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Author Topic:   Hello everyone
scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 1773 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


(3)
Message 1 of 380 (712335)
12-02-2013 11:41 PM


Hi everyone! I just wanted to introduce myself and also mention that I used to debate here years ago under a different alias and had quite a bit of fun "disproving" people.

Interestingly enough, I was a young earth creationist who has debated against evolution and naturalism for quite a few years now, developing a plethora of arguments that unquestionably made creationism "the winner", well, erm, in my mind. Without sounding arrogant, I do consider myself to be more or less an expert on creationist arguments because of how long I've debated with evolutionists and how passionate I was about my point of view.

Having that kind of background has really helped my perspective on the issue now that I can no longer justify not believing in evolution as the most reasonable explanation science has yielded. So you're probably wondering how I could end up now believing in science and putting aside religious dogma? Well, there are a couple reasons.

The first step to reason was one day deciding to just be honest with myself and admit that I didn't know for sure that there is a god – and that's the biggest thing right there, HONESTY, admitting that I wasn't truly certain apart from wants or desires that the God I had in my mind existed for sure.

If a creationist doesn't take that first step they will never be able to be mentally free to rationally evaluate the subject without a flagrant bias from the outset. I used to believe that the reason people were evolutionists was because they didn't want to "admit" that there's a God so that they don't have to be "accountable". But really that's just a ploy built into religion to keep people from questioning.

I went on a quest to look at all the evidence from both sides without putting my own slant on it and noticed something remarkable, evolution may have begun as a pre-conceived notion that needed to seek evidence to back it up, but it was always falsifiable from the beginning. Creationism can't and never will be falsifiable because it invokes a deity that can't be tested and therefore never verified. Flying pink unicorns aren't falsifiable either.

The evidence for evolution may be imperfect but it's there and it's powerful and it is consistent with the evidence.

The human transitional fossils are there if you really choose to look at them..., we can see the skull shapes and see that they are clearly not modernly human and clearly not ape but instead somewhere in between. The fossil record really does have an overwhelming array of evidence for evolution.

I then stacked all of the best creationist arguments in my head and put them against evolution. I was quite the expert on the "micro" vs "macro" evolution argument. I had to realize, however, that Creationists have no definition of what a "kind" is vs species, and therefore have no valid argument in saying that micro can't turn into macro because it can't cross the barrier of a "different kind". But where is the barrier? If a "kind" can't be identified then the creationist puts themselves in a convenient location where they can consider any change, no matter how significant, to still be "micro" and not "macro." If there's a "evolution can't go further" barrier they have to produce it by showing it.

The other thing was "irreducible complexity". It has now been shown to be false on a number of investigative models. Biology is not like a clock where it needs all the components at once to work (this argument may sound persuasive but it's false), the individual elements can still function on their own without all being together. This is a devastating blow to ID and the arguments that ID makes. Another devastating blow to the Christian YEC model is that there is no evidence whatsoever that humans and dinosaurs co-existed, absolutely none. And if all of those antediluvian giants existed before the great flood of Noah, why have we not found even one fossil of the remains of one of these people? The evidence against it is overwhelming.

In the end, even if evolution is wrong, that doesn't prove creation.

I then realized that I can only either believe in religion or science, since both are completely incompatible with each other – I used to try to make both work for so long until integrity made me realize it just isn't possible and it wouldn't be right to pretend that they can work together.

Religion asserts certain ideas as true and those beliefs outrank anything else in life, including any inconvenient scientific discoveries. That means that if science were to show something within that religion as false, the religious person then has to allow religion to trump the scientific discovery in their mind, making the supposed harmony between the too illusory. This is why they can't work together. The only way for them to be compatible would be for the one embracing a religion to treat the religion as being falsifiable which is inherently not what religion can be – the religious person already has all the answers and already knows that their religion is “true” no matter what. Of course, they really don't, they just want to believe that and shun everything that may say otherwise.

So why do I believe in evolution now and do not accept the existence of a god without evidence? Well, because I decided to stop refusing to accept the obvious. If someone were to ask a religious believer to start believing in the flying spaghetti monster and to let “him” into their hearts, the religious person would point out how ridiculous it is and then probably cite the lack of evidence that there's even such a thing. You see, they know how to use logical arguments when it doesn't touch a belief system that they cherish and want to be true even though the evidence for a flying spaghetti monster and “god” or “gods” is exactly the same, nil.

