Jump to content

Can you be a scientist and still believe in religion?


Mnemonic
 Share

Recommended Posts

22 hours ago, Phi for All said:

Spurred forward? Or merely allowed to continue as long as the nod to god was given?

Yes, it may have, I cannot prove that of course. There seems to be evidence that believing in the supernatural did not inhibit the study and exploration of the natural, you can look at the list in that Wikipedia list.

 

 

18 hours ago, beecee said:

The Copernicus's, Galileo's, Newton's of this world, were not aware of what modern day science tells us. While certainly even today some scientists may still believe in a God of choice, most don't. Nothing wrong imho with such belief for individual scientists, as long as that belief does not inhibit scientific progress.  

Well of course people in the past prior to more recent discoveries will not have been aware of those more recent discoveries, that an always-true statement.

Beliefs always change because they are beliefs, there were scientists who believed eugenics was a way to improve society for example but very few seem to believe that today.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

. No, not according to the regular sense; meaning and use of the term - religion ...

. Whether you're a scientist ... or at least ... a person with a scientific view to reality ... or a religious person ... that is ... a superstitious mind.

. Science is for evolution. Evolution means nothing is complete, nothing will ever be complete; everything is in a process.

. Existence is an ongoing phenomenon. It is not that on Monday God started, and on Saturday evening He looked at what He had created and said, "Good" - just the way I say it; even where it is not needed I say it. And at least at that time, when God said it, it was not needed because there was nobody to hear it. Monkeys cannot understand it, elephants cannot understand it, tigers cannot understand it. And man was yet to come, if Charles Darwin is correct. In fact, even if man was there .... All religions believe that God created man, man is not an evolved animal; God created him - not only did He create him, He created him in His own image.

. Evolution denies God.

. Let me make it absolutely clear:

. Evolution denies God because evolution denies creation.

. And if there is no creation there is no need of a creator.

. These are simple implications. God is a hypothesis to support another hypothesis - the creation.

. If there is no creation there is no God, because the whole base of His existence is demolished. If evolution is the thing then one wonders whether God is evolving or not. If monkeys have become men, what has happened to God?

. At least evolution has not happened to God, because no religion can accept the idea of God evolving; God means perfection, absolute perfection. He is the last word - the first and the last, both alpha and omega. There is no way beyond the omega point.

. But there's another meaning to religion ... the true meaning - Religion, comes from a latin root: "reconnect to your inner world ... "

. And in that sense ...

. For me, science and religion are two sides of the same coin. Science is looking outwards, religion is looking inwards, but both are the same kind of looking, the same kind of search. They may have different names - that does not matter at all.

. Science calls it observation, religion calls it awareness.

. Science calls it experiment, religion calls it experience.

. The difference of words simply signifies that their dimensions are different.

. Science is focused on the object; and remember the meaning of the word "object" - that which hinders, objects, prevents.

. Religion is focused on the subject. Without the subject there can be no object; without the object there can be no subject.

. The subjectivity of man's consciousness and the objectivity of existence are totally interdependent.

. The true religion is not Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam ...

. The true religion is - Love ...

Edited by Anand_Haqq
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Anand_Haqq said:

. Evolution denies God.

. Let me make it absolutely clear:

. Evolution denies God because evolution denies creation.

I have never seen a paper on Evolution that denied God.

I have never seen a paper on Evolution that denies creation.

For that matter I have never seen a paper on Evolution that addresses the beginning of life at all.

I think you are seeing aspects of Evolution that are simply not there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, zapatos said:

For that matter I have never seen a paper on Evolution that addresses the beginning of life at all.

. Precisely for this reason ...

. And you don't need a paper, unless you don't have intelligence. You need to use your intelligence, not a paper. And I do think you're intelligent, even if acting as a mediocre ...

. God does not exist, because there is no beginning to existence ... Existence is beginningless ...

. Even if you believe in the big bang theory, there must have been something that exploded. Do you think nothing exploded? If there was something, x, y, z, – any name, I am not much interested in such nonsense things, x, y, z, whatsoever it was that exploded – if something was there before the explosion then the explosion is not the beginning. It may be a beginning but it is not the beginning.

And when I say there has never been any beginning, I mean the beginning. Something was always there – whether it exploded or whether it grew slowly, in one day or in six days or in one single moment, doesn’t matter. There must have been something before it, because only something can come out of something. Even if you say there was nothing, and it came out of nothing, then your nothing is full of something, it is not really nothing.

Hence I say there has never been any beginning and there will never be any end.

Edited by Anand_Haqq
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Anand_Haqq said:

[1] Science is for evolution. Evolution means nothing is complete, nothing will ever be complete; everything is in a process.

 

[2]. Evolution denies God.

[3] Let me make it absolutely clear:

[4]. Evolution denies God because evolution denies creation.

