Register | Sign In

Understanding through Discussion

EvC Forum active members: 48 (9179 total)
1 online now:
Newest Member: Jorge Parker
Post Volume: Total: 918,230 Year: 5,487/9,624 Month: 512/323 Week: 9/143 Day: 9/13 Hour: 0/0

Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Author Topic:   Religion or Science - How do they compare?
Posts: 5987
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0

Message 7 of 882 (831524)
04-20-2018 12:34 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
04-18-2018 8:21 AM

Religion is about authority and depends on people (preachers etc), while science is about process independent of people, and you don’t need to be an accredited scientist to do science.
Back on CompuServe (hence about 30 years ago), I encountered the first chapter of a book that one Arthur J. D'Adamo was working on called, "Ways of Knowing" -- one copy is at (bummer of a URL, dude), though I'm not sure of the sequence of revisions nor from where in that sequence this version and the one I had read come.
Basically, he was trying to apply some kind of Hegelian dialectics (thesis + antithesis -> synthesis, also used by Karl Marx) in order to form some kind of synthesis out of two diametrically opposed ideas, science and religion (representing thesis and antithesis or vice versa depending on your individual biases). A noble goal and this first chapter (at least the version I had read) made some good points, but what I read from him over a decade later seemed to have taken some weird turns.
Basically as I recall, you had one group, R (my own nomenclature for discussion here), who had received all their knowledge through revelation, or at least from an authority figure who told them what that revelation was (as Thomas Paine nearly correctly pointed out, Revelation is Revelation only to that person receiving it, whereas whatever he tells another person about it becomes hear-say and from that person to another it becomes hear-say upon hear-say -- I differ by considering where the person who received the Revelation thinks about it himself as that first stage of It becoming hear-say). Then you have a second group, S, who are trying to figure everything out for themselves. Obviously, R is religion deriving its teachings from an authority while S is science building its teachings from the evidence.
Basically, it's a tortoise-and-hare story. Plus the story restricts itself to alchemy. At first group R "knows everything" and S knows almost nothing, so R just laughs at S's silly efforts. S makes steady progress, all along the way of which R just smugly laughs at how S is only learning what R had already known all along. But then S starts learning things that R had never known.
I'm not sure that D'Adamo got to this point, but with R if you start out with perfect knowledge, then the only direction from there is down-hill, corruption of that perfect knowledge, AKA "entropy". Once you have all that perfect knowledge revealed to you, then the only further development is degradation of that perfect knowledge, its corruption. How do you test that perfect knowledge in order to detect any corruption? Very simple: you have no mechanisms nor tests in place to detect any corruption. That "perfect knowledge" can rot away and fall from your fingers and you have no way to know that that had even happened.
OTOH, S's way of knowing is all about testing and correcting, since that is its fundamental approach. If S gets anything wrong, as it inevitably must, it can detect that fact and try to correct it. Thus, imperfect S can at least strive to get ever closer to the truth.
So in way of comparison, S's approach is to work with the evidence and try to get ever closer to the truth on that basis. That involves a lot of testing and a lot of mistakes, which are detected through that testing and corrected, so overall S's approach does tend to zero in on the truth, even though it takes a while.
In contrast, R's approach is to assume that it already has the truth. All that could ever happen to that absolute truth would be its degradation and corruption. R has no methodology in place to test "the truth", nor any way to correct any mistakes, except for religious purges of members. Additionally, R has no methodology in place to correct mistakes outside of purges and inquisitions -- I wanted to add pograms, but those are for outsiders like Jews.
Group S strives towards the truth and has mechanisms in place and actively deployed to accomplish that.
Group R can only slip inevitably away from the truth and has no mechanisms in place to prevent that outside of the unspeakable.
Edited by dwise1, : pograms, not programs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 04-18-2018 8:21 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by PaulK, posted 04-20-2018 12:48 AM dwise1 has replied

Posts: 5987
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0

Message 8 of 882 (831525)
04-20-2018 12:47 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Phat
04-18-2018 11:14 AM

