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Stosh

Reconciliation Issue

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TJ, Science is infinitely deep and always changing. What is true today will not be true tomorrow. But science has little guidance on how people should interact. One of the most important holidays in my religion deals with atonement and forgiveness. Spread throughout my bible is the concept of human dignity and how it can trump all of the harsh rules you complain about. Science does not give any hint on how to balance our selfish and selfless nature (high adventure and service?), my religion does. My religion encourages prayer and that creates calmness and other healthy benefits (scientifically proven, by the way). My religion also recognizes that character is a skill and it requires constant practice (Scout Slogan?). Science doesn't talk much about these things.

 

That's not to say that any religion doesn't have its problems. Where it falls down, and it appears to me that this is where you're unhappy with it, is when the religious take it upon themselves to, let's say, encourage others to follow them. This can be extreme, such as at gun point, or passive aggressive, as in complaining that you don't pray correctly, or even among the Boy Scouts that require you to have some faith. I stay away from the guns and ignore the rest. What's left is a vast collection of wonderful ideas and stories that I can learn from. I don't read them as history or science. Just one example: The number 7 in the Bible means something is good. So, the universe was not created in 7 days, but it was a good thing. One thing about my religion that I am absolutely, positively clear about, is that I will never have all the answers.

 

To be honest, TJ, you've insulted the vast majority of the population with what you wrote. I doubt that was your intent. As you said, you quietly suck it up and maybe you're tired of doing that. I suck it up every time someone asks me to remove my hat to pray, I don't, and they glare at me like I'm some sort of hideous atheist (just joking). Someone on this forum once said that religion and spiritual insight is a journey and it's different for a lot of people. Wise words. I wish you the best in your journey. At the same time, I hope you can respect mine.

TJ, you're just looking for a fight. I'm looking for consensus. That's incompatible. So let's end it.

 

I've now started a fight with both extremes in this forum. Is there a knot for that? Maybe it should be black and blue.

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This is my take as a conservative Christian. The Bible is not a science textbook. It's about the relationship between God and man.

 

I compare it to the way I answer my preschooler when he asks "Where did I come from?" I tell him, your Dad and I love each other very much, and we wanted a son to love, too. Is it a full scientific explanation of how my son was conceived and born? No. Is it true? Yes. It is appropriate to his age and level of understanding.

 

The first books of the Bible were written pre-Bronze age. It makes no sense to me to expect writing for that audience to fully explain 21st century science and technology. The Bible wasn't written to give a scientific explanation of our world. It was given to explain how we got here, how to live in peace with each other, and to let us know that we are God's beloved children.

 

I do not expect to ever fully understand God's creation from a scientific standpoint. I enjoy learning about it, but ultimately, I don't think I'm capable of ever wrapping my human mind around all the things God can do. I would make more sense to me to expect an ant to understand how and why I do things as a human. The gulf of understanding and capability between me and God is far greater than the gulf between the ant and me.

 

Isaac Newton was a faithful Christian, and had many good quotes about the relationship between science and God, including this:

 

"Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done."

 

Newton often said that the purpose of science is to begin to understand God's creation. I agree with him.

 

I often wonder that modern science has room to believe in 11 dimensions, membrane universes, and life on other planets, but no room to believe in God. I find the more I understand about science, the more support I find for God's existence.

 

Faith is something that has to be experienced with an open mind. I see evidence all around for God's existence and his love for me: in my husband, my children, my friends, and my life. It does require a willingness to believe.

 

I compare it to my relationship with my husband. I believe my husband loves me. I see all kinds of evidence that he loves me. I choose to accept that belief. Can I ever definitively, scientifically prove that he loves me? No.

 

If I chose to nitpick, I could come up with all kinds of "evidence" that my husband is a jerk who never loved me at all. He makes mistakes just like I do. If I chose to try to disprove God's existence, I could nitpick it to death and come up with plausible evidence for that theory.

 

There will never be a definitive way to prove or disprove God's existence. That's why it's called "faith".

 

Thanks for asking,

 

Georgia Mom

I can't resist. TJ, so please explain exactly what gravity is...exactly. I'm asking about gravity because that's what you mentioned. Please explain what it IS, not what it does.

