The universe is no fluke.

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The universe is no fluke.

Postby KingXimana » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:21 am UTC

Why are we here? Many cosmologists think that everything—not just life on Earth but the planets, the stars, the entire observable universe—is a roll of the dice writ large. Other universes within a grander multiverse have entirely different properties, not to mention completely different laws of physics, based on different rolls of those cosmic dice.

Pope Benedict XVI might beg to differ. The birth of our universe was not in any way random, he said December 6 during a sermon to thousands at the Vatican, according to Reuters. Benedict's speech was given on the day that the Epiphany—the coming of the Magi—is observed in the Western church.

"The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe," the Pope said, according to the wire service. Reuters reports that the Pope's sermon held that "God's mind was behind complex scientific theories such as the big bang" but does not quote Benedict explicitly mentioning the big bang theory. "Contemplating it (the universe) we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God," Benedict said.

Maybe now cosmologists will stop contemplating the cosmos through the lens of their own theories—worrying about how the universe began, whether our universe is but one of many within a multiverse, and whether time and space may have existed in some kind of pre–big bang cosmic past life. Then again, probably not.


(source http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/ ... 2011-01-07)

What the pope says makes me happy, it makes me think the Vatican could be catching up in years, but. . . that last paragraph is horrible.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby The Reaper » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:28 am UTC

For certain levels of philosophical abstraction on the concept herein referred to as "God"

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:29 am UTC

Hasn't the Catholic church been ahead of the curve of other denominations in regards to accepting scientific theories? I fear that sentence will cause trolling, but I'm serious. I've heard that the Catholic church has had the stance that evolution is in no way contradictory to dogma since the 19th century and held that the Genesis creation story is allegorical since Vatican II. It hardly seems surprising the Pope would make a statement supporting the Big Bang but say that God was behind it.

I'm obviously not referring to the Medieval/Renaissance Catholic Church, so please don't let this degenerate into "The Inquisition! Dark Ages!" non-discussion.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby iChef » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:31 am UTC

I weep for my people.

I feel the church would get a lot more respect from non-members if they would stick to what they're good at. Guiding people during difficult times in their lives, helping the poor and hungry, establishing a supportive community are all strengths of the Church. You will find astronomy is not among these. It is well known that Catholics believe God created the universe, it is also fairly well known that in 1951 the Church accepted the big bang theory. Vatican II showed that the Church is willing to change with the times in face of new scientific findings and cultural changes. I just wish that every time they make progress they would say "and this is right to the best of our knowledge" not "this is the absolute truth which will never change". Being men, not God, I don't expect the higher ups in Rome to know everything, I expect them to be able to give guidance to help their followers find the truth for themselves. If it is a truth about science I trust a scientist more than the Pope. It just makes the Church look bad when they have to fight for decades to undo a decree that should probably never been made in the first place. Exploring God's creation is a good thing and I cannot find any biblical rules against it, even in the old testament. I would dare say that science helps us be better stewards of creation, something that is encouraged by the bible.(Luke 12:42-48 among many other scriptures)

I would like to also point out that the last statement was the author's and not the Pope's just in case anyone get them mixed up. (I had to read the article twice to make sure)
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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:37 am UTC

Non story; I mean this is no different then "pope says christians should follow the example of jesus"
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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:09 am UTC

I'm going to try and make sure I don't step on any toes as I know religion is a senstive subject for many people, but for me, contemplating the universe in no way makes me think anything profound about its creator. It merely makes me gasp in awe at its beauty and the chances of us being here, and how things just happened to fall into place for us.
Some things that happen on our planet The string of events which led to humans existing is indeed incredible (not a miricle IMHO). But just because something unlikey occurs doesn't mean god exists. A man has been hit by lightning seven times - the work of a diety or simply bad luck? The lost lottery numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) in the lottery? James Dean dying in a car crash after the incident being prophesied by Alec Guinness? Some hummingbirds can flap their wings 90 times a second? These things amaze me but I can't see them as anything more than amazing things that just happen to happen in the world I live in.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:45 am UTC

Horrible doesn't even begin to describe that last paragraph. It can only have been written by someone who has neither respect nor understanding of science. They refer to cosmologists' "own theories" as if they're just making shit up, rather than working off of experimentally determined information, and further as if such theories are supposed to be clearly asinine or nonsensical.
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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby dedwrekka » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:45 am UTC

Hrm. I'll point out again that before, durring, and after the midevil ages the Catholic Church was one of the biggest supporters of science and "new thinking". Copernicus was a cleric, Galileo was taught in a catholic school (and was a friend of the pope, enjoying his patronage), the Jesuits were and continue to be one of the largest religion based supporters of science and learning, Fancesco Grimaldi was a priest, and Saint Thomas Aquinas made an impact in philosophy and leading the Church in the direction of Natural Theology.

