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Science vs. religion.

  1. Oct 3, 2003 #1
    I have grown up christian and thought nothing of it now though i am begining to doubt christianity and believe in evolution and stuff such as that. has anyone else had that problem or am i alone....is there a way to believe in both?
     
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  3. Oct 3, 2003 #2

    russ_watters

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    No you are not alone and yes you can believe in both (I fit your description). There are two keys: one is realizing they are not discussing the same things and two is realizing the Bible cannot be taken literally about most things.

    Scientific theories don't require a God to function, but neither can they prove there isn't one.
     
  4. Oct 3, 2003 #3

    FZ+

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    Most definitely. Except that evolution isn't a belief.
     
  5. Oct 3, 2003 #4

    russ_watters

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    Yeah, sorry. There is a thread that I hijacked about that word somewhere...

    That word is just too versatile.
     
  6. Oct 3, 2003 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    eh, oh god I'm going to be slain again; I just can't help myself. I have met people who believe this. I don’t, but the belief does exist: The belief in a divinity allows that all of science could be a red herring. Perhaps God only made the world appear to make sense scientifically in order to test our faith. Once you have omnipotence, all things are possible. So, really, although one is supported by scientific evidence and the other has none, either choice here - to believe in evolution or not - is still ultimately one based in faith.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2003
  7. Oct 3, 2003 #6
    I am incredibly sick of people trying to compare religion and science--to put them on a level playing field. Believing in science does NOT take the same faith that believing in a religion does, if at all. That's like try to equalize opening a pickle jar and opening a fire hydrant by hand by saying "Either action here is still ultimately one based on rotary motion."
     
  8. Oct 3, 2003 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    I didn't say they required the same level of faith, but like you pointed out, rotary motion is still rotary motion.

    Spear number one deflected with only minor cuts.
     
  9. Oct 4, 2003 #8
    People who just ‘take it on faith’ that all the questions have been answered through evolution, yeah, I know some people like this.

    This is one of my all-time favorites and congratulations are in order because I had begun to thing I’d never live to see it mentioned so straightforwardly here at PF.
    I call this the “Tricky-God Scenario”, but ultimately I reject it because it is simply unnecessary; all that is required for a lack of belief in a god/s (and thereby requiring the ‘faith-thing’ that god/s always seem to be so keen on promoting) is for god/s to remain absent, and this is exactly the position I believe we find ourselves in. To perform intentional acts to confuse us about its existence is going far beyond the call of duty. Also, if one holds this view, I think it becomes an extremely powerful reason to accept that nobody can ever get to know god/s, for the whole design of creation has then been constructed so as to leave god/s existence ambiguous, yet most of the time when I have heard this argument, it has come from someone claiming to ‘know’ that god/s exists. I think they do it because of a perceived threat brought about by science. IMO, they are suffering from a bad case of Orwellian Doublethink in which they hold the conflicting simultaneous views that;

    1) God/s has set up its existence to remain a mystery.
    2) They know god exists.

    Omnipotence isn’t required to hoodwink someone.

    I do not ‘believe’ in evolution, I merely accept that of the possibilities which I ‘believe’ exist, that evolution has much more in support of it, making it more probable. I have nothing I can consider evidence to support a belief in an invisible god/s that constructs the universe in such a way as to mislead people. Accepting one view as being more probable than another is not the same as saying "I believe" in evolution.

    [edit]
    for clarification
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2003
  10. Oct 4, 2003 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    I was running out of options with which to annoy Russ.

    Really though, when someone first hit me with this idea, I was effectively reduced to saying: nah uh – a philosophical statement of faith at best.

    It may not be our business to understand. What is the philosophy of a divinity? [another thread, another forum. I think this is really a philosophy of science discussion anyway.

    Again, really you and I mostly agree, but...

    I want to reiterate that this argument does not represent my beliefs. I try to consider all options, and then when possible, rule out the inconsistent ones with logic. I see no logical way to beat this argument therefore I think it must be considered. Even though, again, we probably agree on many issues, I stand by my point: If we are to have any beliefs whatsoever, they are ultimately taken on faith. This must include all science and mathematics. Why do you think fundamentalists smirk when you hit them with evidence? Answer: They are not bound by the evidence. Now, many rush to equate this to a statement of equal probability. Clearly our logic tells us that this proposition that not only does God exist, but that he plays tricks seems most improbable. But, no matter how many times you halve the odds, the chances of a Tricky God [good name] are and will always be greater than zero. This being true, all of science and mathematics will always be tentative. Ther is no way around it that I can see.

