Can faith, scientific progress coexist? They can
Published: Friday, Sept. 30 2011 6:00 p.m. MDT
A true scientist can't claim there is no god because there is no evidence one
way or another. A strict scientist without faith should simply be agnostic.The more I study physics the more I realize what we don't know at all.
Quantum physics are truly strange and mysterious.It's all very
humbling if one is honest with themselves.
I'm glad that many religious people concede that Evolution is real in light of
so much evidence, but I fear that a lot of damage has already been done. Many
scientists now believe that to secure the future of science they must eradicate
or severely diminish religion. To be honest I can't really blame them. It's
been a long road. In 1925 John Scopes was breaking the law when he taught
evolution in Tennessee. Here we are all these years later, still having this
discussion.I hope that next time the religious think twice before meddling
@RichardI think part of the issue is for the longest of times
religion has stood in the way of science. I hope this comment is not censored,
but religion teaches people to be satisfied in not understanding the world
This often becomes an emotional discussion very quickly. There is a tendency to
want to immediately "pigeon-hole" or "frame" anothers
perspective --- which we should avoid. It can shut off any beneficial rational
exchange of common understanding -- and enlightenment through a broader
edification of one anothers views.One must be very precise in the
agreement of definitions before proceeding. Evolution, Darwinism, Intelligent
Design, science, all have many variable definitions.In short ---
engage with extreme caution.
The LDS Church and several other religions have openly embraced furthering
scientific study and education. So while some religions have taken actions
against empirical research; in the end those do not justify arguments against
religions who support the pursuit of knowledge.Many scientists have
openly embraced evolution theory, string theory, and other theories as
definitively proven. With so many replacing scrutiny in the scientific method
and reasoned evaluations, with assumptions and flat-out unreasonable rejections-
it is no wonder that several religions today still resist scientific study. With
historical context, it is really no wonder that either 'side' has ever felt
threatened by the other.Inductive reason defines much of our
scientific arguments and beliefs. Inductive is only ever probable, never
provable.Deductive reason defines much of our religious arguments
and beliefs. Deductive is provable, but relies on true premises.Neither can disprove the other, yet so many attack other beliefs while causing
the damage they condemn of others. Attacking someone's views ultimately is an
attempt to replace inquiry with fear.We would do better to always
tolerate and protect free thought. We should always work to edify each other.
Yet so many pretend superiority to justify their hatred.
@Voice of ReasonIf churches truly embraced science there would be no
churches, no religion as every respective religion does not translate to what we
it commonly accept as fact; I use the word fact sparingly. I see the battle for
religion failing on every front. I suppose my issue is I would have to be
ignorant to the world around me to believe what I have read in the bible, BoM or
@ Screwdriver: "A true scientist can't claim there is no god because there
is no evidence one way or another. A strict scientist without faith should
simply be agnostic."By your logic, it may also be said that
people can not deny the existence of tiny, invisible, undetectable, pink
unicorns sitting on everyone's shoulders. There is no evidence one way or
another. Read about Bertrand Russell's Celestial Teapot for further exploration
of this line of thought.
Do you have any proof about the unicorns? People should have learned by now to
keep an open mind.
Proving a negative - eg. no God - is impossible.On the other hand
proving there is a God(head) is not very difficult. It is based on observation
and many subjective elements.Atheists seem to be all involved with
getting a monopoly position for their puny intellects.
No, science and faith cannot coexist. I do recognize Mormons as probably the
most scientifically literate among the religious. But I see no coexistence
between science and the musing of one Joseph Smith.One doesn't need
science to debunk religion.
Here we are having the same debate talked about in the article. I would have to
agree Gr8bald1 and Voice of Reason. First that we need to be extremely careful
in our arguments to put emotions aside and point out common ground instead of
differences. Second I would say that the two can and should help the other out.
When I have come across something scientific that seems to defy what I believe
from my religion I understand two things first we don't understand the world
perfectly so science might not understand yet, or two I don't understand
religion perfectly so I might not understand yet.
bricha, well said.Socrates said that 'knowing is knowing that we
know nothing'.We are not all-knowing, or omniscient. We stand in a
dark room, and a circle of light around us represents what we've learned. The
more this light grows, we realize that the room is bigger than previously
thought. - The more we learn, we should recognize that there is so much we don't
know. Without knowing everything, we could always be wrong.Atheism
claims - Without proof, God's existence is impossible.Agnosticism
claims 1 of 2 thingsa) Deity is possible, but unknownb) Deity
is possible, but unknowableAtheism and Agnosticism(b) both deny
possibility. This is an intentional decision to deny what could be in the rest
of the room, without actually having explored it.The LDS church and
a couple other small, highly unknown, and remote religions claim - "I
know". Most religions claim - "I believe".Atheism and
Agnosticism(b) only claim is that religions are wrong, denying possibility by
"arguing from silence".Saying I'm right, or I don't know
is free thought. Saying 'you're wrong' doesn't take any stance, except for
attacking others without justified cause. This is unscientific and against free
silas, if you leave out the subjective and emotion you create man as an
automaton, and a life not worth living.