The idea of a war between Science and Religion belongs in the fiction section with the rest of the Dan Brown novels.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Rinsaikeru » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:03 am UTC

Perhaps the war on Science by "Catholicism" does, religion as a whole--not so much. While I agree that the catholic church did in some cases patron the sciences and does quickly adopt new scientific discoveries--they completely ignore others (say the efficacy of condoms).
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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:14 am UTC

Aristotle's Children is a quick read for anyone who wants to see how the Catholic Church promoted education and advancement in the Middle Ages. And yes, the Catholic Church had as much of an agenda then as they do now. It's a bit unrealistic to expect a theological institution to promote pure science when they've made morality their colonnade.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Kewangji » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:42 am UTC

dedwrekka wrote:Hrm. I'll point out again that before, durring, and after the midevil ages the Catholic Church was one of the biggest supporters of science and "new thinking". Copernicus was a cleric, Galileo was taught in a catholic school (and was a friend of the pope, enjoying his patronage), the Jesuits were and continue to be one of the largest religion based supporters of science and learning, Fancesco Grimaldi was a priest, and Saint Thomas Aquinas made an impact in philosophy and leading the Church in the direction of Natural Theology.

The idea of a war between Science and Religion belongs in the fiction section with the rest of the Dan Brown novels.

Yeah, there isn't anyone doubting evolution on religious grounds. Nor were there people who objected the moon landing because they thought god would hate that. Galileo, being a friend of the pope, was not accused of heresy. Scientists were not afraid of the pope's encouragement to discourage the belief in the big bang in other scientists. There are never clashes between people of fatih and people of science, at all, since there exists examples of people being people of both. My young, scientific thoughts were never stifled by religious dogma, and that didn't happen to anyone else either.
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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:03 am UTC

I see what you trolled there.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Kewangji » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:33 am UTC

I don't care, someone was wrong on the internet and I took it at face value. Dismissing other people's opinions because I find them absurd, without telling why, is not very awesome of me. Unless you're saying I'm trolling, in which case no - there are definitely clashes between religion and science, pretty much anywhere the two fields overlap and they observation disagrees with faith.
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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby EmptySet » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:44 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:Horrible doesn't even begin to describe that last paragraph. It can only have been written by someone who has neither respect nor understanding of science. They refer to cosmologists' "own theories" as if they're just making shit up, rather than working off of experimentally determined information, and further as if such theories are supposed to be clearly asinine or nonsensical.


Stupid cosmologists! How dare they go around believing different things to me! The fools!

On a more serious note, this story is in no way revelatory. The Catholic Church has maintained for some time that a belief that God initiated and guided the Big Bang and/or evolution is compatible with the Catholic faith. It could well be headlined "Pope Is Catholic; Journalist Shocked, Takes Opportunity To Insult Cosmologists".

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Uber_Apple » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:33 pm UTC

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110106/sc_nm/us_pope_bigbang

Popey McGrue wrote:Benedict said that some scientific theories were "mind limiting" because "they only arrive at a certain point ... and do not manage to explain the ultimate sense of reality ..."


Oh dear.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Arrian » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:04 pm UTC

Scientific American wrote:Maybe now cosmologists will stop contemplating the cosmos through the lens of their own theories—worrying about how the universe began, whether our universe is but one of many within a multiverse, and whether time and space may have existed in some kind of pre–big bang cosmic past life. Then again, probably not.


You know, the article really isn't clear on this, but I think this paragraph is editorializing by the author not a quote from the Pope. The Pope is talking about _why_ the universe came into being, not _how_ it did. Note that neither this blog post nor the Reuters article managed a direct, or even indirect, quote saying scientists should stop studying the universe or anything else.

I think that the Pope is saying faith and science cover two different areas: Faith tries to answer the "why" and science tries to answer the "how." When you try to answer a "how" question with religion or vice versa, you end up with an unsatisfying result. For example, you look at "Why am I here, what's the point?" You get something like "I'm a machine built to reproduce itself," which really doesn't get at the heart of the question. Conversely, religion says "God created the world... because he felt like it," which really doesn't explain how anything actually works.