People use phrases like “if it's too good to be true it probably is”, and yet don't apply that same idea to some mythical afterlife waiting for them in clouds of glory. Accepting the truth is not fun. I would like nothing more than to know for sure that there is some wonderful paradise waiting for me after I die. But...why is it that everything our religion tells us we have to look forward to is so closely aligned with what we WANT. The idea of living eternally in bliss and happiness with our loved ones with no pain...it's just too easy.

The whole idea of a God used to make so much sense to me as a “solution” for solving how the big bang and time and matter and energy could possibly exist in the first place – because “He” would represent that first cause without being subject to scientific analysis. But then, as I thought about it I realized that putting my idea of an intelligent God figure in the picture did nothing but actually complicate the matter. Why? Because science, in terms of obtaining truthful answers about how things work, would also have to explain how there could be a God figure that exists outside of our realm and somehow is immune from scientific explanation? If the complexity of the universe and our intelligence and the wonders of the world is an obvious “proof” or “evidence” of a creator than a creator that is a thousand times more complex and powerful would also, by using that same logic, be evidence that “He” also needed a creator and so on and so forth ad infinitum.

So a God doesn't solve anything, it makes it more difficult. It's much more sensible to assume that “something” has always existed in some form or another and that the concept of nothing isn't real (elements merely change form and convert from one state to another, space and air look like nothing but they are still something). But of course, we're still trying to find all the answers.

I'm okay with not having all the answers, because it's the honest thing to do. If we can't be honest with ourselves we are already dismissing reason and rationality and replacing it with willful delusion.

I'm not meaning to insult anyone here who has deep-rooted beliefs in creation or anything, but I thought I'd reveal my story because it's one of awakening. It's hard admitting this, it really is, but I really needed to admit all of this for myself.

I'll be posting an essay here on religion and honesty and god soon.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Replace the "’" with "'". Still some other "glitches".


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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3879
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 2 of 380 (712337)
12-02-2013 11:54 PM


Thread Moved from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 3 of 380 (712339)
12-03-2013 12:05 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by scienceishonesty
12-02-2013 11:41 PM


Welcome aboard.

I'm okay with not having all the answers, because it's the honest thing to do.

Yes, well said.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by scienceishonesty, posted 12-02-2013 11:41 PM scienceishonesty has not yet responded

Pressie
Member
Posts: 1998
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 4 of 380 (712342)
12-03-2013 12:54 AM


Looking forward to learn from you
Welcome, I'm looking forward to learn from you

Could you, before you start, indicate whether you have any qualifications in any of the natural sciences? If you do, which one of them and your field of expertise?

Edited by Pressie, : Changed last sentence

Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.


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Pressie
Member
Posts: 1998
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 5 of 380 (712343)
12-03-2013 1:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by scienceishonesty
12-02-2013 11:41 PM


One thing I don't understand is why you've got this either creation or evolution stance, seeing that the overwhelming majority of religious scientists also accept the theory of evolution?

It thus seems that it's not an either or situation. Why do you think it is?


This message is a reply to:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 18308
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


(1)
Message 6 of 380 (712345)
12-03-2013 4:30 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by scienceishonesty
12-02-2013 11:41 PM


scienceishonesty writes:

...evolution may have begun as a pre-conceived notion...

Or maybe not.1

--Percy

1On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection by Charles Darwin, 1859.


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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 1773 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


(1)
Message 7 of 380 (712358)
12-03-2013 10:02 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Pressie
12-03-2013 12:54 AM


Re: Looking forward to learn from you
I'm actually getting a theory doctorate degree in something completely unrelated. So to be clear, I'm lacking credentials in this particular field as a "professional expert". I used the term "expert" in a lighter sense to describe the fact that I have so heavily familiarized myself over the years with the most persuasive technical arguments in favor of creation that if someone were to ask me to debate evolution I could somehow find a way to make it appear argumentatively that both are on an equal scientific footing by subjecting the debate to very narrow terms of what "science" constitutes. My whole goal all along while I was a YEC was to make both evolution and creation a theory and not a fact, that way I could be equally justified in believing something that we "don't know for certain". But all that washes away when you look at the situation objectively and actually look at the evidence. At least, for me it does.

Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.

Edited by scienceishonesty, : Grammatical errors.


