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Author Topic:   Hello everyone
scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


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(1)
Message 1 of 380 (712335)
12-02-2013 11:41 PM


Hi everyone! I just wanted to introduce myself and also mention that I used to debate here years ago under a different alias and had quite a bit of fun "disproving" people.
Interestingly enough, I was a young earth creationist who has debated against evolution and naturalism for quite a few years now, developing a plethora of arguments that unquestionably made creationism "the winner", well, erm, in my mind. Without sounding arrogant, I do consider myself to be more or less an expert on creationist arguments because of how long I've debated with evolutionists and how passionate I was about my point of view.
Having that kind of background has really helped my perspective on the issue now that I can no longer justify not believing in evolution as the most reasonable explanation science has yielded. So you're probably wondering how I could end up now believing in science and putting aside religious dogma? Well, there are a couple reasons.
The first step to reason was one day deciding to just be honest with myself and admit that I didn't know for sure that there is a god - and that's the biggest thing right there, HONESTY, admitting that I wasn't truly certain apart from wants or desires that the God I had in my mind existed for sure.
If a creationist doesn't take that first step they will never be able to be mentally free to rationally evaluate the subject without a flagrant bias from the outset. I used to believe that the reason people were evolutionists was because they didn't want to "admit" that there's a God so that they don't have to be "accountable". But really that's just a ploy built into religion to keep people from questioning.
I went on a quest to look at all the evidence from both sides without putting my own slant on it and noticed something remarkable, evolution may have begun as a pre-conceived notion that needed to seek evidence to back it up, but it was always falsifiable from the beginning. Creationism can't and never will be falsifiable because it invokes a deity that can't be tested and therefore never verified. Flying pink unicorns aren't falsifiable either.
The evidence for evolution may be imperfect but it's there and it's powerful and it is consistent with the evidence.
The human transitional fossils are there if you really choose to look at them..., we can see the skull shapes and see that they are clearly not modernly human and clearly not ape but instead somewhere in between. The fossil record really does have an overwhelming array of evidence for evolution.
I then stacked all of the best creationist arguments in my head and put them against evolution. I was quite the expert on the "micro" vs "macro" evolution argument. I had to realize, however, that Creationists have no definition of what a "kind" is vs species, and therefore have no valid argument in saying that micro can't turn into macro because it can't cross the barrier of a "different kind". But where is the barrier? If a "kind" can't be identified then the creationist puts themselves in a convenient location where they can consider any change, no matter how significant, to still be "micro" and not "macro." If there's a "evolution can't go further" barrier they have to produce it by showing it.
The other thing was "irreducible complexity". It has now been shown to be false on a number of investigative models. Biology is not like a clock where it needs all the components at once to work (this argument may sound persuasive but it's false), the individual elements can still function on their own without all being together. This is a devastating blow to ID and the arguments that ID makes. Another devastating blow to the Christian YEC model is that there is no evidence whatsoever that humans and dinosaurs co-existed, absolutely none. And if all of those antediluvian giants existed before the great flood of Noah, why have we not found even one fossil of the remains of one of these people? The evidence against it is overwhelming.
In the end, even if evolution is wrong, that doesn't prove creation.
