Science and Theism
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10-12-2012, 10:53 AM
Science and Theism
Something occurred to me recently (although I doubt I'm the first one to think of it): doesn't the fact that science works tend to speak against the existence of a deity? Or at least certain types of deities or deistic behavior?

Coming up with formulas such as F=ma requires that the universe behave in a consistent and non-miraculous manner; i.e., not one in which one could simply pray for a mountain to move and it would move, without any apparent force acting on it. The fact that scientific inquiry works so well and so consistently, to me, suggests at the very least that if any type of deity does exist, it must be a non-intercessory one. (For my own part, I've always believed that a deity that does nothing is functionally equivalent to a deity that doesn't exist at all, although that's probably a separate discussion.) Thoughts?
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10-12-2012, 11:06 AM
RE: Science and Theism
At this stage of my life I am in agreement with you, but when I was a believer I would have disagreed. Although I can no longer think of how I would have reasoned through that. KC will probably give this a shot using metaphysics. Let's wait and see...

Is this place still a shithole run by a dumbass calvinist?
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10-12-2012, 11:08 AM
RE: Science and Theism
... Well but 'miracles' are supposed to provide evidence of God. i.e. God sets everything up to work just *so*, then randomly decides to burn cities, move piles of Earth around, scare old ladies late at night etc *breaking* his so-nice rules as a way of *proving his existence* to us heathens. Why he doesn't just say hello is beyond me.

So the basic idea is that anytime you're looking, F indeed is = ma. But as soon as you *really* need some F = ma to get your ass the hell out of some sticky situation, the accelerator breaks -> that's God Big Grin
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10-12-2012, 11:18 AM
RE: Science and Theism
This is basically a question of Deism versus Providence. The Deist has the view that God set the world in motion and then, with perhaps occasional acts of intervention, largely left it alone. Someone who believes in providence, however, feels God has an active hand in the sun rising and setting and every stalk of wheat that grows. A crucial difference is that for a deist, the world is governed by laws (such as Newton's three laws of motion) that God established before taking a vacation, and that those laws can be studied. For someone who believes in Providence, there are no such laws, nor can an active God be constrained by them. However, to address your question of whether a deity would have to be non-intercessory for such laws to exist, the answer is no. The deity in question would just have to be very, very consistent in its acts of interceding. To put it another way, if God is continuously and actively causing gravity to happen, then God is almost always having it happen according to the formulae we have observed. Consistent, yes. Non-miraculous? Bit harder to prove.

That said, science does tend to explain much of the chaos, unpredictability, and primal terror contained in the universe, putting it in stark, understandable, and above all testable terms. Though this does not disprove the existence of an active deity in the slightest, it does remove one of the principle motivations for people to create myths of thunder-hurlers and magical tridents that cause earthquakes.

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10-12-2012, 11:36 AM
RE: Science and Theism
(10-12-2012 11:18 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  To put it another way, if God is continuously and actively causing gravity to happen, then God is almost always having it happen according to the formulae we have observed. Consistent, yes. Non-miraculous? Bit harder to prove.
I remember coming across a similar concept when I was in college. Leibniz believed that mind and body were two completely separate things and that each interaction between them (e.g., light from an objecting hitting your eyes, and your being aware of seeing the object) was an intercessory miracle from god. I had never heard of the same idea being applied to the entire universe -- except in the pantheistic sense -- but hey, if he's omnipotent, why not, right?
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10-12-2012, 11:56 AM
RE: Science and Theism
(10-12-2012 10:53 AM)pianodwarf Wrote:  Something occurred to me recently (although I doubt I'm the first one to think of it): doesn't the fact that science works tend to speak against the existence of a deity? Or at least certain types of deities or deistic behavior?

Coming up with formulas such as F=ma requires that the universe behave in a consistent and non-miraculous manner; i.e., not one in which one could simply pray for a mountain to move and it would move, without any apparent force acting on it. The fact that scientific inquiry works so well and so consistently, to me, suggests at the very least that if any type of deity does exist, it must be a non-intercessory one. (For my own part, I've always believed that a deity that does nothing is functionally equivalent to a deity that doesn't exist at all, although that's probably a separate discussion.) Thoughts?
ECs believe that God set up science in a way for it to function. So, the process in which science functions is the "good" order that God designed.

ECs see the fact that science does function so well as evidence for God.

Make sense?

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10-12-2012, 11:57 AM
RE: Science and Theism
(10-12-2012 11:56 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(10-12-2012 10:53 AM)pianodwarf Wrote:  Something occurred to me recently (although I doubt I'm the first one to think of it): doesn't the fact that science works tend to speak against the existence of a deity? Or at least certain types of deities or deistic behavior?

Coming up with formulas such as F=ma requires that the universe behave in a consistent and non-miraculous manner; i.e., not one in which one could simply pray for a mountain to move and it would move, without any apparent force acting on it. The fact that scientific inquiry works so well and so consistently, to me, suggests at the very least that if any type of deity does exist, it must be a non-intercessory one. (For my own part, I've always believed that a deity that does nothing is functionally equivalent to a deity that doesn't exist at all, although that's probably a separate discussion.) Thoughts?
ECs believe that God set up science in a way for it to function. So, the process in which science functions is the "good" order that God designed.

ECs see the fact that science does function so well as evidence for God.

Make sense?
I don't think you mean 'science' which is a human construct. I think you mean the 'laws' of the universe.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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10-12-2012, 11:57 AM
RE: Science and Theism
EC's take credit for it working exactly as it would as if no god existed and use that as evidence that god must exist?

Is this place still a shithole run by a dumbass calvinist?
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10-12-2012, 11:58 AM
RE: Science and Theism
(10-12-2012 11:57 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  EC's take credit for it working exactly as it would as if no god existed and use that as evidence that god must exist?


By George, he's got it! Yes

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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10-12-2012, 11:59 AM
RE: Science and Theism
(10-12-2012 11:57 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  EC's take credit for it working exactly as it would as if no god existed and use that as evidence that god must exist?
The finely tuned argument.

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