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theist-atheist scale - where are you?

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by crunk-colt, Aug 7, 2009.

is there a God?

  1. 1.0: There is a God with 100% certainty.

    24 vote(s)
    35.3%
  2. 2.0: Very high probability but short of 100% .

    3 vote(s)
    4.4%
  3. 3.0: Higher than 50% but not very high. Agnostic leaning towards a God.

    9 vote(s)
    13.2%
  4. 4.0: Exactly 50%. Completely impartial agnostic.

    4 vote(s)
    5.9%
  5. 5.0: Lower than 50% but not very low. Agnostic leaning towards no God.

    9 vote(s)
    13.2%
  6. 6.0: Very low probability but short of 0%.

    7 vote(s)
    10.3%
  7. 7.0: There is no God with 100% certainty.

    12 vote(s)
    17.6%
  1. Themole

    Themole Season Ticket Holder

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    Ron, you are no D7 believe me!
     
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  2. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    true but that assumes that putting things into a study is the only way to prove something. Its a whole metaphysical type of argument better left for a different discussion :up:
     
  3. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    For my two cents I voted option 3. Basically because I have had things happen to me in life that suggest some sort of spiritual world out there and based off that I do believe their is some sort of power out there (call it God if you wish).

    However I also see things in life as random occurrences. What I mean by that is I don't think we have predetermined destinies and that things happen for a reason because things just seem to happen randomly. I say this mainly because I have seen people I love get cancer and some even die while some who contribute nothing to society and drug/smoke/drink their life away live longer than loved ones who were great people. I don't see a purpose behind that and wonder if there is a God how is that justified? Therefore like I said I believe everything in life is random.

    My belief in a God is one who basically plays a supporting role but is never directly involved. In the end I have never came to grips with how bad things happen to good people basically. Such as children with terminal illnesses, how is that fair?...what have they done to deserve punishment? In short I believe their is a God but am nowhere near convinced of it.

    I have chosen to live my life in a system of being good to others and hoping that is returned. I believe in equality for all people of all religions, races, gender, sexuality, etc. simply because life is too short to go around hating people because they are different than me plus if I did that I would have missed meeting a lot of good people in my life. I may not understand everyone but I don't want to see anyone harmed. The Golden Rule in other words, is my true belief system. :D
     
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  4. Pagan

    Pagan Metal & a Mustang

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    Oh without a doubt.

    You can carry a civilized conversation with Ron.
     
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  5. CrunchTime

    CrunchTime Administrator Retired Administrator

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    Without getting into the belief question I certainly think that humans have a need of a God or gods because throughout human evolution cultures who have never been in contact with each other have worshipped gods.

    Its part of the human condition.We dont see animals even the most intelligent ones having gods.There are dominant animals but not gods.

    Where does that need come from ? Perhaps God had something to do with it .:wink2:
     
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  6. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    :up::up:Where theres smoke there is or has been fire.:yes::wink2:
     
  7. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    There's a question I have thought about myself. My thoughts on the subject is that humans are the only animals smart enough to contemplate our own deaths and have to rationalize why things happen in life. We all don't know for sure what comes after death and also we don't understand things that happen in life, so we need to rationalize it. So if we had something after death that was comforting and we could look forward to then life becomes more livable and death isn't as scary. Plus a God helps us understand what happens in life and can comfort us. Like you mentioned even the smartest animals don't have Gods and I would say they don't because they still don't think about their death or things that occur to them in life. A monkey doesn't know it has cancer and will die with it or that it's parent has died, the monkey just gets cancer and dies or a parent has died....it doesn't know fully what went on even if it shows signs of missing a parent. Essentially it comes down to the question of "did God create man" or "did man create God."

    Like I said I mostly believe in a God or higher power of some sorts but I have thought about this question and that is just what I've come up with. :D
     
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  8. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I found it to be a valid explanation for many things not understood by science, particularly the black hole information paradox and the way information is stored in the brain.
     
  9. Diavik

    Diavik ex nihilo nihil fit

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    'Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.' (Hebrews 11:1)

    ex nihilo nihil fit: out of nothing nothing comes.

    if the universe began as a singularity with infinite mass and energy, do you think it is a legitimate question to ask - where did it come from? was it always there? after an eternity did it suddenly explode on some idle Tuesday afternoon? What about the law of inertia: the tendency of an object in motion to stay in motion or an object at rest to stay at rest - unless acted upon by an outside force?

    how can anything exist, if something did not first existed before it?

    if this is true, does it not follow that because something exists now, something has always existed? something that is eternal?


    discuss...
     
