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  #271  
Old 01-13-2010, 12:50 PM
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janeway72 janeway72 is offline
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[color=black]No one has 100% scientific proof that God exists or doesn't exist so what does that leave us with? That leaves us with nothing so then technically the debate should be over but it's not, why? Because we have evidence of Gods existence with in the holly books. For the sake of this discussion lets use the Bible because that is what we are both more familiar with as we were both raised as Christians. The Bible tells us about God, Jesus etc. and events that took place in the past Noah's Ark etc. Does the Bible claim those people and events took place in a fictional universe or in the real world, our universe? Obviously it's the latter or else the debate would be over at that point. So if the Bible is making claims about our universe then it is only fair that it is subject to the laws of our universe therefore science comes in to play. This is where the whole science vs. religion debate comes from.

What Dawkins has done is weighed the evidence presented by both sides and come to a conclusion. He presents his conclusion and how he came to it in his book "The God Delusion." It's up to the reader to then look at Dawkins argument and evidence vs. Religions argument and evidence and then come to their own conclusion based on which argument is more plausible in respect to the evidence. If we knew with 100% certainty God exists or he/she/it doesn't then there would be no debate.
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

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. .

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.

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?

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.
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  #272  
Old 01-13-2010, 09:36 PM
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There is also evidence to show it is plausible for life to exist on other planets and we are finding more all the time. We just found ice on the Moon and on Mars. You said faith is illogical and that's because it doesn't require someone to weigh the evidence, all you have to do is believe.
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 would just like to point out that the Vatican now says its okay to believe in both aliens and the gospel. 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. 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.
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  #273  
Old 01-14-2010, 07:01 AM
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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:

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"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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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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  #274  
Old 01-14-2010, 07:26 AM
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Scientists cannot prove something, they can only attribute likelihoods to hypotheses. Statistical methods might seem like an irrelevant detail, but it is important to understand empirical work and realize that science is inherently humble.
Unless mirror-creationists enter the stage and don't realize that they are in a universe in which their tools don't work.

I have discussed here with a creationist and we went into circles after some time and now the same happens just the other way around, mirror-creationist BS. No disrespect to anyone implied, it was always fun to discuss issues with you, EC, especially in the good ol' times.
But as we are going in circles I am out of here.
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  #275  
Old 01-14-2010, 09:21 AM
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That's because they have been tested time and time again and the results have turned out to be the same. It is no longer faith it is fact.

Burden of proof comes in to play here:

Scientist: "We are the product of evolution!"
Me: "Prove it!"
Scientist: "Here is my research."

The scientist doesn't have to prove 100% that we are the product of evolution all he has to do is prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
Scientific theories result from tested hypotheses, which are developed to explain a given set of facts and relationships that are observable, or inferenced. But to think a scientific theory represents ultimate truth is wrong, only religion deals with absolutes in this manner. Scientific theories change overtime. They are not simply refined, they undergo dramatic reversals and revisions, at times. And they tend to be governed in their expression by the existing dominant paradigms the scientists are operating under. It is not a simple matter that science is based on fact and religion is based on faith. Religous views maybe based on facts as well, and scientists are required to have faith in the theories, concepts, axioms, and paradigms of their predecessors and culture.

Last edited by chator : 01-14-2010 at 09:29 AM.
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  #276  
Old 01-14-2010, 09:47 AM
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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 would just like to point out that the Vatican now says its okay to believe in both aliens and the gospel. 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. 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.



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  #277  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:34 AM
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[quote=Enterprise Captain;294846]

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.

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.

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]

Yes, Dawkins cast doubt on Davies. But Davies states categorically that he is no theist.

1. Science does have the right to research religious claims but it won't get very far because the supernatural is outwith the material world

2. Dawkins is trying to prove that God does not exist because evolution does. Plenty of scientists believe in God

3. Dawkins says that God is a delusion. If I believe in something that is a delusion then I am delusional. He is trying to pacify Theists with semantics.

4. Dawkins logic is not sound. You are saying that God is a preposterous idea which is why the appeal to ignorance doesn't work for this. Explain to me what caused the Big Bang. If you can't then the idea of a greater power is not preposterous. Millions of people would be willing to attest to personal experiences of that greater power. Can Dawkins disprove these experiences? I doubt it. There is evidence for the existence of God but there is not enough to state for certainty that he exists. In the same way that there is not enough to prove that he doesn't.

5. You are correct that not just philosophers and theologians have the right to question religion. But don't expect me to pay any credence to a guy with a doctorate in Zoology about questions of philosophy. I don't care much for his opinion on Shakespeare either. But if he wants to write a book on it, so be it.

6. Well you can take offense at being told you are going to hell if you don't believe in God/ Allah. I take offense to being told that the God I have personal experience of is a delusion. So now we are both offended.

The Vatican were telling Roman Catholics they can believe in Extra terrestrial life not you. You clearly are not a Roman Catholic so what the pope says or doesn't say with regards to Extra Terrestrial life really has nothing to do with you. In the same way that what Barack Obama says about Health care reforms has nothing to do with me. I can agree or disagree with it but frankly I don't care enough to do that.

And with that I'm going to get the same bus as Horatio. This debate is going nowhere and until Dawkins can prove God doesn't exist then he can stop calling me delusional and I'll stop calling him an idiot.
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  #278  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:55 AM
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There is a TV programme on the BBC just now called The Most Annoying Person of 2009. Who would you vote for in this poll?
I just watched the programme where it tells you who actually won the poll and it was Jordan AKA Katie price who I suggested annoyed me right at the start of the thread.
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  #279  
Old 01-14-2010, 12:05 PM
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I'm just glad that God isn't Alanis Morissette.

