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anto1208
17/01/2006, 11:52 AM
Anyone watch this last night i thought it was very good, a oxford proffesser going around meeting religous teachers, rabbi's , preachers etc ...

He really had a go at them his main point this week was about the "abuse of kids" as he calls it by teaching them about hell to scare them into beliving. Something i think all of us can relate to from our school days. Also in our country baptism first communion, confirmation all forced onto us before we understand what it is about and also the teaching of blatent lies to the kids eg earth was created 5,000 years ago !!

He also met a guy who's friend killed an abortion doctor and this guy was trying to convince the prof. that it was a right and just act ... nutters absolute nutters its actually quite scary when you think about it. A line from the show " good men do good things, evil men do evil things but it takes religion to make good men do evil things " very very true

Rory H
17/01/2006, 11:56 AM
steve staunton said something similar yesterday too

Poor Student
17/01/2006, 12:02 PM
Some people try to justify rabid atheism by insisting that the world would be so much better without religion and that it has caused many wars etc. It's simply not the case that the world would become peaceful without it by some miracle. We humans can come up with more than each things to fight each other over and religion has in fact often served as a pretext to cover more insidious motives. Modern day religious teaching in Ireland from my experience anyway does not operate from the perspective of frightening kids with tales of hell. Communion and confiration I do feel do come too early and are not really a conscious choice as they should be (particularly confirmation as it is supposed to be your personal confirmation of your baptism). However the fact they do come early doesn't actually give the church some advantage as people will drop off if they are that way inclined.

Lionel Ritchie
17/01/2006, 12:07 PM
saw a good bit of it and was quite impressed by much of it ...particularly the way he slaughtered the core tenet of christianity.

"God became to man to be butchered as atonement for all sins. Why didn't God just forgive all sin? Who's he trying to impress?":D

I found the Anglican/Protestant/CofE guy most grounded of those religious that he spoke with. Pointed out that the world God supposedly made for us and then made us to live in simply couldn't function if miracles actually happened. It'd be anarchic. though he could've just been getting his dig in at the RC church too which to this day is obsessed with hocuc pocus.

anto1208
17/01/2006, 12:21 PM
[QUOTE=Poor Student] Modern day religious teaching in Ireland from my experience anyway does not operate from the perspective of frightening kids with tales of hell. QUOTE]


well im only 27 and i can remember the scaremongoring about hell and that id be burnning in hell for all eternity if i sinned , thats not that long ago , and its still thought in mass today .

Poor Student
17/01/2006, 12:23 PM
well im only 27 and i can remember the scaremongoring about hell and that id be burnning in hell for all eternity if i sinned

Things have changed a lot recently in Ireland or maybe it's just the schools we went to?

anto1208
17/01/2006, 12:58 PM
Things have changed a lot recently in Ireland or maybe it's just the schools we went to?

things have thank god !! :D

there was a time not so long ago that the church was more powerfull than the cops or the gov .

but this program was filmed in schools this year( in america which explains alot of it :D ) some of which thought noah's ark as scientific fact !!!

Neish
17/01/2006, 8:11 PM
[Merged. --adam]


Did any of you watch this show on channel 4 over the past two weeks?

Professor Richard Dawkins makes some valid points about the rise in fundamentalist religious teachings.

See link
http://www.channel4.com/culture/microsites/C/can_you_believe_it/debates/rootofevil.html

dcfcsteve
17/01/2006, 11:46 PM
It's too easy to blame religion. As the cliche goes - if God didn't exist, mankind would just create him...

The vast majority of religious people are tolerant, positive, loving people. Yet because of the actions of a small but vitiolic minority, it's easy to rubbish the whole lot. It would be like slating all of football because a tiny number of its supporters ingage in violence - sometimes involving murder. Neither is right to do.

Religion just provides an excuse for sides of the human psyche that would find another excuise if relgiion didn't exist. Ordered human socities require the creation and wiedling of power and influence. They also require means to suppress mankind's inner animal/wild instincts. For example, fear of Hell is just a tool for social control, and the desire for social control has been endemic to all societies throughout time. If it waqsn't hell, it'd be dead ancestors, ghosts, bogeymen, fear of the sun not rising in the morning etc.

It's far too easy to hold religion up and, focusing on its darker sides, say - "Hah ! The world would be a better place without you !". but it is naive in the extreme to thing that religion itself is an inherently evil concept, and that it isn't just a conduit for and a reflection of the baser side of human instinct.

liam88
18/01/2006, 7:43 AM
Anyone watch this last night i thought it was very good, a oxford proffesser going around meeting religous teachers, rabbi's , preachers etc ...

He really had a go at them his main point this week was about the "abuse of kids" as he calls it by teaching them about hell to scare them into beliving. Something i think all of us can relate to from our school days. Also in our country baptism first communion, confirmation all forced onto us before we understand what it is about and also the teaching of blatent lies to the kids eg earth was created 5,000 years ago !!

He also met a guy who's friend killed an abortion doctor and this guy was trying to convince the prof. that it was a right and just act ... nutters absolute nutters its actually quite scary when you think about it. A line from the show " good men do good things, evil men do evil things but it takes religion to make good men do evil things " very very true