I then realized that I can only either believe in religion or science, since both are completely incompatible with each other - I used to try to make both work for so long until integrity made me realize it just isn't possible and it wouldn't be right to pretend that they can work together.
Religion asserts certain ideas as true and those beliefs outrank anything else in life, including any inconvenient scientific discoveries. That means that if science were to show something within that religion as false, the religious person then has to allow religion to trump the scientific discovery in their mind, making the supposed harmony between the too illusory. This is why they can't work together. The only way for them to be compatible would be for the one embracing a religion to treat the religion as being falsifiable which is inherently not what religion can be - the religious person already has all the answers and already knows that their religion is “true” no matter what. Of course, they really don't, they just want to believe that and shun everything that may say otherwise.
So why do I believe in evolution now and do not accept the existence of a god without evidence? Well, because I decided to stop refusing to accept the obvious. If someone were to ask a religious believer to start believing in the flying spaghetti monster and to let “him” into their hearts, the religious person would point out how ridiculous it is and then probably cite the lack of evidence that there's even such a thing. You see, they know how to use logical arguments when it doesn't touch a belief system that they cherish and want to be true even though the evidence for a flying spaghetti monster and “god” or “gods” is exactly the same, nil.
People use phrases like “if it's too good to be true it probably is”, and yet don't apply that same idea to some mythical afterlife waiting for them in clouds of glory. Accepting the truth is not fun. I would like nothing more than to know for sure that there is some wonderful paradise waiting for me after I die. But...why is it that everything our religion tells us we have to look forward to is so closely aligned with what we WANT. The idea of living eternally in bliss and happiness with our loved ones with no pain...it's just too easy.
The whole idea of a God used to make so much sense to me as a “solution” for solving how the big bang and time and matter and energy could possibly exist in the first place - because “He” would represent that first cause without being subject to scientific analysis. But then, as I thought about it I realized that putting my idea of an intelligent God figure in the picture did nothing but actually complicate the matter. Why? Because science, in terms of obtaining truthful answers about how things work, would also have to explain how there could be a God figure that exists outside of our realm and somehow is immune from scientific explanation? If the complexity of the universe and our intelligence and the wonders of the world is an obvious “proof” or “evidence” of a creator than a creator that is a thousand times more complex and powerful would also, by using that same logic, be evidence that “He” also needed a creator and so on and so forth ad infinitum.
So a God doesn't solve anything, it makes it more difficult. It's much more sensible to assume that “something” has always existed in some form or another and that the concept of nothing isn't real (elements merely change form and convert from one state to another, space and air look like nothing but they are still something). But of course, we're still trying to find all the answers.
I'm okay with not having all the answers, because it's the honest thing to do. If we can't be honest with ourselves we are already dismissing reason and rationality and replacing it with willful delusion.
I'm not meaning to insult anyone here who has deep-rooted beliefs in creation or anything, but I thought I'd reveal my story because it's one of awakening. It's hard admitting this, it really is, but I really needed to admit all of this for myself.
I'll be posting an essay here on religion and honesty and god soon.
Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Replace the "’" with "'". Still some other "glitches".

