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Old 2010-05-14, 20:22   Link #2461
ChainLegacy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstert View Post
No, you cannot answer because you (or Denett or both of you) jumped to a conclusion. There is no basis for claiming that God is within the observations of science.

First, you'd have to be capable of reliably (in your own words) "detect" God. If you can do that, then you can scientifically observe God, test whatever hypothesis you have, and come up with conclusions.

Until then, saying the "God question" is somehow scientifically answerable only you haven't find your answer yet is no different than simply saying God exists.
We can't detect god. But you posit that he/she/it acted on this reality, and therefore is within the realm of science. So long as it has or has had connection or interaction with the natural world it is within the realm of science. Essentially any theory you posit that has a connection to reality falls within the jurisdiction of science. So, from my point of view, like any other theory that has no evidence, I pay it no heed. You are free to do so, but I am free to sit here and say your conclusion is unscientific, because it is.

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Originally Posted by monstert View Post
That is a parable, and Hell does exist for unbelievers. But had Jesus meant that literally for his disciples and Christians to do, then Jesus wouldn't have chastised one of his disciples for using a sword when he was about to be captured. (Luke 22:51) "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, ..." - Luke 6:27
So, all you've done is contradict other passages. How do you know for sure which is right, and why your interpretation is valid?
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Old 2010-05-14, 20:30   Link #2462
Kaijo
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I'm agnostic now, but I was raised Christian. In time, once I got out into the world, I realized how close-minded I had been brought up, and realized all the things that I was told were lies or were wrong... weren't bad at all. Like gays were evil and sinful, but I learned later were just people who felt differently. I had a real hard time believing what they were doing was wrong. And if they were just people doing things that harmed no one... I had to question everything I was brought up to believe.

I don't know if there is a God. If there is one, then he gave me my logical mind, and thus expects me to use it. It's not logical to believe someone is "bad" just because they are different than I am.

As far as judging God... if there is one and he created us, then he gave us the morals we have. The Bible says he created man in his image, and we have knowledge of Good and Evil thanks to Adam eating an apple. God said we'd be like him totally if Adam ate from the Tree of Life as well, and lived forever. So, to be God is to know good and evil and live forever, of which we have half. Thus, we are more than capable of logically analyzing God's actions "or lack of them), and judging them to be good or evil.

And since God created everything, then God created evil. ;p
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Old 2010-05-14, 20:46   Link #2463
monster
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
We can't detect god. But you posit that he/she/it acted on this reality, and therefore is within the realm of science. So long as it has or has had connection or interaction with the natural world it is within the realm of science. Essentially any theory you posit that has a connection to reality falls within the jurisdiction of science.
You said so yourself that science is "what we can conclude/understand based on phenomena we are capable of detecting."

So if you can't detect God, then God himself isn't in the realm of science, only the effect of his interaction.
Quote:
So, from my point of view, like any other theory that has no evidence, I pay it no heed. You are free to do so, but I am free to sit here and say your conclusion is unscientific, because it is.
Um, we were talking about your conclusion here, not mine.
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
So, all you've done is contradict other passages.
How so? I didn't say that other passage was wrong.
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How do you know for sure which is right, and why your interpretation is valid?
Well, in the parable, the king gave his servants a peaceful task and then left. And it was only at the end, after he returned, that the king rewards the good servants and punishes the bad. And guess what? Right now believers are waiting for Christ's return, so we're definitely not at the end. And the task given to believers were to spread the Gospel, not to kill people. It isn't until after Christ returns that he will judge his people.

Last edited by monster; 2010-05-14 at 20:58.
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Old 2010-05-14, 21:42   Link #2464
ChainLegacy
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No, we can't detect him. That's kind of the point. You say he interacts with this world, yet he is undetectable. Therefore it is unscientific to conclude he exists. And I'm pretty sure we're discussing differences in our conclusions, your one being that god is outside the realm of science and mine being that he is within it.

Also, you haven't truly explained why your interpretation is particularly more valid than any other, rather you just keep listing off more of your beliefs.
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Old 2010-05-14, 23:20   Link #2465
Vexx
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Just to try and get the thread back on track before the mods swoop in and delete pages of posts....

As a child, I was raised a Christian Methodist, in my teens I kept finding more and more didn't add up for me in terms of researching the belief system, the history, and the daily practice (dominant religions in the area were Baptist and Catholic with a smattering of other Protestant religions).

