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Unity of Science and Faith

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posted on Nov, 25 2015 @ 08:28 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax




You can have your God, but you must accept either that He is limited in power and knowledge, and hence at best foolish to have taken on the task of creating the world, or that he is careless, as Tennyson put it, of both the individual and the type, and doesn't mind what pain and suffering he puts His creation through. A creative power then, but not what I would call a 'higher' one.


I don't see God being limited in anything. If I did, it wouldn't be "God." The question of whether or not God cares is a good one - and one I think I may make a new thread for once I figure out how to express my ideas with words. I'll give you a horribly inadequate prototype of my thinking process on this subject - when you take a bath (or shower), do you care about the dead cells that make way for the new ones? After all, dead cells being replaced by new ones is necessary, isn't it?




Since the prospect of an evil, stupid God is much more frightening to me than the proposition that no God (in the conventional sense) exists, I pefer to embrace the latter


Well, we certainly agree. I, too, do not believe in an evil, stupid God.




It sounds very much like 'the end justifies the means' to me, and it makes me think of yellow stars and Belsen.




Oh, it is an "ends justifies the means" argument - but I don't see what that has to do with your Holocaust example. Which ends were justified by that? Unless you mean to ask what possible good could have come out of it? Well, depending on who you ask, Israel. I'll argue that had it not been for the Holocaust, the State of Israel would not exist today.




You appear to have attended a theological college or seminary. Let me guess: Episcopalian?


Hah, close! Actually, I've forgotten a lot of what I learned, but I have a B.A. in German language and literature with a minor in Theology (would be double major, but I didn't feel like doing the thesis paper - so it's a minor, even though I did enough coursework for a major). No, I'm not Episcopalian. I'm agnostic. Probably closer to theistic agnosticism, but still firmly on the "I have no real clue" side of the fence.




posted on Nov, 25 2015 @ 08:42 PM
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a reply to: iterationzero




It's less about it being an incredible argument and more about it being an unscientific one.


Applying science to understanding God is, I think, a mistake.





Maybe not in the same category as the works of Tolkien, but certainly in the same category as the works of Homer.



Not quite, but closer. If we're talking about the Bible or Qur'an - those are monotheistic works, whereas Homeric epics are polytheistic. It is true, though, that much of theology relies on classical Greek philosophy.




Just my opinion, but I'd say that science is more of the mechanistic "why" and religion is more of the philosophical "why".



Seems reasonable.




How are you differentiating theology and religion? Because religion frequently makes claims about the natural world e.g. creation myths.



Theology is the study of God - including eschatology, divine origin, etc. It is a philosophy - not a science. Religion is any set of traditions followed by people, whether or not they believe in a God. The best example of religion not being tied to a god that I can think of would be Buddhism. Yes, when you study theology, religion inevitably is included in some of the discussion, but the two are not the same thing.



posted on Nov, 25 2015 @ 09:33 PM
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originally posted by: scorpio84
Then your mind is not as open as you say.

I can have an open mind and still reject conceptions of God.



There are a couple of problems I see right away. The first - you want empirical proof for something infinite. The only way a finite brain can know anything about something infinite is through intuition.

My intuition tells me there are no gods. We are counting intuition as a form of evidence, correct?



What sort of proof would you need that you'd find acceptable?

The kind that stands up to scrutiny.



Furthermore, what would you think of a God that takes orders from people?

I think that would be a pretty sad excuse for a god lol.

"More wine, my Lord."




edit on 11-25-2015 by WakeUpBeer because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2015 @ 10:24 PM
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originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
Probably. It would also make the claim "God doesn't exist" a moot point and by extension make the whole debate of God vs no God pointless. This is actually where my own thoughts lie - I'll probably make a thread expounding on this later.


