Author Topic: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?  (Read 781 times)

Appalled to the core of my being.

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2020, 12:37:49 PM »
Vlad,

No, it's the sound of you missing the point.
And I suppose you crunching Twiglets is just white noise.
The trouble with many bottom up arguments is that they come from the Bottom.

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2020, 12:41:42 PM »
or am I not even wrong?
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Outrider

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2020, 01:33:22 PM »
Being of a mainstream british church background via agnostic atheism I would say that by and large we had made our peace with science a long time ago. Of course new people come along. So from my point of view it is in fact the Dawkinses and the Krausses who have stoked up the fires of the war between religion and science.

They have, in part, because we've culturally come to accept science in advance of superstitious explanations for most phenomena, churches around the Western World (particularly those from the US) have pinned their stand on trying to explain why we're here as the last bastion against science. When scientists point out that we explanations that don't need gods included it's seen as an attack, when the actual attacks are on retrograde civil rights stances, recidivist takes on individual liberties and an attempt to stake special consideration in areas like marriage and tax-exemptions whilst maintaining a 'don't ask, don't tell' alliance with big business looking to cut the costs of dealing with a modern civilisation with individual rights by backing the call for 'religious liberty'.

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There are but I see that as a North American phenomenon rather than necessarily religious.

Given the domination of the US media output in shaping western culture, what starts as a US issue gradually becomes everyone's problem.

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On the other hand I find the exaggeration of the war between science and religion to be heavily influenced by people like Harris and Dillahunty but chiefly by transatlantics such as Hitchens and Dawkins.

The depiction of a war between science and religion started during the Enlightenment, and can be seen in nonsense like the Scopes trial - Dawkins, Hitchens and the like rallied the secular arguments in recent times after a status quo had seemed to be reached in response to the incursion of new, hardline religion lines like the post-Reagan Republicans and Islamic extremists.

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In other words Dawkins carried his Gospel to the states and brought it's fruitfulness back here''Again we cannot ignore the deliberate achievements of Dawkins, Krauss etc stoking this up in fact Dawkins apparently encouraged Harris into neuroscience. I recall someone at the New Scientist calling him the Father of Religious Neuroscience. If that doesn't sound like a ''parachuting in of New atheism'' I don't know what does.

What's 'new' about it?  The argument is 'you don't have any evidence'.  The argument before was 'you don't have any evidence'.  Religion hardliners pushed from various directions, and 'New' atheists pushed back.

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So I guess it's not science or religion picking battles picking a battle it's both religious experts saying they don't have to know about science to
attack it because they have scripture and atheists who say we can do without religion because we have science.

Atheists say we don't need religion because, no matter what religion you pick, there are vast swathes of the world that appear to be doing just fine without it.  On the other hand, pretty much every society that's applied the results of scientific enquiry has improved, and that science is pretty much consistent wherever you go.  You do need to know the science in order to counter the science; there is nothing to 'know' in religion, it's all supposition, divine revalation and established creed based on... um... we've got sort of this book... ish... edited a bit... written by people who weren't there... which makes unreliable claims but those bits are 'parable'....

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I'm interested in whether you arrived at the Alf Garnett like conclusion that all religious people are swivel eyed maniacs or were influenced by Richard Dawkins now noted for his Garnettian attitudes to religion?

No, the overwhelming majority of religious people, in my experience, are perfectly pleasant.  However, the nature of religion is that their very existence justifies the existence of the extremists because, and this is important, there's no way to determine which is 'right' and which is 'wrong' if you accept the fundamental tenet that there's anything to the nonsense in the first place.

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So you feel that questioning atheists about the scope and utility of science is an attack on science? I'm not afraid of it. as I said I made my peace with science a while back and as a Christian where I believe God wanted me to explore new avenues but ignoring what i'd learned in science was not on the menu. I have the confidence therefore to allow myself to discuss science with people of a different persuasion and hopefully learn about science from them and since they are modern atheists ask them how science in regards to cosmology supports atheism.

On the contrary, science only progresses through people asking questions.  Sometimes, however, the response isn't an answer: cosmology doesn't 'support' atheism or religion, that's not its role.  If you follow some religions, which make claims about the start of the universe which are not in keeping with our current understanding of cosmology you might see it as at odds with your faith, but that's neither the point nor the purpose of cosmology, and there are faith positions which either don't make any claims on the start of the universe or don't make claims that are at odds with cosmology.

