HAL, that's not really a good example of a theist's thread which would be hard to respond diplomatically to. There's nothing even to be diplomatic about. ILY feels that there's no contradiction between science and his religious beliefs. In fact he feels that science is not only compaible with it, but it backs it up. If I was to respond to him I would ask him to elaborate on the things that science says which back up his beliefs.
How would you respond, HAL?
I'm going to jump into the fire here, and attempt to be as diplomatic as possible. Please understand, when faced with this level of lack of knowledge and/or understanding of what is contained in the Bible (which ILOVEYOU has stated already in this forum that he accepts without question), as well as the lack of understanding on the role that the Bible has played throughout its bloody history, it is really difficult not to become "undiplomatic" in the face of such blatant ignorance and self deception.
ILY's primary claim here is that not only are science and religion not incompatible, he believes that science supports religion. OK. Tell me Kymer, do you not find such an assumption insulting to your intelligence? Because you should. I'll spell it out for you.
There are numerous statements in the Bible concerning many matters of science, from Astronomy and Biology to Mathematics and Meteorology. Science has shown those statements to be utterly false, to the point of being ludicrous. Insects have 6 legs, not 4. The Earth is not flat, nor the center of the solar system, galaxy, or universe. Bats are not birds. Disease does not come from spiritual uncleanliness or demons, and cannot be cured with animal blood, anointing with oil and incantation. The Earth is not 6-10 thousand years old. There were not plants before sunlight. The entirety of earth's living things were not created in a matter of a couple of days. The Bible doesn't explain fossil remains of creatures not described in the Bible. There's no passage that says "And the Lord did send unto Pharaoh and the people of Egypt a plague of Velociraptors" (now THAT would have been impressive! Jurassic Park: Ancient Egypt).
So, given that such "scientific" claims made by the Bible and it's advocates have been shown to be completely absurd, this lends support to the idea that science does NOT support religion. Only once it becomes completely obvious do the religious then do their revisionist magic and say "But of COURSE! God did it all along!". This in spite of the fact that they previously asserted for centuries and even milennia that it COULDN'T be that way, because it's not the way described in the Bible.
Given that the Bible is supposed to be the truth as revealed by the word of an Omnimax God, there is no room for this type of revision. I have a few objections to it.
1. Religious People
claim that one of the main faults of science is that it is always changing its mind to fit new evidence, and as such does not present a consistent world view over time. This same trait the Religious People want to claim as a virtue when applied to their faith. You can't have it both ways, especially since the whole point of science is to provide the best explanation for things given the maximum number of evidence. It is naturally self correcting so that it it continues to provide better explanations and provide more evidence. This is not the case with religion. Religion claims that the Bible
is THE FINAL WORD on EVERYTHING. It is the ONLY consistent worldview. Morality comes from God/the Bible, truth is found there, and any attempt to explain otherwise is blasphemy punishable by death. Note that this was the official position of Religious People for centuries (and still is for many people). There is no room for changing your view to fit the best evidence.
2. As I touched on at the end of 1, religion has traditionally (and violently) subverted any attempt to question its authority in any matter. There was just no possible way that a Church's interpretation of it's divinely revealed Holy Book could be wrong. Now that they have practically no choice to admit that they were in fact wrong, they instead say "Oh well, this is just all part of God's Mysterious Plantm
and He must have created life but used Evolution to shape it to what it is now, and oh of course the Earth is a slightly oblate sphere that orbits the sun, isn't God's creation beautiful and perfect? Can we be friends now?" I simply have to quote Christopher Hitchens at this point: "Religion now comes to us in this smiley faced, ingratiating way. Because it's had to give up so much ground and because we now know so much more. But you've no right to forget the way it behaved when it was strong, and when it really did think that it had God on its side!"
Science seeks better explanations through observation, experimentation, analysis, debate, and consensus, whereas Religion seeks to impose its God's will on everyone, and there is no appeal, no debate, no consensus, no real attempt at explanation other than "God did it, so there! And if you don't agree, then burn in hell!"
In conclusion, I can't see how two such diametrically opposed systems could ever be considered to be in concert with one another.
Now for the undiplomatic part. Anyone in any industrialized nation, who, having been present, conscious, and sober for at least half of their academic career, should be able to reach the above conclusion in approximately 5 minutes. Those who are unable to do so convict themselves of being incredibly ignorant and lacking in areas of critical thinking and rational assessment. In other words, they are fucking morons, and happy to be so. I, as well as at least a few others here, have very little tolerance for such stupidity. Anyone posting here obviously has internet access and therefore access to virtually unlimited information, knowledge, and enlightenment, and apparently willingly chooses to forgo such an experience and instead place their trust in faith. Not only that, but they feel that because of this they are to be accorded some special place of honor and protection, and that somehow believing something without evidence is a virtue. I feel that it is a laughable trait. It's like the idiots on "Finding Bigfoot". Even my 8 year old son realizes what a bunch of delusion ass hats the BFRO are. People like this expect to be taken very seriously when their proposition is absolutely absurd. The same is true of religious people, hence why such dubious claims as the religious tend to make are often met with sharp criticism. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.