Re: Its about the individual human and what they utilize
Science and Faith exist in peace in my own mind.
As they rightfully should. The entirety of human existence and concerns far exceed the full range of human thought and concerns. Science, restricted to the physical universe and objective reality, can only ever be but a small part of that. It is only when religion decides that it wants to dictate reality in ways that directly contradicts reality that it ever comes in conflict with science.
IOW, you should never find any conflict between religion or creation and science, unless you deliberately choose to make religious statements about how the physical universe must be in direct contradiction with reality.
IOW, any conflict is solely the fault of creationism.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Phat, posted 04-18-2018 11:14 AM Phat has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Paboss, posted 04-22-2018 12:01 AM dwise1 has not replied

Posts: 5987
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0

Message 10 of 882 (831527)
04-20-2018 1:25 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by PaulK
04-20-2018 12:48 AM

True, true, true, true, true.
So how could group R ever tell that anything is true? By measuring it against their Absolute Revealed Truth! But how can we ever know that that is true? Simply, we cannot. All we can ever do is assume that it is true. And then we discover where that Absolute Revealed Truth is not true.
I remember a Charles Bronson action movie where he was a Border Guard (la Migra keeps changing its name!). He advised a newbie to mark his own boot so that he could avoid following his own tracks up into his own ass. "True Christians'" circular reasoning.
And that is the fundamental problem of their "revealed truth" theology. Even ignoring all the practical problems of the inevitable degradation and decay of "revealed truth", the most basic and fundamental question is whether that "Revelation" was even ever true in the first place. R has absolutely not mechanism in place to determine that, yet S does.
IOW. we also need to look at the different approaches of R and S for our basic assumption.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by PaulK, posted 04-20-2018 12:48 AM PaulK has not replied

Posts: 5987
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0

Message 524 of 882 (834221)
06-01-2018 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 513 by GDR
06-01-2018 2:38 AM

Re: Moral problems in the Bible?
I know that I shouldn't jump into the middle of this like this. Sorry.
I wrote to Ringo somewhere recently that he sounded was more Christ like than what I have heard from many Christians over the years. I have also said the same thing about things that Chris Hitchens said.
I have been an atheist for more than half a century after having started to read the Bible and realizing that I just simply could not believe what I was reading, then half a decade later living through the "Jesus Freak" movement (the present-day fundamentalists) whose teachings I really could not believe, followed by "creation science" which is just a pack of lies supported by an incredible amount of outright dishonesty, lying, and deception, followed by the Radical Religious Right mentored by Christian Reconstructionists whose goal was to install a fundamentalist Christian theocracy (the CRs died out to be replaced by the Dominionists who are still with us). Now we have white evangelists/fundamentalists fervently kissing the ass of the AntiChrist in order to seize more secular power to further white supremacy, revealing that their religion has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus' teachings, but rather only ever served to justify slavery and all kinds of other evils.
Truly, the best evidence and argument against Christianity are the Christians themselves. And as per their very own Matthew 7:20 Test, they prove Christianity to be a false religion. How could any sane person with even just a shread of moral sense ever begin to consider becoming a Christian? The followers have turned the very religion into an abomination.
I have also said that the still small voice of God speaks to everyone regardless of their religious, or lack of religious beliefs.
. . .
I do maintain my belief though that all positive morality is only possible because there is a universal standard that is essentially defined as "The Golden Rule".
Jesus' "Golden Rule" was a Pharisee teaching repeated in an early Star Trek episode, "Dagger of the Mind" (which introduced the Vulcan mind-meld), by the writer Shimon Wincelberg as "Shimon bar-David". You see, there was this uppity gentile going to all the yeshivoth demanding that they recite the whole of the Law (ie, the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament to you goyim) while standing on one foot. The head rabbim of the other yeshivoth just grabbed a large stick and ran that idiot off their property. But when he pulled the same stupid stunt on the Pharisees, Rabbi Hillel replied with the Golden Rule: "Do not to others that which is displeasing to yourself. That is the whole of the Law. The rest is just explanation. Now go and live it." Frankly, after half a century, I'm shaky on the wording of that last sentence, but I have preserved its meaning.
That incident was in 20 BCE, a full half a century before Jesus' purported ministry. Clearly, the Pharisees were the "spirit of the Law" people and Christian vilification of them is unjustified.
Really? The Golden Rule? Don't you have anything original?
But ultimately, it does just all boil down to human nature. We are all people who have to live together and function together in order to make everything work out. Just a few days ago, I was on a flight from Miami to Phoenix next to a window seat populated by somebody who bore all the markings of being somebody I would despise politically. I politely let him know every time the attendants came through (though the first time I verified with him that my doing so was alright with him) and after we landed I invited him to move past me (I even had to do some inventive seat crawling -- BTW, all my own carry-on was under the seat). Why? For the common good. For "the good of the order" (a term I learned in the US Navy, but which was never explained to me).
That is the basis of morality: for the common good and for the good of the order. The rest is just explanation, including the bullshit religious explanations.
But I do need to repeat what I had heard Penn Jillette describe in a YouTube video which I unfortunately cannot find right now. It's actually a scenario that theists themselves have been known to pose. I am almost literally salivating at the chance to counter it.
You are a family of atheists who suffer a break-in by theists who know that you are atheists. The theist presenting this scenario goes into gory and explicit detail of how your children and wife are horrifically raped, mutilated, and killed before your eyes, all while telling you that because you are an atheist you are completely alright with every horrific act that they commit before your eyes. Then they start to carve out parts of your own body, each and every time telling you that because you are an atheist you are completely alright with each and every thoroughly and utter despicable act they commit.
Bullshit! Penn Jillette's response is that those acts are completely evil and nobody needs any stupid gods to tell them so. In other words, morality does in fact not depend on any stupid little gods, but rather as humans we know what is right and what is wrong.
Now, in my own personal fantasy of responding to this particular Christian travesty, I want to draw on the attempted rape scene in Watchmen by asking the theist presenting the scenario: "Is that what makes you hot? Is that what turns you on?" After all, he's getting all worked up while describing the break-in theists gleefully cutting off my genitals, so shouldn't I assume that that is one of his own fantasies about atheists?
I hope that you do realize that these Christians are a lot sicker than they let on.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 513 by GDR, posted 06-01-2018 2:38 AM GDR has not replied

