The whole point of this essay is to illustrate the point that religious thinking is not stuck in the ancient world. Modern religious people can and do think scientifically and modern atheist don't always understand what scientific thinking is about. The atheist straw man understanding of faith chalks belief up to stupidity and calls it "faith" while assuming that scinece is an ultimate form of proof that can't e questioned. All of these assumptions are wrong headed.
CARM discussion: a thread by "The Tide" called "The absurdity of Christianity."
Argument about the origin of the universe. The atheist has made the claim that there is no empirical evidence for God. I have said no empirical evidence for multivariate and string theory and things atheists re willing to base their views upon. Mathematical models are no better my God arguments i say. MarkUK says:
Originally Posted by MarkUK
Originally Posted by Metacrock
So, you have faith the origin of the universe is God's doing, scientists, according to you, have faith it will be a natural explanation. As stated by you both positions are contradictory, so faith seems a poor way to get at the truth. The thing is, science gets round this by having a system to weed out faith, prejudice, mistakes etc. It may not be perfect, but for finding things out its the best thing wev'e got. If you disagree, please point to anything else that has science's track record.Meta
Now probably by "faith" he means the atheist straw man of faith which is "believing things for no reason."That will become apparent when he seems to contrast this "faith" with the reasons he thinks he has in science. the truth is reason means placing confidence in a hypothesis even though it may be particularly proved. It does not mean believing things without evidence. Faith is a complex concept that can be summed or understood easily. In this context it deals with belief, and there is no reason to dismiss it as something stupid like "believing things for no reason" or "without evidence." Because I make a rhetorical rejoinder to his pejorative about faith he thinks that means there's a contradiction and it proves faith is bad. No, the contradiction is in his view becuase he has faith that means he must think at some point faith is good. It just depends upon what one has faith in. The atheists clearly expressing faith in science when they assume that the models are backed by empirical proof even though there is no such empirical proof for multiverse.
His assertion that scinece weeds out faith and mistakes shows not only that it's the straw man version of faith he's going by but also the total misconception about the nature of science. That assumes that scinece is proof, becuase if it's not resting on faith at some point then it must provide absolute proof. Science is not about proof. I've already discussed, the views of Philosopher of science Karl Popper. Popper is highly respected among scientists. If we assume that faith is not being stuipd, it is not accepting things for no reason or not ditching critical faculties, then there's no reason to think science has anything over faith. Both are apt for their given tasks. They don't do the same things, there's no reason we can't use them both. This is one of the most fallacious assumptions atheist make is the idea that religion is stuck back in the ancinet word and it can never evolve with that times.
Whatshisface goes on:
Every time we find out about something that we once thought had a supernatural explanation we find a natural explanation, its never the other way round which is why a natural explanation of the universe is a reasonable expectation, not faith. The only way you can redress the balance is to point to examples where the supernatural explanation has turned out to be true, to the same confirmed, evidential standard that natural explanations have. Can you do this? I don't think so.That's using the atheist straw man concept of supernatural. As I've discussed before supernatural is empirical. It's something we know for a fact exists, it's mystical experience,that was the original concept (see my essay). The enlightenment philosophies changed the idea to unseen realms and magic powers and so forth in order to ridicule the notion. He argues that the only way to reinstate the balance. This talk of a balance comes from the assumption that there's some kind of competition and scinece is winning. There can only be competition if these concepts do the same things. They don't do the same things, they dont' cover the same aspects of reality, there can't be a completion. There's way to say that striking a blow for the truth of one counts on the same scale as the blows of truth for the other. So being to prove 47 different kinds of arthropods might not be anywhere near as important as one concept of spiritual reality. Of course he's assuming the straw man concept. In terms of the true concept, where supernatural is mystical experience then that is proved to be real and well documented with a huge body of scientific work of over 200 empirical studies from academic journals. The scientific studies document the transforming effects of these experiences. I do not have a complete bibliography of the 200 studies as yet reading on the net. I have them assembled but not on the net. There's an excellent article that sums up many of the studies and provides an excellent bibliography, although it's only partial. Krishna Mohan's article on spirituality and well being. See also my article on doxa.
As Abrham Maslow said in his book on Peak Experience:
Now that may be taken as a frank admission of a naturalistic psychological origin, except that it invovles a universal symbology which is not explicable through merely naturalistic means. How is it that all humans come to hold these same archetypical symbols? (For more on archetypes see Jesus Chrsit and Mythology page II) The "prematives" viewed and understood a sense of transformation which gave them an integration into the universe. This is crucial for human development. They sensed a power in the numenous, that is the origin of religion."Whatshisface
"In Appendix I and elsewhere in this essay, I have spoken of unitive perception, i.e., fusion of the B-realm with the D-realm, fusion of the eternal with the temporal, the sacred with the profane, etc. Someone has called this "the measureless gap between the poetic perception of reality and prosaic, unreal commonsense." Anyone who cannot perceive the sacred, the eternal, the symbolic, is simply blind to an aspect of reality, as I think I have amply demonstrated elsewhere (54), and in Appendix I, fromPeak Experience (online copy of the book)
That's charming but irrelevant becasue nowhere have I said that. The idea that religion says this in general just by the nature of what it is is part of the ideological propaganda and the myth of the enlightenment. There's no actual reason why religious people have to think this way. This is assuming a God of the gaps mentality. Atheist assume that becuase they think everything is about scientific explanations. They can't understand the concept of having other kinds of explanations that matter more. "Science is a disciplined way of finding out about things" but what he says after that shows what he really means to say is "scinece is the only way to find out about things. It's not. It's not a way to find about ultimate reality or God. The only way to do that is to experience God.
BTW, the past is littered with statements that say, we will never find that out, that's impossible, etc, that have been proven wrong. I am slightly taken aback by your dim view of science. Remember, all science is is a disciplined way of finding out about things. You can't brush it under the carpet as if it doesn't count. And re the origin of the universe, science is the only way we will find out about it.
Originally Posted by MarkUK
That assumes that religion is about ancinet world thinking and it can't ever update. If you try to update atheists will say "that's not Christianity." Christianity to them is thinking stupidly and in a very old fashioned unscientific way. The modern scientific study of religious experience confirms the turth of religoius belief. Atheists known nothing about social sciences as a general rule an the shameful and silly way they have tried to find all manner of means of destroying confidence in the studies, everything but read them, proves this. They are not scientific thinkers. They are totally and totally opposed to scientific thinking when it doesn't back their ideology of anti-God propaganda. We can see modern scientific thinking in process theology which has been the major trend in theology throughout the twentieth century. We can see it in the acceptance of evolution as a fact of scinece, and we can see it in the understanding of science and relative value expressed in so many major theologians in the last century such as Pannenberg and Molatmann.