I'm a religious bloke and I tuned into this show hoping to see some strong argument against religion so I can argue more effectivly my case-knowing the other side. I was howver, extremly dissapointed by Dawkins; none of the arguments he came up with were things I hadn't debated with guys in school/college before-I was hoping to see some genuine, well founded academic arguments but the vast majority of Dawkins "case" was petty vindictivness and point scoring "you don't really blieve this do you?" etc.
So much for acedimia!
Also-building on what Steve said, Dawkins had some fundemental flaws in his argument. Dwakins argued that religion was corrupting politics and human nature-i'd say it was the other way around. He used Northern IReland as an example-now i'd personally say that in Northern Ireland Cahtolic's and Protestants would be able to live in peace together (and in manyy other countries/regions) if it wasn't for the politics. Revisionist history will tell you that it's not about the religion (although post-revisionist history claiming that this is the fundemental backdrop is starting to kick in), the religious ideas of tolerance, respect and "love thy neighbour" are being polluted by 800 years of politics and land grabbing. Israel and Palestine is another example-it's not the tehology of either side that causes problems-if you followed the Jewish tehology to the letter you would never kill a Muslim and if you followed the Muslim theology to the letter (in a way most Muslims interprate it) you would never kill a Jew. It's all over land that has led fundementalist youtyhs to hide behind religion.
This brings me to another point that Dawkins illustrated his 'case' with fundemntalists. Talking to a Palestinian Militant, Hegard, and Pall Hills friend does not illusatrate religion. In fact these people (With the possible exception of Hegard) are going against the fundemental beliefs of religion.
Dawkins asked how can such devout people live in tolerance. The people he interviewed were not the devout ones. The devout ones would follow the fundemntals such a "Love thy neighbour" and "Thou shalt not kill" which are presnet in all religions if in different words, and thus society would be free of conflict, child abuse, murder, rape etc.
Just on a last point-Confirmation and first communion before you understnad whats going on?? Before my First Communion I had over a year of lessons to teach me what it's all about. I made my confirmation at 14 whilst attending a secular school having spent 3 years before that at a Church of England school. We had in depth discussion (mainly with each other rather than the priests), some descided to drop out and others carried on. i think at 14/15 you are old enough to know whats going on! As I said I had grown up with Cahtolic, Church of England and Secular education and i still chose confirmation on balance.
Finally with regards to the reation of the earth you are basing your views on one scientific blief. As someone said on the show-he was taught the moonc ame dout of the ocean! Some scientists would agree 500 eyars wqs a "blatant lie" others wouldn't. Science and fundemental atheism is just one more belief system-maybe its "child abuse" to indoctrinate kidds with ideas of evolution?

finlma
18/01/2006, 8:55 AM
Just on a last point-Confirmation and first communion before you understnad whats going on?? Before my First Communion I had over a year of lessons to teach me what it's all about.


Thats a well worded argument Liam but I'd have to disagree with you on the point above. At 7 I could have been taught that the earth is flat and God is a giant Monkey living on Pluto and I would have believed it. At that age you can't contemplate and think logically for yourself.
Its an opinion that is forced upon you before you have time to work it all out for yourself. I've been Christened, Communionised (is that a word) and Confirmed but if I could go back I'd undo all 3 now because I've changed my beliefs as an adult.

pete
18/01/2006, 9:35 AM
Something i've always wondfered is why very few people change religion...

99% of people seem to stick with whatever they grew up with. I think if someone changes religion then they much have done a lot of thinking & picked whats right for them.

Lionel Ritchie
18/01/2006, 9:49 AM
Just on a last point-Confirmation and first communion before you understnad whats going on?? Before my First Communion I had over a year of lessons to teach me what it's all about. I made my confirmation at 14 whilst attending a secular school having spent 3 years before that at a Church of England school. We had in depth discussion (mainly with each other rather than the priests), some descided to drop out and others carried on. i think at 14/15 you are old enough to know whats going on! As I said I had grown up with Cahtolic, Church of England and Secular education and i still chose confirmation on balance. ...if I accept all that at face value ...namely that age is no obstacle to making a commitment to a faith -why not hold off till I dunno 16? 18? 21?
...I'll have a stab at why not -because if Kids aren't caught when their young enough to be indoctrinated they won't be suggestable enough when their "cop on" kicks in -which is well after 6,7 or 8 years old. The game would be well and truly up.
You might have discussed your upcoming confirmation when you were 14 for years -but you'd already had your religious dispositon well established when you were much, much younger. The church had "stacked the deck" against the likelyhood of you saying no.


Finally with regards to the reation of the earth you are basing your views on one scientific blief. As someone said on the show-he was taught the moonc ame dout of the ocean! Some scientists would agree 500 eyars wqs a "blatant lie" others wouldn't. Science and fundemental atheism is just one more belief system-maybe its "child abuse" to indoctrinate kidds with ideas of evolution?

Science has absolutley nothing to do with belief systems. Your equating it with religious faith (and dragging it down in the process I might add). Science, like mathematics, is about testable hypothesis. We know 1+1 = 2 because it a testable, demonstable hypothesis. We know the universe is approx 8.5 billion years old and this planet over 6 billion years old because it is testable and demonstrable.

We DON'T know if there is a God -be he/she/it benevolent, malevolent of indifferent because the existence of such of an entity can't be tested. All we have is approximatley 33,000 different versions of who and what that God entity is -given to us by the many diverse cultures of the world throughout history -NONE of which have either
a) stood the test of time or
b) come up with a story for the origin of all around us that tallys with that which is testable and demonstrable

-hence we have the fig leaf called 'faith'.

anto1208
18/01/2006, 10:52 AM
i think science and religion are pretty similar really , i had an arguement one night with a mate who doesnt belive in god ( i do ) he said to me prove he exists and its not just some ramblings written down in a book years ago ,what if they were taking the **** !.

my reply was prove oxygen exists and isnt just made up by some scientist taking the **** and written down in a book years ago , we have belived that we need oxygen to live because we were told it from when we were born.

you cant see it ,feel it , hear it , taste it ,smell it maybe there is no such thing as oxygen and its all just an elaborate hoax .


the main reason i belive in a god is , why does life want to succeed everything on the planet fights so hard to live , if you belive in evolution then you belive that earth was a lump of lava cooling while spinning aroun dthe sun ,ice meteors hit it and the ice evoporated creating our atmosphere ,in another meteor amino acids which are the building blocks of life created baceria which started to produce oxygen ( i know its just a theory :D ) which gave rise to what we have today through millions of years of evolution.

now what made those bacteria ? why did particles suddenly join together to create a living thing rater than just float about the place ? what gave them the desire to reproduce and succeed ?

finlma
18/01/2006, 11:10 AM
my reply was prove oxygen exists and isnt just made up by some scientist taking the **** and written down in a book years ago , we have belived that we need oxygen to live because we were told it from when we were born.


Of course your mate can't prove the existence of oxygen but go into a science lab and they can prove without doubt that oxygen exists. Not a single person can prove that without doubt God exists.



why does life want to succeed everything on the planet fights so hard to live
Cause there is nothing else to do but survive, its a natural instinct. Sure, if there is an afterlife, which is actually supposed to be better than here, should we not all be in a rush to die and get there???



now what made those bacteria ? why did particles suddenly join together to create a living thing rater than just float about the place ? what gave them the desire to reproduce and succeed ?
Why did he just create bacteria - why not go ahead and create everything instead of letting evolution do all the work. Surely you're not suggesting laziness on God's part??

dcfcsteve
18/01/2006, 11:34 AM
i think science and religion are pretty similar really , i had an arguement one night with a mate who doesnt belive in god ( i do ) he said to me prove he exists and its not just some ramblings written down in a book years ago ,what if they were taking the **** !.