O.
Universes are forever, not just for creation...

New Atheism - because, apparently, there's a use-by date on unanswered questions.

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Littleroses

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2020, 01:35:44 PM »
But God isn't proposed as having empirical features but I'm glad you have decided to reveal what you consider evidence when others have beat about the bush.

He ''hides away'' empirically because he is not empirical.
As I have said to others. He is proposed as the necessary being out of the universe. He is not material as we know it because he is responsible for the existence of material which appears to be contingent.

Now I suppose an argument could be made for the universe itself to be necessary but wait, what is it in the universe that is necessary and not contingent, namely dependent on something else?

We do not observe such things. It's then fair to conclude that whatever is the necessity whether it be God or something else inside the universe, it remains empirically hidden perhaps because it is not empirical.

People meet God as spirit, as holiness, and people react to that in various ways.

In other words, using their imaginations.

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2020, 01:54:32 PM »
In other words, using their imaginations.
No I know when i'm using my imagination and when I am not.

If you think it is imaginary what evidence do you have? You might claim delusion or illusion alternatively. So under atheist's rules of logic where there is an alternative it means you are wrong. Those are atheist's rules so don't blame me.
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Littleroses

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2020, 02:27:34 PM »
No I know when i'm using my imagination and when I am not.

If you think it is imaginary what evidence do you have? You might claim delusion or illusion alternatively. So under atheist's rules of logic where there is an alternative it means you are wrong. Those are atheist's rules so don't blame me.

I don't claim to have any evidence. However the Biblical god character lacks any credibility, therefore the probability is that it is a human creation and doesn't exist in reality. 

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2020, 02:45:40 PM »
I don't claim to have any evidence. However the Biblical god character lacks any credibility, therefore the probability is that it is a human creation and doesn't exist in reality.
And what is that probability? Show your working please.
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Littleroses

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2020, 03:20:17 PM »
And what is that probability? Show your working please.

You have never given us any logical reason as to why you think the Biblical god character exists.

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2020, 06:09:27 PM »
They have, in part, because we've culturally come to accept science in advance of superstitious explanations for most phenomena, churches around the Western World (particularly those from the US) have pinned their stand on trying to explain why we're here as the last bastion against science. When scientists point out that we explanations that don't need gods included it's seen as an attack, when the actual attacks are on retrograde civil rights stances, recidivist takes on individual liberties and an attempt to stake special consideration in areas like marriage and tax-exemptions whilst maintaining a 'don't ask, don't tell' alliance with big business looking to cut the costs of dealing with a modern civilisation with individual rights by backing the call for 'religious liberty'.
This reads a bit too much like religion is a failed science. and hints at science as a replacement religion. Science the answer to the problems of civil rights civil rights? Science and the problems with big business I'm not sure how you arrive at these things. It seems like extending science and religion into things they are not. Puttingall the nice things in the science basket and the nasty things in the file marked religion.
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.Given the domination of the US media output in shaping western culture, what starts as a US issue gradually becomes everyone's problem.
Part of that problem is the internet and satellite TV both products of science.
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The depiction of a war between science and religion started during the Enlightenment, and can be seen in nonsense like the Scopes trial - Dawkins, Hitchens and the like rallied the secular arguments in recent times after a status quo had seemed to be reached in response to the incursion of new, hardline religion lines like the post-Reagan Republicans and Islamic extremists.
I think you are crediting these people with too much. Hitchens and Harris being very much on board the post reagan republican agenda. When their reputation as quasi religious leaders fades perhaps they will be seen in a more realistic and contextual light. Sadly while Dawkins was promoting atheism a bit more than the public awareness of science people were beginning to lose interest in science. I think it remains with a mixed reputation, It looks mystifying and priestly and sadly some in it have made it look a bit snotty. Like religion it is not appreciated as it's should be and in a lot of ways in service to consumerism and big business. An opportunity has been missed by science becoming niche, priestly and badly mixed up with celebrity atheism.

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What's 'new' about it?
Ask Old Atheists.