Frankly, "Maybe now cosmologists will stop contemplating the cosmos through the lens of their own theories" doesn't fit in with the actual quotes from the Pope. I would expect something more like "If we are but one section of a multiverse, of course we should to strive to understand God's creation, but we should also try to understand why God created it so." Or something along those lines.

Note the last lines of the Reuters article:

But [the Catholic church] objects to using evolution to back an atheist philosophy that denies God's existence or any divine role in creation. It also objects to using Genesis as a scientific text.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby dedwrekka » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:12 pm UTC

Kewangji wrote:
dedwrekka wrote:Hrm. I'll point out again that before, durring, and after the midevil ages the Catholic Church was one of the biggest supporters of science and "new thinking". Copernicus was a cleric, Galileo was taught in a catholic school (and was a friend of the pope, enjoying his patronage), the Jesuits were and continue to be one of the largest religion based supporters of science and learning, Fancesco Grimaldi was a priest, and Saint Thomas Aquinas made an impact in philosophy and leading the Church in the direction of Natural Theology.

The idea of a war between Science and Religion belongs in the fiction section with the rest of the Dan Brown novels.

Yeah, there isn't anyone doubting evolution on religious grounds.
Actually, perhaps you should re-read your information, start with the Vatican II and the Vactican Observitory. Actually, start with Pope Pius XII The first pope to give a statement about the Church's stance on evolution in 1950.

Nor were there people who objected the moon landing because they thought god would hate that.

At least not in the Catholic Church
Galileo, being a friend of the pope, was not accused of heresy.

Which was highly political. He wasn't accused of Heresy because of his views, he was accused of heresy because he put Pope Urban's views on the subject in the mouth of what effectively translated as "The Idiot". The Pope was forced by the inquisition and Papal courtiers to ask Galileo to put both arguments for and against Heliocentrism in his book, and not to advocate either side too heavily. Galileo agreed and did indeed do that, but also included a veiled insult to the Pope, who was already under attack from the more conservative sections of the church for having defended Galileo before. So, Pope Urban, who had given his permission and patronage of Galileo's book, allowed the inquisition to question Galileo.
I'd also point out that Galileo used teachings of saints to argue against the inquisition, saw it as his duty to continue with the penance given to him after the trial, and continued to enjoy the patronage of Pope Urban afterwords.
The idea of Galileo as this man fighting religion with science is false, it was a dispute of religious-political nature fought with religion and had no detrimental impact on the religious views of either side.

Scientists were not afraid of the pope's encouragement to discourage the belief in the big bang in other scientists.

Ummm, yeah. Again, Pope Pius XII supported the idea before it was fully fleshed out. Why would Scientists be afraid of anything the pope says? Since 1893 it's been the stance that the Church doesn't exist to explain the nature of the universe, but is there to give people a moral grounds for existing within it. There have also been plenty of scientist willing to share their findings with the church, and some even add religious wording or connotations to their findings.

There are never clashes between people of fatih and people of science, at all, since there exists examples of people being people of both.

I think you hit the nail on the head, but not the one you intended. Religious people and scientific people do occasionally but heads, however, it's more often the case that the one who knows least, speaks loudest. In other words, it's more often the case that lay people of both sides with only minimal understanding of either side argue the most and make the most noise. The vast majority of religions continue to hone their religious views regardless of what people are saying about them, and the vast majority of scientists continue to research regardless of what the religious community is saying.

A religion vs science system would have both sides going for the throat of the other, but that isn't the case. It's only the case if you allow the media or words of lay persons to cloud reality, and what the experts on either side are saying.
My young, scientific thoughts were never stifled by religious dogma, and that didn't happen to anyone else either.

So this isn't an entirely impersonal argument? I think that if you allowed curiosity to be floundered by dogma, you should have continued to follow your curiosity. Saint Augustine would have said that it's right to argue dogma. Saint Aquinas would have said that you'll find real truth through examining the real world and not a single book (Which is the official stance of the Church, and has been for a long, long time).

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby achan1058 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:57 pm UTC

dedwrekka wrote:
Kewangji wrote:
dedwrekka wrote:Hrm. I'll point out again that before, durring, and after the midevil ages the Catholic Church was one of the biggest supporters of science and "new thinking". Copernicus was a cleric, Galileo was taught in a catholic school (and was a friend of the pope, enjoying his patronage), the Jesuits were and continue to be one of the largest religion based supporters of science and learning, Fancesco Grimaldi was a priest, and Saint Thomas Aquinas made an impact in philosophy and leading the Church in the direction of Natural Theology.

