Atheism requires as much faith as religion?

Atheism requires as much faith as religion? bearvspuma : The only problem with this rationalization is that ita s assuming all athiests are so because theya re intelligent in the ways of science and reasoning and all people that believe in a form of god are unintelligent. Full Story
blacklagoon

Brookline, MA

#172448 Jul 18, 2013
Roman Apologist wrote:

<quoted text>Now we're getting somewhere. Why do you believe that only science can reveal truth? The scientific method can't solve or reveal every truth. For science to make a factual announcement about any event or process, there needs to be a foundational doctrine involved.

Polymath 257 has answered you better than I could have. he makes excellent points. Scientists are human and subject to all the human frailties and flaws as another human. Does that mean we should suspend all scientific endeavors? You sited TWO examples out of hundreds of thousands of scientist. As was pointed out to you, Millers experiments were NOT dishonest, we was working with the information available at that time, he was NOT trying to deceive anyone.

Yes, science is the ONLY way to discover whether something is either real or not or whether something is true. He asked you and so will I, do you know of any other way rather than science to discover if somethings true or real?

Science is a self-correcting system, all discoveries are subject to enormous scrutiny. All discoveries are subject to not only peer review but falsification. Other scientists try their very best to prove the discovery has major flaws or is simple wrong. The discovery is tested over and over again for repeatability, measured, weighted, examined from every angle. It's a very long process, and only after this exacting process does the discovery become a working hypothesis. Now can you say the same about your claim that before God withdrew his presents Carnivores did NOT prey on other animals? Can you apply the same exacting criteria on your claim that at some point in Earths history, your have no idea when that was, a deity of unknown properties, using a process that is total unknown and defies all scientific logic, created a fully formed male and female?
blacklagoon

Brookline, MA

#172449 Jul 18, 2013
Roman Apologist wrote:

<quoted text>I don't see how you can say I'm making sweeping statements when you claim only science can reveal truth, in light of these two unfortunate revelations as to the philosophical beliefs of scientists.

Yes, you are making extreme sweeping claims, claims that fly in the face of established scientific facts. You have a belief and I respect that. I can see how passionate you are about your beliefs, but one of them is flat out wrong, the other is totally unsupported and is simply a belief. There was NO period in Earths history were Carnivores did NOT prey on other animals, fossil evidence bears that out. Carnivores evolved to prey on other animals, forward facing eyes, large teeth for ripping meat, strong jaws to hold and kill prey, large claws form grasping their prey. These are facts, carnivores ate meat, ALWAYS, and you have absolutely NO information that refuted this. If in fact you have any verifiable information that demonstrates there was a time in Earths history were carnivores did NOT hunt and eat other animals, I'll accept and and apologize to you. Until that time, you are simple wrong about this claim.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#172450 Jul 18, 2013
Roman Apologist wrote:
Can science prove science?
Yes, it can. We have the hypothesis that the scientific method works to discover new truths. The evidence is found in the last four centuries of use of the scientific method and the great number of truths that have been produced. The tests are found in any new area of study, where the scientific method is applied and we see whether new truths about that area can be found. Such tests have been done repeatedly in many different areas of study and the scientific method has passed the tests each time.

Now, the hypothesis is that the scientific method is the only reliable method of finding new truths about the real world (as opposed to abstract truths, such as in mathematics). This hypothesis is tested by the large number of alternative systems that have been attempted over time: philosophy, religion (of many different types), intuition, meditation, etc. None of these has been shown to be a *reliable* way to find new truths over time.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#172451 Jul 18, 2013
Roman Apologist wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not sure that carbon dating is as accurate as it's made out to be. This isn't to say that it's chaotic or useless, but I think that it's like any other tool. It has it's limits. Like other tools, it can be misused. It can be misread. It can be either knowingly or mistakenly misconstrued. I'm not ready to dismiss it as useless, but neither am I ready to say that it answers every scientific question regarding age with complete unquestionable accuracy.
Your "either/or" challenge fails in that regard. I can hold both beliefs and still be honest in my analysis.
And scientists don't claim that carbon dating answers every question regarding age with unquestionable accuracy. In fact, they explicitly say otherwise. For example, carbon dating cannot be used for ages older than about 50-100,000 years. And there is very good reason why not. The half-life of C-14 is about 5700 years. During that time, the amount of C-14 decreases by half. This happens every 5700 years. So, after 50,000 years or so, the amount left is so small that it is difficult to measure accurately in most of our detectors. Some very specialized detectors can push that boundary back a bit, but eventually the amount left is too small to measure.

