Reflections on God vs. Science - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-21-2006, 05:33 PM   #31
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
AEON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: California
Posts: 4,052
Local Time: 09:12 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
There's an interesting article in today's New York Times on a scientists' conference held earlier this month at the Salk Institute in CA, on the theme "Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival." Dawkins and many other well-known scientists (Ayala, Churchland, Ramachandran, Weinberg etc.) were there; Collins was invited, but couldn't make it unfortunately. You can read more about the featured speakers here and also watch videos of the proceedings here.
Obviously quite an impressive list of brains there.


Although - the title seems misleading. It didn't seem "religion" was getting much of a fair shake in terms of numbers...but hey...I'm picky that way.
__________________

__________________
AEON is offline  
Old 11-21-2006, 11:33 PM   #32
The Fly
 
Bono'sTyee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Washington
Posts: 115
Local Time: 08:12 AM
I'm a Seventh-day Adventist....
__________________

__________________
Bono'sTyee is offline  
Old 11-21-2006, 11:58 PM   #33
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
maycocksean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The Most Important State in the Union
Posts: 4,882
Local Time: 11:12 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Bono'sTyee
I'm a Seventh-day Adventist....
Yay! I'm not alone!
__________________
maycocksean is offline  
Old 11-21-2006, 11:58 PM   #34
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
trevster2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 4,330
Local Time: 12:42 PM
God has been the answer to every unknown since humans started asking questions about things.

A few thousand years ago, all the unknowns of the world were deemed the responsiblity of Ra, Zeus, Poseidon, and so on. But as scientists learned things, people realized " this god thing is a load of crap" and started letting the gods die. People who had epilepsy hundreds of years ago were considered to be possessed as was any mental illness. At the time, it was the devil and God was the only cure. But now we know better. This has been the pattern throughout our modern existence.

Finally, after a millenia of science we are down to handful of questions which only God can be responsible for. He/she/it or another deity used to be responsible for everything unknown but those bloody scientists slowly chipped away leaving God with not much left to do.

The origin of man and the universe are probably the only things left we can argue can be attributed to a deity.

Here is a link referring to Richard Dawkins' documentary. It's an interesting documentary especially with special guest star Ted Haggard the fallen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Root_of_All_Evil%3F
__________________
trevster2k is offline  
Old 11-22-2006, 12:07 AM   #35
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
maycocksean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The Most Important State in the Union
Posts: 4,882
Local Time: 11:12 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
God has been the answer to every unknown since humans started asking questions about things.
But I think it's important to point out that spirituality is not solely about "understanding the unknown" in the scientific sense of what causes the rain and epilepsy etc.

Spirituality has much to do with things which are not the province of science--"why are we here?" "What is the point of my life?" "Why do bad things happen to good people?" These questions are by nature, non-scientific and science cannot adequately answer these questions. This is where many people today find value in spirituality.

You may be right that religion as the explanation for things we don't understand in the natural world is being eclipsed by scientific findings (though to be frank it seems that as our knowledge grows, so does our realization that there is still so much more to learn. I don't think many scientists would suggest we're on the brink of knowing "everything", and while we know now much more than people did a millenium ago we probably also are aware of a lot more that we don't know). But religion is about far more than explaining the natural world.
__________________
maycocksean is offline  
Old 11-22-2006, 01:19 AM   #36
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
trevster2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 4,330
Local Time: 12:42 PM
My point about science finding answers is that many many many things attributed to a deity have been proven not to be a divine act or great mystery. The gods have lost their reason for being as mankind moves away from superstition. The reason why the majority of the population believes in a deity is that it spent every year on the planet up until the recent past not having a clue how anything worked whether it be an eclipse or a sneeze. These beliefs are slowly being whittled away though. I imagine one would be hard pressed to find an non-theist 1000 years ago.

I agree with scientists about "why are we here". We are here to breed and mate like all other species on the planet. It sounds harsh but it's a fact. Does this mean life is just an existence, of course not. Questions about life and spirituality can be addressed through philosophy and not religion.

