The final discussion... for now.
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03-07-2016, 11:00 PM (This post was last modified: 03-07-2016 11:06 PM by Tartarus Sauce.)
RE: The final discussion... for now.
(03-07-2016 06:51 PM)SYZ Wrote:  
(02-07-2016 10:50 PM)Aliza Wrote:  No, I don't forgo my belief in a G-d, but I don't see what compromise that means I'm supposed to have to make.
I'm afraid I still can't understand your position on this Aliza. If you claim to believe in the existence of a supernatural entity, how then can you fully encompass the tenets of science—which absolutely deny this purported existence? There's a more than obvious clash of your beliefs here, which is why I asked you about compromises.

As far as I’m aware, the tenants of science neither confirm nor deny the existence of (my) G-d. I don’t see how my religious views clash with science at all. Judaism teaches that G-d spoke to Moses and told the Jewish people to behave in a certain way. This has nothing to do with evolution or the age of the universe. Okay, but to be fair, I do have to compartmentalize when I’m studying science because it’s very clear to me that a) my religious views are not universally accepted, and more importantly, b) science is about things you can observe and test. When I study Judaism, no compartmentalizing is required. When I’m speaking with fellow Jews, we have a common belief system, and we do not deny scientific facts. (Okay, most of us don’t. I have met a few that cannot comprehend the science one bit.)

(03-07-2016 06:51 PM)SYZ Wrote:  
(02-07-2016 10:50 PM)Aliza Wrote:  Yes, of course I accept the theory of evolution, and the geological age of the universe. These things are facts. Yes, I believe you can have it both ways. I'm not a member of a religion that feels compelled to insist that the universe was literally created 6,000 years ago over the course of 6 days in the first place.
Again, I'm confused. Seemingly you rely on "facts" to confirm the age of the planet and the theory of evolution. But... when it comes to believing in gods, you don't require any "facts" at all. None of the empirical theories that science, for one, demands—just a vague, unevidenced notion that gods exist.

I rely on facts to confirm the age of the planet, because the facts are available and my religion does not require me to disregard this kind of evidence. In fact, Maimonides taught in the 1100’s that if the science is in, and it disagrees with what we thought the Torah was saying, then we must have misunderstood the Torah. Oops! The truth is, I believe in my G-d because it makes sense to me. The pitch was made, I liked what the Rabbis had to say and I bought into it. That’s it. It really doesn’t involve anyone else. Just a little thought project here: If you have a disease, and the best doctor for your illness happens to be Hindu, are you going to ask her to validate her religious beliefs before you allow her to write you the prescription you need? I don’t know, maybe you would, but I think most people would base their trust on her credentials and medical reviews. Her religious beliefs probably never even come up in conversation, yet she is still a medical doctor and also a theist.

(03-07-2016 06:51 PM)SYZ Wrote:  I'd also like to ask you why you type G-d in these comments? To me that indicates that you belive that there's only one single God (capitalised) but presumes to deny the existence of any/all other gods (as I use the word). Do you personally believe that only the Christian god exists? And if so, why?

To be clear, I believe in the Jewish G-d, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as described in the Torah. I do not believe in or follow the gods of any other culture. I do not believe in the Christian god, I think the Christian man-god, Jesus, is a colossal douchebag and a traitor. That’s my opinion. Jennybee said it perfectly, the dash is a sign of respect. Typing the word that way is kind of automatic for me, and I type the word so often on this forum that it just became too much of a hassle to have to go back and replace all my dashes with o’s.
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06-07-2016, 02:48 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
(03-07-2016 11:00 PM)Aliza Wrote:  As far as I’m aware, the tenants of science neither confirm nor deny the existence of (my) G-d.
Your god is currently classified (like all gods) as a supernatural entity. And all of science unequivocally denies the existence of supernatural entities and/or paranormal phenomena. Ergo, science denies the existence of your god. QED.

Quote:I don’t see how my religious views clash with science at all. Judaism teaches that G-d spoke to Moses and told the Jewish people to behave in a certain way.
This is a common non sequitur that many theists rely upon to state their case. You're presupposing that your god exists. It's a fallacy of logic.

Quote:Okay, but to be fair, I do have to compartmentalize when I’m studying science because it’s very clear to me that a) my religious views are not universally accepted, and more importantly, b) science is about things you can observe and test.
And this is precisely one of the "compromises" I refereed to Aliza. You're being fully honest neither to your religion, nor your science. And one of them is suffering because of this.

Quote:When I study Judaism, no compartmentalizing is required. When I’m speaking with fellow Jews, we have a common belief system, and we do not deny scientific facts.
Sorry, but you do (maybe inadvertently?). A scientific "fact" is that supernatural entities do not exist. There is zero empirical evidence—despite thousands of years of positive belief—that gods exist in the real world.

Quote:Just a little thought project here: If you have a disease, and the best doctor for your illness happens to be Hindu, are you going to ask her to validate her religious beliefs before you allow her to write you the prescription you need?
Definitely not. The writing of the prescription is for drugs that science (not her) has confirmed will cure my illness. (And I'm referring here to a general practitioner, or MD.) The fact that the doctor believes in the existence of Ganesha, Vishnu, or Lakshmi doesn't impinge in any way on my faith [sic] in the scientific method. On the other hand, if she wrote me a script for an ayurvedic medicine—such as a rasa shastra compound—I'd be out the door in a flash!

