Why must people prove that god is or isent real

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by ashpwner, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. fLuX Registered Senior Member

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    Humans ask questions like "where do we come from" and by nature we're very curious beings. Perhaps the flaw of a greater gift of possessing the will to question and learn, is the situation in which one attempts to prove if God does or doesn't exist and then leads to negative acts. Without our want to define and understand things I don't believe we'd be much beyond grunting and living in caves.(Although I know a few people who seem to prefer this lifestyle =D) Knowledge begins with a question.


    The answer to the next one I think would depend on the defined specifics of the situation. Some people wish to convince so they feel they are not alone in their beliefs, others do it for control, others do it to "enlighten" who they are speaking to because they believe they are corret on the subject. In my opinion, its as natural to us as breathing. If you thought you knew something and you were right, would you not wish to convince someone else of your belief? It seems the great minds of our race certainly did. Having evidence of one's belief can be a great help, in science its absolutely necessary, but in areas we cannot prove something totally, evidence will have a different interpretation to each individual.
     
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    No one can prove that something supernatural is "real." That's what the word "supernatural" means. But by the same token, no one can prove that it isn't real. By definition the supernatural transcends nature and therefore conveniently transcends science, which is a means for understanding the observable universe.

    I don't ask religionists to prove that god is real. I just ask them to stop treating the existence of god as a legitimate scientific theory which we are obligated to take seriously. I ask them to admit that faith is an emotion, something irrational that we don't all share. I especially ask them to stop talking as though the truth of the existence of god is taken for granted and anyone who doubts it is in desperate need of correction.

    I also don't ask scientists to prove that god is not real. No self-respecting scientist would take on that assignment because he knows it's impossible. I ask them to stop claiming that they can prove god is not real because no scientist would make that statement.
    Well, take another look at the name of this website: Scientific Forums. This is a gathering place for scientists and people who want to talk to them. Our goal is to attract people to this website who want to see science, not people who want to see religion. Those people have a zillion websites of their own and they had better leave this one to us.

    Religion is unscientific and in many cases downright anti-scientific. As a scientific website it is our duty to hold the Forces of Darkness at bay. Therefore our members are free to make disparaging remarks about religion so long as they don't violate the rules about personal insults, racism, flaming, trolling, etc.

    "Extraordinary assertions require extraordinary substantiation." That is one of the principles of the scientific method. To walk into a scientific gathering and make a statement based on the theory that god exists is an extraordinary assertion. If it is offered without extraordinary substantiation we are under no obligation to take it seriously, including making jokes about it.

    The only subforum where this rule is relaxed is Religion. Everywhere else the scientific method must be respected, or at least not flouted, even if we're just talking about the news, sharing our favorite music, or asking for advice about dating.
     
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  5. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    Fraggle
    there are many things that are unobservable that make their way into science - eg - abiogenesis, the mind etc
    this is akin to relegating the notion of god to impotency - the very notion of god has implications to the function of existence, so, at least in the eyes of theists, the notion of god demands quite a degree of seriousness
    the actual position of god aside, if you find that you have acerbic run ins with theists, its because the way you are entailing them to behave is disempowering
    but, as indicating by your comments, you want to establish that god should not bear any influence in society, which amounts to the same conclusion as proving there is no god
    Is this respectful?

    Religion is unscientific and in many cases downright anti-scientific. As a scientific website it is our duty to hold the Forces of Darkness at bay. Therefore our members are free to make disparaging remarks about religion so long as they don't violate the rules about personal insults, racism, flaming, trolling, etc.




    they also require extraordinary qualification

    not particularly scientific


    on the contrary, its the subforum that is the easiest for an atheist to get away with trolling, ad homs etc

    in short, regardless of what you believe in (abiogenesis included), if you are wantonly disrespectful towards what others hold as serious, what sort of response would you expect?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2007
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  7. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

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    I think it is because we are on a science forum...they must allways prove everything *sigh*

    Most people in the world, probably don't go around wanting to prove that God exists, but casually believe in Him.
     
  8. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    A constantly swaying mind is not the same thing as having an open mind; which is what being agnostic is.

    Why would it be not respectful? I find when a theist starts 'witnessing' to me about their religion, disrespectful. It's the same thing as when the magazine salespeople solicit door to door.

    There's a part in Jim Gaffigan's 'Beyond the Pale' stand up special where he's talking about religious nuts. He talked about when people come up to him and say, "I'd like to talk to you about Jesus". Then he said he would reply with, "I'd like you not to".

    Most people that aren't Christian don't want Christians coming up to them and talking about Jesus, or anything Christianity based.
     
  9. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Well then they shouldnt come here preaching about God and starting threads about God at a science forum. :shrug:

    Most atheists dont go around wanting to prove that God doesnt exist, but casually not believe in Him.
     
  10. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

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    Why not? We want to see what scientists have to say, and many times their arguments can be flawed, just as our arguments can be flawed, also many theists come here for other purpouses than preaching but when they find that there is such a hostile and negative view on them they want to show that they aren't so bad, and that their beliefs aren't fake. I can only speak for myself though, we are all people and people are different.