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MattR, first there's no way you can possibly know for sure what drives T.J. to write what he writes or to react the way he seems to react. What you can know for sure is how you react to him. If he seems to you to be just as absolutely certain about his 'beliefs' as a fundamentalist Christian is of the literal truth of the Bible, then that hardly makes him anything more than 'human' doesn't it? You too? All of us?

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I love the implication that Einstein was too chicken too declare himself an outright atheist. Maybe the scientists (leaders in thier fields, responsible for extending the lives of untold thousands) I meet for prayer on a regular basis are also cowardly athiests and merely taking time out of their otherwise busy schedules to keep up a pretense.

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:)

 

There are only 4 options in life:

 

1) I believe and there is a God. - Well in that case I have it made in the shade.

2) I believe and there is no God - In that case I've wasted a lot of time and energy in this life, except maybe I was a bit more "moral/ethical" than I would not normally have been.

3) I don't believe and there is no God - It's a wash, life was good/bad or indifferent, but that's all there is to it.

4) I don't believe and there is a God - I'm screwed.

 

Everyone takes their chances. How's it working out for you?

 

Take all the scientific knowledge we possess and lump it all together and still the human mind has no idea of how this masterfully intricate existence has coincidentally came into being. There is far more we don't know than what we do, scientifically. Our high-tech medical knowledge/practices will be barbaric 200 years from now just as it was 200 years ago.

Science is not the journey, it is only a wayside along the route.

 

If I have a balloon in my hand, one can never scientifically tell if it will rise up, float away or fall to the ground until AFTER they have analyzed, probed, and tested it. Well we have not yet been able to analyze, probe and test everything everywhere. Until then one has to place their faith in what I say the balloon will do.

 

 

Sure there are a lot of people who will try and dilute the argument. Sure the world believes in many different gods, but they always come back to the idea that there is one of some kind. The atheist insists and believes there is no god whatsoever regardless of flavor. The Pascal's Wager takes into account the 4 extremes and doesn't take into account the variety of different twists that people try and bring into the discussion. Either there is a god or there isn't and either one believes or they don't. That comes to only four possible options. Toss in all the garbage to assuage one's own personal justifications all they want doesn't alter the 4 options.

 

I might believe in a blonde haired, blue eyed god that has a long white robe. Big deal, the argument stands that I believe in a god.

 

The only part that really is a mystery to me is the fact that atheists actually do BELIEVE there is no god, and that is in fact a faith based decision. So according to standard definitions, the only true "un-believer" is the agnostic who doesn't know what to believe one way or the other.

 

So lets draw the for Pascal boxes and say that there are those who:

1) Believe there is a God and God exists

2) Believe there is no God and God exists

3) Believe there is God and God doesn't exist

4) Believe there is no God and God doesn't doesn't exist

Toss the agnostic somewhere on the point where the two lines intersect on the Pascal chart.

 

The point being everyone believes except the agnostic.

 

One cannot say they know God exists or doesn't exist. Even science can't show evidence, but like a good scientific theorist, I can see a ton of evidence that our existence here in the universe is far more convincing than a lot of other unprovable scientific theories.

 

Maybe in a billion years from now mankind will have all the answers scientifically, but we haven't even scratched the surface of scientifically figuring out but a small fleck of what is out there.

 

So the next time someone tell you that stars exist, just remember, if they burn out, implode, or do whatever they do, we here on earth may not know if for billions of years. So in fact there are stars in the sky that for whatever reality one wishes to accept, that really don't exist.

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I love the implication that Einstein was too chicken too declare himself an outright atheist. Maybe the scientists (leaders in thier fields, responsible for extending the lives of untold thousands) I meet for prayer on a regular basis are also cowardly athiests and merely taking time out of their otherwise busy schedules to keep up a pretense.
Well, he specifically said he was NOT an atheist, but he said he WAS an agnostic. He also referred to "God" but made it clear he did not believe in the God described in the Bible, nor did he believe in prayer. So for whatever it's worth, I don't think he would have been at your meetings.

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:)

 

There are only 4 options in life:

 

1) I believe and there is a God. - Well in that case I have it made in the shade.

