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Battle : Science vs. Religion


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I said "I have read that sex is the major industry."

Which was shown to be false.

 

to escape the laws of this society

 

Prostitution is illegal in Thailand. http://en.wikipedia....ion_in_Thailand

It isn't in Canada. http://en.wikipedia....ution_in_Canada

 

to exploit girls and women whose lusts for material goods, not food, drive them to the streets

 

A significant proportion of the women and children in the Thai sex industry are forced to work in it. Over half the women in the Thai sex industry are not from Thailand, many are trafficked from poorer, surrounding nations by organised crime rings. http://www.uri.edu/a...es/thailand.htm

 

With one-third of Canadians dying of cancer, and another third dying of heart disease

 

How is death by natural causes and lifestyle disease in any way comparable to a natural disaster? I'll give you the benefit of having noticed that all organisms expire.

 

I will also repeat that I am not the judge, just the observer.

 

You openly suggested that 250 000 people were killed (245 000 of which didn't even live in Thailand, let alone Phuket) by God due to supposed immorality in Phuket. That's rather patently a judgement.

That judgement is based on a series of gross exaggerations and blatant fallacies which you use to place those people at odds with your own personal belief system and moral code. You use that deviation as a basis to blame the victims of an indiscriminate natural disaster for their own misfortune. The inconsistencies and double standards in the justifications you've made leave your entire perspective on morality rather open to dismissal.

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I've said before, you simply don't have the gift of faith that it takes to believe that God can do anything, including translating the bible from one language to another .. even people can do that. But to follow your argument, where are you going to find a copy in the original Hebrew? (I do repeat, I do not need it.)

In newspaper accounts I always read Phuket or Phucket as being spelled that way.

 

"True religion and undefiled before God is this, to visit the fatherless and the widows in their afflictuion, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." With your apparent study of bible and bible history you should be able to loate that scripture for verification.

 

 

So i have to believe before i can see the truth?

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So i have to believe before i can see the truth?

 

"Seek, and ye shall find."

 

A significant proportion of the women and children in the Thai sex industry are forced to work in it. Over half the women in the Thai sex industry are not from Thailand, many are trafficked from poorer, surrounding nations by organised crime rings. http://www.uri.edu/a...es/thailand.htm

 

 

 

How is death by natural causes and lifestyle disease in any way comparable to a natural disaster? I'll give you the benefit of having noticed that all organisms expire.

 

 

 

You openly suggested that 250 000 people were killed (245 000 of which didn't even live in Thailand, let alone Phuket) by God due to supposed immorality in Phuket. That's rather patently a judgement.

That judgement is based on a series of gross exaggerations and blatant fallacies which you use to place those people at odds with your own personal belief system and moral code. You use that deviation as a basis to blame the victims of an indiscriminate natural disaster for their own misfortune. The inconsistencies and double standards in the justifications you've made leave your entire perspective on morality rather open to dismissal.

 

Which was shown to be false.

 

 

 

Prostitution is illegal in Thailand. http://en.wikipedia....ion_in_Thailand

It isn't in Canada. http://en.wikipedia....ution_in_Canada

 

 

 

A significant proportion of the women and children in the Thai sex industry are forced to work in it. Over half the women in the Thai sex industry are not from Thailand, many are trafficked from poorer, surrounding nations by organised crime rings. http://www.uri.edu/a...es/thailand.htm

 

 

 

How is death by natural causes and lifestyle disease in any way comparable to a natural disaster? I'll give you the benefit of having noticed that all organisms expire.

 

 

 

You openly suggested that 250 000 people were killed (245 000 of which didn't even live in Thailand, let alone Phuket) by God due to supposed immorality in Phuket. That's rather patently a judgement.

That judgement is based on a series of gross exaggerations and blatant fallacies which you use to place those people at odds with your own personal belief system and moral code. You use that deviation as a basis to blame the victims of an indiscriminate natural disaster for their own misfortune. The inconsistencies and double standards in the justifications you've made leave your entire perspective on morality rather open to dismissal.

 

Organized Crime? The same organized crime that brings women from Russia to work the streets in Canada you mean? Those women who could walk up to a policeman and say, "Hey, this organized crime guy is forcing me into prostitution." Yet who don't do that very often because they like the money, the clothes, the jewels. That organized crime ring?

 

I've repeated a couple time now, I'm not the judge of who lives and who dies.

I don't make the choices. I don't believe in capital plunishment. Was there one innocent person in Sodom and Gomorha besides Lot? Not according to the bible. Had I been there I could not have judged who should live and who should die. God is that judge. As far as natural causes of death go, falling asleep in a good old age is one of those causes, yet it's pretty rare. Why do you, personally, think that is? I happen to believe that pain can bring repentance and salvation for the soul, to eternal life. I happen to believe that when I got my cancer, and I looded at my life and changed some things, and continue to change things today. I also happen to believe that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of ALL people, that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to their eternal salvation. Facing death by 'natural' causes can cause us to think of what kind of life we have lived, what kind of life we are living, what kind of life we should be living.

Edited by Aristarchus in Exile
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I've said before, you simply don't have the gift of faith that it takes to believe that God can do anything, including translating the bible from one language to another .. even people can do that. But to follow your argument, where are you going to find a copy in the original Hebrew? (I do repeat, I do not need it.)

