Do any of you believe in God?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by DBoon, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. tagutcow

    tagutcow Senior member

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    what makes science a red herring when it comes to the questioning of a gods existence, or lack thereof?
    The people claiming science is incompatible with religion should clearly make their case first. "D00D I DO'NT BELEIVE IN GOD I BELEIVE IN SYUNCE!!! G0D IS A MYTH INVENTD BY ANCHUNT GOAT-HURRDURRS WHO DID'NT UNDERSTAND SYUNCE BUT NOW WE HAZ SYUNCE AND SO P0EPLE DO'NT NEED TO BELEIVE IN G0D ANYMORE JSUT LEIK I DO'NT BELEIVE IN PNIK UNUHCORNS LOLOLOLOLOL!!!" I'm sure everyone reading this thread has encountered minor variations of this same "argument" dozens of times, yet not once has anyone connected the dots to explain SPECIFICALLY how science and religion are incompatible. If you're not going to bother to explain the matter thoroughly and with care in mind, what is there to be gained from trotting out the same cliches the upteen-and-first time? The most coherent of these arguments seem to be based on the supposition that the Abrahamic God is simply a way of explaining natural phenomena, like Helios driving the sun-chariot across the sky. In this case you're unable to argue against the popular conception of God, since you have grossly misapprehended what the popular conception of God is. The fact that people say they "believe in science" is a pretty good indication that they have misapprehended what science is as well. Science is a method, not a doctrine. What people who "believe in science" actually believe in is scientism, and their profession of belief in science isn't really worth a whole lot. "Belief in science" is a very different thing from concrete knowledge of science. Here's a thought experiment: Let's say you have one person who is a Christian and a scientist, and another person who is an atheist and has very little working knowledge of science, but proclaims that they "believe in science". Which person do you think has the more "scientific" worldview? Which individual do you think fellow "science-believing" atheists would hold in greater esteem?
     
  2. tagutcow

    tagutcow Senior member

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    Of course saying it proves an afterlife or god is insane. Thats like saying just because you dont know how electricity works lightning is therefore explained by Zeus hurling it off Olympus.

    You're right, it doesn't prove an afterlife or God, but Occam's razor certainly nudges us in that direction.

    Interestingly, people have these same visions even during brain death.

    FWIW, I always figured I'd be impressed if a fundie Xtian saw Allah on his deathbed, or maybe if someone reported seeing my grandmother. Now I'd re-think things seriously.

    Why is the "voice" always telling NDE experiencers that it's not their time and they need to return to their earthly existence? If it were truly a hallucination, you would think that every now and then the voice would say, "YOU'RE DEAD NOW MOTHERFUCKER BWAHAHAHAHAHA!", and that when they've been resuscitated, of course, the people would find the voice had been in error.
     
  3. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    Remember the story of the priest who was on life support and died but was revived again and his last words were "there's nothing there" and then he died again.
     
  4. tagutcow

    tagutcow Senior member

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    Remember the story of the priest who was on life support and died but was revived again and his last words were "there's nothing there" and then he died again.

    You must be a hit at parties.
     
  5. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    Can you use scientific method on this idea about the Big Bang?

    I thought not.


    Some advanced scientific theories are not about empiricism, as you probably know (I didn't check the Popper linki but it is a common critic of his relatively good theories).
     
  6. tagutcow

    tagutcow Senior member

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    Some advanced scientific theories are not about empiricism, as you probably know (I didn't check the Popper linki but it is a common critic of his relatively good theories).

    From what I understand of modern physics, it's pretty much standard for the math to arrive first, sometimes years or decades before empirical evidence is even a possibility.
     
  7. the shah

    the shah Persian Bro #2 and enabler-in-chief

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    From what I understand of modern physics, it's pretty much standard for the math to arrive first, sometimes years or decades before empirical evidence is even a possibility.
    explains this:
    I was in neuroscience research for five years. the results of our work are maybe published in 20 years, because until then, they are not empiric.
     
  8. rennavate

    rennavate Senior member

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    You're right, it doesn't prove an afterlife or God, but Occam's razor certainly nudges us in that direction.
    So you're saying that it's simpler to say there's an afterlife than to take into consideration explanations like the brain's synapses firing for the last time, etc etc. That's a pretty big stretch even for Occam's razor.
     
