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  1. #151
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I responded to your insinuation that this "spectrum of sentiments" in some shape or fashion means anything. A "spectrum of sentiments" built upon the foundation of a premise that is demonstrably mistaken to the extent that anything can ever be demonstrably mistaken (a pretty good extent!) is no the more deserving of consideration for its diversity.

    The notion that nothing can be discarded as false if it cannot be proven to be false to a degree of 100% absolute and utter certainty is at odds with science.
    (Obviously, I meant "can't" and not "can")

    Science does not say "outrageous theory A" or B is wrong, though. It ignores what it can't prove, but it doesn't come out and deny it, because it would be pretty hypocritical - it bases it's claims on data and logic. If a scientist 1000 years ago said that "Big Bang" guy was wrong, he would be making a mistake. Every time an outrageous (but sometimes very right) theory comes along there are different stances a scientist can take. Some blatantly deny the possibility and some, while skeptic, don't go out of their way to try and kill that idea. That's what I meant by a spectrum. As you can see, there is, if nothing else, a "trinary" choice a scientist can make here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    As Babylon Candle pointed out, even an atheist will not claim that there is absolutely, positively no chance whatsoever that a divine being exists - simply that it is equally as unlikely as invisible hollow unicorns.
    What's the difference between an agnostic and an atheist in your opinion then? Never mind me, the classic example of an atheist and an agnostic.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I think the grammatically tortuous "I don't not believe in science and evidence" would be more accurate to your fundamentally evasive worldview.
    I don't really know how to make myself any clearer. You are misinterpreting me, it seems. If anything my world view would be "I don't not believe in god". I do believe in evidence more than anything. But there is no evidence for disproving the existence of god.


    Then I am curious: do you consider the existence of a deity equally as unlikely as the existence of invisible hollow unicorns?
    Not and doing so would be pretty arbitrary on my part. I have no mean to verify either of those cases. There is something to be said about giving the example of something, which I'm guessing is something you want to stress out as outrageous (the unicorn thing), when trying to prove your point. It's not wrong, it's perfectly fine. But there's at least another way to look at it. Do you believe that at this point in time a blond girl in Beijing, is doing sit-ups while eating a taco with chocolate topping and watching the latest David Lynch movie in an old tv set from the 50s? You can believe so, you can say it's possible and you can also choose to say it's not happening.

    This is a striking example of the advances made by reason and science, which I would think would be at odds with your implied argument that, ultimately, science is just another "viewpoint" which commands no more respect than religion.
    What the! Now you are putting words into my mouth. Listen, I believe in EVIDENCE. The rest I choose not to bother myself with. I'm not saying science commands just as much respect as religion, for me. I think you are trying to saying science is atheist but that isn't the case. There are loads of religious scientists throughout history. My point is that a similarly outrageous (in relation to what was/is commonly believed) theory today, would probably see the same kind of dismissal by people such as you , which DOESN'T change the fact that it could still be right.
    Last edited by Moiety; 10-27-2008 at 06:05 PM. Reason: typos

  2. #152
    Senior Member NoahFence's Avatar
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    The greatest irony of this thread, to me, is that science, as a principle, is fundamentally designed to remove the prejudices and assumptions of the observer. And on the athiest side, you people are so full of prejudices and assumptions, it just makes me want to cry from frustration.
    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo

  3. #153
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
    The greatest irony of this thread, to me, is that science, as a principle, is fundamentally designed to remove the prejudices and assumptions of the observer.
    Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Contemporary philosophy of science is preoccupied with verification, confirmation, or justification. It has entangled questions regarding the testability of theories, with questions of human psychology and our feeling toward a theory because of some experience or other. It is concerned not with what is right or true, but with what someone can legitimately believe.

    At the root of most of the naive atheism of which you complain are unnoticed metaphysical assumptions. Richard Dawkins, in my view, has popularised their errors.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  4. #154
    Senior Member NoahFence's Avatar
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    The vehemence with which I'm attacked every time I compare science in today's society with a religion is downright...well, conclusive.
    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo

  5. #155
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
    The vehemence with which I'm attacked every time I compare science in today's society with a religion is downright...well, conclusive.
    Heretic!
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
    The greatest irony of this thread, to me, is that science, as a principle, is fundamentally designed to remove the prejudices and assumptions of the observer. And on the athiest side, you people are so full of prejudices and assumptions, it just makes me want to cry from frustration.
    That's the essence of scientism for you.

  7. #157
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
    The vehemence with which I'm attacked every time I compare science in today's society with a religion is downright...well, conclusive.
    and heres some more vehemence, on cue

    "To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise... At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But heresy it certainly is."
    --Thomas Jefferson

    At least the "religion" of science has "faith" in real things. Its not like science asks us to believe in invisible Martian ice cream trucks. Do scientists make vast leaps in logic/intuition that sometimes end up wrong and are revised? YES. They do. Im sure of it.

    The fact that science is sometimes wrong or takes too big of leaps of faith (sometimes) is inconsequential. science still gives us REAL material USEFUL things. Hardly anything that religion can say its directly brought us.

    i would rather be in a religion that believes in somethings (naturalism)
    than a religion that talks of nothings (immaterial/magic etc)

  8. #158
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
    The vehemence with which I'm attacked every time I compare science in today's society with a religion is downright...well, conclusive.
    I think you confuse "accurately refuted" with "vehemently attacked".

  9. #159
    Senior Member NoahFence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I think you confuse "accurately refuted" with "vehemently attacked".
    No, I can tell the difference. Mainly it has to do with calling me stupid, which I bounce between being amused by and finding incredibly frustrating.

    My point is that to the common man, there is magic (i push this button and Oprah appears on my glass box) that they cannot adequately explain...there are untouchable priests with whom they never interact (scientists), who babble things arcane in nature...and they take it on faith that these magical items (gasoline, pills, electronics et. al.) have arrived for them to use in a way that has been accurately described. And YES it is on faith, very few of us have the luxury of being able to verify such things. Can you honestly tell me you can prove to me that the pills we take aren't being harvested from some tree somewhere? NO I don't believe this....if you have a clue where I'm going with this, you'll understand that it doesn't matter what I believe. Belief is NOT PART OF VERIFICATION for the love'a'pete!

    Most people's mentalities are fundamentally unaltered from the days when these functions were performed by religion. Some smart guy out there, whom they will never talk to directly, knows how the universe works, and is seeing to such details so they don't have to...meanwhile they read the Cliff's Notes once in a great while and go back to their beer.
    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo

  10. #160
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
    Most people's mentalities are fundamentally unaltered from the days when these functions were performed by religion. Some smart guy out there, whom they will never talk to directly, knows how the universe works, and is seeing to such details so they don't have to...meanwhile they read the Cliff's Notes once in a great while and go back to their beer.
    the difference is that our shit works.

    shaman healing homeopathic stuff = dont work.
    druids claimed the dead walked the earth for one night = dont work.

    mr scientist tells me to take advil for a headache = it works
    the mechanic tells me that changing my oil is good for the car = it works

    is it faith that i believe the TV when it shows the football game down the street to be real time? ya, i guess. But it sure works. Im not sure we can say the same for prophecy, laying hands etc...

    the issue is not whether people take things on faith. of course they do. the issue is not whether scientists are infallible. of course they can be wrong. the issue that the alternative = religious immaterialism, is to talk of nothings.

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