In high school and college, I spent a significant amount of time researching and studying religions of the world and their history. Most of my electives were spent that way. Being in Texas and the South, daily encounters with evangelical 'fundamentalism' didn't really improve my opinion of the status quo.

By my late-20s, after a great deal of research and study I was far more interested in what scientific agnosticism and Buddhism had to say but kept up the research into J-C-I (there's always something new to learn) as well as eastern philosophy and more esoteric religions.

After 50 years of "looking at the problem", I define myself as "scientific agnostic but practice Zen with a streak of poetic animism derived from Shinto and Norse metaphor".
(scientific agnostic == I don't rule it out but the evidence for it is non-existent; low probability) (poetic animism == pixies, daemons, and kami are great personifications of forces in nature, you respect them ala Shinto or whatever) (Zen ... daily Buddhism without the clutter of regional variants) I see the importance of spirituality on the community level... but also see how the doctrine can start to rot and how it can be co-opted to manipulate the citizenry.

My background in engineering and physics, along with a lifelong interest in the life sciences certainly contributed to my current understanding.

The thread is about one's religion and why one has taken to theirs ... just alerting people the thread is not for pushing one particular religion, not about proselytizing, or One True Way assertions.

Last edited by Vexx; 2010-05-14 at 23:43.
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Old 2010-05-15, 00:56   Link #2466
MFSxA
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For what it's worth I merely replied to an incorrect view on Christianity, which has been proven incorrect. I don't diss other religions or atheists, whatever disagreements, I keep it to myself - religion is a touchy issue. But when someone states false teachings of Christianity and God, I think, it is fair to contest such gross ignorance and mis-comprehension. Unless of course you're my boss.

I started out a Christian. When I got to college, my professor, an intelligent fellow introduced me to Atheism. I lived it and breathed it. I was a bit arrogant on such belief. I loved to debate the merits of Atheism.

As the years passed I finally got access to other resources, made me rethink a lot of matters. Finally went to law school. I think it was only in 4th year of law that I finally got a copy of a lot of apologetics, humbled me a lot. I corrected myself.

I believe that science and Christianity is compatible. I believe in the trinity, one God forever and ever. For me, reason and faith is very important, I found this in Christianity.

I love a good and cordial debate, and seeing that there are vocal people with misconceptions and ignorance against the Faith, I'm open for discussion, nothing to be afraid of if you think you got a sound and valid point. We all owe ourselves the truth and that includes hearing all sides.
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Old 2010-05-15, 00:57   Link #2467
monster
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
No, we can't detect him. That's kind of the point. You say he interacts with this world, yet he is undetectable. Therefore it is unscientific to conclude he exists.
Therefore, it is unscientific to conclude anything about God.

And to try to be on topic, I don't see the Bible trying to scientifically prove God's existence. So we come back full circle to my original point: that whatever explanation scientists may come up with about the origins of the universe is irrelevant to the Bible. And thus, I don't see my religion and science as being mutually exclusive.
Quote:
Also, you haven't truly explained why your interpretation is particularly more valid than any other, rather you just keep listing off more of your beliefs.
Yeah, apparently that is the only thing we can do in this thread: stating our beliefs. Now I've made my reasoning but I don't know if you've even read the Bible, so saying anything more would just be pointless and probably off topic.
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Old 2010-05-15, 01:04   Link #2468
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Arbitres View Post
Do what I do, tell them your busy toosacrificing an animal to Abigor to pay attention to what they are saying.
When the Jehovah Witnesses come to my door, I roll my 20-sider and tell them I'm:
a) buddhist
b) shinto-ist
c) Zoroasterian (yeah, that's not true though many of the ideas are interesting in their historical context with monotheism)
d) animist (I like anime, um, wait, what were you asking?)
e) Norse (ripping yarns about forces of nature where Thor dresses as a trap)

I've yet to encounter one that had a scripted answer for those --- deer in headlights look. They're ready for those "satan-tinged misleading mainstream religions" like Lutheran or Presbyterian... but eastern or ancient lore is not on their training schedule it seems. Well-meaning people... but coming to my door means you have to put up with me.
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Old 2010-05-15, 01:08   Link #2469
Ascaloth
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
When the Jehovah Witnesses come to my door, I roll my 20-sider and tell them I'm:
a) buddhist
b) shinto-ist
c) Zoroasterian (yeah, that's not true though many of the ideas are interesting in their historical context with monotheism)
d) animist (I like anime, um, wait, what were you asking?)
e) Norse (ripping yarns about forces of nature where Thor dresses as a trap)

