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Author Topic:   Belief in God is scientific.
divermike1974
Member (Idle past 1446 days)
Posts: 59
Joined: 02-08-2013


Message 211 of 262 (695891)
04-10-2013 4:00 AM


No need for scripture.
Right there are a few people posting scripture quotes. While i am a believer and one of the Christian variety, this topic has nothing to do with scripture or denomination its about the pure fact that no matter where in the world you go with regards humanity, the vast majority believe in some form of deity. From the most isolated micro societies to the colossal modern civilization we posters are from, God is in our brains (lives). Coupling this with the modern understanding of the physiological complexity of the human brain within the evolution of the universe how can belief not be classed as a scientific quantity?
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Tangle
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Posts: 4768
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 212 of 262 (695892)
04-10-2013 4:17 AM
Reply to: Message 211 by divermike1974
04-10-2013 4:00 AM


Re: No need for scripture.
how can belief not be classed as a scientific quantity?

Well of course you can attempt to measure beliefs and categorise them into their bewildering miscellany.

That would be a scientific activity.

Your mistake is in thinking that simply because people believe in something that it therefore exists. That is obviously an error in critical thinking.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
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Pressie
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Posts: 1621
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 2.6


(1)
Message 213 of 262 (695893)
04-10-2013 4:17 AM
Reply to: Message 211 by divermike1974
04-10-2013 4:00 AM


Re: No need for scripture.
Actually, human brains exist and beliefs originate in the brain, therefore beliefs can be scientifically investigated; for example scans can be done on human brains to determine where beliefs originate from.

Gods can't be considered as scientific at all, because there's not even one bit of empirical, verifiable evidence for the existence of a Supernatural God or Gods.


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 214 of 262 (695904)
04-10-2013 8:05 AM
Reply to: Message 211 by divermike1974
04-10-2013 4:00 AM


No need for invisible men..
Have you ever considered universal aspects of human psychology as the potential cause of widespread human belief in gods/spirits/etc...? Things like hyperactive agency detection

If it comes to a tossup between empirically demonstrable common aspects of human psychology and invoking an invisible being as the causes of human belief in supernatural beings - Then there is only really one scientific answer isn't there?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 211 by divermike1974, posted 04-10-2013 4:00 AM divermike1974 has responded

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 Message 222 by divermike1974, posted 04-10-2013 12:27 PM Straggler has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13194
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 215 of 262 (695917)
04-10-2013 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 203 by Dr Adequate
04-09-2013 12:57 PM


Dr Adequate writes:

ringo writes:

Of course the belief in a flat earth at the center of the universe did come from religious belief, not science ...


Usually from neither. It came from "common sense".

One piece of evidence for a round earth is the shape of the earth's shadow on the moon - but that only works if you believe/know that it is the earth's shadow. That belief/knowledge depends on cosmology which often depends on religion. In a cosmology which has the moon's phases caused by the gods (eating the moon or whatever), you might find the best evidence for the earth's shape by looking out the window.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 203 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-09-2013 12:57 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
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Stile
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Posts: 2896
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 216 of 262 (695918)
04-10-2013 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 211 by divermike1974
04-10-2013 4:00 AM


Re: No need for scripture.
divermike1974 writes:

Coupling this with the modern understanding of the physiological complexity of the human brain within the evolution of the universe how can belief not be classed as a scientific quantity?

It is.
Belief is classed as a scientific quantity all the time.
The result has been tested and verified many, many times.
The result, on every scientific test, is that "belief" is a very unreliable way to use your brain in order to learn facts about the world.

In fact, this was one of the very first scientific observations.
It's what caused people to wonder "what then, is a good, confident method to use our brains to learn facts about the world?"
The answer to that question is: The Scientific Method.

But yes, belief is classified as a scientific quantity all the time. It's simply classified as a negative, unreliable method.

You don't seem to want to accept this answer, however.
You seem to think that if you keep asking the same question, then the answer will change?

Again, that's not how science works.
The results of science... the result that "belief" is an unreliable, negative tool for finding knowledge... do not change just because you ask the same question over and over.
The results cannot be "worn down" in this manner. It is simply irrelevant.

The results will only ever change if "belief" gets scientifically tested and shows positive, confident results.
So far, this has never been possible.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 211 by divermike1974, posted 04-10-2013 4:00 AM divermike1974 has responded

Replies to this message:
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Taq
Member
Posts: 6632
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 217 of 262 (695919)
04-10-2013 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 211 by divermike1974
04-10-2013 4:00 AM


Re: No need for scripture.
Coupling this with the modern understanding of the physiological complexity of the human brain within the evolution of the universe how can belief not be classed as a scientific quantity?