Quote:To be clear, I believe in the Jewish G-d, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as described in the Torah. I do not believe in or follow the gods of any other culture. I do not believe in the Christian god, I think the Christian man-god, Jesus, is a colossal douchebag and a traitor.
Ouch! So you 're saying that the god that 1.6 billion Muslims worship doesn't exist? Why should the Abrahamic god exist, but not the Islamic god? Do you also disbelieve in the other estimated 22,000 gods across the planet? And what about Aphrodite, Obatala, Quetzalcoatl, Izanagi, Ra, Freya, Jupiter, and Mithras to name a few? All figments of the imagination? All non-existent? Why is yours (apparently) the one and only god?

Quote:That’s my opinion. Jennybee said it perfectly, the dash is a sign of respect. Typing the word that way is kind of automatic for me, and I type the word so often on this forum that it just became too much of a hassle to have to go back and replace all my dashes with o’s.
Not a problem Aliza. I had assumed that you did this so as not to take your Lord's name in vain. I notice (on other forums) many theists also do this too. Incidentally (as you've probably already noticed) I don't capitalise the words "god" or "god's" because I don't use them as proper names—it's not intended to be derogatory. I invariably use the phrase "your god" instead of simply God.

And I thank you for your articulate response. Smile

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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06-07-2016, 03:06 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
I'm not aware that science denies God or the supernatural. They are simply irrelevant. Science deals with the natural world, and hence has nothing to say about the supernatural. Plenty of scientists are theists of one sort or the other. I don't think there's necessarily any conflict, unless you insist on treating your particular scripture as a science book -- which none of them were intended to be.
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06-07-2016, 03:18 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
(06-07-2016 02:48 PM)SYZ Wrote:  
(03-07-2016 11:00 PM)Aliza Wrote:  As far as I’m aware, the tenants of science neither confirm nor deny the existence of (my) G-d.
Your god is currently classified (like all gods) as a supernatural entity. And all of science unequivocally denies the existence of supernatural entities and/or paranormal phenomena. Ergo, science denies the existence of your god. QED.

We seem to be operating under different definitions of the term, science. I am relying on what my state university taught me in my first semester. Perhaps as I grow in my science knowledge, my understanding of the definition will change, but the message has been consist during my time at the university so far. I've never even heard anything about science being able to disprove the supernatural.

My textbook breaks science up into two categories: discovery science and hypothesis-driven science.

Under the heading of Discovery Science, the book reads: [The] dependence on observations that other people can confirm demystifies nature and distinguishes science from belief in the supernatural. Science can neither prove nor disprove angels, ghosts, deities, or spirits, whether benevolent or evil, cause storms, rainbows, illnesses, or cures, for such explanations are outside of the bounds of science.
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06-07-2016, 03:56 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
Historians also tend to take this approach-that they can neither prove/disprove the supernatural. I like to read a lot about various cultures and religions (including biblical history) as a hobby. In many of the scholarly works I've read, the author(s) will add a paragraph or two stating that they are not trying to prove/disprove the existence of gods, but rather are trying to relay archaeological, sociological, and historical findings. I have seen this similar statement in scholarly material written by atheist historians, agnostic historians, and theist historians (the ones who are actual biblical scholars and are able to separate historical fact from religious beliefs).
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06-07-2016, 04:24 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
(06-07-2016 03:18 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(06-07-2016 02:48 PM)SYZ Wrote:  Your god is currently classified (like all gods) as a supernatural entity. And all of science unequivocally denies the existence of supernatural entities and/or paranormal phenomena. Ergo, science denies the existence of your god. QED.

We seem to be operating under different definitions of the term, science. I am relying on what my state university taught me in my first semester. Perhaps as I grow in my science knowledge, my understanding of the definition will change, but the message has been consist during my time at the university so far. I've never even heard anything about science being able to disprove the supernatural.

My textbook breaks science up into two categories: discovery science and hypothesis-driven science.

Under the heading of Discovery Science, the book reads: [The] dependence on observations that other people can confirm demystifies nature and distinguishes science from belief in the supernatural. Science can neither prove nor disprove angels, ghosts, deities, or spirits, whether benevolent or evil, cause storms, rainbows, illnesses, or cures, for such explanations are outside of the bounds of science.

Ultimately all scientific knowledge is grounded in evidence.
There is no evidence of anything supernatural in all of our observations of nature, and there is no place in our understanding of nature where it would fit.
If you think it exists but there is no place in nature for it to dwell, that sets up dissonance with your understanding of nature.
If you wedge it in to some gap in our knowledge and understanding, you are not doing science.

We do not need to prove anything about something for which there is no evidence.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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06-07-2016, 04:34 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
(03-07-2016 11:00 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(03-07-2016 06:51 PM)SYZ Wrote:  I'm afraid I still can't understand your position on this Aliza. If you claim to believe in the existence of a supernatural entity, how then can you fully encompass the tenets of science—which absolutely deny this purported existence? There's a more than obvious clash of your beliefs here, which is why I asked you about compromises.

