"You've just chosen a different religion, science"
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17-01-2013, 02:13 PM
RE: "You've just chosen a different religion, science"
Yeah religious people have a hard time with the idea that there is a system that lacks, worship, belief without evidence, and gods.

So they take their ideas and apply it to us.

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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17-01-2013, 03:08 PM
RE: "You've just chosen a different religion, science"
I think it is quite simple; you don't believe in science, you use science, because science is a method. Religions are defined by their beliefs, whereas with science, beliefs can be a product, but they always exist independently of the method.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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17-01-2013, 04:37 PM
RE: "You've just chosen a different religion, science"
I don't understand people.

They'll dismiss a way of thinking for being "occasionally wrong" but at the same time they embrace with absolute certainly a way of thinking that has never been right.

Maybe they aren't looking for truth so much as consistency.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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17-01-2013, 07:55 PM
RE: "You've just chosen a different religion, science"
Gather together these three items

[Image: 220px-Charcoal2.jpg] [Image: 250px-Sulfur-sample.jpg] [Image: 200px-Potassium_nitrate.jpg]


Ask your friends to identify them using their religion.
Using science you can run tests to discover what each one is.
Science has a wealth of information about the real world.

The first is charcoal, the second is sulfur and the third is potassium nitrate.

Now what can we do with these three ?
We can run experiments based upon what we know about each one.
After lots of testing, trials and errors, mixing combinations, etc etc, you could end up with this

[Image: 220px-Black_Powder_Close_Up.jpg]


No, not a quarter. It's black powder. Gunpowder. It's something science can produce through a lot of testing, trials and experimentation.
In that entire process of discovering what each item was and all the experiments, there were no rituals, no faith involved, no religion whatsoever. It's just observation of what we have in the real world and how they relate to each other. Science is a way of discovering something we didn't know about the world.

You'll never get gunpowder from praying or from reading the bible.
You only get answers about the real world through science.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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17-01-2013, 08:18 PM
RE: "You've just chosen a different religion, science"
(17-01-2013 04:37 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  I don't understand people.

They'll dismiss a way of thinking for being "occasionally wrong" but at the same time they embrace with absolute certainly a way of thinking that has never been right.

Maybe they aren't looking for truth so much as consistency.
They grasp at straws, i think. They seem to be looking for consistency as well as comfort, in my experience.

I don't know if it was real, but there was an image going around facebook of a church sign that read, "If your faith is strong enough, facts don't count." I've encountered many people with that mindset, and it's totally useless to argue with them. All I can do is point to facts and evidence, if they don't value those, the conversation is over.

People like to think they know all the answers, and religion tells them they already have the answers, so they think there's no use searching for answers. I just feel like such a huge difference in what people value (faith or facts) often makes communication impossible.
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17-01-2013, 10:25 PM
RE: "You've just chosen a different religion, science"
(17-01-2013 07:55 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Gather together these three items

[Image: 220px-Charcoal2.jpg] [Image: 250px-Sulfur-sample.jpg] [Image: 200px-Potassium_nitrate.jpg]


Ask your friends to identify them using their religion.
Using science you can run tests to discover what each one is.
Science has a wealth of information about the real world.

The first is charcoal, the second is sulfur and the third is potassium nitrate.

Now what can we do with these three ?
We can run experiments based upon what we know about each one.
After lots of testing, trials and errors, mixing combinations, etc etc, you could end up with this

[Image: 220px-Black_Powder_Close_Up.jpg]


No, not a quarter. It's black powder. Gunpowder. It's something science can produce through a lot of testing, trials and experimentation.
In that entire process of discovering what each item was and all the experiments, there were no rituals, no faith involved, no religion whatsoever. It's just observation of what we have in the real world and how they relate to each other. Science is a way of discovering something we didn't know about the world.

You'll never get gunpowder from praying or from reading the bible.
You only get answers about the real world through science.

I like your post, but I hate your example. You've just implied that science creates destruction and given theists everywhere a new slogan to use: "Religion didn't create nuclear weapons"

Theists tend to steal just enough logic from the arguments of atheists to form semi-coherent rebuttals to pass off as their own.

Though honestly, I imagine the end of mankind to be the brilliance of science combined with the stupidity of religion.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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17-01-2013, 10:44 PM
RE: "You've just chosen a different religion, science"
Well, actually, religion did not create nuclear weapons. Science did. Manhattan project, pretty cool stuff. There's little point in hiding that fact.

