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Battle : Science vs. Religion


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Here's the thing though: Even if someone provides evidence of a new understanding, you can still chose to believe an old theory. You have to believe that an explanation is correct, and you have to believe that the right equations are being developed to describe reality and the unseeable. That's it. There's only 99.999% probability it's correct if there's a lot of evidence but you have to believe that it's 100% accurate in order to base other understanding off of it. It's like an assumption, which is a belief.

 

so many things in science can be derived from multiple places. Lagrange mechanics, Newtonian mechanics, and Hamiltonian mechanics all give the same result for a ball being dropped from some height. You can personally derive all this stuff straight from observation and the laws of mathematics. You don't have to take my word for it so there is no belief involved. We KNOW the equations are correct because they predict what we will observe before we observe it! The correctness of a physical model is not assumed. It is proposed, inspected, argued about, argued about some more, then placed in the big picture of stuff we already agree on. We can usually find some condition where the model breaks down, so then a new model is constructed that either generalizes the original or creates a special limiting law for some specified condition. Religion does none of this. I rest my case.

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We are a science forum, and we all share your feeling about unsupported anecdotes regarding so-called miracles, but if you please, drop the condescending attitude. There's no need for it, and it doesn

so many things in science can be derived from multiple places. Lagrange mechanics, Newtonian mechanics, and Hamiltonian mechanics all give the same result for a ball being dropped from some height. Yo

hello: moo:   Thebible is not evidence of anything........... Jerusalem is still there, Romeand the Emperors are still found. Jesus' tomb is still there. Daniel's Tomb isstill there, The Mentioned E

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the limited requires the unlimited in order to be observed.

 

if it is observable, it has limits.. a boundary juxtaposed against the unlimited and unobservable. so what is this unobservable, supernatural force? is it god? i dont know... but it allows science to exist.

Edited by Appolinaria
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John Cuthber is right, though. We call it supernatural because it's not observable in the scientific sense. If it exists at all, it will at some point be observable, testable and therefore predictable, which means it's natural.

 

The supernatural are all things that defy observation. Ghosts, gods, telekinesis, these things fail in every experiment ever devised. They don't want to manifest themselves in a predictable manner. Until they change that, science has to simply shrug.

 

Saying something doesn't exist is not saying it's impossible. If someone suddenly stepped forward and was able to prove they could move objects with their minds, and passed every test people put them to, when every other possibility was ruled out science would have to conclude that telekinesis is a natural phenomenon.

I can't quite agree and I think you've missed the point of my post.

 

1. I cannot accept your definition of the supernatural as that which defies observation. There are things that defy observation which I would not describe as supernatural, for instance, a galaxy beyond the threshold of our Hubble volume. Also, many things that are described as supernatural are in fact observable and perhaps repeatable, for example the alleged Hindu milk miracle.

 

2. I find your claims about knowledge to be unreasonably restrictive. There are valid avenues of knowledge which defy your limited empirical definitions. For example, the a priori study of formal systems and proof theory, or perhaps the quasi-scientific methods of historical research.

 

"Saying something doesn't exist is not saying it's impossible."

 

I agree that one rightly distinguishes existence and modality, but this is not a criticism of my previous post. I see no logical reason to conclude that the general epistemology of empirical scientific research defines the scope of reality. To me this suggests a commitment to a rather extreme form of positivism. To me this is unwarranted and in fact doesn't sufficiently accommodate the logical possibilities of reality, the limitations of human endeavor, and the fallibility of our understanding. I think the considerations I hinted at in my previous post reflect a more realistic point of view.

 

So, I had written a longer and more involved post but something happened with my keyboard and the post is lost. I offered a tentative definition of the supernatural as that which is inexplicable in terms of the laws of nature. I then suggested a distinction between unexplained phenomena which may yet be explained scientifically in the future, and the hard supernatural, which is that which necessarily eludes explanation in terms of the laws of nature. As an example of the former I mentioned the once unexplained - and presumably supernatural - phenomenon of magnetism (which was a pretext for making an Insane Clown Posse joke); I then gave an example of the latter as a scenario involving the return of Jesus and his restoring missing limbs and healing anyone on the command of scientists and under controlled conditions, and importantly, in a way that contradicts the laws of nature. When I hear the term supernatural, especially in a religious context, I assume that something like the latter meaning is intended. Using the Hindu milk miracle as an example, (and assuming it was real for the sake of an example, although I know it was bunk), let's say scientists had brought an idol of Ganesha (or whatever) into the lab and it had started producing milk ex nihilo, and that this was confirmed repeatedly by independent teams of scientists. Would this then automatically become a natural phenomena simply by being observed? That would be playing games with the definition of words, in my opinion. It might suggest that a more expansive picture of reality is possible and that what we think about nature is far too narrow, but if it actually contradicted existing scientific understanding about reality it is hardly fair to say that it automatically "becomes science" and is "naturalized." Rather, I think it would rightly prop up the notion of the supernatural, and the supposition that there are layers of reality beyond our scientific investigation and comprehension - aka, the normal meaning of the term supernatural.