The idea of a war between Science and Religion belongs in the fiction section with the rest of the Dan Brown novels.

Yeah, there isn't anyone doubting evolution on religious grounds.
Actually, perhaps you should re-read your information, start with the Vatican II and the Vactican Observitory. Actually, start with Pope Pius XII The first pope to give a statement about the Church's stance on evolution in 1950.

Nor were there people who objected the moon landing because they thought god would hate that.

At least not in the Catholic Church
How about cloning and genetic research? (or we can go back to the whole contraption and STD thing as well)

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:56 am UTC

The Catholic Church is foremost a theological institution and secondmost a moral institution. They have a moral stance, based on their theology, against contraception and for the preservation of human life. Whenever scientific progress promotes contraception or damages human life (as they see it, if you really want to turn this into a debate on when a fetus becomes as alive as a an adult human, I suppose you can), then the Church is naturally going to oppose it. What do you expect them to do? Say, "We're going to promote this because it is scientific and the advancement of mankind through science is our highest goal trumping both morality and theology"?

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby achan1058 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:20 am UTC

I said contraption, not abortion. Anyways, I am just pointing out that there are times where Science and the Catholic Church (or any religion for that matter) is at odds, regardless of what you think, or they say, about it. And at those places, the Church will promote against Science. If they are truly pro Science, they could have simply shut up and not comment.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:38 am UTC

I was agreeing with you, but I think it's understandable that science is much lower than theology or morality on their scale of priorities. I also think it's unreasonable for an institution which attempts to guide people's lives (or individuals) to simply put their heads in the sand when they think scientists are doing something immoral. Would you quietly accept, for example, scientists intentionally infecting syphilis into patients then denying them treatment so that the effects of syphilis on the body could be observed? That really happened. It was horrible and widely denounced when the larger world caught wind of it. Of course, we can certainly disagree with what the Catholic Church considers immoral, but asking them to shut up because we disagree is counter-productive on many levels.

Also, I misread "contraption" as "contraception" and brought up abortion because the Catholic positions on both are closely related in their reasoning. What do you mean by contraption? I've never heard that outside the context of an elaborate and ill-conceived machine of some sort and I feel out of the loop.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby achan1058 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:47 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Also, I misread "contraption" as "contraception" and brought up abortion because the Catholic positions on both are closely related in their reasoning. What do you mean by contraption? I've never heard that outside the context of an elaborate and ill-conceived machine of some sort and I feel out of the loop.
I do mean contraception, and somehow got the spelling wrong. But in this case I was talking about condom's and related. Abortive contraception makes no sense when talking about lowering the chance of STD.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Sweet » Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:08 am UTC

achan1058 wrote:I said contraption, not abortion. Anyways, I am just pointing out that there are times where Science and the Catholic Church (or any religion for that matter) is at odds, regardless of what you think, or they say, about it. And at those places, the Church will promote against Science. If they are truly pro Science, they could have simply shut up and not comment.


How is the issue of contraception a time when the Catholic Church and science are at odds? Very few Catholics would deny that condoms help stop the spread of some diseases and prevent unwanted pregnancy, which is all that science can say on the subject. Whether or not people should use condoms, however...that is a different story. Now we are outside the realm of science and instead in the realm of ethics, morality, and religion. With science we determine how things are. With ethics, we determine how things should be.

The Catholic Church has decided that, in its ethics system, that sexual intercourse should be both unitive and procreative. Condoms prevent both of these, so, despite the benevolent side effects, they must not be used. A large part of the secular world has decided that, in its ethics system, the prevention of disease supersedes any sacredness of sex, and so condoms not only can, but must be worn in areas where contracting disease is likely. These two ethics systems place emphasis on different things, and both are equally valid and equally invalid in the eyes of science. The facts do not change, only human interpretation and emphasis change.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby dedwrekka » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:47 am UTC

achan1058 wrote:I said contraption, not abortion. Anyways, I am just pointing out that there are times where Science and the Catholic Church (or any religion for that matter) is at odds, regardless of what you think, or they say, about it. And at those places, the Church will promote against Science. If they are truly pro Science, they could have simply shut up and not comment.

