God is "beyond" science!
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29-12-2012, 06:46 PM (This post was last modified: 30-12-2012 03:56 PM by GodlessnFree.)
God is "beyond" science!
I am assuming that the people reading this are smart enough to know that the desert myths are false. I usually have an easy time debunking the anecdotes/ logical fallacies that theists use to prove the existence of a god/ their god.

However, yesterday I was having a conversation with my aunt who unfortunately happens to be a nun and I asked her for evidence for her god. She replied that she didn't need any evidence because it was not a "scientific claim" but rather a claim that is beyond the "realm of science". I asked her then what was her reason(s) to believe in her god, her reply was "faith".

According to her, faith is simply "the way to know the reality beyond science". Then, she said that I was closed to faith because I had been absorbed by the deceit of "scientism". She also claimed that she couldn't explain me her reasons for believing in her god because since I believed in "scientism" my mind was "closed to anything beyond science".

That seems patent bullshit.

Huh

This isn't the first time I find this ridiculous argument. Popular christians of different intellectual capabilities ranging from John Lennox to VenomfangX always try to "debunk" atheism by equating it with "Scientism". Francis Collins said that scientism was a sign of close-mindedness.

Lennox illustrated his criticism of scientism with a metaphor: Aunt Matilda's Cake. The metaphor is often praised among faitheads, I suggest you watch it in case you haven't done so yet. In a nutshell, the metaphor of the cake explains that science can allow us to know the physical properties of the cake (density, weight, volume, material composition) but not the metaphysical properties of it (purpose, maker, proper use). Then the cake is compared to the universe and Lennox claims that the universe also has metaphysical properties that are beyond science and require another way of reasoning in order to be known.


Well, enough of my rambling, I wanted to hear opinions/objections towards this high-sounding but really fallacious argument of "The Limits of Science". The best I got yet is AronRa's brilliant response: "Science may not have all the answers, but some answers are better than no answers at all, and that's what religion gives you".

Cheers.

Antitheist - Tooth Fairy Agnostic - Rationalist - Humanist - Individualist - Libertarian Minarchist

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29-12-2012, 07:02 PM (This post was last modified: 29-12-2012 07:05 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: God is "beyond" science!
When ever the majority of arguments for theology fails, the last ditch effort to save their imaginary being is to say he is beyond, transcends, or is some how greater than reality.

The sad thing is that I agree with the theologian, our fantasies and fictions are often much greater than reality. In our imaginary worlds, dreams, simulations, video games, and paintings; We are able to do things impossible in the real world. Unlike him I'm willing to separate fact from fiction, and enjoy both worlds.

Member of the Cult of Reason

The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
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30-12-2012, 01:06 AM
RE: God is "beyond" science!
Every claim about god is a scientific/physical/material claim and as such requires physical evidence.
The type of claim matches the type of evidence needed.

If you claim god is physically healing people, then that's a physical claim and requires physical evidence.
If you claim god exists, that too is a physical claim and requires physical evidence.
Existence in a material universe means that the item in question has values that can be measured.

Creatures of my imagination do not exist in the material and I'm glad they don't.
I can still fear them if I want. I can build altars to them and try to appease them when I think they are upset.
I can believe with all my might that they exist, but my beliefs do NOT change the structure of reality.

I cannot wish something into existence. I cannot believe it so strongly as to bend the rules of reality with my mind.

We have a word for that. It's called magic. I cannot speak words in an incantation and create anything in reality.

I can only do this in my imagination, within my own mind, and that's where all the gods reside, within the mind of the people who believe.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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30-12-2012, 02:03 AM
RE: God is "beyond" science!
One of the problems, as I see it, is that of operational definition. When pushed about the characteristics of god many, if not most, theists give increasingly vague definitions about the abilities and properties of their pet deity. If it can't be defined then it can't be measured and renders the notion irrelevant as a scientific inquiry. That said, there are possible definitions that could be measurable and still beyond the ability of science. At least beyond the ability of science currently. Theists that make arguments that god is beyond the pale of science often forget or ignore completely the realization that science is a fluid endeavor. We can measure, detect and manipulate things today that we could not yesterday and the same will be true tomorrow.
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30-12-2012, 02:11 AM
RE: God is "beyond" science!
Hey, GLF.

Here's the patent bullsihit litmus test. Are you open to things beyond science? If yes, then bullshit. If no, well, she's got you cold.

Scientism sounds like one of those vague made up pejorative terms. I'd ignore that term myself. Sounds Fox Newsesque.

