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  1. #1

    Default The Science Religion Conflict

    Many of you may have read the thread that KR1963 and myself were involved in. I respected his religious beliefs throughout but questions his attempts to try to claim that his religious practices met the definition of science. I would like to discuss the conflict between applying religious beliefs and science. As a starter I offer the following:

    http://mwillett.org/atheism/relsci.htm

    The most essential conflict between science and religion is not in their conclusions ? such as evolution, the heliocentric solar system, or the origin of disease ? but in their ways of arriving at their conclusions. The fundamental disagreement is in how, rather than in what.
    Religion relies on authority ? from a person, book, or tradition ? and its Truth is supposed to be universal and eternal. But in science, the authority is in the evidence and reasoning, which are always open to challenge; so science's truth is relative and tentative.
    A scientific investigation starts with a question, and tries to reach a conclusion by finding evidence and applying reason. A theological investigation, though, starts with a conclusion, and tries to wiggle around any impediments of evidence and logic in order to justify that conclusion.
    To superstitious people, things not understood might be assigned to the realm of supernatural whims, which to a scientist represents a very pessimistic outlook. But as things that were once not understood become understood, this realm gets smaller and smaller. For example, most of us no longer attribute bad weather and disease to curses, mental disease to possession by devils, or earthquakes, storms, and eclipses to angry gods.
    An interesting item along this line is that Isaac Newton had a small deficiency between his calculations of the motions of planets and the actual observations, so he invoked the hand of God. But a century later the great mathematician Laplace made better calculations with Newton's own equations and showed that there was no such deficiency.
    Strangely, although religious people nowadays don't usually blame the god for illnesses and other catastrophes, they tend to credit the god for any relief from these!
    It's true that many intelligent people embrace both science and religion. They seem to compartmentalize their thinking; it's as if they use different parts of the mind for science and religion, with hardly any interconnection between those parts. They adopt the comfortable myth that there isn't, or shouldn't be, a conflict between science and religion.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Science Religion Conflict

    Coachsparky,

    I have never spoke of my personal spiritual beliefs online and have no plans to do so.

    I'm wondering if you'd seen the following video and what you thought. It might not fit your topic perfectly and I will delete my post if you feel it's a bit of a hijack.

    I have no intention to insult anyone's beliefs. As I said I have never mentioned mine. It is just one person's opinion, not mine. What are your thoughts?


  3. #3
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Science Religion Conflict

    Coach Sparky,

    I don't entirely agree with your quotation. Here's my take: In prehistoric times, man sought to understand his world. Science and religion were pretty much the same thing, since there was little technology, and much of what was observed was only explicable by attributing it to higher powers. As technology evolved, science became more able to understand the true nature of the universe and the laws that govern it. When scientific proof, or at least the best theories based upon observation and technology, contradicted religious teachings, conflict arose. The problem is that religion has continued to try to answer scientific questions such as creation, evolution, etc.

    Religion and science are two entirely different disciplines. Religion relies on faith as its foundation, not proof. If proof of God were found, there would be no need for faith and religion would simply become one of the sciences like botany. Science relies on observable facts. It would be absurd for the scientific community to accept a theory on faith.

    Religion and science now serve to answer different questions, and when they remain in their own realm, no conflict need arise. Science answers the question of how the physical word/universe works. Religion answers the metaphysical questions of man's purpose on earth, the existence of an immortal soul, and what happens after death. Science will never prove or disprove the existence of God and religion will never explain the true nature of the atom.

    To me, science and religion can easily coexist as long as neither one tries to get involved in the other's business.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: The Science Religion Conflict

    Quote Originally Posted by Spider View Post
    Coach Sparky,

    I don't entirely agree with your quotation. Here's my take: In prehistoric times, man sought to understand his world. Science and religion were pretty much the same thing, since there was little technology, and much of what was observed was only explicable by attributing it to higher powers. As technology evolved, science became more able to understand the true nature of the universe and the laws that govern it. When scientific proof, or at least the best theories based upon observation and technology, contradicted religious teachings, conflict arose. The problem is that religion has continued to try to answer scientific questions such as creation, evolution, etc.

    Religion and science are two entirely different disciplines. Religion relies on faith as its foundation, not proof. If proof of God were found, there would be no need for faith and religion would simply become one of the sciences like botany. Science relies on observable facts. It would be absurd for the scientific community to accept a theory on faith.

    Religion and science now serve to answer different questions, and when they remain in their own realm, no conflict need arise. Science answers the question of how the physical word/universe works. Religion answers the metaphysical questions of man's purpose on earth, the existence of an immortal soul, and what happens after death. Science will never prove or disprove the existence of God and religion will never explain the true nature of the atom.

    To me, science and religion can easily coexist as long as neither one tries to get involved in the other's business.
    Well said.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Science Religion Conflict

    Quote Originally Posted by Spider View Post
    Coach Sparky,

    I don't entirely agree with your quotation. Here's my take: In prehistoric times, man sought to understand his world. Science and religion were pretty much the same thing, since there was little technology, and much of what was observed was only explicable by attributing it to higher powers. As technology evolved, science became more able to understand the true nature of the universe and the laws that govern it. When scientific proof, or at least the best theories based upon observation and technology, contradicted religious teachings, conflict arose. The problem is that religion has continued to try to answer scientific questions such as creation, evolution, etc.

    Religion and science are two entirely different disciplines. Religion relies on faith as its foundation, not proof. If proof of God were found, there would be no need for faith and religion would simply become one of the sciences like botany. Science relies on observable facts. It would be absurd for the scientific community to accept a theory on faith.

