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Is science incompatible with religion?

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1. Occasionalism is an example of things "happening" without being observable, something you argued was impossible by definition. Our understanding of how things interact does not change, but there is a divine "happening" that allows objects to interact in the first place.

2. I am saying that induction, unlike deduction, cannot produce certain knowledge.

3. There are many alleged miracles. At least most, maybe all, are not in fact miraculous. But it is a stretch to say that a single miraculous event means our world would be "unfriendly" to science. Good science can make good predictions, even if a hypothetical miracle threw us for a loop.

My point does not require belief in miracles. If a miracle occurred, its cause would be supernatural; science, an empirical method, could not speak to a supernatural cause; because science could not speak on its cause, that cause is compatible with scientific knowledge. It is not contradicted by the method.

Edited by feplus

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1. Occasionalism is an example of things "happening" without being observable, something you argued was impossible by definition. Our understanding of how things interact does not change, but there is a divine "happening" that allows objects to interact in the first place.

I never personally argued it was impossible I believe, I argued that the idea was trivial. If something happens without being observable then it doesn't matter if it was observable in the first place.

For instance string theory is something that seems consistent with the laws of physics but it's not physically observable, making it trivial regardless of whether or not it's true. As far as we've formulated, when x happens, then y results, and we observe certain things happening in between that allow us to understand it in further detail. Doesn't matter if these things are caused by a divine god or whatever else, it's wholly irrelevant to the fact that the model predicts it.

2. I am saying that induction, unlike deduction, cannot produce certain knowledge.

Until we encounter a situation in physics that is both self-inconsistent and inconsistent with the laws we posit I don't think this really matters.

3. There are many alleged miracles. At least most, maybe all, are not in fact miraculous. But it is a stretch to say that a single miraculous event means our world would be "unfriendly" to science. Good science can make good predictions, even if a hypothetical miracle threw us for a loop.

My point does not require belief in miracles. If a miracle occurred, its cause would be supernatural; science, an empirical method, could not speak to a supernatural cause; because science could not speak on its cause, that cause is compatible with scientific knowledge. It is not contradicted by the method.

It's as simple as letting statistics takeover and regarding that as a fluke, which it inherently is. Scientists probably wouldn't dwell on it for more than a few seconds if it is in fact a true miracle and happens so infrequently that it may as well not even be relevant. If 99.99999999999999% of things can be predicted by science then that remaining little bit really won't receive much care if we assume it to be a true miracle.

Anyway I don't quite understand everything after the last semicolon. You're saying that a miracle contradicts science but that is compatible with scientific knowledge? I'm missing something.

In summary I really just don't think your thought experiment is a particularly interesting one.

Edited by Lord Raven

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Science is a religion. We cannot live without faith and belief, because it is the basis of our understanding and reasoning. As children we live in ignorance, until we are educated about the world around us. We only learn to reject these beliefs later on in life.

Some of you were probably raised in religious families and chose to reject their belief system once you gained your independence. Others were raised by atheists, only to discover their own inner spirituality.

We sate our curiosity by reading and learning more about our existence until we are immersed in the "truth" about the world...but I ask you this...

Did you land on the moon? Did you discover cancer? Did you define the force that keeps you on the ground, known as gravity?

No. Someone else did and you believe them.

Edited by Shaman

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Who cares if I did it when there's all sorts of empirical proof out there and evidence that this has been done that it is clearly correct. Your argument is absurd because much of this is verified and much of this did happen. There's no religion.

With enough resources and education you can verify these things yourself. The difference is you don't believe them in good faith or any of that shit, you believe them because it's logical and because it's replicable given the resources.

I'm not sure what your purpose for posting that even is.

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My post reflects the ultimate truth, which is that our experiences as humans are heavily influenced by what we are made to believe when we are children. As children we are innocent and gullible. As we grow older we accept the truths we are given by our parents and teachers without question, until we can no longer deny them because we have believed them since we were young. (We cannot force ourselves to forget something that we already "know".).

