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1 minute ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

I think that would come down to standards of evidence. Why is belief in God, or let's be generous, any god, a choice and not subject to the same standards?

That’s a good question. Maybe someone with more energy would like to explain how faith works.  (I would recommend Kierkegaard but...) 

 

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As a physical scientist, I do too. Science is in the business of solving puzzles, which is one of the most demanding things you can do with your life (and is great fun too). As far as I am concerned,

I don't have a problem with people having faith in whatever they want to have faith in.  For various reasons, I do have an issue with most organized religion. And I have an issue with people that try

I am, in the broadest sense, an atheist. I do not believe in the divine. There are dogmatists who go further, claiming with certainty there is no divine. I can't go there. I share your dissatisfa

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On 3/28/2020 at 8:38 PM, Rolig Loon said:

As a physical scientist, I do too. Science is in the business of solving puzzles, which is one of the most demanding things you can do with your life (and is great fun too). As far as I am concerned, one big appeal of science is that it generates or uncovers more puzzles than it solves, so it's a never-ending pursuit.  Part of that comes from opening more doors that we never even knew about -- the realization that nature is much more subtle and detailed than it looks at first. Another big part comes from realizing that we keep stumbling over unwarranted assumptions and outright errors -- things that we thought we understood but have to rethink over and over and over again.

Sooner or later, however, any scientist begins to discover that there are some puzzles that can't be solved. Those fall into at least two categories: puzzles that we lack the current knowledge or tools to tackle, and puzzles that have built-in limitations. The first group are tantalizing questions, the kind that keep us reaching for more details and better tools. The second group includes frustrating puzzles that cannot be solved by getting bigger hammers or making more measurements, because they involve statistical uncertainty or entropy. Those are basic principles that prevent us from going backward in time, creating energy out of nothing, and measuring things without disturbing them in some way. The best we will ever be able to say is that we think we know what's going on.

And then there are puzzles that we can't hope to address scientifically -- the huge class of puzzles that involve finding some sense in the universe, the big "why are things the way they are?" questions. They can't be answered because they involve a leap of faith at some point, not just making more measurements. You may believe in God or the Cosmic Muffin, or in nothing at all, but as a scientist the best you can do is stand back, admire the universe that we have, and play the ball where it lies.  Forget about wondering why it's all here.  Just be glad that it is.

So yes, I too believe in science, but I don't for a moment think that science will be able to solve all of the lovely puzzles out there.

And then a miracle occurs. | For everyone who's been frustra… | Flickr

So well said, Rolig! 

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2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

But a facetious and mocking dismissal of theological systems that have developed over thousand of years with the aid of some of the greatest minds that humanity has produced seems to me unfair and maybe even arrogant?

Arrogant? Well, helloooooo, pot!

In a nutshell, faith in a higher being was not a concept I was raised with and nothing I’ve seen, heard, read, or felt in the last 50 years (including the works of those greatest minds) has given me a reason to question what I know to be true.

Some don’t question the existence of a god, and some don’t question the non-existence of one, either. Who is right and who is wrong? I’d say that I won’t know until I’m dead, but I won’t know because I’ll be dead. There is nothing after that and I’m at peace with that knowledge.

If being at peace knowing I’m just a temporary mass of organic compounds means I’m arrogant, then I’m at peace with that, too.