    Religion and science now serve to answer different questions, and when they remain in their own realm, no conflict need arise. Science answers the question of how the physical word/universe works. Religion answers the metaphysical questions of man's purpose on earth, the existence of an immortal soul, and what happens after death. Science will never prove or disprove the existence of God and religion will never explain the true nature of the atom.

    To me, science and religion can easily coexist as long as neither one tries to get involved in the other's business.
    Spider, you do not indicate what in my quote you do not agree with. You are talking about something completely different then what I am trying to get at. Yes, if you are willing to accept that there is a supernatural world that science can never identify, you are right. I reject that claim, there is no supernatural world, there is only this world and what people refer to as spirit, and believe is supernatural, is no more than some form of energy within the natural world that we just have not identified at this point. <o></o>
    <o></o>

    Religion, is currently given a pass on proving that because we say that we believe in those things based on “faith” and I accept that right now. That is why my beliefs in a energy source that is distinct from observable energies and matter right now is part of a faith belief for me. Likewise, the discussion with KR and his practice of his religion scientology and dianectics was the same, he practices it based upon his faith. <o></o>
    <o></o>

    When people cross the line and claim they can prove their religious beliefs they cross the line into being able to claim a pass from scrutiny, at that point they must be held up to scientific standards of proof. That is where I see the conflict, when people like Creation Scientist or Dianetics/Scientology try to claim they are using science they have to meet the standards of the scientific community and if they fail, then pointing out their mistakes is not an attack, it is simply good science.<o></o>
    <o></o>

    I do not believe there is a metaphysical world so all of that talk to mean really has little meaning.<o></o>
    Last edited by coachsparky; 01-11-2011 at 08:15 AM.

  6. #6
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Science Religion Conflict

    Quote Originally Posted by coachsparky View Post
    When people cross the line and claim they can prove their religious beliefs they cross the line into being able to claim a pass from scrutiny, at that point they must be held up to scientific standards of proof. That is where I see the conflict, when people like Creation Scientist or Dianetics/Scientology try to claim they are using science they have to meet the standards of the scientific community and if they fail, then pointing out their mistakes is not an attack, it is simply good science.
    On this we agree completely, and that was the main point of my post. What I disagree with is that the reason that science and religion can't coexist is because they use different methods. My point is that when they try to answer the questions that are appropriate for each of them, their methods are appropriate. As we both have said, when religion tries to answer scientific questions, it's methods and conclusions are inappropriate.

    I don't believe in a metaphysical world, God, or even the spiritual force that you believe in. I do believe that religion has its place as long as it minds its own business. If people choose to believe in a spiritual being that can never be demonstrated to exist or not exist, and it gives comfort and purpose to their lives, that's up to them. I feel that they are deluding themselves; they feel that I'm missing out on a great opportunity. Each to his own.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: The Science Religion Conflict

    Quote Originally Posted by pm01 View Post
    Coachsparky,

    I have never spoke of my personal spiritual beliefs online and have no plans to do so.

    I'm wondering if you'd seen the following video and what you thought. It might not fit your topic perfectly and I will delete my post if you feel it's a bit of a hijack.

    I have no intention to insult anyone's beliefs. As I said I have never mentioned mine. It is just one person's opinion, not mine. What are your thoughts?

    It was a good video pm and I do not feel it hijacked the post.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Science Religion Conflict

    That is a pretty cool video, pm. I noticed at just after the 11min mark, the dude said something that I have tried to say before. The fact that what scientists from earlier generations used to believe, is now known to be not true. I am equally sure that generations from now, many things that we "believe" to be true will be scientificly (how do you spell that?) proven false. To me, many scientists seem to behave in the exact same way as the religious people that they claim are behaving illogically. There are many scientific discoveries that can't be refuted (gravity, for instance), but there are many more that can be (man-made global warming). When scientists say that something is settled science, that is a key for me to start doubting. It is usually because they are paid to come to a conclusion, which goes directly against why they became scientists in the first place.

    With that said, there are just as many humble, honest scientists in this world as their are arrogant, money-grabbing scientists. So I don't mean to try and paint them all as bad. I just think that a lot of times they could learn something, themselves, if they listened instead of talk.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Science Religion Conflict

    Quote Originally Posted by quinn14 View Post
    That is a pretty cool video, pm. I noticed at just after the 11min mark, the dude said something that I have tried to say before. The fact that what scientists from earlier generations used to believe, is now known to be not true. I am equally sure that generations from now, many things that we "believe" to be true will be scientificly (how do you spell that?) proven false. To me, many scientists seem to behave in the exact same way as the religious people that they claim are behaving illogically. There are many scientific discoveries that can't be refuted (gravity, for instance), but there are many more that can be (man-made global warming). When scientists say that something is settled science, that is a key for me to start doubting. It is usually because they are paid to come to a conclusion, which goes directly against why they became scientists in the first place.

    With that said, there are just as many humble, honest scientists in this world as their are arrogant, money-grabbing scientists. So I don't mean to try and paint them all as bad. I just think that a lot of times they could learn something, themselves, if they listened instead of talk.

    Actually quinn, there are many many many more humble honest scientist then there are money grabbing scientist in the world. Those kinds do not even approach 5 % of the total scientific community. When scientist say something is settled science, it is because an overwhelming amount of the data backs up the hypothesis and therefore it has become a well established theory, like evolution. Much like Newton's Laws of Physics, which we know do describe the observable phenomena, it was overcome by a better theory, even though it was never shown to be totally wrong.
    Last edited by coachsparky; 01-10-2011 at 11:15 AM.

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