2) I believe and there is no God - In that case I've wasted a lot of time and energy in this life, except maybe I was a bit more "moral/ethical" than I would not normally have been.

3) I don't believe and there is no God - It's a wash, life was good/bad or indifferent, but that's all there is to it.

4) I don't believe and there is a God - I'm screwed.

 

Everyone takes their chances. How's it working out for you?

 

Take all the scientific knowledge we possess and lump it all together and still the human mind has no idea of how this masterfully intricate existence has coincidentally came into being. There is far more we don't know than what we do, scientifically. Our high-tech medical knowledge/practices will be barbaric 200 years from now just as it was 200 years ago.

Science is not the journey, it is only a wayside along the route.

 

If I have a balloon in my hand, one can never scientifically tell if it will rise up, float away or fall to the ground until AFTER they have analyzed, probed, and tested it. Well we have not yet been able to analyze, probe and test everything everywhere. Until then one has to place their faith in what I say the balloon will do.

 

 

jblake, the problem is that the four boxes are meaningless without a universal agreement as to the nature of God (and specifically as a judgmental God who will punish nonbelievers after they die), and such an agreement does not exist.

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:)

 

There are only 4 options in life:

 

1) I believe and there is a God. - Well in that case I have it made in the shade.

2) I believe and there is no God - In that case I've wasted a lot of time and energy in this life, except maybe I was a bit more "moral/ethical" than I would not normally have been.

3) I don't believe and there is no God - It's a wash, life was good/bad or indifferent, but that's all there is to it.

4) I don't believe and there is a God - I'm screwed.

 

Everyone takes their chances. How's it working out for you?

 

Take all the scientific knowledge we possess and lump it all together and still the human mind has no idea of how this masterfully intricate existence has coincidentally came into being. There is far more we don't know than what we do, scientifically. Our high-tech medical knowledge/practices will be barbaric 200 years from now just as it was 200 years ago.

Science is not the journey, it is only a wayside along the route.

 

If I have a balloon in my hand, one can never scientifically tell if it will rise up, float away or fall to the ground until AFTER they have analyzed, probed, and tested it. Well we have not yet been able to analyze, probe and test everything everywhere. Until then one has to place their faith in what I say the balloon will do.

 

 

Your choices are very Christo-centric. There are plenty of gods that don't care what you believe, they care about what you do. There are also gods that don't even care what you do. You're just taking an arbitrary characteristic, belief, and pretending it's pertinent for all gods when it isn't.

 

The only part that really is a mystery to me is the fact that atheists actually do BELIEVE there is no god, and that is in fact a faith based decision.

 

That's because you don't really know what atheists think.

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There are only 4 options in life:

 

1) I believe and there is a God. - Well in that case I have it made in the shade.

2) I believe and there is no God - In that case I've wasted a lot of time and energy in this life, except maybe I was a bit more "moral/ethical" than I would not normally have been.

3) I don't believe and there is no God - It's a wash, life was good/bad or indifferent, but that's all there is to it.

4) I don't believe and there is a God - I'm screwed.

 

Everyone takes their chances. How's it working out for you?

 

Take all the scientific knowledge we possess and lump it all together and still the human mind has no idea of how this masterfully intricate existence has coincidentally came into being. There is far more we don't know than what we do, scientifically. Our high-tech medical knowledge/practices will be barbaric 200 years from now just as it was 200 years ago.

Science is not the journey, it is only a wayside along the route.

 

If I have a balloon in my hand, one can never scientifically tell if it will rise up, float away or fall to the ground until AFTER they have analyzed, probed, and tested it. Well we have not yet been able to analyze, probe and test everything everywhere. Until then one has to place their faith in what I say the balloon will do.

 

 

One can hardly hope to dilute an argument that is already rather weak. If you had bothered to review the objections via Google, I would hope that you had read the Princeton philosophy course page at http://www.princeton.edu/~grosen/puc/phi203/Pascal.html. A problem that Hajek's objection brings up is that we don't have much choice over what we believe and don't believe, but rather at best we can only try to believe. As a result, the "four choices" really turn out to be 16.