 

So what do we mean by supernatural? Would Q be supernatural? For all intents and purposes, I suppose. Although, the Trek people seemed to have some vague understanding of a Q continuum and the like, maybe it would count as supernatural in the soft sense and at some point in the future we could expect to have a scientific understanding of Q entities - an understanding that accords with our general understanding of nature (i.e., laws of nature, logic, etc). (Regardless of our cognitive capacities, if beings from the Q continuum are just potentially capable of being described in term of natural laws I would call that supernatural in the soft sense. Although, since we're really talking about human words and definitions here, I suppose the term supernatural really depends on our capacities. Supernatural to us may be natural to archangels or gods. But unless we have a divine intellect and perspective on reality, which is beyond our nature, it's supernatural to us - definitionally and necessarily.) I think the point of miracles and gods is supposed to be supernatural in the hard sense. Miracles are meant to give testimony to an ineffable superstructure of reality which is beyond what we can here experience or conceive. A realm in which a transcendent being can snap all of physical reality into existence and maybe visit Earth now and again to demonstrate this power by completely violating the laws of nature. Something like that anyway. Ultimate reality, the "great beyond," and what not. Ghost stories, goblins, psychics, astrology, and the like, seems to be the chintzy, superficial kind of supernaturalism. Using that as a representative sample seems a bit unfair, perhaps.

 

(Please excuse the silly examples.)

Edited by Ceti Alpha V
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doesnt the inference of a galaxy further than what we can observe rely on prior knowledge? therefore the basis of an inference requires science.

 

i can say unobservable deep space contains porcupines. but they exist in our reality. so do galaxies. try to predict something in deep space that isnt measurable here, you cant do it... thats what anything supernatural is.

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doesnt the inference of a galaxy further than what we can observe rely on prior knowledge? therefore the basis of an inference requires science.

 

i can say unobservable deep space contains porcupines. but they exist in our reality. so do galaxies. try to predict something in deep space that isnt measurable here, you cant do it... thats what anything supernatural is.

 

Irrelevant, as I'm not positing the existence of anything beyond our Hubble volume; I was only pointing out one way in which a certain definition of the supernatural is unsatisfactory to me. And again, you seem to be asserting such an unsatisfactory definition of the term. Well, if that's what you mean by supernatural, we're talking about two different things. I've given the gist of what I mean (perhaps you responded after only reading the first couple lines?), although consider it a tentative and fluid definition as I don't think it's that concrete a concept.

 

so many things in science can be derived from multiple places. Lagrange mechanics, Newtonian mechanics, and Hamiltonian mechanics all give the same result for a ball being dropped from some height. You can personally derive all this stuff straight from observation and the laws of mathematics. You don't have to take my word for it so there is no belief involved. We KNOW the equations are correct because they predict what we will observe before we observe it! The correctness of a physical model is not assumed. It is proposed, inspected, argued about, argued about some more, then placed in the big picture of stuff we already agree on. We can usually find some condition where the model breaks down, so then a new model is constructed that either generalizes the original or creates a special limiting law for some specified condition. Religion does none of this. I rest my case.

If I may play God's advocate for a second, you're requiring that religion be a form of scientific knowledge. I don't know that anyone claims that religion is a matter of mathematical modeling and empirical testing. The relevant implication of religion, as I see it, is that there is a valid religious epistemology, and that this has its own rules and domain that are distinct from the epistemology and subject matter of the natural sciences, and perhaps that a purely positivist philosophy is depersonalizing and impoverished (aka, religious experience is valid, transcendent meaning is accessible, there is an ineffable dimension to human beings, all that jazz). I'm sure that for the most part a particular religious theory of knowledge is simply implied and quite unexamined, and probably illogical and easily refuted (e.g., because the bible told me so). However, there are plenty of sophisticated theologians and theistic philosophers, so I imagine the issues may not be as simple as you seem to suppose. Personally, I find myself being fairly reserved about the alleged monopoly on knowledge that scientific inquiry enjoys in your evident opinion. I don't mean to suggest that religion is likely valid, but perhaps the deeper issues deserve more than the smug James Randi treatment.

