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Thread: The God Delusion
23-05-2012, 04:17 PM #161
No, I meant for Christians in those countries; their acceptance of evolution is non-political, surely? Also, there are definitely sects (say, the Quakers) which socially speaking are certainly a progressive influence. Thoughts on them?
23-05-2012, 04:34 PM #162
Nalano, you're making very general statements, trying to boil down a diverse and heterogeneous stew of a population into a single-note leek broth of shared viewpoint.
There is no agreement by "Christians" on what is true Christian doctrine, so why would there be agreement on issues such as creationism being taught in schools?
Here's a snippet of a letter endorsed by 10,000 Christian clergy opposed to forced teaching of intelligent design, from an article about how an intelligent design bill failed to pass the Utah legislature:
"We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as 'one theory among others' is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God's good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God's loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth."
23-05-2012, 04:39 PM #163
23-05-2012, 07:02 PM #164
As for the acceptance, Rakysh, it is still political. The point may be conceded implicitly, but it is still a political decision, as icupnimpn2 has pointed out in the declaration he quoted.
Consequently, why a scientific consensus needs to be 'confirmed' by a clergy of any faith, icupnimpn2, should be a question of some concern to you.
23-05-2012, 08:11 PM #165
How are the Quakers, specifically pacifistic, pro-womens rights, and pro-gay marriage ahead of the non-religious political institutions in my country and avowedly on the progressive side of the political spectrum throughout history, neutral?
23-05-2012, 08:18 PM #166
I don't see why Christians or members of any faith should be disallowed from discussing or examining scientific questions in light of their beliefs.
23-05-2012, 08:37 PM #167
I think I can follow your line of argument Nalano, but I still have no Idea how being an evolutionary biologist makes me an atheist at the same time.
From what I've learned is that Religion is irrelevant to science, as is science to Religion. Why? It's because you have to be able to falsify a hypothesis in order for it to be of any scientific value and you can't falsify an omnipotent entity which we can't and never will perceive entirely.
The problems occur when people try to do this stuff anyway, because then you start making logical fallacies and this usually leads to very weird stuff. Just look at intelligent design, or 'hardcore' atheism.
Science is not an Ideology. Science is a tool for us to produce reliable information on how our world works. Being a scientist only means that you commit yourself to a certain standard of rules which you have to follow in order to gain these information as well as which kind of hypothesises you allow, and which you don't allow. As long as people follow these rules, how they personally think about their existence, the purpose of their existence and whatnot does not matter. Many scientists in the 19th century were christians. Gregor Mendel who discovered the basic rules of gentics was a monk. Darwin wasn't an atheist either, he became an agnostic (this is something which gets mixed up rather often, probably because some people treat Darwin as some kind of 'replacement Jesus').
There is no mandatory rule for people to abandon their faith just because they decided to follow a certain carreerpath. How they have to deal with certain contradictions is their thing and no one else's.
As one of my Professors said (and I try to translate it, as it was in German): "Faith is a private thing, it's best to leave it there."
As I said: The Problems start to arise, when people try to force their point of view onto others, meaning if they start following certain kind of ideologies.
23-05-2012, 10:39 PM #168
Also, (while we're whacking Nalano) I don't think you're able to properly appreciate that just because your own culture fails to find harmony within itself, it doesn't mean that that disharmony is present in all other cultures. The issue of evolution is a non-issue, and thus non-political in my country, where there are about seven people trying to get it off the school curriculum, and most them are funded by republicans.
23-05-2012, 11:38 PM #169
That said, since the bible gives absolutely no insight as to how things actually work, it's only a matter of time before it gets scrapped entirely, with whomever's remaining of the faith left holding the bag. In the meanwhile, the only legacy Christian doctrine will have had in the entire interim up until that point is in having retarded scientific progress with constant attempts to reconcile it with a religious ethos that is incompatible.
The reason we have scientific creationism, intelligent design and theistic evolution is because they're attempts by Christians to reconcile an incompatible belief structure with science, and science will inevitably win. Likewise, icupnimpin2, do Christians need to "affirm" gravity? You keep confirming that the position is continually framed in a political context, with both conservative-minded and liberal-minded Christians playing gatekeeper.