 

I've been involved with "creation science" since 1981. One of the big problems for "creation science" is that its "scientific" claims are not only blatantly false, but also outrageously so. Since creationists also use "creation science" to proselytize, I could never understand what value there could possibly be in using such unconvincing claims and arguments. A couple decades ago in a Yahoo groups forum, a creationist answered my question. In typical creationist fashion, he presented with full confidence a false claim that had been refuted decades before, in this case the amount of sodium in the ocean. After repeating the same old refutation yet again, I asked him what he thought he could accomplish with such an unconvincing argument as that. His reply was that the only reason that I found it unconvincing was because I was not yet convinced. BTW, the other problem with his claim, that it gave an age for the earth of millions of years and not the 10,000 maximum that his religious beliefs required, he also answered by saying that all he cared about was that it contradicted what science says.

 

So similarly, the only reason why you find unconvincing Pascal's Wager convincing is because you are already convinced of it yourself.

 

The point being everyone believes except the agnostic.

You really don't have any clue about what agnostics and atheists think and believe, do you?

 

One cannot say they know God exists or doesn't exist.

That is correct! And that is also the basis for agnosticism! The agnostic believes that we cannot know. That is indeed the only honest position to hold. Theists holding the honest agnostic position then believe what they cannot know, which comes under the heading of faith. Atheists holding the honest agnostic position do not believe. So in reality, since a number of theists are agnostic, your statement about what agnostics think and believe is decidedly wrong.

 

Similarly, the position of most atheists is that they do not believe. Most do not go so far as to declare the non-existence of the gods, while some do. So your statement about what atheists think and believe is also decidedly wrong.

 

You should try to learn something before making such statements. Most people have learned that ignorance doesn't work.

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I love the implication that Einstein was too chicken too declare himself an outright atheist. Maybe the scientists (leaders in thier fields, responsible for extending the lives of untold thousands) I meet for prayer on a regular basis are also cowardly athiests and merely taking time out of their otherwise busy schedules to keep up a pretense.
There have been a lot of different meetings over the years, and quite a few agnostics have darkened the doors of our church, Jews as well. But you're right, I don't think we had too much in common with Albert. Besides, his visit to the 'burgh were rare and brief (http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Pittsburgh-Magazine/August-2012/Einsteins-Relatively-Short-Visit-to-Pittsburgh/)

 

The point is that Einstien was quite outspoken, and if he thought the Bible was keeping our society in shackles, he would have made some attempt at "liberating" us.

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:)

 

There are only 4 options in life:

 

1) I believe and there is a God. - Well in that case I have it made in the shade.

2) I believe and there is no God - In that case I've wasted a lot of time and energy in this life, except maybe I was a bit more "moral/ethical" than I would not normally have been.

3) I don't believe and there is no God - It's a wash, life was good/bad or indifferent, but that's all there is to it.

4) I don't believe and there is a God - I'm screwed.

 

Everyone takes their chances. How's it working out for you?

 

Take all the scientific knowledge we possess and lump it all together and still the human mind has no idea of how this masterfully intricate existence has coincidentally came into being. There is far more we don't know than what we do, scientifically. Our high-tech medical knowledge/practices will be barbaric 200 years from now just as it was 200 years ago.

Science is not the journey, it is only a wayside along the route.

 

If I have a balloon in my hand, one can never scientifically tell if it will rise up, float away or fall to the ground until AFTER they have analyzed, probed, and tested it. Well we have not yet been able to analyze, probe and test everything everywhere. Until then one has to place their faith in what I say the balloon will do.

 

 

Redefining in mid-discussion really doesn't help much, neither does adding additional trappings to it to create apples/oranges discussions. Nice try Merlyn, never even implied Christo-centricism, but if you want to toss in a few oranges in with the apples, that's okay with me. Kinda hard to sort them out when one comes to the table with a preconceived agenda.

 

Of course one runs into the problem of redefinition when the proverbial wrench gets tossed into a faltering argument. Faith is not a knowledge issue. Thus the rub. If we knew there would be no room for faith. Science is based on knowledge and religion on belief/faith. Putting them together and stirring the pot is nothing more than an exercise in futility.

 

So if an agnostic BELIEVES we cannot know, that in itself is a belief system.

 

And if the atheist BELIEVES there is no god, then that's a belief system as well.

