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lifeguard_man
07-13-2010, 09:52 PM
I like to think of myself as a science oriented person, I also would like to say that I am an atheist.

Just wondering how other people in the scientific community perceive religion and higher beings.

JustAnotherUser
07-13-2010, 09:54 PM
I would assume that a theistic (not saying religious) scientist would have to come to the conclusion that whatever he believes in exists in the metaphysical sense and is beyond the scope of human sense or observation, which would make the scientific method inapplicable.

wildphucker
07-13-2010, 09:57 PM
I consider transtheism a good option.

lifeguard_man
07-13-2010, 09:57 PM
I would assume that a theistic (not saying religious) scientist would have to come to the conclusion that whatever he believes in exists in the metaphysical sense and is beyond the scope of human sense or observation, which would make the scientific method inapplicable.

Some things included in the scope of science are unproven just as are things in religion. So does that mean science also runs on a type of belief system?

wildphucker
07-13-2010, 09:59 PM
Some things included in the scope of science are unproven just as are things in religion. So does that mean science also runs on a type of belief system?

totally


anything in science needs a degree of inductive reasoning


ubt inductive reasoning is far from watertight

lifeguard_man
07-13-2010, 09:59 PM
I consider transtheism a good option.

could you elaborate on transtheism?

wildphucker
07-13-2010, 10:02 PM
http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=125932353&highlight=transtheism


have a squizz through this thread, its seriously the best discussion on life and the universe youll ever see on here.


It takes the whole concept of 'life, the universe' and everything' away from religion, and takes it into an entirely new and refreshing direction.


Just read the posts by me and the others in there-itll make so much sense and youll honestly get a whole new bearing on life and meaning if you are still wondering what to believe in.

GermanBB
07-13-2010, 10:03 PM
compartmentalization

lifeguard_man
07-13-2010, 10:06 PM
Thanks for the link wildphucker. I will have to look through it tomorrow when I'm not so tired and I can use my brain to think about it.

someonefat
07-13-2010, 10:49 PM
like 90% are athiest

but to give you a quote from a pretty smart man and good scientist

'Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death..' Wernher von Braun

wapacmane
07-13-2010, 11:20 PM
Few scientists strictly adhere to the traditional notion of religion such as Christianity, Judaism, etc. however the term religion and God becomes capricious when thrown into semantics. For example Einstein's "God" was a unified fundamental force that is pervasive in the totality of reality, it need not be a conscious entity.

However science and religion serve the common purpose of disclosure of the truth/absolute derived from the necessity of its existence.

CLEAN_SET_OF_10
07-13-2010, 11:22 PM
because while the belief that a magic man created the earth and all the animals and plants is pretty outdated, there is still the problem of "WTF is anything? why is anything, anything? where did the singularity of the big bang come from? why is our universe "fine tuned" for intelligent life? (anthropic principle)"

wildphucker
07-13-2010, 11:31 PM
because while the belief that a magic man created the earth and all the animals and plants is pretty outdated, there is still the problem of "WTF is anything? why is anything, anything? where did the singularity of the big bang come from? why is our universe "fine tuned" for intelligent life? (anthropic principle)"

have a read of the linked thread brah youll be amazed

be.BUILT
07-14-2010, 03:00 AM
Science: the scale used in our mind here is how far current technology allows us to "reach".
Religion: the scale used here by someone you describe would be far greater than the one in science. So a scale we have zero comprehension of.

I think they can go hand in hand but it comes down to using blind 'logic' to explain something we have zero references for.
I myself am like you OP.

lifeguard_man
07-14-2010, 07:41 AM
So you guys are saying some scientists still believe in a higher power, or something waiting for them in the afterlife?

burnedfish
07-14-2010, 07:47 AM
I would assume that a theistic (not saying religious) scientist would have to come to the conclusion that whatever he believes in exists in the metaphysical sense and is beyond the scope of human sense or observation, which would make the scientific method inapplicable.

Bingo, right on the money. Our current scientific method applies to our physical universe. We cannot apply the same methods to a spiritual or non-material subject, the procedures aren't sufficient.