In newspaper accounts I always read Phuket or Phucket as being spelled that way.

 

"True religion and undefiled before God is this, to visit the fatherless and the widows in their afflictuion, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." With your apparent study of bible and bible history you should be able to loate that scripture for verification.

 

!

Moderator Note

Aristarchus in Exile, We are not here to preach or hear soapbox speeches, we're here to discuss. If the only claim you can make is "you have to believe", look for a theology forum. This is a science forum, and we discuss evidence here. In the case of religion, those range from interpretation of scripture to historical documents.

 

Make a claim and back it up, or don't make any claims. It is that simple.

 

There's no "holy cows" here, only "holy men" and they don't last long.

 

 

 

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There is no battle between science and religion. Both say, 'seek and ye shall find.' Problems arise because most people who have not received faith in God have no clue as what religion is:

 

James 1:27

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

James 1:26-27 (in Context) James 1 (Whole Chapter)

 

Another problem arises when people who have faith in God love money more than God, and despite what the New Testament saying "Love of money is the root of all evil" they hoard money instead of giving to the fatherless and widows, then create their own religions of justification for their greed.

 

Scientists also create mini religions of their sciences, Big Bangism, Plasma Cosmologiism, Steady State, Expanding Universe .. and their pride cannot allow the viewpoint of other scientists who see things differently, so they excommunicate them.

 

There are many scientists who were not at war with God or religion .. Einstein being a chief among them, "God does not play dice."

Einstein is not held in high regard for some scientists who have lost their love of discovery, whose entire basis for science is a mathematical formula or their own idea of what an observation means, when Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." So .. While there is unfortunately battle between scientists and religious people there is also battle between scientists and scientists, and battle between religious people and religious people .. and of course they all battle either as individuals or as organizations or as isms etc. Peace. Shalom. Love. Open mindedness.

 

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Those women who could walk up to a policeman and say, "Hey, this organized crime guy is forcing me into prostitution." Yet who don't do that very often because they like the money, the clothes, the jewels. That organized crime ring?

 

Wrong again.

 

Victims of trafficking from other nations are easily deceived or lured because they face poverty, unemployment, broken families and unstable governments in their own countries. (Sirinya Wattanasukchai, "Flesh trade shrugs off new risks," The Nation, 1 May 1997)

 

Girls in China are kidnapped and trafficked through Burma to Thailand. In one kidnapping scheme in the central Thai provinces, an agent photographed village girls on their way to school; showed the photos to a brothel keeper who ordered the girls he wanted. The agent returned and kidnaped the chosen girl. (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)

 

Girls, age 13-15, from Ban Vanaluang, were sold to pimps for 5,00 - 10,000 baht by their parents, who may be drug addicted. The girls are deceived about their destination, which is often Chiang Mai. (Anjira Assavanonda, "Drugs and prostitution flourish in quiet village," Bangkok Post, 3 January 1998)

 

 

The 'green rice season', when farmers are short of money, is the prime season for girl hunting in the rural and hill tribes. Prostitution agents recruit girls into prostitution or buy them from their parents. (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)

 

Half a million women are in sexual slavery, accounting for 18-20% of all Thai women aged 18-30. (Pino Arlaccki, Head of UN International Drug Control Programme, in charge of UN efforts to fight organized crime, Associated Foreign Press, 13 November 1997)

 

http://www.uri.edu/a...es/thailand.htm

 

 

 

Einstein also said:

 

“I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.” Albert Einstein, upon being asked if he believed in God by Rabbi Herbert Goldstein of the Institutional Synagogue, New York, April 24, 1921, published in the New York Times, April 25, 1929

“I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.”Albert Einstein, letter to a Baptist pastor in 1953;

“It is quite possible that we can do greater things than Jesus, for what is written in the Bible about him is poetically embellished.”Albert Einstein; quoted in W. I. Hermanns, "A Talk with Einstein," October 1943,

“I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.”Albert Einstein, quoted in The New York Times obituary, April 19, 1955;

“Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a supernatural Being.”Albert Einstein in response to a child who had written him in 1936 and asked if scientists pray;

“The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously.”Albert Einstein, letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946;

“For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts.”Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1970, p. 25.

http://www.stephenja...s_einstein.html

 

Edited by Arete
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Wrong again.

 

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I spent six months living on skid row Winnipeg with Canada's 12 to 16 year old prostitutes trying to help them out of their lifestyle. I risked my life every day of that six months. I came to know prostitution and why prostitutes work. I spent months doing the same thing in Toronto, and visited several downtown city cores doing the same thing. I don't need a U.N. organization to tell me why women and children men and boys sell their bodies.

 

Wrong again.

 

 

Einstein also said:

 

“I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.” Albert Einstein, upon being asked if he believed in God by Rabbi Herbert Goldstein of the Institutional Synagogue, New York, April 24, 1921, published in the New York Times, April 25, 1929

“I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.”Albert Einstein, letter to a Baptist pastor in 1953;

“It is quite possible that we can do greater things than Jesus, for what is written in the Bible about him is poetically embellished.”Albert Einstein; quoted in W. I. Hermanns, "A Talk with Einstein," October 1943,

“I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.”Albert Einstein, quoted in The New York Times obituary, April 19, 1955;

“Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a supernatural Being.”Albert Einstein in response to a child who had written him in 1936 and asked if scientists pray;

http://www.stephenja...s_einstein.html

 

How old was Einstein when he made those quotes? People mature, and come to a more perfect faith.

