that theism is a choice".

I call bogus.
 
  • #22
Ivan Seeking
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Also, considering that the popular definition of a deity is that it/they operate outside of natural laws, unless God stops by the lab, there is nothing to test.
 
  • #23
Ivan Seeking
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Wrong. It's not a choice by my standards. Much the same way that deducing there is no cosmic tea cup is not a choice. I will get mad at you since you are a mentor and I do not believe you are conducting yourself as a Mentor should. Also, I do not like the idea of Mentors spreading blatant misinformation. "Athiesm is a choice much in the same way that theism is a choice".

I call bogus.

You can call it whatever you want. But the argument stands. As you yourself stated, you are judging this by YOUR standards. QED.
 
  • #24
zomgwtf
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Also, considering that the popular definition of a deity is that it/they operate outside of natural laws, unless God stops by the lab, there is nothing to test.

Also what use does this pitiful comment have to add to the matter.
 
  • #25
Evo
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All I have to say any further prior to arguement breaking out is that this is not true at all science most certainly does have something to say about religion. Even psychology/sociology/antrhopology have something to say about religions.

I think you meant to say science has no input on the concept of God, which I do agree with.
What I am saying is that I have seen no scientific research done specifically to debunk any religion. I would be appalled if any serious scientist even dared to waste time and money on it.

Do you know of any serious peer reviewed research on discrediting religion?

Perhaps what you mean is that science has inadvertantly debunked the myths, such as the age of the earth, how it was formed, how life evolved, etc... It was not, however, the point of the science to debunk religious myths.
 
  • #26
mgb_phys
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why shouldn't we be able to religion bash, religion bashes science all the time.
It's because it's pointless.
The best science can say is there is no evidence for God - to which the obvious answer is - well there doesn't have to be.

Bashing a particular religion because it does/says X or because leader Y does bad things is politics - find your own forum for that.
 
  • #27
zomgwtf
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You can call it whatever you want. But the argument stands. As you yourself stated, you are judging this by YOUR standards. QED.

Lol fine. Your 'choice' that their is no cosmic teacup floating beyond Earth and Mars is exactly the same level and playing field as my choice that there is. Interesting thought process you have.
 
  • #28
zomgwtf
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What I am saying is that I have seen no scientific research done specifically to debunk any religion. I would be appalled if any serious scientist even dared to waste time and money on it.

Do you know of any serious peer reviewed research on discrediting religion?

Perhaps what you mean is that science has inadvertantly debunked the myths, such as the age of the earth, how it was formed, how life evolved, etc... It was not, however, the point of the science to debunk religious myths.

Wrong again. I could cite sources if you want. Keep trying you guys. In fact I could cite sources from both playing fields. I could site sources from thiest scientist doing research to make conclusions on particular religious beliefs and I could cite non-theist or neutral works to determine the opposite.
 
  • #29
Ivan Seeking
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Lol fine. Your 'choice' that their is no cosmic teacup floating beyond Earth and Mars is exactly the same level and playing field as my choice that there is. Interesting thought process you have.

How we weight various arguments makes all the difference in the world. I know of no evidence for a cosmic teacup. I know of no such claims. Why would I believe such a thing?
 
  • #30
CosmicCrunch
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the limits of science are limited by our lack of intellegence, any scientist would not be a scientist if they didnt understand and accept that. The frustration is hearing people all around you convinced that the answers to life are in scriptures written by people not even as close to intelligent as us s couple thousand years ago. Your gonna trust your faith in people who didn't know meteorology or didnt have the knowledge to let people have an open mind publically cause there afraid of what might come of it. The universe wasn't even thought of until the invention of the telescope, which didnt come about until around copernicus. This is why i don't believe that religions idea of why we came about isn't accurate. It doesnt mean there isn't a god, but what you interepret as god will prolly disappoint you and make u wonder why u lived ur life to a certain degree when murders and other "sinners" end up in the same place as you, whatever that may be
 
  • #31
zomgwtf
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How we weight various arguments makes all the difference in the world. I know of no evidence for a cosmic teacup. I know of no such claims. Why would I believe such a thing?

Exactly. You haven't made any choice. Just like you don't choose not to believe in Elves or fairy godparents. (I assume you don't). These things are not choices.

The fact that you've never heard of such a claim for a cosmic teacup leads me to believe you live a life sheltered from philosophy and debate etc..
 
  • #32
Ivan Seeking
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I'm not defending any religion, nor do we allow anyone to push their religious beliefs here. We are talking about the essence of faith -a belief really in anything not recognized by science.

Science can only really address phenomena or claims that can be tested. While much religious dogma might be contradicted by science, the essence of faith is untouchable in this regard - that is, unless a God makes a showing. But the inability to test a claim does not falsify that claim. And many claims that at one time could not be tested, later could be. Rogue waves are probably one of the best recent examples of this. The claim has been around for centuries, but science has only been able to address the claim recently through oil rig sensors, and satellite data. Sure enough, they exist!
 
  • #33
Ivan Seeking
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Exactly. You haven't made any choice. Just like you don't choose not to believe in Elves or fairy godparents. (I assume you don't). These things are not choices.

I could say I don't know, but if asked, I would tend to say I do not believe such a thing because I have no reason to.

The fact that you've never heard of such a claim for a cosmic teacup leads me to believe you live a life sheltered from philosophy and debate etc..

You miss the point, so lose the insults. The point was the I have no reason to believe in a cosmic teacup. I do have reason to believe in a God.
 
  • #34
zomgwtf
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Ivan I was countering your claim that philosophy/logic can not deal with the concept of God. It is wrong.

Anyways I hope I got my point accross I'm in no mood to get banned so I think I'm done with this thread for now atleast.

Just a note however, I do not support 'bashing' religions. I do support critical debates though which this forum is not the place for. So I can say that I'm not siding with CosmicCrunch in that regard... or the opinion he has of science/God really. Just that I am against what you earlier claimed.
 
  • #35
zomgwtf
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You miss the point, so lose the insults. The point was the I have no reason to believe in a cosmic teacup. I do have reason to believe in a God.

No, that's MY original point. I have no reason to believe in God(s) THEREFORE NOT A CHOICE.

Honestly.
 

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