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  The argument is 'you don't have any evidence'.  The argument before was 'you don't have any evidence'.
There were other arguments as well. Philosophical arguments and ethical arguments. By focussing on science the new atheists became scientistical. Indeed if you look in Wikipedia, fellow atheists have levelled two big criticism at it. 1) It's a stealth religion 2) It has a goodly amount of scientism to it.
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Atheists say we don't need religion because, no matter what religion you pick, there are vast swathes of the world that appear to be doing just fine without it.
The world cannot exactly be said to be doing just fine and that is down to Progress but yes there are vast swathes without it but since that is partly because it is suppressed, I'm not sure how much of that atheism would want to own. 
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On the other hand, pretty much every society that's applied the results of scientific enquiry has improved, and that science is pretty much consistent wherever you go.
Again globally, the impact of the applicaton of science looks perhaps more negative than you give it credit for secondly I feel atheism merging with science in your tone.
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  You do need to know the science in order to counter the science; there is nothing to 'know' in religion
And there it is, goodness me, not just science tainted with atheism but science tainted with antitheism .That is based on Empiricism,
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it's all supposition
Thats opinion, you missed out experience, moral exploration and self examination....not much of that in atheism given the reaction to concepts such as sin and moral reality
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divine revalation and established creed based on... um... we've got sort of this book... ish... edited a bit... written by people who weren't there... which makes unreliable claims but those bits are 'parable'....
your beginning to rant and parody and having tried at the start to label religion as failed science you've now said is isn't really science. Science certainly has no call to moral behaviour. Since it doesn't do morality. As far as moral behaviour is concerned in science moral is the redundant part.
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No, the overwhelming majority of religious people, in my experience, are perfectly pleasant.  However, the nature of religion is that their very existence justifies the existence of the extremists because, and this is important, there's no way to determine which is 'right' and which is 'wrong'
This sounds like it's come from someone from somewhere where there is a suspicion that religion makes people evil. Now that is new atheist. Since science isn't going to help with morality where is it going to come from without a book of laws and regulations. Without a pronouncement from say, a Sam Harris, who are the new moses's going to be.....Priestly people in labcloaks! plus sa change. If you are looking to find morality in the genes, immorality is there too. No, morality I think we will agree has to come in some kind of deep transformation. It won't come to us in an issue of new scientist.


« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 06:20:26 PM by Your friendly illusion of self. »
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bluehillside Retd.

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2020, 06:53:33 PM »
Vlad,

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This reads a bit too much like religion is a failed science.

When it attempts scientific explanations – any branch of science – that's exactly what it is.   
“Once we assume a creator and a plan, it makes humans objects of a cruel experiment whereby we are created to be sick and commanded to be well.”

― Christopher Hitchens

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2020, 07:01:30 PM »
Vlad,

When it attempts scientific explanations – any branch of science – that's exactly what it is.
How do you feel about James Clerk Maxwell?
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bluehillside Retd.

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2020, 07:08:03 PM »
Vlad,

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This reads a bit too much like religion is a failed science.

It's "Clark", and he was likely a genius of mathematical physics. What does that have to do with anything?

Surely you're not going to try the old trope of "X used the tools and methods of science brilliantly, and he was also religious. Therefor his religion had something to do with it" are you?

Are you?
“Once we assume a creator and a plan, it makes humans objects of a cruel experiment whereby we are created to be sick and commanded to be well.”

― Christopher Hitchens

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2020, 07:10:44 PM »
Vlad,

It's "Clark", and he was likely a genius of mathematical physics. What does that have to do with anything?

Surely you're not going to try the old trope of "X used the tools and methods of science brilliantly, and he was also religious. Therefore his religion had something to do with it" are you?

Are you?
No, you answered my question.....so thanks for that.
The trouble with many bottom up arguments is that they come from the Bottom.

Nearly Sane

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2020, 07:23:02 PM »
Vlad,

It's "Clark", and he was likely a genius of mathematical physics. What does that have to do with anything?

Surely you're not going to try the old trope of "X used the tools and methods of science brilliantly, and he was also religious. Therefor his religion had something to do with it" are you?

Are you?
No likely about it.

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2020, 07:42:21 PM »
Vlad,

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No, you answered my question.....so thanks for that.

