Atheism & Intelligence

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by garbonzo, May 21, 2013.

  1. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    One of the main differences between them is that religion is founded on belief, whereas science is founded on knowledge.
     
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  3. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    That's an interesting assertion. I think though that there are things about the universe that science by itself cannot explain. Science reaches a limit and the only explanation (to me) is that there is a Creator.

    Again...my belief system but it is a fact that science can't prove everything. How do we explain...the "unexplainable?"

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  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Yet we live in an era of information overload from all that has been explained. It's more than any individual could possibly hope to make a dent in even if given a lifetime to try. And it's expanding daily. Despite the limitations on present knowledge of the universe, the applications of the principles discovered to practical matters of mundane life has completely redefined our lives, our futures, and future of the planet. All things considered, the glass seems a little more than half full.

    I think it's the other way around. The limit on choices for ways the universe could have been created were constrained, once folks like Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding. This now requires the Creator to implement Creation in a rather bizarre sequence of events beginning with a condition that becomes impossible even if God is endowed with every power imaginable. That condition is one of a time when "there was no time, there was no space, there was only singularity" (my characterization). From this we are constrained to leave God in an eternal state of suspended animation, "just about to" wave the wand, but never actually accomplishing it because time "at that time" is frozen. It's a lot more problematic than the literal reading of Genesis. It requires God to "exist" outside of spacetime, which is equivalent to saying God does not exist. In fact, I'm a little surprised most science posters will say the existence of God can neither be proven nor disproven. I think it's reasonably supported by facts to arrive at the truth of the statement that says no Creator could have possibly preceded the Big Bang. Furthermore, there's no essence of a divinity in the nature of the Big Bang, since it all reduces to intrinsic properties of matter. For example, "roundness" is an intrinsic property of a circle. It makes no sense to say "God created roundness" or "God created circles" but I can arrive at the elegance for its natural occurrence as an intrinsic property merely by stating c = 2πr. By the same token, the intrinsic properties that point to a plausible unfolding of spacetime, and the expansion that accompanies it, is reducible to these kinds of intrinsic properties. For this reason I think that science has explained creation adequately for my pea sized brain, and I suspect the gaps in facts and information that sometimes come out in the forays into this question will probably be converge in the not-too-distant future into something more formidable that precludes a Creator, and that we just happen to live in an age that hasn't quite landed on this realization. Of course it may remain in the minds of any person who can't comprehend the science that the science is inadequate, which is a whole 'nother can of worms. But eventually, if and when core social problems--like poverty, ignorance, superstition and all other common thinking errors--are ever wiped out, then I think there will be a renaissance of this sort, one that restores the relevance of science to common people because they universally seek the knowledge it offers. Utopian maybe, but also favored in terms of the good of the whole, so entirely possible. One can wish, at least.
    Obviously there are limits. But yesterday's limits are today's discoveries. I do think the present era is one of passage.
     
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  7. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Which always leaves the question where did the creator come from? Therefore your "only explanation" is "unexplainable". And subsequently, is no explanation at all.
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I don't find that "fact" anywhere. From what scientific authority did you learn it? I'm surprised that they didn't bother to teach us that at Caltech.

    We start by reminding ourselves that unexplainability is temporary.
     
  9. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    This is such a robust answer I want to think before replying lol

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    How to explain the beauty and mystery of faith?
    I don't know how to do it justice.
    I know, this seems like a non answer but I'm being sincere.

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    lol
    There are things that have no "answer."
    Do you believe in miracles?

    Can u explain this pls?
     
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    That could be lyrics to a song.

    Some want to do it justice by killing a lot of people, strapping bombs on kids and letting them blow themselves up, committing suicide on the command of older humans with faith. Sometimes God becomes a Demon and produces horror and misery when the acts committed are demonic in the name of Faith.

    I apologize to you personally, Wegs for sounding so cold and disinterested, but I have had some experience, being the only atheist family in a 98% catholic small town. All grades in a single classroom, 23 kids.
    In the 5th grade I once declared to the class that man was made of atoms. After school I had to run for my life chased by 10 kids who felt I had attacked their faith.
    Spiritual ecstasy is a double edged sword. It is self made ecstasy and highly unpredictable in its effects.
     
  11. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    I find no beauty and/or mystery in faith. :shrug:
     
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I read it to mean spiritual (mental) ecstasy. Lots of released endorphins.
     
  13. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Oh, you don't need to apologize but thank you.

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    Kind of you.

    It's funny spiritual ecstasy. Honestly...it's far from that.

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    I have suffered a lot in my life but I do believe in the redemption if suffering. There is a peace that is hard to explain when u truly give your life to God. Again...this is my belief.

    I have many atheist friends...good friends and at the end of the day, I see you and everyone as a unique individual. I don't like or dislike anyone based on "who" they worship or if they do at all.

    I honestly try to listen to all points. And treat ppl with respect. And hope they do the same for me even though we believe opposing things.
    You know?

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  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I'll be glad to call you friend.