 

!

Moderator Note

 

 

There's no "holy cows" here, only "holy men" and they don't last long.

 

 

 

 

Nice to see you admit it. Honesty is a good step towards finding God.

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Nice to see you admit it. Honesty is a good step towards finding God.

 

What did I say about preaching? You seem to *want* to disregard our rules. If you keep going, you'll get your wish. No one would think we didn't give you a chance. Or two. Or ten.

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Aristarchus,

 

As a sane human being, to engage in the pursuit of anything you must at the very least presuppose the possibility, however marginal, of finding what you set out to discover. Given the fact that no tangible evidence exists to support the presence of any deity (let alone the one you inherited), why would I consider this anything other than a fool's errand? A rational answer, please.

 

Should I seek and attempt to find faith in Allah too? What about Vishnu? Apollo? What about the horned Celtic God of fertility, Cernunnos? Why would I choose your God? Or as you say, maybe I simply don't have the "gift" of faith – but then why would an omnipotent God, single me out and deny me the capacity to believe? Whatever your God's capabilities, however principled his reasons, your God has no compassion, at least for me – because I don't choose not to believe, I cannot.

 

Anyway, what is the "gift" of faith? Let's assume you were raised as a Christian. If your parents didn't encourage you to accept the word of their God, would you have had any concept of divinity, let alone of your parent's particular God? No, because nobody can. People have to inherit religious belief, or less often develop an interest later on in life – often at the most convenient of junctures.

 

How can you believe? How can you be so ignorant to all of the contrary evidence, the logic, the historical artefacts that predate your God and proclaim the same tales and often identical dates? How can – if you must believe in a God – you choose the version that was redefined only a few hundred years ago? How can you call him the almighty if humankind can redefine him, if a man can amend his message?

 

You need a good f*** mate.

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I don't need a U.N. organization to tell me why women and children men and boys sell their bodies.

 

Did you just cite personal experience in Canada to totally dismiss all the available academic, NGO, governmental and UN evidence regarding human trafficking and slavery in a place in another hemisphere, you can't even spell the name of, in order to condemn some of the most vulnerable and exploited people in the world for immorality? And you expect to be taken seriously on the topic of ethics?

 

How old was Einstein when he made those quotes? People mature, and come to a more perfect faith.

Dates are listed after each quote but for your convenience I'll note Einstein's age at the time of each:

1. 31

2. 65

3. 55

4. 67

5. 48

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I spent six months living on skid row Winnipeg with Canada's 12 to 16 year old prostitutes trying to help them out of their lifestyle. I risked my life every day of that six months. I came to know prostitution and why prostitutes work. I spent months doing the same thing in Toronto, and visited several downtown city cores doing the same thing. I don't need a U.N. organization to tell me why women and children men and boys sell their bodies.

But you do need more than your anecdotal experience in a limited Western environment in order to make sweeping judgments about all teenage prostitution the world over. This is a horrible argument called a Hasty Generalization. It's a logical fallacy and we don't allow them here.

 

And I would offer a hypothesis based on observations made up to this point. I would suggest that you started your six months in Winnipeg with your mind already made up about why those prostitutes were doing what they were doing. You didn't go there to learn, you went there to preach. And because you weren't there to listen, your life was at risk every day. You alienated most of those kids who might have done better with someone who would actually listen to them.

 

My hypothesis allows me to predict you will ignore what is being said here, not admit you were wrong and keep preaching.

 

How old was Einstein when he made those quotes? People mature, and come to a more perfect faith.

Every single one of those quotes had a date attached to it. Since you have limited internet time, Einstein was born in 1879.

 

Einstein did NOT believe in the personal, judgmental god you've been describing.

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Ok lets see who wins

There is absolutely no point in having a thread like this. Ultimately, deeply held beliefs do not normally allow for a proper, respectful debate where adherents of both 'sides' can agree to explore why science and religion are different at all. I am sorry that you feel that this thread deserves such a provocative title. I have felt that the success of this Religion sub-forum lies in the fact that debate is not commonly rancorous and does not often sink to the point of being a battle.

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jimmydasaint,

 

But a battle it remains. One that certainly can be fought with "gentlemen's rules" with gloves on, to minimize breakage and blood.

 

I personally have great respect for both sides for various reasons, and do not think one side would do all that well, without the insights provided by the other. I have come to some of the same conclusions as Einstein in regards to the reasonableness of any Anthropomorphic, judgemental God, actually being a fact. But literal facts and figurative facts have a different nature to them, and figuratively, if we all should hold the same set of values, and should that set of values guide our lives and interactions with each other, and with the world around us, there is not a real good reason not to call this collective set of values an existing thing, a fact if you will. And if this set of values is called common sense, or morality, or Jesus's love, or the rules of God, or the way of Allah, or human sensibility, or pack mentality or karma, or whatever, it would remain a fact of our existence.

