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Believe It or Not
02-13-2018, 04:22 AM
Post: #1
Believe It or Not
"The difference between your belief in your religion and my belief in science is that science would be true whether I believed in it or not."

I've seen this statement made again and again whenever a religious person states that scientific thought is nothing more than a matter of mere belief. It isn't, of course. The laws and principles discovered though scientific inquiry would still hold true despite our acceptance or disbelief in them.

However, according to the religious person's world-view, could not the same be said for a belief in religious matters? That is to say: Is the existence of a religious truth dependent upon our belief in it? Doesn't the theist believe, for example, that God exists whether he believes in God or not?

Of course he does. The theist does not "will" God into existence by believing in God any more than scientific truth is "willed" into existence through the efforts of its adherents. These truths, if they exist at all, are not invented but rather discovered. Could it be possible that both scientific truth and religious truth both exist, and do so despite however we may feel about them?

This is the point in the argument where the scientist says, "No, because there is evidence for science, but not for religion." But what kind of evidence are we talking about?

True enough, there is a scientific method by which scientific truth is verified. Nobody (I hope) would argue that that a scientific theory would have to not only pass such a rigorous scientific testing, but also pass some kind of religious test in order to be called truth. (Well, Mr. Scientist, your theory of X is really quite nice, and you've nailed the science part. But, I'm sorry to say, you've failed to prove it according to religious standards, so I'm afraid we can't call it true.)

Rather silly, right?

Think about it from another angle, though. (Well, Mr. Religionist, your belief in X is really quite nice, and you've nailed the religious part. But, I'm sorry to say, you've failed to prove it according to scientific standards, so I'm afraid we can't call it true.)

Why do many feel that this isn't just as silly? If science if true regardless of what religion has to say about it, then why can't religion be true without the imprimatur of science?

Perhaps the only real truth is personal truth - the universe according to the individual observing it. After all, it is this truth alone which truly guides us.
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02-13-2018, 09:03 AM
Post: #2
RE: Believe It or Not
(02-13-2018 04:22 AM)taykair Wrote:  Could it be possible that both scientific truth and religious truth both exist, and do so despite however we may feel about them?

Yes .. you are right!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
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02-13-2018, 02:13 PM
Post: #3
RE: Believe It or Not
(02-13-2018 09:03 AM)muhammad_isa Wrote:  
(02-13-2018 04:22 AM)taykair Wrote:  Could it be possible that both scientific truth and religious truth both exist, and do so despite however we may feel about them?

Yes .. you are right!

Well, both truths may exist, but scientific truth is the only one we can converge on. Both bodies of knowledge start with guesses, but the scientific method includes the crucial step of checking to see if you're wrong. If you are, you can stop guessing in that direction. Science and religion aren't incompatible in principle, it's just that so far, whenever a religious guess has been checked in a scientific way, the result has been that the guess was wrong. If the answer always comes back "no", it's tempting to think that maybe the system telling you "no" is broken, especially since some of the guesses seem like such good ones.

They're like games of Battleship. Science has a feedback mechanism, like the opponent that responds to coordinates allowing one to converge on the aircraft carrier. The problem with religion is there's no way to know if any shot is a hit or miss, or if you're even using the right coordinate system. "B-5. Hello? B-5? How about banana-purple? Hello?" That makes it really difficult to converge on an answer. even to questions that ought to be simple to answer. Did God beget a child? Can God beget a child? Hello?

That's why inerrant scripture is so important to fundamentalists. Without that, every guess is a shout into the void with no response. "Do you suppose our souls are unicorn farts?" "Sure. Makes makes more sense than the one about Solomon and the talking ants."
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02-13-2018, 03:12 PM
Post: #4
RE: Believe It or Not
(02-13-2018 02:13 PM)Difflugia Wrote:  ...
Makes makes more sense than the one about Solomon and the talking ants."

Ants do actually communicate with each other. They don't "talk" like humans do, no.
Solomon, peace be with him, was given knowledge of the communication of various creatures.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
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02-13-2018, 05:03 PM
Post: #5
RE: Believe It or Not
(02-13-2018 03:12 PM)muhammad_isa Wrote:  
(02-13-2018 02:13 PM)Difflugia Wrote:  ...
Makes makes more sense than the one about Solomon and the talking ants."