To be fair, science and religion are diametric opposites. Science is based on the fundamental premise of proving 'facts' through repeated experiments delivering the same result consistently over time. If something can't be proven through such repetition, then as far as science is concerned it isn't a 'fact'.

Religion is based on the opposite of fact - 'faith'. Faith works in the absence of demonstrable facts. It is a philosophy that holds certain things to be true, even though they CAN'T be proven. Furthermore, it often works completely AGAINST demonstrable fact e.g. ressurrection, changing water to wine, walking on water etc, can all be proven to be scientifically impossible, yet people still believe in them even though it flies against the face of reason. That is what faith is all about.


my reply was prove oxygen exists and isnt just made up by some scientist taking the **** and written down in a book years ago , we have belived that we need oxygen to live because we were told it from when we were born.

you cant see it ,feel it , hear it , taste it ,smell it maybe there is no such thing as oxygen and its all just an elaborate hoax .

As for Oxygen - yes it can be proven scientifically that there is a gas around us, invisible to the human eye, that has a certain mollecular structure and fulfills certain properties that have been scientifically attributed to the word/concept of 'oxygen'. Oxygen has a clearly defined set of properties, and clearly defined 'experiments' to prove its presence. This isn't the 14th Century - we're not all illiterate peasants dependent upon the word of a tiny controlling academic clique for our idea of what is and isn't the 'truth'. If you suspect that that which is defined as 'Oxygen' doesn't exist, then conduct one of the numerous tests designed to prove it does and see what happens. The lighting of a flame or the sustainance of mammilian life should be enough for you - as both have been consistently proven to depend upon the presence of oxygen.


the main reason i belive in a god is , why does life want to succeed everything on the planet fights so hard to live, if you belive in evolution then you belive that earth was a lump of lava cooling while spinning aroun dthe sun ,ice meteors hit it and the ice evoporated creating our atmosphere ,in another meteor amino acids which are the building blocks of life created baceria which started to produce oxygen ( i know its just a theory :D ) which gave rise to what we have today through millions of years of evolution.

now what made those bacteria ? why did particles suddenly join together to create a living thing rater than just float about the place ? what gave them the desire to reproduce and succeed ?

Everything wants to succeed because life is genetically programmed to want to sustain itself for as long as possible - which is entiely sensible and understandable. If life wasn't built to ensure its own perpetuation, then chances are it would just die out ! Evolution has shown numerous examples of lifeforms that had this instinct but just weren't equipped biologically to survive, and thereby didn't (e.g. the dinosaurs). Therefore, there undoubtedly has been life forms that didn't even have the survival instinct in the first place- but they probably only lasted a couple of hours ! We understandably only get to see the lifeforms that have both the survival instinct, and the biological adaptability to combine with it. Which makes complete and utter sense.

Those who question Darwinian evolution always rely on the premise that we should have all the answers NOW. Our view is wrong, because science hasn't answered everything NOW. It is clear from both human history and common sense that mankind is still continuously learning about the world, the universe and everything in it. Every single day someone somewhere finds out something new. It would therefore be absurd to presume that we should have the answer to life's biggest questions right NOW, when we don't even havn't even cracked simple issues such as the common cold. The Theory of Evolution is a massive jigsaw puzzle into which the pieces are slowly but surely being added. It is based on a well-argued and thoroughly debated fundamental premise that stands-up to scientific questioning. For example, it is scientifically proveable that all life on the planet has evolved from a small number of starting points. It may take millenia for us to get to filling-in the missing pieces before, after and around that - but with every year that passes mankind continually comes that little bit closer to understand everything. For example - we are on the verge now of having the scientific knowledge to tailor make life in whatever way we want - to 'play God' as the phrase ironically states. Only 25 years ago, this would have been considered absurd to people. Just like in 1945 the prospect of landing on the moon 25yrs later seemed absurd. If we are now at the stage where we can make life in whatever way we want, we are thereby much closer to understanding what events led to that process happening way back in the beginning of time. Darwinians have SOME of the answers to prove their case NOW - and are continually increasing their pool of such answers with time. Theologists have NONE of the answers to prove their theory - relying entirely on faith. It is therefore conveniently hypocritical for Theologians to reject scientific scrutiny of their own theory, whilst at the same time happily using science to question the views of Darwinians.

And finally - if God made everything, then who made him...........?

wws
18/01/2006, 11:45 AM
Something i've always wondfered is why very few people change religion...

99% of people seem to stick with whatever they grew up with. I think if someone changes religion then they much have done a lot of thinking & picked whats right for them.


Its the same with people not switching banks.....pl just cant be ars.d

reminds me of the seinfeld when george converts to latvian orthdox to go out with someone

dcfcsteve
18/01/2006, 12:12 PM
Something i've always wondfered is why very few people change religion...

99% of people seem to stick with whatever they grew up with. I think if someone changes religion then they much have done a lot of thinking & picked whats right for them.

It's a fair question.

I guess it's probably because people who reject their religion usually tend to be rejecting the broader idea of organised religion itself. Therefore - if you reject Catholicism, it's probably due to a fundamental lack of belief in God/monotheism etc. Which would then mean also ruling yourself out of any other form of christianity, as well as Judaism, Islam and possibly other faiths.

Those who keep their religion probably don't change to a different/alternate one because they have faith in what they believe already - otherwise they wouldn't believe it in the first place, and would be in the above group !

