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Has Science Made Religion Useless?


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Forgive if I bore on too long.

I really liked the video. For me, science and religion do different things. Science can be a source of beauty and wonder, whether in maths, cosmology, biology, whatever. But it's essentially "mechanical." It doesn't impart or create "value", or "meaning." Those are things we have to do for ourselves. And science without values - how it's used - is the route to nightmare (we can see it happening for instance right now with climate change; we have the power to destroy civilization over the next century through continuing to exploit natural resources through ever-better technology. But should we? That's not a "scientific" question).

How I see it - the first meaning of religio is “relationship.” There’s a common, universal and ancient thread in religious tradition that takes us back to when “relationship” began. It says that once we were content. We didn’t worry. We lived in what is described in different traditions as the Age of Perfection, the Krita Yuga, the Garden of Eden, the Eternal Springtime, and so on, in innocence. We were at one with nature, because we were nature. We didn’t know good and evil. We couldn’t mess up. We couldn’t even think. Then at some point in our history, whether 100,000 or 7 million years ago (lowest and highest estimates, depending in part on how many species of “Homo” you include), we became “self-aware.” Armadillos specialize in body armor, cheetahs in speed, this is our own specialty, it’s what we “do.” We began to watch ourselves “living.” We divided the world into “me” and “it.” We made a conscious choice to eat the apple (or not), to have sex (or not). Like Adam in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:20) we began naming them, and talking to each other. So on the one hand we began to enjoy the fruits of self-awareness, of communication, and love; on the other hand we learned the ashes of separation, uncertainty and the fear of death. Ever since then, since the “Fall,” we’ve been trying to put the two together again – the “me” and the “it,” turning “it” into “you,” figuring out how one should relate to the other, groping around the edges of our lives, wondering what’s over the horizon.

We started asking the questions we still ask today: Why can’t we just be happy with what we’ve got? What is love really about? Can it survive death – we’ve been investing in elaborate burial rituals and provisions to help the deceased into the next life for at least a hundred thousand years? Why is there anything at all? Is there a Big Truth? A God? Maybe we should shut up and relax. Accept things as they are. But if we could, and did, we’d still be up in the trees, chucking sticks at leopards.

Religion began as a response to the dilemmas that self-awareness created. For instance, rather than acting solely in the interests of the species, or the genetic pull of family, individuals could now override their biological programming and act in the interests of the self. By the way – killing, cheating, lying – these are “natural,” with the first being the principle behind most forms of life, other than plants – you only live by eating something else – the second common amongst animals and birds; it’s only the third, lying, that is unique to us, special to humans, because of our capacity to talk (lying is easy; it’s telling the truth we have to work at - and as evidenced recently, in some ways we're going backwards). But to act solely in the interests of the self is self-destructive for everyone in the longer term. Religions grew to connect us again with the larger whole, replacing our lost instinct. It’s our “big idea” that ties us together; the one that stops the self from getting drunk on its new sense of power; a “larger truth.” A solid religion creates structures that control the appetites of the self and encourages service and inspiration. The wisdom tradition of Homo sapiens sapiens – of relating to our selves and the world around us wisely, of developing the vision of a good life and a moral code to frame it, of transcending our biology – this is what separates us from nature.

So in the first meaning of the word, religion helps provide the framework for relating to each other, rituals for the key moments in life, for building societies. It’s our means of defining and confronting what is good and bad, honed through millions of years of cooperation and stored in our genes. It gives us benchmarks to guide us, targets to aim for, stories to get us there, standards to judge ourselves and our societies by. If we didn’t have religion, we’d need something close to it. And in the hole left in the twentieth century by the ebbing belief in God we’ve tried a number of different ideas, organizing ourselves around race (fascism), country (nationalism), production (communism), consumption (capitalism). Maybe the jury is still out, but these ideas don’t seem to have worked.

Maybe the reason they don’t work is because they’re all based on “us,” rather than the “other.” They lack respect for a sense of the “sacred” (for the moment, let’s call it God for short), which is the second meaning of religio. In this view, developing good relationships is not just a personal, moral issue, it’s a universal one, an absolute. It’s the meaning behind everything. Religion is about acknowledging it, bowing to it.

All religions suggest that values are more than our invention. They’re rooted in something that’s bigger and more important than ourselves, a next level up, something that’s beyond our control, that we can’t twist to our advantage. To put it in terms of practical relationships, there are higher values that we can’t compromise on, for which we’re prepared to sacrifice more than seems rational.