From an absolutely conclusive perspective, yes. Claiming "god doesn't exist, definitively" is a ridiculous position. However, we can reasonably claim that god doesn't exist, based on the fact that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest there is a god, and that everything we see around us can be observed to have a natural process in which it came to be.


originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
I don't think you even have to put any history in it for people to fall for it. That said, I question the notion that you could "create an equal effect." I seriously doubt anyone can produce a text that has even a fraction of the effect the Bible or Qur'an have had. Or the Hindu texts for that matter.


You're not seeing the point I'm attempting to make. The "effect" isn't based on population, it's based on imagination. No matter how many people believe in a concept, that concept can still be incorrect, false, or totally non existent, despite the population that believes it. It doesn't make the non-existent concept any more real simply because more people believe it.


originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
I could be using the wrong term - more like reality free from the illusions caused by our senses.


Nope, looks like your definition was exactly what I was expecting you to mean by it.


originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
Yes - but I wasn't arguing about the definition of science, I was arguing that the reason for science is to have a better understanding about everything and by extension of ourselves. Why do we want to know, for example, how large the universe is - except to try to understand our place in it?


I know you're not arguing the definition of Science, you're just misunderstanding it. It's why I posted the definition.

In this very quote you again question that Science is ultimately trying to find why we exist in this universe (and all sorts of other philosophical questions).

Why does science study things that have nothing to do with a reason for Humanity?

Curiosity.

That's it. We study things that have nothing to do with us because not all of us are arrogant beings who need to explain why we're here and what our purpose is as if we're some kind of special thing.

Curiosity is why science exists. That's it.

Why does an apple fall? Let's form a theory around our observations.

What are things made up of? Lets form a theory around our observations.

It's curiosity about the universe around us. It has nothing to do with our place in the universe.




originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
I realize you are using the term "religion" in the broad and widely understood sense. However, when I see the word, I just think of a set of traditions associated with a particular group of people, often having to do with a deity/deities. So, when you say knowledge of reality leads to doubt about religion, two things go through my mind immediately: 1). you are limiting yourself with the phrase "knowledge about reality" whereas I'd argue we have no knowledge about reality. I would agree we have some sort of understanding/insight into certain things that happen within a material reality, but we still don't know what reality is. The second thing that comes to mind has to do with "doubt about religion." What in reality would make people doubt their traditions? Now, I'm guessing you mean religion in the sense of "belief in a deity," and on that point I'd have to agree with you, at least in part. It all would depend on what a person believed prior to learning something new from science. Of course, some people *cough, cough* will reject sound evidence so as not to be forced to change previously held beliefs.


Yes, I can agree to this, for the most part.


originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
Another thing I'll point out quickly is that burden of proof is on the theist if s/he says "I know God exists." Beliefs require no proof, claims of knowledge do.


The issue is not that belief requires no proof, it’s that theists claim that what they believe is absolutely true and there is no other way around it, and, as you’ve stated previously, are shown facts that disprove what they claim were the act of a god, yet continue to reject the evidence shown (e.g.: Reality).

Again, there is no issue when people claim “i believe in god” it’s when they attribute specific traits, or specific actions, or specific phenomena in the universe around us, which ultimately will be destroyed because: God of the gaps.

Those traits and actions and so forth, are what’s disprovable (in most cases).



originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
First of all, we have a problem when reading a translated version of the Bible. There is debate that "in the beginning" is an incorrect translation. Unfortunately, I don't read Hebrew and the best I could do would be to read the Latin version of the Bible (I could struggle through the Septuagint) - but those, too, have translation errors, though the Septuagint beings "En arche" without the definite article. I see no problem with the word "created" - it would depend on how you look at it. If we argue that God was the conscious force for everything coming into existence - even gravity - then what's the problem? Of course, we could argue that there never has been a state of "non-existence" and that gravity, magnetism, etc. have always existed in one form or another with "God" being a placeholder of sorts of phenomena we don't understand. Either way, the problem occurs when people start talking about evolution being false. I also wouldn't use the term "hand" as that anthropomorphizes God.