Actually, the cake thing isn't too bad. In human systems theory, we talk a lot about process and content; why something happened verses what happened. I've always felt that science is supreme in its ability to explain the what of things, but that it's pretty impotent at explaining the why of things.





Science can make no comment on the non-empirical. God and the rest of the metaphysical is by definition non-empirical. So no, science can't make any statements about it.

While faith has many other applications and has unfortunately been co-opted by the Atheism/Theism debate to mean simply "without evidence", she's right to say that it isn't a scientific question. She doesn't require evidence of a non-empirical metaphysical supposed phenomenon, because none exists either way. So she has faith in it regardless. Not saying she's right to have faith. Just saying it is what it is.

I personally love the shit out of science. But I also feel strongly that there is more to humanity and our relationship with the world than pure science. That's not a statement that devalues science. I like what my boy Ran says about it.

Quote:What we call "science" is only one particular science, a style of filtering experience that has been designed by and for a culture of uniformity and central control. It accepts only experiences that can be translated into numbers, that are available to everyone, and that can be reproduced on command. This is what scientists mean when they demand "proof." But this is only a tiny thread of all possible experiences, most of which are unique, not quantifiable, not reproducible, and not the same for all bservers.
-Ran Prieur

To sum up, she doesn't need evidence, just faith. The "deceit of scientism" seems like a manufactured issue/boogeyman. Science cannot comment on the metaphysical and, I believe, metaphysical questions and beliefs are a lush part of the human experience that should not be devalued; however, they should neither be confused for science either. Never the twain shall meet. Saying she couldn't explain it was kinda presumptive and pretentious on her part, but she has a point if you do in fact shut out anything scientific.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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30-12-2012, 02:13 AM
RE: God is "beyond" science!
GodlessnFree ... I know yer new here but your about to get a pretty rough first impression of me.... and who I am...




just responding to your post topic... God is "beyond" science!........ Evil_monster

My dick is "beyond" and more real than God...... Big Grin

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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30-12-2012, 02:15 AM
RE: God is "beyond" science!
God might be beyond science, but any action he takes in the material world must at some point cause material effects. He must manipulate matter, energy, or forces to cause miracles, and that manipulation should at least be hypothetically measurable or detectable.


For instance, if god cures a blind person's cataracts, then science should be able to detect whatever force or materials are causing those cataracts to break up, even if the ultimate cause is supernatural. Same goes for a supernatural soul, by the way.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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30-12-2012, 02:34 AM
RE: God is "beyond" science!
Quote: For instance, if god cures a blind person's cataracts, then science
should be able to detect whatever force or materials are causing those
cataracts to break up, even if the ultimate cause is supernatural. Same
goes for a supernatural soul, by the way.
I agree, although should be able to be detected is not the same as will be able to be detected. It is common enough in science that scientists can observe a result from an experiment and fail to recognize that something was actually observed that they have given it a name: Type II error.
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30-12-2012, 02:52 AM
RE: God is "beyond" science!
Well but if science can't tell us the purpose of the cake, how does religion determine the said purpose ?
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30-12-2012, 11:20 AM
RE: God is "beyond" science!
I'll take issue with the "metaphysical properties of it" (purpose, maker, proper use)

What she is calling metaphysical is really just informational
Purpose is something that humans create for any object. There are a million different purposes for cake.
Given the hypothetical uses for any period of time, a cake could be used as a door stop (fruit cake)
It can be birthday cake, a wedding cake, a sunday cake with family after dinner.
Some cultures might throw cake on certain holidays or give them as gifts.
There is no "proper use" for cake.
As for the maker of cakes. Anyone can make one. Science could pick out a box cake versus a home made cake.
Given 100 examples of each, you can analyze consistency of the levels of ingredients used and probably which box manufacturer made the cake ingredients.

Here's a test for your aunt. Take a straw and cut a 1/4 inch off of the straw. Now take that 1/4 inch section and ask her what it's purpose is. Without her knowing that you cut the straw, ask who made it. Ask her how her religion determines it's proper use.

We assign purpose to objects because we use them.
That 1/4 in piece of straw is used with some thread to make a necklace.
It is used to chew on for people who are trying to quit smoking.
It's a reminder for someone to buy more straws.

The cake metaphor doesn't answer any questions. It only takes a silly question that has x number of answers and tries to convince you that because science can't give you the exact value of x then science doesn't know everything, therefore there is a god.

In other words, it's bullshit and critical thinking can be used to detect bullshit.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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