Irreconcilable

Kavis
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Irreconcilable

Is the Bible compatible with science? Is the Qu'ran? What about the Torah? What about all the others, like the Eddas or the Bhagavad Gita? In short: no, they are not. 

One common claim is that some holy book or other reveals the speed of light, or some other piece of information only available to the scientifically literate. There are several problems with claims like these.  Firstly, people are pattern-seeking animals.  We should be wary of any claim which requires an ancient text to be massaged, manipulated, and even altered to produce the information. It isn't valid to say that some holy book details the speed of light if you have to fudge the numbers, construct a hypothetical that doesn't reflect reality at all, or cherry-pick quotations to get your argument's happy ending. 
Secondly, I thought these holy books were supposed to be the Word of some sort of God.  It would be impressive if found explicit information unavailable to the writers of these books at the times when they were written (as an aside - this is something I would consider circumstantial evidence of the truth of one of these books).  It is not impressive that we have to lie about reality and what the books actually say to come up with information that we only know about through independent human investigation.  What's the point of revelation if it doesn't tell us anything until after we already figured it out by actually learning about the universe? Is it really compatibility if we have to distort our understanding of the universe and the text itself to make them mesh?

Lastly, there is a much deeper problem with reconciling these books with science.  Science is more than a collection of data.  It is a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method.  Testing is the crucial aspect.  Science draws much from the rational approach to epistemology, the idea that testing our ideas for contradictions and falsity reveals genuine knowledge about the cosmos.   This approach is fundamentally incompatible with the revelatory nature of religious texts. 

Holy books ask us to accept on faith that the information they contain reflects reality.  Necessarily, as the product of divine revelation, that information must be complete and perfect (else it would not be true, or divine revelation). This requires no mental effort on the part a person beyond that necessary to simply read and absorb the knowledge.

As such (and without pausing to consider whether either the scientific approach to knowledge or the revelatory approach to knowledge is true) we can see quite clearly they are irreconcilable, even if both happened to provide accurate knowledge of the cosmos.

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Relation between Science and

Relation between Science and Religion is something very interesting; indeed we can notice that believers' view is very conflicting:

          

 

Some view anything that contradicts their Book as being absolutely false, which leads to pseudoscientific theories or, in worse cases, pure obscurantism; for instance by burning any "false' documents lest Satan's idea will be spread all over the world.

Others considers contradictions as being actually perfectlly accepted as a fact by most scientists. This kind of thinking is very widespread in Islam, where for instance many islamic website twists some principles or theories of geology and misquote great geologists to credit the quranic claim that mountains could act as stabilizers for the earth; even a Muslim geologist (Dr.Zanghoul Al Naggar), despite of his knowledge, brought empirical arguments for that claim in his book (that are irrelevant and weak).

An other example is the Split of the Moon, a miracle attributed to the prophet Muhammad. According to muslim sources, he had split the Moon in 2 halves and then united it back as a sign against the disbelievers of his epoch. The same Muslim scientist argues that astronomers recently discovers lunar geological features showing such a recent split.

 

The last but not the least, others intepret contradictory verses as being metaphor, allegories. Of course, in some case it's arbitrary to do so; it's a game to avoid empirical error, a game which is done post facto, what a coincidence! They justify it by saying: "as this interpretation is scientifically wrong, it's not the intended one, because God is perfect". Can't you see the circular reasoning?

 

 

 

 

 


iwbiek
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Kavis wrote:Is the Bible

Kavis wrote:

Is the Bible compatible with science? Is the Qu'ran? What about the Torah? What about all the others, like the Eddas or the Bhagavad Gita? In short: no, they are not. 

 

can't help pointing out that you're really only talking about two holy books here, since the torah is just the first five books of the bible, the eddas are not "holy books" in the sense of divine revelations that humans should receive as unchallengeable instruction, and the gita is only part of an epic poem (the mahabharata) that hindus find edifying but not a "holy book."  think of it as "mere christianity" or "my utmost for his highest" for hindus (gross oversimplification, of course).  the closest thing the hindus have to a "holy book" in the abrahamic sense are the vedas, which are massive.  point being, i know of no mainstream hindu who would ever infer that the vedas are "compatible with science," nor that they should be, and as for those norsemen who first heard the stories collected in the prose or poetic edda, they would most likely shrug at such a question.

come to think of it, as far the torah or the rest of the hebrew bible goes, only ultraorthodox jews make a claim for scientific "compatibility."

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


Kavis
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iwbiek wrote:Kavis wrote:Is

iwbiek wrote:

Kavis wrote:

Is the Bible compatible with science? Is the Qu'ran? What about the Torah? What about all the others, like the Eddas or the Bhagavad Gita? In short: no, they are not. 

