Jump to content

Can you be a scientist and still believe in religion?


Mnemonic
 Share

Recommended Posts

44 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

You shouldn't, because even though she's not a scientist, she embodies the idea of not being capable of dealing with a natural world event without filtering it through her religious beliefs first, possibly to the detriment of others.

Indeed, but what's at the other end of the spectrum?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Phi for All said:

You shouldn't, because even though she's not a scientist, she embodies the idea of not being capable of dealing with a natural world event without filtering it through her religious beliefs first, possibly to the detriment of others.

 

Have you met my country, the USofA? We have many of these, many of them in leadership positions.

The issue I have been disputing in this thread is the claim that a religious person has to "pretend", in some way, in order to do science.  Palin, although certainly an ocean-going ignoramus, is not relevant to that.

I do realise that some of the assumptions and attitudes in the thread are influenced by the US experience, in which one particular variety of redneck Protestantism seems to make all the running where perceptions of religion are concerned.  The danger of that is people can end up with a completely false picture of how religions more generally, and the various denominations within them, actually regard the natural world, cf. @Markus Hanke's contribution regarding Buddhism, and what I have had to say about mainstream Christianity. (I could have added the European Lutherans and Calvinists to my list as well.)

From what I can gather, biblical literalism is largely a c.19th invention, a byproduct of the Protestant sola scriptura principle, taken to excess by certain groups.   

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, exchemist said:

The issue I have been disputing in this thread is the claim that a religious person has to "pretend", in some way, in order to do science.

Thought I'd already clarified this about 7 or 29 or 498 times, but just to share once more: The claim is that the belief in god must be put aside when doing science, and anywhere it continues to be included (other than personal motivations) means that science is not being conducted properly. 

I'm sorry my flippant use of the word "pretend" in that brief post has led to such continued confusion and outcry... something about which I've also already apologized. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, iNow said:

The claim is that the belief in god must be put aside when doing science, and anywhere it continues to be included (other than personal motivations) means that science is not being conducted properly. 

While I can agree with the premise that religion must be put aside when doing science, I cannot agree with your conclusion that a religious person cannot do science.

Your premise is akin to saying 'belief' must be put aside when doing science, which is certainly true.
And your 'beliefs' have to be separated from experimental observation and mathematics when doing science.
No one ( well some do, see other threads 😄 ) says I understand Special Relativity and the experiments that have verified it, but I don't believe the world works that way, so SR must be false.
At least, not scientists.

Keeping in mind I'm not religious, the separation of 'belief/faith' from evidence/facts seems very simple to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, MigL said:

While I can agree with the premise that religion must be put aside when doing science, I cannot agree with your conclusion that a religious person cannot do science.

Your premise is akin to saying 'belief' must be put aside when doing science, which is certainly true.
And your 'beliefs' have to be separated from experimental observation and mathematics when doing science.
No one ( well some do, see other threads 😄 ) says I understand Special Relativity and the experiments that have verified it, but I don't believe the world works that way, so SR must be false.
At least, not scientists.

Keeping in mind I'm not religious, the separation of 'belief/faith' from evidence/facts seems very simple to me.

You could argue that someone with a faith or  a strong belief would be less likely to ask questions(,or pose different questions)  that might put those biases in question. 

That would make him or her potentially a worse /lesser scientist (but still  a scientist) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, geordief said:

You could argue that someone with a faith or  a strong belief would be less likely to ask questions(,or pose different questions)  that might put those biases in question. 

That would make him or her potentially a worse /lesser scientist (but still  a scientist) 

The Catholic church accepts and/or recognises the BB and theory of evolution of life, because deep down they know that those evidenced based  supported theories, still do not tell us, or explain to us, how the universe began, and how life first arose. There is still (in the church's opinion) doors open where they can still insert their preferred deity to explain those gaps where science as yet have no answers, as unscientific as such supernatural and/or paranormal speculations or answers are. Is that pretending? Is that having an agenda?

Edited by beecee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very true, Beecee.
And there will always be 'gaps' in our knowledge.
Some people won't, but others will feel the need to insert a deity in those gaps.
My 'reality' does not trump their 'reality', because science cannot disprove beliefs.
Similarly ( to tie this in to the J Peterson thread ), neither they, nor I, can demand that our view has to supersede theirs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, MigL said:

While I can agree with the premise that religion must be put aside when doing science, I cannot agree with your conclusion that a religious person cannot do science.