We do not have enough time in our given lifespans, to study every single subject available and relevant to modern society. We cannot be all-knowing in this life, because knowledge is limitless. How many of us lead the exact same lives? It is the astronomer that tells the lawyer the size of planets and the lawyer that tells the manager about business laws. Now do you see how much we depend on our own beliefs and trust in others to explain the things that we do not actually experience for ourselves?

Science will not be compatible with religion so long as it continues to use technology and the media, to try and play God.

Edited by Shaman

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I don't know why you're bolding words, but most of this stuff and these discoveries are published and verified by a bunch of committees (and any other scientist looking at their work). You can do some quick research yourself and look at their work and even replicate it yourself. You won't be getting different results. Not only that but the majority of these things are grounded heavily in logic and reality.

There's no need for "belief" and "trust" in this scenario because it has already been verified. Furthermore, anyone who's taken a science lab class has verified many of these himself, and depending on your actual research interest you can verify and discover more. It doesn't rely on any blind faith or anything.

Frankly the astronomer just makes the measurements and does the calculations. He can hire just about anyone else to do that too. A lawyer tells the manager about the business laws, which the manager can easily verify himself; neither has any reason to lie because if they do them someone will find it and call them out on it. It'll be hell for their career if they intentionally falsify data, especially since there exist committees who have to verify all this nonsense. This really has very little to do with belief or trust unless you're really out of touch with reality.

Science will not be compatible with religion so long as it continues to try and play God.

What the hell does this mean? This isn't even related to your other posts.

EDIT: I see your stealth edit.

Science will not be compatible with religion so long as it continues to use technology and the media, to try and play God.

Again, what the hell does this mean? This again isn't related to your other points.

Edited by Lord Raven

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We literally live in a society where we believe what we see on TV, hear on the radio and read on the internet or in text books. So much of our existence is defined by this and we experience so little for ourselves by having this kind of lifestyle! Our truths are not gained through experience, they are observed and researched.

And for what sake? To talk about these subjects with other people, who also heard about them? To argue about them, while we sit in front of a computer and are paid minimum wage?

What do we have to gain from all of this information? Nothing except an "understanding" of the "world" around us and prejudice based on stereotypes. All the while sitting comfortably in our chairs and our cars.

Does science benefit us directly as a result of studying it? No. Society still needs bus drivers and call center agents. There is a waiting list in every clinic and medical facility.

Only under God are we all equals. Science, technology and the media puts us in a hierarchy.

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feplus let me paraphrase your argument and show you why it's circular

first you define a miracle to be an event that suspends the laws of physics

next you suppose that if such an event were to happen, then that event would be categorized as having defied the laws of physics in a way where the laws of physics cannot be reconciled with its occurrence (i.e., miraculous)

how can one conclude that an event is a miracle without investigating that event using scientific tools? i'll employ my diagnosis of exclusion analogy again: a "supernatural" event is only a miracle if all natural explanations have been exhausted. we do not have foreknowledge that a particular event is supernatural. your thought experiment is only valid if we know what events are natural or supernatural without having to apply the scientific method to investigate why they occurred.

what complicates your quandary further is that miracle is not the only or even the best diagnosis of exclusion: the better diagnosis of exclusion is "we don't know until we have better tools to decipher this event."

EDIT: lord raven, please don't feed the troll

Edited by dondon151

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Yeah, whatever.

Anyways, to answer the topic question, no it's not.

I disagree. I said that as long as science, technology and the media continue to play God, then they will not be compatible. We can still use technology to create and communicate with each other.

My last point before I peace out of this discussion is this...

God gave us free will. No one should ever be made to feel like they are not allowed to question anything. These are the ones who try to take it away from us.