It doesn't help that the 'Western' religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) are all quite similar - all using much of the same scriptures based upon the presence of a single God with a series of prophets (some shared) to declare his presence, and the promise of a future day of reckoning. Eastern religions (e.g. Buddhism, Hinduism) are structured very, very differently, but we get very little exposure to them in the West beyond 'pop' elements such as meditation and 'karma'. If we knew more about these very different faiths, would we be more likely to 'convert' to them ? In real numbers at least, the answer would have to be 'yes'.

anto1208
18/01/2006, 12:50 PM
[QUOTE=dcfcsteve]




As for Oxygen - yes it can be proven scientifically that there is a gas around us, invisible to the human eye, that has a certain mollecular structure and fulfills certain properties that have been scientifically attributed to the word/concept of 'oxygen'. Oxygen has a clearly defined set of properties, and clearly defined 'experiments' to prove its presence. This isn't the 14th Century - we're not all illiterate peasants dependent upon the word of a tiny controlling academic clique for our idea of what is and isn't the 'truth'. If you suspect that that which is defined as 'Oxygen' doesn't exist, then conduct one of the numerous tests designed to prove it does and see what happens. The lighting of a flame or the sustainance of mammilian life should be enough for you - as both have been consistently proven to depend upon the presence of oxygen.



If life wasn't built to ensure its own perpetuation, then chances are it would just die out !

QUOTE]

ye have kinda missed my point lighting a match does nt proove that there is oxygen , you belive this to be true because you have been told fire cant light with out oxygen so when you see fire you think there must be oxygen .
why because you have been told this since a young age , in the same way adults firmly belive there is a god because they have been told it since an early age .

what if years ago some one just came up with a theory that was just accepted


on the if life was nt built bit : if it was nt built by who ??? who programed it to want to survive ?

Schumi
18/01/2006, 12:55 PM
what if years ago some one just came up with a theory that was just acceptedThere is no 'what if'. Scientists don't just 'accept' a theory. It has to be tested repeatedly and its predictions shown to be true.

finlma
18/01/2006, 1:02 PM
ye have kinda missed my point lighting a match does nt proove that there is oxygen , you belive this to be true because you have been told fire cant light with out oxygen so when you see fire you think there must be oxygen .
why because you have been told this since a young age , in the same way adults firmly belive there is a god because they have been told it since an early age .

what if years ago some one just came up with a theory that was just accepted


You're embarrassing yourself. That is a useless argument. The existence of oxygen is 100% true and can be proven. The existence of some sort of God has never been proven.

anto1208
18/01/2006, 1:14 PM
You're embarrassing yourself. That is a useless argument. The existence of oxygen is 100% true and can be proven. The existence of some sort of God has never been proven.

im not saying there is no oxygen for god sake im just using it to illustrate a point that you just accept that there is oxygen because you were told that .

how many experiments have you carried out to proove that oxygen exists , i know ive never done any , ive turned wine into vodka allright but never proven oxygen exists i just accept it with out ever really questioning why .

thats my point ,question everything dont just accept things because some one tells you its true ,surely looking back over history there has been many proven scientific facts that are now laughable . measuring the shape of someones head to determine if they are a murderer or not !


what if it just an elaborate hoax and all the scientist are just laughing at us .


i will point out even though ye have said time and time again that it can be proven none of ye have shown me one single way that it can be proven that there is oxygen , all im hearing is there are tests and it has been proven by some one else .



another one that keeps me awake at night is if when you look at an object thats blue , but in your mind you actually see green , but because when you were a kid some one pointed to a blue object and said this is blue ( you see green ) you will go through your life thinkin green is blue

Lionel Ritchie
18/01/2006, 1:28 PM
Anto give it up will ya:rolleyes:

Christ Almighty:eek: :D

John83
18/01/2006, 1:29 PM
im not saying there is no oxygen for god sake im just using it to illustrate a point that you just accept that there is oxygen because you were told that .

how many experiments have you carried out to proove that oxygen exists , i know ive never done any , ive turned wine into vodka allright but never proven oxygen exists i just accept it with out ever really questioning why .

...

what if it just an elaborate hoax and all the scientist are just laughing at us

i will point out even though ye have said time and time again that it can be proven none of ye have shown me one single way that it can be proven that there is oxygen , all im hearing is there are tests and it has been proven by some one else .
Might I suggest you put a plastic bag over your head, tying it firmly around the neck. Wait ten minutes. That should prove an adaquite proof/disproof for you both of oxygen and of God.

anto1208
18/01/2006, 3:10 PM
Might I suggest you put a plastic bag over your head, tying it firmly around the neck. Wait ten minutes. That should prove an adaquite proof/disproof for you both of oxygen and of God.

again this proves nothing all it shows is you require something from the atmosphere to live, something that you belive tobe oxygen ,why do you think that ? for no other reason than thats what you were told

again im not saying oxygen does nt exist im just using it to illustrate the point .
that you blindly belive with out question something that you cant prove yet you feel its ok to have a go at some one who belives in god because they cant prove to you he exists

Poor Student
18/01/2006, 3:24 PM
I think Anto has gone the wrong way about explaining his point. What he means is we laymen with little or no depth of knowledge in Science which I reckon is the majority of humanity put a certain degree of faith in Science. Most of us personally have not tried and tested most scientific facts (though in Junior Cert. Science we have checked the effects of an Oxygen deprived flame Anto!). Yes, we could go and try them ourselves but the fact of the matter is we don't and won't and will continue until the day we die believing the many scientific facts taken for granted that we haven't proved ourselves. Is that what you tried to say Anto?

dcfcsteve
18/01/2006, 7:46 PM
As for Oxygen - yes it can be proven scientifically that there is a gas around us, invisible to the human eye, that has a certain mollecular structure and fulfills certain properties that have been scientifically attributed to the word/concept of 'oxygen'. Oxygen has a clearly defined set of properties, and clearly defined 'experiments' to prove its presence. This isn't the 14th Century - we're not all illiterate peasants dependent upon the word of a tiny controlling academic clique for our idea of what is and isn't the 'truth'. If you suspect that that which is defined as 'Oxygen' doesn't exist, then conduct one of the numerous tests designed to prove it does and see what happens. The lighting of a flame or the sustainance of mammilian life should be enough for you - as both have been consistently proven to depend upon the presence of oxygen.

If life wasn't built to ensure its own perpetuation, then chances are it would just die out !

ye have kinda missed my point lighting a match does nt proove that there is oxygen , you belive this to be true because you have been told fire cant light with out oxygen so when you see fire you think there must be oxygen .
why because you have been told this since a young age , in the same way adults firmly belive there is a god because they have been told it since an early age .