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  10. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    If I understood what you are saying correctly you are saying because something exists something most have caused/preexisted it (something eternal)?

    By that then if we believe God to exist now then something preexisted God, then something preexisted that thing and so on infinitely. So if something most always have something to preexist it to show why it exists then doesn't that just lead us to an infinite cycle of preexisting things? Which then makes the question even more baffling and unanswerable.

    Of course I may very well have misinterpreted what you said. :up:
     
  11. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

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    Some will say nothing is all that actually exists.

    Still it really isn't a legitimate question to ask because it is thinking of time as linear
     
  12. Diavik

    Diavik ex nihilo nihil fit

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    thanks for the PM, it's appreciated. i would have responded but i do not have the requisit number of posts to do so. :lol:
     
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  13. Diavik

    Diavik ex nihilo nihil fit

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    who specifically. nietzsche?

    i was not speaking of time, but to the laws of conservation of mass and energy.

    i am misunderstanding you?
     
  14. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    Okay fair enough and may be reading too much into this or am not remembering correctly which religious group does this but I notice you wrote "G-d." Are you a rather strict Hebrew? Once again I may have remembered all of that wrong. :lol:
     
  15. Diavik

    Diavik ex nihilo nihil fit

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    It is in fact observant Jews who do the above. I'm not Jewish.

    But I did play one in a Christmas play. :lol:
     
  16. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    By all means believe what you want, but it is an injustice, to try and apply "logic" to this scenario incorrectly and then incompletely.

    First of all, saying, "if something exists, then something existed before it", is not proof, evidence, or even a hypothesis. Even if it were you throw that out the window entirely, in relation to a god, by saying that rule doesn't apply to him.

    I fail to see how an omnipotent being that we cannot define, see, touch, smell, or even comprehend is more likely, than not. However, if that is a question your are going to ask, why stop at creation? Why not apply that to every beyond normal claim any religion makes about anything, including its origin?

    I'll say again, people shouldn't be so focused on proving their religion to be true, because it diminishes the concept of faith.
     
  17. Diavik

    Diavik ex nihilo nihil fit

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    are you always this angry?
     
  18. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    Ha so I was right. :hi5:
     
  19. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    Diavik, welcome to our world. I believe it to be so and to carry this a little farther down that path If that energy is still expanding yet we know stars are dying where do they go and/or what do they turn into? Just what does a black hole lead to?

    The flower that wilts and goes to ground rises the next spring anew yet the same. Does that prove that nothing is lost?
     
  20. 2socks

    2socks Rebuilding Since 1973

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    Chad Pennington is GOD
     
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  21. Bumrush

    Bumrush Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I believe that there are some things we will never know or comprehend. I accept that we do not have the tools, or knowledge to answer all the complex questions around us. When a close family member of mine was catastrophically injured, all the people of faith around me told me that it was the result a grand scheme, a higher power that determined her cruel fate. I choose to believe in nature. If you get cancer and die, you die because the cancer kills you. If you break your neck and wind up in wheelchair, it happened because your spinal cord was severed, and when that happens you lose certain abilities.... To me, the concept of religion and faith is simple: It provides simple answers in a world full of complicated questions and realities. I am not putting down any of you that have strong faith - In some ways I wish I had the type of personality to accept faith in my life.. I just know that I never will. I've rebelled against religion and the concept of a powerful god ever since I was a young child, and have always been fascinated by science and logic.

    Getting back to the discussion of the big bang, we may never know where the singularity came from.. But not knowing doesn't prove the existence of a higher power. It only proves, IMHO that we don't have the answers- yet.
     
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  22. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

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    You do have strong faith. You just put it in nature.

    To me, it takes just as much faith to believe there is a god as it does to believe there isn't.
     
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  23. crunk-colt

    crunk-colt New Member

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    woah there, youre going to have to explain that one...
     
  24. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

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    What do you need explained?
     
  25. crunk-colt

    crunk-colt New Member

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    how can it take more faith to believe in something that has no evidence than to not believe it it? and what type of "god" are you talking about?
     