 

can't help pointing out that you're really only talking about two holy books here, since the torah is just the first five books of the bible, the eddas are not "holy books" in the sense of divine revelations that humans should receive as unchallengeable instruction, and the gita is only part of an epic poem (the mahabharata) that hindus find edifying but not a "holy book."  think of it as "mere christianity" or "my utmost for his highest" for hindus (gross oversimplification, of course).  the closest thing the hindus have to a "holy book" in the abrahamic sense are the vedas, which are massive.  point being, i know of no mainstream hindu who would ever infer that the vedas are "compatible with science," nor that they should be, and as for those norsemen who first heard the stories collected in the prose or poetic edda, they would most likely shrug at such a question.

come to think of it, as far the torah or the rest of the hebrew bible goes, only ultraorthodox jews make a claim for scientific "compatibility."

I included the Gita and the Eddas really out of a misaimed sense of inclusion.  You're right, they're not really "revealed" WoG, any more than the Epic of Gilgamesh is.  I stand chastened.

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iwbiek
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Kavis wrote:iwbiek

Kavis wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

Kavis wrote:

Is the Bible compatible with science? Is the Qu'ran? What about the Torah? What about all the others, like the Eddas or the Bhagavad Gita? In short: no, they are not. 

 

can't help pointing out that you're really only talking about two holy books here, since the torah is just the first five books of the bible, the eddas are not "holy books" in the sense of divine revelations that humans should receive as unchallengeable instruction, and the gita is only part of an epic poem (the mahabharata) that hindus find edifying but not a "holy book."  think of it as "mere christianity" or "my utmost for his highest" for hindus (gross oversimplification, of course).  the closest thing the hindus have to a "holy book" in the abrahamic sense are the vedas, which are massive.  point being, i know of no mainstream hindu who would ever infer that the vedas are "compatible with science," nor that they should be, and as for those norsemen who first heard the stories collected in the prose or poetic edda, they would most likely shrug at such a question.

come to think of it, as far the torah or the rest of the hebrew bible goes, only ultraorthodox jews make a claim for scientific "compatibility."

I included the Gita and the Eddas really out of a misaimed sense of inclusion.  You're right, they're not really "revealed" WoG, any more than the Epic of Gilgamesh is.  I stand chastened.

 

my goodness, "chastened" was hardly my intent!   still, i think it's important to know the enemy in a given situation, and so far the only religions that have insisted on their fairy tales over modern science to a large degree are christianity and islam, as well as their immediate offspring (mormons, nation of islam, etc.).

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


Atheistextremist
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I think the fact the abra-theists

 

try to hitch their square wheeled carts to the scientific semi-trailer is a good thing. Even though they are clearly talking shit, it's evident they feel the need for an oblique bow to the law of repeatable experiment.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Kavis
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Atheistextremist wrote: try

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

try to hitch their square wheeled carts to the scientific semi-trailer is a good thing. Even though they are clearly talking shit, it's evident they feel the need for an oblique bow to the law of repeatable experiment.

When the theists try to claim respectability by wrapping their nonsense in pseudo-science, science wins?

Religion is a virus.
Fight the infection.


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I am often disappointed by

I am often disappointed by the number of Atheists, even prominent ones, who want to deny that there is any fundamental or inevitable logical or necessary conflict (in the metaphorical sense) between Science and Religion.

It is true that the fundamental lack of logical and coherent foundation in religion allows people to twist things around, provide special interpretations, to avoid the more common contradictions in the two approaches to reality.

But the very subjective and rubbery 'logic' that is fundamental to religious 'thinking' that allows such accommodation is what makes it fundamentally incompatible with the Scientific approach.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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BobSpence1 wrote:I am often

BobSpence1 wrote:

I am often disappointed by the number of Atheists, even prominent ones, who want to deny that there is any fundamental or inevitable logical or necessary conflict (in the metaphorical sense) between Science and Religion.

It is true that the fundamental lack of logical and coherent foundation in religion allows people to twist things around, provide special interpretations, to avoid the more common contradictions in the two approaches to reality.

But the very subjective and rubbery 'logic' that is fundamental to religious 'thinking' that allows such accommodation is what makes it fundamentally incompatible with the Scientific approach.

 

I guess it depends on the religion though.  Some theistic ideas are not incompatible with science...deism, maybe even very liberal standard theism...but any kind of fundamentalism where objective claims are made about reality is certainly incompatible with science.

I think most of them are just trying to sound moderate.  But you are right, science and religion are not compatible most of the time, when you get down to it.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Hey john, whats it say

Hey john, whats it say in job about the germ cell on slide 14?

