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Author Topic:   Is String Theory Supernatural?
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5046
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 151 of 181 (699181)
05-15-2013 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 150 by GDR
05-15-2013 1:50 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

I have no doubt there is a confirmation bias in my reasoning but that is true of all of us.

Yes, but that's why science is science - it's set up to remove individual subjectivity and bias. As you cherry pick your science and jemmy it into your beliefs, you're actively seeking out bias and grasping it with both hands. You have lost any critical, skeptical capacity you had because of what you believe.

Given sufficient reason to change my mind though, I am prepared to and actually have changed my views.

I don't think it's remotely possible for any discovery in science to change your mind because you've found an effective way of accommodating it into your beliefs. For example, you ignore the fact that there is no evidence at all for prayers being answered or spiritual healing, yet it's a core belief of Christianity that God intervenes in our world.

You can't explain in any way, the concept of God beingin all places simultaneously but accept the belief anyway. No doubt QM will be levered into place in due course.

What scientific - or other - 'reason' would make you change your mind?
(That's a really easy question for an atheist to answer btw).


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 150 by GDR, posted 05-15-2013 1:50 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 152 of 181 (699183)
05-15-2013 3:12 PM
Reply to: Message 148 by NoNukes
05-15-2013 12:10 PM


Re: "God can do that"
Where scientific knowledge and theistic belief come into conflict one can either go with the science or find a way of justifying the assertion that "God can do that". If the "God can do that" option is chosen then one cannot legitimately claim to be adjusting their theistic beliefs to be in line with science.

Surely this is both obvious and inarguable?

NN writes:

The problem with your logic/description is that you lump all scientific findings in the same boat.

No. I am simply pointing out that if faced with a conflict between scientific findings and thestic beliefs choosing the "God can do that" option involves a denial of science.

Whilst there is an obvious difference in terms of degree and scale between a full on omphalist and a believer who limits their science-exceptions to the odd miracle here and there both are denying the scientific conclusion because it conflicts with their theistic belief. Both are rejecting the science and embracing the "God can do that" option.

NN writes:

I do not know everything he believes, but the particular examples of Jesus feeding a multitude and Creation week do not, in my opinion, fit the pattern you describe.

They both involve rejecting the science and embracing the "God can do that" option. Beyond that it is a differnce of scale rather than principle.

NN writes:

I don't believe very many people are Omphalists.

So what? If not many people believed in the feeding of the 5,000 or resurrecting dead bodies would that make GDR's specific beliefs regarding these particular stories somehow more contradictory of scientific findings?

I fail to see what bearing the number of believers in any given such proposition has on anything here.


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 Message 148 by NoNukes, posted 05-15-2013 12:10 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 153 of 181 (699184)
05-15-2013 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 149 by GDR
05-15-2013 1:37 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
If there are any instances where your beliefs conflict with scientific knowledge and you have to invoke words like "miracle" to explain these then you cannot legitimately claim to have adjusted your theistic beliefs to be compatible with scientific knowledge.

Sure - Your particular exceptions to scientific knowledge (the odd dead body ressurrected here and there, a miraculous quantity of calories derived from a few fish and loaves etc. etc.) are pretty small scale in comparison to those invoked by hardcore creationists.

But this is a difference of scale rather than a difference of principle. In principle you are happy to reject a scientifically compatible conclusion in favour of a theistic belief.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 149 by GDR, posted 05-15-2013 1:37 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 155 by GDR, posted 05-15-2013 6:22 PM Straggler has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4279
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 154 of 181 (699198)
05-15-2013 6:15 PM
Reply to: Message 151 by Tangle
05-15-2013 2:42 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
Tangle writes:

Yes, but that's why science is science - it's set up to remove individual subjectivity and bias. As you cherry pick your science and jemmy it into your beliefs, you're actively seeking out bias and grasping it with both hands. You have lost any critical, skeptical capacity you had because of what you believe.

Actually that isn't true. Yes, as science introduces new evidence I am prepared to change my views. The atheists on this forum are always being critical of the theists who hang on to their views when the run counter to sciences and now you criticize me because I agree that science does have something to tell us about the world. There's no pleasing you guys, which I agree isn't my objective anyway.

Tangle writes:

I don't think it's remotely possible for any discovery in science to change your mind because you've found an effective way of accommodating it into your beliefs. For example, you ignore the fact that there is no evidence at all for prayers being answered or spiritual healing, yet it's a core belief of Christianity that God intervenes in our world.

Sure there is no objective evidence that prayers are answered but it doesn't mean they aren't. That isn't a question that I would expect science to answer. No Nukes did a great job of addressing that. You might have a look at his posts.

Tangle writes:

You can't explain in any way, the concept of God beingin all places simultaneously but accept the belief anyway. No doubt QM will be levered into place in due course.

Well if you read back I have already done that by suggesting that God's dimension involves multiple time dimensions as a speculative theory.

Tangle writes:

What scientific - or other - 'reason' would make you change your mind?

I don't think that there is a scientific principle that would make me change my mind because science answers different question that what Theology does. That does not mean that my theology in anyway limits what science has to tell me.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 151 by Tangle, posted 05-15-2013 2:42 PM Tangle has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 156 by 1.61803, posted 05-15-2013 6:32 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4279
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 155 of 181 (699203)
05-15-2013 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by Straggler
05-15-2013 3:20 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
Straggler writes:

If there are any instances where your beliefs conflict with scientific knowledge and you have to invoke words like "miracle" to explain these then you cannot legitimately claim to have adjusted your theistic beliefs to be compatible with scientific knowledge.
Sure - Your particular exceptions to scientific knowledge (the odd dead body ressurrected here and there, a miraculous quantity of calories derived from a few fish and loaves etc. etc.) are pretty small scale in comparison to those invoked by hardcore creationists.
But this is a difference of scale rather than a difference of principle. In principle you are happy to reject a scientifically compatible conclusion in favour of a theistic belief.

Science doesn't tell us that so-called miracles are impossible. All that science can say is that if they happen they are happening contrary to natural law.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 153 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2013 3:20 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 157 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2013 7:40 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2712
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 156 of 181 (699206)
05-15-2013 6:32 PM
Reply to: Message 154 by GDR
05-15-2013 6:15 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

That does not mean that my theology in anyway limits what science has to tell me.

It depends on what it is. If miracles are facts then would not science attempt to explain them?

If science show them to be in violation of the laws of physics and impossible. Then one must either believe what science says is true or what ones beliefs say are true.

You can not have it both ways.

You must accept the belief in miracles based on faith alone and a concious individual choice to accept miracles without any bases in fact. Because once you begin to look for facts; they are cold hard things that poke holes in faith. At least that has been my experiance. I can not for the life of me will myself to believe something that is dimetrically opposed to the knowlege of the world as we know it. My faith and belief in miracles has slowly evaporated. I salute your beliefs and your ability to conjoin them with scientific knowlege.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 154 by GDR, posted 05-15-2013 6:15 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 158 by GDR, posted 05-15-2013 9:12 PM 1.61803 has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 157 of 181 (699217)
05-15-2013 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 155 by GDR
05-15-2013 6:22 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
Scientifically speaking a couple of fish and a loaf of bread could not possibly provide 5,000+ people with enough calories to meaningfully constitute being "fed".

Scientifically speaking it's desperately unlikely that a Jewish carpenter was born from a virgin 2,000 years ago.

Scientifically speaking the aforementioned Jewish carpenter almost certainly did not have the ability to revive 4 day old rotting corpses to bring them back to full health.

And so on and so forth.

If you believe that the above events did occur then your theistic beliefs are overriding your scientific knowledge. Therefore you cannot meaningfully claim to be adjusting your theistic beliefs to be consistent with scientific knowledge.

GDR writes:

All that science can say is that if they happen they are happening contrary to natural law.

Actually science can say that these sorts of stories and the reasons people need to believe them are more likely to be rooted in aspects of human psychology than the result of such events actually occurring. If one were to adopt the scientifically consistent position this would be the stance one would take........

GDR writes:

Science doesn't tell us that so-called miracles are impossible.

Well if we are going to invoke "God can do that" or the unknown laws of unknown universes then absolutely anything at all no matter how absurd or scientifically illiterate can be given the meaningless monicker of being described as "possible". But I really don't see how this helps with regard to the fact that your theistic beliefs are in conflict with scientific knowledge.