  9. tagutcow

    tagutcow Senior member

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    So you're saying that it's simpler to say there's an afterlife than to take into consideration explanations like the brain's synapses firing for the last time, etc etc. That's a pretty big stretch even for Occam's razor.
    The simplest explanation is not necessarily the most naturalistic explanation. In this case, the naturalistic "explanations" aren't really explantions at all... "Yeah, well maybe it's the synapses firing or the brain releasing triptamines or something, that probably has something to do with it. Case closed!" They don't even begin to touch the powerful, meaningful, and remarkably consistent experiences these people have. As I've mentioned before, you know the scientific-naturalist mindset has jumped the shark when our first instinct is to immediately distrust experiential evidence. If it is our brains doing this... why? Why would our brains have evolved to behave in a way that poses no advantages from an evolutionary/survival standpoint? (Considering the bulk of human evolution occured when humans had no language with which to communicate their experiences to others, and long before modern medicine made the experience of dying and being resuscitated a somewhat common thing.) If there is a plausible naturalistic explantion, it is going to be far more convoluted and unlikely-seeming than the explanation that is apparent to the people who have had the NDE experiences themselves-- that they have died physically, and found that there is a life beyond this one.
     
  10. rennavate

    rennavate Senior member

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    But there have been lots of evidence debunking any "near death visions," plus this also leads to a problem with Occam's razor, because if the universe is not ordered but rather chaotic, then Occam's razor really doesn't apply much of the time, anyways.
     
  11. the shah

    the shah Persian Bro #2 and enabler-in-chief

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    If it is our brains doing this... why? Why would our brains have evolved to behave in a way that poses no advantages from an evolutionary/survival standpoint?.

    because there has been worship of the supernatural for the past 10,000+ years.
     
  12. tagutcow

    tagutcow Senior member

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    But there have been lots of evidence debunking any "near death visions,"
    There has been evidence debunking some near death visions, I am sure. But it is still a bustling, fascinating field of study. http://www.skeptiko.com/ I would tell you the same thing I would tell Intelligent Design proponents-- you can't expect people to abandon one theory without providing a coherent, comprehensive alternate theory. Simply saying "it has something to do with the brain" doesn't make the issue go away.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Occam's razor is by its nature a demotic rule-of-thumb rather than a tool of serious scientific inquiry. Of course, we know the Universe is chaotic with lots of weird, wacky, wild stuff going on. It doesn't change the fact that people will sooner accept a simple, elegant supernatural explanation than an improbable, overwrought natural explanation. But from what you wrote, it almost seems as if the possibility of the existence of a life after death is what would throw your understanding of the Universe into "chaos".
    because there has been worship of the supernatural for the past 10,000+ years.
    How does this explain near-death experiences?
     
  13. the shah

    the shah Persian Bro #2 and enabler-in-chief

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    How does this explain near-death experiences?

    It doesn't, directly, but in the greater scheme of things one should ask why does this seemingly irrational system of beliefs persist (along with issues like near-death exp.), and one pseudo-biological inclination is that faith in a higher power has survived 2000 generations and likely has shaped our brains in a particular manner that facilitates these beliefs.
     
  14. tagutcow

    tagutcow Senior member

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    It doesn't, directly, but in the greater scheme of things one should ask why does this seemingly irrational system of beliefs persist (along with issues like near-death exp.),

    Well the prima facie absurdity of religious belief is a value judgement by a particularly militant strain of atheism that has taken hold in recent years, and is obviously not shared by everybody. Near-death experiences were unheard of to most people just forty years ago.

    It's unclear what you're trying to say. Do you have difficulty understanding why near-death experiences exist, or why belief in near-death experiences exist?

    WTF is this? Anti-theism meets Lamarck?

    If the religious programming is so strong as to give us a pretty little picture show before trailing off into eternal darkness, than why would religious unbelief even be possible in the first place?
     
  15. rennavate

    rennavate Senior member

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    Occam's razor is by its nature a demotic rule-of-thumb rather than a tool of serious scientific inquiry. Of course, we know the Universe is chaotic with lots of weird, wacky, wild stuff going on. It doesn't change the fact that people will sooner accept a simple, elegant supernatural explanation than an improbable, overwrought natural explanation.

    But from what you wrote, it almost seems as if the possibility of the existence of a life after death is what would throw your understanding of the Universe into "chaos".


    Sorry, what I wrote didn't quite communicate what I wanted to (nor make much sense). Apologies. What I mean is that Occam's razor "” which is of course just a rule of thumb rather than the criterion for something to be accepted or rejected "” only really works to an extent, and it works better if the universe is ordered and neat, which it appears isn't quite the case. The more complex it is, the less useful Occam's razor is.
     

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