Ants do actually communicate with each other. They don't "talk" like humans do, no.
Solomon, peace be with him, was given knowledge of the communication of various creatures.

If there weren't other reasons for wanting inerrant scripture, then it would be recognized as a made-up story. The only reason anyone cares about the story about Solomon and the ants is because of what it means to the rest of the stories if that one's made up. It's the same as the biblical stories about Jesus withering the fig tree and the argument about whether the mustard seed is really the smallest seed or not. Unless those stories can be true in some objective sense, the rest of the Bible is in question. If that happens, then the Bible has to be judged by the same standard as whether mercury compounds influence autism or thalidomide causes birth defects. There's no scientific way that fire came out of heaven to light Elijah's altar, that a virgin got pregnant without a turkey baster, or that a dead man came back to life after three days (give or take).
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02-13-2018, 05:44 PM
Post: #6
RE: Believe It or Not
(02-13-2018 05:03 PM)Difflugia Wrote:  ...The only reason anyone cares about the story about Solomon and the ants is because of what it means to the rest of the stories if that one's made up..

I don't find it difficult to believe that a man could understand what the birds were saying, for example.
If I question scriptural narrative that I find difficult to believe, it means that I might as well forget it all.

No Big Grin
I'm the loser, if I do that. I don't believe illogical things .. but incredulous things is another matter

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
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02-13-2018, 06:30 PM
Post: #7
RE: Believe It or Not
(02-13-2018 05:44 PM)muhammad_isa Wrote:  
(02-13-2018 05:03 PM)Difflugia Wrote:  ...The only reason anyone cares about the story about Solomon and the ants is because of what it means to the rest of the stories if that one's made up..

I don't find it difficult to believe that a man could understand what the birds were saying, for example.
If I question scriptural narrative that I find difficult to believe, it means that I might as well forget it all.

No Big Grin
I'm the loser, if I do that. I don't believe illogical things .. but incredulous things is another matter

Let's take it at face value that you believe that it's logical for Solomon to somehow understand the communication of the ants.

Roughly speaking, ants communicate with each other via physical touch and chemical transmitters. Leaving aside how he unravelled the meaning, what's the mechanism for these communications reaching Solomon's senses?
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02-14-2018, 07:56 AM
Post: #8
RE: Believe It or Not
(02-13-2018 06:30 PM)Difflugia Wrote:  .
...
Roughly speaking, ants communicate with each other via physical touch and chemical transmitters. Leaving aside how he unravelled the meaning, what's the mechanism for these communications reaching Solomon's senses?

A very reasonable question.
There might be a scientific explanation .. or there might not. It might be that Almighty God made it known to him what the ants werre "saying".

Then we get to the question of how Almighty God can understand Big Grin
Almighty God is aware of all things Praise

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
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02-14-2018, 09:52 AM
Post: #9
RE: Believe It or Not
(02-14-2018 07:56 AM)muhammad_isa Wrote:  A very reasonable question.
There might be a scientific explanation .. or there might not. It might be that Almighty God made it known to him what the ants werre "saying".

Then we get to the question of how Almighty God can understand Big Grin
Almighty God is aware of all things Praise

How would you tell the difference between that statement and a similar one? Like, if I say that Almighty God is aware of most things, but can't see through 10mm of lead? Or that God understands all languages except Pig Latin, so if I can think is-thay a-way, en-thay od-Gay oesn't-day ow-knay at-whay I'm-way inking-thay? Either of those might be true, so how do I ow-knay?
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02-14-2018, 12:12 PM (This post was last modified: 02-14-2018 12:13 PM by muhammad_isa.)
Post: #10
RE: Believe It or Not
(02-14-2018 09:52 AM)Difflugia Wrote:  ...
How would you tell the difference between that statement and a similar one? Like, if I say that Almighty God is aware of most things, but can't see through 10mm of lead? Or that God understands all languages except Pig Latin...

Almighty God is aware of every leaf that has fallen and will fall. He is aware of every thought of every creature.
Almighty God is not a person .. He is a hugely powerful, spiritual entity. He maintains the universe. He is neither weary nor sleeps.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
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