So you’re claiming that god has never created anything (in the sense of physically manifesting matter or anything else), and that (if we look at christianity) there was no great flood, or that he had a hand in it, and that he never physically intervened anywhere at anytime in the production of anything from nothing-to-existence?

It sounds as if you’re claiming that god simply exists in everything, and does nothing and has never done anything. So what’s the point of god?



posted on Nov, 25 2015 @ 10:24 PM
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originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
Of course the OP requires the notion of God - but it is meant hypothetically. That is, I would like the topic to be argued with the hypothetical assumption that God exists, i.e. a conscious creative force.


Firstly, you just stated “it isn’t meant to be hypothetical, and then stated that you would like the topic to be argued with the hypothetical assumption that god exists.

Again, creative how? You just stated he has had no intervention with nature around us. which is it?

As I’ve stated before, we could replace your OP with Unicorns and rainbows instead of God and Heaven and so forth, and it would be just as valid. Which is why the OP is foundational flawed.



posted on Nov, 25 2015 @ 11:51 PM
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a reply to: scorpio84


Well, depending on who you ask, Israel.

A black humorist, I see.

Longer answer later.



posted on Nov, 25 2015 @ 11:52 PM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer




I can have an open mind and still reject conceptions of God.



If I say I agree with this statement, then it means I agree further that only scientific proof is acceptable as evidence of God - which is not something I believe. However, if I say I disagree, then that would imply that I think atheists are closed-minded, which I also do not believe. I would say your mind is ajar, but not fully open. That's just my interpretation - feel free to call it open if you like.




My intuition tells me there are no gods. We are counting intuition as a form of evidence, correct?


It depends on what we mean by "evidence." If you mean it in the sense of scientific evidence, then no. If you mean in the same way as "we hold these truths to be self-evident" - that is, not provable, but obvious - then yes.




The kind that stands up to scrutiny.


A god we can reproduce in a lab?




I think that would be a pretty sad excuse for a god lol.

"More wine, my Lord."


Ha, I agree it would be a sad excuse for a god. Thus we come, I think, to a major sticking point. Atheists demand proof that, were they to have it, they'd reject. On one hand, if God can be studied, observed, and reproduced, then God is limited. On another hand, if God acquiesces to the demand He prove His existence, then he is catering to demands and would be rejected as ridiculous.

This is the premise of the OP - that science and theology should work together rather than waste time questioning one another. They are seeking answers to different things. Do some theologians try to answer questions that science has already answered - sure. And they're wrong...well, there was that guy that came up with the big bang theory.



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 12:20 AM
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originally posted by: scorpio84
If I say I agree with this statement, then it means I agree further that only scientific proof is acceptable as evidence of God - which is not something I believe. However, if I say I disagree, then that would imply that I think atheists are closed-minded, which I also do not believe. I would say your mind is ajar, but not fully open. That's just my interpretation - feel free to call it open if you like.

I'm sure there are things you don't consider plausible or even possible for any number of reasons, such as them being ridiculous. For example, you reject Scientology (it sounded like anyway). Why? Because it's ridiculous? Well that's exactly how I feel about religion and your personal version of it. I see Olympic class mental gymnastics.




It depends on what we mean by "evidence." If you mean it in the sense of scientific evidence, then no. If you mean in the same way as "we hold these truths to be self-evident" - that is, not provable, but obvious - then yes.

So one man's intuition that there are gods can be used as a form of evidence to support God, while at the same time another man's intuition that there are no gods can be used as evidence to support the lack of God? So really you aren't saying anything at all here. You aren't making sense.




A god we can reproduce in a lab?

No.




Atheists demand proof that, were they to have it, they'd reject.

Not remotely true.



On one hand, if God can be studied, observed, and reproduced, then God is limited. On another hand, if God acquiesces to the demand He prove His existence, then he is catering to demands and would be rejected as ridiculous.

Him proving himself would not be caving to demands. And he is already dismissed as ridiculous by many, myself included.