    Well, it wasn't directed at you, but sure.
     
  11. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Its alright with me, but dont go *sighing* about the scientists wanting to proof everything, you knew this before entering a science forum.
     
  12. Wisdom_Seeker Speaker of my truth Valued Senior Member

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    I used to post in a religious forum, and it frankly bored me; because they kept quoting each own´s scriptures over and over again, like parrots. I don´t like that, I like to argue with people who know how to think, not what to think.

    On the other hand, sometimes scientists are the total opposite of those people quoting the scriptures, always asking for proof and references. What about free thinking? This forum should be about that, the unspeakable...
     
  13. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

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    Well, I only wrote so because it looks tiring from the outside trying to prove everything. Don't take it so personally, a little self-reflection might be in place sometimes...
     
  14. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Agreed, but still its a science forum. Science wants to see things proven.. :shrug:
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The mind is the province of psychology, which is a "soft science," and its rules do not require the same use of the scientific method as the "hard sciences" like physics and chemistry. Falsifiability, Occam's Razor, causality, etc., these building blocks of science are not as rigorously applied to psychological theories. The mind is more of a model than a theory, from a scientific perspective.

    As for observability, that is only one test of a theory. Things that cannot be observed can be deduced from observations. I agree that abiogenesis has too many weaknesses to be included in the scientific canon just yet. If we ever develop interstellar travel--even the relativistic type we know is possible that will take a city-size generation starship hundreds of thousands of years for a round trip--and are lucky enough to find a planet with life, the perspective will undoubtedly shed a lot of light on the origin of life everywhere. In the meantime we'll keep being good scientists and looking for ways to make it happen in the laboratory. Occam's Razor tells us to disprove the simpler theory of abiogenesis before we bother testing the preposterous theory of a supernatural universe, but Occam didn't say what to do if we won't have the ability to test either one until more time passes than the total existence of our species.
    To be more precise, the notion of a supernatural universe does not demand seriousness in science. I can't speak for all atheists but I do not demand that anyone, even a scientist, stop taking gods seriously in matters of morality and other culture.
    I firmly believe that theism should indeed be disempowered in the academy, once again because theists have the whole rest of the world as their playground. We're trying to accomplish something here and we don't need their foolish rhetoric cluttering up our blackboards.
    No, you're misquoting me, which I find to be a common tactic among theists. I want to establish that existence of a supernatural universe shall be treated like any other extraordinary assertion in the halls of science, if it is promoted as a theory. That is not the same thing as saying that belief in a supernatural universe must be ignored. If someone says he believes in the supernatural and it brings him peace and thereby makes him a better scientist, that is merely something for us to observe and catalog.

    A spirited discussion is taking place on SciForums regarding the value of religion as a cultural motif, irrespective of its validity. Many atheists wonder whether religion has been a force for good in civilization, even if it's false. I offered many observations supporting the opposite hypothesis. We ignore the influence of religion at our peril, whichever way it goes.
    I never claimed to have any respect for religion.
    As I have stated many times this is a meeting place for scientists, future scientists and science groupies. Considering that the average age is something like 14, they have to be free to take off their lab coats and do things that are not scientific. Sharing music, analyzing the news, giving advice to the lovelorn, telling jokes, discussing pets, sports and hobbies, and shooting rubber bands at each other. In all cases the scientific method must be respected, or at least not flouted, and the rules of the forum must be observed. They are free to make jokes about something that is unscientific and often anti-scientific. They are not free to insult ethnic groups or individual members, or to make totally off-topic posts and other types of trolling, so jokes about religion have their limits.
    Well that's not my subforum so I don't know what to tell you except to complain to the moderator. That should not be allowed. Some of the rules obviously have to be suspended to be able to host the discussions of religionists on a science forum, but that's not one of them. I run Linguistics and I don't allow trolling and ad-homs, but I've got it easy because it rarely comes up over there.
    My goal is to help reestablish SciForums as a meeting place for scientists, future scientists and science groupies, like it was seven or eight years ago when I joined. Making religionists feel comfortable in our one tiny corner of the planet is not my top priority. Sorry.
    That is just plain wrong. Scientific theories can never be proven. They are predictions of what will happen in certain circumstances, derived from the analyisis of what has happened in those circumstances in the past, and correlated with the entire body of science. They become part of that body when their probability of ever being disproven falls to a level that I liken to the American legal principle: "True beyond a reasonable doubt." But that is not the same thing as being proven. Scientific theories can only be disproven.

    Mathematical theories can be proven because they are derived from pure abstractions, not from empirical observations.
     
  16. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Ok, i give.. but in my defense, i said Science wants to see things proven. I never said it was possible to prove a scientific theory.

