Scientific reasoning.
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16-01-2013, 04:34 PM
Scientific reasoning.
A religious person cannot prove their beliefs. An atheist cannot disprove what a religious person believes?

If you have a scientific frame of mind, you understand that just because you cannot prove something, doesn't mean it isn't true?

An atheist saying god doesn't exist is as incorrect as a believer saying god exists. Neither can prove their opinion.
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16-01-2013, 04:48 PM
RE: Scientific reasoning.
(16-01-2013 04:34 PM)mawil1013 Wrote:  A religious person cannot prove their beliefs.

Correct, assuming you mean that a religious person cannot prove the validity of his beliefs.

(16-01-2013 04:34 PM)mawil1013 Wrote:  An atheist cannot disprove what a religious person believes?

Are you asking or saying? Either way, you're correct again.

(16-01-2013 04:34 PM)mawil1013 Wrote:  If you have a scientific frame of mind, you understand that just because you cannot prove something, doesn't mean it isn't true?

Again, asking or telling? But yes, this is true too. In fact, if you have a scientific frame of mind, you understand that you never really prove anything, ever; the most you can do is honestly and diligently strive to disprove something so much without actually disproving it (despite your honest best efforts), that you eventually come to accept that thing as valid. Not proved, just valid.

(16-01-2013 04:34 PM)mawil1013 Wrote:  An atheist saying god doesn't exist is as incorrect as a believer saying god exists. Neither can prove their opinion.

Again, you're correct, although I wouldn't say that either the atheist or the believer was "incorrect", but rather that he is "unjustified" - either one of them could be "correct", it's simply that they have no valid justification for their assertion.. Philosophically, there is no way to prove the nonexistence of anything. Claiming that we can is silly. Many atheists, maybe even most atheists, do not assert that God doesn't exist. I don't. That would be silly. Sure, some atheists do make such an assertion and, as you and I have agreed, doing so is unjustified.

So what have you gained? Nice post, but what does it accomplish? Or was it just the opening salvo of a longer argument?

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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16-01-2013, 05:09 PM
RE: Scientific reasoning.
It's not about proving or disproving another person's belief; it's about learning how the world works.
If you want to understand what someone believes, and discover how they came by their beliefs and why they hold those beliefs, you are studying psychology. You can know a great many things about psychology - a particular person's, as well as humanity's in general - to a degree of certainty (+/-98.3%) that you can treat as fact.
If you want to understand the origin, development and motions of the universe, you're studying cosmology, about which you can also learn a great deal, to an adequate degree of certainty.
If you want to know where we come from, how life on our planet developed and how life processes work, you're studying biology - to whatever degree of certainty.
Each scientific discipline has its methods and tools, theories and ways to test those theories; knowledge is built laboriously, layer upon layer; challenged, examined in the light of new evidence; re-tested, constantly.
That may not be proof of a belief - but it is a method that yields much reliable information.

When you put that up against claims of something improbable and illogical, that contradicts observable data while offering only old legends as an alternative - that's not an even 50-50 comparison. A scientific mind weighs the evidence.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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16-01-2013, 05:33 PM
RE: Scientific reasoning.
(16-01-2013 04:34 PM)mawil1013 Wrote:  An atheist saying god doesn't exist is as incorrect as a believer saying god exists. Neither can prove their opinion.
"Prove to me that a tiny, invisible, trans-dimensional dragon isn't responsible for the fire in a cigarette lighter."

I can say in full confidence that no evidence, of any kind, supports the belief that magic has existed or ever could exist.
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16-01-2013, 05:34 PM
Re: RE: Scientific reasoning.
[/quote]
So what have you gained? Nice post, but what does it accomplish? Or was it just the opening salvo of a longer argument?
[/quote]

It's a personal quest. When I toyed with the idea of saying to myself that my philosophy was to be as an atheist. I had these ideas of which I stated in my original post. At which point I had to say I then leaned towards saying my philosophy must be agnostic.

I also questioned my motives for leaning towards atheism and discovered in myself that it was a disgust not with a religion but what humans were doing with religion.

Do you know what I mean? I didn't hate religion as much as how much mankind is perverting all the religions.

I've had no interaction with others going thru these changes in thoughts and finding this group wish to understand others ideas and growth in these areas.
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16-01-2013, 05:47 PM
RE: Scientific reasoning.
Excellent answer.

Some of us maintain that atheism and agnosticism are not exclusive. Also, that theism and agnosticism are not exclusive. This is because "gnostic" means to have knowledge and "agnostic" means to NOT have knowledge, while "theism" is belief in some kind of religious stuff and "atheism" is NOT having any religious belief.

So a person could be an agnostic theist (an agnostic Christian, for example), meaning a theist who isn't sure if his belief is correct but still hangs onto that belief because he believes it without evidence, or a gnostic theist, meaning a theist who is absolutely positive that he "knows" god is real and, of course, believes in god. A person could also be an agnostic atheist, not believing in god but admitting that we cannot know for sure (that's me, and you too apparently), or a gnostic theist, someone who is absolutely sure there is no god and, of course, doesn't believe in any gods.

It's OK to be disgusted with religion. Most of them are despicable, preying (not praying) on the weak and vulnerable and gullible, filling their lives with fear and pettiness and subjugation to abstract rules and rituals and tithing/donations that benefit only the religion itself. Sick and wrong.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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16-01-2013, 05:51 PM
RE: Scientific reasoning.
So what have you gained? Nice post, but what does it accomplish? Or was it just the opening salvo of a longer argument?



It's a personal quest. When I toyed with the idea of saying to myself that my philosophy was to be as an atheist. I had these ideas of which I stated in my original post. At which point I had to say I then leaned towards saying my philosophy must be agnostic.

I also questioned my motives for leaning towards atheism and discovered in myself that it was a disgust not with a religion but what humans were doing with religion.

Do you know what I mean? I didn't hate religion as much as how much mankind is perverting all the religions.

I've had no interaction with others going thru these changes in thoughts and finding this group wish to understand others ideas and growth in these areas.




Please read the 'holy books' - the Bible and Koran. These books are full of perverted, hateful messages. These religions are hateful.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-01-2013, 06:28 PM
Re: RE: Scientific reasoning.
[/quote]
Please read the 'holy books' - the Bible and Koran. These books are full of perverted, hateful messages. These religions are hateful.
[/quote]

I have read the old testament/Torah as well as the new testament at least three times. Attempted to read the Koran 3 times, but had to stop due to the hatred I felt from it's writings.

There are gems of wisdom in most religions, but few. Mostly ramblings of ignorant men. I do feel if the adherents of religion followed the moral teachings that the world would indeed be a better place for all.

The one teaching in all religions which sums up all the words is the Golden Rule, the, 'do unto others as you would have others do unto to you.' But it is rarely followed by majority of so called believers.
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16-01-2013, 10:39 PM
RE: Scientific reasoning.
Hey, Mawil.

Quote:An atheist saying god doesn't exist is as incorrect as a believer saying god exists. Neither can prove their opinion

That's what we Agnostics are for Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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16-01-2013, 11:01 PM
RE: Scientific reasoning.
Quote:An atheist saying god doesn't exist is as incorrect as a believer saying god exists. Neither can prove their opinion

Correct, but incorrect in implying that scientific reasoning can't lead to lacking a belief in god. Lacking a belief in god is a skeptical stance, and scientific reasoning endorses the skeptical stance when a claim has not fulfilled its burden of proof. Yes, the absence of evidence does not necessarily indicate the evidence of absence, it just calls for a skeptical position until solid evidence is presented.

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