This is the premise of the OP - that science and theology should work together rather than waste time questioning one another. They are seeking answers to different things. Do some theologians try to answer questions that science has already answered - sure. And they're wrong...well, there was that guy that came up with the big bang theory.

Except theology already thinks it has the answers.



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 12:26 AM
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a reply to: Ghost147




However, we can reasonably claim that god doesn't exist, based on the fact that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest there is a god, and that everything we see around us can be observed to have a natural process in which it came to be.


Yet, there is no evidence to suggest that God doesn't exist. The idea of God and natural processes need not be mutually exclusive. Though, I'd argue that the studies of them (theology and science, respectively) should, for the most part, be held separate.




No matter how many people believe in a concept, that concept can still be incorrect, false, or totally non existent, despite the population that believes it.


Quite true. We've seen this time and again. Still, something isn't false until proven false. Being able to explain the natural world through science is great - but it doesn't diminish claims that God exists. I'm sure you aren't confusing creationism and theism.




It's curiosity about the universe around us. It has nothing to do with our place in the universe.


I like this reasoning, but I'm not giving up on my point entirely. I'll agree it's about curiosity - but why are we so curious? Are you arguing that this curiosity has nothing to do with how the answers we seek relate to us as individuals or humanity as a whole?




Again, there is no issue when people claim “i believe in god” it’s when they attribute specific traits, or specific actions, or specific phenomena in the universe around us, which ultimately will be destroyed because: God of the gaps.


I agree.




So you’re claiming that god has never created anything (in the sense of physically manifesting matter or anything else), and that (if we look at christianity) there was no great flood, or that he had a hand in it, and that he never physically intervened anywhere at anytime in the production of anything from nothing-to-existence?


No, I'm claiming (or at least will do so now) that God didn't merely "create" in the sense of fashioning some stuff, but rather that he is part of that creation. Rather, creation is partial reflections of the whole (somewhat similar to Plato's Forms). As for a flood - I think it was the Black Sea that flooded, which to the ancient Jews perhaps was the world. I'm trying to stay away from saying that God became creation - but that's pretty much where I'm going on this.




It sounds as if you’re claiming that god simply exists in everything, and does nothing and has never done anything. So what’s the point of god?


That is exactly what I'm saying. That being said, God is and does everything. When you close your hand, do you close your hand or does your hand close? As for the point of God - well, I sure would not argue we should go to a church/mosque/etc. and worship. I would argue, however, that the big picture is about how everything is interconnected and that to "serve God" simply means to bear this (unity) in mind and live accordingly.




Firstly, you just stated “it isn’t meant to be hypothetical


I'll quote myself:



Of course the OP requires the notion of God - but it is meant hypothetically.





Again, creative how? You just stated he has had no intervention with nature around us. which is it?


I wouldn't describe God as having intervention - that would imply God is a). separate from creation and b). involved in some things and not in others. As for what I mean about "creative" - answered above.



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 12:38 AM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer




Well that's exactly how I feel about religion and your personal version of it. I see Olympic class mental gymnastics.


I do reject scientology - as I do Mormonism because they were based on fully demonstrable lies. On the one hand L. Ron Hubbard said he was going to start his own religion - he was a science fiction author who wanted to show how easily people are duped. As for Mormonism - the founder of that religion had already spent time in prison for fraud. However, as for my "personal version" of religion - I'm agnostic, so I have no religion. Furthermore, while I don't reject God (and will even argue a theistic position) - I do not agree with religion of any kind. I see God (real or not) as being a unifying concept - religion is too divisive.





So one man's intuition that there are gods can be used as a form of evidence to support God, while at the same time another man's intuition that there are no gods can be used as evidence to support the lack of God? So really you aren't saying anything at all here. You aren't making sense.



Of course I'm not making any sense. That happens when trying to answer an unanswerable question.

As for your reply about what sort of proof you'd require - I can't imagine an instance in which any amount of proof would satisfy you. Would you not just say "this is part of the natural world" and not "God?" What would an example be of proof that you'd accept? You said the kind that is up to scrutiny. Such as?