I also do not believe that science and religion are necessarily exclusive. Science has a very hard time qualifying our purpose, which religion attempts to answer. I believe they both can learn from and add to the other in many regards.

EDIT: Some scientists try to address the question of purpose through the theory of evolution, but they are misleading themselves. Evolution only gives answers to the questions of "how" and not "why". To answer the question "Why are we here?" with "because of evolution" is evading real discussion. It only answers the how. Religion can shed some light on the why while science answers the how. I think this is why many religious people are turned off or even afraid of evolution. It is sometimes touted as a replacement or antagonist to religion when they actually address very different questions. Evolution does not compete with religion, but many assume this and immediately discredit evolution lest their religion be wrong.


So you guys are saying some scientists still believe in a higher power, or something waiting for them in the afterlife?

Sure, I do.

ppself
07-14-2010, 08:06 AM
Group of christian scientists.

http://www.reasons.org/

It's very rare to see this combo of people though.

lifeguard_man
07-14-2010, 09:18 AM
Evolution only gives answers to the questions of "how" and not "why". To answer the question "Why are we here?" with "because of evolution" is evading real discussion. It only answers the how. .

I would agree that evolution doesn't answer the "Why" are we here, but neither does religion. The only real answer in my mind is that we are here by chance, and for no other reason then that.

burnedfish
07-14-2010, 09:34 AM
I would agree that evolution doesn't answer the "Why" are we here, but neither does religion. The only real answer in my mind is that we are here by chance, and for no other reason then that.

I believe religion does attempt to give an answer as to why, whether it be to serve a creator, etc.

Again, answering that we are here by chance in response to why is missing the question. You are only stating how. Evolution doesn't say why. You can certainly believe there is no reason for existance, but evolution does not address that question. Only how we are where we are now.

lifeguard_man
07-14-2010, 09:56 AM
I believe religion does attempt to give an answer as to why, whether it be to serve a creator, etc.

Again, answering that we are here by chance in response to why is missing the question. You are only stating how. Evolution doesn't say why. You can certainly believe there is no reason for existance, but evolution does not address that question. Only how we are where we are now.

Why would there be a reason for our existence? It was a chance event that lead to life occurring on Earth. The right chemicals and conditions that were presented in the primordial oceans coming together in the right way lead to existence. How is it that a higher being has a use for us? To destroy to planet Earth?

ppself
07-14-2010, 09:57 AM
I would agree that evolution doesn't answer the "Why" are we here, but neither does religion. The only real answer in my mind is that we are here by chance, and for no other reason then that.

Religion doesn't tell "you" why we are here.

From a christian point of view, i know why i am here. The word of god tells me this. The bible to a unbeliever wouldn't reveal anything to them.

I have no problem with science though, it's really the creation account that separates us. I still enjoy other facets of science, which can in some way explain god's beautiful creations and how they work.

HereToLul
07-14-2010, 10:06 AM
OP, why are you an atheist vs a theist? (srs)

You have no proof that there is not a god, just as you have no proof that there is one. You cannot say with absolute certainty that a god does not exist. So, being the scientific man that you are, how do you justify your unsupported claims?

10ThousandFists
07-14-2010, 10:21 AM
I also do not believe that science and religion are necessarily exclusive. Science has a very hard time qualifying our purpose, which religion attempts to answer. I believe they both can learn from and add to the other in many regards.

EDIT: Some scientists try to address the question of purpose through the theory of evolution, but they are misleading themselves. Evolution only gives answers to the questions of "how" and not "why". To answer the question "Why are we here?" with "because of evolution" is evading real discussion. It only answers the how. Religion can shed some light on the why while science answers the how. I think this is why many religious people are turned off or even afraid of evolution. It is sometimes touted as a replacement or antagonist to religion when they actually address very different questions. Evolution does not compete with religion, but many assume this and immediately discredit evolution lest their religion be wrong.



Sure, I do.

Completely disagree with the part bolded above.