I've yet to encounter one that had a scripted answer for those --- deer in headlights look. They're ready for those "satan-tinged misleading mainstream religions" like Lutheran or Presbyterian... but eastern or ancient lore is not on their training schedule it seems. Well-meaning people... but coming to my door means you have to put up with me.
Hey, Vexx-jiji, when are you going to write that "choose your own adventure" response book? You stand to fatten your retirement fund by several orders of magnitude from that, old man.
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Old 2010-05-15, 01:27   Link #2470
ChainLegacy
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Originally Posted by monstert View Post
Therefore, it is unscientific to conclude anything about God.

And to try to be on topic, I don't see the Bible trying to scientifically prove God's existence. So we come back full circle to my original point: that whatever explanation scientists may come up with about the origins of the universe is irrelevant to the Bible. And thus, I don't see my religion and science as being mutually exclusive. Yeah, apparently that is the only thing we can do in this thread: stating our beliefs. Now I've made my reasoning but I don't know if you've even read the Bible, so saying anything more would just be pointless and probably off topic.
Yes, given present evidence, you are correct. That has been my point all along. You conclude he exists, which is unscientific. I guess we're on the same page now

I've read the Bible. I took four years of Christian theology courses. I come from a practicing Catholic family. So lay it on me, my question didn't even have to do with the Bible scientifically proving God. I'm interested in how you have reasoned that your interpretation of scripture is correct, and why. Also explain to me why you believe some others to be wrong (a few posts back, in response to Anh_Minh). This is within the framework of the topic.
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Old 2010-05-15, 01:49   Link #2471
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by Ascaloth View Post
Hey, Vexx-jiji, when are you going to write that "choose your own adventure" response book? You stand to fatten your retirement fund by several orders of magnitude from that, old man.
Given his background in Engineering and programming, he should have just start an MMORPG.

Btw, while you guys are having fun trying to put down other religions as fake and yours as real, it would be better if you guys take some time and read Rene Descartes "Discourse of the Method" and "Mediations on First Philosophy.". From what I see, it seems that only Anh Minh is making rational sense while most others, especially MFSxA who decided to resort to a personal-inclined attack.

Statistically speaking, practically most of the Christians I have spoke to never, or hardly read the Bible and try their own interpretation, instead relying on the word of mouth of others. As it is a book which is written like the Canterbury Tales, interpretations differ, so who has the right one?

Here's a challenge. For the sake of political correctness, replace the word "God" with "omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient entity.". Due to the fact that believers are often drilled into believing in their religion rather than believing through understanding, they can never adapt to the usage of word in their religious lingo.

P.S Btw - I am neutral when it comes to religion. I give the benefit of doubt that some big guy up there may exist, but I will not declare my inclination until I personally see photo of who he/she is.
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Old 2010-05-15, 02:14   Link #2472
monster
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Yes, given present evidence, you are correct. That has been my point all along.
Don't you mean my point? Well, whatever.
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So lay it on me, my question didn't even have to do with the Bible scientifically proving God.
No, that part is not about your question, but about my original point.
Quote:
I've read the Bible. I took four years of Christian theology courses. I come from a practicing Catholic family. ... I'm interested in how you have reasoned that your interpretation of scripture is correct, and why. Also explain to me why you believe some others to be wrong (a few posts back, in response to Anh_Minh). This is within the framework of the topic.
Well, if you've read the Bible, then you know that Jesus preached about repentance and love. In fact, Jesus claimed that the greatest commandments were to love God and to love your fellow human beings. And Paul also wrote that Christians should not repay evil with evil.
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Old 2010-05-15, 03:00   Link #2473
TinyRedLeaf
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Question: Can all physical reality be reduced to a set of equations, from which we can reconstruct reality exactly the way we experience it?
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Old 2010-05-15, 04:02   Link #2474
MeoTwister5
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Question: Can all physical reality be reduced to a set of equations, from which we can reconstruct reality exactly the way we experience it?
Isn't this what Quantum Physics is trying to do right now?
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Old 2010-05-15, 04:24   Link #2475
Agito Akiyama
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I think I'll go back to religion, I'll be a Haruhist!
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Old 2010-05-15, 04:25   Link #2476
Klashikari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
d) animist (I like anime, um, wait, what were you asking?)
e) Norse (ripping yarns about forces of nature where Thor dresses as a trap)
You are my he-... my guru!
Ironically enough, the simple thought of imagining a 50 years old gentleman, wearing a bear hide cloak, holding double blue ray box is beyond priceless