Except theology already thinks it has the answers.



That's as true as saying science thinks it can find all the answers.



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 12:40 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

White comedian, actually
Seriously, though - it is what it is. I look forward to your longer reply.



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 01:46 AM
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originally posted by: scorpio84
I do reject scientology - as I do Mormonism because they were based on fully demonstrable lies. On the one hand L. Ron Hubbard said he was going to start his own religion - he was a science fiction author who wanted to show how easily people are duped. As for Mormonism - the founder of that religion had already spent time in prison for fraud.

I have found reasons to reject other religions I have studied. When I consider how the narratives formed, the texts were written, etc., the evolution of the religion, I find they are from the minds of men. Not accurately reflecting reality. Consider the amount of errors in the Bible. Historical , geographical, and scientific. Is this not supposed to be some divinely inspired text? What about the authorship of the books in the Bible? When was this or that passage written, added, or rearranged? Little agendas for this time and that time quickly reveal themselves. Don't forget to take into consideration the various stories from the Bible that did not originate with the Hebrews. I use the Bible as an example but show me a religious text that does not have the same, or similar issues. I find no reason to have an open mind to the validity of these belief systems.

What about some of the other religions. Like Hinduism? Or the various beliefs of Aboriginal American tribes? Or island tribes? How much credit do you give those? Or do you reject them? If so, why? There are so many belief systems out there! Some with things in common, some vastly different from each other. So what are we left with?

Everything suggests they are all wrong.

As a side note: Have you ever heard of cargo cults?

That said, I am open to "something more" shall we say. Something that being spiritual connects you to. For the record, when I say "open to" I don't mean to imply I believe it, or lean towards it. I only mean to imply that I don't know that there isn't.



However, as for my "personal version" of religion - I'm agnostic, so I have no religion. Furthermore, while I don't reject God (and will even argue a theistic position) - I do not agree with religion of any kind. I see God (real or not) as being a unifying concept - religion is too divisive.

Interesting.



Of course I'm not making any sense. That happens when trying to answer an unanswerable question.

I was just trying to make the point that "feelings" don't necessarily give any credence to anything. Hence the example of feeling there is no god vs feeling there is a god.



As for your reply about what sort of proof you'd require - I can't imagine an instance in which any amount of proof would satisfy you. Would you not just say "this is part of the natural world" and not "God?" What would an example be of proof that you'd accept? You said the kind that is up to scrutiny. Such as?

I would say "it" (the proof) is part of the natural world and not a god. Why attribute something within the realm of reality unnecessarily to something divine. And what god am I supposed to attribute it to? If God is real, why has there never been any clear indication and consensus on it? I don't mean scientific proof either. I mean consistency among all those that have claimed to experience the divine ever, throughout the course of human religious/spiritual practices.

We've suggested perhaps they are all connecting to "something" but interpreting it differently because of things like culture. But how much consideration are you willing to give that? What is the common denominator in your opinion? After it's all said and done, what kind of image of God do you form taking all beliefs on the matter into consideration?



That's as true as saying science thinks it can find all the answers.

Can't go wrong with the scientific method.


edit on 11-26-2015 by WakeUpBeer because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 01:53 AM
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originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
Yet, there is no evidence to suggest that God doesn't exist.


I've already explained to you that saying "It is impossible for a god to exist" is an irrational statement. However, we can reasonably say that god does not exist because we actually can, and have, observed natural occurrences for everything that we've observed.

Yet again, when something is unfalsifiable it becomes absolutely pointless because the details of that unfalsifiable claim can be infinitely varied, yet all just as likely.


originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
The idea of God and natural processes need not be mutually exclusive. Though, I'd argue that the studies of them (theology and science, respectively) should, for the most part, be held separate.