Also, if the carbon source used for an organism isn't well mixed with the atmosphere, the basic assumptions for dating are violated. So, for example, deep sea molluscs that get much of their carbon from very old carbonaceous rocks will give falsely old ages. Again, this is well known by scientists and the reason is well documented.

And, again, it is known that the production rate of C-14 in the atmosphere changes over time. That affects some of the assumptions in the method. The 'fix' is to calibrate the C-14 dates with other methods, such as dendrochronology or ice cores. This has the added advantage of allowing the *measurement* of how C-14 production changes over time. For ages older than tree-rings allow, the C-14 dates are reported as 'raw' dates, which are known (at least by the scientists) to possibly be off.

And this is part of the point. Scientists, for the most part, are interested in finding out the truth. They find new methods and *test* them in a wide variety of situations to determine their validity. They look at situations where their assumptions may fail and determine the 'limits' of their methods. That is part of the overall method.

But, there are many other methods of finding the age of specimens. Other radioisotopes have different half-lives and are not subject to some of the issues involved in C-14. So, for example Rb-Sr dating is even self-correcting in many circumstances (or at least allows the determination that the sample was contaminated). Uranium tracking dating allows dates over a very large range, from decades to billions of years (with an accuracy that depends on the age). In addition to absolute dating, there is also relative dating, which doesn't determine an actual age, just which samples are older and which are newer.

Finally,'unquestionable accuracy' is not required for many determinations. For example, being off by less than 10% is quite enough to determine that a rock is 2 billion years old instead of 2 million. And it is a rare dating method that is that bad when properly used.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#172452 Jul 18, 2013
Roman Apologist wrote:
<quoted text>
I support theistic evolution. I know the hypothesis you're advocating, but it doesn't seem logical to me. There must be a point of origin. The entire existence of life didn't just spring into existence from nothing. And it didn't evolve from nothing.
Who ever said it did? The basic materials for life are produced in stars and supernovas. There is a great deal of chemistry in nebula, including the existence of amino acids, sugars, etc. Those chemicals were certainly part of the cloud that condensed to form the sun and the planets.

Life is a chemical process. The basic chemicals are common in the universe and have been since at least the second generation of stars. Chemical processes on the early earth would only add to the variety of bio-relevant materials.

But life did not start when the universe did. Until the first (and probably second) generation of stars went supernova, the basic elements (for example, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, calcium) simply did not exist in any abundance in the universe. So life was impossible before then.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#172453 Jul 18, 2013
Roman Apologist wrote:
<quoted text>
A specific population can't be sustained by just a single pair. That much is true. But I'm not interested in sustaining. What interests me is how the process starts.
It would seem that you would need two creatures that have reached sexual maturity at the same chronological point in time, in the same location, that they would successfully mate and produce offspring that could also repeat this process. That's what interests me. Where or how do these two biological creatures come into contact at the right place, at the right time, with the optimum health needed to reproduce and carry on?
No, what you need is a population that has slowly changed characteristics over time. From one generation to the next, the changes will be small enough that reproduction is not an issue, but over a thousand generations (minimal), large enough changes can happen that a new species appears.

As for how sexuality started, you do realize there are many species with individuals that are *both* male and female, right? And species where the gender of an individual can change over a lifetime (sometimes several times). And species where sexual reproduction isn't the main form of reproduction, but it exists as an alternative?

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#172454 Jul 18, 2013
Roman Apologist wrote:
<quoted text>
If God created everything, including space-time, then wouldn't such a deity be independent of space-time as we know it, and therefore be able to interject and withdraw at his discretion?
I have no idea. What are the laws governing 'outside of space-time'?
That's funny, I thought "kinds" was an English word meaning:
a. A group of individuals or instances sharing common traits; a category or sort: different kinds of furniture; a new kind of politics.
b. A doubtful or borderline member of a given category: fashioned a kind of shelter; a kind of bluish color.
a. Underlying character as a determinant of the class to which a thing belongs; nature or essence.
b. The natural order or course of things; nature.
c. Manner or fashion.
In *this* context, the word 'kind' is used as an alternative to the biological concept of 'species' by those who promote creationism and the story of the Biblical flood.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#172455 Jul 18, 2013
blacklagoon wrote:
There was NO period in Earths history were Carnivores did NOT prey on other animals, fossil evidence bears that out. Carnivores evolved to prey on other animals, forward facing eyes, large teeth for ripping meat, strong jaws to hold and kill prey, large claws form grasping their prey. These are facts, carnivores ate meat, ALWAYS, and you have absolutely NO information that refuted this. If in fact you have any verifiable information that demonstrates there was a time in Earths history were carnivores did NOT hunt and eat other animals, I'll accept and and apologize to you. Until that time, you are simple wrong about this claim.
I would urge you to be careful here. First, there is a distinction between carnivores and those of the order Carnivora. It is certainly the case that Carnivora have not always been on the earth. They are all mammals.