We can study the physiology behind belief, but that doesn't make the beliefs themselves scientific. We can measure brain activity in people who believe in Leprechauns, but this isn't scientific evidence for the existence of Leprechauns. All it is evidence for is the ability of the brain to believe in things that are not real.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15936
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 218 of 262 (695920)
04-10-2013 12:16 PM
Reply to: Message 215 by ringo
04-10-2013 12:10 PM


One piece of evidence for a round earth is the shape of the earth's shadow on the moon - but that only works if you believe/know that it is the earth's shadow. That belief/knowledge depends on cosmology which often depends on religion. In a cosmology which has the moon's phases caused by the gods (eating the moon or whatever), you might find the best evidence for the earth's shape by looking out the window.

Hmm ... I think you're reaching a little.

Also, the moon's phases are not caused by the Earth's shadow on the moon. Eclipses of the moon are caused by the Earth's shadow, the phases of the moon aren't.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 215 by ringo, posted 04-10-2013 12:10 PM ringo has responded

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ringo
Member
Posts: 13194
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 219 of 262 (695921)
04-10-2013 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 211 by divermike1974
04-10-2013 4:00 AM


Re: No need for scripture.
divermike1974 writes:

... how can belief not be classed as a scientific quantity?


"Belief" in general is a psychological phenomenon, which can be called a "scientific quantity" if you like. That doesn't make individual beliefs scientific.
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ringo
Member
Posts: 13194
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 220 of 262 (695922)
04-10-2013 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 218 by Dr Adequate
04-10-2013 12:16 PM


Dr Adequate writes:

Hmm ... I think you're reaching a little.


Well, I'm trying to clarify, not argue.

Dr Adequate writes:

Also, the moon's phases are not caused by the Earth's shadow on the moon. Eclipses of the moon are caused by the Earth's shadow, the phases of the moon aren't.


Thanks for the correction. The phases of the moon would suggest that the moon is round, I suppose.
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15936
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 221 of 262 (695923)
04-10-2013 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 211 by divermike1974
04-10-2013 4:00 AM


Re: No need for scripture.
Right there are a few people posting scripture quotes. While i am a believer and one of the Christian variety, this topic has nothing to do with scripture or denomination its about the pure fact that no matter where in the world you go with regards humanity, the vast majority believe in some form of deity. From the most isolated micro societies to the colossal modern civilization we posters are from, God is in our brains (lives). Coupling this with the modern understanding of the physiological complexity of the human brain within the evolution of the universe how can belief not be classed as a scientific quantity?

"Classed as a scientific quantity" is a strange and vague phrase.

Should people's beliefs about what happens to an object dropped by a running man be "classed as a scientific quantity"?

Their beliefs on this subject are of interest to certain scientists, namely psychologists studying the manifold ways in which humans are commonly wrong, but they have no bearing on the question in physics, do they?

As for "the physiological complexity of the human brain", sure, it's complex. But sadly, it's not always right.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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 Message 211 by divermike1974, posted 04-10-2013 4:00 AM divermike1974 has not yet responded

  
divermike1974
Member (Idle past 1446 days)
Posts: 59
Joined: 02-08-2013


Message 222 of 262 (695925)
04-10-2013 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 214 by Straggler
04-10-2013 8:05 AM


Re: No need for invisible men..
Yes i consider psychology. You could argue that being a creature with hierarchy built into its societies the human may just keep looking up the chain. And after becoming king of all the animals and most environments it just looks to where it can see a higher king (God) and higher environment (Heaven) and that place is inside its imagination.
But you could also say that with modern understanding of how unbelievably amazing the universe is and how unfathomable a place it really is that modern skeptics are also victims of their own imaginations in thinking that they understand enough of existence and the universe to say with such certainty that there isn't a God. When in reality the true value of how much we actually know is probably more or less nothing compared with what there is to know.
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15936
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 223 of 262 (695929)
04-10-2013 12:43 PM
Reply to: Message 222 by divermike1974
04-10-2013 12:27 PM


Re: No need for invisible men..
But you could also say that with modern understanding of how unbelievably amazing the universe is and how unfathomable a place it really is that modern skeptics are also victims of their own imaginations in thinking that they understand enough of existence and the universe to say with such certainty that there isn't a God. When in reality the true value of how much we actually know is probably more or less nothing compared with what there is to know.

You could say that, but that would be a completely different argument. I could rebut it if you like, but it would be off-topic.

The question was whether the current popularity of belief in God in itself makes that belief scientific. The answer would appear to be "no".


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 Message 222 by divermike1974, posted 04-10-2013 12:27 PM divermike1974 has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 629 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(4)
Message 224 of 262 (695933)
04-10-2013 12:50 PM
Reply to: Message 222 by divermike1974
04-10-2013 12:27 PM


Re: No need for invisible men..
But you could also say that with modern understanding of how unbelievably amazing the universe is and how unfathomable a place it really is that modern skeptics are also victims of their own imaginations in thinking that they understand enough of existence and the universe to say with such certainty that there isn't a God. When in reality the true value of how much we actually know is probably more or less nothing compared with what there is to know.