Edited by Shaman

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What defines what God is? I do. in fact, I declare that I am God, and that people can believe what they choose to because that's what they do anyway. What is science, and to what extent does it reach to? The answer to that question depends on the individual. I think science dictates everything, personally. Personal views aside, I'd like to return to me being God.The connection between the claim pf divinity that I made and scientific values is that my support is quite overwhelming. As God, I have graced all of the people who read this by letting them know the truth as I have put it. I could go on about the revelations that I beared witness to, but I believe petty details like that are insignificant. At this point, my statement about me being god is now supported with as much evidence as the fraudulent Jesus and company being deities. You do not need to believe me, but I know I am God, and I hope for the very best for everyone here.

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why does this matter? if something is observable, but humans haven't found a way to reliably detect it (eg, theoretically dark energy, dark matter, gravitons, gravity waves), it doesn't make those concepts supernatural or unscientific. germs were never actually a supernatural thing, for example.

Two reasons:

1. For something that has effects that can be observed but not detected (like germs), one of the ways it'll be rationalized is "something supernatural".

2. I wanted to hear Makaze's thoughts.

The second reason is more important, and my question makes more sense when you read the post above it.

Also. . .can you tone it down a wee bit? No matter how vehemently you disagree with someone, taking personal potshots at them is not okay.

Did you land on the moon? Did you discover cancer? Did you define the force that keeps you on the ground, known as gravity?

1. There's apparently an array of mirrors on the moon, and it's possible to bounce a sufficiently strong laser off of it (source). Do you think it was put there by something other than the guys who landed on the moon?

2. Do NOT go there. Cancer sucks.

3. I haven't floated off into space yet, so something's keeping me stuck to this planet. This is a phenomenon that's easily observable by anyone and everyone.

All three of these are observable, though the first one requires specialized equipment and the second one is something I wouldn't wish on anyone. Thus, I don't see why I'd need to trust anyone else for these.

My post reflects the ultimate truth, which is that our experiences as humans are heavily influenced by what we are made to believe when we are children. As children we are innocent and gullible. As we grow older we accept the truths we are given by our parents and teachers without question, until we can no longer deny them because we have believed them since we were young. (We cannot force ourselves to forget something that we already "know".).

We do not have enough time in our given lifespans, to study every single subject available and relevant to modern society. We cannot be all-knowing in this life, because knowledge is limitless. How many of us lead the exact same lives? It is the astronomer that tells the lawyer the size of planets and the lawyer that tells the manager about business laws. Now do you see how much we depend on our own beliefs and trust in others to explain the things that we do not actually experience for ourselves?

Science will not be compatible with religion so long as it continues to use technology and the media, to try and play God.

Can you please stop the sweeping generalizations?

I know that cancer sucks, and I don't need to have it to say that with certainty. I'm positive that testicular torsion sucks, even though I will never experience this directly.

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Two reasons:

1. For something that has effects that can be observed but not detected (like germs), one of the ways it'll be rationalized is "something supernatural".

2. I wanted to hear Makaze's thoughts.

The second reason is more important, and my question makes more sense when you read the post above it.

Also. . .can you tone it down a wee bit? No matter how vehemently you disagree with someone, taking personal potshots at them is not okay.

wrt to you? that post wasn't meant to even convey hostility or frustration even a little bit. even now, i can't really read it in a way that feels like RAH BELIEVE WHAT I BELIEVE

if you're talking about feplus, i feel the same way towards that.

the amount of ignorance on the scientific method shared among like 8 people in this thread despite 3-4 separate people saying the same (correct) shit and attempting to, not share an opinion with, but literally educate them, and having it go in one ear and out the other is incredibly frustrating. that's what's actually disrespectful. i mean you've got literal scientists saying "this is how science actually works," and it's still not enough to sway an opinion. it's as if they believe we're not trained, not that we are at least somewhat trained/not completely ignorant of its practice. it's bonkers if you ask me. and i'm not even purporting myself an authority--dd151 and lord raven have likely conducted research for several years now.

normally i guess you could call that a false appeal to authority or whatever you wish, but i feel when it's a scientist educating a non-scientist on science, it's probably best to listen to a scientist.