    By this, evolution may have never happened. No belief is needed. This is logic.

    Much more likely, seemingly by enormous odds, evolution did happen.
     
  11. Oct 4, 2003 #10
    Anyway, I do not think that believing in science is necessarily a matter of faith.

    The logical explanation is:

    All things are based on cause and effect (logic). Since we and our reality are part of all things, then the world with which we interact and our experiences are dictated by cause and effect. Since they are dictated by cause and effect, results are reproducible, and the more closely the initial conditions are reproduced, the more closely the results will be reproduced. Thus, you have the foundation for science.

    Since my experiences are dictated by logical cause and effect, they are not random and they are not created by magic. They correspond to objective reality that affects them in logical cause-and-effect ways.
     
  12. Oct 4, 2003 #11
    I’m just responding to the words you wrote is all, and I can accept this so long as you understand I wasn’t trying to say a Tricky-God was impossible. What I said was that I reject the idea as unnecessary, and gave my reasons for feeling this way. I cannot disprove the existence of a Trickster and so I wouldn’t dare to say that such a thing represents impossibility, but would consider the probability to be low enough to tell me I should be thinking of other things.
    The question was asked originally if there was a way to believe both evolution and Christianity, and seeing that I know a few people who do I would have to conclude the answer is yes. When you are looking through the lens of a myth all evidence supports the myth, and just because I do not believe in both doesn’t mean it cannot be done...
     
  13. Oct 4, 2003 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    I have already proven that it is.
     
  14. Oct 4, 2003 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    I choose to believe in God.
    I can't help but believe in science.
    I was a theistic evolutionist before it was cool.
     
  15. Oct 4, 2003 #14

    russ_watters

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    Sorry, this subject doesn't annoy me. Plenty of others do though.
    Your arguement has one basic flaw: scientific proof is not absolute, so 'having faith that God isn't screwing with us' isn't a requirement of a scientific theory.

    I personally don't believe that God is screwing with us, but thats a religious belief. I have confidence that our understanding of gravity is good enough that the sun will rise tomorrow. No faith required.
     
  16. Oct 4, 2003 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    However, you will find many who say evolution happened [happens]. This is generally viewed as a definitive blow to creationism. Clearly it is not. Also, all possible permutations between divine and physical law are also possible.


    I was in complete agreement right up until you violated logic.

    Edit: whoops. I think I misunderstood you last comments. Do you mean that you don't need to believe anything?
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2003
  17. Oct 4, 2003 #16
    This is taking science out of the picture, but to think that the world exists w/o a God and that there is no life after death is sad indeed.

    ~Sandy
     
  18. Oct 5, 2003 #17

    russ_watters

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    No, just that not all beliefs require faith.

    There is some arguement over whether or not the word "belief" applies to science. I'm willing to accept that it does. But that is not the same as science requiring faith. "Belief" is a tough word. "Faith" is not.
     
  19. Oct 5, 2003 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    I'm not sure if we are crossing swords or not. It is a fact that an overwhelming percentage of the evidence indicates that evolution took place. Some would argue, myself included, that evolution did happen. Is this a statement of fact, or a statement of faith? Due to the tricky God scenario at least, we cannot make this statement with absolute certainty; so it becomes a statement of faith.

    Do we disagree?
     
  20. Oct 5, 2003 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    Sorry Boulderhead, I think you got the wrong idea. I just wanted to make sure that it was clear that I am trying to argue this as a point of logic; not as a personal belief. This wasn't really intended towards you in particular.
     
  21. Oct 5, 2003 #20

    FZ+

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    Ah, the mist where belief and fact blurs. On the one hand, we can say that all things are belief, and nothing is a fact. On the other, we can say that very little is belief, but that fact cannot be absolute. Or we can look for the position in the middle.

    Scientific fact is in general a mixture of both. And so evolution is a theory, not a belief. And I would describe faith as an extreme form of belief where all is believed, and so not a lack of absolute certainty. IMHO, of course.

    I don't find it sad. I find it meaningful to know that we hold our significance in our own hands, and that our lives have an importance given by their temporary nature.
    Freedom is neither sad nor happy. It is power and it is responsibility.
     
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