24-05-2012, 12:27 AM #170
24-05-2012, 04:44 AM #171
24-05-2012, 06:23 AM #172
By the way, did you read what I wrote after the part you quoted? Because it seems to me, you are doing the same kind of logic mistakte I talked about. There is no fight between religion and science, as both things are and never will be comparable from a philosophical point of view. People don't fight about either relogion or science, they desparatly want that 'those other people' think the same way as they do and use the foundations of their ideologies (the bible for christians, science for atheists) as tools to convince as much people as possible.
Honestly the atheist side of the 'conflict' bothers me more, because they try to treat scientific knowledge as 'fact', when there are no facts in science. Again, science is not an Ideology, it's a tool that helps us to create reliable knowledge of our world, therefore its theories can never be absolute fact, because then you would rule out any possibility of them to become falsified in the future.
The problems you come up with (ID, interfering with scientific 'progress' and so on) are not problems completely unique to religions. Stuff like this always happens, when one group of people want to force their model of thought onto other people. As far as I can tell (I'm heavily relying on my memory here) Evolutionary theory wasn't very popular with the communists either, so people in the sovjet union tried to make their own theory, which didn't work out very well.
By the way (and I think I might start to sound like a broken record here), trying to 'falsify' the existence of a god via scientific evidence is as silly as ID, because it makes the same logic mistake, just the other way round.
25-05-2012, 08:58 PM #173
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[QUOTE=Rakysh;134037] The issue of evolution is a non-issue, and thus non-political in my country, where there are about seven people trying to get it off the school curriculum, and most them are funded by republicans.[/QUOTE
There is an academy that teaches intelligent design. In blighty they're not as loud and demanding as in the states but they are there. It's not a non-issue and certainly among congregations I witnessed in manchester, portsmouth and London, it's far from non-political.
Oh and science and religion are seperate things but one is a system for examining hypotheses and the other is simply a massive bundle of hypotheticals. You don't falsify the existence of a god via scientific evidence as looking for any of the latter will inevitably disprove the former. To say that science is an ideology is inarguably incorrect but acceptance of the objective world established by science is ideological, at least so much as religion revolves around at least one exception to the idea of reliable knowledge of our world informed by data rather than by fiction.
All of these arguments come back to the same thing and endlessly discuss the problems and benefits of religion, constantly excusing it by saying these problems are all natural and would exist anyway - and that's correct. However none of this is evidence for even the possibility of something existing, so isn't it kind of irrelevant?
Last edited by Theblazeuk; 25-05-2012 at 09:08 PM.
25-05-2012, 09:15 PM #174
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Other countries are far worse... So who is oppressing who?
25-05-2012, 09:56 PM #175
Citation for that academy please, and for the notion that you can't be an atheist and prime minister. I mean, has anyone tried and specifically not got it because of their atheism? I don't think so, I'd be intrigued to see otherwise. Also, I'd love to hear more about this political Christianity you've seen, because other than the silly wallahs over at Christian Voice (who exist to get Stephen Green into the Daily Mail where he can claim to represent lots of people who've never heard of him) I've not seen any of it on the national stage, nor my local one (I'm from Birmingham). I'm not trying to paint Christians as oppressed in our country, by any means, rather suggesting that by and large we live in a post-religion society and that other than the interesting social, cultural and political conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims, religious conflict can be consigned to the history books.
I'd challenge the notion that religion is just a "massive bundle of hypotheticals". I think there are plenty of theists of various descriptions with good, personal reasons for believing in a god of some sort that nevertheless aren't able to use the scientific method to provide evidence for the worthiness of holding this belief, for example the simple affirmation that "I am a better person when I believe in god" which some people are able to make. I don't think many theists are saying that god is scientifically detectable, but they are saying that god makes them better (than they would be otherwise, not necessarily better than atheists), which is why that's the obvious assertion to go after.
30-03-2013, 07:05 PM #176
31-03-2013, 01:21 PM #177
Last edited by Hypernetic; 31-03-2013 at 05:40 PM.
31-03-2013, 03:40 PM #178
31-03-2013, 05:04 PM #179
02-04-2013, 05:50 PM #180
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