  26. RevRick

    RevRick Long Haired Leaping Gnome Club Member

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    The very idea of faith is that there is a knowing that is beyond evidentiary proof. Faith in God is belief in not only a primal cause of all things that have been created in the Universe, but also an ongoing presence of and care for the created by the Creator - God. This God is not subject to the whims, manipulation, and measurements of fallible and, certainly,finite human intellect. This God is utterly sovereign, and operates in manners which cannot be observed and quantified in the ordinary fashion a human can detect - for example, if it is getting hot, smells good, has a pleasant sound, or even it another is attractive to oneself. It is a spiritual knowing of the highest order which obviously mandates an awareness of a spiritual development and need within the human mind - a spiritual existence aside from the physical existence. Once one opens their mind to the possibility of knowing things other than those which can be statistically represented or reduced to a data sheet of facts, the possibility of that means of knowing increases, and one becomes open to at least the possibility of a spiritual realm in all life.

    If one cannot fathom the idea of knowing anything more than data (which means that one really cannot explain to one's self one's own personal likes and dislikes adequately!), the the idea of faith is extended to blithely accept the "fact" that all that exists is solely composed of matter and energy around us, and if it cannot be sensed in that fashion, it does not exist.

    Of course, this leaves no room for things like Mozart, Beethoven, Einstein, Edison, Shakespeare, or any of the others who have made leaps of creativity and genius which surpass the realm of the merely intellectual, for example, to exist except by a genetic aberration, albeit a fortuitous one. It also leaves no room for any change in human behavior to happen except those which would be acceptable to behavioral science, for example, or to psychological examination. The fallacy involved there is that if that were the case, there would never be the thousands of recorded events in which a person's life - their habits, their outlook, their actions, their very manner by which they live their lives - would have made some of the astoundingly complete turn abouts which have been witnessed as occurring during the course of living their lives who have not only attributed that change to the advent of faith in their life but have displayed the results and effects of this change for the rest of earthly (and, presumably, from my faith stand point, post mortem) existence. Examining that kind of data honestly will raise questions which challenge the idea that humanity is solely mechanistically controlled by circumstance and opportunity as many who deny the existence of a spiritual need, and realm, in human life assert on a basis to deny the existence of any form of a superior, indeed, supreme, being. To deny that such a being couild exist in the face of evidence which one refuses to examine with a degree of intellectual honesty (because they cannot understand that evidence for faith any more than they can fathom the very idea of faith as a means of being alive) and then because of that inability, or active denial, to deny faith in God as a possibility is to act as if one were a spiritual ostrich. "I don't understand it, I don't like it, I don't want it, therefore it is not real and any who do think it is real are fools!"

    If one has honestly examined the evidence for faith, and for the being we who have faith know as God, and honestly disagree, then that person joins the long list of those who have been challenging faith, and challenged by a long procession of equally qualified, thoughtful, and intellectually honest persons who do posses faith. Read C.S. Lewis, it may help understand the process of coming to faith, or Stobels "The Case for Faith." There are lot of books out there which explain the manner by which faith in God is born into one's life. But, to put one's faith into the orderly, peaceful, compassionate, caring, progressive, and competent manner in which humanity has run things thus far requires far more faith than belief in a supreme, sovereign being - God.
     
  27. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

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    I did not say more faith, I just "just as much".

    Is not believing in something that has no evidence of not being true really that much different than believing in something that has no evidence of being true?

    It is taking a hard stance on something that there is no evidence either way. Right now there is no proof that there is a god and no proof that there isn't. There are theories and fun questions we can ask eah other, however none of us know really if there is a divine intelligence. Well enough to acually convince the other person either way.

    One might be able to conclude that the bible isn't literally true or hike up to the top of Mount Olympus and look around. However to say, "There is no god and when you die your body rots in the ground," to me takes as much faith to say, "There is a god and when you die you go to heaven and sit on fluffy clouds and play harps."
     