This is more controversial. Why put yourself out for something you can’t see? But the “sacred” has been with us so long it may even be something hardwired into the brain, that makes us human. It’s what the word “human” means. It probably originates from the Arabic hu, meaning spirit, or God; and the Sanskrit manah, or mind. We think that we are what we have become because we are essentially spiritual beings, minds seeking God, whatever those terms might signify. For tens of thousands of years we’ve practiced this search in religion, and more recently have described it in philosophy. Religion is usually preferred to philosophy because it engages the heart, even the body, as well as the mind. It offers the medicine as well as the diagnosis. It describes what we have in here as well as how we relate to what’s out there.

Religion is primary. So much so that most deeply religious cultures don’t even have a word for it. For them, to explain why they’re “religious” would be like trying to explain why they breathe. Reading, writing, math, science, these are secondary. They’re what we have to go to school for. We have a hunger for the meaning that we describe in religion, for the stories that bind us together, that tell us where we came from and where we’re going, that explain how we should relate to each other and the world around us, like we have a hunger for food and relationship. Indeed in most religions these are linked together in sacrifice and ritual meals. Communion, eating the flesh of another to partake of its spirit, is the most ancient and widespread of all religious practices. And theology is to religion like cookery is to eating, like love is to sex. We’ve been doing it ever since our remote ancestors came down from the trees and started burying their dead.

That might all be well over the top - but I don't see religion disappearing any time soon, if ever. The reverse. The more power we can wield through science and technology, the more we need a framework of values and meaning to direct its use. Which takes us to the main issue - there's "good" religion, but there's also "bad", destructive religion. Which seems to be winning the day. Quite apart from the growing fundamentalism in sections of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam etc, I think it's very difficult today, for instance, for any well-meaning Christian, trying to live according to the principles that Jesus gave us, to identify as evangelical, when 4 out of 5 of white evangelical voters plumped for Trump, in both the last elections. 

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@John Hunt, great reflection. A book I read sometime back, An Atheist Defends Religionargues something similar regarding values. While he was not religious himself, he argued that the human race needs religion because the values it promotes (in general) are good for humanity. This level of values simply can't come from the scientific world. 

Fwiw, I'm not sure the "isms" are less effective than religion when it comes to binding human beings with an identity. I would argue that religion is no more and no less effective. As elements in our meaning-making process, the effectively serve the same purpose: help us sort out good from bad, the divine from the demonic. Here, I hint toward Paul Tillich and his understanding of Ultimate Concern as a guiding force in our lives. 

I'm not sure whether religion will die out. I doubt it, mainly because of how I see it tied to human psychology. But will it transform? I think that is the nature of religion as a cultural phenomenon. Every place at every time makes religion its own (even if they think they are keeping it the same) and it evolves. That's part of the fun!

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Thanks - that's a book I hadn't come across!

Paul Tillich, Teilhard de Chardin etc, love them. 

 

Fwiw, I'm not sure the "isms" are less effective than religion when it comes to binding human beings with an identity.

I'm split on this. I think the most successful societies, both in terms of economic success and "well being", like the Nordic ones, tend to practice something along the lines of democratic socialism (with a right wing slant). Focusing on the public good, investing in health, education, infrastructure, for everyone, reducing inequality. But they're generally "post-Christian." How far that's because they've absorbed Christian principles into the mainstream, and abandoned the supernatural baggage, I don't know.  But 

But will it transform?

The founders of religions were transformative. And  the values it promotes (in general) are pretty common around most religions. But within a couple of generations, what they were saying gets modified to the power structures/thinking of their time. I think that's seen more clearly in Christianity than anywhere else. 

 

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  • 1 month later...

The separation of science and religion is a historical, political one, but has never been legitimate. 

Science isn't a system of beliefs, it is a method of gathering and examining information. Religion is basically the same thing, but a different method and sometimes different information, although sometimes very similar. 

Any good scientist who is honest with themselves knows that they deal in interpretations.

I have found that people who believe science and religion to be oppositional have only a rudimentary knowledge of science or history or religion, or all three. 

Just as one cannot take any given science out of its context, neither can one take any given religious history out of its context either. 

Just because at times certain dominant religious organizations have been conservative, while scientists have been generally progressive doesn't mean that that is their natural and fundamental positions. 