 

And although I respect the scientific method, and sort of know the difference between valid and invalid arguments, and sound and unsound arguments, and inductive and deductive reasoning and where each can get you, I am not convinced that I do not belong to the universe in a greater sense than my brief lifetime or limited body/brain/heart group would allow.

 

Take for instance the fact that a woman is born with her full contingent of eggs. That means that half of my "pattern" came into existence when my Mom was born. And a quarter when my maternal grandma was born, and an eighth when her mom was born. Some small part of me has been around for quite a while. Some really small part of me for ages. This associates me with the past, very factually.

 

And then take my effect on the future. (or Einstein considering he would not continue after his death (yet here we are still sharing his thoughts)) My children, and my works and words, will continue. Anyone I have touched will "remember" me. The vibrations my existence has caused ripple out, diminishing but perhaps never to 0. The photons from a match I lit one starry night when I was fourteen now currently exist in the universe in an ever growing half spherical shell, now with a radius of 44 lightyears. An observer on a planet 45 lightyears from our solar system has not yet experienced the beacon, announcing my existence to the stars. When I die, say in 30 years, an observer (with a powerful enough photon detector) might witness my beacon on a planet 75 lightyears from here, AFTER I am dead and gone. (gone from Earth, but perhaps, factually, not from the heavens.)

 

Regards, TAR2

Edited by tar
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There is absolutely no point in having a thread like this. Ultimately, deeply held beliefs do not normally allow for a proper, respectful debate where adherents of both 'sides' can agree to explore why science and religion are different at all. I am sorry that you feel that this thread deserves such a provocative title. I have felt that the success of this Religion sub-forum lies in the fact that debate is not commonly rancorous and does not often sink to the point of being a battle.

So far, there hasn't been any battle between religion and science. It's all been correcting misinformation about what science is. Maybe that's what the real battle is. Ignorance protesting it's impotence against scholarship and reason explaining that more than blind faith is needed to understand the universe.

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There are no religious wars unless you consider love of money a religion. Wars are ALWAYS made to enrich a group. Sometimes religion is used to recruit murderers, it is true, 'let's kill those barbaric protestants (who happen to own some nice sheep pastureland.) Or, let's kill those Catholic widows (who happen to own some nice tenemant properties.) Of course, nationalism can be a religion too, so, in the case of WW1 and WW2, 'let's kill those Germans' (who happen to have the best manufacturing and technology and who put the anglos, canadians and americans off the world marketplace.) Now it's 'let's kill those dirty arab Muslims (who happen to own the oil.) $$$ - worship it!

 

I have to hope that first sentence was a complete joke. As I have said, the OT is a book of genocide and wars. Would you like me to start quoting stats in the bible of killing thousands with an ass's jaw? Have you never heard of the Crusades, French Religious Wars, Islamic conquests, etc, etc. The second is hopefully joking as well. Look at the statistics of costs of war, there are very few wars were any money is made. Let's think of what made people discriminate against Muslims. . . Oh yeah, radical extremists trying to start a holy war.

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So far, there hasn't been any battle between religion and science. It's all been correcting misinformation about what science is. Maybe that's what the real battle is. Ignorance protesting it's impotence against scholarship and reason explaining that more than blind faith is needed to understand the universe.

It's falling on deaf ears though.

 

I feel so silly for getting involved now.

 

Do you think when you correct Aristarchus(?) it's taken on board? It would be naive to think so. He's displayed all the entrenched characteristics you would expect from a deeply religious person, with little or no insight – and therein lies the problem. Ultimately, it's the depth of a person's insight and the honesty with which they pursue answers, that wins through. It has to come from them, from a blip on their own bullsh*t radar – all the facts in the world can't persuade a mind-made-up, that it might be prudent to reconsider.

 

You can't reach, the unreachable – this thread has become nothing more than an exercise in appeasing one's own irritation. Our time would be far better spent elsewhere. Of that there can be no justification otherwise.

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When religion comes up for debate all too often its defenders are like Aristarchus, dependent on faith and having no sound argument that a scientist need take seriously. There are sound arguments that do not rely on faith, and that appeal only to logic and experience, but they are largely ignored by theists and atheists alike since they threaten both positions. It is vital for such an argument that we recognise that religion includes all monotheistic doctrines, but monotheism is not all of religion.

 

I certainly see no purpose in commonplace Protestantism arguing with science since they are incompatible, as Aristarchus makes clear. All this talk of not being able to understand God unless one has faith is patronising, and I imagine for scientists it is highly annoying and frustrating. First, the orthodox view in relgion would be that no amount of faith would allow one to understand God, and second, not everyone is blessed with the ability to believe unswervingly in what they do not know is true. Arguments from faith have no place here imho. That is not to say that faith is not important, of course it is, but an appeal to faith is not an argument on a science forum.

 

If I were battling for religion I would start by pointing out that all current scientific cosmological theories are either nonreductive or logically absurd for their metaphysical implications. This is not a criticism, it is a conclusion that I would expect most physicists to accept, a dispasionate observation about how difficult it is to explain the universe without something more than physics currently offers us. Thus we see in consciousness studies the call for an extra ingredient in our mind-matter theories. I believe we will only have a fundamental theory when science and religion mend their differences and when monotheism comes to be seen as an approximation to the truth and not the last word on the topic.