That makes absolutely no sense. If God has some sort of pull in natural processes, then theology therefore also studies natural processes. And if Science exclusively deals with natural processes, and finds evidence that counters theological explanations on how this and that in nature functions/came to be, then science and theology will inevitably clash.

The issue here is that theists cannot agree what god is and does, even within their own religion. If the god is unknowable, then so are its actions and its whereabouts. If god created this and that, then god is knowable. Which is it? because on one hand we cannot disprove something that is said to be this ghostly, unknowable thing, but we can disprove specific claims like "there was a world wide flood".


originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
Quite true. We've seen this time and again. Still, something isn't false until proven false. Being able to explain the natural world through science is great - but it doesn't diminish claims that God exists. I'm sure you aren't confusing creationism and theism.


I've already shown you that it doesn't matter if something cannot be proven false. The issue isn't that it is false, the issue is that it's pointless to bring up something that is unfalsifiable because any unfalsifiable claim is just as likely. It's simply a pointless addition/foundation to any argument because it gives no context to anything.


originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
I like this reasoning, but I'm not giving up on my point entirely. I'll agree it's about curiosity - but why are we so curious?


Neoteny is the reason why humans are Curious. This short BBC article explains it quite well. Link.


originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
Are you arguing that this curiosity has nothing to do with how the answers we seek relate to us as individuals or humanity as a whole?


Absolutely. I'm saying that the answers we seek have nothing to do in relation to us as individuals or humanity as a whole.

Humanity and individual purpose (or whatever else) do not need to be the backbone (hidden or not) to everything we try to learn. Sure, in some cases they can indeed relate. But, it isn't some sort of adhesive that connects every aspect and question in some way back to human and individual philosophy.

Believe it or not, people can just honestly wonder about other things, without implying that it relate to humans or themselves in one way or another, just due to pure curiosity.


originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
No, I'm claiming (or at least will do so now) that God didn't merely "create" in the sense of fashioning some stuff, but rather that he is part of that creation. Rather, creation is partial reflections of the whole (somewhat similar to Plato's Forms). As for a flood - I think it was the Black Sea that flooded, which to the ancient Jews perhaps was the world. I'm trying to stay away from saying that God became creation - but that's pretty much where I'm going on this.


So in your exclusive perspective, god is just there in everything, doesn't consciously do anything in particular, and is essentially an invisible force that surrounds and is inside all matter? I'm just trying to see if I'm following your definition correctly.

Because it seems that you agree with me on a lot of my points, if those points are directed at a god that is given traits and actions.



originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
That is exactly what I'm saying. That being said, God is and does everything.


I'm sure you've noticed by now that both you and I are responding to what we read at the very second we finish a paragraph (so some previous points are answered by these following paragraphs i'm just now reading). Just wanted to point that out.


originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
When you close your hand, do you close your hand or does your hand close?


It is I who closes my own hand. I make a conscious effort to close my hand, and the electrical signals produced in my brain react to that thought and give it action. I'm not quite sure how you're trying to relate this to the topic?


originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
As for the point of God - well, I sure would not argue we should go to a church/mosque/etc. and worship. I would argue, however, that the big picture is about how everything is interconnected and that to "serve God" simply means to bear this (unity) in mind and live accordingly.


So to serve god is to simply live regardless of the knowledge that god does or does not exist? Again, isn't that simply a pointless, unfounded claim that really doesn't have any context to life or anything else at all?



originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: Ghost147
I'll quote myself:


I see. My mistake, I misread the line.



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 01:59 AM
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originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: WakeUpBeer


Except theology already thinks it has the answers.


That's as true as saying science thinks it can find all the answers.


Can you elaborate? I was under the impression that many theological ideologies do in fact claim to have all the answers?

Science doesn't claim to answer anything, science merely claims to attempt to explain naturally occurring phenomena as accurately as it can (which they also claim would never be 100% because absolute knowledge does not exist)



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 02:04 AM
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What would an example be of proof that you'd accept? You said the kind that is up to scrutiny. Such as?