The point of which in the context of this thread was what exactly?
“Once we assume a creator and a plan, it makes humans objects of a cruel experiment whereby we are created to be sick and commanded to be well.”

― Christopher Hitchens

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2020, 07:43:01 PM »
NS,

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No likely about it.

Fair enough.
“Once we assume a creator and a plan, it makes humans objects of a cruel experiment whereby we are created to be sick and commanded to be well.”

― Christopher Hitchens

Outrider

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #41 on: June 30, 2020, 08:54:46 AM »
This reads a bit too much like religion is a failed science. and hints at science as a replacement religion.

Religion isn't a failed science, it's a failed philosophy.  Science isn't a replacement religion, it's a step forward in how to best understand our world; religion didn't try to understand, but it still tried (and regularly failed) to explain it.

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Science the answer to the problems of civil rights civil rights?

Not alone, but it's certainly one of the inputs.

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Science and the problems with big business.

The problems with big business aren't to do with the science that's being used, it's to do with the science that's being ignored; less physics and IT and more sociology and psychology would improve the impact of business on the world.

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I'm not sure how you arrive at these things. It seems like extending science and religion into things they are not.

By contrast, that contention doesn't make any sense to me.  Science is a methodology for investigation - if something is, then scientific methodology can be used to investigate it.  On that basis, I can't imagine anything that's beyond science.  On the other hand, religion is predicated on the idea that there's something else, but that we don't know anything about it for sure; on that basis, how can we determine what it might interrelate with, or be confident of any of the conclusions - I can't see anything that warrants the involvement of religion.

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Putting all the nice things in the science basket and the nasty things in the file marked religion.

I'm not putting them anywhere.  I can see no benefit to religion that can't easily be found in other places, and innumerable drawbacks.  By contrast, whilst the application of science is at the mercy of the individuals doing the applying, it at least has the potential (which has been realised in many, many places) of improving our lives in ways that other things just haven't been able to: medicine, communications, transport, agriculture...

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Part of that problem is the internet and satellite TV both products of science.

Not really - a couple of hundred years ago we didn't have the internet or satellite TV, and it was Western European colonialism making its cultural impact the defining thought of the time - it's about behaviour, not about technology.  The technology might determine how it's done, but it's the psychology and sociology that will determine the why and how best to address it.

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I think you are crediting these people with too much. Hitchens and Harris being very much on board the post reagan republican agenda.

I think you need to read Harris, in particular, again.  I'm not that up on Hitchens, I was never as impressed with him as people expected me to be.

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When their reputation as quasi religious leaders fades perhaps they will be seen in a more realistic and contextual light.

The only people who see them as 'quasi-religious' are the religious, who can't seem to break out of the idea that this is some sort of spiritual contest rather than seeing it as a contest of 'spiritual' vs reality.

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Sadly while Dawkins was promoting atheism a bit more than the public awareness of science people were beginning to lose interest in science.   I think it remains with a mixed reputation, It looks mystifying and priestly and sadly some in it have made it look a bit snotty. Like religion it is not appreciated as it's should be and in a lot of ways in service to consumerism and big business. An opportunity has been missed by science becoming niche, priestly and badly mixed up with celebrity atheism.

He responded with the espousal of atheism because religion was doing things like fly planes into buildings; he did plenty of espousing science, too, but as ever the media reports that which generates either fear or disgust in their audience, and atheism does that for a segment of the populace in way that science doesn't.  Science isn't in the habit of making science look 'priestly', but unfortunately science hasn't been active enough in controlling how it is depicted, leaving it to a media that just lazily co-opts the existing orthodoxy and overlays the new paradigm on it.

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Ask Old Atheists.

I am an old atheist; I still don't see the difference.  It's not like there's new not-gods, or new ways of not having enough evidence to accept the proposition.  It's not even as though there are significant new religions not to believe in.  What's 'new'?

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There were other arguments as well. Philosophical arguments and ethical arguments.

Nobody is arguing that god isn't real because of the ethical impacts; people are arguing that religious 'values' are questionable, and the ethical inferences from those therefore unjustifiable, BECAUSE it's apparent that the ideas of god presented don't hold up.  Atheism leads to a take on ethics, but that doesn't make the atheism new - it doesn't even make the ethical follow-up new.

