what IS the relationship between science and Atheism?
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15-11-2010, 11:50 AM
what IS the relationship between science and Atheism?
Ok. Atheists are simply not-Theists.

So Atheism has no direct relationship with science.

But to say that there is no relationship between science and Atheism seems, to me, indefensible. Many modern Atheists specifically use science to support their claims/beliefs.

So what is the relationship between science and Atheism? Is it direct or indirect and whichever, how? Is it a significant relationship or not? Is it reasonable to maintain that there is no relationship and how? How does science (specifically Big Bang creation myth) interact with an Atheist religion like Jainism (that maintains that the universe is composed of matter and souls and that it is eternal and uncreated)?

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15-11-2010, 12:13 PM
RE: what IS the relationship between science and Atheism?
I believe the connection exists in a manner of science leading to atheism rather than atheism leading to science. This, of course, isn't to say that science has proven no god exists, but rather, I believe a scientific mind begins to question the beliefs of their society (and even humanity) and leads them to think (again, scientifically) about what proof there is for these beliefs. When they discover there is none, many (probably not most) follow through with the method and resolve the belief as untrue or at least untestable. They are, at that point, atheists, and already have an affinity for science.

Then there's another route, in which those that became atheists by unscientific means see the "leaders" of that atheistic community, which are typically well-educated scientists, and conform themselves to better fit into the group, since atheism by itself is such a broad group to fit into alone.

But I would really urge you to check out the Facebook atheist groups... you'll find maybe three or four members that post that are interested in science and post science-y things, and the other 1,000 members are all posting lulzy pictures about gay Jesus and ranting about a theist "troll" on the page who is labelled such just because she's a theist and posting on the page. Tongue

I sincerely don't think there's that much of a correlation between atheism and love of science. I just think the more influential atheists have a deep love of science--and that's probably why they're influential to begin with. This forum tends to break the trend, I believe. At least in my limited experience.

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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15-11-2010, 12:27 PM
RE: what IS the relationship between science and Atheism?
Atheism is like theism... there's only the single position on the existence or non existence of a god/s. Can't Buddhists be atheists? Accepting the supernatural and not exclusively science like some atheists.
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15-11-2010, 12:36 PM
RE: what IS the relationship between science and Atheism?
Levi summed it up very well. The corrolation is indirect. Some atheists are atheists because they are rebelling against the system, the church or their parents, gaurdians and teachers. Some are there because they don't believe religious dogma, and some are here because their knowledge of science has trumped their belief in god. Then there are some how change back and forth. This last group definitely doesn't understand science.
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15-11-2010, 01:36 PM
 
RE: what IS the relationship between science and Atheism?
Science provides an alternative (and quite frankly correct) explanation for events that are also explained in religion.

Science is what spurs most people to become atheists. An interest in science will often lead people to see the contradictions between accepting science and following religion.

That is not to say that all atheists look to science or that all who look to science are atheists. That is why some of "us" (Yeah guys, I'm part of the club Big Grin) claim that science and atheism are not explicitly related.

It is also not to say that science is some form of religion. Science is simply a process. The conclusions reached by the application of that process is scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge provides an explanation for things in the natural world that are factually verified and constantly being challenged/reformulated in light of new evidence.

Religion, or religious knowledge, arises from no such process. Religion has doctrine, and disobeying this doctrine normally accompanies punishment. The stipulations of religion are quite frankly, made up (or even if they were given from God, they are not based in fact).

And frodo, I fail to see how your comparison works. Atheism and theism are exact opposites (hence the prefix a-). The only thing they share is that they state absolutes in belief, but this is true for all belief systems. Communism is not like capitalism simply because both systems claim themselves to be correct or contain absolute statements. This in fact is part of the definition of any "-ism."

There is more to religion than just theism. I consider Buddhism to be a religion, but it is not necessarily theistic, although the answer to that question will vary based upon who you ask.
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15-11-2010, 01:45 PM
RE: what IS the relationship between science and Atheism?
Absolutely TruthAddict - you have to defer to more than theism to get any more than a position on the belief in a god/s.

Scientists have a problem with religion where they experience religion encroaching on scientific territory... and I'm totally with them. As I can keep them separate I can fully accept both.
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15-11-2010, 02:22 PM
RE: what IS the relationship between science and Atheism?
Fantastic question. Although I can't deny that atheism and science often go hand-in-hand, I also don't think one is dependant on the other. I really think that Levis post was pretty much bang on with my thinking. Thanks Levi!

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15-11-2010, 02:31 PM
 
RE: what IS the relationship between science and Atheism?
(15-11-2010 01:45 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  Absolutely TruthAddict - you have to defer to more than theism to get any more than a position on the belief in a god/s.

But, can you elaborate and respond to me as to why atheism is just like theism?
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15-11-2010, 03:09 PM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2010 03:13 PM by gamutman.)
RE: what IS the relationship between science and Atheism?
I would say that the relationship is less causal and more supportive.

Let's say I am agnostic (as the word is commonly understood,) and I want to decide whether or not I should believe. Even if I decide to use incantations as a test for whether I should be Wiccan, I am employing the scientific method. If I do it correctly, I'll learn that - no - I should not be Wiccan since magik fails all tests. Now let's say I decide to use prayer to decide if I should be Christian. Again, I am employing the scientific method, probably establishing controls, checking for falsifiability, etc. Ultimately, the tests will disprove Christianity. Once I have exhausted all efforts to find truth, the scientific method will have led me to atheism, but it will not have caused my atheism. My atheism will have been caused by the failure of all religious claims to support belief.
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15-11-2010, 03:12 PM
RE: what IS the relationship between science and Atheism?
(15-11-2010 11:50 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Ok. Atheists are simply not-Theists.

So Atheism has no direct relationship with science.

Correct.

Quote:But to say that there is no relationship between science and Atheism seems, to me, indefensible. Many modern Atheists specifically use science to support their claims/beliefs.

Well, yes. If someone makes a specific claim about a deity, science can refute that claim - for example, that the Shroud of Turin was the shroud used to cover Jesus' body. Technically, it could also prove said claim, but I doubt that it will.

Quote:So what is the relationship between science and Atheism? Is it direct or indirect and whichever, how?

Indirect. There's often a correlation, though, because they often share a common cause: skepticism.

Quote:Is it a significant relationship or not?

Yes. See above.

Quote:How does science (specifically Big Bang creation myth) interact with an Atheist religion like Jainism (that maintains that the universe is composed of matter and souls and that it is eternal and uncreated)?

Depends on who you ask. I don't know anything about Jainism.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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