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Theology

posted by kaptein_kaffe on - last edited - Viewed by 2.3K users

Discussing religion is generally a very bad idea on the internet, but there are a lot of down to earth and rational people on this forum so I decided to give it a go.

I want to hear your beliefs. Also, try to keep an open mind and show respect to other people's opinions. I don't care weather you're a fanatic catholic, fanatic atheist or whatever. Arguing about "who's right" is just a terrible cliche.

Personally I believe that there is a god. I'm not agnostic, I believe in god, but that's just my own spiritual reflection on it. I don't judge other religions and say that "this is right", it's more along the lines of Baruch de Spinoza's take on it where you see god as everything. Maybe there's a word for what that is, I don't know. I prefer to look at everything that is beyond our understanding with humility. Most of my religious knowledge lies within catholicism and I generally agree with the ten commandments, but I also believe that the religion is blurred for the sake of politics, ways of maintaining order and fanatic influences (edit: + things that are lost in translation). In short, I'm a read between the lines kind of guy.

My knowledge on the subject is limited, so it's possible that I won't be able to keep up with the discussion. I'd just like to hear your views :)

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  • The way people here react to bad grammer you think it would be a religion.

  • The proper spelling is grammar.

    (Brought to you by the religion of nit-pickers.)

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    Jennifer Moderator

    @Alcoremortis said: I object to sticking science in with religions. Science is an observation of fact and method of predicting facts that we can't directly observe. Sticking it with religion is like saying history is a religion or math is a religion or that proper grammer is a religion.


    Religion is defined as "details of belief as taught or discussed".

    They all fit that definition. Belief is defined as "an opinion or conviction" (conviction being a firmly held opinion). Science fits the bill for conviction as it is firmly held opinion (made firm by observation) (and it even fits as opinion (not so firmly held) as there are often many differing views of the same observation in scientific circles). Math and proper grammar would also fit this definition as they are definite convictions (based on years of refinement and scholarly agreement on their proper usage), and, as with science, opinion would also fit (as there are often differing views such whether smooth compact manifolds without boundary have infinitely many closed geodesics, whether ain't is a proper word, etc.). History fits as well, as it's a conviction (because of written and observed information) and also opinion would fit (as, with everything else, there are differing views (such as whether King Arthur (or a king with a similar or different name who could inspired the legends) ever really existed, etc.).

    The way I see it, everything is connected: science, religion, math, history, and art. It's all just an expression of humans to try to better find a fit for themselves in the universe. Thus, they are all compatible with each other.

  • Except science isn't a belief or an opinion. Science is the journey to discovering a fact. It is seeking the absolute truth based on the evidence available. The interpretation of the evidence will vary, but eventually irrefutable proof will be reached... may take a long time, but it's an eventual goal.

    The only expression is how we rationalize our observations to understand them. But the science doesn't change depending on what we think of it. Gravity existed in one form long before anyone ever considered it and even if we got it wrong it would still be exactly the same regardless of what we thought.

    To me religion is based on faith which in essence is believing the unprovable. There is absolutely no way you can prove that God exists and similarly no way you can prove God does not exist. You have to have faith one way or the other, but there is no certainty except that what your faith gives you.

    In short, to say that science is the same thing as religion is to betray everything that science represents. I would say instead that philosophy could be counted as the same thing as religion. Philosophy is the precursor to science in that it merely hypothesized about the state of the universe, with little attempt to provide evidence for those ideas. But until we have experimental or applied theology, I'll be keeping science separate.

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    Jennifer Moderator

    An opinion is defined as "A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge." Note the not necessarily bit, thus if it's based on fact or knowledge it can still be considered an opinion. Take Stephen Hawking's theory that matter is destroyed in black holes. It's controversial as it goes against one of the most principle laws of physics, that matter can be converted but it can never be destroyed. He backed it up with a brilliant mathematical equation, but it's still an opinion, at least until we can observe how matter reacts in black holes.

    [quote=Alcoremortis]In short, to say that science is the same thing as religion is to betray everything that science represents.[/quote]
    I never actually said science is the same as religion, I just stated that they are connected (a better word would be compatible), as they are both a way to explain the universe in a way that our minds can understand (although, as you said the methodology is different), and that they are both based on opinion until the point where something can be observed as fact (which hasn't happened yet with religion, but I wouldn't rule anything out as I firmly believe that anything's possible).

    As I said in my original post that brought up this debate, it's definitely possible that science is the act of a higher power. It's certainly possible that it isn't as well, but that is beyond our comprehension at the moment, which is why science and religion both exist.

  • My point is that if science is the act of a higher power, it is no longer science.

  • although i live life with science being the way that i observe the world and react to it, observation can be manipulated.

    the only real fact of life is that i exist, i can't be 100% certain of anything else.

    so even though i wouldn't say that science is a religion, i still relies on a certain amount of "faith" (that could be the wrong word) that what we observe is true, how do i know that when i die i wont see a game over screen and wake up?

    i can't know with 100% certainty, but there is no point on dwelling on something that is impossible be sure of, so i just have to accept life as it is and learn as much as i can about the world i can observe (even if what i observe could all be a lie)

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    Jennifer Moderator

    @Alcoremortis said: My point is that if science is the act of a higher power, it is no longer science.


    There are many scientists who believe as I do that science can co-exist with a higher power. Science is the quest for knowledge through experimentation and observation. There are clearly rules that govern our universe. It doesn't matter if they were created by a higher power, if they were created by the universe itself, or if time truly is infinite and they simply were always there, the fact is that these rules do exist, so the correct conclusions gained through science will remain valid regardless of their origin.

  • @Jennifer said: There are many scientists who believe as I do that science can co-exist with a higher power. Science is the quest for knowledge through experimentation and observation. There are clearly rules that govern our universe. It doesn't matter if they were created by a higher power, if they were created by the universe itself, or if time truly is infinite and they simply were always there, the fact is that these rules do exist, so the correct conclusions gained through science will remain valid regardless of their origin.

    I've always hated that science uses the terms "laws" and "rules" because they use them in a context that is different than they are used anywhere else. A law, scientifically, is just an observed behavior for which an exception hasn't been found. That doesn't mean that there are actual rules that the universe has to follow because that suggests that there's something apart from the universe that is governing it. It's just our observation of the behavior of the universe.

    I also hate that science uses the word "theory" differently from everybody else too because it leads to so many, "Well, evolution just a theory" arguments and I'm tired of having to tell people that a scientific theory is not the same as a conspiracy theory.

    ...but this isn't the science thread, I'm guessing.

  • @Jennifer said: There are many scientists who believe as I do that science can co-exist with a higher power. Science is the quest for knowledge through experimentation and observation. There are clearly rules that govern our universe. It doesn't matter if they were created by a higher power, if they were created by the universe itself, or if time truly is infinite and they simply were always there, the fact is that these rules do exist, so the correct conclusions gained through science will remain valid regardless of their origin.

    I think it's fine to believe in God and also pursue a career in science. But pursuing a career in science with the mindset that God made a clever ordered universe with a neat little set of rules is not good science. The whole idea of science is that you don't know something and you want to find the truth, regardless of what personal beliefs it might upset. It's really hard to do this, but the sound of science happening isn't "Eureka". It's "Huh. That's weird."

    A lot of Christian scientists irritate me because of this. I'm talking the type that pursue scientific knowledge unless it conflicts with something from scripture, in which case they throw the science out the window in favor of the Bible.

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