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  1. #41  
    Not to support or criticize this research, but one wonders what one could do to disprove the existence of God.
    To be fair, this study does not address the existence of God. It seems to be testing the hypothesis that 'prayer' affects the healing of patients.
  2. #42  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    I can't speak for Dawkins (my thoughts on the subject are more in line with Feynman's), but it is quite hard to reconcile a sincere belief in most religious dogmas and an informed belief in science.
    Recognizing the scientific imposssibility of certain religious dogmas (such as adam and eve, etc) may disqualify someone from being a fundamentalist, but that is about it.
  3. #43  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix View Post
    Recognizing the scientific imposssibility of certain religious dogmas (such as adam and eve, etc) may disqualify someone from being a fundamentalist, but that is about it.
    What about parting the seas, or raising the dead, or walking on water, or having an immaterial soul etc. The supernatural is not very compatible with science.

    It occurs to me that religion and voodoo has much in common.

    Surur
  4.    #44  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix View Post
    could you please elaborate the part of his argument where he disproves that someone can believe in religion and science too? I am not a believer in intelligent design myself, but nonetheless I cannot disprove those who do.
    Starting around 6:00 into the program. He does say that it is not possible to disprove the existance of God, but one can assign a probability value to it, and that value is very low.

    At 7:45 he disagrees with the concept of God as a supernatural creator. At 14:20 he explains why this concept of god is superfluous.

    Anyway, I don't want to give a blow-by-blow description of this interview or the next one (by Collins) also in the OP. Both are good listening.

    I don't agree with of Dawkins' arguments (although I agree with most of his conclusions), this is one thing I agree about the most: The concept of this omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient creator is superfluous.
    --
    Aloke
    Cingular GSM
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  5. #45  
    Quote Originally Posted by Christinac130 View Post
    Why does it have to be based on anything? Doesn't anyone believe that there are good people just because that's the way they are? I have studied evolution to great extent because it's one of my Autistic son's focus subjects and it is one of the reasons I began to doubt my faith. Catholicism was drilled into me since birth and I believed in it whole-heartedly. But, the more I expanded my knowledge of other beliefs and theories, the more implausible it all became.
    "Good" is a qualitative term that relies on a standard of measure. I am interested in understanding the standard.
  6. #46  
    How can science mix with omnipotence?

    Surely, God could have created a Universe in such a way that it was simple to prove His existence. Likewise, he could have created a Universe where it could be scientifically proven He doesn't exist.

    If He couldn't do either of these, He wouldn't very well be omnipotent.
  7. #47  
    "Surely, God could have created a Universe in such a way that it was simple to prove His existence. Likewise, he could have created a Universe where it could be scientifically proven He doesn't exist."

    I guess He could have.

    "If He couldn't do either of these, He wouldn't very well be omnipotent."

    Who said He couldn't?
  8. #48  
    Recognizing the scientific imposssibility of certain religious dogmas (such as adam and eve, etc) may disqualify someone from being a fundamentalist, but that is about it.
    Could you please elaborate on the dogmatic concepts in which it's possible to sincerely believe which do not conflict with the scientific precepts of skepticism and testability?
  9. #49  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Could you please elaborate on the dogmatic concepts in which it's possible to sincerely believe which do not conflict with the scientific precepts of skepticism and testability?
    The belief that Treocentral/Visorcentral posters keep coming back?

    Look who's back in TC OT after years of absence... I wonder how many of the "good old days" posters are still lurking.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  10. #50  
    The belief that Treocentral/Visorcentral posters keep coming back?
    But what proof do you have that I'm who I claim to be. Perhaps I just jacked an account.
    Look who's back in TC OT after years of absence... I wonder how many of the "good old days" posters are still lurking.
    I just picked up a Treo 680, so naturally I gravitated back here.
  11. #51  
    The ultimate goal of science is the acquisition of knowledge through an unbiased and objective means of discovery. Skepticism and testability are two important means to acheive this goal, but they are the tools of science, not the rules.
    They are 'fundamental' tenets of science. Without testability, science means nothing. Then again, you're not answering the question.
    After you do science for a while you learn to appreciate that there are infinite unanswered questions out there.
    Well, sure, but the default scientific position is not that they cannot be answered.
    The fact that they are untestable at the current time does not mean they are any less real.
    It also does not mean that they are caused by supernatural forces.
    Part of what people today refer to as a higher plane of existence or a higher power, may merely be locked inside this vast repository of knowledge which we as scientists are working hard to discover bit by bit. Skepticism is a vital trait for a scientist to have, an open mind is just as important.
    I'm still noticing that you're not answering the question. Perhaps this question will be easier: How can you reconcile having an open mind and being receptive to new possibilities with the fact that belief in a dogmatic principle requires that you've sealed your decision already?
  12. #52  
    I posted my reply before your post appeared according to the timestamps, therefore I am God. We can now put this debate to rest.
  13. #53  
    Surely the default position of a scientist should be not to believ without proof, the so-called nul hypothesis. That's not consistent with the proof-less belief in God.