    In the end it is the personal action of the person that expresses the character of the God being served.
     
  15. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    ditto

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    that's wonderful. yes, agreed.
    ((hugs))
     
  16. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Ok. Able to read this again and respond properly.

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    this is all true yes. But there will still be a limit to that which man can learn and "discover" science.

    But God is not contained by space and time as you or me.
    Speaking as a believer of course lol

    This is interesting. So this is a segue into another universe you feel?
    Now that intrigues me.
    Where I think atheists and people of faith differ is that some atheists believe that faith believers don't trust science or that we don't believe its findings. On the contrary, many do. I do. But science can't explain miracles. Science can't explain how someone who was abused their whole life chooses to be happy. Or how a holocaust survivor named Viktor Frankl could go through nazi Germany living in work camps, and come out of it writing a book that would change thousands of lives. He prayed in the camps. He was a believer in God. Science doesn't explain how a self proclaimed atheist like CS Lewis could convert to believing in God and write books that would transform lives.

    Something touched these people that science cannot explain.

    It is easier to not believe. Lol believe me. It is not easy to always have faith in something outside of me. Especially in such a chaotic world. Outside of my world. But I choose to have faith and hope in something more than the tangible explainable facts of life. Faith is something that enabled Viktor Frankl to make it through the camps and not only that...but to give the world logo therapy.

    The problem with religion is that many people put God in a box. They think God thinks like them. We don't know the mind of God. But to look out into the vast universe and think that it was all happenstance. That the sun is in just the right place to heat the earth and so on ...is to not be willing to see something beyond.

    But I also don't force my beliefs on anyone because I understand why people don't believe. There are times I have doubted. I'm not a bible thumper by any stretch. Lol I just know there is something more to this life. Something we can't see. Something at work. How do I know? I have faith.

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    Faith is hard to define, but a beautiful thing to experience.

    That is all I can say. I hope this is taken in the spirit I meant it and it is to share my views on faith. And there are many believers who are highly intelligent. Faith is a heart lesson. It cannot be explained as we explain a math problem that has only one right answer. One could be unable to read or write and yet have faith. How is that possible?

    Faith can move mountains and can explain the unexplainable. It isn't about equations not is it a precise art. It just is. And I can't force it on anyone. Because then it wouldn't be faith now would it?

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    And that is my story and thank u for letting me share a slice of if with u.

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  17. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Possibly 'cos it's fairly obvious.

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    Can science prove which exploded sun our heavy metals came from?
    Or even what I ate for breakfast 31 years ago?
    Or that no one has yet (at the time of my writing it) uttered the sentence "parsimony is apple's fallacy penguin brick."
    At best it arrives at probabilities of things having happened, or will happen.
    But proof?

    Did you need Caltech to tell you this was the case?
     
  18. ccdan Registered Member

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    The same thing that keeps most people (and some animal species) from harming one another: we aren't naturally aggressive against one another. Besides, in the case of "raping babies" (is there a more stupid crime-related stereotype?) we aren't "programmed" to be attracted to prepubescent human beings.

    Religion on the other hand, makes people a lot more aggressive and bad towards other people. Most religious people support the death penalty, tend to support torture (in certain circumstances), tend to favor violence against other people, including their own children (they call it 'corporal punishment" , "discipline" etc) and want to see lots of people being deprived of liberty for very trivial or victimless deeds that go against their stupid indoctrination.
     
  19. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I would tend to agree. I would agree wholeheartedly if we restricted this to Christian and Islamic fundamentalists, since you have to exclude the pacifists, the ones who will not judge others or punish them, the ones who place forgiveness at highest priority, and the charitable ones who help people in need out of empathy, not out of a desire to convert them or to corral them into their personal view of lifestyle choices.

    To your list, which is a good one, I would add the main phobias - racism, xenophobia in general, misogyny, homophobia, social conservatism, vigilantism and militancy.
     
  20. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Sounds like you never did well in a science class.

    You certainly weren't digesting any science back then.


    You sure that's not a math question? Or is it bad translation of Borges' The Library of Babel? What field of science would you like to refer that kind of question to--the ones that deal with personality and behavioral issues?

    You're probably just confused about the role of evidence in science. It's an input to the process, not an output. The output is knowledge. But if you're hung up on analyzing proofs, you should try a thread on Geometry or Logic.
     
  21. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    That's what I mean when I say it's a work in process. Some things do reach finality. When data starts to converge to a fraction of a percent, we can declare mastery of it. One thing is for sure: people will continue to explore reality until the end of time.

    In the physical sciences, this is equivalent to saying "God is not real".

    What I really meant was that I think a lot of the ways people are divided over questions of belief vs knowledge -- this I believe will pass. I think there will come a new era when average skills in science are so developed that people will look back at this era as a transitional phase in which societies began to evolve away from cynical skepticism and denial of science only to throw themselves into it head first, absorb it, and begin to practice it with fluency.

    Since the culture war is not between religion and science, but between fundamentalism and science, it's best to label it that way, but folks forget or get sloppy.