Also the part where you say answering the question of why we are here with "Because of Evolution" is a very generalised view of the question.

We do not simply say we are here because of Evolution. At this point in time yes, we are here (Or, have survived to this point is a better way to word it) because of what we believe to be Evolution. But to answer the question of simply "Why are we here?" then religion nor none religion can answer this.

Does there have to be an answer to this question? No, not at all.

The answer I would really like to know, is how we came to be from the very beginning, not the reason, but how. I would like to know this as solid, hard facts. Not simply in theories or brushed aside answers provided by religion, ie "Because God created everything, you don't need to know the specific details of how!"

burnedfish
07-14-2010, 10:37 AM
Completely disagree with the part bolded above.

Also the part where you say answering the question of why we are here with "Because of Evolution" is a very generalised view of the question.

We do not simply say we are here because of Evolution. At this point in time yes, we are here (Or, have survived to this point is a better way to word it) because of what we believe to be Evolution. But to answer the question of simply "Why are we here?" then religion nor none religion can answer this.
Does there have to be an answer to this question? No, not at all.

The answer I would really like to know, is how we came to be from the very beginning, not the reason, but how. I would like to know this as solid, hard facts. Not simply in theories or brushed aside answers provided by religion, ie "Because God created everything, you don't need to know the specific details of how!"

I am not understanding the bolded wording here.

I understand you would really like to know "how we came to be from the very beginning, not the reason, but how." That's great, that is what science is for. But it does not address the question of why. This is where both philosophy and theology come in to provide what answers they think may fit. Because you don't care if there is an answer to the question does not mean others feel the same way, or that there is not an answer to be found.

Religion does not attempt to answer the how, so when you hear "because God created everything, you don't need to know the specific details of how" you are interacting with someone who disregards science altogether, and just ignore them. But on the same token, I am skeptical of those who disregard the question of why, because they are omitting a large chunk of what it means to exist: purpose and reason. There is a continuum between science and religion/philosophy, and I think somewhere in the middle the two can provide a broader picture of reality than either one alone.

HereToLul
07-14-2010, 10:37 AM
Completely disagree with the part bolded above.

Also the part where you say answering the question of why we are here with "Because of Evolution" is a very generalised view of the question.

We do not simply say we are here because of Evolution. At this point in time yes, we are here (Or, have survived to this point is a better way to word it) because of what we believe to be Evolution. But to answer the question of simply "Why are we here?" then religion nor none religion can answer this.

Does there have to be an answer to this question? No, not at all.

The answer I would really like to know, is how we came to be from the very beginning, not the reason, but how. I would like to know this as solid, hard facts. Not simply in theories or brushed aside answers provided by religion, ie "Because God created everything, you don't need to know the specific details of how!"

Sounds like you're getting into philosophy here.

burnedfish
07-14-2010, 10:41 AM
Bringing the topic back to the OP, very simply: religion and science attempt to answer two distinct questions.

science = how
religion = why

So of course a scientist can be religious. Those who think the Bible was written to supercede the how explained by science are, I believe, afraid that science will discredit the Bible. But again, they are answering very different questions. Neither discredits the other's answers because they do not involve the same areas.

burnedfish
07-14-2010, 10:49 AM
Searching for purpose through science will always result in lack of meaning, because it doesn't explore those topics. For those who rely solely on science for information, of course they will not believe in any religion or meaning or purpose in life! But I think they are only seeing the world and our existence through a narrow lens.

10ThousandFists
07-14-2010, 10:50 AM
I am not understanding the wording here.

I understand you would really like to know "how we came to be from the very beginning, not the reason, but how." That's great, that is what science is for. But it does not address the question of why. This is where both philosophy and theology come in to provide what answers they think may fit. Because you don't care if there is an answer to the question does not mean others feel the same way, or that there is not an answer to be found.

Religion does not attempt to answer the how, so when you hear "because God created everything, you don't need to know the specific details of how" you are interacting with someone who disregards science altogether, and just ignore them. But on the same token, I am skeptical of those who disregard the question of why, because they are omitting a large chunk of what it means to exist: purpose and reason. There is a continuum between science and religion/philosophy, and I think somewhere in the middle the two can provide a broader picture of reality than either one alone.