In their origins, Christianity and Islam were profoundly progressive. Downright "hippy nonsense" at the time. Christianity and Islam have also been the religion of highly oppressive and conservative groups.

Scientists have at times been at the forefront of modern knowledge and progress, but powerful bodies of scientists have also been deeply repressive of knowledge and progress as well. 

Science and religion, as I said before, are simply methods for understanding, how they are weilded within society depends on the social structures within context. 

Does one rule out the other? Absolutely not, that's like asking if non fiction negates the need for poetry, if documentaries negate the need for animation, if nutritious meal replacement shakes negate the need for culinary skills. 

I myself am a trained scientist, retired doctor, and considering training for ministry. I've needed to study science, medicine, history/anthropology, literature, art, linguistics, psychology and counselling AND religion to even begin to understand the things that really matter to me. And I'm nowhere near done. 

As you see, science and religion are only puzzle pieces. It's not one or the other, it's both, combined with a rich tapestry of the rest of what matters in life. 

 

Edited by Kellerman
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Perhaps science and religion just seem oppositional, because so many Christians refuse to accept the place of science.

For instance - the world is a sphere, not flat; it's billions of years old, rather than 6,000 or so; humanity is hundreds of thousands of years old, not 10,000; and life evolves. These are "facts," in terms of science - our understanding of them will develop, but they are not unproved hypotheses.

But one in six Americans believe the world is a flat disc (14 references in the OT), and among millennials that's one in three. A quarter still believe the sun circles the earth. Half the population, according to consistent Gallup polls over the last 20 years, believe that God created man in the last 10,000 years. Two thirds think creationism more likely than evolution. Only 10% believe God had no direct involvement.

What kind of things could be said to bridge the gap?

 

 

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22 hours ago, Kellerman said:

I have found that people who believe science and religion to be oppositional have only a rudimentary knowledge of science or history or religion, or all three. 

 

 

5 hours ago, John Hunt said:

Perhaps science and religion just seem oppositional, because so many Christians refuse to accept the place of science.

 

I think this science vs religion divide is a major problem. But I think that part of the problem is that certain religious communities reject science and therefore delegitimize it as a source of truth...unless they get sick and have to go to the hospital. So, it's nearly impossible to overcome since they are exposed to the narrative from an early age.

We see this rejection of science as an issue with how to prevent the spread of COVID and whether to accept vaccinations. I don't think the resistance to science is that unpredictable. After all, if your primary authority is the Bible, and you have been told "if it's not all literally true, then God either doesn't exist or is a liar", anything that contradicts it in any way, by default, is a lie. 

I think the solution is to ...

  • Promote higher education. The experience of "leaving home" is huge developmentally when it comes to shedding old authoritative narratives. 
  • Create online transitional spaces. Not everyone can go to college. Online services are nearly universally available. I think most people are curious and want to know more about what's outside their bubbles, but they don't want peers who can pressure them to know. Online, they can learn new ways to approach religion and science. 

I suspect that one of the reasons that people leave Christianity and embrace atheism (this is an assessment, not a judgement) is because of the rigidity of the either-or worldview. Either you believe in God or you don't. Their former community of faith didn't have the mechanisms to help people to grow in a healthy way from literalism to metaphorical thinking and openness to alternative truths. 

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Agree with that completely. But those are long term goals, and in the short term I can envisage leaving home for higher education reducing, rather than increasing. Too expensive. And online spaces are increasingly dominated by extremes. So what are the "hooks" which would get people interested in an intelligent conversation and find help from a liberal Christian perspective....

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11 hours ago, John Hunt said:

So what are the "hooks" which would get people interested in an intelligent conversation and find help from a liberal Christian perspective....

I guess I see the main hook as being the general topic itself: The relationship between the Bible and Science.

If someone from a more moderate perspective were to put a website together that was intentionally geared at helping people from a more conservative perspective appreciate science, it would be easy enough. In order for it to work best, I think that teasing blog articles could get attention and lead to signing up for a regular email. That email (which goes to private accounts so people could read in secret) would create a narrative over time designed to empower readers to question their current worldview. 

Your thoughts on how this could be done?

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On 1/19/2021 at 11:56 AM, irreverance said:

 

I think this science vs religion divide is a major problem. But I think that part of the problem is that certain religious communities reject science and therefore delegitimize it as a source of truth...unless they get sick and have to go to the hospital. So, it's nearly impossible to overcome since they are exposed to the narrative from an early age.