 

I'd be happy to defend religion here, (or science, as the circumstances dictate), but it is not easy to do when there is such a widespread assumption that religion requires abandoning logic and reason for faith and dogma. A bit of thinking outside the box would be required, whereby we would give credit to both science and religion, and would not dismiss all the proponents of either as fools. It would be an implausible coincidence if all the proponents of both were fools.

 

Again I would suggest that metaphysics is best venue for such a battle, since this is where religion and science come face to face and a standoff is not an option. Elsewhere there is mostly handwaiving.

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I feel so silly for getting involved now.

 

I work as an evolutionary biologist - in particular, using evolutionary models and theory in epidemiology. I personally think that spirituality belongs in the personal sphere. i.e. each person's spirituality is their own business and it's an intrinsic right to reconcile your version of God or lack thereof with your personal perception of the world around you.

 

As much as wish I could avoid involvement and simply get on with doing research that potentially helps mankind, the truth is we, as the scientific community have to involve ourselves.

 

First, the example here of fabricating a den of immorality based on non-truths and then using it to lay blame on other people for a natural disaster is intellectually dishonest and morally reprehensible. Using your own fundamental religious beliefs in order to make justifications of that ilk is, at least in my humble opinion as offensive as using race, gender, sexual orientation to make similar condemnations and shouldn't be tolerated in a civilised society.

 

Second, deflecting blame in such a manner detracts from efforts that can make a tangible, positive difference to the people affected by such a disaster. Were' not far away from the suggestion that predicting earthquakes, setting up warning systems, modifying human settlement and behaviour to minimise the chances of such an event in the future is contrary to "God's will" and should devote our attentions to forcing, in global terms, a minority group's moral and religious agenda on others to prevent God doing it again. Again, in my humble opinion, such a distraction would be a second tragedy all over again.

 

The example in this thread is minor - I currently experience religion coming at science in the classroom, ethics committees, through politics, laws and funding agencies. People with similar mindsets to Aristarchus in Exile are gunning for us. If we don't defend ourselves, our research and our philosophies from what is in reality extreme minority agendas, we could end up paying dearly for it. It's not people like Aristarchus in Exile we need to change the minds of - that's impossible. What we do need to do is through outreach, improved public communication and education and publicly confronting and exposing the agendas of fundamental religion, show the general public what our goals are, how it helps society and how detrimental the effects of curtailing scientific endeavour with fundamental religion are on broader society.

Edited by Arete
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Aristarchus,

 

As a sane human being, to engage in the pursuit of anything you must at the very least presuppose the possibility, however marginal, of finding what you set out to discover. Given the fact that no tangible evidence exists to support the presence of any deity (let alone the one you inherited), why would I consider this anything other than a fool's errand? A rational answer, please.

 

Should I seek and attempt to find faith in Allah too? What about Vishnu? Apollo? What about the horned Celtic God of fertility, Cernunnos? Why would I choose your God? Or as you say, maybe I simply don't have the "gift" of faith – but then why would an omnipotent God, single me out and deny me the capacity to believe? Whatever your God's capabilities, however principled his reasons, your God has no compassion, at least for me – because I don't choose not to believe, I cannot.

 

Anyway, what is the "gift" of faith? Let's assume you were raised as a Christian. If your parents didn't encourage you to accept the word of their God, would you have had any concept of divinity, let alone of your parent's particular God? No, because nobody can. People have to inherit religious belief, or less often develop an interest later on in life – often at the most convenient of junctures.

 

How can you believe? How can you be so ignorant to all of the contrary evidence, the logic, the historical artefacts that predate your God and proclaim the same tales and often identical dates? How can – if you must believe in a God – you choose the version that was redefined only a few hundred years ago? How can you call him the almighty if humankind can redefine him, if a man can amend his message?

 

You need a good f*** mate.

 

Okay .. search for truth then, that should be acceptable to everyone on the boards, as science and religions both say they seek or practice truth. Search with an open mind though, and when you find the truth speaking to you, "I am the way, the truth and the life," try not to reject him.

 

Evidence of God? I'm still on the boards. I'm astounded. It's obvious that miracles do happen.

I'm also slightly astounded that I'm particiapting. Perhaps the miracle shows that moderators can admit their errors and forgive mine, while I can also forgive theirs, while admitting I'm too hasty at times in being overly critical of others.

 

By the way, I found the Truth God while hopping a ride on a freight train, in my sleeping bag atop a pile of lumber on an open lumber car, in Canada's Rocky Mountains, in early September 44 years ago. I was on a pilgrimage searching for Truth, but had begun wondering about whether the God existed that many people had told me about .. an all powerful, loving God .. I asked for a sign about midnight, and a huge shooting star ran through the sky. I received a gift of faith. About half an hour later doubts crept in. I asked God to "Do it again" and another huge shooting star ran through the sky. I became a believer, not in coincidence, but in the power of God to answer requests if a person is truly searching. However, 'blessed are those who have not seen, but who believe" is also valid, and even allows for a greater faith, but the search may be longer (please note I said "may" be longer and not "will" be longer. I will not put myself in the position of saying how God will work towards anyone's faith. As another miracle, I can say that despite having lived a large part of my life in a way viewed by most conventional society as an unsavoury character I worked this past summer as a live-in maintenance man at an all girls' camp. A miracle unexplainable by any word other than miracle.

