Are Theists or atheists more to blame for this?


A disturbing number of people think in absolutes. Some think that you just cannot mix religion and science. In some ways, I can sort of understand that way of thinking. In some ways, science and religion are as different as apples and oranges, and, therefore, do not contradict one another. I personally believe that there is no contradiction whatsoever between science and religion, so long as you know what to look for. I am not advocating cherry picking. I am just saying that a little open mindedness doesn’t hurt.

Both religion and science have great treasures to offer us. We should use those gifts responsibly and compassionately. I love God, and I love science. I love the former more so than the latter, but I see no need to throw out the baby with the bathwater here. Religion? I don’t really care for organized religion, but I do not see all religion as a nefarious enterprise. If you must categorize me, then call me a Christian. But I deplore labels. They’re just tools to judge others.

You have some pigheaded Theists out there, and you have some pigheaded atheists out there. I just think it’s myopic to claim that we have to embrace one, and abolish the other (in regards to faith vs. science). We are not going to have all of the answers. Does that mean we should impute unknown or mysterious events to God or the supernatural? Not necessarily. As I already said, we still don’t know all there is to know (and we never will).

So are Theists or are atheists more guilty of this false dilemma, that we must choose science or religion?

There’s no blame game needed. God created science and the scientists, and He wants them to use their gifts, talents and abilities appropriately. It’s important for Christians to understand that science is fine as long as it’s within Godly parameters. That means we use God’s inspired word, the Bible, as the standard. Where there’s a conflict, God’s word stands. Thus, the strong stand on evolution. God’s word clearly says that He created and sustains all there is. We did not evolve.

Regarding absolutes, that’s God. His truth is absolute. His love is absolute. His parameters are absolute as is His way of life and love. Within His parameters, there is latitude and leeway, though.

Science seeks answers when there is no answer avalible. It is entirely counter-productive to just insert &quot:God did it&quot: when we don’t know the answer to something. Obviously we cannot have the answer to everything, but by pursuing answers we learn vast ammounts of information along the way as a result of seeking an answer. We may never achieve the final result to the question, but we will undoudebly find answers to other questions along the way, which only broadens our understanding of other things.

The problem with reconciling religion with science is that science more often than not contradicts what religion says about a great many things, and this becomes percieved as an insult to the religious or as some attempt to undermine them and once again you have hostility on both sides.

However, if I must take a side in this, it is my opinion that religion is to blame. It is well known that in certain instances in the middle ages and onward, the Church would supress scientific research that contradicted Biblical notions with threats of excommunication and in some cases even death. This is not what breeds progress, it hinders it. Even today we have religious determents in science, with issues such as stem cell research, pharmacuticles, abortion, etc. Scientists cannot advance research into the incredibly promising studies of embryonic stem cells because of religious and ethical issues.

I am all for peaceful coexistance between faiths, and many people can accept both their religion as well as science. But there will always be the staunch believers that will impede progress because it interferes with their beliefs, and that is why religion and science will never be fully embraced as a whole.

I would be all for non-overlapping magisteria, if only the religionists would be content to stay in their magisterium. The minute that someone says that a man can walk on water, ascend into heaven, that virgins give birth, that the dead come back to life, and the like, it stops being a matter of faith and becomes a set of fact claims about how the physical universe works.

It seems like believers want to have it both ways: to make fact claims about the universe while not allowing those claims to be subject to inquiry, challenge, or testing. You might say that those occurrences are miracles. I would reply that since miracles are willful suspensions of the laws of the universe, that the existence of miracles renders any sort of predictability in the universe a futile exercise, which means we really can’t know anything about the universe.

Let’s not forget where the original either-or thinking in this intellectual battlefield came from. It came from religious fundamentalists who said early on that certain scientific theories cannot be true if the Bible is true, and vice versa. Believers routinely oppose scientific investigation, critical inquiry, and routinely attempt to hold back the advance of science and technology.

While we’re on the subject of the abject failure of NOMA, let’s stop and ask why religious teachers should be given special consideration in matters of morals and ethics? Why do THEIR opinions matter more than physicians, physicists, chemists, cognitive scientists, psychologists, and moral philosophers? After all, the discussion of human well-being and happiness is by nature a discussion about the state of a person’s mind and brain. What makes a priest or a preacher more insightful than a scientist about how a brain works, or how the mind works? Nothing that I can think of. It seems that even in the questions of what happiness means, what ethics and morals mean, and even on questions of life’s meaning, religion doesn’t actually seem to have a magisterium. Rather, it seems to be something of an intellectual hookworm.

If we really get into the meat of it, science and religion DO conflict routinely, but only because religious believers refuse to adapt their doctrines in the face of the continual accretion of evidence to the contrary.

I think that’s a false comparison. Of course atheists will say you should reject religion, that’s hardly the point. Rather ask, who insists more that you choose between them, priests or scientists?

For a long time that was clear, and it was priests. Scientists did not concern themselves with religious discussions. However, nowadays there’s a very prominent case of a scientist that has: Dawkins. Despite having no formal training in philosophy or theology, he has involved himself more and more in discussions about religion, going so far as to insist on the abolishment of religion. I think that was a grave error. I understand that he felt that way personally, but he should have seen that his reputation as a biologist would be tarnished, and with it the reputation of biology and science in general.

And at the same time some priests, in particular the Catholic and Anglican ones, have made considerable strides towards a reconciliation with scientific progress. It’s more the Evangelicals in the US that seem stridently anti-science. But then again the American Evangelicals seem to be against everything that isn’t them.