Second, there was a *long* period of time when no carnivores preyed on other animals simply because there *were* no animals. Multi-cellular life is a relatively recent development (probably the last 1 billion years) and during most of the Earth's history all life was single celled. Whether one cell engulfing another is a carnivore is a matter of definition.

Next, even when actual animals developed, it was a long time before 'forward facing eyes, large teeth, and large claws' developed. The earliest carnivores (in the loose sense) were probably jelly fish (or related species) that ate other jelly fish. It was only much later that fish with backbones developed, along with teeth. It was even later that claws developed.

“a.k.a. GhostWriter2U”

Since: Jul 13

Location hidden

#172456 Jul 18, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
In *this* context, the word 'kind' is used as an alternative to the biological concept of 'species' by those who promote creationism and the story of the Biblical flood.
I realize some might use it in this way, but for those who do, it's my understanding that it's incorrect to do so. The word "kind" isn't in the early Hebrew text of the Torah, and the reason it appears there now is to describe classifications of clean and unclean animals. It has nothing to do with promoting creationism to replace the word species. If anything, secular science misunderstands the text and uses "species" to disqualify it in favor of Darwinian evolution. That argument can cut both ways.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#172457 Jul 18, 2013
Roman Apologist wrote:
<quoted text>
I realize some might use it in this way, but for those who do, it's my understanding that it's incorrect to do so. The word "kind" isn't in the early Hebrew text of the Torah, and the reason it appears there now is to describe classifications of clean and unclean animals. It has nothing to do with promoting creationism to replace the word species. If anything, secular science misunderstands the text and uses "species" to disqualify it in favor of Darwinian evolution. That argument can cut both ways.
You don't have any evidence of the god you're lying about.

“a.k.a. GhostWriter2U”

Since: Jul 13

Location hidden

#172458 Jul 18, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
None of these has been shown to be a *reliable* way to find new truths over time.
Why do you use the word "reliable" in this way? Let's go into philosophy of morality for a round of discussion.

Is it wrong to kill a child? Is it wrong to rape a woman? Is it wrong to steal? Is it wrong to cheat at a game or contest? Is it wrong to lie?

Science can't quantify or qualify the moral arguments. It can try to measure brain impulses through MRI, EEG, and chemical properties by blood and tissue testing, but that's only limited to the naturalistic scientific method.

Now you can argue that homo sapiens developed these moral ethics over time as a social or cultural construct to promote survival within a group, but if that's your argument, then it doesn't hold much weight with me for a very simple reason. If humanity has existed as long as Darwinian evolution proponents like to claim, then why hasn't our morality advanced as quickly as our technology?
There is still evil in the world. We recognize it in the evening news or the morning paper or when it happens to a loved one or friend. You would think that if we evolved according to the Darwinian model, that our morality would save us from hurting each other, and yet as human history has shown, we've become more efficient at killing, much more apathetic, and much more lazy.

So how has science been able to measure the truth of the existence of evil? There has to be a measure of good to compare, so one knows what evil is. As C.S. Lewis famously said, one must know what a straight line looks like in order to know what a crooked line looks like. Science cannot quantify or measure morality, unless we're considering the latest FBI crime index reports.

“a.k.a. GhostWriter2U”

Since: Jul 13

Location hidden

#172459 Jul 18, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
You don't have any evidence of the god you're lying about.
What makes you think I don't? Why do you think I'm lying? Are you interested in dialogue or do you just wish to be antagonistic for entertainment purposes?