They do not "promote against Science", they do have moral objections to some scientific methods. Of the ones you mentioned:
Contraception is not disbelieved, or said to not work, by the Catholic Church but the stance against using contraception is based on their stance against not-for-procreation-sex. Supporting contraception when opposing non-reproductive sex would be counter intuitive, though they do recognize and realize the importance in testing for STDs and their dangers. Pope John Paul pointed out the use of contraception to prevent STDs, but also pointed out the above.

As for genetic research, the objection was on moral grounds to using genetic material from fertilized human fetuses, which has since been worked around by geneticists. The Catholic Church has no problem with genetic research, they even suggested trying to find a work around in their original statement on it. And why would they object? Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics, was an Augustinian priest. Guiseppe Simone, who advanced the use of amniotic stem cells, was praised by the Church.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby the_bandersnatch » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:29 pm UTC

News: Pope believes in God! Also helps make the world a safer place for paedophiles! In other news, water is wet!


In this thread: Pope said something not at all newsworthy and completely in line with his office; people debate stuff on a tangent.

And Epiphany, the festival of the Magi, is observed on the 6th of January, not December as per the article. But I bet you already knew that, on account of it being in the news everywhere last week.
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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby PeterCai » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:54 pm UTC

Religion is fundamentally anti-scientific, there's no point in arguing against this. The catholic church's stance on science is a merely survival strategy, and so should not be taken as indication of their support for science.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Sweet » Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:03 pm UTC

Religion does not have to be anti-scientific. Science is learning about the natural world through testing and observing phenomena. To be anti-scientific, a religion would have to be against testing the natural world. While there are many religions that are against this-and the Catholic Church may have had some incidences when this was the case-for the most part Catholicism wishes to test the natural world alongside science, albeit for a different reason. As for the unobservable phenomena that Catholics also believe in, it is unobservable and outside the realm of science, but does not go against science. Until we have any concrete proof that there is no God, religion is not fundamentally anti-scientific.

See, there is a point in arguing against anything. :P

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby PeterCai » Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:24 pm UTC

Sweet wrote:Religion does not have to be anti-scientific. Science is learning about the natural world through testing and observing phenomena. To be anti-scientific, a religion would have to be against testing the natural world. While there are many religions that are against this-and the Catholic Church may have had some incidences when this was the case-for the most part Catholicism wishes to test the natural world alongside science, albeit for a different reason. As for the unobservable phenomena that Catholics also believe in, it is unobservable and outside the realm of science, but does not go against science. Until we have any concrete proof that there is no God, religion is not fundamentally anti-scientific.

See, there is a point in arguing against anything. :P


Belief requires no testing, and is therefore anti-scientific, and since belief is the foundation of religion, religion is neccesarily anti-scientific. As I said, caholic church's feigned support for science is a survival strategy to make itself appear reasonable. Claims of the existence of the mythical unobservable phenomena only became popular after the claims of mythical and observable phenomena (miracle) become too inconvienient. Indeed, you can not believe in the unobservable and be scientific at the same time, to be scientific is to believe only the observed.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Sweet » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:40 pm UTC

Just because belief requires no testing does not mean that it is opposed to testing. Many religious philosophers have attempted to find a proof of the existence of a God (perhaps you have heard of Descartes' "I think, therefore I am" thought-experiment). They are not against testing it, they simply cannot.

Maybe I'm just arguing over the prefix on a single word, but I think the distinction is important.

*Edit: In response to your miracle argument. Religions still claim miracles happen. They just do not have any proof that it was caused by a deity, and not just some as-yet unexplained natural occurrence. Or mass hysteria.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:47 pm UTC