Honestly, I don't know.



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 02:05 AM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer




I find they are from the minds of men.


Of course - even the concept of God is, strictly speaking, from the minds of men.




Consider the amount of errors in the Bible. Historical , geographical, and scientific. Is this not to be some divinely inspired text?


People weren't as knowledgeable back then - forgive a few errors. As for divine inspiration - to me it is plausible for a book full of errors to have divine inspiration if there is a moral code that is found in there and applicable for all people throughout history.




What about the authorship of the books in the Bible?


Up for debate. Also you mentioned the sequencing of the Bible - to which I'd add the question of why some books got left out of the final compilation..




As a side note: Have you ever heard of cargo cults?



No, but my Google page is perpetually open.




If God is real, why has there never been any clear indication and consensus on it? I don't mean scientific proof either. I mean consistency among all those that have claimed to experience the divine ever, throughout the course of human religious/spiritual practices.


This looks to me like you would accept as proof a notion of God that was accepted by all people - for example a description written by multiple cultures that had no contact with each other. Is that fair or am I off? Still, people can look at the same thing and have different interpretations - so I doubt we'd ever see a unifying description.




What is the common denominator in your opinion? After it's all said and done, what kind of image of God do you form taking all beliefs on the matter into consideration?


In my opinion, the common denominator is God as causation. When I consider all the beliefs about God, the only thing that makes sense to me is to think of existence as conscious and that God=existence and we are part of it.



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 06:56 AM
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a reply to: scorpio84


Applying science to understanding God is, I think, a mistake.

And yet some theists seem to love making this mistake over and over again e.g. Answers In Genesis, Kent Hovind, etc. They can't move past a literal interpretation of their text, so they try to shoehorn the science to get to the answer they want.


Not quite, but closer. If we're talking about the Bible or Qur'an - those are monotheistic works, whereas Homeric epics are polytheistic. It is true, though, that much of theology relies on classical Greek philosophy.

We're just haggling over the number of gods at this point. I'd loosely classify the Bible and Koran as epic allegorical works, based to some degree on real history and geography. I'd loosely classify the Iliad in the same way.


Theology is the study of God - including eschatology, divine origin, etc. It is a philosophy - not a science. Religion is any set of traditions followed by people, whether or not they believe in a God. The best example of religion not being tied to a god that I can think of would be Buddhism. Yes, when you study theology, religion inevitably is included in some of the discussion, but the two are not the same thing.

I agree, just wanted to understand how you were using the words. The only thing theology should be making claims about are the religions being studied. I think the issue is that some theists attempt to make claims regarding the natural world based on their religion.



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 09:10 AM
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a reply to: iterationzero




I think the issue is that some theists attempt to make claims regarding the natural world based on their religion.



It's an issue but not the issue. For as many theists who make fanciful claims about nature based on an (incorrect) literal approach to their holy book there are just as many atheists claiming god doesn't exist due to lack of evidence and being unfalsifiable.



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 09:18 AM
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a reply to: Ghost147




Can you elaborate?


It would appear to me that atheists use science to explain everything and reject any notion that something supernatural/metaphysical could be true - that everything (including what happens after death) will one day be explainable by science.




I was under the impression that many theological ideologies do in fact claim to have all the answers?



I don't think most theologies say "because God." Religion has answers - theology just studies things.



posted on Nov, 26 2015 @ 09:29 AM
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originally posted by: scorpio84

It would appear to me that atheists use science to explain everything and reject any notion that something supernatural/metaphysical could be true - that everything (including what happens after death) will one day be explainable by science.


I don't know about other atheists, but as there's no evidence or reason to accept that concepts such as the supernatural or metaphysical actually exist and everything produced via the scientific method is based on evidence, it does seem to be the most reasonable position.

And what happens after death isn't necessarily a great mystery to everyone that requires a scientific explanation, many people just accept it as the end of the line, the hitting of a switch, and basically the same thing that happens when you blow out a candle or stop any process.




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