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Old 01-14-2010, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
So if, as we both agree, that there is no scientific proof for God, then in what way is Dawkins any different to Billy Graham. Both are trying to convince people to have faith in something with is completely unprovable. Dawkins is trying to use the scientific method to prove something that does not exist. His conclusion commits one of the simplest philosophical fallacies (one that my 16 year old pupils understand). That fallacy is known as the Appeal to Ignorance - http://www.fallacyfiles.org/ignorant.html
You may want to read that link you provided one more time specifically the first point under Exposure:

Quote:
"There are a few types of reasoning which resemble the fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance, and need to be distinguished from it:
  1. Sometimes it is reasonable to argue from a lack of evidence for a proposition to the falsity of that proposition, when there is a presumption that the proposition is false. For instance, in American criminal law there is a presumption of innocence, which means that the burden of proof is on the prosecution, and if the prosecution fails to provide evidence of guilt then the jury must conclude that the defendant is innocent. Similarly, the burden of proof is usually on a person making a new or improbable claim, and the presumption may be that such a claim is false. For instance, suppose that I claim that I was taken by flying saucer to another planet, but when challenged I can supply no evidence of this unusual trip. It would not be an Appeal to Ignorance for you to reason that, since there is no evidence that I visited another planet, therefore I probably didn't do so."
Dawkins is not making claims that God can do this or that. Religion is making those claims therefore the burden of proof lies on Religion to prove those claims.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
As I said. We also have no proof that there is life on other planets and certainly not intelligent life. Some people have hypothesised - given the water on the moon and the size of the universe etc - that there must be other planets that could support intelligent life but that is all it is - hypothesis.
So the burden of proof falls on those making the claim to prove it. They are working on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
Some parts of the Bible are metaphorical. For instance the whole pre-diluvian period from Genesis 1-11 is generally believed to be metaphorical. There are some Christians who believe that the universe was created in 6 days, as we count days, however, I would take issue with their viewpoint also. It may have reflected the best thinking of the time but science has discovered things which are irrefutable, such as dinosaurs and evolution. From some of the articles I have read by Dawkins his main argument is... Darwin was right therefore God does not exist.
The people that believe the world was created in 6 days are the perfect customers for this place. Science has discovered many things which are irrefutable so why is it when you look at history that the Church tried to silence those who had view points that opposed theirs. Where would we be had the Church succeeded in suppressing Galileo's work? Again Dawkins doesn't have to prove anything the burden of proofs falls on religion which is making the claims.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
Why do we have to have Science versus Religion? Why can science not be the pursuit of knowledge of the material world and religion be the pursuit of supernatural knowledge?
Science is the pursuit of knowledge of the material world and religion maybe the pursuit of the supernatural but it still makes claims on the material world therefore science has every right to investigate those claims.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
Maybe you should read something by the physicist Paul Davies. He has a much more balanced view than Dawkins. His book the Mind of God is excellent and he is not a believer in God in the slightest.
Thanks for the suggestion. Apparently Paul Davies has been accused of having a religious agenda but I will take a look and see for myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chator View Post
I don't wish to get into this God debate, as I am a no-believer in the Christian God and am fine with people believing whatever they want as long as they don't try to force it down my and everyone else's throat.
I'm also fine with people believing whatever they want as long as they don't try to force it down my throat and the throats of others but this isn't really a debate about God. The points I'm trying to make here are the following:

1. Science has the right to research Religions claims.
2. Dawkins is not the opposite of a creationist.
3. Dawkins isn't calling all religious people delusional.
4. Dawkins logic is sound.
5. Not only theologians and philosophers have the authority to research religions claims.
6. An atheist can take offence to be being told to go to hell even if they don't believe in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chator View Post
I would just like to point out that the Vatican now says its okay to believe in both aliens and the gospel.
Oh, so nice of the Vatican to give me permission to believe in both aliens and the gospel now. What would I do with out their blessing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chator View Post
As for faith, there is plenty of faith in science, plenty of faith is required of scientists, many don't question the basic axioms on which their theories rest.
That's because they have been tested time and time again and the results have turned out to be the same. The scientists belief lies in years of testing even though it can't be proven 100%. We don't know what causes gravity but we know it's their and how it works because of years of testing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chator View Post
Many questions remain about evolution, even if you believe it is a fact and not a theory, its mechanism is not really understood. And scientists can be as fanatical in their faith in scientific theories as Christians are in their religious beliefs.
Burden of proof comes in to play here:

Scientist: "We are the product of evolution!"
Me: "Show me your reasearch!"
Scientist: "Here it is."

The scientist doesn't have to prove 100% that we are the product of evolution all he has to do is show this is the most likely scenario beyond a reasonable doubt.

EDIT: Scientist can't "prove" anything therefore I have corrected my mistake above.

Last edited by Enterprise Captain : 01-15-2010 at 04:31 AM.
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