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What is faith according to St . Thomas  Aquinas?
Aquinas claimed that the act of faith consists essentially in knowledge. Faith is an intellectual act whose object is truth. Thus it has both a subjective and objective aspect. From the side of the subject, it is the mind's assent to what is not seen: "Faith is the evidence of things that appear not" (Hebrews 11:1).
Faith is the belief in the truth of something that does not require any evidence and may not be provable by any empirical or rational means. Reason is the faculty of the mind through which we can logically come to rational conclusions.
Reason and Faith are compatible with one another as is Science and Religion because there is but one truth. The basic religious beliefs are compatible with reason. There are rational supports for those beliefs. Other beliefs may be strictly matters of faith resting upon the basic beliefs.
It is helpful to consider the components of faith (variously recognised and emphasised in different models of faith) as falling into three broad categories: the affective, the cognitive and the practical.
Faith, then, is just as important as the air we breathe. While the oxygen in the air nourishes the body, faith nourishes the heart and the soul. It's the energy that courses through every single fiber and cell within our beings.
Faith is the basic ingredient to begin a relationship with God. Faith is the assurance that the things revealed and promised in the Word are true, even though unseen, and gives the believer a conviction that what he expects in faith, will come to pass. ... In other words, it becomes so tangible that you now possess it.
Hebrews 11 1. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. 3. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Thomas Aquinas was nicknamed "The Dumb Ox" not because he was stupid, but because he didn't talk very much. According to many, he was the greatest philosopher between Aristotle and Descartes.
 ALL i can say i have witnessed many miricles in my life !!!  Medical Drs. who finally said there is no logical  reason according to science ,,, it was   it is a miricle.  I Do Believe in GOD  and i am grateful for every second  of life , good times, bad times,,, and unconditional love ,,,, 
 This past year   I havw seen  one miricle after another.,,,,,,I know , i believe  more than ever   in  Our Heavenly Father. 
For thoses who believe , no explanation is necesary  ; for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice.
"The only argument the world will listen to now is the argument  of personal holiness. It has heard all te rest and rejected them."Fulton J.Sheen
 

 

 
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Faith, then, is just as important as the air we breathe. While the oxygen in the air nourishes the body, faith nourishes the heart and the soul. It's the energy that courses through every single fiber and cell within our beings.
Faith is the basic ingredient to begin a relationship with God. Faith is the assurance that the things revealed and promised in the Word are true, even though unseen, and gives the believer a conviction that what he expects in faith, will come to pass. ... In other words, it becomes so tangible that you now possess it.
Hebrews 11 1. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. 3. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Thomas Aquinas was nicknamed "The Dumb Ox" not because he was stupid, but because he didn't talk very much. According to many, he was the greatest philosopher between Aristotle and Descartes.
 ALL i can say i have witnessed many miricles in my life !!!  Medical Drs. who finally said there is no logical  reason according to science ,,, it was   it is a miricle.  I Do Believe in GOD  and i am grateful for every second  of life , good times, bad times,,, and unconditional love ,,,, 
 This past year   I havw seen  one miricle after another.,,,,,,I know , i believe  more than ever   in  Our Heavenly Father. 
For thoses who believe , no explanation is necesary  ; for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice.
"The only argument the world will listen to now is the argument  of personal holiness. It has heard all te rest and rejected them."Fulton J.Sheen
 

 

 
Edited by roseelvira
this thing is not working and limits
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  1.  
    Faith, then, is just as important as the air we breathe. While the oxygen in the air nourishes the body, faith nourishes the heart and the soul. It's the energy that courses through every single fiber and cell within our beings.
    Faith is the basic ingredient to begin a relationship with God. Faith is the assurance that the things revealed and promised in the Word are true, even though unseen, and gives the believer a conviction that what he expects in faith, will come to pass. ... In other words, it becomes so tangible that you now possess it.
    Hebrews 11 1. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. 3. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
    Thomas Aquinas was nicknamed "The Dumb Ox" not because he was stupid, but because he didn't talk very much. According to many, he was the greatest philosopher between Aristotle and Descartes.
     ALL i can say i have witnessed many miricles in my life !!!  Medical Drs. who finally said there is no logical  reason according to science ,,, it was   it is a miricle.  I Do Believe in GOD  and i am grateful for every second  of life , good times, bad times,,, and unconditional love ,,,, 
     This past year   I havw seen  one miricle after another.,,,,,,I know , i believe  more than ever   in  Our Heavenly Father. 
    For thoses who believe , no explanation is necesary  ; for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice.
    "The only argument the world will listen to now is the argument  of personal holiness. It has heard all te rest and rejected them."Fulton J.Sheen
     

     

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Thomas Aquinas was nicknamed "The Dumb Ox" not because he was stupid, but because he didn't talk very much. According to many, he was the greatest philosopher between Aristotle and Descartes.