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#172460 Jul 18, 2013
Roman Apologist wrote:
<quoted text>
Why do you use the word "reliable" in this way? Let's go into philosophy of morality for a round of discussion.
Is it wrong to kill a child? Is it wrong to rape a woman? Is it wrong to steal? Is it wrong to cheat at a game or contest? Is it wrong to lie?
Science can't quantify or qualify the moral arguments. It can try to measure brain impulses through MRI, EEG, and chemical properties by blood and tissue testing, but that's only limited to the naturalistic scientific method.
Now you can argue that homo sapiens developed these moral ethics over time as a social or cultural construct to promote survival within a group, but if that's your argument, then it doesn't hold much weight with me for a very simple reason. If humanity has existed as long as Darwinian evolution proponents like to claim, then why hasn't our morality advanced as quickly as our technology?
First, morality is not absolute. It depends on the species, at the very least. If there was an intelligent species of spiders, it might very well be moral to kill a male after mating. Morality is determined by what allows stable societies to survive over the long term. In particular, that implies a government that listens to the concerns of the populace, is able to enforce some system that seems just to the populace, and that encourages people to live happy and fulfilling lives.

We do not progress morally as much as we progress intellectually because our species developed when most people lived in fairly small clans. We still very much have the clan mentality. Furthermore, the evolutionary pressure has been more towards conflict between clans rather than cooperation. So wars and extra-clan killings were and still are common. Without evolutionary pressure for cooperation, we don't expect it to become fixed in our genes. If anything, it is remarkable that it has done so as much as it has.

But I would also say that your claim that we have not developed morally is wrong. We no longer see slavery as justifiable. We no longer see it as good for women to be uneducated. We no longer see racism as being a positive value. So we are, very gradually, coming out of that clan mentality and starting to see *all* people as part of our clan.
There is still evil in the world. We recognize it in the evening news or the morning paper or when it happens to a loved one or friend. You would think that if we evolved according to the Darwinian model, that our morality would save us from hurting each other, and yet as human history has shown, we've become more efficient at killing, much more apathetic, and much more lazy.
Unfortunately, everyone being good with no enforcement is an unstable equilibrium: one person who is a 'mutant' can cause a lot of havoc. The question is how to form a stable society that can deal with those who don't follow the rules of that society in a way that is as fair as possible (for stability).
So how has science been able to measure the truth of the existence of evil? There has to be a measure of good to compare, so one knows what evil is. As C.S. Lewis famously said, one must know what a straight line looks like in order to know what a crooked line looks like. Science cannot quantify or measure morality, unless we're considering the latest FBI crime index reports.
And people don't agree on what is and is not evil. Sure, some basics are universal: don't kill those in your clan without reason. The development of morality has been the extension of the size of the 'clan' to cities, countries, and the world, as well as to minorities that didn't have a voice before.

But you are right. This is not a scientific endeavor. That is because morality is determined by what people want in the long run. We tend to want stable societies that allow us the freedom to find our own happiness. The particulars are mostly a matter of opinion, not of truth.

“a.k.a. GhostWriter2U”

Since: Jul 13

Location hidden

#172461 Jul 18, 2013
blacklagoon wrote:
Polymath 257 has answered you better than I could have. he makes excellent points.
Yes he does. And so do you. Don't sell yourself short.
blacklagoon wrote:
Scientists are human and subject to all the human frailties and flaws as another human. Does that mean we should suspend all scientific endeavors?


Of course not. And Polymath is correct that there should be control measures to protect against fraudulent assertions or incorrect methods. However-
blacklagoon wrote:
You sited TWO examples out of hundreds of thousands of scientist.
Hundreds of thousands? Can you provide me a less vague figure? If there are hundreds of thousands of scientists, isn't it possible that there are many more scientists who will NOT admit that their worldview influences their method? Have there been more than one or two corrupt police officers in the history of criminal justice? And what is your opinion of this one scientist who admitted that the secular scientific community regularly and purposely rigs the methodology for the specific purpose of excluding supernatural phenomena? Isn't that dishonest?
blacklagoon wrote:
As was pointed out to you, Millers experiments were NOT dishonest, we was working with the information available at that time, he was NOT trying to deceive anyone.
How do you know that for sure?
blacklagoon wrote:
Yes, science is the ONLY way to discover whether something is either real or not or whether something is true. He asked you and so will I, do you know of any other way rather than science to discover if somethings true or real?
Experiential is one way to know truth. There is a medical condition known as CIPA which stands for "congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis." A person with this medical condition feels no pain.
Does such a person need a physician to tell them that they feel no pain? Or, do they go to the doctor BECAUSE they feel no pain and want to know why? I believe I would know if I wasn't able to feel pain. CIPA is a rare condition. Now imagine if it was the norm. Imagine that none of us feel pain; except you. Imagine you feel pain but nobody else around you does. Who are we to discount your experience? We might take tests, measurements, and conduct exams, but all we can do is confirm what you're already telling us.