We see this rejection of science as an issue with how to prevent the spread of COVID and whether to accept vaccinations. I don't think the resistance to science is that unpredictable. After all, if your primary authority is the Bible, and you have been told "if it's not all literally true, then God either doesn't exist or is a liar", anything that contradicts it in any way, by default, is a lie. 

I think the solution is to ...

  • Promote higher education. The experience of "leaving home" is huge developmentally when it comes to shedding old authoritative narratives. 
  • Create online transitional spaces. Not everyone can go to college. Online services are nearly universally available. I think most people are curious and want to know more about what's outside their bubbles, but they don't want peers who can pressure them to know. Online, they can learn new ways to approach religion and science. 

I suspect that one of the reasons that people leave Christianity and embrace atheism (this is an assessment, not a judgement) is because of the rigidity of the either-or worldview. Either you believe in God or you don't. Their former community of faith didn't have the mechanisms to help people to grow in a healthy way from literalism to metaphorical thinking and openness to alternative truths. 

This isn't a science-religion divide though. This is a political identity divide, and that's a huge difference. 

Membership to certain identities do tend to correlate, such as some particular Christian identities with some particular anti-science identities. 

That's not something fundamental to religion though, nor even to Christianity. 

The scientific and medical community tend to be on the side of certain issues, which are polarizing in terms of identity politics. But there's nothing inherent about being Christian that commits anyone to any particular identity. 

I can be a Christian and want nothing to do with many groups that identify as Christian. 

Certain groups with certain ideologies are opposed. Science and Religion can get along just fine, and often have in history. 

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On 1/20/2021 at 2:12 PM, John Hunt said:

Agree with that completely. But those are long term goals, and in the short term I can envisage leaving home for higher education reducing, rather than increasing. Too expensive. And online spaces are increasingly dominated by extremes. So what are the "hooks" which would get people interested in an intelligent conversation and find help from a liberal Christian perspective....

I don't think it's about finding a hook to lure people. Identity politics are a tough nut to crack. 

I think what's critical is to try and understand from where those identity politics arise. What are the forces generating such identities, and why?

These beliefs come from somewhere, and it's not from "being a Christian". 

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52 minutes ago, Kellerman said:

These beliefs come from somewhere, and it's not from "being a Christian". 

While there may be a myriad of reasons, it seems to me,  ones personal  life experiences contributes most greatly to ones beliefs.

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12 hours ago, JosephM said:

While there may be a myriad of reasons, it seems to me,  ones personal  life experiences contributes most greatly to ones beliefs.

Yes, and if you take it further, those life experiences come from somewhere. 

People in certain regions, periods of time, from certain cultures, etc are more likely to have certain experiences. 

Certain beliefs didn't exist until certain groups decided to promote them. Certain concerns didn't exist until certain problems arose. 

There's a lot more behind individual beliefs than the individuals believing them. 

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I'm new here, and haven't figured out how it works yet, and am hopeless with websites etc....more of a quill pen and paper kind of guy. I haven't really been on any forums till the last couple of months, and have been searching for spaces where "liberal/progressive" Christians congregate, but haven't really found anywhere, apart from this place. 

On 1/21/2021 at 6:35 AM, irreverance said:

If someone from a more moderate perspective were to put a website together that was intentionally geared at helping people from a more conservative perspective appreciate science, it would be easy enough. In order for it to work best, I think that teasing blog articles could get attention and lead to signing up for a regular email. That email (which goes to private accounts so people could read in secret) would create a narrative over time designed to empower readers to question their current worldview. 

Your thoughts on how this could be done?

 

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17 hours ago, JosephM said:

While there may be a myriad of reasons, it seems to me,  ones personal  life experiences contributes most greatly to ones beliefs.

Quite true, but you can only interpret your experience through the prism of what you already know/believe. A good Christian in America would be a good Muslim if they'd been born in Saudi Arabia, and vice versa. Brain scans suggest that heightened religious experience is the same whatever god/spirit/ideology you believe in.

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20 hours ago, John Hunt said:

Quite true, but you can only interpret your experience through the prism of what you already know/believe. A good Christian in America would be a good Muslim if they'd been born in Saudi Arabia, and vice versa. Brain scans suggest that heightened religious experience is the same whatever god/spirit/ideology you believe in.

For sure. 

For many people, their version of religion or spirituality means being part of and sharing beliefs and values with their family and friends. 