Hurry, pass me two bibles I want to test the theory of gravity over an open flame.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
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Not what I meant

Kavis wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

try to hitch their square wheeled carts to the scientific semi-trailer is a good thing. Even though they are clearly talking shit, it's evident they feel the need for an oblique bow to the law of repeatable experiment.

When the theists try to claim respectability by wrapping their nonsense in pseudo-science, science wins?

 

Many theists now believe the earth is round, evolution is a fact, science works, etc. This means they are painted into a corner when they insist science doesn't work when they don't want it to. Pseudo science is another topic altogether.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:Kavis

Atheistextremist wrote:

Kavis wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

try to hitch their square wheeled carts to the scientific semi-trailer is a good thing. Even though they are clearly talking shit, it's evident they feel the need for an oblique bow to the law of repeatable experiment.

When the theists try to claim respectability by wrapping their nonsense in pseudo-science, science wins?

 

Many theists now believe the earth is round, evolution is a fact, science works, etc. This means they are painted into a corner when they insist science doesn't work when they don't want it to. Pseudo science is another topic altogether.

 

 

 

 

Someone close to me believes in evolution, thinks we came from a monkey, knows dinosaurs existed millions of years ago and is still a baptist. I don't really get it, abstract religion? What is it when you can pick the little parts out that you do like, and ignore the rest?

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


kidvelvet
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Atheistextremist wrote:Kavis

Atheistextremist wrote:

Kavis wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

try to hitch their square wheeled carts to the scientific semi-trailer is a good thing. Even though they are clearly talking shit, it's evident they feel the need for an oblique bow to the law of repeatable experiment.

When the theists try to claim respectability by wrapping their nonsense in pseudo-science, science wins?

 

Many theists now believe the earth is round, evolution is a fact, science works, etc. This means they are painted into a corner when they insist science doesn't work when they don't want it to. Pseudo science is another topic altogether.

 

The problem with using any holy book is that you get painted into a corner no matter what your approach.

If you take it literally, you end up with a boatload of errants and contradiction, so you have to take some parts and throw some parts out as "no longer relevant".  Really?  Which parts aren't relevant?  I don't see any expiration dates...

If you try to reinterpret, you are not only trying to figure out the different meanings of ancient words, you are also not taking into account the discrepancies from oral tradition (where "I had dunked my Oreo" ends up as "I bought junk in Rio&quotEye-wink.  You are chasing so many rabbit holes that you end up debating what "is" is.

If you take everything as allegory (which would probably describe my parents the best), you then end up asking "Is God real or allegory?"

 

Dolt:"Evolution is just a theory."
Me:"Yes, so is light and gravity. Pardon me while I flash this strobe while dropping a bowling ball on your head. This shouldn't bother you; after all, these are just theories."


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kidvelvet

kidvelvet wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Kavis wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

try to hitch their square wheeled carts to the scientific semi-trailer is a good thing. Even though they are clearly talking shit, it's evident they feel the need for an oblique bow to the law of repeatable experiment.

When the theists try to claim respectability by wrapping their nonsense in pseudo-science, science wins?

 

Many theists now believe the earth is round, evolution is a fact, science works, etc. This means they are painted into a corner when they insist science doesn't work when they don't want it to. Pseudo science is another topic altogether.

 

The problem with using any holy book is that you get painted into a corner no matter what your approach.

If you take it literally, you end up with a boatload of errants and contradiction, so you have to take some parts and throw some parts out as "no longer relevant".  Really?  Which parts aren't relevant?  I don't see any expiration dates...

If you try to reinterpret, you are not only trying to figure out the different meanings of ancient words, you are also not taking into account the discrepancies from oral tradition (where "I had dunked my Oreo" ends up as "I bought junk in Rio&quotEye-wink.  You are chasing so many rabbit holes that you end up debating what "is" is.

If you take everything as allegory (which would probably describe my parents the best), you then end up asking "Is God real or allegory?"

 

 

however, i think it might be useful to add that, at least as far as christianity goes, the idea of taking the bible literally, as well as so-called biblical "inerrancy," is relatively new.  much of it stems from the revival and low-church movements of the 19th century.  both the eastern and western churches in the middle ages had very elaborate allegorical interpretations of pretty much the entire bible, especially the old testament. 

men like galileo were persecuted more for their threat to scholasticism than their threat to a literal interpretation of the bible, and scholasticism owes much more to aristotle than the bible.  just observe dante: his cosmology is not the cosmology of the hebrew bible, with its flat disk and the heavens stretched over it like a tent, but rather the cosmology of aristotle, with a spherical earth encased in multiple concentric spheres.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


kidvelvet
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iwbiek wrote:kidvelvet

iwbiek wrote:

kidvelvet wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Kavis wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

try to hitch their square wheeled carts to the scientific semi-trailer is a good thing. Even though they are clearly talking shit, it's evident they feel the need for an oblique bow to the law of repeatable experiment.