    Science would deny any phenomena that purport to violate the laws of nature, or in some cases subject it to testing and then deny it when it was discovered to be hoax (such as tears from a statue of Mary).

    A small part of that can be explained by biology, but the best explanations would probably come from psychologists. CS Lewis had a large imagination, which could explain how religions appeal to people that might otherwise be looking for facts and evidence.

    I think it's easier to believe religion than to learn science. Religion is usually acquired while the mind is young and impressionable. It comes with tools to overcome doubt, such as blind faith, whereas science requires deep inquiry and hard work in order to master basic skills. In religion you waive the need for this, substituting what Thomas Paine called "hearsay upon hearsay".


    Non-believers find this conflict too extreme. There is too much senseless agony to reconcile. The atrocities against innocents, whether by nature or not. Childhood disease for example.

    It is quite remarkable that a person would survive such an order and maintain a sense of meaning and purpose to life. On the one hand I can see it in a biological sense, as a survival mechanism. But I could never find any meaning in, say, childhood leukemia, not the context of a just God who rewards innocence and punishes wickedness.

    It helps that all the books upon which religions are founded present the anthropomorphic God. But even to ascribe thinking to a unreal entity is effectively the same thing. We know that it not only requires a brain to think, but that brain must be healthy and awake.

    I recall encountering this idea at a very young age, surprised that people were drawing this conclusion, recognizing that the creation of the person was a chance occurrence. That is, if not for chance I would be this person or that one. By the same token, the believer would just as likely be born into a primitive society, one which would hold no such belief, and this person would never come to such a conclusion. I then realized that religion thrives in part on not being aware of what chance really is, namely, it is a very real force of nature. Years later I felt vindicated when I discovered that there was a branch of math called Probability Theory.

    But if you accept Probability Theory then this is explained without having to imagine that there is some other cause.

    That's probably the majority view among believers. Unfortunately fundamentalism has a long history of attacking science, so religion gets dragged down in the forums while defending scientific truth against fundamentalism.

    In my mind this is similar to a lot of fantastic things I believed as a child. My feeling is that just as people outgrow their childhood view of the world, many folks grow into science and begin to see the bigger picture in new ways that not only explain much of the causes ascribed to God (such as the causes for the position of Earth relative to the Sun) but the correlation between those probabilistic events with the probabilistic experiential events Frankl ascribes to a logos.

    In Islam, it's done by oral memorization of the surahs.

    Of course faith cannot literally move mountains, but sufficient energy can, which is entirely explainable by basic physics. I also think that the metaphor which it alludes to, that people can overcome seemingly impossible adversity by application of a correct methodology is perfectly true, only the motives that arise in a person to do so can be explained by biology. Consider salmon swimming upstream just to spawn, or any of countless migratory treks taken by the most unlikely species to conquer wind, water and gravity, and we also begin to notice that there are underlying biological causes for virtues like hope and fortitude.
     
  22. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    I did well enough, thanks.
    But if you think science can prove which exploded sun our heavy metals came from then feel free to explain how it is possible to prove it, rather than merely come up with some probability.
    I.e. proof, not mere likelihood.

    As another example, can science prove unicorns don't exist?
    Given how little you know of me, and your poor attempts to argue the points raised, I'm wondering if you even know what science is?
    It undeniably has maths as part of a probabilistic solution (ie the "it's highly unlikely anyone has ever said it before" type of response).
    But can science prove that it has never been said before?
    Your questioning of whether it is even appropriate to ask science suggests that you accept that it is not, and thus that you accept that there are things that science can not prove.
    Or are you merely arguing for the sake of it without actually reading the discussion that has gone before?
    i know well enough the role of evidence, thanks.
    Please try to be less patronising, especially when as misplaced as here.
    I'm also not hung up on proof in any way.
    I was merely correcting someone (and perhaps you if you also insist on sharing the implicit claim) that there is nothing science can not prove.

    Now, if you want to continue to arguing in support of that claim, that there is nothing science can not prove...?
    Or perhaps you'll identify the error of your jumping in to the discussion as you did and carefully backtrack out of it.
    Your choice, of course.
     
  23. absols Registered Member

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    why dont u go to the words signification to check the answer in the question truth first ??? bc u never mean what u say at all

    debates..go on ..any material for shapes to seem ,,, bc what u really mean is opposites being the same, good bad rightwrong all same thing...wat matter is those lousy attempts that make u feel unik to eat as much as u look cute in creating time of ur lousy presence

    what is intelligence???

    intelligence is exclusively to objective existence ways for constant still reality being the perspective of anywhere out

    intelligence is to truth, as noone but the fact of being, existing so real ends free

    so intelligents people are only objective individuals perspectives, which is by definition to none when objective is the reality and not a made up thing fake

    that is why the more individuals are intelligent the more intuitively they would reject one being source of anything, the more they know truth value being the exclusive reason of objective shapes relations on the base of sameness to what there is nothing else
     

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