Replies to this message:
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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


(1)
Message 7 of 380 (712358)
12-03-2013 10:02 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Pressie
12-03-2013 12:54 AM


Re: Looking forward to learn from you
I'm actually getting a theory doctorate degree in something completely unrelated. So to be clear, I'm lacking credentials in this particular field as a "professional expert". I used the term "expert" in a lighter sense to describe the fact that I have so heavily familiarized myself over the years with the most persuasive technical arguments in favor of creation that if someone were to ask me to debate evolution I could somehow find a way to make it appear argumentatively that both are on an equal scientific footing by subjecting the debate to very narrow terms of what "science" constitutes. My whole goal all along while I was a YEC was to make both evolution and creation a theory and not a fact, that way I could be equally justified in believing something that we "don't know for certain". But all that washes away when you look at the situation objectively and actually look at the evidence. At least, for me it does.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : Grammatical errors.

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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


(1)
Message 8 of 380 (712360)
12-03-2013 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Pressie
12-03-2013 1:32 AM


I realize that evolution and belief in God are not mutually exclusive, technically. For myself personally, being honest about the existence of God in the first place enabled me to start looking at the science vs religion situation objectively and actually sort out the reality of the situation.
I formerly embraced the Bible as the infallible and literal word of God. You can't have evolution if you cling on to that belief -- therefore, in order for my version of creation to be true, evolution couldn't be simultaneously true. In order for any theist to believe in evolution they have to be willing to admit that not "all" of their holy book is being literal if it contains a literal creation story that conflicts with evolution.
The main problem I see with theistic evolution is that it reverts to telling oneself in a tamer way that they still for sure know the answer (again). It is just another form of clinging on to the vestiges of "already knowing the truth". It still wants to believe that it "for certain" knows the answer (inside a protected, unfalsifiable realm) as a substitute for waiting until a truthful answer emerges. The reason I realize this is because my last stance before my current one was that I'm a "believer" but that if science shows me to be false then I'll be willing to think otherwise. Well, why not just be completely honest then and admit that it isn't a religion? It's just a fill-in speculation (I might as well say the "spaghetti monster" or "Zeus" caused evolution in the meantime) until I find out something real.
The big question is, is the theistic evolutionist willing to lay aside their belief if emerging scientific evidence invalidates the probability of their current beliefs? If that's the case, then it's time to be honest and just accept that they really are just waiting on the answers and that they don't absolutely know for sure -- which instantly makes them no longer part of a "religion" since religion already knows the purpose for everything and needs no answers.
The bottom line is, someone can somehow try to make their all-knowing religion and science compatible in their mind, but it really can't be done.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : clarification
Edited by scienceishonesty, : spelling

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Replies to this message:
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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


(1)
Message 10 of 380 (712362)
12-03-2013 10:34 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by jar
12-03-2013 10:29 AM


Re: on religion.
Then I would argue that you are probably not a devout Christian. Do you know it 100% to be the "truth" or not? If you admit that it might be wrong, then it isn't a religion, it's just some abstract pet idea to make yourself feel better.
I could sit here and say the same thing, well, I'm a Christian but if science invalidates everything then I'll be willing to accept that I'm wrong. I already did that and realized there's no purpose in doing that.
Religion already knows and doesn't need the answer, it understands already (for a fact). Science is constantly seeking truth and making itself willing to adapt and change based on new evidence. Is it really hard to see that there is an inherent conflict?
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.

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Replies to this message:
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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


Message 14 of 380 (712373)
12-03-2013 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by vimesey
12-03-2013 10:55 AM


Re: on religion.
And if scientific knowledge via immense probability factors invalidates "casual Christianity" as being true, then what? Will the religious idea of "knowing that God is real" trump science or is scientific discovery going to be taken as priority? If the latter is the case then it really isn't a religion. Religion (or, Christianity in this case) already knows for a fact the purpose of life and why we are here and where we are going -- whether one is "okay" with evolution or not is kind of besides the point.
Yes, it is true that there are varying levels of devotion and Biblical interpretations among Christians -- but at their core, they are believing it to be "the unquestionable truth", plain and simple.
Depending on the strain of Christianity, some things are more literal than others but they all believe that for sure there is a God and for sure Jesus is the son of God and he came down to save us from our sins. That is, to them, a "fact". Whatever the type of Christianity, it is either for sure the truth for that individual or there is wiggle room and there's a possibility it may not be right.
If there's wiggle room, it isn't religion, it's just a pet idea.
As long as someone is open to accepting scientific revelation even if it steps on their toes in the future, I guess I don't care if they want to fool themselves a little in the meantime that they have a satisfying enough answer.

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Replies to this message:
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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


(1)
Message 16 of 380 (712375)
12-03-2013 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by jar
12-03-2013 11:04 AM


Re: on religion.
So in that case you're a Christian culturally without the literal belief in Christianity's teachings? I suppose by this culturally elaborate definition I'm still a Christian too, since it is so embedded in my background and I've spent so many years embracing it. I still celebrate Christmas! But on a rational level, come on, let's be honest with ourselves...it probably isn't the truth. Glad you at least managed to weave some acknowledgement within all of that.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by jar, posted 12-03-2013 11:04 AM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by jar, posted 12-03-2013 11:32 AM scienceishonesty has replied

scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


Message 17 of 380 (712376)
12-03-2013 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by ringo
12-03-2013 11:25 AM


Re: on religion.
I don't recall mentioning that "anything" is not a "true" religion. I said that religion is a belief system which assumes it is correct no matter what (there are always varying degrees of picking and choosing). If it is not believed by the person to be 100% correct, it just isn't a religion anymore.
That's the conflict.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.