When the theists try to claim respectability by wrapping their nonsense in pseudo-science, science wins?

 

Many theists now believe the earth is round, evolution is a fact, science works, etc. This means they are painted into a corner when they insist science doesn't work when they don't want it to. Pseudo science is another topic altogether.

 

The problem with using any holy book is that you get painted into a corner no matter what your approach.

If you take it literally, you end up with a boatload of errants and contradiction, so you have to take some parts and throw some parts out as "no longer relevant".  Really?  Which parts aren't relevant?  I don't see any expiration dates...

If you try to reinterpret, you are not only trying to figure out the different meanings of ancient words, you are also not taking into account the discrepancies from oral tradition (where "I had dunked my Oreo" ends up as "I bought junk in Rio&quotEye-wink.  You are chasing so many rabbit holes that you end up debating what "is" is.

If you take everything as allegory (which would probably describe my parents the best), you then end up asking "Is God real or allegory?"

 

 

however, i think it might be useful to add that, at least as far as christianity goes, the idea of taking the bible literally, as well as so-called biblical "inerrancy," is relatively new.  much of it stems from the revival and low-church movements of the 19th century.  both the eastern and western churches in the middle ages had very elaborate allegorical interpretations of pretty much the entire bible, especially the old testament. 

men like galileo were persecuted more for their threat to scholasticism than their threat to a literal interpretation of the bible, and scholasticism owes much more to aristotle than the bible.  just observe dante: his cosmology is not the cosmology of the hebrew bible, with its flat disk and the heavens stretched over it like a tent, but rather the cosmology of aristotle, with a spherical earth encased in multiple concentric spheres.

I remember reading The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong, where she attributes the separation of mythos and logos was essentially lost with a fundamentalist uprising in both Christianity and Islam.  For both religions to survive, they had to fight against science.  They did this by mixing logic with myth, whereas in the past, the two were considered separate entities with different purposes.  This is in line with what you are stating with the rise of the low-church movements in the 19th century.

I would say that the Catholic church is trying to go back to that separation (to an extent) with saying that Evolution is in line with the Catholic doctorine.  Their stance is that prophesy was written 2000 years ago, and science is modern, and the two serve different purposes.  My personal opinion is that it is an acceptance in order to keep a dwindling congregation from leaving the church.

Do you agree with Karen that the fundamentalist movement is a direct result of the rise of science, or do you think that other factors came into play?

Dolt:"Evolution is just a theory."
Me:"Yes, so is light and gravity. Pardon me while I flash this strobe while dropping a bowling ball on your head. This shouldn't bother you; after all, these are just theories."


iwbiek
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kidvelvet wrote:Do you agree

kidvelvet wrote:

Do you agree with Karen that the fundamentalist movement is a direct result of the rise of science, or do you think that other factors came into play?

 

i'm think it goes further back than that.  clearly there was fundamentalism before darwin's theory was made popular, and i can't think of any other scientific theory prior to that that got the fundamentalists so riled.  i think the enlightenment in general had a lot to do with it, not just from the scientific, but also the philosophical and political angle, and especially the economic.  fundamentalism always arises when a certain people group feel threatened, and in the case of christian fundamentalism i think most of it had to do with laissez-faire capitalism and the incredible gulf between rich and poor in the nineteenth century.  the poor had to feel 100% certain of a blissful afterlife in order to function, and thus any religion they followed had to be cut-and-dry, free of all ambiguities. 

the uneducated rural population (and it's important to bear in mind that christian fundamentalism was initially a rural movement, both in england and the US) had neither the tools nor the time to puzzle out allegorical niceties, and the fiercely independent mindset of the average american could never conceive of entrusting his spiritual welfare to a priest who would think about these things for him.  the farmer/villager needed a religion he could inspect just as he would any piece of livestock.  the word of god had to be taken literally through and through if its promises could be considered reliable--and, of course, the farmer/villager started from the position that they must be reliable, otherwise life would be intolerable.  hence the resultant anti-intellectualism.

of course, the ironic thing is that, with the triumph of the workers in russia in 1917 and the rising popularity of socialist ideology in the US, the wealthy right began more and more to coopt fundamentalism as it felt increasingly threatened.  in the part of eastern kentucky where i come from, you're now a bit more likely (emphasis on "a bit" ) to find more agnostics and cultural christians among the poor, and firmly convinced, bible-studying fundies among the upper middle-class.  as the older generation of rural poor dies out, i expect this trend to disparity to become more dramatic.  after all, it's now the homeowners and small businessmen who are on the defensive in america.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen