Author Topic: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith  (Read 704 times)

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Offline Strawman

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Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« on: March 12, 2013, 11:42:09 AM »
Apologies if this has been discussed before; I couldn't find anything similar.

If a theist rejects solid empirical evidence in favour of their flavour of dogma they are rejecting reality and being proud by valuing their interpretation of scripture above observable evidence. The reason this shows they lack faith is because science provides an explanation of the universe that does not appear to require god, by rejecting science the theist admits that in a scientific universe they have no faith that god exists. The fact that they have to lie and create an alternate reality, in which science is flawed, proves that they lack faith in god. A true theist should be honest and accepting of science yet still able to believe in god. The need to skew reality in order to accommodate a god you can believe in demonstrates that you don't believe god exists in reality.

That was a bit garbled but you see the point I'm trying to make?
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2013, 12:11:11 PM »
I think they get around this by saying that the science is false, either via delusional researchers or just plain being wrong. That way there is room for their religion to be right. Ther is no need, in their mind, to accept any inconvenient scientific theories.

People who tweet that science is false using their iPad at 35,000 feet while flying across the Atlantic in less than eight hours are, you know, frickin' blind.

The concept of "proof" isn't really in their vocabulary. And the word "theory" is too foreign to pronounce.

Ignorance can go a long ways in such circumstances.
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2013, 12:35:26 PM »
Yup -- As I've said on a couple of occasions, a real god has nothing to fear from science.

What this all indicates is that believers are hung up in an all-or-nothing mindset, defending not their god but the holy book on which they base their faith in that god.

There's lots of room for a god(s)+science worldview if you toss the scriptures aside or view them as poetic rather than literal.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2013, 12:36:03 PM »
I think it may be a question of authority - is the bible (i.e. god) the ultimate in authority, in which case science can't all be right, or is the work we do with our senses and maths the proper way to find out truths. Of course, science can never provide a final conclusion to anything as there is always more to learn whilst the bible provides everything neatly packaged and complete.

That said, I rather think the bible is wrongly interpreted by some people as I don't think the idea was ever was to provide the age of the world - by counting generations - or the end times - which 'only the father the day and the hour.' To the Roman Church and quite a lot of others, there is not problem accepting that evolution is the way of understanding how life came to be come in so many forms on earth based on the idea that the Creation myths are just that - not factually true but still holding meaning, Those who deny evolution have to go though all sorts on contortions of mind to made the facts agree with the Bible!

Finally, don't forget the most of Christendom is quite happy with science and all its developments seeing it as further understanding of their god's works It is only the fundies who have any problem at all.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2013, 12:47:11 PM »
Why make it complicated?  Just say that the truth has nothing to fear from reality.  Whether it's gods, or a non-religious belief such as flat earthism or birtherism, if it's true, there will be evidence to show that it is.

It's only false beliefs that require you to accept something without evidence that proves it or (in many cases) to ignore or discredit evidence that disproves it.

Offline sun_king

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Re: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2013, 12:53:13 PM »
Science encourages something that scares the bejesus out of religion - the act of questioning. Most religions cannot afford to have their texts and beliefs questioned because the answers will not be acceptable to a genuinely inquisitive mind. Religion needs blind followers, science needs the opposite. Rejection of science is not a lack of faith, but an implicit admission that there are glaring holes in the supposedly inerrant texts. Rejection of science is because of the fear that each new answer science finds will weaken the tall claims they had been riding on so far.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 01:00:46 PM »
It's not quite true. Many Christian denominations are happy to support science. Even the Vatican has an official astronomer!
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Tonus

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Re: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 01:02:08 PM »
Religious belief, in my experience, begins with the conclusion and works backwards[1].  When you start from "God exists, and the Bible is His literal word," you are subconsciously driven to make any and all evidence either fit the conclusion or --if it is contrary to the belief-- justify its veracity.  A good (if extremely lengthy and repetitive) example is the pinned 'resurrection of Christ' topic in this forum.

Many believers (most, in my experience; I certainly did) believe that god is perfectly compatible with science.  They do this by simply pretending that god the person is exempt from this, because he is outside of the bounds of the natural world.  That blatant and bizarre contradiction, and the casual ease with which the believer accepts it, is perhaps the best example of religious attitudes and thought processes.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2013, 04:04:12 PM »
Religious faith is the opposite of scientific investigation. Faith says, don't confuse me with the facts, I already have all the answers, I can't hear you, lalalalalala, going to go pray now. Science says, what is this? How does this work? How can that be made to work better? What ideas do you have about this?

The most mind-numbing part for me, aside from the hypocrisy of denying science while using it every single day, is that religion already had its chance to prove itself for thousands of years, all over the world. It's as if the first 10,000 years or so of human civilization was an empirical test of religious truth.

And the test produced nothing. Religion,prayer, etc, have never shown any positive results anywhere on the planet. Okay, you can stretch it and say that global religion helped to produce some beautiful buildings, art, literature and music. And some religions encourage healthy living and meditation. But you can't even say that those things can exist only where there is religion, and certainly not due to any particular religion or god.

An atheist or Hindu Mozart would still have been a musical genius; even repressive societies like communist China, Cuba and Soviet Russia have produced incredible musicians, without religious assistance or influence.

If Michaelangelo had not painted the Sistine Chapel for the pope, he would probably have painted some equally pretty pictures on some other building. Religious leaders like popes have helped produce lots of nice stuff in the past because they have controlled a lot of their community's resources.