Posts: 5987
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0

Message 880 of 882 (838987)
08-31-2018 6:20 PM
Reply to: Message 878 by Phat
08-29-2018 9:38 AM

Re: Revising The Book
Is that "Dr." Grady S. McMurtry? BS Agriculture and MS Environmental Science, both from accredited institutions. His doctorate is in theology from an unaccredited school which researchers have difficulty tracking down (
Rather light on the sciences, don't you think?
If you look for him in Wikipedia, you will instead find Grady L. McMurtry, a Satanist leader who appears to be Grady S. McMurtry's father. That previous link discusses the clues.
I agree fully with Ringo that you need to make your point yourself instead of "arguing with links" (a video in this case), which is against forum rules anyway, AIUT.
Actually, I tried to watch one of his videos on YouTube, but found the Stupid to be far too painful to put up with, so I didn't. If you really think that he has something worthwhile to say, then just simply tell us what that might be.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 878 by Phat, posted 08-29-2018 9:38 AM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 881 by Phat, posted 08-31-2018 7:49 PM dwise1 has replied

Posts: 5987
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0

Message 882 of 882 (838993)
08-31-2018 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 881 by Phat
08-31-2018 7:49 PM

Re: Revising The Book
Well, all I could go by was what he looked like. Since you had offered zero information.
Summarizing what he presents in the video does not require you to internalize anything. Why would you think that it does?
That reminds me of one of the stranger creationist encounters I had (think it was on CompuServe). When I pointed out that he needed to study evolution if he ever hoped to argue against it effectively, to which he pretty much freaked out absolutely refusing to do study evolution since he believed that would require him to "believe in evolution". What? Studying some subject does not require believing in it, any more than summarizing a video would require internalizing the contents.
That taught be a basic difference in how fundamentalists and normals view education: normals seek knowledge about the subject whereas fundamentalists engage in indoctrination. For example, the California guidelines for science education (c 1989) said:
Compelling belief is inconsistent with the goal of education; the goal is to encourage understanding.
In contrast, when "public school edition" creationist materials are used in class in Livermore, CA, in 1981, each lesson ended by insisting that the students decide then and there whether to accept the "unnamed" Creator or "atheistic" evolution.
You had a reason to violate forum rules by posting a bare link. So why not simply present that reason? Or are we back to that awkward situation where you felt very charged up for "The Good Fight" by the virulent anti-atheist propaganda of "God's NOT Dead" (comparable to the classic propaganda film, "Der Ewige Jde") and then refused to discuss it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 881 by Phat, posted 08-31-2018 7:49 PM Phat has not replied

Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:

Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024