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  17. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, that is the beauty of science. Don't get me wrong, I like science very much, as long as it has a open mind. I can understand that scientists question if God exists, since they cannot find any evidence objectivly, however, some of us have experianced things that have changed our mind, or made us more comfortable in our belief, so as such there are progress in faith, not unlike science, but in a different way, we could also get lost in our wonderings (as it is warned in the Bible) and we should allways be careful not to "dig too deep" cause meaning stretches very deep in these subjects and you will allways find more meaning, but the real meaning comes with actions and doing what we feel is truly right, so being too deep without actions alongside can lead us out of "reality" so to speak, do you understand what I mean? I sense that you are somewhat open-minded after all, that is why I tell you this.

    Science comes up with objective knowledge, much of the subjective is hard for science to prove (even if it might be proven subjectivly - that we can feel for example, nothing objectivly tells us a body can feel), so some knowledge can only be achieved subjectivly through experiance and so on.
     
  18. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    "I sense that you are somewhat open-minded after all, that is why I tell you this."
    Thank you, i take that as a huge compliment

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    Science should at all times be open-minded and i believe that it is most of the time. But when no evidence is found of these 'subjective things' they will have to be put aside for the moment.
    I can understand, and i respect, that religious people feel they have experienced things beyond the realm of science. But from a scientists point of view this just doesn't hold a whole lot of meaning.
    I am not a practitioning scientist myself but i think i speak for most scientists and people like myself when i say that we have experienced/seen things that made us more comfortable in science rather than in religion.

    "..but the real meaning comes with actions and doing what we feel is truly right, so being too deep without actions alongside can lead us out of "reality" so to speak, do you understand what I mean?"
    I understand what you mean and this is precisely why i respect most religious people; for what they do and stand for, not for what they believe in.
    To me, it its all about being a good person to others and your environment. And i honestly believe one doesn't need any God to be like that. But i also realize that some people may need a God to guide them, or like the idea of a guiding God. Having said that, i believe most religious people believe because they were raised to do so. They never second-guess, and when others (atheists) question their beliefs they are shocked and find themselves defending their faith instinctively.
    I every day life i have never had any problems with religious people and i think i can safely say they have had any trouble from me. However, when they are actively taking part in discussions about religion and science they have to be prepared to face some resistance. And, of course, that goes for both 'sides'.

    I never feel any hostility towards any person because their beliefs seem illogical/wrong to me. I judge people by their actions and character only, not by their beliefs.
    Sometimes my postings can seem a bit 'angry' but thats just how it seems, i rarely am 'angry'. Its more often than not to get a sharp conversation going

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  19. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

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    I'm starting to like you Enmos

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    The only thing that I can disagree on in your post is that we don't question our faith, a part of our faith is just that, questioning.

    We are indeed prepared to face some resistance, some of our ideology is based on the fact that we are going to be strongly doubted and people will haunt us so we are indeed in the midst of our teaching right now. My concern is that people will not realise what is happening...

    I'm sorry, that is too much for you to bear..

    You see it ends here, we can't talk no longer, I do trust you but some of what I can say, you will not be able to accept so why take that step? If you are comfortable in your situation right now, and you don't need any preaching, what more is it for me to do?

    I hope that you will live a good life, and I hope that we will all get to heaven, you know, we can't be more than we are right now, but in time something might happen that enable us to see more of the things that are going on on a different level, these things that we can't just ignore (if we see it), so, while that is not happening right now, I can just wish you a good life and hope you the best of fortune.
     
  20. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    "The only thing that I can disagree on in your post is that we don't question our faith, a part of our faith is just that, questioning."
    I accept that you do, but in my experience not all religious people question their faith. Some are just blindly following doctrine.

    "..and people will haunt us so we are indeed in the midst of our teaching right now."
    People haunt you ? How do you mean ? Arent those just extremists ? Most atheists that i know (in real life) get along perfectly with religious people. Actually, to be honest, all of them.

    "I'm sorry, that is too much for you to bear.."
    I dont think its too much for me to bear unless you are going to try to convert me

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    "You see it ends here, we can't talk no longer.."
    I disagree, we can talk. We can discuss eachothers opinions and views. You strike me as a sympathetic person, i feel confident that we can discuss religion and/or atheism without getting into any 'fights'.

    "I hope that you will live a good life, and I hope that we will all get to heaven.."
    I wish the very same for you my friend, and i truly hope a heaven exists. I wish i could believe in a God and a heaven, but i just cant.

    "I can just wish you a good life and hope you the best of fortune."
    I wish you a good and fortunate life too, but i think we will talk on here again sometime. Untill then

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  21. GhostofMaxwell. Banned Banned

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    Who said anyone wants to prove god isn't real? Its not even possible to prove a negative.

    All we ask(or I anyway) is that you produce any evidence for the first time that your invention of a god that made us, controls us and punishes us after death has a physical reality.


    (Enmos what symbol is that in your avatar?)
     
  22. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Hi GhostofMaxwell,
    I made it up, it is supposed to be a stylized dragonfly

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    I use it as an icon for my website (enmos.eu).
     
  23. GhostofMaxwell. Banned Banned

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