Jump to content

Has Science Made Religion Useless?


Recommended Posts

Realize that's very tricky.....a balance between being open, and having a place where reasonably intelligent and perhaps personal conversations could be had. Which are not going to happen if you have to wade through nutcase kind of stuff.

My inclination would be to only have the forum open to people who accept the broad principles of liberal/progressive Christianity, so that decent conversations/threads can develop - there are plenty of others for fundamentalists and atheists. But what the hell do I now...I've only been on forums for the last couple of months. Though I think, from the little I've learnt, that there's not much around between the two poles,which provides space for genuine critical and personal reflection.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, John Hunt said:

Realize that's very tricky.....a balance between being open, and having a place where reasonably intelligent and perhaps personal conversations could be had. Which are not going to happen if you have to wade through nutcase kind of stuff.

I don't think to date anybody has had to 'wade through it' on this forum, but I certainly am mindful of it.

9 hours ago, John Hunt said:

My inclination would be to only have the forum open to people who accept the broad principles of liberal/progressive Christianity, so that decent conversations/threads can develop - there are plenty of others for fundamentalists and atheists. But what the hell do I now...I've only been on forums for the last couple of months. Though I think, from the little I've learnt, that there's not much around between the two poles,which provides space for genuine critical and personal reflection.

Well, you know what you would like, so that is a fair enough comment/observation about any forum you may wish to participate in.  My approach is to allow some leeway and tolerance and see where it goes.  Like I said, in all my years here, it's not really been an issue.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

The Discovery Institute undermined religion's claim to be compatible with science in the late 1990s.
With the Wedge document.

Also before we can reliably discuss whether religion is compatible with science, we should define religion a bit more carefully. 

A classic example the huge STEP study back in 2006 looked at the benefits of prayer on the outcome of a certain type of heart operation.

The long and short of it three groups of people were in the study.
People who were prayed for but did not know it
People who were not prayed for
People who knew they were being prayed for

There was no difference for people in outcomes for the first two groups. BUT the outcome for the third group was worse (statistically).

There are some who would argue God can't be tested. In this sense religion and science are not compatible.

 

I apologize ...  just noticed this is in the PC thread ...  not supposed to post here.

Edited by romansh
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, romansh said:

I apologize ...  just noticed this is in the PC thread ...  not supposed to post here.

Not to distract from this thread, but this section (Progressive Christianity) simply tries to ensure general, supportive discussion about progressive Christianity reserved for those who consider themselves in general agreement with the 8 points.  The important thing, as I believe anyway and will try to manage accordingly, is that there is an opportunity for PC's needing some supporting discussion, to be able to without being discouraged.  Rom, if your comments were inappropriate, then there would be an issue.  But as per what I've usually seen from you, these are genuine discussion questions, in line with this particular topic and not ill-intended. 

Being responsible for this forum is not a precise science, so I hope others understand where I'm coming from.

Peace & good will.

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, romansh said:

The Discovery Institute undermined religion's claim to be compatible with science in the late 1990s.
With the Wedge document.

Also before we can reliably discuss whether religion is compatible with science, we should define religion a bit more carefully. 

A classic example the huge STEP study back in 2006 looked at the benefits of prayer on the outcome of a certain type of heart operation.

The long and short of it three groups of people were in the study.
People who were prayed for but did not know it
People who were not prayed for
People who knew they were being prayed for

There was no difference for people in outcomes for the first two groups. BUT the outcome for the third group was worse (statistically).

There are some who would argue God can't be tested. In this sense religion and science are not compatible.

 

I apologize ...  just noticed this is in the PC thread ...  not supposed to post here.

I'm quite confused by this.

I don't understand how any of the above indicates that religion and science are not compatible. Is spirituality testable according to known human metrics? Not really, but that doesn't make it incompatible with science. We have absolutely no known ways to understand how the human brain works to any real, appreciable degree, but that doesn't make the human mind incompatible with science. It means that as of yet, we can't understand it, and that makes it a darling of the scientific world.

I'm not sure how religion or spirituality are any different? We observe what we can, quantify what we can, examine what we can, interpret as best we can whatever results we can glean, and make the most of it. But that's the messy, inconvenient, truth of all science. It's largely limited and awkward and yields difficult to interpret results that scientists just wade through as best they can with a TON of research conclusions essentially being "*shrug* no one really knows", which scientists write as "more research is needed in this area". 

Any scientist worth their salt won't give much credence to any individual study as it is. They're essentially worthless in isolation until there's a massive volume of confirming and differing results for meta-analysis, and even that is fraught with limitations and challenges for interpretation. I often say that most surefire way to identify that you are talking to a scientist is that they will rarely state anything with certainty. The more truly knowledgeable someone about a complex subject, the more humble they become about how well they understand it.

In my medical training I was constantly exasperated by everything being taught as "fact" because "science". It was perverse, and made my understand why so many doctors are so blindly dogmatic, despite having *terrible* scientific basis for most of what they do. 

The unknowability of God does not make it incompatible with science, it makes it the ultimate scientific question, because that's all science is, the asking and investigating of questions, whether meaningful or actionable answers result or not. Most research produces no significant results, and that absence of evidence is as important as the rare research that indicates clear effects.

One of the most elegant aspects of research is the null hypothesis. All research starts with a hypothesis that they will prove nothing, statistically significant results don't prove anything in and of themselves, they mathematically *fail* to prove that nothing happened. So if the fundamental hypothesis of all research is that it will prove nothing, then isn't that fundamentally aligned with trying to understand something unknowable???

It sounds semantic, but it isn't. It's the very cornerstone of the scientific method and the mathematics behind the analysis of data. No controlled study has ever proven anything, ever. They've only ever failed to prove that there's nothing there. 

For me personally, it all ties together in terms of examining my own faith.

If the statement is more than research science doesn't have much utility compared to other disciplines in terms of understanding God and faith, then yeah, sure, I'll buy that, but that's not incompatibility, just ineffectiveness. But as I said, science is by design pretty ineffective at understanding MOST of what it looks at...so...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

cInteresting that the study was on prayer. Can the mind change the course of events, or how far that’s just reading meanings into what happens, I don’t know. If everyone prayed intensely at the same time for a meteor to be moved off a collision course with the earth, would it have any effect? Could a pebble be moved an inch? I guess not. It’s never been done, anyway, not in a way that can be “proved,” photographed.

But that's not to say it’s not worth praying together. In that kind of concentrated agreement, focused on a higher purpose, we could maybe achieve a few other things, like getting rid of world hunger, or terrorism, or nuclear weapons; providing everyone on the planet with a decent education, basic health care, clean water, toilets, decent roofs over their heads, access to the Internet – any one of which would be a good start, and affordable, and help everyone else as well, if the will to do it was there.

When religion ignores science it’s on the way to irrelevance. When it contradicts it, it’s superstition. But then it doesn’t have to do either. It plays a different kind of role. It refreshes the parts science doesn’t reach. They both come from the same kinds of promptings, the same questionings. Science tells us how to get to the moon, but doesn’t tell us why we want to go there. Even the battiest religion can help us get through the day better than knowing everything there is to know about evolutionary theory. And good religion is informed by science, much as science has been informed by religion. Science without religion or morality is the fast road to hell. Religion without reason, likewise. That's how I think of it, anyway....

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, John Hunt said:

Can the mind change the course of events, or how far that’s just reading meanings into what happens, I don’t know. If everyone prayed intensely at the same time for a meteor to be moved off a collision course with the earth, would it have any effect? Could a pebble be moved an inch? I guess not. It’s never been done, anyway, not in a way that can be “proved,” photographed.

Yes, the mind can change the course of events and not only that but also move objects. I do it everyday. My mind says to pickup a glass of water and my hands obey and move it from the table to my mouth. My mind thinks golf would be nice today so i go play golf and in doing so the course of events is changed. It can even be photographed. 🙂😃😄

Just a little bit of humor to change the course of events. lol

Joseph

PS. Rom, good to see you back. Delete requested  done.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service