A Catholic theologian and writer (I'm sorry, I honestly can't remember who it was) said that the point of the theology is to provide a map of religious experiences. Each individual can receive religious experiences, but their experience neither demonstrates the entire nature of the divine, nor should one person's experience be used as the basis of a religion. A theologian therefore 1) does not need to have any personal religious experiences to be valuable to a larger religious community and 2) is necessary to establish an accurate understanding of divinity by collating and interpreting the various religious experiences of holy people and prophets so that a correct understanding of divinity can be possible. I paraphrase, of course. So you see, the Catholic Church, as a whole, does not "believe in the unobservable". Certainly miracles can be disregarded as underexplained natural phenomena (personally I think this is the case for miraculous healings given the now cliche "why doesn't God heal amputees" argument) and religious experiences can be explained as some form of delusion, but to say that the Catholic Church does not "test" or "observe" natural phenomena is simply untrue.
Even the argument of religious experience as delusion is hard to prove. We can observe a "holy person" and see if they have symptoms consistent with any kind of delusion causing psychological illness, such as schizophrenia, or if they were using a hallucination inducing drug at the time of their experience, but sometimes holy people seem very normal and then it becomes a phenomenological problem. That is, how do we prove or disprove something that is observed a lone observer? There was a book that came out recently, Paranormal America, that studied people who believe in ghosts, the sasquatch, ufos, and other paranormal phenomena. They found that while there were some clearly crazy people, the majority were in fact very normal, surprisingly normal. I'll try to reproduce from memory a quote provided in the review I read at the time (I can't seem to find it). A guy who searches for sasquatch and was said to be utterly normal otherwise said, "You're just a normal guy and then one day you think you see a giant monkey walking in front of you in the woods. Either you go crazy or you have to somehow work that into your worldview." Disbelieving such experiences is easy, at least for we who did not have them, but disproving them is much harder.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:27 pm UTC

ghosts, the sasquatch, ufos, and other paranormal phenomena.


To be fair, ghosts are a higher class of paranormal then the sasquatch and ufo's
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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:48 pm UTC

I'm not entirely sure of what you mean by "higher class", but I think it's fairly impossible to be impartial on some kind of hierarchy of the paranormal.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:55 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:I'm not entirely sure of what you mean by "higher class", but I think it's fairly impossible to be impartial on some kind of hierarchy of the paranormal.


Well, ghosts existing would require much more explanation then either a sasquatch(just a type of great ape presumably) or aliens(we know life is possible)
Izawwlgood wrote:I for one would happily live on an island as a fuzzy seal-human.

Oregonaut wrote:Damn fetuses and their terroist plots.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:58 pm UTC

Oh, okay. That makes sense. Yeah, the sasquatch and aliens are more plausible than ghosts or psychics.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby PeterCai » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:33 pm UTC

Sweet wrote:Just because belief requires no testing does not mean that it is opposed to testing.


Ah, but they still believe it even if no testing was done, and no evidence was found. Catholic church promotes an attitude of blind faith, of ignorance as bliss, that is plenty anti-scientific to me.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:36 pm UTC

It is like you did not even glance at what I wrote. I'm also beginning to suspect your opinion isn't exactly based on a familiarity with Catholic history or policies.

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby PeterCai » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:42 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:It is like you did not even glance at what I wrote. I'm also beginning to suspect your opinion isn't exactly based on a familiarity with Catholic history or policies.


huh? I don't think what I wrote contradicts with your stuff

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:46 pm UTC

I can't believe I'm doing this but...
Iulus Cofield wrote: So you see, the Catholic Church, as a whole, does not "believe in the unobservable".

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby PeterCai » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:48 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:I can't believe I'm doing this but...
Iulus Cofield wrote: So you see, the Catholic Church, as a whole, does not "believe in the unobservable".


and how does that make promoting unscientific ideas any less anti-scientific?

also, one theologean does not make a whole church

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Re: The universe is no fluke.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:04 pm UTC

You started out in this thread by asserting that "Religion is fundamentally anti-scientific, there's no point in arguing against this." This was an assertion provided without any argument or evidence.

You went on to say, "Belief requires no testing, and is therefore anti-scientific, and since belief is the foundation of religion, religion is neccesarily anti-scientific." This was assertion with a logical (in the literal sense) argument, but it's still unfounded. I addressed your argument in my long post by saying that the Catholic Church does in fact has tested their beliefs. If you want to know more about the history of the Church's testing, read some history books about the period 300-500 AD. The big thing they did was, in fact, to test and codify their beliefs to distinguish correct belief (orthodoxy) from opinion (heresy).

Your third post said, "Ah, but they still believe it even if no testing was done, and no evidence was found. Catholic church promotes an attitude of blind faith, of ignorance as bliss, that is plenty anti-scientific to me." This is another unfounded assertion. Me, and a couple other people, have been primarily posting to demonstrate that it is an incorrect one. Provide me with some kind of proof (perhaps some documents) that the Catholic Church does any of those things, and I will admit that you are right. The same goes for assertion that the Catholic Church promotes unscientific ideas.

Your point about one theologian does not make a church is a valid one. While I still can't remember his name or the name of the book, I do recall that the preface of the book was written by, perhaps you've heard of him, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and published by an official Catholic press. I don't think it's a stretch to say they stand behind this particular theologian.


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