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 Message 155 by GDR, posted 05-15-2013 6:22 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4279
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 158 of 181 (699221)
05-15-2013 9:12 PM
Reply to: Message 156 by 1.61803
05-15-2013 6:32 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
1.61803 writes:

It depends on what it is. If miracles are facts then would not science attempt to explain them?

I suppose it could, but how do you expect it to do that?

1.61803 writes:

If science show them to be in violation of the laws of physics and impossible. Then one must either believe what science says is true or what ones beliefs say are true.

Science doesn't say it's impossible. Science can only say that in order for it to happen that natural laws have to be suspended.

1.61803 writes:

You must accept the belief in miracles based on faith alone and a concious individual choice to accept miracles without any bases in fact. Because once you begin to look for facts; they are cold hard things that poke holes in faith. At least that has been my experiance. I can not for the life of me will myself to believe something that is dimetrically opposed to the knowlege of the world as we know it. My faith and belief in miracles has slowly evaporated. I salute your beliefs and your ability to conjoin them with scientific knowlege.

Thanks, but just for the record I have not come to this all on my own. My beliefs are consistent with the likes of C S Lewis, N T Wright, Tim Keller, John Polkinghorne, Francis Collins and John Lennox. These are all highly educated people with Polkinghorne being a world renowned physicist, Collins a world renowned biologist and Lennox a world renowned mathematician. N T Wright is probably the foremost Christian scholar we have today and Lewis was one of the greatest Christian philosophers we have ever had. I am actually pretty orthodox and certainly far from unique.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 156 by 1.61803, posted 05-15-2013 6:32 PM 1.61803 has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 159 by Straggler, posted 05-17-2013 1:31 PM GDR has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 159 of 181 (699322)
05-17-2013 1:31 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by GDR
05-15-2013 9:12 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

Science doesn't say it's impossible. Science can only say that in order for it to happen that natural laws have to be suspended.

You could say this about literally any claim at all. Following this logic would mean that any claim about any event (no matter how absurd or scientifically illiterate) was not in conflict with science.

I believe in perpetual motion machines. This is entirely compatible with scientific findings because it merely requires the suspension of natural laws.

I believe dead bodies can be re-animated back to life. This is entirely compatible with scientific findings because it merely requires the suspension of natural laws.

I believe that a pig spouted wings, did a loop the loop and then vanished in a puff of smoke. This belief is entirely compatible with scientific findings because it merely requires the suespension of natural laws.

And so on and so forth....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 158 by GDR, posted 05-15-2013 9:12 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 160 by GDR, posted 05-17-2013 1:55 PM Straggler has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4279
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 160 of 181 (699323)
05-17-2013 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 159 by Straggler
05-17-2013 1:31 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
Straggler writes:

You could say this about literally any claim at all. Following this logic would mean that any claim about any event (no matter how absurd or scientifically illiterate) was not in conflict with science.

Absolutely, so in order to come to come to any conclusions we have to consider other avenues of thought such as philosophy or theology. In the end I think that even you would agree that the existence of an intelligent designer is more likely the Dawkin's FSM.

In the end there isn't even absolute certainty with even the most fundamental aspects of science either. Science can tell us reliably what the speed of light is because the measurements have always been consistent, but it can't tell us that tomorrow the speed of light won't have changed.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 159 by Straggler, posted 05-17-2013 1:31 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 161 by Straggler, posted 05-17-2013 2:07 PM GDR has responded
 Message 162 by Tangle, posted 05-17-2013 2:08 PM GDR has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 161 of 181 (699324)
05-17-2013 2:07 PM
Reply to: Message 160 by GDR
05-17-2013 1:55 PM


Scientific Findings Vs Theistic Beliefs
Do you think that invoking the suspension of natural laws makes the claim that a winged pig did a loop the loop and then vanished in a puff of smoke any more or less in conflict with scientific findings?

Why do you think invoking the suspension of natural laws makes the resurrection of a 4 day old corpse or the feeding of the 5,000 any more or less in conflict with scientific findings?

GDR writes:

In the end I think that even you would agree that the existence of an intelligent designer is more likely the Dawkin's FSM.

Whether we say that an intelligent designer is bringing bodies back to life or feeding thousands of people with some fish and bread that contain only a few hundred calories or whether we say that a Flying Spaghetti Monster is ultimately responsible for such events has absolutely no bearing on whether these claims conflict with science or not.