It is unquestionably true that much, even most of what we think we know is imprecise, wrong to some degree, and that our present store of knowledge as a species is a woefully deficient subset of the sum total of knowledge required to wholly understand the Universe. We are ignorant; we can only ever be ignorant, and all of the learning and science that has ever occurred or ever will can only ever help us to be less wrong about the world.

And yet your reasoning suggests that, since we are ignorant, the darkness of our ignorance provides some form of evidence that god(s) may actually exist.

No one except the very foolish says that there is certainly no such thing as god(s); it is impossible for us to know anything with absolute certainty. The simple fact is that we could all exist in the Matrix, and literally every thing you think you know could be an elaborate lie.

But in the absence of positive evidence, the vastly more probable hypothesis is that a thing does not exist. To use an analogy, I could suppose that there may be a teapot orbiting the Sun halfway between Earth and Mars. There is no evidence of such a thing, and our instrumentation would be too imprecise to be able to detect it were we to search. Yes, there is a non-zero probability that such a teapot actually exists...but as with all unevidenced assertions (even if the same assertion is made by every person who has ever lived, the ultimate appeal to popularity), that probability is so close to zero as to be zero for all practical purposes of reasoning. That is, we would not attempt to plot the course of probes sent to Mars accounting for the possibility of a collision with the teapot - because the teapot is so unlikely to exist that we consider that may as well just not.

This is the case with all hypotheses that are not supported by evidence. They are quite simply no more likely to be true than any of the infinite random guesses the human mind can create within itself. It is possible but unlikely in the extreme that an invisible unicorn is watching over your shoulder while you read this post. It is possible but unlikely in the extreme that there really are leprechauns in your garden, and they simply hide whenever you or anyone else is present.

God(s) are no different. The hypotheses that suggest god(s) exist (and there are many, and they are often mutually exclusive; it's wrong to even conclude that the popular belief in god(s) suggest that god(s) exist simply because the vast majority cannot even agree on what these god(s) are supposed to be) are not supported by any evidence whatsoever. Books, tradition, and popularity are evidence only that books were written, that beliefs were held, and nothing more. They do not and never can provide more than the smallest suggestion that such beliefs might actually be accurate reflections of objective reality.

The reason is simple: evidence is any observation that adjusts the probability of a given hypothesis being true as compared to alternative, competing hypotheses. If I hypothesize that there is a pen on my desk, I can test that hypothesis by making an observation of my desk - and the observation of a pen being present would increase the probability of the hypothesis that said the pen was there to nearly 100%, while the competing hypothesis that said that the pen was not present would be adjusted to a near-zero probability of being accurate.

In the grand scheme of things, the vast, vast majority of the infinite number of possible hypotheses are inaccurate. Therefore, the null hypothesis, the most likely answer when we ask, in the absence of evidence, "does this exist," is "maybe, but probably not" until and unless evidence is discovered that alters that probability.

By this reasoning is the "god of the gaps," the god(s) who occupy the spaces of ignorance within and around our understanding, shown to be a logically worthless idea in itself. It is not impossible to reason in the presence of uncertainty - indeed, as we are never certain of anything, uncertainty is the natural state of all human reason, and it is inappropriate and intellectually dishonest to make exceptions for certain favored hypotheses.

Not to mention the fact that such god(s) must forever flee to new shadows of mystery as we continue to expand our knowledge.

The argument from ignorance is every much a logical fallacy as the argument from popularity, or the argument from incredulity.

There may well be god(s), Mike. It's not likely, but it's possible. But your fallacious reasoning cannot be the way we discover them.


“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.” - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

“A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.” – Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 222 by divermike1974, posted 04-10-2013 12:27 PM divermike1974 has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(2)
Message 225 of 262 (695934)
04-10-2013 12:51 PM
Reply to: Message 222 by divermike1974
04-10-2013 12:27 PM


Re: No need for invisible men..
DiverM writes:

But you could also say that with modern understanding of how unbelievably amazing the universe is and how unfathomable a place it really is...

Why does that necessitate an invisible man? Why is that any sort of answer no matter how "amazing" and "unfathomable" anything may be?

DiverM writes:

...that modern skeptics are also victims of their own imaginations in thinking that they understand enough of existence and the universe to say with such certainty that there isn't a God.

It isn't those of us who doubt the existence of god(s) who are either claiming certainty or claiming to have all the answers. We generally leave that sort of thing to those of faith....

DiverM writes:

When in reality the true value of how much we actually know is probably more or less nothing compared with what there is to know.

Sure. But what I think we can say with confidence is that evidenced answers (and causes of observed phenomena) are significantly more likely to be correct than unevidenced answers and causes. Otherwise why bother basing our answers on evidence at all?

You ask in this thread wheher belief in god is scientific. If we take human belief in supernatural entities as the observed phenomenon and then ask what the cause of this phenomenon might be - What is the evidenced answer?

Human psychology. Obviously.

Edited by Straggler, : Spelling


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