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Proportionally atheists make up 2 % of the general population, and
A theist – one who believes in the existence of a god or gods
A worshipper, believer, worshipper – a person who has religious faith

And this includes: Baha’is, Christianity, Messianic Judaism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Judaism, Rastafarian movement, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Satanism, Mormonism, Paganism , Shamanism, Shinto, Wicca, Hinduism, Jainism, New Age, plus all the cults and sects of the above.

ALL the believers listed here are THEISTS –

There is only ONE true God, and that is YHWH the Creator – all other gods have been invented by man.

If you want a truthful answer, address your question to a Christian as none of the other religions listed here know God’s truth.

So, as &quot:Theists&quot: make up 98% the odds are 50-1 . . .

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I think a better question might be what type of personality is emotionally set to to the view the world as definitive, in black &amp: white rather than view the world as nuanced, in shades of gray.

There are five common factors that seem to impact personality: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (emotional stability).

Scientists tend to be strong on openness so they are comfortable with novelty and have a very large need for cognitive or intellectual outlets. Brain scans of self proclaimed liberals show an increase in the anterior cingulate cortex region that is the region responsible for error checking for concordance with reality. Far more than half of the scientists self declare as liberal. This makes sense as creativity is part of being open to novelty.
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abst…
http://blog.psico.edu.uy/cibpsi/files/20…
People that become very religious tend to be much less open, often fearful of differences and very emotionally attached to their beliefs. Brain scans of people who say they are conservative tend to have a larger amygdala. They score very high on conscientiousness meaning they prefer an ordered, stable world easily understood. When confronted with a concept they tend to be very reluctant to alter a stance because their need for closure with definitive answers that cannot be altered if the new information touches a highly emotional subject for them. An the other hand if the topic has no emotional context they readily accept new information.

Of course religion and science contradict:

Age of the universe – 6,000 and 13.7billion

How life originated – creationism and evolution

They’re the two main ones, but if you want to be picky you could say that the moon doesn’t create its own light as the Bible suggests, the order of life we know from science (ie plants then animals) is opposite to the creation, scale of the universe etc

Yes, but pre-medieval thinkers were aware a large amount of mysticism was necessary for religion to work. You’re talking about another realm. Observations about this one are besides the point to the ancient.

in Come the Greeks and their nasty habits of caring whether things are consistent.

Theology gets convoluted and complicated, but theologians in the worlds of Islam, Christianity and Judaism find a way to make their doctrines consistent. (Jews being generally more willing to admit to the mystical, and therefore irreductible to reason, aspects of their tradition).

If you take the Bible literally (and how else are you supposed to take the true word of God?), and forget about its history for a moment, you do find yourself competing with science.
But that’s because you’re taking the caricatures of claims and setting them up against the research being done about this world, the one we all live in.

You’re bound to lose of course.
The funny part is they still expect to win.
The Catholic Church doesn’t pit St-Thomas Aquinas against Darwin. They refer to people like Theilard de Chardin, and go further into mysticism to finalize their position.

The fundies are trying to compete head-on with science. It’s Quixotic.

Faith – Belief in things regardless of evidence

Science – Evidence, always demand evidence.

I’d call that a contradiction. Especially since religion makes so many claims in areas of science (like the shape of the Earth, age of the Earth, origins of mankind, etc) that are flat out wrong.

Feel free to let us know what good things &quot:faith&quot: has brought to the table that could not be gotten through other means though. I fail to see how religions have done any good to this world with the exception of a few &quot:look at us doing good!&quot: charities they have.

&quot:NDE studies describe people having experiences with a beautiful and loving light while clinically dead. People often describe this light in the same way that ancient religious texts describe divine consciousness. This demonstrates how scientists have scaled the mountain of ignorance to overcome the dangerous pitfalls of confusion and conquered the steep summit of darkness to finally reach the peak of enlightenment only to find a group of holy men who have been sitting there for thousands of years.

So humanity’s struggle to ascertain the nature of light and consciousness seems to continue to be elusive. The more one tries to concentrate on the location and source of light and consciousness the more difficult they are to ascertain. The old paradigm of reliance on the scientific method appears unable to conquer these challenges because it assumes that nothing is true unless it can be quantified by the senses using this method. And if consciousness has neither physical essence nor locality then this paradigm may never be able to quantify it.

Thankfully, quantum theory is allowing new paradigms to take flight such as the theory that the basic building block of the universe is not matter but consciousness itself. This transcendent view of consciousness also is found in ancient religious texts. It is also found in recent scientific studies on prayer which show that hospital patients benefit from the prayers of strangers even when they aren’t aware that someone is praying for them. These studies have been interpreted by researchers to be an indication that consciousness behaves much like a magnetic field which can be affected by other magnetic fields.

The old paradigm of observing, theorizing, and predicting doesn’t work very well when studying light and consciousness – especially when it concerns NDEs. It also allows &quot:paradigm cops&quot: to dismiss NDEs as being caused by brain anomalies even though the cause of NDEs is not relevant to whether the experience is real or not. Nevertheless, recent studies have ruled out brain anomalies. The old paradigm denies a whole range of valid experiences including those described in ancient religious texts. It is this paradigm of the West that vehemently disregards out-of-body realms of consciousness. Albert Einstein, the father of the new paradigm, may have the old paradigm in mind when he said, &quot:All knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it.&quot: The new paradigm suggests that we don’t merely experience reality: we create reality with our minds. And if minds can transcend physical bodies and experience clear visions of verified events which they could not have possibly experienced under the old paradigm, then it is time to abandon the old paradigm and focus on the new one. This became even more obvious when in December of 2001, Dr. Pim van Lommel published an article in The Lancet, the United Kingdom’s highly respected journal of medicine, about a study he conducted showing that 18 percent of clinically dead patients recalled having a NDE. He also documented verified events that were experienced by patients from a perspective removed from their bodies.&quot:

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