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post #31 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 03:38 PM
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RE: Science, religion collide in Kansas debate

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tcp_ML500 - 5/12/2005 4:04 PM
If science can't prove the existance of God, it cannot disprove it either... Science will always be limited to explaining everything, but not why the laws.
Can science prove or disprove the existence of Fharlikned? This is the invisible space troll culture that exists on a paralell plane from ours right here on earth. They are behind all thoughts, implanting small chemical signals directly into our brains every minute of every day.. we're never alone, you see, because one of the Fharliknedites are always at our side, in a different plane.

It is not logically compelling to posit that an un-proven negative is sufficcient to ground an un-proven positive. Both are equally suspect. (michael jackson's lawers parading lots of people across the witness stand who he didn't molest is supposed to convince you that he didn't molest someone else who says that he did? fallacious reasoning.. so to speak)

And... on the second part above... you are positing that there are motive-based reasons behind the mechanics of the universe. Where do you see any evidence of this?

It seems that you get mixed up with the language we use to talk about these things. "Laws" in our society have a rationale, but "Laws" of nature are meerly an expression of the sum total of our precise (repeatable) observations. These expressions require no grounding in motives; it's like why your transmission shifts gears... because the mechanics reliably and predictably produce the same results when subjected to the same conditions. We don't know enough about the mechanics of the universe to predict everything... but we've solved a lot of stuff that used to be the 'work of God'. Maybe it's the Fharlikned?? Just as likely, proven, etc. as God.. and I just made it up.

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post #32 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 06:22 PM
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RE: Science, religion collide in Kansas debate

The problem with proofs is they don't satisfy anybody on either side. Aquinas repackaged Aristotle's 5 proofs of teh existence of God to make them palatable for Christians. The proofs are not all equally strong, but they are logical. Does that logically convince anybody of God's existence? I doubt it.

Nor does it especially impress believers. Because they know that "faith alone" is all that is necessary. Thus, to require anything more than faith is unacceptible. Conversely, people who require proof will never accept some schmo's profession of faith as a basis for their own.

This is why proselytizing requires personal relationships. So that a bond of trust will develop between the faithful and faithless and empathy for another will lead the way to faith. It works, too.

On the other side, a science-based world view presupposes minds that are open to rational/logical explanations as being all that is necessary and sufficient to grasp the truth that physical reality is all there is. People who do not trust logic will never buy in completely. Oh, they may act like it, but they are the ones who say things like, "science will have an answer to the energy crisis" or "science will solve the health problems". Or "my astrological sign is a Libra". Or "I wear my lucky underwear to the casino."
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post #33 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 07:04 PM
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RE: Science, religion collide in Kansas debate

It strikes me that the reason philosophy is not taught in elementary or high school (and there have been philosophers who have successfully taught philosophy in 6th grade) is that those years are incredibly influential in propagandizing children. If religion is taught without any countervailing ideas in youth, the child has a much greater chance of resisting alternative ideas in philosophy courses in college.
Science, on the face of it, is neutral on the question of God. Can you imagine what would be happening if explicit atheistic philosophy were taught in K-12 and the fallacies of intelligent design discussed openly in the classroom? I sure wish a courageous Kansan biology teacher would stand up and say that the reason science is so great is that it provides a useful and effective understanding of the universe without superstitious religious nonsense.

By the way, Betrand Russell was convined to believe in God by the ontological argument. (He later changed his mind.)
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post #34 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 07:41 PM
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RE: Science, religion collide in Kansas debate

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kerry edwards - 5/12/2005 8:04 PM
It strikes me that the reason philosophy is not taught in elementary or high school (and there have been philosophers who have successfully taught philosophy in 6th grade) is that those years are incredibly influential in propagandizing children. If religion is taught without any countervailing ideas in youth, the child has a much greater chance of resisting alternative ideas in philosophy courses in college.
Science, on the face of it, is neutral on the question of God. Can you imagine what would be happening if explicit atheistic philosophy were taught in K-12 and the fallacies of intelligent design discussed openly in the classroom? I sure wish a courageous Kansan biology teacher would stand up and say that the reason science is so great is that it provides a useful and effective understanding of the universe without superstitious religious nonsense.