Religion is both a spiritual and social construct. 

It's the social construct side where certain groups clash with other social groups, because all social groups are prone to clashing. 

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Most science today has become  a religion  where  we now  have a priesthood of scientists , educators , who reside in there ivory towers  of higher education. Never questioning their beliefs on materialism  and putting down others who do . There just as the clergy was in the middle ages when scientists came out with discoveries that questioned church doctrine . Its ironic  that when  scientists proved the earth wasn't the center of the universe and that the sun didn't revolve around the earth that those beliefs were wrong it started Christian fundamentalism . Where the followers believed in the literal view of the Bible when people in those times thought in a mythical way . That's  why Jesus taught in parables to the masses . Now  materialism science is the same closed system  as the Catholic church was in Europe killing anyone who went against their doctrine just as science today crucifies anyone who opposes their beliefs that there is nothing more than the material world . Even though quantum physics has proved since the 1920's a physicist can observe a particle appear and than disappear in a experiment so where does it go ? Where is the energy coming from that is causing the expansion of the universe and a ever increasing rate ? 

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57 minutes ago, John56 said:

Most science today has become  a religion  where  we now  have a priesthood of scientists , educators , who reside in there ivory towers  of higher education. Never questioning their beliefs on materialism  and putting down others who do . There just as the clergy was in the middle ages when scientists came out with discoveries that questioned church doctrine . Its ironic  that when  scientists proved the earth wasn't the center of the universe and that the sun didn't revolve around the earth that those beliefs were wrong it started Christian fundamentalism . Where the followers believed in the literal view of the Bible when people in those times thought in a mythical way . That's  why Jesus taught in parables to the masses . Now  materialism science is the same closed system  as the Catholic church was in Europe killing anyone who went against their doctrine just as science today crucifies anyone who opposes their beliefs that there is nothing more than the material world . Even though quantum physics has proved since the 1920's a physicist can observe a particle appear and than disappear in a experiment so where does it go ? Where is the energy coming from that is causing the expansion of the universe and a ever increasing rate ? 

This is not at all my experience as a scientist nor a doctor. 

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Then why is mainstream science  denying  the importance of quantum physics  ? That how a scientist thinks can change the course of a experiment  which proves consciousness is everything . Consciousness is how things evolve  through the energy of the mind not Darwin's out dated theory based on observations from his  limited views 150 years ago  still be taught ?  Two random events dont create another random event  that build on it until a new life form  is created ?  Even the fallacy of the big bang is still being taught ? When scientists have discovered the universe is expanding at a accelerated rate . Where is the energy coming from after the initial  explosion ? Even the full understanding of e=mc2  that " everything is energy " is being denied and what that signifies ?  

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17 hours ago, John56 said:

Then why is mainstream science  denying  the importance of quantum physics  ? That how a scientist thinks can change the course of a experiment  which proves consciousness is everything . Consciousness is how things evolve  through the energy of the mind not Darwin's out dated theory based on observations from his  limited views 150 years ago  still be taught ?  Two random events dont create another random event  that build on it until a new life form  is created ?  Even the fallacy of the big bang is still being taught ? When scientists have discovered the universe is expanding at a accelerated rate . Where is the energy coming from after the initial  explosion ? Even the full understanding of e=mc2  that " everything is energy " is being denied and what that signifies ?  

"mainstream science" isn't a monolith. 

Science is like any other body of information, it's a collection of data collected and interpreted by humans motivated by a variety of factors, divided into numerous factions, based on endless ideological lines. 

Then there's the entirely separate world of science reporting, which is a completely separate beast of its own, with even more complex motivators and delineations. 

"Science" isn't denying anything. It technically can't. 

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"Most science today has become  a religion  where  we now  have a priesthood of scientists , educators , who reside in there ivory towers  of higher education. Never questioning their beliefs on materialism  and putting down others who doNow  materialism science is the same closed system  as the Catholic church was in Europe killing anyone who went against their doctrine just as science today crucifies anyone who opposes their beliefs that there is nothing more than the material world "

22 hours ago, John56 said:

Most science today has become  a religion  where  we now  have a priesthood of scientists , educators , who reside in there ivory towers  of higher education. Never questioning their beliefs on materialism  and putting down others who do . There just as the clergy was in the middle ages when scientists came out with discoveries that questioned church doctrine . 