 

Let me append that last statement. We can and do "make up facts". We invent and create all the time. This is what we do, bring "thoughts" into reality. I was talking about fabrications that don't hold up anywhere but in ones mind.

 

Aristarchus in Exile,

 

I stand corrected.

 

From the Wiki article on "messiah".

 

 

 

Regards, TAR2

 

Thank you Tar2.

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Indeed, i also feel silly for getting into these conversations, they are not driven by anything other than the desire to proselytize one Religious persons concepts by creating so many straw man arguments and the obfuscation of what everyone else says. Aristarchus in Exile does not represent main stream religion, not protestants, catholics, or most of the denominations currently recognized. But he does have brothers in Islam, Hinduism, Seiks, Zoeastrism, and several others I can't spell off the top of my head and I don't feel like looking them up.

 

He represents a group who worship the actual bible as god, their narrow definition of god not only limits god but also tries to say that there are only two possibilities, their idea of god or atheism, this is extremely disingenuous, most scientists are Christian, more than 90% and they either have no problem with a natural explanation of the world and are able to connect their world view with the idea of god. the other percentage of scientists adhere to other religious beliefs Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, or one of the many other religious belief systems. Most of these people have no problem with GOD acting through naturalistic means, only Creationists have that narrow view of God they seem to need to limit him to.

 

I have no problem with faith, even unfounded faith, if it takes faith to float your boat then good for you, row away happy as you can allow your self to be. My only problem with Fundamentalism or creationism is when they try to teach these things as facts. They ignore all the events described in the bible that would be morally reprehensible today, twist the words of the bible until they are torqued out of any possible resemblance to what was actually said and cling to quite recent translations of the Bible that have demonstrably lost both meaning and actual passages in translation. The actual New Testament was "voted on" to decide how many books would be included or left out and we got four gospels out of more than 20, some say as high as 100 but only 20 or so can be verified.

 

But it is silly to try and confirm the bible via science, in fact at first the bible was considered a science book and the church spent a great deal of time enforcing what it thought was science far past the point of forbidding anyone to check and actually punishing anyone who tried to verify reality. One of the first ideas the bible and the idea of god might not be quite as straight forward as everyone thought was Lightning. i know everyone thinks of Galileo and the idea of a Helio-centric solar system as being the first big disconnect but I think it was lightning. The idea of the sun or the earth being the center of the solar system did indeed upset the apple carts of the educated but the common man was worried about more direct effects and the idea that a man made device could prevent the wrath of god.. lightning... is I think one of the first disconnects for the common man. The idea that gods will could be thwarted is a powerful idea.

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I work as an evolutionary biologist - in particular, using evolutionary models and theory in epidemiology. I personally think that spirituality belongs in the personal sphere. i.e. each person's spirituality is their own business and it's an intrinsic right to reconcile your version of God or lack thereof with your personal perception of the world around you.

 

As much as wish I could avoid involvement and simply get on with doing research that potentially helps mankind, the truth is we, as the scientific community have to involve ourselves.

 

First, the example here of fabricating a den of immorality based on non-truths and then using it to lay blame on other people for a natural disaster is intellectually dishonest and morally reprehensible. Using your own fundamental religious beliefs in order to make justifications of that ilk is, at least in my humble opinion as offensive as using race, gender, sexual orientation to make similar condemnations and shouldn't be tolerated in a civilised society.

 

Second, deflecting blame in such a manner detracts from efforts that can make a tangible, positive difference to the people affected by such a disaster. Were' not far away from the suggestion that predicting earthquakes, setting up warning systems, modifying human settlement and behaviour to minimise the chances of such an event in the future is contrary to "God's will" and should devote our attentions to forcing, in global terms, a minority group's moral and religious agenda on others to prevent God doing it again. Again, in my humble opinion, such a distraction would be a second tragedy all over again.

 

The example in this thread is minor - I currently experience religion coming at science in the classroom, ethics committees, through politics, laws and funding agencies. People with similar mindsets to Aristarchus in Exile are gunning for us. If we don't defend ourselves, our research and our philosophies from what is in reality extreme minority agendas, we could end up paying dearly for it. It's not people like Aristarchus in Exile we need to change the minds of - that's impossible. What we do need to do is through outreach, improved public communication and education and publicly confronting and exposing the agendas of fundamental religion, show the general public what our goals are, how it helps society and how detrimental the effects of curtailing scientific endeavour with fundamental religion are on broader society.