By the way, Betrand Russell was convined to believe in God by the ontological argument. (He later changed his mind.)
Probably, yet many European countries include philosophy in the curriculum of what would be the equivalent of grades 10, 11 and 12. I experienced it eons ago. Further, I was in a special Math and Physics centered curriculum in HS, and we had more Phi than people falling under what was then called "Human Sciences".

I sometimes feel the ill effect of that education, nothing that can't be fixed with heavy alcohol consumption.

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post #35 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 07:50 PM
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RE: Science, religion collide in Kansas debate

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djugurba - 5/12/2005 4:38 PM

Quote:
tcp_ML500 - 5/12/2005 4:04 PM
If science can't prove the existance of God, it cannot disprove it either... Science will always be limited to explaining everything, but not why the laws.
Can science prove or disprove the existence of Fharlikned? This is the invisible space troll culture that exists on a paralell plane from ours right here on earth. They are behind all thoughts, implanting small chemical signals directly into our brains every minute of every day.. we're never alone, you see, because one of the Fharliknedites are always at our side, in a different plane.

It is not logically compelling to posit that an un-proven negative is sufficcient to ground an un-proven positive. Both are equally suspect. (michael jackson's lawers parading lots of people across the witness stand who he didn't molest is supposed to convince you that he didn't molest someone else who says that he did? fallacious reasoning.. so to speak)

And... on the second part above... you are positing that there are motive-based reasons behind the mechanics of the universe. Where do you see any evidence of this?

It seems that you get mixed up with the language we use to talk about these things. "Laws" in our society have a rationale, but "Laws" of nature are meerly an expression of the sum total of our precise (repeatable) observations. These expressions require no grounding in motives; it's like why your transmission shifts gears... because the mechanics reliably and predictably produce the same results when subjected to the same conditions. We don't know enough about the mechanics of the universe to predict everything... but we've solved a lot of stuff that used to be the 'work of God'. Maybe it's the Fharlikned?? Just as likely, proven, etc. as God.. and I just made it up.
"Both are equally suspect."
That's what I was expecting the attentive reader to note, and you did. I felt the first postulate was fallacious, and the second, in direct opposition with the first, was equally fallacious in my eyes.

"you are positing that there are motive-based reasons behind the mechanics of the universe. Where do you see any evidence of this?"
I'm not sure I did. I'm sure I don't!

I'm not puzzled by motive or the absence thereof, I'm only implying that science will not be able to regress infinitely, or rather, to a condition prior to the existance of the basic laws of physics (or what set them in motion) that explain our universe (when these laws are known in their entirety, it does not matter for the argument that they currently are or are not). So mysticism might always be in a position to attempt to trump science and abuse some of us.

The Fharlikned are real, you only exist in my imagination.

Edit: Ooops, you are right and I see how you inferred what you did. Re-reading my quote, I can see that I did write "why the laws". That's an artifact caused by my judeo christian heritage. "How the laws came to exist" and not "why" is more what I was trying to convey...

I'd be happier if science showed that the universe was eternal.

I feel so miserable without you; its almost like having you here.
-- Stephen Bishop
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post #36 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 07:56 PM
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RE: Science, religion collide in Kansas debate

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tcp_ML500 - 5/12/2005 9:41 PM

Probably, yet many European countries include philosophy in the curriculum of what would be the equivalent of grades 10, 11 and 12. I experienced it eons ago. Further, I was in a special Math and Physics centered curriculum in HS, and we had more Phi than people falling under what was then called "Human Sciences".
n.
Maybe that explains the declining rate of churchgoers in Europe.
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post #37 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Science, religion collide in Kansas debate

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tcp_ML500 - 5/12/2005 6:50 PM

I'm not puzzled by motive or the absence thereof, I'm only implying that science will not be able to regress infinitely, or rather, to a condition prior to the existance of the basic laws of physics (or what set them in motion) that explain our universe (when these laws are known in their entirety, it does not matter for the argument that they currently are or are not). So mysticism might always be in a position to attempt to trump science and abuse some of us.
Only if we don't use our branes...