Sounds like you're getting into philosophy here.

I suppose from a Philosophic POV then yes, the question of Why is a very important one. And for me to back track a bit I guess even from a general point of view, then yes it is an important question.

But suppose we had the answer to "Why are we here?" and the answer was "Because we were created by a higher power" (Let's disregard religious and non religious viewpoints for a second) - So to also work on Evolutionary terms, let's say the answer was "We wasn't created by a higher power, we are simply here because we started out by chance and evolved and survived to the present day"

So two answers provide the same result to the question of Why?

But in order to answer these questions without dispute, would we first not need to understand HOW we came to be here? To determine as absolute fact, I think we would.

How can we answer why if we first don't know how?

Once we know 'How', I think then we can set about concisely seeking an answer to 'Why'.

Just my thoughts.

ajn
07-14-2010, 10:51 AM
Why would there be a reason for our existence? It was a chance event that lead to life occurring on Earth. The right chemicals and conditions that were presented in the primordial oceans coming together in the right way lead to existence. How is it that a higher being has a use for us? To destroy to planet Earth?
Considering that the exact right chemicals and conditions present in the primordial soup came together to create of fully sentient beings, why wouldn't there be a reason for our existence? Why wouldn't there be some impetus for all these things to happen? Not to talk of how/why the universe even came into existence in the first place.. I'm just saying, the argument could work the other way as well.

You need to realize that your stance is a personal choice.. not a "default" view that should be adopted by everyone. Don't be narrow-minded..

burnedfish
07-14-2010, 11:02 AM
I suppose from a Philosophic POV then yes, the question of Why is a very important one. And for me to back track a bit I guess even from a general point of view, then yes it is an important question.

But suppose we had the answer to "Why are we here?" and the answer was "Because we were created by a higher power" (Let's disregard religious and non religious viewpoints for a second) - So to also work on Evolutionary terms, let's say the answer was "We wasn't created by a higher power, we are simply here because we started out by chance and evolved and survived to the present day"

So two answers provide the same result to the question of Why?

But in order to answer these questions without dispute, would we first not need to understand HOW we came to be here? To determine as absolute fact, I think we would.

How can we answer why if we first don't know how?

Once we know 'How', I think then we can set about concisely seeking an answer to 'Why'.

Just my thoughts.

I don't think that answering why is dependent on knowing how. I know why phones are here, to facilitate communication between two or more parties. I have no idea how a phone works though.

Why do I love my wife? Because she is funny, determined, responsible, etc. How do I love my wife? I have no idea (well, I know a little because I am in cognitive neuroscience, but for general purposes, we really don't know HOW).

Perhaps these are loose analogies, or not, but I think we really can answer both the how and the why seperately but with consideration for each field. If science is telling us that creation in 7 days is not probable or even possible, we need to consider that information when forming a theological viewpoint. Perhaps our interpretation of Genesis should not be taken literally, but metaphorically, and if so, what is the passage telling us about the why rather than the how?

Just my thoughts as well, great discussion :)

10ThousandFists
07-14-2010, 11:26 AM
I don't think that answering why is dependent on knowing how. I know why phones are here, to facilitate communication between two or more parties. I have no idea how a phone works though.

Just my thoughts as well, great discussion :)

That analogy falls apart though. You might not know how phones work, but someone else does know EXACTLY how they work. The thing with the universe/life/religion and so on is that no one knows.

Since we don't know how exactly we came to be, whether that be by chance or by a creator how can we begin to answer why? If we can answer how with a definitive answer, as with proof and fact of either decsending from a creator for example, then we can question why the creator put us here.

If we first start to question why the creator put us here when we don't know if he did as a definititive answer, then we are automatically assuming all other theories are irrelevent, and vice versa.

And yes, great discussion. Love this forum, I can see myself wasting hours here browsing threads and having my mind completely blown and full of f#ck haha!