Science also created nuclear imaging that has saved more lives than nuclear weapons ever took. Science has also created televisions, cell phones, computers, microwave ovens, other kinds of ovens, refrigerators, cars, air planes, XBoxes, velcro, aspirin, viagra, and, oh, about a billion other things that we know and love and use in our lives.

Religion has created fear and ignorance and, sometimes, comfort and ignorance, but not much else.

I choose science.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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18-01-2013, 01:17 AM
RE: "You've just chosen a different religion, science"
(17-01-2013 01:29 PM)FICKLEish Wrote:  Reltzik: THANK YOU. Your answer really got to the heart of what I was trying to ask. The points you made really helped me work out the parts that were causing me confusion. In the argument that I initially posted about, we started going down a philosophical rabbit-hole which could only lead to "Do we really exist?" "Is anything true?" and that is what frustrated me. Thanks again, I'm going to paste your response somewhere so I can refer to it Smile
Paste away with my blessing.

One more thing that has occurred to me. While science is not, in itself, a religion, its findings are often elevated to be objects of faith by the... well, let's say overly exuberant, or possibly intellectually lazy.

There's a certain tendency in many (but far from all) who follow science to adopt its conclusions as articles of faith. To essentially say, "Scientists say the Big Bang happened, thus, it must have happened." Without, really, ever examining the evidence for or against the conclusion.

There is a certain validity in this. If I knew one hypothesis had been driven through the most viscous intellectual proving grounds in existence and emerged more or less unscathed, I would place greater trust in it than, say, a hypothesis that was not allowed to be subjected to the least criticism, lest its proponents get pissed off and burn you at the stake or something. We can trust that a more rigorous method, with an established track record, produces better conclusions. We can make a similar statement about scientists, in that they consistently produce better results through a better method. There is thus a halfway decent reason to trust in scientific conclusions without ever evaluating the evidence... especially because no one has time to read every scientific paper out there.

That said, this IS a sort of faith. Not blind religious faith, really, but faith in the sense of trust. Good faith and credit.

Having faith in conclusions, rather than examining them skeptically, also turns science on its ear. Utterly and completely.

I think part of the problem is that a sort of fetish has been made of results and conclusions, rather than experiments. For example, which is more widely to be known? That light speed is about 300,000 km/s? Or the methods of finding this number, starting with Ole Romer's (there should be a slash through the o in Romer, but my keyboard isn't scandahoovian) observations of how Io's apparent period varied depending on whether Earth was approaching or retreating? (Romer subsequently calculated c as 220,000 km/s, probably based on an incorrect figure for the orbital radius of Jupiter.)

Really, the way these things are figured out are way, way, way, ultra-cool and MUCH better at shutting up an argument than just quoting the number and saying "scientists say". But guess what happens if the argument starts? We tend to just Google it and say, "hey, Google says 300k, eat it." We don't reference the experiment. Goodness forbid we should actually try to RECREATE the experiment. Which do they make kids memorize in science class? Sure, they do a few experiments and labs, but the things they really have to LEARN are formulas and figures and laws and reactions and tables, not how they were derived in the first place. It's a crying shame. We learn the great thoughts and findings of others, but not how to find or think for ourselves.

As a culture, we've put so much emphasis on science's conclusions, that we've come to ignore Science Itself. In that way too, science has become a religion.