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By focussing on science the new atheists became scientistical.

It's not atheism that's focussed on the findings of science, though, it's the modern world.  It's a new world, but it's the same atheism.

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Indeed if you look in Wikipedia, fellow atheists have levelled two big criticism at it. 1) It's a stealth religion 2) It has a goodly amount of scientism to it.

And there are atheists out there who claim to be 'spiritual, not religious'.  Atheists can also be wrong.  Atheism is, by definition, not a stealth religion.  As to whether an argument has 'scientism' in it... scientism is defined as 'the promotion of science as the best or only objective means by which society should determine normative and epistemological values'.  Now, currently, it's undeniably the best; whether it's the only reliable method depends on what other methods are offered, but it's certainly holding its own at the moment.  If the worst accusation levelled is 'scientism' then frankly I don't see an issue.

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The world cannot exactly be said to be doing just fine and that is down to Progress but yes there are vast swathes without it but since that is partly because it is suppressed, I'm not sure how much of that atheism would want to own.

Show me the bit that was suppressed because of atheism and not, say, some totalitarian political stance which deployed a notional atheism to suppress opposition.  I didn't say the entire world was fine, I said there were vast swathes that were doing perfectly fine without religion.

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Again globally, the impact of the application of science looks perhaps more negative than you give it credit for secondly I feel atheism merging with science in your tone.

There have been negatives, but on balance the world is demonstrably better for the results of scientific enquiry. Life expectancy, child mortality, literacy, eradication of diseases, access to healthcare, reliability of access to food and water are all massively better.  It's not a finished work, and there have been instances where science has been applied in negative - even horrific - ways, but the world is a better place overall.

How is atheism merging in that?  Centuries of religion didn't achieve very much, if any of that.  Certainly it's questionable if religion itself ever healed or fed anyone, and the selective nature of its attempts to educate pale into insignificance.  If you see atheism in the description you can choose to see that as a product of my tone, or you can choose to see that's because all of this was achieved without the need for - and at times in the face of the deliberate opposition from - religion.

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And there it is, goodness me, not just science tainted with atheism but science tainted with antitheism.

Bit of an ad hominem to describe it as 'tainted' but there you go.  Needless to say, it's an ad hominem in the absence of an actual argument; the point stands, science is an attempt at demonstrating why a particular conclusion should be considered valid, religion is the claim of knowledge with no justification whatsoever.  That's why any conclusion of science can be contested, two competing theories can be compared and contrasted and one selected as more or less likely.  Once you accept one religious claim, though, you've no basis for rejecting any of others, for they're all equally baseless claims in the absence of evidence.

There is little point in learning the detail of the claims of religion; it's just several centuries of elaborate navel-gazing formulated into a pretence of academia to try and justify the continued existence of absolutely nothing of intellectual merit.

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That is based on Empiricism.

Oh god, no, not based on the premise that if we've no evidence that it's real we can probably ignore it!  How terrible... that's the worst you can throw around, that it's empiricist?

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Thats opinion, you missed out experience, moral exploration and self examination....

No, no I haven't.  Experience is questionable, there's any number of ways of showing that humanity is susceptible to sensory flaws, confirmation bias and any number of other ways of making our understanding questionable.  Neither moral nor self exploration leads to an idea of god unless you start from the idea of god, and neither requires the idea of a god in order to conduct the examination.

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...not much of that in atheism given the reaction to concepts such as sin and moral reality

What is 'sin'?  Show me how you demonstrate 'sin'?  As to the idea that there's a 'moral reality', a fairly superficial survey of cultural differences quickly shows that morality is a function of society and derives from the collective decisions of the culture, it doesn't exist as some independent fundamental to be discovered.

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your beginning to rant and parody and having tried at the start to label religion as failed science you've now said is isn't really science.

Yes it's a parody; the other option is to take it seriously, and it doesn't deserve that.  You've seen my view of religion as a failed science, I haven't.  Science isn't about what it's used for - it's not science because it investigates the world, it's science because of the method it uses to do that.  Religion can try to investigate the world, but it's not a science (failed or otherwise) because it doesn't follow the evidence, it presumes the conclusion and tries to explain how reality fits the presumption; it's the polar opposite of science.