 

Arete .. I'm not at war with you, and I think most people who believe in God are not at war with you or with science. I think God may have used evolution to create, may still be using evolution to create. The bible says, "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years." Fossils have been created in Japan in a matter of several days. While canoeing last week I saw fossilized plants which were still partly alive and green, part fossil, small threads of weed growing flat on limestone, photo attached. Geologists and Cosmologists are at great variance about carbon dating and dating of the universe. Many scientists believe in God. Many scientists go to 'churches.' There are instances of the bible supporting scientific belief, and Dark Energy is one clear example, as Dark Energy allow the end of the univese to happen as foretold in the bible, with a huge explosion of fire which destroys the entire universe. Before Dark Energy was therorized that explosion was impossible, and reason to disbelieve the prophecy and thence the entire bible, and the bible is not talking about a simple solar explosion destroying our solar system, but the entire universe. ABove all, please don't use me as an example of believers, as believers, like scientists, are all entirely unique unto themselves.

post-58596-0-05144800-1319731135_thumb.jpg

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Okay .. search for truth then, that should be acceptable to everyone on the boards, as science and religions both say they seek or practice truth. Search with an open mind though, and when you find the truth speaking to you, "I am the way, the truth and the life," try not to reject him.

 

No science pursues knowledge, truth a slippery thing and often contains more of what the person thinks should be true rather than what is true and absolute truth is unlikely to even be possible but religious charlatans have no problem claiming absolute truth, usually just after telling an absolute lie as revealed truth, you are so condescending, you assume that anyone who does not agree with you has just not searched hard enough or doesn't believe hard enough, horse feathers, I was raised as a fundamentalist christian, i started asking questions when i was 8 years old, the answers were often obviously wrong even to an 8 yo and the answer I most often got was it's a sin to question god... how lame is that? Now at the age of 56, I think i gave religion an honest try, it failed...

 

 

Evidence of God? I'm still on the boards. I'm astounded. It's obvious that miracles do happen.

I'm also slightly astounded that I'm particiapting. Perhaps the miracle shows that moderators can admit their errors and forgive mine, while I can also forgive theirs, while admitting I'm too hasty at times in being overly critical of others.

 

Name one of these obvious miracles please, the idea of you being here is a miracle is just silly....

 

By the way, I found the Truth God while hopping a ride on a freight train, in my sleeping bag atop a pile of lumber on an open lumber car, in Canada's Rocky Mountains, in early September 44 years ago. I was on a pilgrimage searching for Truth, but had begun wondering about whether the God existed that many people had told me about .. an all powerful, loving God .. I asked for a sign about midnight, and a huge shooting star ran through the sky. I received a gift of faith. About half an hour later doubts crept in. I asked God to "Do it again" and another huge shooting star ran through the sky. I became a believer, not in coincidence, but in the power of God to answer requests if a person is truly searching. However, 'blessed are those who have not seen, but who believe" is also valid, and even allows for a greater faith, but the search may be longer (please note I said "may" be longer and not "will" be longer. I will not put myself in the position of saying how God will work towards anyone's faith. As another miracle, I can say that despite having lived a large part of my life in a way viewed by most conventional society as an unsavoury character I worked this past summer as a live-in maintenance man at an all girls' camp. A miracle unexplainable by any word other than miracle.

 

This is just silly drivel, anecdotal evidence at best, self full filled prophecy for sure, you saw two shooting stars in a row and called it a miracle? I've seen hundreds in a night, I've seen huge glowing balls traveling in pairs, that is as silly as seeing a picture of jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich. So instead of giving your self credit for getting your shit together it had to be god? How droll....

 

Arete .. I'm not at war with you, and I think most people who believe in God are not at war with you or with science. I think God may have used evolution to create, may still be using evolution to create. The bible says, "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years."

 

Please explain what the one day equals a thousand years means in relation to the veracity of the bible....

 

Fossils have been created in Japan in a matter of several days.

 

We need to see some evidence of this, who said it, when ? a link to that info would be nice.

 

While canoeing last week I saw fossilized plants which were still partly alive and green, part fossil, small threads of weed growing flat on limestone, photo attached.

 

Not only is that not a fossil it has nothing to do with fossilization...

 

Geologists and Cosmologists are at great variance about carbon dating and dating of the universe.

 

No they are not, please provide some evidence for this outrageous claim....

 

Many scientists believe in God.

 

Most do but not your narrow world view of fundamentalism

 

Many scientists go to 'churches.'

 

Yes this is also true

 

There are instances of the bible supporting scientific belief,

 

No there is not, please provide instances in the bible to back up these claims...

 

and Dark Energy is one clear example, as Dark Energy allow the end of the univese to happen as foretold in the bible, with a huge explosion of fire which destroys the entire universe.

 

Again please give some evidence of this idea in main stream science....

 

Before Dark Energy was therorized that explosion was impossible, and reason to disbelieve the prophecy and thence the entire bible, and the bible is not talking about a simple solar explosion destroying our solar system, but the entire universe. ABove all, please don't use me as an example of believers, as believers, like scientists, are all entirely unique unto themselves.

 

 

None of this makes any sense in the light of mainstream science and sounds like some sort of wild speculation by people who have no clue what they are talking about. Please give evidence from the bible where it says this, chapter and verse please and give some evidence as to your idea about dark energy, a mainstream science quote from a real cosmologist would be nice...

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a mainstream science quote from a real cosmologist would be nice...

 

Would you accept one from a Plasma Cosmologist or would what I view as your conventional viewpoints disallow it? Please note, that I am not saying you are a conventionalist, only that you seem to present yourself that way to my view of you thus far.