But it's still not a religion the way that religion is a religion. So eat it.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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18-01-2013, 02:29 AM
RE: "You've just chosen a different religion, science"
(17-01-2013 11:51 AM)FICKLEish Wrote:  I've recently been told that since science can't truly prove anything and we frequently find new evidence to change our minds about previous scientific claims, that believing the scientific view of how the world began (etc) requires faith and is just another type of religion. I don't know what to say to that. It seems obvious in my mind that there is a distinction, but I'm not good at wording it in an argument. A little help please?
This is something I've thought about a lot, and although I would never call science a religion, whoever told you that is otherwise correct in my opinion. To begin we must first ask ourselves what is truly knowable...what is 'real knowledge'. It is (to me) something which can be proven...not proven beyond "reasonable doubt" because in this particular venue of discusion we must have absolutes, and reasonable is not an absolute term. Following that what cannot lie? Well logic seems to dictate that there are many things which are true knowledge at first glance. 1+1=2...is that true knowledge? If you ask me, the answer is no. The reason why is that numbers are only ideas which are constructed through our language. This is probably my most controversial claim that would invite others to disagree, but many others will agree. Show me a "one" what does a "one" look like? You could show me a symbol of one, you can give me an example of something that quantifies the idea of one, but there is no "one". Many 'common' people, not scientifically inclined may think things like gravity is something which is proven and is therefore true knowledge, but as David Hume would point out, we can't know that. We know that the evidence seems to overwhelmingly supports the theory, we cannot know we are right beyond all doubt. It is possible (however unlikely) that angels are flying around and moving the heavens around under order from our beloved God. If that is the case what can we know? Well, our senses surely fail us at times, but it is also possible as Socrates Allegory of the Cave pointed out that we are always being lied to, and our senses are always filling us full of rubbish. What we see, taste, feel, smell...it could all very well be rubbish and we wouldn't be the wiser. Then we move onto Descartes, who was mostly full of bullshit trying to logically prove the existance of God, but he was right (before he said fuck it, and veered far left) when he said "Cogito ergo sum". As far as I'm concerned that is the only true knowledge.

With that out of the way, be a pragmatist. What we think think is true is true until evidence suggests otherwise, just like you were told. That's about as good as we humans can do. If you arguing with someone, show him/her the evidence that counters there false beliefs. Good luck!

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18-01-2013, 09:16 AM
RE: "You've just chosen a different religion, science"
(17-01-2013 12:12 PM)FICKLEish Wrote:  I thought more about how you put it, I get it now. The real point being that what I believe is based in evidence and when that evidence changes then I can change, too.
thanks for answering
There is a fundamental misunderstanding for some people on some things with science.

For instance... THEORY. The misuse of THEORY is all too common. To say "Well that's JUST a theory" is usually coming from someone who has no idea how a scientific theory comes into the works. It requires a solid base of something that has been beaten to hell and back (figuratively of course, hah). It must withstand the scrutiny of the critics and be based with scientific facts. If it cannot withstand the scrutiny, or if the facts change, the theory can change.

For instance... The theory of gravity (which we call a "law"). But the thing about gravity is that we know it's there. However our THEORY on gravity COULD change in light of new scientific facts. Gravity itself would not change, but how we understand it could change in light of new facts or evidence that explain it better.

In science, as it has already been mentioned in prior posts, must be able to admit ignorance or change of something in light of new facts.

Even the definition of scientific fact is: an observation that has been confirmed repeatedly and is accepted as true (although its truth is never final).

Meaning that if something should change that, we end up getting better science. In other words.... science can be wrong, but it ends up being replaced with better science. Quite the opposite when people end up having to make supernatural beliefs fit because there is no other way to make it work than to come up with wild assumptions or observations that are nothing more that personal and not empirical. I say that as a broad explanation, because we all know that the religious personalize their beliefs differently and not everyone "believes the same"....

Another thing as someone mentioned is that even if there are artifacts that prove that some person existed some thousands of years ago (and I'm sure there's plenty of those and NOT JUST in Christianity...) it does not prove that the person was supernatural, nor a god, nor some radical superbeing. It simply proves the person existed.

If someone wrote a book about me and there is plenty of evidence that I exist. There is documentation and information about me that people could use to prove I exist. For instance... I have a number that identifies me to my country, I have a birth certificate, I have things people have wrote that include my identity... so someone could confirm I existed.

Now if someone writes a book about me being superhuman and the son of god, and someone found this all thousands of years later, would they believe I was the son of god? Well, they confirmed I existed... and there is also a book about me. I mean holy crap! I EXISTED! Was I a supernatural force to be reckoned with? WAS I the son of god? I mean I existed so that must be pretty compelling right?

Anyone can write anything about anyone. But for something to be true, for us to confirm it is true, we need some sort of empirical evidence for it. Otherwise it's still a story, whether or not the person existed is not evidence that they were superman, or ironman. Although if Ironman existed thousands of years ago, I would find his suit and skeleton pretty compelling. But a lack of his skeleton and suit and an empty tomb labeled that he was there and a book about him to me is not compelling at all.

But I digress... one could possibly mean that you worship science as your "way of explaining the world." and if that is what they mean then so be it. But at least it is empirical and solid, able to be shown, explained and held high with dignity instead of grasping at straws at a way to explain the unexplainable because you feel sad and lonely if you couldn't deal with reality.
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