Perhaps you can’t agree with it because that’s very clearly NOT a valid representation of my conclusion. 

 

On 10/6/2020 at 9:42 AM, iNow said:

One can, in fact, be a “real scientist” while also believing in ridiculous fairy tales, so long as those beliefs and fairy tales are not part of their processes or methods. 

 

On 6/16/2021 at 4:46 PM, iNow said:

Can one be a scientist and still believe in religion (or god(s))? Of course. Thread over. 

 

On 10/26/2021 at 8:22 PM, iNow said:

Anyone can believe in the tooth fairy, too, and generally for similar reasons. They can still practice science as well, but only if they leave their beliefs out of the picture entirely and pretend their personal version of god(s) don’t actually matter while engaged in that science 

On 10/27/2021 at 11:23 AM, iNow said:

It's off-topic, anyway. Climate science isn't a religion, nor does it have bearing on the actual question of whether scientists can themselves be religious (which has the laughably simple answer of yes)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, iNow said:

The claim is that the belief in god must be put aside when doing science, and anywhere it continues to be included (other than personal motivations) means that science is not being conducted properly. 

+1

Absolutely, and applies to all non scientific personal beliefs. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, iNow said:

Thought I'd already clarified this about 7 or 29 or 498 times, but just to share once more: The claim is that the belief in god must be put aside when doing science, and anywhere it continues to be included (other than personal motivations) means that science is not being conducted properly. 

I'm sorry my flippant use of the word "pretend" in that brief post has led to such continued confusion and outcry... something about which I've also already apologized. 

OK if you've apologised for the use of pretend I must have missed it, but fair enough. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Why?

Do I need to answer that? 

Ok since you ask, any non scientific, non verifiable belief, should not be invoked in the scientific method. Since the scientific method requires objective, verifiable data not personal beliefs, irrelevant whether or not those beliefs match the results.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Intoscience said:

Do I need to answer that? 

Ok since you ask, any non scientific, non verifiable belief, should not be invoked in the scientific method. Since the scientific method requires objective, verifiable data not personal beliefs, irrelevant whether or not those beliefs match the results.   

I understand that... 

5 hours ago, Intoscience said:

and applies to all non scientific personal beliefs. 

I don't understand the and.

What if your personal beliefs are part of a scientific study?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

What if your personal beliefs are part of a scientific study?

If those personal beliefs are to do with supernatural and/or paranormal non scientific answers, then your results would I suggest, not be terribly objective, as iNow has mentioned. 

 

18 hours ago, iNow said:

Anyone can believe in the tooth fairy, too, and generally for similar reasons. They can still practice science as well, but only if they leave their beliefs out of the picture entirely and pretend their personal version of god(s) don’t actually matter while engaged in that science 

 

and as I inferred here.......

On 11/2/2021 at 6:52 AM, beecee said:

The Catholic church accepts and/or recognises the BB and theory of evolution of life, because deep down they know that those evidenced based  supported theories, still do not tell us, or explain to us, how the universe began, and how life first arose. There is still (in the church's opinion) doors open where they can still insert their preferred deity to explain those gaps where science as yet have no answers, as unscientific as such supernatural and/or paranormal speculations or answers are. Is that pretending? Is that having an agenda?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, dimreepr said:

I understand that... 

I don't understand the and.

What if your personal beliefs are part of a scientific study?

 

 

Well lets say you are investigating the possibility of a haunted house.

The scientist conducting the study may personally believe that ghosts exist (in the super natural sense). However the study should follow the scientific method and the scientist remain completely objective and any personal belief set aside during the study. The results data should be verifiable and not subject to influence. If the results prove the existence of ghosts and this is verifiable by further independent tests then great, all good. The scientists personal belief have been verified and would be accepted by the mainstream. If however the results are inconclusive, then the scientist's personal belief should not be invoked in any of the study.     

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Intoscience said:

Well lets say you are investigating the possibility of a haunted house.

The scientist conducting the study may personally believe that ghosts exist (in the super natural sense). However the study should follow the scientific method and the scientist remain completely objective and any personal belief set aside during the study. The results data should be verifiable and not subject to influence. If the results prove the existence of ghosts and this is verifiable by further independent tests then great, all good. The scientists personal belief have been verified and would be accepted by the mainstream. If however the results are inconclusive, then the scientist's personal belief should not be invoked in any of the study.     