Anto - life is a feckin complicated thing. None of us can be experts in EVERYTHING, and most of us are experts in close to feck-all. Therefore, how does anyone know anything at all ? How do you know that Amazon is a transactionally secure website - have you spoken to their in-house security team and toured their technological infrastructure prior to trusting their word on this ? When you get onto an aeroplane - how do you know it'll fly ? I don't mean the concept of aviation - I mean that particular plane that you've never been on before. Would you demand to speak to the mechanic and the Chief Engineer/Mechanic and tour the plane in advance before accepting that that particular aircraft is able to make the jounrye you're booked to make.

Again - no-one can be an expert in everything, and most of us are experts in
close to feck-all. But there are also lots of things in the world that - for those who have the time, resources and excpert knowledge - can and have been consistently proben to be scientifically accurate/factual. The presence of oxygen is one of those. Had you the time, the will, the equipment and necessary expertise, you too could prove the presnce of oxygebn in numerous scientifically indesputabel ways. But most of us don't, and are happy taking the word of people who's job it is to prove cretain things, and who present us with credible evidence to support it.

Therefore - unless we're all going to cower at home afraid to leave in case everything we've told before turns out to be false (though how do you know the builders and surveyors weren't lying when they said your house was structurally sound...? :eek: ) then we have to accept the fact that there are people out there who's job it is to verify that certain scientific facts are indeed tested and accurate, and accept their word when they say so. Again - the alternative is to stay under your duvet for fear the sky might fall down.....


what if years ago some one just came up with a theory that was just accepted

They did. It's called religion.....

Bald Student
18/01/2006, 8:07 PM
another one that keeps me awake at night is if when you look at an object thats blue , but in your mind you actually see green , but because when you were a kid some one pointed to a blue object and said this is blue ( you see green ) you will go through your life thinkin green is blueYou're correct on this one. In Japan up untill about 50 years ago blue and green were considered to be different shades of the same colour. Colours have just been assigned names ant there's no particuar logic to them.

That's a seperate point to the existance of God. There are people who claim to have demonstrated scientific facts. These people (with the exception of Homeopaths) are open to correction if their theories can be shown to be wrong. Noone, who's not a nutter, claims to be able to prove that God exists. Noone offers a means to prove or disprove the existance of God.

Bald Student
18/01/2006, 8:11 PM
I think Anto has gone the wrong way about explaining his point. What he means is we laymen with little or no depth of knowledge in Science which I reckon is the majority of humanity put a certain degree of faith in Science. Most of us personally have not tried and tested most scientific facts (though in Junior Cert. Science we have checked the effects of an Oxygen deprived flame Anto!). Yes, we could go and try them ourselves but the fact of the matter is we don't and won't and will continue until the day we die believing the many scientific facts taken for granted that we haven't proved ourselves. Is that what you tried to say Anto?
The faith in science is very different from the faith in God. While most of us have no interest in checking up on scientists to make sure that what they're doing is correct it's obvious that whatever they're at produces results. If they were working on false theories they wouldn't have invented stuff that works.

REVIP
18/01/2006, 9:28 PM
Science and God are about completely different things, aren't they?

It's only right-wing fundamentalists (and certain churchman who still won't apologise for condemning Galileo!) that think that God is running the physical universe.

Isn't God a force outside of the material scientific realm?

anto1208
18/01/2006, 10:05 PM
I think Anto has gone the wrong way about explaining his point. What he means is we laymen with little or no depth of knowledge in Science which I reckon is the majority of humanity put a certain degree of faith in Science. Most of us personally have not tried and tested most scientific facts (though in Junior Cert. Science we have checked the effects of an Oxygen deprived flame Anto!). Yes, we could go and try them ourselves but the fact of the matter is we don't and won't and will continue until the day we die believing the many scientific facts taken for granted that we haven't proved ourselves. Is that what you tried to say Anto?


your right , but at the risk of repeating myself that simple junior cert test ,you are told that fire wont burn with out oxygen so when it the match goes out you assume its due to the lack of oxygen .you automatically link it because you have been told what to expect . is it beyond the bounds of possiblity that`what we accept as fact today will be laughed at in 100 years same as we do now , maybe even maybe they will figure out that there is no such thing as oxygen but what they called oxygen was a comination of 2 gases they werent able to seperate ?

i dont think we should rule anything out maybe some day god will be proven to exist , i had a maths teacher that said he could prove the existence of god through an equation . do i belive it because its been "proven " no..

Bald Student
18/01/2006, 10:12 PM
is it beyond the bounds of possiblity that`what we accept as fact today will be laughed at in 100 years same as we do nowNo it's likely to happen in a lot of areas. Oxygen is probably not one of them. If scientists were wrong about their theory of oxygen the breathing apparatus they invented for divers and space men wouldn't have worked. They do work so oxygen probably exists and is the stuff the tanks are filled with.


maybe even maybe they will figure out that there is no such thing as oxygen but what they called oxygen was a comination of 2 gases they werent able to seperate ?That's been checked and is not the case.


i dont think we should rule anything out maybe some day god will be proven to exist , i had a maths teacher that said he could prove the existence of god through an equation . do i belive it because its been "proven " no..Your maths teacher was talking rubbish.

Hither green
19/01/2006, 11:23 AM
Sorry late catching up with this thread. I thought the Dawkinís thing was quite interesting, better than Robert Winstonís patronising history of God. Didnít agree with any of Dawkins though and would have quite liked a response about science doing what it can without asking whether it should or not. Surely the invention, creation and use of the atomic bomb was science doing something without the moral consideration that religion provides or should have provided. For good men to do that evil deed religion wasnít needed at all, in fact it was the lack of any moral direction and structure that probably prompted them.

I hate the argument on the purity of science. At least religion accepts that it relies on faith. Science starts with a hypothesis, an assumption, and thatís a departure from ďscienceĒ at the very beginning. And if they stuck purely to observation and deduction there wouldnít be so many disputes on what findings meant. I wouldnít consider science and religion fundamentally different. Along with philosophy their roles are to explain the world around us. Without knowledge of the planets to explain day/night primitive man personified the forces that brought the sun up each day. Religion should be about expressing the larger things that even science canít answer. The trouble with established religion is when it starts getting into too much details on how things are or how they came about. By going into detail on creation as a fact Christianity will always be in bother, they should stick to the larger picture and embrace evolution as the process by which creation happens.


At 7 I could have been taught that the earth is flat and God is a giant Monkey living on Pluto and I would have believed it.