Honestly, this kind of stuff simply isn't true. Science is not a religion. It proceeds on the basis of the best evidence available, and as we learn more, it changes our understanding. Einstein's law of relativity has expanded on Newton's law of gravity, but the latter still makes sense, is still accepted. I'm not sure you understand anything about science - and OK, I'm in the same boat, but I know a bit about the principles behind it.  

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Look at covid right now how  many people have died  how the world has virtually stopped  from a virus ?  A virus is a parasite  for decades we have had drugs  like Invermicten  , and the malaria drug Plaquenil  Trump took  that kills parasites  .  A few doctors have  come out proving it works against covid . Still they let people die in hospitals because big pharma that controls the medical association  wont make tens of billions  off  their vaccines .  A few scientists  have also proved  a virus can be killed  with high frequency  sound waves  just as we all have seen  a opera singer shattering glass. It  breaks the membrane around the parasites  .Still the money people  behind  the institutions that give out the grants to the scientists  wont  fund research on this.  Or a doctor will lose their license if they prescribe  a parasite killing drug ?  So what we need to understand there is a power  elite that controls science just as there is one that controls most religions  And science has been hijacked by materialism which says there is nothing beyond this universe .

E= mc2   do some simple division matter = energy  " everything " is energy you don't have to physicist  to understand this .Now think back to when you were a kid in a pool and some other kid slapped  the water and sent another wave at you that splashed over you .Well you quickly figured out if you did the same thing the wave of water would be nullified  .That's called  wave dynamics    meaning  we can use energy to overcome energy . So therefore if everything is energy that  is  in the form of light  waves  " Let there be light ! " we can direct our thoughts  or words  ( prayers ) ENERGY to change conditions in the world  ?  A materialist will firmly deny this yeah I must be crazy I don't know anything about "real "science ?  . What if Jesus Christ knew this  and his so called miracles where because he changed the energy in a situation ?  Healed the withered hand , Just Ideas to ponder  I don't  to want to see Christianity die because its not helping people in todays age not answering their questions about life helping  them. So many people are suffering from depression out there I hear their stories on forums how they want to die ..When they could be helped by the teachings of Jesus if they were explained and internalized .

Edited by John56
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^again, this is not my experience as a scientist or as a doctor or as someone who is married to the person who wrote my country's Public Health pandemic response policy *twenty years ago* after SARS. 

Yes, there is corruption in every single human organization. There is no doubt of that, but corruption is far more nuanced than that. It's far less blunt and far more woven through the entire fabric of how a system works. As is the same with every organization once it gets large enough. 

One must also always be aware of the profound corruption of the world that reports on science and medicine. Over the decades, my colleagues and I are frequently gobsmacked by how our professions are viewed by the public and how these perceptions are crafted...and why. 

I've spent my career railing against corruption in my own industry, but no one will report on it because actual corruption is boring. Instead, the media caught fire with a series of stories and documentaries slamming conspiracy level corruption in my industry that...well, frankly doesn't exist. At all. Not even a little bit. 

The public doesn't care about actual, boring, run of the mill rampant corruption, so we very, very rarely ever hear about it. 

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I'm sorry, but the post by John56 yesterday was just so much gibberish - there are plenty of Christian fundamentalist and conspiracy sites where this kind of stuff can be posted.

I realize this is probably a hopeless dream, but I'm looking for a site where rational discussion can happen, about matters of life and death and spirituality. The big stuff. Which involves curation, as in every other enterprise - educational, business, etc. And I realize this involves some "censorship", but then the alternative is to be drowned out by noise and ignorance. And having been on some other forums where that's par for the course, I can't be bothered with this one if it's going to turn out the same.      

 

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13 hours ago, John Hunt said:

And having been on some other forums where that's par for the course, I can't be bothered with this one if it's going to turn out the same.      

I can understand your concerns John, but over the years I have found that with this forum many people come and go.  Some stay for short periods, some stay for long ones.  Some views may be ludicrously to the right, others ludicrously to the left, and every shade in between.  For me personally, I engage where I feel it is beneficial, and I try to leave it be where I feel its not.  

Personally I tend not to jump on contributors unless they decide to come in swinging with little regard for our guidelines.  Sometimes its a balancing act and I often find it hard to bite my tongue concerning some views, but I try to remind myself that we are all on our own journey and maybe that person's participation here may actually be beneficial to them forming other views.

I hear what your saying, but if there is another forum out there that does it a lot better, I genuinely would value a better understanding of just how they do that! :)

 

 

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