Being a scientist mean's to investigate objectively; for instance, I believe in religion and I'm an atheist; my studies have shown, to me at least, that a god isn't required for a religion to make sense; the other side of that coin is, science isnt always required for life to make sense.

Edited by dimreepr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Being a scientist mean's to investigate objectively; for instance, I believe in religion and I'm an atheist; my studies have shown, to me at least, that a god isn't required for a religion to make sense; the other side of that coin is, science isnt always required for life to make sense.

When you say you believe in religion in what sense do you mean? I believe in religion in the sense that religions exist, but may not believe in the doctrine of one or many particular religions. Some of which may revolve around or include super natural events or beings. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Intoscience said:

When you say you believe in religion in what sense do you mean? I believe in religion in the sense that religions exist, but may not believe in the doctrine of one or many particular religions. Some of which may revolve around or include super natural events or beings. 

Present your evidence...

 

Your use of the word doctrine instead of their preferred word 'teachings', is a bias a scientist should avoid.

16 hours ago, beecee said:

If those personal beliefs are to do with supernatural and/or paranormal non scientific answers, then your results would I suggest, not be terribly objective, as iNow has mentioned. 

Since you believe in the existence of evil, I can be sure you're not terribly objective...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Present your evidence...

present your's 

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Your use of the word doctrine instead of their preferred word 'teachings', is a bias a scientist should avoid.

No, the preferred word is doctrine...or perhaps myth.

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Since you believe in the existence of evil, I can be sure you're not terribly objective...

I accept that there are those that exist, that exhibit undesirable, immoral behaviour that we determine as evil. I am 100% sure of that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, beecee said:

present your's 

No, the preferred word is doctrine...or perhaps myth.

I accept that there are those that exist, that exhibit undesirable, immoral behaviour that we determine as evil. I am 100% sure of that.

You're proving my point...

I think the question should be; can you believe and still be a scientist?

Which circle's back to this...

 

if-a-person-wishes-to-achieve-peace-of-mind-and-happiness-th-author-friedrich-nietzsche - Copy.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, dimreepr said:

You're proving my point...

Which is ?

I accept that there are those that exist, that exhibit undesirable, immoral behaviour that we determine as evil. I am 100% sure of that. Fact.

I repeat....The Catholic church accepts and/or recognises the BB and theory of evolution of life, because deep down they know that those evidenced based  supported theories, still do not tell us, or explain to us, how the universe began, and how life first arose. There is still (in the church's opinion) doors open where they can still insert their preferred deity to explain those gaps where science as yet have no answers, as unscientific as such supernatural and/or paranormal speculations or answers are. Is that pretending? Is that having an agenda?

The God of the gaps comes to mind.

On 11/3/2021 at 11:44 PM, dimreepr said:

Being a scientist mean's to investigate objectively; for instance, I believe in religion and I'm an atheist; my studies have shown, to me at least, that a god isn't required for a religion to make sense; the other side of that coin is, science isnt always required for life to make sense.

Investigating objectively, and arriving at an objectively orientated solution, isn't always possible when saddled with religious baggage. I can't imagine life without science.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, beecee said:

Which is ?

I accept that there are those that exist, that exhibit undesirable, immoral behaviour that we determine as evil. I am 100% sure of that. Fact.

I repeat....The Catholic church accepts and/or recognises the BB and theory of evolution of life, because deep down they know that those evidenced based  supported theories, still do not tell us, or explain to us, how the universe began, and how life first arose. There is still (in the church's opinion) doors open where they can still insert their preferred deity to explain those gaps where science as yet have no answers, as unscientific as such supernatural and/or paranormal speculations or answers are. Is that pretending? Is that having an agenda?

The God of the gaps comes to mind.

Investigating objectively, and arriving at an objectively orientated solution, isn't always possible when saddled with religious baggage. I can't imagine life without science.

Science is about asking question's and actually listening to the answer's, without the baggage of being 100% certain of anything. 

If you ignore the ugly or frightening or distasteful answer's, you're the one with the baggage, anyone can do it. That's my point, and you're helping too proving it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.