 

And so the "faithful" BELIEVES there is a god, why is it a stretch to think that they are the only ones that BELIEVE?

 

Deal with all apples or all oranges, but don't mix and match to suite one's agenda.

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Science is the collection of evidence, observations, experiments, and testing your ideas to see if they prove out under stress.

 

Religion is just a story someone wrote.

 

There is no comparison. One is a fiction book. The other is the real world.

 

I am happy that I do not believe anything that is in the Bible. All of the stories in the bible are just recycled stories with different names and slight twists from earlier cultures. Very little of the Bible to me is good advice or comforting. I find most of it brutal, horrific, and scary.

 

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, but two thousand years prior was so pissed off that he nuked two cities and the surrounding areas because his creation had run amok. This speaks to an angry, flawed God with a temper who apparently cannot control man or create beings he is satisfied with. I can't remember if this is before or after this apparently non-innovative and highly flawed super being flooded the world to rid it of sin but somehow stupidly could not see that the people he saved would breed out randomly and result in there being sin again.

 

The entire bible makes no sense. I read it to my kids to see if they were interested. We got through two books, and they were sitting there mouths open. "Poeple believe this nonsense?" I told them, "People do not read this nonsense. People say they read it, but really they only listen to surgically plucked phrases and quotes while never actually reading it."

 

I've read the entire book cover to cover - unlike any other Christian I am aware of. Reading it as if reading a novel left me with my eyes bugging out at the goofy things I was reading and horrible advice I received.

 

It's not extremism on both sides. Only religion is extreme. The rejection of it is simply to not believe it. It isn't anything. It's just a state of not purchasing the idea of a God. You are not an extremist if you don't watch TV. You are simply choosing to not watch it. Perhaps extremism on the other side would be calling for burning of churches and the banning of religion. Atheists don't really do that. We mostly ignore it and quietly tolerate religious behaviors around us without outing ourselves for fear of being judged and preached at by confused believers.

 

The science of God is simple. People saw scary things, attributed thunder, lightning, comets, etc to Gods. Then a smart guy in the tribe saw opportunity and became the "priest" as a way of taking power without being chosen. If the chief was uncooperative, the medicine man said "The Gods have spoken. He is evil!" It's still done today by people claiming that God wants this and that when really it is just them who wants it.

 

I was raised with religion. I am happier and my children are happier in a home with no ghosts, no alien abductions, no bigfoot, no lochness monster, and no God.

 

This chart shows that the US is alone except for the third world in its religious fervor:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gallup_Religiosity_Index_2009.png

 

Here's a study showing that as a nation's average IQ goes up, the tendency toward atheism in the population also increases:

 

http://davesource.com/Fringe/Fringe/Religion/Average-intelligence-predicts-atheism-rates-across-137-nations-Lynn-et-al.pdf

 

The chart from that study:

 

http://hypnosis.home.netcom.com/iq_vs_religiosity.htm

 

There are well-studied links between growing up conservative and growing up with lower intelligence and fewer resources:

 

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/13/1131220/-Religious-and-Conservative-people-have-lower-IQs-than-their-counterparts

 

I believe religion is something that humans still feel they need, but eventually will just outgrow. No earth-bound religion will survive the arrival of a superior alien species or man's spreading out through space to other worlds. Once all of the events in the bible are easily explained with technology we possess ourselves, it's no longer going to interest anyone. It's all just a matter of time.

Heh, heh, from your later comment, "Simple physics: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If you help someone, that's what you get back. Call it karma or whatever." I'm fairly certain that if this is your idea of how physics structures social interactions, you have a profoundly flawed understanding of human behavior as well as flawed understanding of physics, especially if you think physics can be compared to "karma or whatever", lol. But I guess you DID refer to it as 'simple' physics.

 

 

 

So show me the 'facts' about how the majority of scientific ideas have been correct. Be sure to enumerate all the failed hypotheses that were rejected during experiments and led to whatever current understanding we have. If what you claim is true, then there should be fewer rejected hypotheses than 'accepted' ones. So show me the 'facts'. And remember, the failures usually don't make it to publication. Everyone of my colleagues whom I've known over the years have had the opposite experience to what you claim. This has been particularly true for my field.