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Science certainly has no call to moral behaviour. Since it doesn't do morality.

You need to keep up with the literature; whether you consider morality to be something in its own right or an emergent property of culture and society, if it is then it's within science's remit.  The only way for science not to do morality would be if morality wasn't real.

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As far as moral behaviour is concerned in science moral is the redundant part. This sounds like it's come from someone from somewhere where there is a suspicion that religion makes people evil.

Science has, for too long, not tried to tackle the knottier, more human elements of the world like morality, but science is not redundant when it comes to moral investigation.  I don't have a suspicion that religion makes people evil - evil people happen in relation to any given morality, we are a variable species - but religion offers opportunity for evil to co-opt totalitarianism and authoritarianism which makes them particularly dangerous.

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Now that is new atheist.

Fearing religious extremists is new atheist?  I think you want to let the average Tory-voting, Church of England (nominally) middle-Englander and most of the (ironically extremist) Christian Americans know.

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Since science isn't going to help with morality where is it going to come from without a book of laws and regulations.

Science is looking at morality.  Even if it weren't, which book of fairy tales should we choose instead?

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Without a pronouncement from say, a Sam Harris, who are the new moses's going to be.....Priestly people in labcloaks! plus sa change.

If people follow a priest, that's about people.  If people follow the Chief Medical Adviser's pronouncement because he wears the regalia and stands at the lectern, that's the sort of ritualistic behaviour that religion thrives on, and it's a shame, and we should be teaching people better.  But if he's making his judgements, and telling people to follow them, based on a range of experts analysing the infection rates and the spread and previous examples then we're still in a better place than if he's pulled it out of his arse because someone two thousand years ago made up an imaginary friend and wrote a really, really bad book about it.  We could still stand to educate people in critical thinking better, yes, but people blindly following evidence led decisions is a better state of affairs than people blindly following someone with mental health issues and a funky hat.

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If you are looking to find morality in the genes, immorality is there too.

It may be that any particular behavioural trends are traceable to genetics; what makes them moral or immoral, though, is a far more complex interaction of political, economic, social, cultural, geographic, and who knows how many other influences over a range of people.

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No, morality I think we will agree has to come in some kind of deep transformation. It won't come to us in an issue of new scientist.

Morality will come, as it always does, from society.  That society, we can hope, will be informed more by the New Scientist than by the second, third or fourth attempted ret-con of a bronze-age storm and war-god.

O.
Universes are forever, not just for creation...

New Atheism - because, apparently, there's a use-by date on unanswered questions.

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2020, 11:55:29 AM »
Religion isn't a failed science, it's a failed philosophy.
Philosophy though isn't flavour of the month in some atheist and scientific circles. According to some science has superceded philosophy. Making it, I suppose another failed science, again, because of the apostolic status of some who have declared the death of philosophy, this hasn't been properly challenged in my view. Religion will have to be a series of failed philosophies. Not that it is only a philosophy. Some religion is believe it or not putdown to divine revelation rather than thinking something into existence Indeed some scientists are on the verge of mysticism although wouldn't own up to it.
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Not alone, but it's certainly one of the inputs.
There are are lots of others.
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The problems with big business aren't to do with the science that's being used, it's to do with the science that's being ignored; less physics and IT and more sociology and psychology would improve the impact of business on the world.
That's a matter of opinion. I'm afraid it just takes one aspect of science to change workers lives adversely. There is already talk of what do we do with unproductive people those that will have jobs are now working 24/7/365 because they are a link in the internet
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By contrast, that contention doesn't make any sense to me.  Science is a methodology for investigation - if something is, then scientific methodology can be used to investigate it.  On that basis, I can't imagine anything that's beyond science.
But you can have science and religion so what does your lack of a philosophical imagination have to do with anything? When you say you can't imagine anything beyond science, do you mean you can't allow yourself to imagine anything beyond science? How do you keep that up? That decision, therefore, not to contemplate anything beyond that method is in fact a philosophy, Since it determines the way you see the world it can be seen as a world view and since science deals with matter-energy then if you are basing your thinking on science you are both a scientismatist and a materialist and a physicalist. However the methodology cannot establish the virtue of the decision you have made nor the truth of your philosophy.
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On the other hand, religion is predicated on the idea that there's something else
, religion is encounter with something else and......... yourself. This is why I suppose the belief that the self is an illusion is itself a comfort and a shelter...otherwise things get a bit scary when we look for truth where we are told we must not go
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, but that we don't know anything about it for sure;
or we know some things but not all things
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By contrast, whilst the application of science is at the mercy of the individuals doing the applying, it at least has the potential (which has been realised in many, many places) of improving our lives in ways that other things just haven't been able to: medicine, communications, transport, agriculture...
I don't want to knock science here but will comment how religion has contributed to social cohesion and it's contribution to art and life in general. It maintained a world subsequent to the appaling Roman way and has provided solace and hope and motivation, charity and healing....and still does. I know celebrity atheist Anthony Grayling bemoans that Christianity wrecked Greco Roman society but that society though technologically and culturally developed was appalling in it's treatment and attitude toward people.
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Not really - a couple of hundred years ago we didn't have the internet or satellite TV, and it was Western European colonialism making its cultural impact the defining thought of the time - it's about behaviour, not about technology.  The technology might determine how it's done, but it's the psychology and sociology that will determine the why and how best to address it.
I think it was Chomsky who noticed that the further one strays from the pure sciences the less effective they become. What is needed here is not the study but the behaviour change.
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I think you need to read Harris, in particular, again.
Harris is a Gun lobbyist and is all for pre-emptive nuclear strikes on theocracies