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Replies to this message:
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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


Message 21 of 380 (712381)
12-03-2013 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by jar
12-03-2013 11:32 AM


Re: on religion.
jar, I'm sorry but if you want me to understand your position better you're going to have to help me out here. I'm now left with two distinct positions you have.
#1.
quote:
I know that Christianity is almost certainly wrong as is also true of all religions.
and now:
#2.
quote:
I definitely believe in Christian teachings
Not sure what to make of the seeming discrepancy.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by jar, posted 12-03-2013 11:32 AM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


Message 22 of 380 (712383)
12-03-2013 11:46 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by ringo
12-03-2013 11:36 AM


Re: on religion.
Individuals who embrace a particular religion may allow leeway within certain aspects (every religious person does this), but there is always a core set of ideas that they embrace as certainty -- and that was my point.
For example, for a Christian, there may be a thousand different strands and differing degrees of devotion and minor theological flexibilities, but there's no leeway in terms of whether or not there is a God and Jesus figure. If there isn't, then they are no longer a Christian.
Unless, in your world, someone can still be a Christian and still question whether or not they are real.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.

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Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by ringo, posted 12-03-2013 11:52 AM scienceishonesty has replied

scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


Message 24 of 380 (712385)
12-03-2013 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by RAZD
12-03-2013 11:37 AM


Re: on religion.
Thanks for the welcome! I find that the difference between agnosticism and atheism is more just linguistic. I mean, atheism seems to say that it knows for sure that there is no God, but that's not really true. It is just a lack of belief, in the very same way agnosticism is. Both have the same default position: not proclaiming an affiliation in anything other than what we can know. The term "atheism" just strikes people as stronger but I think it means the same thing.

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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


Message 25 of 380 (712386)
12-03-2013 11:56 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by ringo
12-03-2013 11:52 AM


Re: on religion.
I just used Christianity as an example. Every religion has its core belief idea that is assumed to be the truth no matter what. If that isn't part of it, it just isn't religion. Your semantics on "true religion" and "false" religion are not aiding you in whatever point you're trying to make.
So answer me, is someone a Christian if they don't believe in a Christ or God figure?
Let's make it even more simple yet. Is someone a theist if they don't believe in a god?

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 Message 23 by ringo, posted 12-03-2013 11:52 AM ringo has replied

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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


Message 28 of 380 (712389)
12-03-2013 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by jar
12-03-2013 11:59 AM


Re: on religion.
Just remember that all of those "Christian teachings" can still be embraced without using the word "Christian", but I think I partially understand where you might be coming from, albeit as confusing as a lot of it still seems to me.

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 Message 26 by jar, posted 12-03-2013 11:59 AM jar has replied

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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


Message 33 of 380 (712395)
12-03-2013 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Faith
12-03-2013 12:00 PM


Re: Wiggle room
Hey thanks for trying to help me familiarize myself again. I'm pretty sure I remember you from a while back.
Let's not forget that belief in any religion comes from a desire for it to be true. I wanted it to be the truth and therefore it was. My main justification for believing in YEC was that I felt that I could show it to be equally viable to evolution although I would never suggest that it could be proven as being "superior" to evolution. Would you say that you hold a similar position currently?
I look forward to perhaps going over some of the "formidable" creationist arguments and showing you that it is in fact inferior to evolution. One invokes something that cannot ever be falsified and the other shows a very, very plausible explanation coupled by supporting evidence. Obviously evolution cannot be "proven" in a test lab, but neither can archeology and yet you probably have no problem with accepting certain archeological finds and squeezing them into your paradigm to fit the biblical narrative whenever it doesn't conflict with the Biblical record.
I've chosen to not spend my life believing as fact, something that is likely not true. It would be an affront to honesty and it would be a waste of my time, until I have some evidence to suggest otherwise. I've already wasted enough time in the past.
I'd love to discuss irreducible complexity and micro vs macroevolution some time. Also, speciation and "kinds".