 

Edit: OK, so it's evident that you're not going to meet my challenge. So I'll add something else. Here is an actual scientific paper which also supports my claim: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

I remember when it came out back in 2005 and it made a strong impression at that time. At first I was incredulous but when I dug into the idea, I began to appreciate how many bad ideas we've had over the centuries. I suspect things haven't reversed during the ensuing 8 years or so. The author made a sufficiently credible study of the idea that most of us, on reflection, have to shrug and admit that he has a point. More to the point, however, is an acerbic statement made in 2010 by another observer who responded to the Ioannidis paper: "Summary: Yes, that is the conclusion from a remarkably large body of research. Bad news for those who consider science a religion (at least when it agrees with their beliefs)."

Worth considering the possibility, I think.

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Science is the collection of evidence, observations, experiments, and testing your ideas to see if they prove out under stress.

 

Religion is just a story someone wrote.

 

There is no comparison. One is a fiction book. The other is the real world.

 

I am happy that I do not believe anything that is in the Bible. All of the stories in the bible are just recycled stories with different names and slight twists from earlier cultures. Very little of the Bible to me is good advice or comforting. I find most of it brutal, horrific, and scary.

 

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, but two thousand years prior was so pissed off that he nuked two cities and the surrounding areas because his creation had run amok. This speaks to an angry, flawed God with a temper who apparently cannot control man or create beings he is satisfied with. I can't remember if this is before or after this apparently non-innovative and highly flawed super being flooded the world to rid it of sin but somehow stupidly could not see that the people he saved would breed out randomly and result in there being sin again.

 

The entire bible makes no sense. I read it to my kids to see if they were interested. We got through two books, and they were sitting there mouths open. "Poeple believe this nonsense?" I told them, "People do not read this nonsense. People say they read it, but really they only listen to surgically plucked phrases and quotes while never actually reading it."

 

I've read the entire book cover to cover - unlike any other Christian I am aware of. Reading it as if reading a novel left me with my eyes bugging out at the goofy things I was reading and horrible advice I received.

 

It's not extremism on both sides. Only religion is extreme. The rejection of it is simply to not believe it. It isn't anything. It's just a state of not purchasing the idea of a God. You are not an extremist if you don't watch TV. You are simply choosing to not watch it. Perhaps extremism on the other side would be calling for burning of churches and the banning of religion. Atheists don't really do that. We mostly ignore it and quietly tolerate religious behaviors around us without outing ourselves for fear of being judged and preached at by confused believers.

 

The science of God is simple. People saw scary things, attributed thunder, lightning, comets, etc to Gods. Then a smart guy in the tribe saw opportunity and became the "priest" as a way of taking power without being chosen. If the chief was uncooperative, the medicine man said "The Gods have spoken. He is evil!" It's still done today by people claiming that God wants this and that when really it is just them who wants it.

 

I was raised with religion. I am happier and my children are happier in a home with no ghosts, no alien abductions, no bigfoot, no lochness monster, and no God.

 

This chart shows that the US is alone except for the third world in its religious fervor:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gallup_Religiosity_Index_2009.png

 

Here's a study showing that as a nation's average IQ goes up, the tendency toward atheism in the population also increases:

 

http://davesource.com/Fringe/Fringe/Religion/Average-intelligence-predicts-atheism-rates-across-137-nations-Lynn-et-al.pdf

 

The chart from that study:

 

http://hypnosis.home.netcom.com/iq_vs_religiosity.htm

 

There are well-studied links between growing up conservative and growing up with lower intelligence and fewer resources:

 

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/13/1131220/-Religious-and-Conservative-people-have-lower-IQs-than-their-counterparts

 

I believe religion is something that humans still feel they need, but eventually will just outgrow. No earth-bound religion will survive the arrival of a superior alien species or man's spreading out through space to other worlds. Once all of the events in the bible are easily explained with technology we possess ourselves, it's no longer going to interest anyone. It's all just a matter of time.

Thomas Jefferson, lets start with the fact that everything I say will be dismissed because your atheism is far more intellectually superior to anything my pea sized mind can comprehend.