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He responded with the espousal of atheism because religion was doing things like fly planes into buildings
Religion? or a group of religious people who ended up living in caves. I think you might have committed a genetic fallacy there.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 11:58:05 AM by Your friendly illusion of self. »
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Outrider

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2020, 12:19:36 PM »
Philosophy though isn't flavour of the month in some atheist and scientific circles.

It's not new that it's failed, it's been a failed philosophy for a long time.

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According to some science has superceded philosophy.  Making it, I suppose another failed science, again, because of the apostolic status of some who have declared the death of philosophy, this hasn't been properly challenged in my view.

I'm not one of them.

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Religion will have to be a series of failed philosophies.

Different flavours, still ice cream.

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Not that it is only a philosophy. Some religion is believe it or not putdown to divine revelation rather than thinking something into existence.

That doesn't change the idea being a philosophy, nor does it mean that it hasn't been shown to be a failed one.  You might have made the argument that it's a cultural enterprise and a communal ritual behaviour, after a time, as much as it's the underlying philosophy.

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Indeed some scientists are on the verge of mysticism although wouldn't own up to it.

There's a difference between you not understanding it and it being incomprehensible.

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There is already talk of what do we do with unproductive people those that will have jobs are now working 24/7/365 because they are a link in the internet.

There has always been talk of what to do with the idle, the indigent, the unproductive - that's not a result of science, it's a result of society - arguably, more do to with the much vaunted 'Protestant work ethic' than anything else.

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But you can have science and religion so what does your lack of a philosophical imagination have to do with anything?

You can have science and football, you can have religion and cuisine - the question is why would you, and do they bring anything to the table that outweighs the drawbacks that come with them?

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When you say you can't imagine anything beyond science, do you mean you can't allow yourself to imagine anything beyond science?

No, I mean it doesn't make sense.  If it's real, it's within the remit of science to investigate. If science can't investigate it, that suggests that it's not real.

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That decision, therefore, not to contemplate anything beyond that method is in fact a philosophy, Since it determines the way you see the world it can be seen as a world view and since science deals with matter-energy then if you are basing your thinking on science you are both a scientismatist and a materialist and a physicalist.

Probably. I've been assured I'm an Aries, too, if it helps.  I will correct one small point, however - I don't say that things can't be contemplated outside of a scientific method.  I'll happily look at logical derivations, I'll look at mathematical methodologies, if someone comes up with another methodology and a justification for it, I'll take a look at that, too.

What I do say, though, is that anything you can point to as a claim is either not real, or it's within the remit of science.  It might be within the remit of other methodologies as well, but it's within science's remit.

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However the methodology cannot establish the virtue of the decision you have made nor the truth of your philosophy.