[5] And if there is no creation there is no need of a creator.

[6]. These are simple implications. God is a hypothesis to support another hypothesis - the creation.

[7]. If there is no creation there is no God, because the whole base of His existence is demolished. If evolution is the thing then one wonders whether God is evolving or not. If monkeys have become men, what has happened to God?

[8]. At least evolution has not happened to God, because no religion can accept the idea of God evolving; God means perfection, absolute perfection. He is the last word - the first and the last, both alpha and omega. There is no way beyond the omega point.

 

[9]. For me, science and religion are two sides of the same coin. Science is looking outwards, religion is looking inwards, but both are the same kind of looking, the same kind of search. They may have different names - that does not matter at all.

 

[10]. The true religion is - Love ...

[1] Science is based on empirical observation, and that tells us that evolution is a fact.

[2]No, evolution simply pushes any mythical god further back into oblivion and "the not needed basket"

[3]Before you attempt to make it clear, first get it correct.

[4]See [2]

[5]That much is correct.

[6]God is/was an attempt to explain the wonders of the universe and life, before science came along.

[7]That question is simply answered if one understands that we have no evidence for any deity or magical being whatsoever.

[8]That's nice, and if that's what you believe, all well and good. The facts though are as given in [7] there is no evidence for any deity.

[9]Science is about the scientific method and empirical evidence...religion/god was/is an institution/s to help ease the pain and apparent futility felt by some in the finality of death, and also helped to explain to ancient man, the wonders of the universe and life.

[10] Love is a desirable social and mental state that humans should feel towards friends, family, pets and the human race as a whole.  

 

3 hours ago, Anand_Haqq said:

 Even if you believe in the big bang theory, there must have been something that exploded. Do you think nothing exploded? If there was something, x, y, z, – any name, I am not much interested in such nonsense things, x, y, z, whatsoever it was that exploded – if something was there before the explosion then the explosion is not the beginning. It may be a beginning but it is not the beginning.

As I said in [3] first get it correct. The BB was not an explosion. It was an evolution of space and time [spacetime] from t+10-45th seconds. What evolved? At this time we can only really speculate, and the best scientific speculation puts it as the quantum foam. Where did the quantum foam come from? If we are correct, perhaps the quantum foam is the nothing that the BB evolved from. Afterall at one time we thought space was nothing, and the hypothetical quantum foam, is obviously even closer to what we originally define as nothing...far far closer and simpler to nothing then some almighty, omnipotent all powerful, magical being imo.

Plus of course the BB was not just dragged out of someone's arse...it was reasoned by virtue of the evidence available that lead to the acceptance of the BB evolution of the universe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dragging a BB from one's arse sounds rather painful. 

In terms of Karl Popper's criterion of falsifiability,  religion has no "black swan, " and cannot be in the domain of scientific inquiry. 

Why do message boards devoted to science almost universally contain religion threads that seem to never end and let Popper have the last word?   I think it's the seductive hope that somehow superstitions can be given a sheen of respectability by somehow making untestable conjectures testable.  If I had a nickel for every time someone posted on the Web "perhaps some future technology will find a way to detect souls or God bits or angels..." I would have enough money to join Jeff Bezos in outer space. 

I have no problem with meditation,  contemplation,  prayer,  or other inward means of comforting the spirit, calming one's thoughts,  developing compassion,  and gaining introspective insight, but when people start insisting on their metaphysical fantasies and harming others who disagree,  it's hard not to see organized religion as a memetic poison.  

 

I would go further than saying scientists can't believe in a religion:  I would say scientists really should avoid beliefs generally.   I think expectations,  based on probabilities, are as much as we can get away with in our limited epistemic domains.   I'm not an atheist,  which implies belief,  but am agnostic in the common sense of seeing god(s) as unknowable and incapable of verification.  Or falsification.  

As Descartes pointed out, we are easy to deceive. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, TheVat said:

I would go further than saying scientists can't believe in a religion:  I would say scientists really should avoid beliefs generally.   I think expectations,  based on probabilities, are as much as we can get away with in our limited epistemic domains.   I'm not an atheist,  which implies belief,  but am agnostic in the common sense of seeing god(s) as unknowable and incapable of verification.  Or falsification.  

But you cannot undertake science without belief for the very simple reason that science and scientific theories rest on beliefs, assumptions, things we choose to accept as true but cannot prove to be true.

We all do this, I do this, assuming truths is entirely reasonable and rational but we should never make the mistake of claiming we have no beliefs.

 

Edited by Holmes
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, TheVat said:

Dragging a BB from one's arse sounds rather painful. 

In terms of Karl Popper's criterion of falsifiability,  religion has no "black swan, " and cannot be in the domain of scientific inquiry. 

