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  1. #11
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    I have a biology teacher that is amazing, she's brilliant and someone posed the question to her yesterday about God. I really liked her answer. She is a Sunday school teacher and has no qualms telling people about her faith in God. She explained her science/faith theory like this:

    Picture a huge zillion piece puzzle of the Earth.

    You have the scientists who have put together the top right hand corner of the sky and they shout, "Reality is blue!"

    You have the theologians putting together the bottom right hand corner of the grass and they shout, "Reality is green!"

    Her point was that they are both putting together the same puzzle, but neither of them can see that.

    I really liked her answer
    That's cute and all, but it doesn't really address the fact that science has some measure of validity to show that its small corner of the puzzle is a certain color. It doesn't purport to know the nature of the entire puzzle; if it did that would defeat the entire purpose of scientific inquiry. (HINT: Science starts with nothing and gradually builds information.)

    Religion, on the other hand, blindly declares that the entire puzzle is green, offers zero evidence for this claim and then bullies people who don't agree. (HINT: Religion starts by claiming to know everything and then squeezes in the real world wherever it can fit it.)

    I hardly see the connection, but I'm sure this sort of feel-good universalism makes people...well, feel good.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  2. #12
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    I have a biology teacher that is amazing, she's brilliant and someone posed the question to her yesterday about God. I really liked her answer. She is a Sunday school teacher and has no qualms telling people about her faith in God. She explained her science/faith theory like this:

    Picture a huge zillion piece puzzle of the Earth.

    You have the scientists who have put together the top right hand corner of the sky and they shout, "Reality is blue!"

    You have the theologians putting together the bottom right hand corner of the grass and they shout, "Reality is green!"

    Her point was that they are both putting together the same puzzle, but neither of them can see that.

    I really liked her answer
    I can't really agree with this. There is a baseline assumption that the two camps are equal but different when they are not addressing the question in the same manner.

    Theologians do not seek to expand their understanding given they have things already figured out, at least as they see it, whereas scientists have something of a a two tiered system of what they know and what they theorize as the most likely scenario. Both take entirely different stances to their concept of understanding and how this understanding changes over time, not just that their conclusions return different results, or colors in your example.

  3. #13
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    I can't really agree with this. There is a baseline assumption that the two camps are equal but different when they are not addressing the question in the same manner.

    Theologians do not seek to expand their understanding given they have things already figured out, at least as they see it, whereas scientists have something of a a two tiered system of what they know and what they theorize as the most likely scenario. Both take entirely different stances to their concept of understanding and how this understanding changes over time, not just that their conclusions return different results, or colors in your example.
    <3333

    BUT IT MAKES ME FEEL SO GOOD TO PRETEND IT'S ALL EQUAL!!
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  4. #14
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Religion, on the other hand, blindly declares that the entire puzzle is green, offers zero evidence for this claim and then bullies people who don't agree. (HINT: Religion starts by claiming to know everything and then squeezes in the real world wherever it can fit it.)
    Actually, there are individuals in both science and religion who declare the entire puzzle is as they see it.

  5. #15
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    Actually, there are individuals in both science and religion who declare the entire puzzle is as they see it.
    Anyone who says that is inherently not in the field of science.

    P.S.,

    No, you will not find any scientists who claim to have 100% absolute knowledge of the workings of the universe.

    You'll find some who are rather impatient with explaining why literal/dogmatic interpretations of religion are clearly absurd, but that's about it.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #16
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    Actually, there are individuals in both science and religion who declare the entire puzzle is as they see it.
    Generally science makes best guesses (theories). Theories in science can be refuted and even overturned, though you had better have damn good evidence to support it. I don't know of many men of science who make claims along the lines of "we know for absolute certain this is how the universe was made and will end", etc.

    A religious system must have confidence in itself given there is no logical basis and its values are defined in what people believe, which is faith. If confidence is weak then its values become mutable, which is how religion evolves (or erodes) as practical applications conflict with its teachings. Ie. Religious conflict with life-saving medical procedures will tend to erode religion given people will have greater confidence in the practical nature of staying alive. There are exceptions but they tend to be seen as irrational.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    ...

    I'm determined to refute a point before simulated beats me to it.

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    My initial thoughts:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Quite simply, "reality" is the sum of all existents. Nothing can exist outside of reality. To rephrase this, approaching the point from the opposite angle, non-reality does not exist. Reality, as the sum of all existents, encompasses all that exists - it is not suspended within non-reality.

    Let's start with an infinite, all-encompassing God. The mythos of most monotheistic religions posits that God is infinite - that He has no beginning and no end. So long as God is all that exists and He is infinite, there is no problem with this assertion. At this point, "God" is interchangeable with "reality" - the two terms are redundant. However, this is an issue of semantics and not ration, so we'll leave that aside.

