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  1. #41
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I've heard that too, and I've even repeated it. But now that I think about it, I'm not sure it's really true. Science isn't really just about explaining how -- it's about increasing reliability in what we understand, and both the WHY and the HOW is part of our understanding. So, if you make a claim about the "why," you should ensure that your claim is reliable, just for accuracy's sake. Science is compatible with asking why as long as we're still interested in reliability. If we choose to relinquish reliability, and instead take things on faith, then science becomes irrelevant.

    The failure of science to answer questions about why the universe exists isn't really a failure, imo. It's more of a discovery, namely, that there is no reason for existence that people are privy to. I think it's rather illuminating.
    Isn't this as ptG said? In the past, the church is our fountain of knowledge... now science is replacing its role. Sometimes based on the stuff I hear from people, science has became the new "religion". Instead of quoting passages from the bible, people are now quoting the current big thing in science as the be all and end all "truth". When science is just the process of discovery.

    The failure of science isn't in its methodology... but the public's view of science. The question of why the universe exists, or the meaning of life... you can't answer using science. But the public doesn't see it. They still try to throw science at every darn problem they face. And that's where the failure lies.

  2. #42
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    The debate might have been raging for many an era, but the people debating change in a shorter amount of time, so whilst some have it out of their system, others are fresh to the battle.

    As the old fade out, the new appear, each time with questions of their own.
    Echo - "So are you trying to say she is Evil"

    DeWitt - "Something far worse, she's an Idealist"

    Berb's Johari Berb's Nohari

  3. #43
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Isn't this as ptG said?
    I don't know. I didn't read her post.

    The question of why the universe exists, or the meaning of life... you can't answer using science. But the public doesn't see it. They still try to throw science at every darn problem they face. And that's where the failure lies.
    Hm. Here's the thing, and this goes back to your HOW and WHY distinction. You've tried to create a distinction between religion answering the WHY and science answering the HOW, but is it really true that religion doesn't get involved with the HOW? The most fundamental belief in religion is that the universe was created by a entity called god. To me, that's really answering the HOW -- how did this all start? Ideas like those fall squarely within the realm of science, as far as I'm concerned, and should be held to the scientific standard. They're just extensions of the Big Bang theory. If the Big Bang theory is within the realm of science, so the cause of the Big Bang theory should also be subject to scientific scrutiny. If it fails, then we should suspend that belief until new information becomes available.

  4. #44
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    You think the point of religion is to have faith? Hrmm. I'm not so convinced.
    Without faith, without some sort of doubt, it completely falls apart. Where is the choice if your end point is known. You would be a slave. If god exists, he wouldn't want that, and if he doesn't, it's not an issue.



  5. #45
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I don't either. That's why I made that analogy for Antisocial One. The science education required to make a decision on whether you can reconcile your faith with the natural world is high school level. I don't think that you have to be halfway through a PhD in physics before it dawns on you that most religion isn't particularly scientific. I think that's just a dodge...it's a way to avoid accepting that people can understand how nature works and still be spiritual. It's much easier to act as if atheism is assured once you reach a given (and quite uncommon) threshold of knowedge.
    That is not what I am actually saying. Person can be scientific and spiritual in the same time. It is just that when you go deep enough entire perspective changes and if you use common sense in combination with knowledge entire thing falls apart. That is all what I am saying.

  6. #46
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Hm. Here's the thing, and this goes back to your HOW and WHY distinction. You've tried to create a distinction between religion answering the WHY and science answering the HOW, but is it really true that religion doesn't get involved with the HOW? The most fundamental belief in religion is that the universe was created by a entity called god. To me, that's really answering the HOW -- how did this all start? Ideas like those fall squarely within the realm of science, as far as I'm concerned, and should be held to the scientific standard. They're just extensions of the Big Bang theory. If the Big Bang theory is within the realm of science, so the cause of the Big Bang theory should also be subject to scientific scrutiny. If it fails, then we should suspend that belief until new information becomes available.
    Oh no... I wouldn't say religion answers the "why" question... I would rather trust the philosopher for that. Religion in the past has tried to provide explanations for everything, whys, hows, whats... They've also tried to dictate people's lives based on this "knowledge".

    Readdressing the meaning of "how"... What comes before the Big Bang might become apparent if we obtain more data. Science can one day solve this. The "why"... can be debated by the philosophers.

    Religion is a different nature of beast all on its own. Religion tries to put a stamp on everything. They say God made it all, big bang and all. Essentially there'll always be unknowns... and religion will push the role of god as the creator further and further back. First people say god created the world... then they say god created the universe... who knows what they'll say 20 years down the line?

    Excuse my convoluted arguments (the more I edit, the worse it gets)

  7. #47
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    Without faith, without some sort of doubt, it completely falls apart.
    I'm not really following your logic. It seems like you're saying that because uncertainty is required to make something work, uncertainty is the goal. I don't really get that.