Edited by Ceti Alpha V
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If I may play God's advocate for a second, you're requiring that religion be a form of scientific knowledge. I don't know that anyone claims that religion is a matter of mathematical modeling and empirical testing. The relevant implication of religion, as I see it, is that there is a valid religious epistemology, and that this has its own rules and domain that are distinct from the epistemology and subject matter of the natural sciences, and perhaps that a purely positivist philosophy is depersonalizing and impoverished (aka, religious experience is valid, transcendent meaning is accessible, there is an ineffable dimension to human beings, all that jazz). I'm sure that for the most part a particular religious theory of knowledge is simply implied and quite unexamined, and probably illogical and easily refuted (e.g., because the bible told me so). However, there are plenty of sophisticated theologians and theistic philosophers, so I imagine the issues may not be as simple as you seem to suppose. Personally, I find myself being fairly reserved about the alleged monopoly on knowledge that scientific inquiry enjoys in your evident opinion. [/size][/font] I don't mean to suggest that religion is likely valid, but perhaps the deeper issues deserve more than the smug James Randi treatment.

 

I agree for the most part. However, what I posted was in response to questionposter's assertion that science is religion. I was merely distinguishing between the two.

 

I do believe science has a knowledge monopoly though, simply by holding the bar incredibly high and having remarkable internal consistency. Is it smug of me? Yes.

 

Props on the James Randi reference though :)

Edited by mississippichem
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well isnt the fact that our universe expands an observation? just because we dont have the technology to measure what it contains doesnt mean its unobservable in any way.

I don't hold that the expansion of the universe is unobservable or in any way unscientific.

 

Hindu milk miracle? Seriously?

Yeah? So?

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Can't both science and other said religions explain the natural world and the super natural, or at least both explain reality? We can explain ghosts as place memory or spirits, or we can explain rocks as the remnants of material from the Earth's mantle, or that God simply wanted there or even that god created the mantle to create rocks.

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Battle, science vs religion? Lets be serious here, I'll take scientific knowledge and any one else can take religion, you can pray, call down gods wrath, do anything you want as long as it's religion but with scientific knowledge i can build a gun and kill you easily, (loads of other options but that one just came to me, must be divine inspiration, lol) all the religion in the world will not stop the bullet nor will it keep me from being able to build the gun. I don't see any religion that can call down gods wrath with out the help of technology and technology comes from science, it's a no brainer.

 

Religion offers absolutely no positive knowledge about anything, science on the other hand is responsible for our modern civilization and all the things that go along with that. Take away all that science has delivered in the past 200 years, and people start dying immediately, with in days many millions would be dead, with in a month and billions would be dead, take away religion and people stop dying or at least have one less reason to kill each other. You can have all the belief in the world, you are welcome to it, but science is reality, pray that the electricity comes back, pray the sewage system works, pray for food, I'll take reality over pie in the sky any day....

 

.Yeah? So?

 

yeah, so, lets see some support for the idea it's unexplained, Penn and Teller do things i can't explain, doesn't make them miracles. If it's a miracle is should be easy to show it is, just claiming it's a miracle doesn't mean shit....

 

Can't both science and other said religions explain the natural world and the super natural, or at least both explain reality? We can explain ghosts as place memory or spirits, or we can explain rocks as the remnants of material from the Earth's mantle, or that God simply wanted there or even that god created the mantle to create rocks.

 

 

No, religion doesn't explain anything, it answers no questions, it only says god did it and the realm of god did it is becoming smaller and smaller... There is no evidence for anything supernatural, no reason to explain anything by saying it is supernatural, the supernatural only tries to explain things that the supernatural claims to exist and has no support other than the supernatural...

Edited by Moontanman
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No, religion doesn't explain anything, it answers no questions, it only says god did it and the realm of god did it is becoming smaller and smaller... There is no evidence for anything supernatural, no reason to explain anything by saying it is supernatural, the supernatural only tries to explain things that the supernatural claims to exist and has no support other than the supernatural...

 

But if you ask "How did we get here?", your answer can either be "The big bang" or "God created us". Think about it: The only reason people would believe the seemingly ridiculous things in many religion is because of the fact that they do try to explain things.

Edited by questionposter
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But if you ask "How did we get here?", your answer can either be "The big bang" or "God created us". Think about it: The only reason people would believe the seemingly ridiculous things in many religion is because of the fact that they do try to explain things.