Why do message boards devoted to science almost universally contain religion threads that seem to never end and let Popper have the last word?   I think it's the seductive hope that somehow superstitions can be given a sheen of respectability by somehow making untestable conjectures testable.  If I had a nickel for every time someone posted on the Web "perhaps some future technology will find a way to detect souls or God bits or angels..." I would have enough money to join Jeff Bezos in outer space. 

I have no problem with meditation,  contemplation,  prayer,  or other inward means of comforting the spirit, calming one's thoughts,  developing compassion,  and gaining introspective insight, but when people start insisting on their metaphysical fantasies and harming others who disagree,  it's hard not to see organized religion as a memetic poison.  

 

I would go further than saying scientists can't believe in a religion:  I would say scientists really should avoid beliefs generally.   I think expectations,  based on probabilities, are as much as we can get away with in our limited epistemic domains.   I'm not an atheist,  which implies belief,  but am agnostic in the common sense of seeing god(s) as unknowable and incapable of verification.  Or falsification.  

As Descartes pointed out, we are easy to deceive. 

Plenty of scientists have, and in the past had, religious beliefs without it getting in the way of their science in any way. 

Science is not some priestly calling that takes over your whole life. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, Holmes said:

But you cannot undertake science without belief for the very simple reason that science and scientific theories rest on beliefs, assumptions, things we choose to accept as true but cannot prove to be true.

We can be mindful of the distinctions between "beliefs". Are they based on faith, where belief is extremely strong but purposely avoids reason and critical thinking? Or are they based on hope, where belief is less strong, but the reasoning is little more than wishful thinking? Or are they based on trust, and trustworthy information, carefully tested and determined to be worth that trust?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, Holmes said:

But you cannot undertake science without belief for the very simple reason that science and scientific theories rest on beliefs, assumptions, things we choose to accept as true but cannot prove to be true.

We all do this, I do this, assuming truths is entirely reasonable and rational but we should never make the mistake of claiming we have no beliefs.

 

!

Moderator Note

Unless these are religious beliefs, this is off-topic for the thread.

 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Holmes said:

But you cannot undertake science without belief for the very simple reason that science and scientific theories rest on beliefs, assumptions, things we choose to accept as true but cannot prove to be true.

We all do this, I do this, assuming truths is entirely reasonable and rational but we should never make the mistake of claiming we have no beliefs.

 

I agree.  I would have done better to write that scientists should proceed as  if they do not have beliefs,  not that we don't have them.   I was suggesting an epistemological attitude,  not some impossible purity position.   IOW,  approach with "it is very probable" rather than certainty.   As the philosopher of science Willard Quine talked about,  every scientific fact is predicated on a "web of belief" we have about all sorts of matters related to that fact.   

6 hours ago, exchemist said:

Plenty of scientists have, and in the past had, religious beliefs without it getting in the way of their science in any way. 

Science is not some priestly calling that takes over your whole life. 

Nor was I suggesting that.   Indeed,  you make the point I thought was implicit,  that science and religion/spirituality can exist as separate domains without getting in each others way.   Hence my paragraph beginning "I have no problem with... "  My point was the epistemic stance of faith in entities unevidenced,  which may have use in religious practice,  is a hindrance in a lot of science.   Indeed,  areas of physics like string theory,  where there is no observational evidence,  are often subject to critique for relying on a quasi-religious faith in the theory's elegance and beauty.   

 

(following section intended as separate post) 

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-underdetermination/#FirLooDuhQuiProUnd

Not for the faint of heart,  but this entry gets into some of key problems with belief.  

And,  again,  this shouldn't deter anyone from having a spiritual life and stepping outside of ordinary empirical channels to posit an intelligent cosmos or some pervasive consciousness.   I admit David Chalmers brand of panpsychism has some appeal for me.   I don't believe it,  but am open to it.  

 

 

(following section intended as separate post,  arghhhhh) 

Godammit!   That last bit was meant as a separate post!   Mod,  is there a way to separate out a post?   That last about the SEP excerpt was intended as distinct from my replies to the others.  Sorry for the newbie confusion. 

Edited by TheVat
Consternation
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TheVat said:

is there a way to separate out a post?

No (though there used to be tags for merged post identification 

[mp][/mp]

[mp]
test

Either I’ve forgotten how they work or they work no longer. 

Just add some dashes like this 

____
new post here 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Alex Mercer said:

And no it's not silly to believe in God because we will never really understand the world we live in.

I don't see how one follows the other. Why believe in god just because we'll never understand the world? Why not believe in fairies, or meditation, or Tex Mex cooking instead? Or perhaps we should take up pilates because we will never really understand the world. What exactly is the reason to believe in god given that we'll not understand the world? Seems to me you are just searching for any conceivable reason to believe in god.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Alex Mercer said:

Because there is no universal truth only that which is accepted by the majority. 