If you believe in events for which the suspension of natural law is required, regardless of which entity you invoke as the cause of such events, then you cannot say that you are adjusting your theistic beliefs to be in accordance with science.

Once you start suspending natural laws in order to maintain theistic beliefs your theistic belifs are conflicting with science. Obviously.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 160 by GDR, posted 05-17-2013 1:55 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 164 by GDR, posted 05-17-2013 3:42 PM Straggler has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5046
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 162 of 181 (699325)
05-17-2013 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 160 by GDR
05-17-2013 1:55 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

Absolutely, so in order to come to come to any conclusions we have to consider other avenues of thought such as philosophy or theology.

Aaarrrrgghhhhh!


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 160 by GDR, posted 05-17-2013 1:55 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 163 by GDR, posted 05-17-2013 3:23 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4279
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 163 of 181 (699331)
05-17-2013 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 162 by Tangle
05-17-2013 2:08 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

Absolutely, so in order to come to come to any conclusions we have to consider other avenues of thought such as philosophy or theology.

Tangle writes:

Aaarrrrgghhhhh!

Very philosophical with theological inferences Tangle.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 162 by Tangle, posted 05-17-2013 2:08 PM Tangle has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4279
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 164 of 181 (699333)
05-17-2013 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 161 by Straggler
05-17-2013 2:07 PM


Re: Scientific Findings Vs Theistic Beliefs
Straggler writes:

Why do you think invoking the suspension of natural laws makes the resurrection of a 4 day old corpse or the feeding of the 5,000 any more or less in conflict with scientific findings?

I'm not saying that I don't believe that God through Jesus suspended natural laws, (as we understand natural law), in order to perform miracles. I believe that He did but it wouldn't change My fundamental Christian beliefs if I didn't believe that He fed the 5000 or raised Lazarus back to his earthly life. My faith is not dependant on an inerrant Bible.

From my point of view the one essential miracle of Christianity is the bodily resurrection of Jesus. (Lazarus was not a resurrection.) In the resurrection of Jesus we see the start of what God intends for all of creation. If I didn't believe that I would become a theist who believes that there is an intelligence who cares about whether or not I conduct my life morally in the way that I can best understand morality at all. However, for a variety of reasons I am genuinely very sure that the resurrection of Jesus was an historical event, and yet at the same time I understand the scepticism of those who think as you do.

Straggler writes:

If you believe in events for which the suspension of natural law is required, regardless of which entity you invoke as the cause of such events, then you cannot say that you are adjusting your theistic beliefs to be in accordance with science.

Sure I can. The suspension of natural law is outside the purview of science. I don't look to science to give me advice on morality but I do look to science to tell about the process that God used that led to me.

Straggler writes:

Once you start suspending natural laws in order to maintain theistic beliefs your theistic belifs are conflicting with science. Obviously.

I disagree. Science studies natural law. Natural law is not science. Science does not tell us that natural law cannot be suspended. There is no conflict.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 161 by Straggler, posted 05-17-2013 2:07 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 165 by AZPaul3, posted 05-17-2013 4:19 PM GDR has responded
 Message 173 by Straggler, posted 05-18-2013 11:37 AM GDR has responded

    
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3428
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


Message 165 of 181 (699334)
05-17-2013 4:19 PM
Reply to: Message 164 by GDR
05-17-2013 3:42 PM


Re: Scientific Findings Vs Theistic Beliefs
Science studies natural law. Natural law is not science. Science does not tell us that natural law cannot be suspended.

Of course there is a conflict. Natural Law is just that: law. It holds at all times in all situations. That is why it is law. If it was not then such a phenomena would be a dependant variable not a law.

The reason we call them laws is precisely because we have never seen them violated. To assume your god can cause such violations becomes just another article of faith of the superstition that conflicts with the reality we see around us.

ABE: I assume we're talking the laws of nature as in the physical laws and not the Natural Law as in human morality and the quest for justice.

Edited by AZPaul3, : gee guess.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 164 by GDR, posted 05-17-2013 3:42 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 166 by GDR, posted 05-17-2013 5:10 PM AZPaul3 has responded

  
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