 ALL i can say i have witnessed many miricles in my life !!!  Medical Drs. who finally said there is no logical  reason according to science ,,, it was   it is a miricle.  I Do Believe in GOD  and i am grateful for every second  of life , good times, bad times,,, and unconditional love ,,,, 

 This past year   I have   seen  one miricle after another.,,,,,,I know , i believe  more than ever   in  Our Heavenly Father. 

""""""""For thoses who believe , no explanation is necesary  ; for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice."""""""""

"The only argument the world will listen to now is the argument  of personal holiness. It has heard all the rest and rejected them."Fulton J.Sheen

 
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People can put forward theories that the universe is a computer simulation but as far as I can see, there's no evidence whatsoever to back that theory up. 

. . .But then one has to start asking questions like "what exactly is meant by computer?" and "what exactly is meant by simulation?" 😁

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On 3/28/2020 at 6:23 PM, rasterscan said:

Is the Universe a computer simulation? This was the subject discussed by Neil de Grasse Tyson and David Chalmers amongst other high falutin' scientists in a Youtube vid I watched. Imagine my surprise when David Chalmers of all people dropped Second Life into the equation ! The moment occurs at 49.25 mins in !

 

It's unlikely the universe conforms to human ideas.

Just like every flying saucer sighting over history changed depending on our current SFX style, I expect our idea of what the universe is will change over the next 50 years as well!

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7 hours ago, roseelvira said:

I Do Believe in GOD  and i am grateful for every second  of life , good times, bad times,,, and unconditional love ,,,, 

 This past year   I have   seen  one miricle after another

I think choosing to love despite all the pain we encounter in life might be the biggest miracle of all :)   It's too easy to give up, sink into depression, become jaded, become mean and take out our pain on others, or live in some sort of delusion. Yet there it is right in front of us...this opportunity to choose love in the midst of it all.
The Bible says "God Is Love", and while I may not agree with certain thoughts in the Bible I do believe this one is true.

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On 3/28/2020 at 11:54 PM, Rolig Loon said:

Maddy, you and I share an understanding of the strengths and the limits of science and, in particular, the importance of skepticism. We do not prove things to be true as much as peel back layers of "untruth" to get a better understanding of the puzzle we are trying to solve.  In a real sense, we are urged forward by our doubts, even more than by our curiosity.

Where I think you and I may disagree -- although I am not sure -- is that I think the same is true of religion. On the surface, religion appears to demand that we believe in order to understand. The history of religious thought, not only in Christianity but across religions, shows otherwise. Almost any of the people whom we identify as pivotal figures in religious philosophy shaped their understanding through doubt, through questioning prevailing ideas and dealing with their own skepticism.

I think we might disagree. Humans are involved in religion and science, so we're gonna find plenty of examples of deep skepticism and blind faith in both disciplines. I see a difference though. Religious folk who exhibit blind faith are sometimes called "deeply faithful", "fundamentalist", "evangelical" (in the broadest sense, every belief system has people evangelizing the faith) or some other favorable appellation. Scientific folks who exhibit blind faith (we have no shortage of them, including those who evangelize) are sometimes called "not a scientist".

My own personal history of deep conversations with religious people has been (I'm anecdotal, I understand the fragility of my evidence) that, the deeper their skepticism, the less truly religious they are. This was nowhere more evident than in the cranky old Jesuit priest who taught my comparative religion class. At the lectern, he was a straight up Jesuit. During office hours, you might mistake him for a Buddhist. The Lutheran pastor of the church that hosted our little community theater for years lost his son to agnosticism via theoretical physics. He was sanguine about their vastly different paths to the "truth" and allowed that his son might get ahead of him. Our entire conversation was bittersweet.

I've also had pointless discussions with deeply faithful, deeply skeptical people who can't be pried loose from their disbelief in objective reality, such as the value of vaccines or the uselessness of homeopathic titration. All they need is the certainty of their truth. Those who don't share the vision can go to hell. I'm sure I could find atheist anti-vaxxers, but I think it would be a more difficult search. I don't discount the possibility an anti-vaxxer might actually be atheist, yet recognize the power of religion to advance the cause. We can be as evil as anyone.