What are you trying to say? I hope youíre not doubting the existence of the giant monkey, in my book thatís blasphemy! :)

Lionel Ritchie
19/01/2006, 12:23 PM
Surely the invention, creation and use of the atomic bomb was science doing something without the moral consideration that religion provides or should have provided. For good men to do that evil deed religion wasn’t needed at all, in fact it was the lack of any moral direction and structure that probably prompted them. Evil to the people it directly affected undoubtedly, Evil in the threat it presented to world peace, human survival etc for sure ...but evil to use a weapon that saved the lives of (conservatively) a million of a your own for the cost of 120,000 of theirs? Tough on the ones below it for certain but the argument would've been forwarded "fcuk 'em ...they started it". I might regret it happened but I'm not going to wag my finger at people who's shoes I never walked in.

Also if we followed all the "moral considerations" religion brought to the table, blood transfusions would be frowned upon, organ transplants would be a naughty no-no, IVF kids would not be born to families who's Dad had to w@nk in a cup and those of us who make it as far as their death bed would die in screaming agony.


I hate the argument on the purity of science. At least religion accepts that it relies on faith. Science starts with a hypothesis, an assumption, and that’s a departure from “science” at the very beginning. And if they stuck purely to observation and deduction there wouldn’t be so many disputes on what findings meant. I wouldn’t consider science and religion fundamentally different. Well wrong. Scientific research involves attempting to disprove hypothesis. Religion makes zero attempt to disprove the existence of God. It's just a given ...which is not satisfactory.
If religion, before proclaiming the existence of a god, applied a fraction of the strictures to itself that science does before proclaiming a theory (never mind fact or truth,) there wouldn't be a church open anywhere.

dcfcsteve
19/01/2006, 2:06 PM
I hate the argument on the purity of science. At least religion accepts that it relies on faith. Science starts with a hypothesis, an assumption, and thatís a departure from ďscienceĒ at the very beginning. And if they stuck purely to observation and deduction there wouldnít be so many disputes on what findings meant. I wouldnít consider science and religion fundamentally different. Along with philosophy their roles are to explain the world around us. Without knowledge of the planets to explain day/night primitive man personified the forces that brought the sun up each day. Religion should be about expressing the larger things that even science canít answer. The trouble with established religion is when it starts getting into too much details on how things are or how they came about. By going into detail on creation as a fact Christianity will always be in bother, they should stick to the larger picture and embrace evolution as the process by which creation happens.

There is nothing '"impure" in beginning an investigation with an hypothesis. In trying to work out any unknown answer with a potentially large number of possible investigatory routes, you have to start somewhere. For example, the Police do it all the time when investigating serious crime (e.g. likely motive, assailant profiling etc) without making any ensuing convictions less defendable in court.

Both religion and science do attempt to explain the world around us, but they have fundamentally different approaches to doing this. Science starts with a hypothesis, and then seeks to either disprove or prove it. Central within this is a feedback-loop - it doesn't just try to explain the world around it purely through the eyes of its own unchecked arrogant view. It constantly alters its hypotheses and world view depending on what results and findings are feedback to it by the world around it that it is seeking to explain. Science is therefore involved in a two-way 'discussion' with the world

Conversely - religion starts with an hypothesis; makes no attempt to investigate it; rejects any attempts by any one else to even QUESTION, let alone disprove, it; ignores any form of 'feedback' from that world around it - instead clinging dogmatically to the purity of its monologue even if it becomes more and more unfeasible with time; and then tries to terrify/bully any one who refuses to believe their disproven hypothesis with fear of what will happen if they don't blindly accept it !!

That is about as far from science as you can get....

pete
19/01/2006, 2:23 PM
Conversely - religion starts with an hypothesis; makes no attempt to investigate it; rejects any attempts by any one else to even QUESTION, let alone disprove, it; ignores any form of 'feedback' from that world around it - instead clinging dogmatically to the purity of its monologue even if it becomes more and more unfeasible with time; and then tries to terrify/bully any one who refuses to believe their disproven hypothesis with fear of what will happen if they don't blindly accept it !!

That is about as far from science as you can get....

All religions seem to rely on the writtings many centuries ago. Sure for all we know they could have been started by from lads after night boozing deciding to pull the mother of all spoofs. A bit like the "hes the Messiah..." scenes from the Life of Brian.

Isn't recognised religion like a really old cult? ;)

shedite
19/01/2006, 2:29 PM
Totally off topic (kinda) but I presume everyone has seen this VERY old on:

Proof that women are the root of all evil


Women = Time * Money

Now, we all know that time is money,

time = money

....so...

woman = money * money

......Therfore.....

woman = (money)^2

We also know that money is the root of all evil.....

money = √(evil)

woman = [√(evil)]^2

Hence,

woman = evil

WOMEN ARE EVIL!

Hither green
19/01/2006, 3:42 PM
Conversely - religion starts with an hypothesis; makes no attempt to investigate it; rejects any attempts by any one else to even QUESTION, let alone disprove, it; ignores any form of 'feedback' from that world around it - instead clinging dogmatically to the purity of its monologue even if it becomes more and more unfeasible with time; and then tries to terrify/bully any one who refuses to believe their disproven hypothesis with fear of what will happen if they don't blindly accept it !!

As a non-religious person Iím sure that you can comfortably say that religion starts with a hypothesis but thatís coming from ďscientificĒ view point. Most religious thought is considered to start with a revelation (maybe to a group or maybe to a ďdivineĒ individual) and then is built on and expanded through philosophical and theological thought. Such revelations could be considered as being reached through the senses, although theyíre not provable in a scientific way. Then again, philosophically speaking, isnít all of science only provable through our ability to sense things (either through the limits of our technology or, some would argue, through our ability to recognise reality).

Iím interested though in maths or subjects related to it (bits of Cosmology, theoretical physicals for example). Most people would consider maths scientific but it's axiomatic and unprovable, and itís arguably closer to philosophy (didn't some philosopher describe maths as the language of God? Ė Canít remember who). It would be interesting to find out how many mathematicians believe in something that we could equate to God, as compared to the limited (and I donít mean that disrespectfully) scientific view - (Stephen Hawkin has talked of God hasnít he?)