    Where is the choice if your end point is known. You would be a slave. If god exists, he wouldn't want that,
    You're making some assumptions about God and his motives. Are you speaking from the perspective of religion? Meaning, are you saying that some religious systems have free will components, and that without free will, the other ideas topple too? I don't really get it.

    Even without this issue, though, I don't see why you would say that faith is the PURPOSE of religion. Seems to me that purpose has to do with what something is trying to achieve, rather than how it achieves it.

  8. #48
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    The failure of science isn't in its methodology... but the public's view of science. The question of why the universe exists, or the meaning of life... you can't answer using science. But the public doesn't see it. They still try to throw science at every darn problem they face. And that's where the failure lies.
    Just to be clear, this works both ways. There is a major failure when religion tries to be science (I think of ID notably here, but history is full of issues like this) too. And I think it works more in that direction than the opposite, although it probably is reaching a crossover point now.

    Science, when compared to faith, does things very well in the physical world. It's a system of organizing information. In my view, it sums up type I/II errors on its own... except that the system is meant to constantly increase it's knowledge (sample) in order to drive down error. Faith doesn't operate like this, and so it is a poor system for gaining knowledge. That's inherent in any system that presumes knowledge.

    But science, when compared to religion, or a specific form of religion, shows more commonality - and the commonality is people. People are people and have the same wiring... and so the essence of how we express it is very similar. The knowledge is agnostic to its source. We cannot possibly understand and discover everything, and so we filter and record opinions more than form them through any method. Science and religion, for the most part are very similar. Be it a monestary or a university. Granted, they have differences due to the differences in knowledge taught - at least in the modern world - but the concept of learning everything rather than just accepting some at face value... it happens both ways. And just like 'science', in common use, isn't uniform across the population, neither is the belief in religion. Some are really bad at 'science' and take it at face value, and some are very skeptical of religion. This underlies the basic issue: people and how we deal with information and knowledge.

    The distinction is important because certain statements are not true under both comparisons. For example, can science answer questions about 'why'? It can, for sure, as a system. If you inherently assume that the only things that exist are natural (ie: if it exists, it's because it has an influence, if it has an influence, then it is tangible, thus natural), then science can increase its knowledge progressing towards increasing reliability of the universe. The only things that are left are things that have no influence or meaning - which science wouldn't touch, but are inherently not spiritual/etc.

    That's fine and dandy - as a system. But that isn't the human component. It isn't what bonds societies in common belief, it isn't how we process information or make decisions... And people change science into the human mindset. Science, in that sense, is similar to religion because it requires faith in the knowledge we have accumulated. But the validity of that knowledge is what matters - and titles don't matter. An engineer three thousand+ years ago experimented and worked out math to build the pyramids, arches and so forth... and people built on it. It doesn't matter if they were part of the religious caste, and were passed down their knowledge as if it were 'from God', or from the sacred scrolls... it still exists. And we don't do it differently now - that's exactly what textbooks in universities are.

    And I don't see anything wrong with this. It's the most efficient way I can think of having an organic learning system. And the knowledge that comes from the systems is a social good, so to speak. I can generally peer down the history of what allowed my calc derivatives to be 'discovered', but it's only after, when I realise how much of my other courses depended on it (last week, it was realising how chain-management was related, a real shock to me) that I realised I do have to take a lot of what I learn as faith.

    And if the knowledge there lets us improve along one dimension - say, technology (ie: standard of living) - it's easy to see how other systems could play into the big picture too, like social coherency.

    Just as science is inherently conflictive (if everyone agreed, there would be no 'science' system), religion can be inherently cohesive (if everyone agrees.)

    [/rambling]

    Just thinking out loud, for most of it.

  9. #49
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I'm not really following your logic. It seems like you're saying that because uncertainty is required to make something work, uncertainty is the goal. I don't really get that.



    You're making some assumptions about God and his motives. Are you speaking from the perspective of religion? Meaning, are you saying that some religious systems have free will components, and that without free will, the other ideas topple too? I don't really get it.

    Even without this issue, though, I don't see why you would say that faith is the PURPOSE of religion. Seems to me that purpose has to do with what something is trying to achieve, rather than how it achieves it.
    Are we talking about the judeo-christian God? I was under the assumption we were. Faith is the difference between worship as free will and worship as a sentence for continued existence. God wants you to love him. God wants you to completely, with all aspects of your Self, invest yourself in him. That needs some Faith. If you knew he existed, with no doubt, would you love him because you wanted to, or would you obey because there wasn't really any alternative.



  10. #50
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Why have them?

    I don't get it... seems like a waste of time.

    It's unanswerable. Neither side wins, yet people are still interested?

    An issue of defending their believes (or there lack of)? Or something else?
    Yes, ma'me!

    The question concerning the existence of God is unanswerable just like the question concerning the existence of dragons, the spirit of demigod BlueWingoos, and fairies.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

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