[quote author=“JAS”]Replies to BetaPaul:
Where and how can science not apply.
Do you use science to decide what you should have for breakfast? Perhaps you consider vitamins and calories, but life would be very dull indeed if that were the extent of our choices. I would not apply science to aesthetic matters, and as I have already explained, I don’t see where it touches on the core issues of faith. In the real world, we often don’t have the luxury of verifiable results and testable hypotheses; in attempting to reconstruct a historical event, you rarely have the kind of comprehensive evidence to make an absolute conclusion, and must rely on intuition and imperfect reasoning; in reading a story, you have to make your own interpretation, without the benefit of science. Do I really need to list more examples?
If a sentient creator actually exists he/she/it would still be knowable to science.
Really? How? This seems to be a very confident assertion. Please propose a test, or refer me to a study. Should we be able to see him/her through the Hubble telescope? A sentient creator might be knowable to science if he/she chose to reveal himself/herself directly, but what if he/she doesn’t want to be seen? What if God’s involvement in the world is chiefly through the actions of nature? I believe your thoughts on the matter are limited by your perspective.
As for non-test tube science I have very little insight. With a strong warning against pseudoscience, I would encourage you to see what’s out there. At some point in my life I suspect I’ll have a closer look at the fringe sciences. Of this I am certain: existence is far more complex than is immediatley apparent. Is this significant to me? Not at the moment but I’m keeping an eye on parallel dimensions.
Ah, so you really don’t have anything to back up your statement. There is science beyond the test tube, but you don’t really know much about it. I feel vindicated. Next time you accuse someone of hiding something (or blowing smoke), you might check first to see if that person is really you.
I re-red your posts on faith but I’m not getting it yet. What does faith provide you with? Is it a non-physical connection with a creator or consciousness.
You’re not getting what? How many times must I say that what faith gives me is chiefly personal, intangible, and non-transferable? Must I also repeat over and over that my faith is tempered with doubt? I have no such certain connection with a creator as you suggest – would that I did. I’m not trying to convince you that my views on faith should convince you to try it, just that what I find in faith is sufficient for me and more convincing that what you seem to be proposing. What does Atheism provide you with?
“I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. (Mathew 20) Is this the type of faith you are refering to?
It isn’t something I would advocate, since I have never known anyone to have such faith. Personally, I’m glad that we don’t have the power to make mountains jump into the sea. I find it hard enough to navigate when I’m driving without major landmarks vanishing or moving around.
Of course you use “science” when you decide what to eat for breakfast…you use “science” in interacting with the world everyday in everyway..I think JAS has a very limited and erroneous view of what science is—
science is organized knowledge—instead of just eating the dust bunny at your feet for breakfast you probably would lean more towards a bowl of cereal or a slice of toast…because knowledge gained by your experience and that of others has informed your decision…
then we come to faith…if you believe something—for which JAS has already conceded there is absolutely no evidence observable in this world-you could come to the “right answer” or the “wrong answer” but the method is not reliable…now JAS is trying to have it both ways -saying that faith in this Christian idea being correct does deliver some real world effects—it feels right or good in a subjective way—that this somehow makes it valid or okay…this is where faith succeeds and fails….IF the good subjective feeling that comes from “faith” is there because God and Jesus really exist—then faith got it right…but there is the possibility that the good feeling came REGARDLESS of whether God and Jesus actually exist…If everything good that supposedly comes from religion in this world could come about WITHOUT God or Jesus actually existing—-then belief is not necessary….only the afterlife promises which are not testable and verifiable can be said to support the God hypothesis….
I think someone else mentioned security blankets for children in an earlier post here or on another thread….belief in the protective power of the security blanket definitely is asscociated with a real subjective feeling of security…but is there really security—or the feeling of security? There is a difference…science—an understanding of the natural world could test it—faith never does—just accepts it and goes around lugging the blanket everywhere no matter how tattered, smelly and useless it has become BECAUSE it feels right…
so JAS asked what atheism gives—it gives by taking away—it is an absence of unsupported belief—it gives by taking away ideas that the human brain is all too ready to accept when those ideas are not needed…freedom from superstition is a very comforting idea….as you said it is nice to know that the natural world will not have mountains jumping into the sea at the whim of others…that demons are not out to get us—that the world is not at the whim of a supreme being who can alter the laws of physics and reality and change everything we have learned up to now…I would be much less comfortable in the world described anywhere in that silly Bible of JAS’s.