That's how I see it.
__________________
trevster2k is offline  
Old 11-22-2006, 01:26 AM   #37
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 02:12 AM
Religion frames the question; the why is a metaphysical question beyond the domain of rational investigation, one that may not even have an answer or be real in any objective sense (as in there doesn't have to be a 'why' cause to be only a series of materialistic how's).
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 11-22-2006, 02:23 AM   #38
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: The American Resistance
Posts: 4,754
Local Time: 10:12 AM
Quote:
The intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how heaven goes.
---Galileo Galilei:
Our telescopes of today dwarf those of Galileo, yet the universe is no less infinite to our eyes than it was to his. Not proof of God in it's self, but I find Genesis much more plausible than the idea that 100's of billions of galaxies each containing 100's of billions of stars -- exploded out of nothing.
__________________
INDY500 is offline  
Old 11-22-2006, 02:39 AM   #39
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 02:12 AM
One would think that the opposite may be true; the scale of the visible universe is so great and so consistent in nature that it shows that stars with planetary systems are common and that life exists on Earth due to the same processes that operate all across the universe and not through any divine action.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 11-22-2006, 08:43 AM   #40
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
maycocksean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The Most Important State in the Union
Posts: 4,882
Local Time: 11:12 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
My point about science finding answers is that many many many things attributed to a deity have been proven not to be a divine act or great mystery.
Understood and agreed.

Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
The gods have lost their reason for being as mankind moves away from superstition. The reason why the majority of the population believes in a deity is that it spent every year on the planet up until the recent past not having a clue how anything worked whether it be an eclipse or a sneeze.
MY point was that explaining natural causes is only one facet of the reasons people turn to religious belief. What you've described above is NOT the only reason, or perhaps even the major reason people are spiritually inclined.

Let's take the question of what happens when you die: The ancient Egyptian's entire theological world was built around death and the afterlife. I'd say that today we're no closer than they were to understanding anything about what happens after death beyond the obvious materialist answer (nothing), and that materialist answer was surely obvious even to the ancient Egyptians. No great scientific breakthroughs were needed to see the most basic facts of death. You're gone, you have no consciousness, your body decomposes (in fact the ancient Egyptians knew that last one better than most as they worked so hard to combat it).

And yet, still today, only a minority (of which you would be one I would suppose) have the "guts" to look right into the great void of death, find nothing, and be okay with that. I'd suggest that the majority of human beings still want to believe that there is something more than this life. I don't see science coming up with anything that will assuage that for most people. Science deals in cold hard facts not exsistential comfort, and dealing with death is very much an emotional, one might even dare to say, spiritual issue.

Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
I imagine one would be hard pressed to find an non-theist 1000 years ago.
Now this is an interesting thought. I'm sure you're correct that there are many more non-theists now then there were 1000 years ago, since those that don't want to believe no longer "have to" today. But at the same time, I just have this feeling (which I know is not going to carry much weight. . .my "hunch") that there have always been many people who pretty much lived as if God or gods or goddesses didnt' exist. Perhaps they went through the religous motions--offer the sacrifices, do the rituals blah, blah, blah-- because it was culturally acceptable, but by and large did not give much thought one way or another to whether there was any supernatural reality.

The Bible suggests in both the Old and New Testament that there were people during that time that did not believe God existed.

And again, looking at the ancient Egyptians. The fact that most of the tombs of the pharoahs had been robbed soon after the burial of the kings, tells us that there were certainly people during that time who weren't taking the whole supernatural, life-after-death thing too seriously.

I'm a big believer in the idea that basic human nature and behavior hasn't changed too much over the past couple thousand years. Which would mean that there would always have been a minority of fervent believers and fervent unbelievers and a vast middle ground of people ranging from those who vaguely believe in some sort of something, give the gods their due just to be on the safe side to those who definitely believe but for whom religion does not consume their lives, and who are focused primarily on the concerns of this life

Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
I agree with scientists about "why are we here". We are here to breed and mate like all other species on the planet. It sounds harsh but it's a fact.
I can appreciate that that is enough for you. It just doesn't seem to be a satisfactory answer to the "why" question for most people.

Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
Does this mean life is just an existence, of course not. Questions about life and spirituality can be addressed through philosophy and not religion.
Indeed they can, but yet again many people still choose spirtuality/religion to tackle the questions of life.
__________________
maycocksean is offline  
Old 11-22-2006, 08:48 AM   #41
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
maycocksean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The Most Important State in the Union
Posts: 4,882
Local Time: 11:12 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
One would think that the opposite may be true; the scale of the visible universe is so great and so consistent in nature that it shows that stars with planetary systems are common and that life exists on Earth due to the same processes that operate all across the universe and not through any divine action.
For this post and INDY's before it, see my comments in my first post on "personal experience" being the swing factor in what seems most plausible (or implausible) to a person.
__________________
maycocksean is offline  
Old 11-22-2006, 10:50 AM   #42
Refugee
 
AussieU2fanman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 1,638
Local Time: 02:42 AM
God's role or any other supernatural omnipotent being has been mitigated extensively over the discourse of humanity and all that we thank God for nowadays, as far as I know, are curing cancer and creation (primarily, excluding all the frivolous matters people praise his name for). Considering a thousand or so years ago we praised God for virtually every part of life, we've come a long way. And it's only a matter of time before we find the remaining answers and the illusionary concept of God will not be employed anymore as the overwhelming power of reason when faced with irrefutable evidence and objectively observed facts reigns supreme over the irrationality of faith (irrationality IMO).