Evil to the people it directly affected undoubtedly, Evil in the threat it presented to world peace, human survival etc for sure ...but evil to use a weapon that saved the lives of (conservatively) a million of a your own for the cost of 120,000 of theirs? Tough on the ones below it for certain but the argument would've been forwarded "fcuk 'em ...they started it". I might regret it happened but I'm not going to wag my finger at people who's shoes I never walked in.

Well not coming from a scientific viewpoint I'm happy to wag my finger, at a decision to wipe out half a million people, without the sensual experience of being in their shoes. My religious/philosophical views give me a moral code with clear boundaries and the dropping of the atomic bomb, for me, steps over those boundaries. Anyway, the point about the atomic bomb wasn't necessarily a scientific dig, it was a dig at using our capabilities without a moral framework, I could equally have used the holocaust or Joe Blogs being shot on the street corner.

Lionel Ritchie
19/01/2006, 4:01 PM
As a non-religious person Iím sure that you can comfortably say that religion starts with a hypothesis but thatís coming from ďscientificĒ view point. Most religious thought is considered to start with a revelation (maybe to a group or maybe to a ďdivineĒ individual) and then is built on and expanded through philosophical and theological thought. Such revelations could be considered as being reached through the senses, although theyíre not provable in a scientific way. Then again, philosophically speaking, isnít all of science only provable through our ability to sense things (either through the limits of our technology or, some would argue, through our ability to recognise reality).

Iím interested though in maths or subjects related to it (bits of Cosmology, theoretical physicals for example). Most people would consider maths scientific but it's axiomatic and unprovable, and itís arguably closer to philosophy (didn't some philosopher describe maths as the language of God? Ė Canít remember who). It would be interesting to find out how many mathematicians believe in something that we could equate to God, as compared to the limited (and I donít mean that disrespectfully) scientific view - (Stephen Hawkin has talked of God hasnít he?)




Well not coming from a scientific viewpoint I'm happy to wag my finger, at a decision to wipe out half a million people, without the sensual experience of being in their shoes. My religious/philosophical views give me a moral code with clear boundaries and the dropping of the atomic bomb, for me, steps over those boundaries. Anyway, the point about the atomic bomb wasn't necessarily a scientific dig, it was a dig at using our capabilities without a moral framework, I could equally have used the holocaust or Joe Blogs being shot on the street corner.


you could have but you didn't. So am I correct in deducing you think it would have been "a lesser evil" shall we say -to NOT use the a-bomb which killed some 80,000 in Hiroshima and 40,000 in Nagasaki (dunno where your half a million figure came from) and go for a "D-Day" style conventional invasion of Japan instead which would've rubbed out (and this is worth repeating) 1,000,000 allied soldiers + fcuk knows how many japanese (certainly more again), reduced most of Japan to ashes and prolonged the war by two years maybe?

how does multiplying the bodycount 20-fold rate as less evil when they'd the means to end it quickly with 5% loss of life rlative to the "fair" way?

A means I've no problem conceding they were ham-fisted with by the way. Should've given the Japanese a lot more time after Hiroshima to let the word spread that the game was up rather than going for nagasaki within a week -but that's as far down the road of judging their actions I'll go.

John83
19/01/2006, 4:22 PM
you could have but you didn't. So am I correct in deducing you think it would have been "a lesser evil" shall we say -to NOT use the a-bomb which killed some 80,000 in Hiroshima and 40,000 in Nagasaki (dunno where your half a million figure came from) and go for a "D-Day" style conventional invasion of Japan instead which would've rubbed out (and this is worth repeating) 1,000,000 allied soldiers + fcuk knows how many japanese (certainly more again), reduced most of Japan to ashes and prolonged the war by two years maybe?

how does multiplying the bodycount 20-fold rate as less evil when they'd the means to end it quickly with 5% loss of life rlative to the "fair" way?

A means I've no problem conceding they were ham-fisted with by the way. Should've given the Japanese a lot more time after Hiroshima to let the word spread that the game was up rather than going for nagasaki within a week -but that's as far down the road of judging their actions I'll go.
I'd agree with most of that. I have been told (unverified) that there was rumour/intelligence that while the Japanese were considering a surrender after the first bomb, elements of their military were planning a coup to prevent that. Other people have a more cynnical view that they wanted to test the second type of bomb too.

John83
19/01/2006, 5:20 PM
your right , but at the risk of repeating myself that simple junior cert test ,you are told that fire wont burn with out oxygen so when it the match goes out you assume its due to the lack of oxygen .you automatically link it because you have been told what to expect . is it beyond the bounds of possiblity that`what we accept as fact today will be laughed at in 100 years same as we do now , maybe even maybe they will figure out that there is no such thing as oxygen but what they called oxygen was a comination of 2 gases they werent able to seperate ? No. There's no chance of that whatsoever. The subatomic structure of oxygen and its place in the Periodic Table of Elements is well known.

Now, for a demonstration of why science is not faith:
"A lifetime of experimentation could not prove me right.
A single experiment could prove me wrong."
-Albert Einstein

http://www.smh.com.au/news/science/was-einstein-wrong/2006/01/18/1137553651249.html
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2005/emc2.html

The most cherished theory in physics - the basis of nuclear power, nuclear weapons and less directly half of modern electronics, is still being tested, debated and challenged.

Try challenging Catholic dogma. Or testing or debating it for that matter. They don't burn heretics any more, do they?

Hither green
20/01/2006, 9:25 AM
how does multiplying the bodycount 20-fold rate as less evil when they'd the means to end it quickly with 5% loss of life rlative to the "fair" way?

Youíre right in assuming that I think using the bomb was a mistake even though it may have cost fewer lives in the long run. Personally I could never justify the bombing of civilians. But itís a personal thing, and I admit that I do generally subscribe to principles over realpolitik. I certainly donít subscribe to shock and awe tactics to force submission.

anto1208
20/01/2006, 12:28 PM
Youíre right in assuming that I think using the bomb was a mistake even though it may have cost fewer lives in the long run. Personally I could never justify the bombing of civilians. But itís a personal thing, and I admit that I do generally subscribe to principles over realpolitik. I certainly donít subscribe to shock and awe tactics to force submission.


the bomb itself can be debated wether it was good or bad ,

what was pure evil was
1) picking a city that hadnt been bombed before so the people were nt expecting it
2) flying 4 or 5 dummy runs so people thought the run that actually dropped the bomb was another false alarm and didnt get into shelters etc .

this was done to get the maximum number of civilian casulities .

but from a country that has murdrered an estimated 25 million innocent civilians around the world its to be expected .