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  28. crunk-colt

    crunk-colt New Member

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    Person A: Something with no evidence or counter-evidence exists
    Person B: Something with no evidence or counter-evidence does not exist

    that "something" can be replaced with anything. invisible dragons in your garage, magical pink unicorns, count chocula, god, etc.

    who here is positing the claim? it is quite clearly Person A. these two theories are not equally valid just because there is no evidence either way. that would imply that anything that has no evidence either way has the exact probability of being true as being untrue. this is obviously ridiculous, and i am willing to bet that you do not use this same logic with other subjects. how do you feel about fairies? what about Zeus?
     
  29. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

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    They are both posting a claim. The first person is saying it exists, the second person is claiming that it does not exist.

    I use this logic on all subjects that I cannot prove one way or another. If there is zero evidence of something being not true and zero evidence of something being true, how can you say there is a different probability as one being true as one being not true. Last time I checked my math 0=0. (to keep things simple of course.) It is using the reflexsive property at its finist.

    Knowledge of god = zero evidence
    knowledge of no god = zero evidence
    Knowledge of god = knowledge of no god

    I do not think someone who is scientific and logical should concern themselves with whether or not there is a divine creator because there is no actual scientific study that can prove even within a shadow of a doubt that there is or is not a god.

    It takes a lot of faith to say there aren't purple invisible dinosaurs in my garage. In fact if you believe in multiple universes, which is something that scientific minds are believing there is a chance of, there can be count chocolula, and all of the other somethings you state, somewhere out there.
     
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  30. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    Welcome :wave:

    I think this is a debate that has always fascinated me and I have always wavered on it. I guess you can say my beliefs have evolved as I have? When I was a kid I didnt take it as gospel but I really hadnt learned to think for myself yet. When I was a teenager I kind of said "bleep this stuff, wheres the proof?" Im still not sure whether I actually believed it or whether I just wanted to annoy a lot of people? :pointlol:

    As I entered my twenties I kind of fell on the science side of the religion vs science argument. Then I realized that science and religion arent necessarily rivals though some religions do have some work to do in this area. For the sake of not making this personal for anyone Ill leave that out. Right now, I feel a connection to God that I havent ever felt. I still dont believe in religion, especially organized religion as I feel its just too cult-like (for lack of a better term) and is merely an excuse to see people different instead of alike. I voted a 3. I still cant justify anything higher then that until I see or hear or feel proof.

    Knowing Dawkins writing and his affinity for science he probably falls under the category of "no religion is better then science" that I once fell under.

    I figured for sure we would get at least one response saying "There is no God. How else can you explain the Patriots Dynasty?" But I digress :up:

    I think it is human nature to believe in a higher power and I think that is what inspires some people to keep moving on everyday. Without that I dont think some people would have much to live for. While I believe in living for today and living while youre on earth, I think a lot of people live now with the hope that they will have a better life after life. I once felt that it was human nature to want to believe in a higher power hence the excuse for God's existence. I have never moved away from that because without that, what is there to look forward to in death?

    What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
    - Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892, Act III

    Cynicism isnt just an emotion, its a lifestyle. Not a good one as I can attest to.
     
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  31. crunk-colt

    crunk-colt New Member

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    have you ever heard the phrase "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"? this is certainly the case here. the burden of proof lies solely with the person making the positive assertion.

    this is something that i have debated many times, and usually we go back and forth saying the same stuff and never changing anyones mind. would it help if i instead say: "i have no reason to believe that a god exists, so i live lif under the assumption that one does not."



    i think that science and religion are polar opposites. it also doesn't help that religion has impeded scientific progress since the day it was conceived.

    a respectable stance, but i wonder how you could even justify a 3 with no proof? i would think that's more a product of your upbringing and the fact that it is a widespread belief. if only a few people believed the things Christians believe, they would be labeled as nutjobs. i hope no one here takes that the wrong way :pointlol:
     
  32. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

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    If you want it to be the case it can be. However honestly I see it as "extraordinary claims" to say there is absolutely no higher intelligence and we have been created completely randomly through the magic of evolution. Especially when I know as much science as I do and the fact that the molecules in my body were once in gigantic stars.

    I cannot argue with the second part. It is something that actually makes sense. Myself I live under the assumption that there is something behind all this, with the added bonus of having this knowing that I cannot adequately explain and I am completely open to the idea that it is all bull****

    That depends on the religion.

    Sometimes I wonder when reading your posts if you can swap out "Christianity" for "religion".
     