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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


Message 40 of 380 (712403)
12-03-2013 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by New Cat's Eye
12-03-2013 12:05 PM


quote:
Which one?
I'm actually not entirely sure, but even if I knew I would probably not wish to disclose it. Isn't exactly relevant anyway.
quote:
I'm not having that problem. I just check my religion at the door when I go into the lab.
How important and real does that make your religion when on the quest for truth then?
quote:
The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.
- St. Thomas Aquinas
Those are just semantics to make the catholic faith seem like it is reasonable and on par with rational thought. They will always seek to accommodate science as compatible as long as it does not directly conflict with the core teachings that the catholic church holds. I mean, come on, they still have a Pope figure for crying out loud and they can't even admit that they did wrong as a Church by murdering hundreds of thousands of "heretic" christians during the middle ages. It is always blamed on "people within the church".
quote:
Not all religions are like that. Protestants maybe, but Catholic doctrine accepts evolution for instance.
It is all about degrees of compromise. Typical protestant creationists also believe in evolution as well. Well, that "things change" but they don't accept that there is a common ancestor for all life.
quote:
Yeah, that's just standard noob atheist stuff. You might get over it one day. There's more to religion than just accepting baseless claims. And many of the claims of religion are not totally baseless. And there's still valuable stuff you can learn from religion.
It may seem nauseating to you because you've heard it a lot, and yet it's so profoundly obvious to the person that actually thinks about it without their "I want" lenses. It's simple, irrefutable logic so it has to be belittled with derision.
quote:
No, not "knowing" the truth, just "believing" that this is the case.
So you really don't know that God and Christ exist?
quote:
And its not for certain either. Its just that I lean that way.
Ah okay. Now here's a position I can identify with. I held this one for a while. I mean, after all, what is there to lose right? ...maybe only a tiny bit of honesty and integrity but not much else.
quote:
No, that's a non-sequitor. Its still a religion even if I don't absolutely know for sure, and religions can encourage question things and not just believe them blindly.
Religion can't encourage real questioning unless its of the specious veneer variety. That's what science is for. Religion asserts, it isn't about learning the truth no matter what that truth might be.
quote:
But it has been done.
Yeah yeah. I tried that too.
quote:
No, that's just how your old religion was. Not everyone's is like that.
Actually I got to the point where I wanted to believe that I just "lean" towards Christianity, believing that the evidence for ID is probably "just as good" as anything else and therefore justified it in that way.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.

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Replies to this message:
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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


Message 42 of 380 (712406)
12-03-2013 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by New Cat's Eye
12-03-2013 12:32 PM


Re: Wiggle room
Give me one explanation why I should be more persuaded to reluctantly believe in your catholic variety of Christianity over Zeus and the Olympian pantheon or Hinduism or Islam?
Do you feel that the evidence is greater? If we're speaking in terms of the Bible, archeology has already shown that the Israelites grew out of the collapse of the Canaanite society itself and that they didn't come from Egypt in any mass Exodus like the Bible claims. Israelites were displaced poor people in Canaan who came together to forward egalitarian thought and eventually just formed their own small kingdom, at which time they decided to start having kings.
During the time of David and Solomon the Israelites were polytheists just like the Canaanites. it wasn't until after they were conquered by the Babylonians that scribes writing the early books of the Bible blamed polytheism as the reason for God forsaking them. "Yaweh" along with his wife "Asherah" were worshipped for years and years (there is even archeological evidence showing the words "Yaweh and his wife Asherah" inscribed on tablets found in Israel during that time). Yaweh actually came from the Canaanite chief god "El" (Ever heard of Elohim? Elijah etc etc). And of course, guess who became what we know as Satan today? Ba'al! It's all recycled mythology.
You seem like you are fond of speaking in rational terms, so help me by understanding why it might be a sensible choice for me to start believing in what you do?
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.
Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.

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