    Surur
  14. #54  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Could you please elaborate on the dogmatic concepts in which it's possible to sincerely believe which do not conflict with the scientific precepts of skepticism and testability?
    The ultimate goal of science is the acquisition of knowledge through an unbiased and objective means of discovery. Skepticism and testability are two important means to acheive this goal, but they are the tools of science, not the rules. After you do science for a while you learn to appreciate that there are infinite unanswered questions out there. The fact that they are untestable at the current time does not mean they are any less real. Part of what people today refer to as a higher plane of existence or a higher power, may merely be locked inside this vast repository of knowledge which we as scientists are working hard to discover bit by bit. Skepticism is a vital trait for a scientist to have, an open mind is just as important.

    As far as questioning religious dogma, while a higher plane of existence/higher power I feel is not answerable at the given time, there certainly are other dogma which we are able to address given the available data, such as those listed by me, surer and others: adam and eve, parting of the red seas etc. In some cases the conflict between religious dogma and scientific data merely poses a harmless difference in the retrospective analysis of historical events. However in other instances, using religion to argue against clear scientific evidence can be a dangerously close minded way to hurt others. A classic example is evolution. A huge amount of the medical therapies and agricultural advances available today are derived from work based on this theory. For someone to deny evolution but to enjoy all the medical and economic benefits it has provided, is in my view extremely hypocritical. Moreover, those who criticize scientists for using or teaching a theory which has alleviated so much pain, death and suffering are doing a great disservice to the rest of humanity.

    edit to add: sorry Toby I deleted my post and reposted it to give the second paragraph. (its a bad habit I have)
    Last edited by cellmatrix; 04/01/2007 at 11:03 AM.
  15. #55  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    They are 'fundamental' tenets of science. Without testability, science means nothing. Then again, you're not answering the question.

    Well, sure, but the default scientific position is not that they cannot be answered.
    I'm not saying they cannot be answered, but just that there are many answers (and many more questions) that simply await new scientific advances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    It also does not mean that they are caused by supernatural forces.
    no I do not believe in supernatural forces, but I appreciate the possibility that there are forces in nature which we have not yet discovered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    I'm still noticing that you're not answering the question. Perhaps this question will be easier: How can you reconcile having an open mind and being receptive to new possibilities with the fact that belief in a dogmatic principle requires that you've sealed your decision already?
    Admitting that we do not have enough information to absolutely rule out the concept of a higher power or plane of existence is not being dogmatic. Conversely, those who make absolute pronouncements on this issue, without the data to back them up, are being dogmatic, regardless of which side they are on.
  16. #56  
    I'm not saying they cannot be answered, but just that there are many answers (and many more questions) that simply await new scientific advances.
    Then your response makes little sense in context.
    no I do not believe in supernatural forces, but I appreciate the possibility that there are forces in nature which we have not yet discovered.
    Are we talking past each other here?
    Admitting that we do not have enough information to absolutely rule out the concept of a higher power or plane of existence is not being dogmatic.
    It also has nothing to do with my original statement.
    Conversely, those who make absolute pronouncements on this issue, without the data to back them up, are being dogmatic, regardless of which side they are on.
    On that I think we agree.
  17. #57  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    On that I think we agree.
    good, that was the main point of my argument with you, however poorly it was being explained. Cheers.
  18. #58  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    But what proof do you have that I'm who I claim to be. Perhaps I just jacked an account.
    That's highly unlikely. You still have the typical Toby habit of dissecting the post you reply to sentence by sentence and commenting/arguing against each sentence separately.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  19. #59  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    That's highly unlikely. You still have the typical Toby habit of dissecting the post you reply to sentence by sentence and commenting/arguing against each sentence separately.
    It's not separately per se. It just flows better, IMO.
  20. #60  
    In light of this response to my question:

    Scientific endeavor is anything that follows the scientific process. Observations, repeatable, by many, etc etc.

    Someone meditating and "finding" books or tablets of divine inscriptions does not count.

    Study of God, by its nature, is a personal experience. Scientific endeavors are not.
    Does this mean anything that's not observable does not exist?
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