 

 

So when did those two become the only possibilities? There are other schools of thought but one thing to remember, if the answer you give is god did it, then who created god? And who created the being that created god and so on.... Saying god did it just stops all further inquiry, it stops knowledge, at one time the answer to the question of what causes lightning was god and it was a serious answer too, not to mention the only answer unless of course you ask which god...

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But if you ask "How did we get here?", your answer can either be "The big bang" or "God created us". Think about it: The only reason people would believe the seemingly ridiculous things in many religion is because of the fact that they do try to explain things.

False dilemma. The Big Bang theory explains how the universe began its present state. Abiogenesis is a scientific explanation of how life started on Earth. Evolution explains how that life eventually produced humans.

 

"God created us" is only an explanation if you don't mind an unverifiable source. If this is the case, I have some diamonds I'd like you to buy.

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False dilemma. The Big Bang theory explains how the universe began its present state. Abiogenesis is a scientific explanation of how life started on Earth. Evolution explains how that life eventually produced humans.

 

"God created us" is only an explanation if you don't mind an unverifiable source. If this is the case, I have some diamonds I'd like you to buy.

 

Well what created the big bang? What created the first life and what made life start the process of evolution? Also "only an explanation"? That's exactly why I brought it up, because people use both science AND different religions to explain things.

When your explaining things that can't be 100% determined, there's virtually infinite room to believe whatever you want. What if god wanted evolution to happen? In the Muslim religion, science is not an enemy of god, so they'd have no problem with that. Neither does Buddhism, nor Shinto, not Judaism, nor many other religions.

Both science and religion try to explain how we are here, and that's why people are so involved in it, either science or religion or both can explain their very existence at least to some extent.

Edited by questionposter
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yeah, so, lets see some support for the idea it's unexplained, Penn and Teller do things i can't explain, doesn't make them miracles. If it's a miracle is should be easy to show it is, just claiming it's a miracle doesn't mean shit....

I obviously don't consider the Hindu milk miracle to be truly miraculous and I was quite explicit about this. Forgive me if I skip over your posts henceforth.

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I obviously don't consider the Hindu milk miracle to be truly miraculous and I was quite explicit about this. Forgive me if I skip over your posts henceforth.

 

Do what's best for your own ego....

Edited by Moontanman
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Do what's best for your own ego....

I don't understand how this is relevant. Care to explain?

 

ETA: I presume you are insinuating that I have responded to you out of egoism. Maybe so. But what purpose does this insinuation serve? Am I supposed to be annoyed?

Edited by Ceti Alpha V
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I understand. F me indeed. I was intending to return a favor. You seemed to be sneering at my post when it seemed to me that you had barely skimmed it. If I am wrong about that I do apologize.

 

 

No you are correct, i apologize, i am in a very bad mood for reasons having nothing to do with this and I'm the asshole, i did read your post but i missed some key words due to my bad mood, no excuse on my part, again i apologize...

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No you are correct, i apologize, i am in a very bad mood for reasons having nothing to do with this and I'm the asshole, i did read your post but i missed some key words due to my bad mood, no excuse on my part, again i apologize...

 

I was an asshole too. We're square, mate. I hope you get out of the bad mood soon. I know how that goes.

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1. I cannot accept your definition of the supernatural as that which defies observation. There are things that defy observation which I would not describe as supernatural, for instance, a galaxy beyond the threshold of our Hubble volume.

 

 

"The term "Hubble volume" is also frequently (but mistakenly) used as a synonym for the observable universe; the latter is larger than the Hubble volume."

A galaxy beyond the threshold of our Hubble volume does not defy observation.

Yeah, I'm using wikipedia... but I can also get the sources...

"The word observable used in this sense does not depend on whether modern technology actually permits detection of radiation from an object in this region (or indeed on whether there is any radiation to detect). It simply indicates that it is possible in principle for light or other signals from the object to reach an observer on Earth."

 

Anything in our observable universe, by principle, can be measured... regardless if we currently have the ability to do so.

But supposedly there is an unobservable portion, right? As our universe expands, things get further from each other and increase in speed. Anything going faster than the speed of light in unobservable (because light/other signals could never reach an observer on earth)

 

Anyway, if this is true, there are tons of unobservable things out there.... things we can never use science to explain.

 

 

Wouldn't this classify as supernatural (Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.) since it contradicts special relativity? (anything going faster than the speed of light) and also by the fact that we will NEVER be able to observe it?

Therefore, our argument of anything unobservable being supernatural is correct.

Edited by Appolinaria
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