As far as I’m aware, the tenants of science neither confirm nor deny the existence of (my) G-d. I don’t see how my religious views clash with science at all. Judaism teaches that G-d spoke to Moses and told the Jewish people to behave in a certain way. This has nothing to do with evolution or the age of the universe. Okay, but to be fair, I do have to compartmentalize when I’m studying science because it’s very clear to me that a) my religious views are not universally accepted, and more importantly, b) science is about things you can observe and test. When I study Judaism, no compartmentalizing is required. When I’m speaking with fellow Jews, we have a common belief system, and we do not deny scientific facts. (Okay, most of us don’t. I have met a few that cannot comprehend the science one bit.)

(03-07-2016 06:51 PM)SYZ Wrote:  Again, I'm confused. Seemingly you rely on "facts" to confirm the age of the planet and the theory of evolution. But... when it comes to believing in gods, you don't require any "facts" at all. None of the empirical theories that science, for one, demands—just a vague, unevidenced notion that gods exist.

I rely on facts to confirm the age of the planet, because the facts are available and my religion does not require me to disregard this kind of evidence. In fact, Maimonides taught in the 1100’s that if the science is in, and it disagrees with what we thought the Torah was saying, then we must have misunderstood the Torah. Oops! The truth is, I believe in my G-d because it makes sense to me. The pitch was made, I liked what the Rabbis had to say and I bought into it. That’s it. It really doesn’t involve anyone else. Just a little thought project here: If you have a disease, and the best doctor for your illness happens to be Hindu, are you going to ask her to validate her religious beliefs before you allow her to write you the prescription you need? I don’t know, maybe you would, but I think most people would base their trust on her credentials and medical reviews. Her religious beliefs probably never even come up in conversation, yet she is still a medical doctor and also a theist.

(03-07-2016 06:51 PM)SYZ Wrote:  I'd also like to ask you why you type G-d in these comments? To me that indicates that you belive that there's only one single God (capitalised) but presumes to deny the existence of any/all other gods (as I use the word). Do you personally believe that only the Christian god exists? And if so, why?

To be clear, I believe in the Jewish G-d, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as described in the Torah. I do not believe in or follow the gods of any other culture. I do not believe in the Christian god, I think the Christian man-god, Jesus, is a colossal douchebag and a traitor. That’s my opinion. Jennybee said it perfectly, the dash is a sign of respect. Typing the word that way is kind of automatic for me, and I type the word so often on this forum that it just became too much of a hassle to have to go back and replace all my dashes with o’s.

SO you are saying yoyu prefer the G-d of the Old Testament who wandered around the desert killing every one who got in His way to an itinerant teacher who taught love for every one? Is that what I am hearing here? I could follow the teachings of Jesus if I didn't have to believe in the magic of drinking his blood to live for ever.
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06-07-2016, 04:43 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
I once had a book in my possession and would like to have it again. It was a compilation in English by an Englishman of the four gospels leaving out the miracles and other magical stuff. It was a new agey type thing postulating Jesus as being a travelling maker of outdoor fountains for back yard meditations and telling his stories in that setting. For example telling the fable of the feeding of 5000 people on a few fishes and loaves he speculated that Jesus started out with a few fish and some one brought a basket with more and them someone else contributed a bit of bread which he passed out and more people donated and he spread that out ad infinitum. When he was finished redistributing everything there was bread and fish left over that was gathered up in some of the baskets people had donated. ALl in all it made a followable philosophy without asking anyone to believe in any fantasy.
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06-07-2016, 04:45 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
It's always tough talking evolution to a theist who refuses to accept it as a fact of life. I agree with others that there's no point in going on and on if they refuse to learn or investigate the answers on their own. If you want to keep going my only advice is to treat them like dumb kids who are just now hearing this info for the first time, I always try to compare to something that makes sense to them already like the different races.

If they believe we all descend from one couple why are there different races? The simple answer is: Adaptation, once they can understand something simple like some humans adapted to a hot environment with darker skin and other humans adapted to colder regions with light skin they will start to understand a basic law of evolution, then they can understand gradual change over time and natural selection.

You can also compare it to dog breeding, almost every dog descends from wolf-like ancestors, just like we descend from ape-like ancestors down the line. But here we are with all different types of dogs, some big, some small, some fluffy, some short haired, adapting and evolving. All living things are transitional forms, always evolving from lesser forms linking us all together.

There are other simplistic ways of getting them to at least open the door to the discussion but it will be a waste of time if they don't study it on their own. It's a complex science after all, it's not a nice little bedtime story about a magic wizard creating humans to live perfectly on one little blue planet. It's a complicated scientific theory with loads of evidence back it up, it takes time to understand it fully.

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06-07-2016, 04:45 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
She's not trying to prove the existence of her God with science. She's sciencing when she's at school. Wink Her spirituality exists outside of her educational pursuits. She wants to be a science teacher, I think she had said in the past anyway? She's going to be teaching science, not her religious beliefs. If her religious beliefs never enter the classroom, what difference does it make?
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