AiN and other Theists: The argument for evolution as a religion

MichaelMcF
Science Freak
MichaelMcF's picture
Posts: 525
Joined: 2008-01-22
User is offlineOffline
AiN and other Theists: The argument for evolution as a religion

Hi folks.  I'm going to copy in part of a response I got from AiN in another thread that I'd like to use as the springboard for a discussion:

 

AtheismIsNonsense wrote:

IT'S NOT SCIENTIFIC, IT'S PHILOSOPHY, LIKE OTHER PHILOSOPHICAL VIEWS IT'S HELD ON TO RELIGIOUSLY AND CANNOT BE PROVEN SCIENTIFICALLY. IT'S NOT SCIENTIFIC! GET THAT THROUGH YOUR THICK RELIGIOUSLY BIGOTED HEADS! I MEAN EVEN AT THE BIRTH OF EVOLUTION, IT WAS RIGHTLY LABELED AS A PHILOSOPHICAL VIEW. TRADING GOD FOR MATTER OR NATURE DOESN'T MAKE IT ANY LESS RELIGIOUS OR PHILOSOPHICAL.

 

This is an argument that comes up time and time again.  Evolution isn't proven scientifically, it's not science and is therefore a religion.  There's nothing that atheists have to prove that this world view is more accurate than philosophy X.  For the time being I'm going to be kind enough to ignore the suggestions that evolution is non-scientific.  I'm going to take this argument at face value.

AiN and other theists, do you accept that the following is an accurate description of your position? - Evolution does not follow scientific principles and as such cannot claim to proven or true, and should be regarded as a religion because it is based solely on philosophical principles.  If you do not accept this statement could you please provide a more accurate definition of your position?

If, on the other hand, you do accept that this is your position then I'd like you to respond to the following based upon that position:

  • Do you accept that science, given its ability to describe the natural world, holds greater truth value than philosophical positions which cannot be proven to be true?  Yes/No.
  • Regardless of your previous answer, do you believe that things which have been proven scientifically are more believable than philosophical constructs because of the evidence behind them? Yes/No.

If your answer to both the above questions is No, I would like to know why, in an effort to tarnish its validity, you wish to move evolution away from the arena of science.  If science adds to the validity of a proposal you must answer Yes to one of the above.  If science doesn't add to the validity* of a proposal why are you desperate to claim that evolution isn't scientific?

If your answer to either of the above questions was Yes could you now provide an answer to the following:

  • Do you accept that your religious/theistic viewpoint is a philosophical position?  Yes/No
  • Do you accept that your religious/theistic viewpoint, given its reliance on supernatural, cannot be proven by science?
  • Do you accept, given that science adds validity to a position*, that your religious/theistic viewpoint holds less truth value and/or is less believable than one which can be proven scientifically?

 

* for bonus points, if you maintain that science does not increase the validity of a positions I'd like to hear you explain why this is.

 

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
Yah, this one has been

Yah, this one has been kicking around for a while and it is annoying. I think that it most likely got started back in the 80's with the idea that creation could be scientific.

 

The problem is that if you take a scientific theory and call it a religion, what does that say about religion? Seriously, the last time that I checked, creationism is based in religion. If one is to call anything a religion in order to label it as automatically wrong, then one has already admitted that religion is a problem in itself.

 

So the charge reduces christianity to the same status as the followers of John Frum.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


MichaelMcF
Science Freak
MichaelMcF's picture
Posts: 525
Joined: 2008-01-22
User is offlineOffline
bump

giving my own post some bumpage... just because I'd like to see an answer to this.  I'm not holding my breath seeing as AiN seems to have run away again but maybe someone else will give it a bash.

 

EDIT:  I'll also clarify that I am aiming this at theists that have made the above argument

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
 You want simple Yes/No

 You want simple Yes/No answers from theists on the topic of evolution?

Good luck.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Ciarin
Theist
Ciarin's picture
Posts: 778
Joined: 2008-09-08
User is offlineOffline
MichaelMcF wrote: AiN and

MichaelMcF wrote:

 

AiN and other theists, do you accept that the following is an accurate description of your position? - Evolution does not follow scientific principles and as such cannot claim to proven or true, and should be regarded as a religion because it is based solely on philosophical principles.  If you do not accept this statement could you please provide a more accurate definition of your position?

 

I do not accept that statement. Which position would you like me to provide a more accurate definition of?