(Now THAT would've been enough to make ME an Atheist)
No one can withstand the voice of God

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Old 01-15-2010, 09:09 AM
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Scientists cannot prove something, they can only attribute likelihoods to hypotheses. Statistical methods might seem like an irrelevant detail, but it is important to understand empirical work and realize that science is inherently humble.
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Originally Posted by chator View Post
Scientific theories result from tested hypotheses, which are developed to explain a given set of facts and relationships that are observable, or inferenced. But to think a scientific theory represents ultimate truth is wrong, only religion deals with absolutes in this manner. Scientific theories change overtime. They are not simply refined, they undergo dramatic reversals and revisions, at times. And they tend to be governed in their expression by the existing dominant paradigms the scientists are operating under. It is not a simple matter that science is based on fact and religion is based on faith.
I apologize. You are both correct that Scientists can't prove anything for 100% certainty and I made an error in my earlier post which I have now corrected. Since gravity is only a theory I wonder if either of you would take a leap of faith of a cliff or would you both take Newton's word for it? Because of this debate I have been reading about different religions and I think I'm willing to give religion a second chance. I've decided to join the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Since gravity is only a theory I submit to you my church's theory of gravity the "FSM Theory of Gravity" contained in in our holly text here. I feel it is equally valid to Newton's little theory.

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Religous views maybe based on facts as well, and scientists are required to have faith in the theories, concepts, axioms, and paradigms of their predecessors and culture.
Well the burden of proof lies on Religion to present those "facts" for the claims they are making.

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Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
1. Science does have the right to research religious claims but it won't get very far because the supernatural is outwith the material world
Ok.

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Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
2. Dawkins is trying to prove that God does not exist because evolution does. Plenty of scientists believe in God
Dawkins doesn't have to prove anything. All Dawkins has to do is cast doubt on the claims that Religion is making. The burden of proof falls on Religion to prove the claims it is making. Dawkins isn't opening up any museums claiming God doesn't exist for 100% certainty check out my exhibits. As for plenty of scientists believing in God this is an interesting study:

Quote:
A study has shown atheism in the west to be particularly prevalent among scientists, a tendency already quite marked at the beginning of the 20th century, developing into a dominant one during the course of the century. In 1914, James H. Leuba found that 58% of 1,000 randomly selected U.S. natural scientists expressed "disbelief or doubt in the existence of God" (defined as a personal God which interacts directly with human beings). The same study, repeated in 1996, gave a similar percentage of 60.7%; this number is 93% among the members of the National Academy of Sciences. Expressions of positive disbelief rose from 52% to 72%.


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Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
3. Dawkins says that God is a delusion. If I believe in something that is a delusion then I am delusional. He is trying to pacify Theists with semantics.
I've already explained this more then once. I guess all children that believe in Santa Claus are also delusional then.

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Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
4. Dawkins logic is not sound. You are saying that God is a preposterous idea which is why the appeal to ignorance doesn't work for this. Explain to me what caused the Big Bang. If you can't then the idea of a greater power is not preposterous. Millions of people would be willing to attest to personal experiences of that greater power. Can Dawkins disprove these experiences? I doubt it. There is evidence for the existence of God but there is not enough to state for certainty that he exists. In the same way that there is not enough to prove that he doesn't.
Thank God or in my case FSM that you are not a lawyer. Read the link you posted again. Dawkins isn't using an "Appeal to Ignorance." I even quoted the section for you in my earlier post. Dawkins doesn't have to prove anything the burden of proof is on Religion to prove its claims. The majority of people thought the world was flat not so long ago.

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Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
5. You are correct that not just philosophers and theologians have the right to question religion. But don't expect me to pay any credence to a guy with a doctorate in Zoology about questions of philosophy. I don't care much for his opinion on Shakespeare either. But if he wants to write a book on it, so be it.
This speaks for itself.

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Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
6. Well you can take offense at being told you are going to hell if you don't believe in God/ Allah. I take offense to being told that the God I have personal experience of is a delusion. So now we are both offended.
I never said I'm offended. I said I can understand why an atheist could be offended by that statement and I explained why in previous posts.

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Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
The Vatican were telling Roman Catholics they can believe in Extra terrestrial life not you. You clearly are not a Roman Catholic so what the pope says or doesn't say with regards to Extra Terrestrial life really has nothing to do with you. In the same way that what Barack Obama says about Health care reforms has nothing to do with me. I can agree or disagree with it but frankly I don't care enough to do that.
Have you heard of sarcasm? Either way if the Vatican has to tell people what they can believe in, it just goes to show what kind of control they have over people.

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Originally Posted by janeway72 View Post
And with that I'm going to get the same bus as Horatio. This debate is going nowhere and until Dawkins can prove God doesn't exist then he can stop calling me delusional and I'll stop calling him an idiot.
If you no longer wish to debate I respect that. It has been interesting.

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it was always fun to discuss issues with you, EC, especially in the good ol' times.
But as we are going in circles I am out of here.
Like I said to janeway72 if you no longer wish to debate I respect that. I'm not quite sure what the rest of that statement means but I'll take it as a compliment and it has been fun debating with you as well.

I honestly hope that when I die there is something on the other side but like Bill Maher in Religulous I'm ok with saying I don't know what happens when you die. I think it's far better then making claims that you do.
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