*cough* just to bring out my own piece:
Atheist, as you can't exactly call me a "faithful" individual.
And I usually have a motto that I would rather expect nothing than being disappointed if I was proved wrong in my expectation.

But I think that I found another religion now!
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Old 2010-05-15, 05:05   Link #2477
Eak
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Atheist, but raised in a strict Christian household.. Well.. still living in it actually.
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Old 2010-05-15, 06:49   Link #2478
TinyRedLeaf
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Question: Can all physical reality be reduced to a set of equations, from which we can reconstruct reality exactly the way we experience it?
... I'm not even going in detail about how much that question hurts my head.
It's a valid question. As MeoTwister5 puts it, that's what eminent physicists believe is possible. A single unifying theory to unite all phyiscal laws. Everything we experience as physical reality can be reduced to systems, systems reduced to societies, societies reduced to individuals, individuals reduced to organs, organs reduced to molecules, molecules reduced to atoms, atoms reduced into protons, electrons and neutrons, and still reduced further into quantum particles.

Everything, from the perspective of physics, it may appear, is reducible and thus explanable. To what extent is this correct?
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Old 2010-05-15, 06:59   Link #2479
MeoTwister5
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
It's a valid question. As MeoTwister5 puts it, that's what eminent physicists believe is possible. A single unifying theory to unite all phyiscal laws. Everything we experience as physical reality can be reduced to systems, systems reduced to societies, societies reduced to individuals, individuals reduced to organs, organs reduced to molecules, molecules reduced to atoms, atoms reduced into protons, electrons and neutrons, and still reduced further into quantum particles.

Everything, from the perspective of physics, it may appear, is reducible and thus explanable. To what extent is this correct?
It really depends up to what level existence and matter itself is reducible to. AFAIK they still haven't found concrete proof of the Higg's Boson, and whenever scientists find an even smaller, more basic particle they surmise there is still something even smaller and even more basic. What is to say that what they have already found is "it", the smallest and most basic existence that has ever "existed"?

And even then, how can you conclude without a shadow of a doubt that this "thing" is the most basic of it all, itself without a "cause", as the prime mover that is the cause of everything else?

The question becomes whether or not science itself, even when finally perfected, will be able to ascertain and completely describe this thing that was never created, has no creator, but is the creator of everything else.
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Old 2010-05-15, 07:19   Link #2480
TinyRedLeaf
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Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
It really depends up to what level existence and matter itself is reducible to. AFAIK they still haven't found concrete proof of the Higg's Boson, and whenever scientists find an even smaller, more basic particle they surmise there is still something even smaller and even more basic. What is to say that what they have already found is "it", the smallest and most basic existence that has ever "existed"?

And even then, how can you conclude without a shadow of a doubt that this "thing" is the most basic of it all, itself without a "cause", as the prime mover that is the cause of everything else?

The question becomes whether or not science itself, even when finally perfected, will be able to ascertain and completely describe this thing that was never created, has no creator, but is the creator of everything else.
And yet there are people who seem to believe that everything can be explained via scientific inquiry. The idea that if an answer is not yet known, it's simply because we haven't found it yet.

We are living creatures, made up of physical matter. All the components that make us the individuals that we are, we can explain in the detail today, thanks to advancements in genetic/biological sciences. We can predict, with a great degree of certainty, what kinds of biological developments can lead to what kinds of illnesses, and take the necessary corrective action to remedy the problem.

But can we predict creativity? It's an activity that happens in our brains, a physical organ that can be reduced to neurons and synapses, and so on. If we have the genetic sequence of Beethoven, and created an individual on the exact same template, can we expect this individual to again compose the Ninth Symphony?

Are there not limits to what kinds of knowledge we can gain through scientific inquiry alone?
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