Dad was raised Lutheran and converted to Catholicism to marry Mom, suggesting that a tactical move to avoid a skirmish was enough to unmoor him from the strategic belief system of his youth. By the time I was born, his scientific bent had got him to park all his uncertainties into something that looked like that Jesuit's Buddhism. Mom, who remained a Catholic until the Unitarians offered up better pot-luck, gets frustrated with her own inability to understand virtually anything she's ever heard in church. Meanwhile, she's lived as moral a life as anyone I know.

I know I was exposed to the great thinkers in my philosophy and comparative religions classes, but apparently nothing in them got me to think that their religion's beliefs had somehow improved their clarity of thought. It seemed more to me that they'd often reasoned out some good ideas, then coopted the attraction of religion to back them up. I've come away appreciating their moral analysis, but wondering whether the religious wrapper wasn't ultimately superfluous.

And so this is where I end up. I see science as the best path towards our understanding of objective reality, everything but the "why". We have ethics and morality to ponder that, and I believe we can do justice to ourselves without invoking the supernatural.

And maybe we do agree a bit. You said...  "The history of religious thought, not only in Christianity but across religions, shows otherwise." If you average all that skeptical, insightful thinking to reveal the moral common ground, how much religion remains? What if religion is orthogonal to morality, but just doesn't "feel" that way?

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i Don’t think people understand that for whatever reason, it is scientifically and logically impossible for the universe to exist.

Even if you ignore that, life can only come from life. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Pamela Galli said:

i Don’t think people understand that for whatever reason, it is scientifically and logically impossible for the universe to exist.

I certainly don't understand that, Pam!

1 minute ago, Pamela Galli said:

Even if you ignore that, life can only come from life.

I don't understand that, either.

I really do hope we'll discover that first step into life before I take the last breath of mine. If we don't, it'll remain one of many things I never understood.

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29 minutes ago, Pamela Galli said:

i Don’t think people understand that for whatever reason, it is scientifically and logically impossible for the universe to exist.

The fact that the universe does appear to exist suggests that it is scientifically possible.

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7 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Maddy, what is "homeopathic titration"?  Before I decide whether or not to argue with you, I need to know what we are arguing about!

It's that part of homeopathy that posits a therapeutic effect from diluting or titrating some ingredient down to the point it's not actually there anymore. As in putting a drop of arsenic in a swimming pool, then taking a drop of the mixture and putting it in another swimming poll, taking a drop of that and ending up with something that hasn't a single arsenic molecule in it, but has some magnificent therapeutic benefit.

I probably should have said "homeopathic dilution".

ETA: In addition to the absence of benefit from the absence of the "active ingredient", I've always wondered whether the "inactive ingredient" used to dilute the active one into oblivion wasn't just another prime example of The Law of Unintended Consequences. Murphy loves to appear inactive.

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Oh, OK.  Yeah, that'd be dumb.  I think some safety-minded nutcases use this type of thinking when saying "ANY amount of XXXX is too awful to allow."

I thought you might be talking about the folks who argue that frequent vaccination of their pets is unwarranted, because a blood titer will show they still have immunity.  I agree with them.

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56 minutes ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

The fact that the universe does appear to exist suggests that it is scientifically possible.

I realized at age eight that things don’t just appear out of nothing. I figured everyone knew that but pretended they didn’t. I still think that.
 

 

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14 minutes ago, Pamela Galli said:

I realized at age eight that things don’t just appear out of nothing. I figured everyone knew that but pretended they didn’t. I still think that.

My congratulations to eight year old you for disproving the existence of the universe. Well done.

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28 minutes ago, Pamela Galli said:

I realized at age eight that things don’t just appear out of nothing. I figured everyone knew that but pretended they didn’t. I still think that.

I have my opinion on where it came from but it as as un-provable as god.  Yet I have faith in its existance.  The universe that is.  Not god.

Can you at least grasp the concept that I have faith in something that is different than yours? 

My faith from your point of view seems to be considered childish.  That's OK for you to believe and I am not calling you out on that at all.  You see, from my POV, faith that a magical being is going to somehow fix all your woes is also just a child's fairy tale.

It is what is is.  This debate is older than civilization itself. You will never change my mind any more that I will change yours.  It is just not going to happen.  But can you at least see that we both have faith?  Our feelings are very much the same.  Our BELIEF is very much the same.  We only differ in direction.

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