 

You've just substituted one ambiguous reason ('because we'll never understand the world') for another ('because there is no universal truth'). Why must we do anything at all, including believing in a god, just because we don't understand something or cannot agree on something else? 

You are completely leaving out reason. You could just as well say "it's not silly to chew gum because math will never be a well-liked subject for 8 year old children". 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We will never really understand the world we live in because there is no universal truth. And because there is no universal truth then a belief in God doesn't seem as silly since what do we really know besides what is accepted by majority belief.

Edited by Alex Mercer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But the god part is just being shoehorned in because you want it there, not because there’s a good reason to put it there or a logical sequence / chain of reasoning landing you on that conclusion. 

You can see how invalid and irrelevant the god part is by simply replacing the word god in your exact sentence and you could just as easily (and just as validly) say,

“because there is no universal truth then a belief I that Harry Potter is a real being from another dimension doesn't seem as silly.”

Or…

“because there is no universal truth then a belief that the farts of pink unicorns cause erections in leprechauns doesn't seem as silly.”

Edited by iNow
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Alex Mercer said:

The topic by OP is about religion/Christianity since he mentioned Jesus which is why I mentioned God.

I know you’ve been sent on an involuntary holiday from this site, but just in case you return at some point in the future and read this, my reply is… 

And??? 🤷 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, TheVat said:

I agree.  I would have done better to write that scientists should proceed as  if they do not have beliefs,  not that we don't have them.   I was suggesting an epistemological attitude,  not some impossible purity position.   IOW,  approach with "it is very probable" rather than certainty.   As the philosopher of science Willard Quine talked about,  every scientific fact is predicated on a "web of belief" we have about all sorts of matters related to that fact.   

Nor was I suggesting that.   Indeed,  you make the point I thought was implicit,  that science and religion/spirituality can exist as separate domains without getting in each others way.   Hence my paragraph beginning "I have no problem with... "  My point was the epistemic stance of faith in entities unevidenced,  which may have use in religious practice,  is a hindrance in a lot of science.   Indeed,  areas of physics like string theory,  where there is no observational evidence,  are often subject to critique for relying on a quasi-religious faith in the theory's elegance and beauty.   

 

(following section intended as separate post) 

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-underdetermination/#FirLooDuhQuiProUnd

Not for the faint of heart,  but this entry gets into some of key problems with belief.  

And,  again,  this shouldn't deter anyone from having a spiritual life and stepping outside of ordinary empirical channels to posit an intelligent cosmos or some pervasive consciousness.   I admit David Chalmers brand of panpsychism has some appeal for me.   I don't believe it,  but am open to it.  

 

 

(following section intended as separate post,  arghhhhh) 

Godammit!   That last bit was meant as a separate post!   Mod,  is there a way to separate out a post?   That last about the SEP excerpt was intended as distinct from my replies to the others.  Sorry for the newbie confusion. 

OK I understand you better now. I quite agree there is no necessary conflict between the pursuit of science (applying methodological naturalism) and religious belief per se - though some more naive forms of religion are ruled out, of course, notably scriptural literalism of various sorts. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, exchemist said:

though some more naive forms of religion are ruled out, of course, notably scriptural literalism of various sorts. 

It's not the religion that demands "scriptural literalism"...

It's the priests, that don't understand the metaphors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

It's not the religion that demands "scriptural literalism"...

It's the priests, that don't understand the metaphors.

I think you've picked the wrong word with "priest", actually. In Christianity, those denominations that have priests do not subscribe to scriptural literalism. Literalism is almost entirely the preserve of fundamentalist Protestants. In Islam, there seems to be a degree of scriptural literalism too - but they don't have priests either, of course. 

But indeed, as with all religions, people tend to believe what the teachers of that faith teach. So if the preachers don't understand metaphor and allegory, there's not much hope for their congregations.  

So maybe what we can conclude is that scientists with religious faith will tend to have a grasp of metaphor and allegory!  

 

Edited by exchemist
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, exchemist said:

I think you've picked the wrong word with "priest", actually. In Christianity, those denominations that have priests do not subscribe to scriptural literalism. Literalism is almost entirely the preserve of fundamentalist Protestants. In Islam, there seems to be a degree of scriptural literalism too - but they don't have priests either, of course. 

For priest, read teacher...

5 minutes ago, exchemist said:

But indeed, as with all religions, people tend to believe what the teachers of that faith teach. So if the preachers don't understand metaphor and allegory, there's not much hope for their congregations.  

Indeed, but if your teacher doesn't understand what they're teaching, the line of science/religion is blurred, however literal we try to make the explanations. 

Scientist's have understanding of the literal language of mathematics because they had teacher's, that literally understood the context of today's understanding; will that be applicable tomorrow? 

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.