 

Some Christians, myself being one of them, believe that Science and Religion are compatible. Science tells me how I live, how the world around me works, and how to improve my life and the lives of others. But Science cannot inform me as to why I live. What is my purpose? What should I do with my life? Religion does that.

 

Look at all the scientific inventions that were created by Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or other very religious scientists. Maybe even many of the devices and inventions you listed.

 

Where does your Secular Humanistic beliefs have any facts in them? Simply put, your argument is full of straw. You are creating a false dichotomy of Religion vs Science, so that you can use the appeal of Scientific fact against religious beliefs you despise.

 

In the end you use the "All religious people are hypocrites, and therefore I'm right" argument. To give you a bit of theological background, The Old Testament is the law of the Jewish religion. Christians study it because it is of historical relevance to us, and some of our beliefs come from it. However Jesus, in the New Testament, is the fufillment of Jewish laws. Some of those Jewish laws he does away with, while others he reaffirms. Your blanket suggestion that all religious people are hypocrites is another straw fallacy. Where you create a position for all people, so you can hammer a concept, irregardless of the actual facts as to what some religious people believe.

 

For example ""Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)" Old Testament.

 

Jesus frequently argued with the Pharisees in the New Testament. Jesus did not smite them all down for being arrogant enough to reject Jesus's judgment.

 

And since when is a computer a graven image? Do I worship a computer? What kind of argument is that? Where'd you get that one? That's not the highly educated logic I'd expect from someone looking to bash down on the "evils" of religion.

 

This does not follow with the summary of your rant. "I submit to you that scientists are comfortable with their ideas being reviewed, corrected, found wrong, and going back to the drawing board." Which while being idealy true, is not always true. Scientists who proposed Global warming early on were ridiculed.

 

In closing I love Science. I love God. I don't view them as being idelogically separate. I'm sure you will disagree. That's your choice, but at least it's not scientific fact.

 

Respectfully yours.

 

Sentinel

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:)

 

There are only 4 options in life:

 

1) I believe and there is a God. - Well in that case I have it made in the shade.

2) I believe and there is no God - In that case I've wasted a lot of time and energy in this life, except maybe I was a bit more "moral/ethical" than I would not normally have been.

3) I don't believe and there is no God - It's a wash, life was good/bad or indifferent, but that's all there is to it.

4) I don't believe and there is a God - I'm screwed.

 

Everyone takes their chances. How's it working out for you?

 

Take all the scientific knowledge we possess and lump it all together and still the human mind has no idea of how this masterfully intricate existence has coincidentally came into being. There is far more we don't know than what we do, scientifically. Our high-tech medical knowledge/practices will be barbaric 200 years from now just as it was 200 years ago.

Science is not the journey, it is only a wayside along the route.

 

If I have a balloon in my hand, one can never scientifically tell if it will rise up, float away or fall to the ground until AFTER they have analyzed, probed, and tested it. Well we have not yet been able to analyze, probe and test everything everywhere. Until then one has to place their faith in what I say the balloon will do.

 

 

Nice try Merlyn, never even implied Christo-centricism

 

You imply it by the central importance of "belief", which is important in Christianity but not so much in some other religions. You emphasize it because it's important in your own religion, but that has no bearing on other religions.

 

So if an agnostic BELIEVES we cannot know, that in itself is a belief system.

 

I don't agree that a single belief or lack of a particular belief constitutes a "belief system"; if I don't believe in unicorns, I wouldn't call that a "belief system". Since everyone believes and doesn't believe in a huge number of assertions, does everyone have millions of belief systems? The term becomes meaningless.

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MattR, first there's no way you can possibly know for sure what drives T.J. to write what he writes or to react the way he seems to react. What you can know for sure is how you react to him. If he seems to you to be just as absolutely certain about his 'beliefs' as a fundamentalist Christian is of the literal truth of the Bible, then that hardly makes him anything more than 'human' doesn't it? You too? All of us?
Pack, that's the wrong question for me. What I'd like to know is how can the fundamentalist Christian and the atheist find a spot for each other within the BSA? If we can answer that then the BSA would drop off the culture war radar and be seen for what it is.

 

My approach is failing. I'm open for suggestions. In the meantime, I'm going to buy some fishing gear.

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