 

Second Peter Chapter Three

 

 

 

10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

 

11Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

 

12Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

 

In Genesis, the heavens included all the lights in the sky .. as those lights include other galaxies (however faintly and once thought to be nebulas) it is clear that ALL the universe is to explode. So far science has uncovered only one way for that even possibly to happen, an ignition of Dark Energy, or Dark Energy in combination with Dark Matter.

 

 

The second shoting star came immediately after I asked God to do the exact same thing. Call it coincidence if you wish. For me it was oxygen on the flame of faith the answer of the first shooting star ignited.

Edited by Aristarchus in Exile
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Would you accept one from a Plasma Cosmologist or would what I view as your conventional viewpoints disallow it? Please note, that I am not saying you are a conventionalist, only that you seem to present yourself that way to my view of you thus far.

 

 

I am a rationalist... what is a "plasma" cosmologist?

 

Second Peter Chapter Three

 

10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

 

11Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

 

12Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

 

The bible does indeed predict a great fire or fires when the lord comes back, but I have to point out how the bible says lots of other stuff that is simply not true or could not have happened the way the bible says, I see no reason to assign some sort of veracity to this one and ignore the others but I can say that science in no way predicts this will happen.

 

In Genesis, the heavens included all the lights in the sky .. as those lights include other galaxies (however faintly and once thought to be nebulas) it is clear that ALL the universe is to explode. So far science has uncovered only one way for that even possibly to happen, an ignition of Dark Energy, or Dark Energy in combination with Dark Matter.

 

Again please provide some evidence of this statement, i have never heard if anything even close to this idea.

 

The second shoting star came immediately after I asked God to do the exact same thing. Call it coincidence if you wish. For me it was oxygen on the flame of faith the answer of the first shooting star ignited.

 

 

About three years ago i was looking for meteors during a shower, I had gone outside and sat for almost an hour and I had seen no shooting stars at all, i went inside for several minutes and i decided to go back outside, just as I looked up a really bright meteor went over head, almost lit up the sky, it was impressive, but I stood outside for 30 minutes or so and saw no more. i went inside and waited for about an hour and just before i was going to bed I stepped back outside again, i looked up and low and behold another very bright shooting star went over head just as i looked up, i thought that was a wild coincident, i wonder what the odds of that were! I did not think it was a sign from god, such a coincidence is not uncommon, and requires no act of god to happen, in fact there is no way to say it was anything but coincident, show me a real miracle, not some obvious coincidence dressed up as an act of god....

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I work as an evolutionary biologist - in particular, using evolutionary models and theory in epidemiology. I personally think that spirituality belongs in the personal sphere. i.e. each person's spirituality is their own business and it's an intrinsic right to reconcile your version of God or lack thereof with your personal perception of the world around you.

 

As much as wish I could avoid involvement and simply get on with doing research that potentially helps mankind, the truth is we, as the scientific community have to involve ourselves.

 

First, the example here of fabricating a den of immorality based on non-truths and then using it to lay blame on other people for a natural disaster is intellectually dishonest and morally reprehensible. Using your own fundamental religious beliefs in order to make justifications of that ilk is, at least in my humble opinion as offensive as using race, gender, sexual orientation to make similar condemnations and shouldn't be tolerated in a civilised society.

 

Second, deflecting blame in such a manner detracts from efforts that can make a tangible, positive difference to the people affected by such a disaster. Were' not far away from the suggestion that predicting earthquakes, setting up warning systems, modifying human settlement and behaviour to minimise the chances of such an event in the future is contrary to "God's will" and should devote our attentions to forcing, in global terms, a minority group's moral and religious agenda on others to prevent God doing it again. Again, in my humble opinion, such a distraction would be a second tragedy all over again.

 

The example in this thread is minor - I currently experience religion coming at science in the classroom, ethics committees, through politics, laws and funding agencies. People with similar mindsets to Aristarchus in Exile are gunning for us. If we don't defend ourselves, our research and our philosophies from what is in reality extreme minority agendas, we could end up paying dearly for it. It's not people like Aristarchus in Exile we need to change the minds of - that's impossible. What we do need to do is through outreach, improved public communication and education and publicly confronting and exposing the agendas of fundamental religion, show the general public what our goals are, how it helps society and how detrimental the effects of curtailing scientific endeavour with fundamental religion are on broader society.

Arete, I would whole heartedly agree, the scientific community absolutely must involve itself in the debate, but on a meaningful scale. Otherwise, when we engage in encounters such as this one, the community itself can appear quite conceited, trivial and unpleasantly unassailable to the ambivalent onlooker. I'm guilty of it as much as anyone, which is why I feel silly for getting involved.

 

The easiest way to encourage individuals to questions their beliefs, is to remain succinct in your delivery, submit the facts and offer simple, necessary insights, then walk away. If you're asking someone to do something they will find uncomfortable, it's sensible to ask nicely too. That's been my downfall many times.

 

Those that are capable of coming to a logical conclusion, will. It's not simply a matter of intelligence, it has more to do with honesty and I believe we're getting there, slowly but surely. It's sociocultural evolution – we're better off acknowledging the truth, so we will.

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