And neither can any other, that's the inevitable conclusion of subjective understanding of reality.

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religion is encounter with something else and......... yourself.

No, religion is the assertion of something else in the absence of any evidence.

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This is why I suppose the belief that the self is an illusion is itself a comfort and a shelter...otherwise things get a bit scary when we look for truth where we are told we must not go or we know some things but not all things.

And there's an important key - the unknown isn't scary, the unknown is exciting.  The shady cave, the seabed, the dark side of the moon; the prospects are enticing.  Maybe it's the fear of the dark that leads to the manifestation of mental constructs like gods and bogeymen?

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I don't want to knock science here but will comment how religion has contributed to social cohesion and it's contribution to art and life in general.

Religion's contribution to social cohesion has been tribal; I'd put it up against the concept of human rights every day of the week, and twice on Sundays.  Religion subdivides humanity into sects and cults, creates acceptable and unacceptable, caste and pariah, exile and heretic.  The village thrives, but the outsider is shunned, the different is to be feared, fought and ultimately forgotten.

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It maintained a world subsequent to the appaling Roman way and has provided solace and hope and motivation, charity and healing....and still does.

You do recall that the section of history between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Enlightenment was called 'The Dark Ages' right?  The 'Roman way' had its appalling elements, but so did mediaeval Christianities internecine warfare, crusades and corruptoin, so does modern Islam's institutionalised homophobia and misogyny, so does Hinduism's caste system.

As to providing solace, hope and motivation - heroin does that, too.  Charity - that's not restricted to any religion, or even to religion in general.  And healing... well, I'd be intrigued to see any reliable data on how religion works better than placebo or, more importantly, pharmacology and applied biology and psychology, when it comes to healing.

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I know celebrity atheist Anthony Grayling bemoans that Christianity wrecked Greco Roman society but that society though technologically and culturally developed was appalling in it's treatment and attitude toward people.

So were the Christian and Islamic empires that arose in their place, so were the Hindu, Chinese and Japanese ways of life that were in parallel.

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I think it was Chomsky who noticed that the further one strays from the pure sciences the less effective they become.

Yep.  It's almost like the more complex something is the harder it is to understand; atoms are easier than cells, which are easier the whole bodies which are easier than brains, which are easier than cultures or societies.

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What is needed here is not the study but the behaviour change.

And how do you determine the best way to achieve that change?  How do you decide the best thing to change to?  I suspect the optimal answer to exactly neither of those questions is 'pray'.

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Harris is a Gun lobbyist and is all for pre-emptive nuclear strikes on theocracies.

I'd disagree with him on at least one of those.  I can see an argument for clearing the people out of Jerusalem and nuking it - let the faithful go back and see if God really wants them to have it, and then they won't be creating problems for us any more.  Of course, then we'd need to find a new homeland for the Palestinians and the Israelis, and we've seen what sort of problems that can create...

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Religion? or a group of religious people who ended up living in caves. I think you might have committed a genetic fallacy there.

What is religion if not the collective behaviour of the believers that espouse it?  Is religion not the lived truth of the word?

O.
Universes are forever, not just for creation...

New Atheism - because, apparently, there's a use-by date on unanswered questions.

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2020, 11:10:59 AM »
Outrider

Excellent posts - a pleasure to read.
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jeremyp

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2020, 03:52:23 PM »
We know that science is not there to rule out God.

That depends on how you define "God". The god of the literal Old Testament has been pretty comprehensively demolished by science , but the god of the deists hasn't.

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But it is often pressed into the service of atheism. How effective are scientific cosmological theories in the service of confirming atheism?

Science doesn't confirm or deny atheism but it helps atheists dismiss some of the arguments put forward by theists such as the argument from design.
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jeremyp

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Re: How good are scientific cosmology at ruling out God?
« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2020, 04:00:15 PM »
PZ Myers has dissociated himself from New Atheism.

Ha ha. That's funny. PZ Myers hasn't dissociated himself from New Atheism because he has moderated his views on God. He would tell you he's done it because they refuse to conflate atheism and social justice. Others will tell you he's done it because they are internationally recognised people who can command appearance fees to match and he's a minor bloody professor with a blog.
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