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  33. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    I think you make a great point that many on the atheist side fail to acknowledge. Its one thing to be agnostic and say I dont know, which is probably the most rational response, but to say one is atheist is to specifically disavow any creator and thereby put yourself in the camp of blind luck creating everything. When you look at the mathemitcal odds of probability of human beings created out of blind luck that to me is a greater leap of faith than any religous explanation of creation ever attempted
     
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  34. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    Science and religion are definitely polar opposites but I think science also seeks ways to prove God exists. Those are two entirely different things. You dont need to believe in organized religion to believe in God. I cant stand organized religion, its too structured and regimented, it doesnt leave room for people who are different then you, and I cant believe the interpretations of the stories have remained the same from generation to generation because language as we know it know is entirely different then it was then. God though doesnt necessarily have to be tied to only one religion.

    The proof that God exists imo is in the values his commandments instill. You could know nothing else but that and live life on a good and happy path. If there is more to life then that but those should be two of everyone's priorities, being a good person and being happy. Beyond that, I guess there is a reason they call it faith.
     
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  35. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    I wonder if Science and religion are really polar opposites. They seem to appear that way in today's world but I see it more as science is an outgrowth of religion or vice versa. Religion when you boil it down is the story of creation or the search of origin or purpose. Isnt science the same on some level. There was a time when the two were intertwined. I think the schism developed more out of politics then some fundamental antagonism.
     
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  36. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    Well without opening up a can of worms here the two were intertwined before certain religions called it blasphemous and excommunicated some of the worlds great scientists. I think the points you bring up are extremely relevant. As an observation religion seems to lean towards history where as science tends to try and make forward progress so its an interesting way of being intertwined when they are such opposites. Still I think they are more friends then rivals.
     
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  37. BigDogsHunt

    BigDogsHunt Enough talk...prove it!

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    Yup has been discussed http://forums.thephins.com/showthread.php?t=8799 and agree more friend then rivals.

    I will repost something I raised in that thread...

    I always thought Galileo had it right, he held that science and religion were not enemies, but rather allies-two different languages telling the same story, a story of symmetry and balance . . . heaven and hell, night and day, hot and cold, God and Satan. Both science and religion rejoiced in God’s symmetry . . . the endless contest of light and dark.

    Also, if you have ever read Dan Brown's Fiction "Angels and Demon's" I have loved this passage:


    and this one:

    my personal favorite:


     
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  38. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    to me religion focuses on the timeless but I think I know what you mean in that they lean on tradition. I would also make the observation that religion tends to focus on the inner truth while science tends to focus on the outer or material truths. Still as we all know things get intertwined
     
  39. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    Love this quote BDH "SCIENCE AND RELIGION ARE NOT AT ODDS. SCIENCE IS SIMPLY TOO YOUNG TO UNDERSTAND.":up:

    Here are some of my favorite quotes regarding science and religion

    Freeman Dyson

    Trouble arises when either science or religion claims universal jurisdiction, when either religious dogma or scientific dogma claims to be infallible. Religious creationists and scientific materialists are equally dogmatic and insensitive. By their arrogance they bring both science and religion into disrepute. The media exaggerate their numbers and importance. The media rarely mention the fact that the great majority of religious people belong to moderate denominations that treat science with respect, or the fact that the great majority of scientists treat religion with respect so long as religion does not claim jurisdiction over scientific questions.


    Science and religion are two windows that people look through, trying to understand the big universe outside, trying to understand why we are here. The two windows give different views, but they look out at the same universe. Both views are one-sided, neither is complete. Both leave out essential features of the real world. And both are worthy of respect
     
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  40. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    To me, science and religion do not try to answer the same questions.

    Religion deals with why we exist, while science deals with the how we exist.

    Science really does very little investigation into someone's "purpose" while the Bible, for example, deals very little with how all this began...a small handful of sentences to be exact.

    Its perfectly acceptable to be scientist who has religious faith, what can't be done, is inserting science into your faith or faith into your science. If you do, you have neither true science nor true faith anymore...you have philosophy.

    Having said all that, I blame the religious for the tension between the two, more than the science community. They've notoriously impeded science through abuse of power by imprisonment, forced exile, torture, etc., throughout history. I don't think scientists of today would close ranks at the mention of god, as much as they do, if the history of religion had been more understanding.

    a quote from the movie Dogma: "I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier. "
     

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