BohsPartisan
24/01/2007, 3:47 PM
Just found this thread during a tour of the current affairs section. Interesting stuff. I recently read The God Delusion and would highly reccomend it. It also prompted me to go back and read sections of the Bible. Great fun to leaf through, particularly the old testament. Picked it up the other day and turned to the book of Judges. 10,000 infidels dead in the first paragraph alone. Now thats entertainment.
In the story of Soddom and Gomorrah a crowd arrives at Lots house because they require carnal knowledge of the two men (angels) who are visitors in Lots house. Lot does the decent thing and offers them his daughter to be gang-raped instead. Another almost identical scenario occurs in Judges.
Lot and his family then leave Soddom but his wife is turned into a pillar of salt for looking back (a bit harsh eh?). Later Lots daughters get him drunk and seduce him. Of course without religion we would have no guide to morality! :D

Lionel Ritchie
24/01/2007, 6:23 PM
Just finished Richard Dawkins 'The selfish Gene' and have started into the God Delusion. Still in the preface and it's already excellent.

That bible sounds like my kind of book.:D
Hard partying people them Soddomites:eek: :D

jebus
26/01/2007, 12:45 PM
Come off it BohsPartisan, how can you recommend the God Delusion? I just went through it myself and I found it to be the most contradicting piece of claptrap I've ever read in my life. Dawkins points about religion are simply the words of a man who wants everyone to agree with him, he doesn't even invite any argument for anything he says. In fact in a few sections, after making his point, he says that there can be no arguing with his 'teachings' on the matter. The guys a raving lunatic, far worse than any Catholic priest, Protestant Vicar, Jewish Rabbi or anyone else.

He's point about how the Boeing 747 theory is flawed, basically because it doesn't prove a Creator's existence 100%, is sound enough, but then he went and spoilt it al by coming up with his own flawed Boeing 747 counter-theory that apparantly can't be argued against! Why? Because you can't prove him wrong! The same can be said of the Boeing 747 pro-creationsit theory, but of course he doesn't say that.

Another thing he says in that attrocious book is that religion is the root of al evil, which to be quite honest is ********. He points out part of the States where the religious 'Red' states have higher crime rates than atheist 'Blue' states. Well he is assuming that all liberals are atheist here, and that all conservatives are religious for one, so thats that part of it wrong, he is also leaving out that 'Blue' California has the highest crime rate in the US, plus if he wants to get into mankind's violent tendencies than why not point out that some of the more vicious characters in recent history, Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler and Mao were all atheist and very much anti-religious? In fact the 20th Century for me was the first Century in modern man's history where we made an attempt to break away from religion and what happened? We ended up with more bloodshed during that century than in any other in recorded history. Still Dawkins fails to mention that fact too, apparantly being selective is the hallmark of an atheist too, and not just of a creationist.

I had respect for the guy once, after reading the Selfish Gene, wich I would still recommend as a good read, but it's like the God Delusion was wrote by an entirely different author. His facts seem to be based upon his sneery disdain for anyone religious, and not in any scientific process (in fact this book has been rejected by many noted scientists, atheists and religious alike, as the work of an egomaniac in the last few weeks) and personally, I can't see why he sees it as his life work to abolish religion. Plenty of people don't belive in any form of religion, but it doesn't drive them to near dementia as it seems to have done to Dawkins

BohsPartisan
26/01/2007, 1:22 PM
Dawkins points about religion are simply the words of a man who wants everyone to agree with him, he doesn't even invite any argument for anything he says. In fact in a few sections, after making his point, he says that there can be no arguing with his 'teachings' on the matter.
.


No he doesn't. The only things he says are indisputable are things that have been definitively proven by science.



Another thing he says in that attrocious book is that religion is the root of al evil, which to be quite honest is ********.
Here you give the game away. You haven't actually read the book because he in fact complains that the Channel Four producers called the TV show "The Root of All Evil" and he said it was a ridiculous term.


plus if he wants to get into mankind's violent tendencies than why not point out that some of the more vicious characters in recent history, Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler and Mao were all atheist and very much anti-religious?


More proof you haven't read the book. He has a whole section on this. He quite clearly states that Atheist does not automatically equal good and that a religious person is not necessarily bad.


My advise to you would be read the book before you go on a rant. :rolleyes:

jebus
26/01/2007, 1:32 PM
We must have been reading a completely different version of the book so Partisan because this is what I took from that terrible book. How do you counter his assertion that the Red religious states of America have a higher crime rate than the blue states if he is not pointing out that religion is responsible for this? Why else would he bring up the point about blue and red states?

As for your other points, well Dawkins thumbs around thing like, some athiests are evil, but his general assertion is still that religious people have commited worse crimes throughout the course of history and hence religion itself is to blame. By redaing your account of the book you'd come away thinking that Dawkins had a well reasoned argument with himself about the pros and cons of religion and came away satisfied he won the argument. If you're one of those who worships at this man's alter just say so and I won't bother responding anymore

BohsPartisan
26/01/2007, 1:38 PM
We must have been reading a completely different version of the book so Partisan because this is what I took from that terrible book. How do you counter his assertion that the Red religious states of America have a higher crime rate than the blue states if he is not pointing out that religion is responsible for this? Why else would he bring up the point about blue and red states?



No he's not pointing out that religion is responsible, he's pointing out that the arguement that many religious people make I.E. No God = No Morality is completely bogus. He points to those examples to show that secular folk don't need religion to be moral. He is fairly explicit about what he means.


If you're one of those who worships at this man's alter just say so and I won't bother responding anymore

I sure don't. I'm certainly a Gouldite when it comes to punctuated equilibria, which is something Dawkins dismisses but I agree with Dawkins over Gould in the NOMA controversy.
I agree that he is quite patronising in his tone but despite its flaws, the book has more pros than cons.

jebus
26/01/2007, 1:42 PM
I agree that he is quite patronising in his tone but despite its flaws, the book has more pros than cons.

Since we generally can never seem to agree to disagree on anything, I'll just say thats where we differ in our opinions of this book, I think it has more cons than pros