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post #38 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 08:13 PM
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RE: Science, religion collide in Kansas debate

If your presupposition is that the physical universe is all there is, and that everything can be learned by observing that physical universe, then it follows that religion is irrational, and not part of your universe.

I question that presupposition.

As to where are heaven and hell located. Its just a wild-assed guess on my part, but I believe that they, and the spiritual realm can be found existing right along side of our universe, but in a greater number of dimensions. I can't really understand more dimensions than I experience, but I can get an idea of what it may be like--- If you look at a 2 dimensional world ( stick men drawn on a sheet of paper). Imagine a group of stick figures, draw a circle around one of them and you have removed him from the rest. He is hidden behind a "wall". It would be a simple thing for someone from our world to reach down into that circle, and pluck that isolated stick man from his "prison" and deposit him back on the sheet of paper with his friends. He would have no vocabulary to describe what happened--no words for "up" as it would have no meaning to 2 dimensional people. The person from our world who freed him from inside that walled prison was responsible for what could only be described as a miracle. However, to us, no miracle was involved, we simply exist with a greater number of dimensions and to us it is simple to move in ways that stick people cannot imagine. Some of his friends would undoubtedly argue with what the stick man experienced, telling him that there is no way some force outside of their sheet of paper moved him in a way he described.
Take this story and move it from the three ( or four( dimensions we know to 5 or 6 or more, and perhaps you can begin to understand the spiritual world.

For a better explanation see "Hyperspace" by Michio Kaku

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post #39 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 08:40 PM
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RE: Science, religion collide in Kansas debate

[QUOTE]MS Fowler - 5/12/2005 10:13 PM

If your presupposition is that the physical universe is all there is, and that everything can be learned by observing that physical universe, then it follows that religion is irrational, and not part of your universe.

I question that presupposition.



i


There's a difference between the view that we can only know the physical universe and the view that the physical universe is the only thing there is.
We have been pretty successful in knowing the physical universe, if the success is measured by our ability to manipulate it for our interests.

The problem with religion is not just that it claims there is more to reality than the physical universe. Religions also claim to know and describe this additional reality. It is this second claim that is incredible. In your example, it's the stick figures who claim to understand the additional dimension. What insight do they have that the other stick figure didn't? But these claims are mainly incredible because the competing descriptions of this non-physical reality by different religions are incompatible with each other and because there is no way to test the competing claims and come to a resolution.
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post #40 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 09:35 PM
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RE: Science, religion collide in Kansas debate

Assume that God is real. (Is real...Isreal...nevermind).

Assume he's the eternal, omnisicent, infinite guy with the beard and throne.

I'm going to set aside omniscience and eternal for now because I think they're the most difficult characteristics to detect.

If he is real, then things we use to detect real things ought to work to detect him. But if he's infinite, how would we know when we have detected him? What I mean is that the way our senses and machines for extending our senses work is by a sort of filtering system. We filter those things we are interested in out from those things which we are not interested in. A thermometer for example, is calibrated to detect a certain range of temperatures but is not affected by motion. Thus it filters motion (and all manner of other effects) from temperature and then filters the temp for a certain range. Using a thermometer for detecting phenomena for which it was not designed will be unlikely to provide information useful to describing the world.

But if what we want to detect is infinite, omniscient, and eternal, we need a detector that eliminates everything that is not eternal, omniscient and infinite. So what does an infinity detector look like? Put another way, is there anything we have that could be used to detect infinity? Or another way, can a finite set define an infinite set?

I guess it depends on what we mean by "define". If define = enumerate, then no, it is impossible to enumerate an infinite set with a finite set. You cannot take a set of numbers less than infinite and line them up, one-for-one, with an infinite set. So our tool cannot be anything that depends on exhaustively labeling. It has to be clever rather than gross.

But we can define several kinds of infinity, symbolically. And if we understand the symbology then we understand how to classify things in relation to different sizes or kinds of infinity.

So, what kind of infinite is God? Well, if he created everything including mathematics, then all infinities were created by him as well. Since something greater cannot be created by something lesser (unless God so wills it..., hence the miraculous), then God must be greater than the greatest infinity.

So how do we know when we're dealing with an infinity greater than that which humanity has ever imagined and not some lesser infinity?
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