    Now, this infinite God, in the tradition of most monotheistic religions, one day sets himself to creating a universe. Here is where the problem arises - the moment He creates a universe - or anything for that matter - separate from Himself, he is no longer infinite.
    I've never understood when people make arguments of this sort. It always seems to me like conflating 'infinite' with 'all-encompassing' or something of the sort. In the same way that the set of all positive numbers is infinite yet not identical to the set of all reals, I see no reason why God can't remain infinite yet not all that is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    To put this in simpler terms, suddenly we have two entities: God and His universe. They must be suspended in something
    Why is this? "Suspended" seems a particularly physical word to my mind and I see no reason why what-is is necessarily constrained by physicality. Even outside of this though, I don't think it's necessary to think of physical reality as suspended in anything. I can think of the universe expanding without needing to think of it suspended in something bigger. It's a little strange, I admit, but it seems to me that our tendency to think of this as suspended within other things only comes from our expectations within from within the physical world-that-is. I don't feel the need to constrain myself to what can be understood by abstracting such expectations and applying them to physical reality as a whole.

    But even beside all this, the talk of non-reality seems to define what-is-not as though it were a thing, so that it can be talked about and then denied. It seems to me that you're drawing your contradiction based on the way you're talking about things - by positing a theoretical non-reality, and then bringing it into contradiction with its own definition by which it doesn't exist. So, that to say, I think the problems exist in your ideas more than they exist in any way that they relate to reality outside of your mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    - as non-reality does not exist, these two entities could not, together, make up all of reality, suspended in non-reality. Whatever it is that they existed within, together, would be reality. Here the problem of infinite regress arises: who or what created the reality that God and His fresh new universe are presently existing within?
    In addition to continuing to disagree with the notion that there must be some thing in which multiple existents co-exist, this seems to disregard the commonly-believed idea that God is uncreated, and thus ends any such potential infinite regress. I see no philosophical problem with the possibility of an uncreated thing, particularly if that thing is in some sense 'other' or 'more than', in respect to the physical world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post

    The only solution to this is that reality is infinite. Which is to say that reality is all that is, that, by definition, nothing can exist outside of reality and reality cannot be suspended in a non-existent non-reality.

    Why is this truism not universally accepted? There are three reasons.

    1.) Many people have simply not been introduced to this, Kant's famous formulation.

    2.) Of those who have been introduced to this formulation, many are, for personal reasons, unwilling to accept it. I'll not outline these reasons, as I trust in the intelligence and world wisdom of those reading this to conjure up a good number of cases in point on their own.

    3.) Of those who have been introduced to this formulation, many quite simply lack the imagination and intelligence to reach the level of understanding of the concept of the infinite required to grasp it. I realize that this sort of language makes certain types bristle, but it is the fact of the matter.
    Here's hoping I'm not in category 3 .

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post

    And that's really all there is to it.
    It'll be interesting to read responses.
    "There are no answers, only choices."
    -Jennifer

  9. #19
    Kraken down on piracy Lux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    That's cute and all, but it doesn't really address the fact that science has some measure of validity to show that its small corner of the puzzle is a certain color. It doesn't purport to know the nature of the entire puzzle; if it did that would defeat the entire purpose of scientific inquiry. (HINT: Science starts with nothing and gradually builds information.)

    Religion, on the other hand, blindly declares that the entire puzzle is green, offers zero evidence for this claim and then bullies people who don't agree. (HINT: Religion starts by claiming to know everything and then squeezes in the real world wherever it can fit it.)

    I hardly see the connection, but I'm sure this sort of feel-good universalism makes people...well, feel good.
    I do understand your point and agree to a large extent. There are fanatics on both sides of the issue. You do have scientists saying without a doubt that God does not exist. You have more theologians saying without a doubt that a God does exist. The fact is no one knows. So far with what we have it's an unknowable answer. Science changes everyday. We find out new things all the time, what my teacher was saying was that at some point she thought science and religion would meet somewhere in the puzzle.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Anyone who says that is inherently not in the field of science.
    Many would say the same about religion. Mystery and the unknown has often been considered a very significant and essential part of religious life and thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    P.S.,

    No, you will not find any scientists who claim to have 100% absolute knowledge of the workings of the universe.

    You'll find some who are rather impatient with explaining why literal/dogmatic interpretations of religion are clearly absurd, but that's about it.
    You'll also find some who, though they may not claim to know everything, claim that everything that can be known must be knowable in the scientific way. So they do claim something like that the entire knowable puzzle is as they see it at the least.
    "There are no answers, only choices."
    -Jennifer

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