Edited by Phoenix Wright

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wrt to you? that post wasn't meant to even convey hostility or frustration even a little bit. even now, i can't really read it in a way that feels like RAH BELIEVE WHAT I BELIEVE

if you're talking about feplus, i feel the same way towards that.

the amount of ignorance on the scientific method shared among like 8 people in this thread despite 3-4 separate people saying the same (correct) shit and attempting to, not share an opinion with, but literally educate them, and having it go in one ear and out the other is incredibly frustrating. that's what's actually disrespectful. i mean you've got literal scientists saying "this is how science actually works," and it's still not enough to sway an opinion. as if we're not trained, or at least somewhat trained/not completely ignorant of its practice. it's bonkers if you ask me. and i'm not even purporting myself an authority--dd151 and lord raven have likely conducted research for several years now.

normally i guess you could call that a false appeal to authority or whatever you wish, but i feel when it's a scientist educating a non-scientist on science, it's probably best to listen to a scientist.

It takes an open mind to learn, and trying to teach a closed one is a waste of your time. Some people won't learn - perhaps they'll figure it out next week, or thirty years from now, or never. It's frustrating, but as long as it's nothing but a bunch of opinions being thrown around (as opposed to government policy), there's not much else that can be done.

The hostility wasn't towards me (your response was fine), it was towards the other dude.

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Ok this thread is old and I may have already posted in it since the subject interests me but there's a glaring mistake in the OP which caught my attention.

Science, for the most part, doesn't answer "whys". It's the domain of "whats". The "whys" science answers are smaller scale "whys" based on simple causality, but the biggest "why" for mankind, the "Why are we here?" question, science can't answer. As a friend told me once, we are a bunch of coincidences that worked. The "greater purpose" is something far beyond the limits of science. It's more like the field of philosophy. Religion includes some rudimentary philosophy, but can't be confused with it because it's linked to the unseen and is essentially dogmatic.

Big Bang, Evolution theory, etc. don't answer any "whys". They only answer "what" happened for us to exist the way we are today.

Edited by Cerberus87

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We literally live in a society where we believe what we see on TV, hear on the radio and read on the internet or in text books. So much of our existence is defined by this and we experience so little for ourselves by having this kind of lifestyle! Our truths are not gained through experience, they are observed and researched.

And for what sake? To talk about these subjects with other people, who also heard about them? To argue about them, while we sit in front of a computer and are paid minimum wage?

What do we have to gain from all of this information? Nothing except an "understanding" of the "world" around us and prejudice based on stereotypes. All the while sitting comfortably in our chairs and our cars.

Does science benefit us directly as a result of studying it? No. Society still needs bus drivers and call center agents. There is a waiting list in every clinic and medical facility.

Only under God are we all equals. Science, technology and the media puts us in a hierarchy.

The combustion engine that powers the bus, the physics behind its overall design, the medical equipment at close clinics, the power that runs that medical equipment, the knowledge of what a certain medical technique or substance will do the body... All results of scientific research. Giving medicine as an example of how useless science is... There aren't words.

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@dondon

Thought experiments are not circular. Here is the difference:

* Thought experiments assume one or more premises to explore conclusions.

* Circular reasoning assumes a conclusion within one or more premises.

If we're going to determine whether miraculous causes are compatible with science, we need to assume a miracle happens. We can then think through the implications of a real miracle and how science would approach it. We are not sidetracked by questions like "What if it wasn't a miracle?" because we already know the answer. This is why a thought experiment is fruitful.

@eclipse

I would caution against accusing others of being closed-minded. It adds nothing to the conversation and we can't know for sure whether people are willing to broaden their horizons. Better to treat those who disagree with you charitably.

@everyone

This is not a scientific issue. This is a meta-scientific issue. It is about whether science is compatible with another field of knowledge.

Consequently, practicing scientists in this thread should not be surprised that their opinions have not ended the conversation. How much training do you have in theology or philosophy of science? Appeal to authority arguments work only if the the question falls under the authority's domain of expertise.