@PursuitI guess I'm an agnostic concerning pink unicorns. As you
indicated, there is no evidence one way or the other. Reason and common sense
say the probability of such unicorns is small, but reason and common sense are
not scientific evidence. I agree with Screwdriver. I respect
Agnostics because they recognize and admit there is no evidence one way or the
other about god. I have less respect for atheists, because they make a decision
that is not supported by scientific evidence.
Religion has been wrong about things. But so has the scientific community.The biggest problems probably come when religion is wrong. If they brain
wash people into believing that living a life devoid of fun and pleasure, it
results in a life wasted in large part.I don't understand how a
religion that got it wrong by insisting that the sun revolves around the earth,
can convince people to spend an entire life without companionship of the
opposite sex. Or convince people to not ever use bith control even when they are
done having kids. Such a religion leaves people sexually frustrated and for
what.Then there is an other religion that makes women wear full
coverings. Denies them education. Doesn't let them drive.People
should throw off the shackles and live life to the fullest. Religion in large
part is a negative influence.
Concerning truth, scientists study the laws that govern the Cosmos. Scientists
don't claim they know everything about laws of nature, and they are continually
gaining better understanding of the laws.Philosophers use logic and
reason to understand how the world functions. They have a lot of structure to
their thinking. Their conclusions, however, are restricted by assumptions or
postulates they make to begin their thinking, as well as by the reasoning they
follow.Religionists use belief and faith to understand how the world
functions. They use history, culture, and acceptance of sacred writings as the
basis of their beliefs. Their conclusions are restricted by the ambiguity of
their sacred writings and their interpretations of history and culture.I think it is ridiculous for scientists, philosophers, and religionists to be
at war with each other, because they approach truth differently. We are all
different and choose how we will seek truth. I accept others and their searches
for truth, and I hope they accept me and my search for truth. If others make
mistakes in their search for truth, that is for them to learn. If I make
mistakes in my search for truth, that is for me to learn.
Allen:I would agree with your position if it humbly went both ways.
In other words, stricts atheists, ie, those who assert definitively that there
is no God, are making unsupported claims. Therefore their statements are
irrational. Conversely, however, religionists must be placed in the same basket.
If there is no evidence either way, then religious belief is also irrational.
I would also argue that in this case, religion is more irrational.
If there is no evidence, then the Atheist is declaring that they refuse to
believe in that which they do not percieve. They are wrong in assuming that
their lack of perception completely invalidates the reality of religion because
they would then have to assume that everything which exists is within their
ability to percieve. So Atheism is irrational, but they are at least correct in
recognizing that they have not yet percieved a thing that they could not
(because there is no evidence). Conversely, religionists would be arguing that
they can detect that which is undetectable, ie, that which has no evidence. They
are saying that there is a reality within their awareness, for which they have
no proof. They fail to acknowledge their inability to percieve.
We each choose how we will approach truth. I don't have the right to criticize
others who seek truth differently than me. And, I believe, they don't have the
right to criticize me in my search for truth. We're not in a war with each
other. Let us seek common grounds for our relationships and not argue and fight
over our differences. If others find fulfillment and joy through their search
for truth, I'm happy for them, and I hope they are happy for me as I find joy
and fulfillment in my search for truth.
There is a difference between saying, "I know there is no God," and
"I don't believe in God" The word atheist simply describes someone
doesn't believe in God. It doesn't mean that person claims to know that there
is no God. Atheists look at the available evidence and do not see a convincing
reason to believe in God.For example, I don't believe in the flying
spaghetti monster. But I don't claim to know that there isn't a flying
spaghetti monster. There may be a flying spaghetti monster, but I see no
evidence to convince me that he exists.
I wish the author would have addressed the recent theological retreat from a
literal Adam and Eve. Genetic evidence strongly suggests a literal Adam and Eve
did not exist. And yet the core of Christian thought requires a literal Adam.
Perhaps this would make for a great follow up article. Adam cannot
be just brushed aside as symbolic of man, can he? Still, the
methodology of science is opposite that of religion. You can't say you are
religious and scientific at the same time. You must change hats. Go to the lab,
put on the science hat. Got to church, put on the religion hat. To
me, that seem likea) too much work and b)a bit hypocritical.
Wearing the science hat, all the time: works, is easier, is more
rewarding and key to living with philosophical integrity.
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