So yes there is another way than science to know truth.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#172462 Jul 18, 2013
Roman Apologist wrote:
CIPA is a rare condition. Now imagine if it was the norm. Imagine that none of us feel pain; except you. Imagine you feel pain but nobody else around you does. Who are we to discount your experience? We might take tests, measurements, and conduct exams, but all we can do is confirm what you're already telling us.
So yes there is another way than science to know truth.
Pain in this case is an observation. And observation is the fundamental bedrock of science.

Now, if the lack of pain were the norm, then we would have a valid reason to doubt your claims to feel pain. The brain scans, etc, would be required to verify that you are not lying (a possibility).

Now, if *you* were experiencing pain, you would have knowledge of that. But you would not have knowledge of any causes for that pain without other observations and testing. You would have the observation (and experience) of pain, but without application of the scientific method, you know nothing except that direct experience.

So, here is a question. Suppose someone said to you that they saw a gnome in your garden. Would you automatically take their word for it, or would you assume at first that they were pulling your leg? if you became convinced they were serious (they did have the experience), would you not then default to being concerned about their sanity (the experience was not valid as a way of finding truth)? In the absence of collaborating evidence, would you not either assume they were lying or hallucinating? if several people claimed to see gnomes in your garden, but their stories varied wildly as to the characteristics of the gnomes, their heights, colors, etc, would you not first look at the possibility that there were hallucinogenic in your garden and be concerned for the safety of people in your garden? Suppose you saw a gnome in your garden. Would you not first assume you were hallucinating?

Would it not be only in the case that several people independently had the observation and the observations were consistent that you would start to think there really are gnomes in your garden?

Now, suppose that someone said to you that they 'experienced God'. Would you still not assume to begin with that they are lying, or, if you verify they are otherwise honest, to assume they had a hallucination? If several people made the same claim, but their individual experiences varied wildly, would you not assume that there was, perhaps, a hallucinogenic aspect to your garden? Suppose you 'saw God'. Would your first assumption not be that you were hallucinating?

So, observations are the basis of science. But we have to consider the reliability of those observations in making deductions from them. If there is consistency across many observations, then we are justified in thinking there is validity in them. If their are many inconsistencies or the observation is unique, we are justified in valuing the observation less. Which do you see as you look to the religions of the world?

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#172463 Jul 18, 2013
Roman Apologist wrote:
Experiential is one way to know truth.
Only subjective truths. Not objective ones.
There is a medical condition known as CIPA which stands for "congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis." A person with this medical condition feels no pain.
There are also other conditions where patients report, for example, not seeing objects, but still they respond to them (blindsight, for example). Do people with blindsight actually see objects or not?

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#172464 Jul 18, 2013
albtraum wrote:
<quoted text>
How ironic, so do I!
Oh dear, now they'll call us unpatriotic as well as hellbound;0)
I was born here (USA). It's not as if I immigrated by my choice.

I continue to live here, mainly due to family obligations-- you know how those relatives require support.:D

I **have** considered moving elsewhere, and I may, when some family members are no longer breathing.

Meanwhile, I try to do the best I am able, with what I have to work with.

And, living as I do in Oklahomer--the reddest of the red-red states (ironic much? red==communism...) I don't have a lot to work with.

*sigh*

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#172465 Jul 18, 2013
Mikko wrote:
<quoted text>
It's good to be here :P
And I do appreciate the long-distance free-thinking support you secularists lend to those of us who must live in the Land of Ostriches (faith==head-in-sand).

:D

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#172466 Jul 18, 2013
susanblange wrote:
<quoted text>You have to understand that the story of the garden is allegorical and not meant to be taken literally.
If not?

**BOOM** there goes 100% of your justification for your entire religion!

Right out the window it went, too...

... Let me congratulate you on becoming an atheist!

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#172467 Jul 18, 2013
Aerobatty wrote:
<quoted text>
Pigeon chess.
Eeewwwww.... all that pigeon sh7t all over the board...

.... now, all the squares look kinda off-white...

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