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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 1773 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


(1)
Message 8 of 380 (712360)
12-03-2013 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Pressie
12-03-2013 1:32 AM


I realize that evolution and belief in God are not mutually exclusive, technically. For myself personally, being honest about the existence of God in the first place enabled me to start looking at the science vs religion situation objectively and actually sort out the reality of the situation.

I formerly embraced the Bible as the infallible and literal word of God. You can't have evolution if you cling on to that belief -- therefore, in order for my version of creation to be true, evolution couldn't be simultaneously true. In order for any theist to believe in evolution they have to be willing to admit that not "all" of their holy book is being literal if it contains a literal creation story that conflicts with evolution.

The main problem I see with theistic evolution is that it reverts to telling oneself in a tamer way that they still for sure know the answer (again). It is just another form of clinging on to the vestiges of "already knowing the truth". It still wants to believe that it "for certain" knows the answer (inside a protected, unfalsifiable realm) as a substitute for waiting until a truthful answer emerges. The reason I realize this is because my last stance before my current one was that I'm a "believer" but that if science shows me to be false then I'll be willing to think otherwise. Well, why not just be completely honest then and admit that it isn't a religion? It's just a fill-in speculation (I might as well say the "spaghetti monster" or "Zeus" caused evolution in the meantime) until I find out something real.

The big question is, is the theistic evolutionist willing to lay aside their belief if emerging scientific evidence invalidates the probability of their current beliefs? If that's the case, then it's time to be honest and just accept that they really are just waiting on the answers and that they don't absolutely know for sure -- which instantly makes them no longer part of a "religion" since religion already knows the purpose for everything and needs no answers.

The bottom line is, someone can somehow try to make their all-knowing religion and science compatible in their mind, but it really can't be done.

Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.

Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.

Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.

Edited by scienceishonesty, : clarification

Edited by scienceishonesty, : spelling


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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


(1)
Message 9 of 380 (712361)
12-03-2013 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by scienceishonesty
12-03-2013 10:19 AM


on religion.
The big question is, is the theistic evolution willing to lay aside their belief if emerging scientific evidence invalidates the probability of their current beliefs? If that's the case, then it's time to be honest and just accept that they really are just waiting on the answers and that they don't absolutely know for sure -- which instantly makes them no longer part of a "religion" since religion already knows the purpose for everything and needs no answers.

As a devout Christian I'd disagree with you there. I don't think I know any answers and of course scientific evidence must trump mere beliefs.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by scienceishonesty, posted 12-03-2013 10:19 AM scienceishonesty has responded

Replies to this message:
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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 1773 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


Message 10 of 380 (712362)
12-03-2013 10:34 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by jar
12-03-2013 10:29 AM


Re: on religion.
Then I would argue that you are probably not a devout Christian. Do you know it 100% to be the "truth" or not? If you admit that it might be wrong, then it isn't a religion, it's just some abstract pet idea to make yourself feel better.

I could sit here and say the same thing, well, I'm a Christian but if science invalidates everything then I'll be willing to accept that I'm wrong. I already did that and realized there's no purpose in doing that.

Religion already knows and doesn't need the answer, it understands already (for a fact). Science is constantly seeking truth and making itself willing to adapt and change based on new evidence. Is it really hard to see that there is an inherent conflict?

Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.

Edited by scienceishonesty, : No reason given.


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vimesey
Member
Posts: 932
From: Birmingham, England
Joined: 09-21-2011
Member Rating: 4.6


(4)
Message 11 of 380 (712369)
12-03-2013 10:55 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by scienceishonesty
12-03-2013 10:34 AM


Re: on religion.
Aren't you approaching this with the old YEC spectacles on ? In other words, adopting a definition of Christianity that to be a true Christian, every word of both testaments must be believed to be absolutely true ?

It is entirely possible to be a devout Christian, and to embrace and celebrate every step forward in mankind's scientific knowledge. My mother has a first class honours degree in biology and genetics - accepts completely current evolutionary and genetic science - and is an extremely devout Christian.

There's a whole panoply of Christian faiths and beliefs, many of which have significant subtlety, richness and depth. To reduce them to a simple binary choice of "100 % truth or not" does a huge disservice to the faith and intelligence of many, many Christians.


Could there be any greater conceit, than for someone to believe that the universe has to be simple enough for them to be able to understand it ?