I predict a gigantic surge in athiesm or any other non-thiestic system in the next 100-200 years (in all parts of the world as globalisation takes hold where the east will slowly merge with the west). I tentatively deem this a good thing for morality and world peace.
__________________
AussieU2fanman is offline  
Old 11-22-2006, 11:23 AM   #43
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
trevster2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 4,330
Local Time: 12:42 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


But at the same time, I just have this feeling (which I know is not going to carry much weight. . .my "hunch") that there have always been many people who pretty much lived as if God or gods or goddesses didnt' exist. Perhaps they went through the religous motions--offer the sacrifices, do the rituals blah, blah, blah-- because it was culturally acceptable, but by and large did not give much thought one way or another to whether there was any supernatural reality.

The Bible suggests in both the Old and New Testament that there were people during that time that did not believe God existed.

And again, looking at the ancient Egyptians. The fact that most of the tombs of the pharoahs had been robbed soon after the burial of the kings, tells us that there were certainly people during that time who weren't taking the whole supernatural, life-after-death thing too seriously.


I think many people today live going along with the system too. I think there are more non-theists than the stats suggest. Let's face it, it's a pain in the ass to be a non-theist. People think you are cold and heartless, arrogant and so on. So many just say nothing. I think that people mentioned in the Bible not believing in God probably had a faith in another deity.

Also, I think that people who disrespected the Egyptian graves probably weren't Egyptian as they had many peoples of different cultures in their region who probably didn't believe in Egyptian gods but probably rival gods.

But you are correct in your points that people have different ways of rationalizing life and all it's mysteries. Of which, death, the origin of life and the universe continue to be the big ones which people can turn to religion as a source of reasoning.
__________________
trevster2k is offline  
Old 11-22-2006, 07:18 PM   #44
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
maycocksean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The Most Important State in the Union
Posts: 4,882
Local Time: 11:12 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by AussieU2fanman
God's role or any other supernatural omnipotent being has been mitigated extensively over the discourse of humanity and all that we thank God for nowadays, as far as I know, are curing cancer and creation (primarily, excluding all the frivolous matters people praise his name for).
With all due respect, you're speaking from your own perspective as an atheist and projecting what YOU think it must be that believers give thanks for. What you're describing really has no relation to the actual experience of a believer like me or many others. Remember this past summer when that one Christian hijacked the atheist thread and kept insisting that all atheists MUST be depressed and hopeless and completely without meaning in life and no matter how much the atheists on the forum insisted they DID NOT feel this way, he wouldn't give it up. This is kind of the same thing. You can't take your own perspective on what belief is, apply it to believers, and insist we view things in that manner.

To be frank, I don't know that I really "thank God for creation" all that often. I thank God for another day of life, because I believe life is a gift and every day is a privelage.

My aunt died of cancer, so I haven't given thanks for "curing cancer" either.

I. . .and other believers. . .give thanks for many things everyday but they are not generally along the lines, "Oh thank you for carrying the magical sun into the sky and holding it there all day." Those prayers might have been prayed millenia ago, and certainly wouldn't be prayed today but that in no way negates all or even most thanks and praise to God for the believer.


Quote:
Originally posted by AussieU2fanman
[BI predict a gigantic surge in athiesm or any other non-thiestic system in the next 100-200 years (in all parts of the world as globalisation takes hold where the east will slowly merge with the west). [/B]
I've actually wondered if this might happen too. Of course neither you or I will be around to find out (barring some miracle of modern science--pun intended.

Quote:
Originally posted by AussieU2fanman
[BI tentatively deem this a good thing for morality and world peace. [/B]
I don't see much indication that atheism per se is a pancea that will solve all the world's ills. (I don't necessarily see religion as that pancea either. . . )

People are--and always will be--human. It's not religion that makes them do crappy, selfish things.
__________________
maycocksean is offline  
Old 11-23-2006, 12:47 AM   #45
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Strong Badia
Posts: 3,428
Local Time: 04:12 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by AussieU2fanman

I predict a gigantic surge in athiesm or any other non-thiestic system in the next 100-200 years (in all parts of the world as globalisation takes hold where the east will slowly merge with the west). I tentatively deem this a good thing for morality and world peace.
Have you seen South Park recently? It would seem that they've been to this future, and hath found it wanting (brilliantly, I might add).
__________________

__________________
nathan1977 is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com