MichaelMcF
Science Freak
MichaelMcF's picture
Posts: 525
Joined: 2008-01-22
User is offlineOffline
Ciarin wrote:MichaelMcF

Ciarin wrote:

MichaelMcF wrote:

 

AiN and other theists, do you accept that the following is an accurate description of your position? - Evolution does not follow scientific principles and as such cannot claim to proven or true, and should be regarded as a religion because it is based solely on philosophical principles.  If you do not accept this statement could you please provide a more accurate definition of your position?

 

I do not accept that statement. Which position would you like me to provide a more accurate definition of?

 

I knew this would happen.  It's why I put that EDIT disclaimer in my last message here.  I'm really only directing this thread at theists that have argued that belief in evolution is a religion.  I've not seen you do that, and none of your posts I've read seem to suggest that you're in this camp, so you get a free pass Eye-wink

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


Ciarin
Theist
Ciarin's picture
Posts: 778
Joined: 2008-09-08
User is offlineOffline
LOL, it happens.

LOL, it happens.


djneibarger
Superfan
djneibarger's picture
Posts: 564
Joined: 2007-04-13
User is offlineOffline
 for me it just falls into

 for me it just falls into the category of yet another way to dodge the only issue that matters. atheists don't believe in god. atheists don't have to prove god doesn't exist, the burden of proof is on the believer.

the believer has no proof, and therefore no argument, so what's the best strategy to combat the godless atheists? spin the conversation off into trivial, meaningless, circular arguments that mean nothing and prove nothing.

it would save us all a lot of time and keyboard tapping if the believer would just throw up their hands and say "i got nothin". short, to the point, and honest.

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3501
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is offlineOffline
   Well if the theists (

   Well if the theists ( especially those of the YEC bent ) want to reject evidence for natural selection, the various dating methods, etc, then let them.    

  Having done that, as a tribute to fair play require Christians to provide scientific evidence to confirm their claims that the human race is descended from Adam and Eve.

  Provide scientific evidence that the Earth ( and / or the universe ) is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old.

  

   


Ciarin
Theist
Ciarin's picture
Posts: 778
Joined: 2008-09-08
User is offlineOffline
djneibarger wrote:so what's

djneibarger wrote:

so what's the best strategy to combat the godless atheists?

 

How about not all theists need to combat atheists?


treat2 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
djneibarger wrote: for me

djneibarger wrote:

 for me it just falls into the category of yet another way to dodge the only issue that matters. atheists don't believe in god. atheists don't have to prove god doesn't exist, the burden of proof is on the believer.

the believer has no proof, and therefore no argument, so what's the best strategy to combat the godless atheists? spin the conversation off into trivial, meaningless, circular arguments that mean nothing and prove nothing.

it would save us all a lot of time and keyboard tapping if the believer would just throw up their hands and say "i got nothin". short, to the point, and honest.

Yep.


treat2 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Ciarin wrote:djneibarger

Ciarin wrote:

djneibarger wrote:

so what's the best strategy to combat the godless atheists?

 

How about not all theists need to combat atheists?

Sure, but that's not the unexpressed intent of this thread's author.


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
My personal difficulty even

My personal difficulty even addressing arguments like that is the enormous misunderstandings inherent in almost every aspect of them. Combine ignorance of philosophy, science, and rational thought in general, and you have your conclusions above. How can one combat that in one fell swoop?

Education takes a long time, and the kind of person who would reach conclusions without a process of discovery is most likely unable to engage in that kind of effort. Answers to even basic questions about the above type of argument eventually lead to cop-outs, because there's no way to address the gaps in reasoning without attacking the ego of the arguer.

While it may be accurate to say, "you are ignorant of the following ..." it doesn't really solve the problem presented by the ignorance. We're still left with a barrage of ALL CAPS SHOUTING which amounts to nothing more than a massive misunderstanding of the topic at hand.

The topic at hand is really sense and nonsense. There's a lot of nonsense, because making sense is a much more difficult process than jabbering incoherently.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


crazymonkie
Silver Member
crazymonkie's picture
Posts: 336
Joined: 2009-03-09
User is offlineOffline
Well of course it's mostly

Well of course it's mostly nonsense, and we're looking at someone who doesn't care about reality. This is AiN, after all. He's the one who inspired Michael to take him to task about this. Though since he can't run off onto a tangent about how atheism=nihilism and that determinism means that ALL things humans do are meaningless (in all senses), he might not even show up. If he does, it won't be pretty, and it won't go anywhere. As with all the rest of the threads where he's been involved.

OrdinaryClay wrote:
If you don't believe your non-belief then you don't believe and you must not be an atheist.