Edited by feplus

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@dondon

Thought experiments are not circular. Here is the difference:

* Thought experiments assume one or more premises to explore conclusions.

* Circular reasoning assumes a conclusion within one or more premises.

If we're going to determine whether miraculous causes are compatible with science, we need to assume a miracle happens. This is why a thought experiment is fruitful.

Your thought experiment does assume the conclusion within a premise. The conclusion to be reached is that something can't be explained with science (the definition of a miracle). One of the premises is that something is a miracle (definition: it cannot be explained with science).

When you just deny the claim "your argument is circular" without addressing dondon's reasoning for that conclusion it sends a message. The message that you aren't interested in reasons and methods, just conclusions. I suspect this is the root of the problem; forgoing the reasons for claims and criticizing the claim as if it was made in a vacuum.

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You are conflating "miraculous causes cannot be detected by science" (true by definition) and "miracles are compatible with science" (not true by definition). It is this second claim that I am interested in demonstrating.

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look feplus

i get the value of thought experiments

but defending your thought experiment by lecturing me about the value of thought experiments rather than by fixing your thought experiment to address its circular nature is not going to move me. regardless of your premises, the issue with identifying an event as a miracle is that the event must be scientifically scrutinized before that conclusion can be made. there's no way around it. the only way to conclude that an event has a supernatural cause is to first rule out all possible natural causes.

a miracle may not be compatible with a scientific explanation, but it is compatible with a scientific investigation. science is primarily concerned about the investigation rather than the explanation.

Edited by dondon151

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You are conflating "miraculous causes cannot be detected by science" (true by definition) and "miracles are compatible with science" (not true by definition). It is this second claim that I am interested in demonstrating.

You're right. My bad.

Back to dondon's critique. I suggest you read it over and address his reasoning because he did better, and you poking holes in my faulty argument won't make his go away.

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I am not lecturing you dondon! I am just unconvinced you appreciate why thought experiments work the way they do. For example:

the only way to conclude that an event has a supernatural cause is to first rule out all possible natural causes.

There is another way: assume a miraculous event happens in a thought experiment.

You think this is circular. Why? "Imagine a god did something miraculous" does not assume a conclusion. It assumes a premise. Are you saying we are not allowed to assume supernatural premises?

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you probably didn't catch my edit. you're tripping yourself up with the idea that science is only concerned with explanation. indeed, the ideal endpoint of scientific inquiry is explanation, but the discipline itself has to do with investigation rather than explanation. many lines of scientific inquiry do not result in conclusive explanation.

when you say that miracles are incompatible with science, it means not simply that science cannot explain (whatever that is supposed to mean) miracles, but also that science cannot investigate miracles. but there is nothing special about a miracle that precludes scientific investigation. science can indeed investigate a miracle and possibly conclude as such (although it always has to deal wit the competing, more likely explanation that we don't have the tools available to arrive at an explanation).

also expertise in theology is about as useful as expertise in UFOlogy lol

like it's a study of a subject that doesn't exist, how silly does that sound

Edited by dondon151

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Let's not mock an entire discipline because you happen to be an atheist. At the very least theology is useful for clarifying theoretical details of the divine (its nature, operation, and consequences) even if the divine does not exist.

I did not catch your edit. I would half-agree with what you say: science can investigate the effects of miracles and try to investigate causes, but when it comes to causes its investigations will be fruitless. The most that could be concluded is "No empirical explanation seems to fit" which is no surprise.

I agreed with this earlier in the thread:

"Miracles are not scientific (supernatural) but they have observable consequences (empirical). If a god suspends a natural law to perform a miracle, the cause cannot be understood through science. Scientists can investigate but will never "find god" under a microscope. The most they will be able to conclude is that an otherwise absolute natural law was violated in this sole instance."

If a scientific explanation for the miracle cannot in principle be produced, I see no reason why a supernatural explanation is incompatible.

Edited by feplus

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