This message is a reply to:
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GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 12 of 380 (712371)
12-03-2013 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by scienceishonesty
12-03-2013 10:34 AM


Re: on religion.
science is honesty writes:

Then I would argue that you are probably not a devout Christian. Do you know it 100% to be the "truth" or not? If you admit that it might be wrong, then it isn't a religion, it's just some abstract pet idea to make yourself feel better.
I could sit here and say the same thing, well, I'm a Christian but if science invalidates everything then I'll be willing to accept that I'm wrong. I already did that and realized there's no purpose in doing that.

Religion already knows and doesn't need the answer, it understands already (for a fact). Science is constantly seeking truth and making itself willing to adapt and change based on new evidence. Is it really hard to see that there is an inherent conflict?

This position is no more reasonable than your creationist position. In the first place religious belief is a faith in certain truths. My Christianity is based on the faith that God is good, just, and loving and that the NT writers are correct in their telling of the resurrection of Jesus. Christianity does not require an inerrant Bible. The Bible should IMHO be understood based on the two criteria I just mentioned. My beliefs are continuously evolving as I gain new information or insights from whatever source including this forum.

As far as science is concerned it is essentially a natural theology which is consistent with what Paul writes about particularly in Romans 1:20. As I mentioned in another thread I just read Brian Greene's book "The Hidden Reality". It reads as much metaphysically as it does anything else.

Evolution may be theory but it is so highly supported by evidence that it isn't reasonable to dispute it. The evolutionary process however is incredibly complex and each of us can come to our own conclusions as to whether or not it is more reasonable to believe that it has an intelligent or non-intelligent root.

An atheist does not know there is no god just as I don't know there is. I do however believe that my Christian beliefs do represent ultimate reality without having certain knowledge that I am right.


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


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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 13 of 380 (712372)
12-03-2013 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by scienceishonesty
12-03-2013 10:34 AM


Re: on religion.
Then I would argue that you are probably not a devout Christian. Do you know it 100% to be the "truth" or not?

You are of course free to argue such nonsense but unfortunately all the evidence shows you are wrong. I was born into a Christian family, raised in a Christian environment, educated in Christian schools, a member of a recognized Chapter of club Christian, helped found new parishes and physically build churches, taught adult and child Sunday school and currently webmaster for several Christian churches.

But I am also honest.

If someone is a member of a recognized chapter of the Elks or Lions or Masons then that person is an Elk or Lion or Mason.

I know that Christianity is almost certainly wrong as is also true of all religions. The Map is NOT the Territory. It's basics like that which the Christian Cult of Ignorance fails to teach and in the long run leads to folk leaving the Church.

Religion has never claimed to have all the answers except when marketed by the Carny Snake Oil Salesmen, Shysters and Con-men.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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scienceishonesty
Member (Idle past 1773 days)
Posts: 80
Joined: 12-02-2013


Message 14 of 380 (712373)
12-03-2013 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by vimesey
12-03-2013 10:55 AM


Re: on religion.
And if scientific knowledge via immense probability factors invalidates "casual Christianity" as being true, then what? Will the religious idea of "knowing that God is real" trump science or is scientific discovery going to be taken as priority? If the latter is the case then it really isn't a religion. Religion (or, Christianity in this case) already knows for a fact the purpose of life and why we are here and where we are going -- whether one is "okay" with evolution or not is kind of besides the point.

Yes, it is true that there are varying levels of devotion and Biblical interpretations among Christians -- but at their core, they are believing it to be "the unquestionable truth", plain and simple.

Depending on the strain of Christianity, some things are more literal than others but they all believe that for sure there is a God and for sure Jesus is the son of God and he came down to save us from our sins. That is, to them, a "fact". Whatever the type of Christianity, it is either for sure the truth for that individual or there is wiggle room and there's a possibility it may not be right.

If there's wiggle room, it isn't religion, it's just a pet idea.

As long as someone is open to accepting scientific revelation even if it steps on their toes in the future, I guess I don't care if they want to fool themselves a little in the meantime that they have a satisfying enough answer.


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ringo
Member
Posts: 16223
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 15 of 380 (712374)
12-03-2013 11:25 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by scienceishonesty
12-03-2013 11:20 AM


Re: on religion.
scienceishonesty writes:

If there's wiggle room, it isn't religion, it's just a pet idea.


This is the first time I've heard the No True Scotsman fallcy applied to religion. It just seems bizarre that you would claim that anything is not a "true" religion.

As others have mentioned, you don't seem to have changed your creationist thought patterns. You've just switched sides. It's like committing the same old war crimes but now you're doing it for the "good guys".


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