But as far as helping us to understand the world and how it works, you have to go way beyond religion. Science, during only the past 200 years or so, with virtually no help from religion, has actually improved living conditions for people, making it possible to feed, clothe, house, educate and entertain (however imperfectly) the 7 billion people on the planet.

Why even bother to improve things? Especially if diseases, disasters etc. are just assumed to be god's will. If religion, prayer, etc, could have cured smallpox and syphilis, it would not have taken until the middle of the 20th century (and the efforts of thousands of people using science) to do it.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2013, 01:14:54 PM »
Yes, I like the idea of the last 10,000 years being an experiment actually. In that time, apart from cures to things being obtained by prayer, I would have expected that a single creator would have made it possible for everyone to have believed in that one god - and for the belief to be quite standardised. After all. we can have lots of ideas about something we can't see, touch or talk to, but when we can do those things we actually know the answers and cannot need more that one religion and one set of beliefs.

In fact, the opposite is true. Whilst it is true that we have a few few large-scale religions - Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism - it is equally fair to say that each of these has been successfully splitting in to more and more groups, dividing over doctrine. We might have Christianity as a religion but how many divisions and sects are there now? I don't have enough toes and fingers to count! The other religions are just as bad too. I just don't know enough to know how many divisions that they have split into.

Yet, there is this odd fact, though. Followers of the great Mo, those who claim to follow his teaching and his life, have noticed that far from carrying a sword and riding a horse rocket launchers and motor cycles are somehow following the great leader yet I don't think either are mentioned in the main texts of Islam. I bet the books say 'put people to the sword' but I guess none of them can do that any more!

So, yes, science in the last 200 years has actually come up trumps for everyone improving lives, empowering people (titanium wheelchairs are a marvel!) and saving lives. That's more than 10,000 years of religion and yet religion still demands a place in societies though, to be fair, the very people who benefit from scientific advances are the ones who should be rejecting it.

Finally, a challenge! Anyone here like to tell us a single thing religion has done that secular learning could not have managed and managed better?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Seppuku

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Re: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2013, 05:59:39 PM »
I get exactly what you mean old bean. ;)

Essentially, rather than having faith that their deity exists in this universe, they're sticking their fingers screaming "lalalala" to the evidence presented to them. Essentially they're mistaking ignorance for faith.

Unfortunately, some sects of some religions require people to be ignorant, one must never question the word of God and suddenly ignorance becomes a virtue. I think a phrase I read earlier today sums it up aptly, "in the age of information, ignorance is a choice." There's not reason for a person to not be able to accept the evidence presented to them except wilful ignorance.

Some of the Christians I know may even accept the same argument. I remember one of them said to me, if you don't question your faith then how can you justify it? I thought that was a faith point. Perhaps that's why they're not offended by my sceptical outlook. For me, it's Christians like that who strike me as honest, they'll also admit to the problems in their religion too.

What I don't understand are the theists who like to claim there's evidence, who try to claim substance to their beliefs, whilst, yes, we do ask it, but usually it's through pseudoscience, which is some pretty deceptive crap. To me, that also says their faith must be weak because they feel the need to justify it. This is why I have more respect for those who turn around and say, "I don't know" or answer with, "it's because I have faith", because isn't the whole point of faith to believe without knowing? I feel this is the more honest approach. If a person accepts the way the world is around them and still has faith, well, I respect them even more. Yes, I find it horribly flawed, but at the end of the day it is what it should boil down to. Not deceiving yourself or others.
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Offline Mooby

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Re: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2013, 12:19:55 AM »
Finally, a challenge! Anyone here like to tell us a single thing religion has done that secular learning could not have managed and managed better?
That's a loaded question. How are we to say that if Gregor Mendel wasn't a monk that he would have still done his experiments, or that someone else would have done them better?  How are we to say that the Big Bang model would have still been proposed outside a priest's attempt to find a Creation-based alternative for the Steady State model?  We have no basis on which to make an assertion one way or another.

History is characterized by what happened, not what could have happened.

As for the OP, the fundamentalist movement is basically a reaction to the Scientific Revolution that some believers felt was driving people away from the fundamentals of Christian faith. It is still a minority within the Christian church (albeit a loud minority), and did not exist for the first 90% of Christian history. So it's really not a group that's representative of believers in general, including its views on modern science.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Rejection of Science = Lack of Faith
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2013, 04:09:48 PM »
^^^^My response is to paraphrase Penn Jillette: if every single reference to religion somehow disappeared from the planet, none of them would ever be recreated in exactly the same way. Religions are too culturally and historically and geographically specific. And obviously, religions are invented by particular people in particular times and places, for certain reasons.

Rastafarianism could never have arisen in 10th century India--it is a reaction to early 20th century discrimination against black people in Jamaica. Mormonism would never appear spontaneously in China or Africa-- it is rooted in a 19th century US setting. Ancient Norse, Greek or German pagan gods would not appear in a 21st century Mexico already saturated with Christianity.

But if every reference to science somehow disappeared, it would all be rediscovered eventually. Given time, we would have the same science and techonology all over again. Because the facts underlying physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, medicine, geology, botany etc really do exist. Science does not depend on any one prophet or any single historical accident.

Sooner or later, someone else will notice that birds' beaks are matched to their food sources; or realize that earthquake and volcanoes happen in the same places; or that people who survive certain illnesses never get sick from them again; or will drop an apple and wonder why it falls.

And science starts up all over again.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.