Wednesday, November 19, 2008

God is faith

I really hate this term, and has likely been the biggest turn off to organized religion that has ever crossed my path for consideration. Here is just another example of such errancy .

Hetman writes:
No one ever said [evolution and creationism] could not coexist. They just cannot coexist in science class. Just like alchemy and chemistry cannot coexist in science class. God is faith based. Evolution is based fact.
I respond:
I think it is a little more like comic books are not legitimate reading material for an English class.

Science takes faith too, the faith that we are seeing and understanding things in the same way. It is a philosophy, a method for all of us to look at the world in the same way. By your definition, science is just easier. Where the hell did you get that impression?

Religious faith is based on an exploitation of the human necessity for truth, and tries to give people an easy way out to look at the world. They give you little books with simple stories to memorize, and you are done! True philosophy is a commitment to constantly working towards better understanding.

In theory, organized religion could be a pathway towards understanding, but instead it the infomercial diet pill of the mind.

If you could understand this, you would get why evolution is not a FACT, it is a THEORY.
I think some people are just looking for different thins in the world. Some people see it as something small that if they could just understand it, then they can control it and live out the perfect life. I think some of these people also see things as "if it works, it must be right". The problem with this is is the limitations of our own self observation. So many questions have been asked for centuries about 'what is truth?' and 'how do we measure it?'. There have been models for truth through out history. We still look to classical Greek texts to see how in many ways we have not changed. Our children are not born knowing or understanding more about our universe than civilizations of long ago.

But as new theories, models of understanding, have been tested and evolved over this time, we have perfected to the best of our ability, a path to true understanding and communicating about our world.

Wikipedia, on the Scientific Method, opens with:
[This theory] refers to bodies of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.
I would argue that this has been the goal of philosophy throughout history. "Bodies of techniques" is what is specific about the scientific method, while the rest is philosophy. Religion falls into the realm of philosophy, and by this definition, I am sure any theist could argue that by this definition, religion plays this role for people's lives, while science only refers to "stuff" and "things" that their god put here. This keeps science outside the scope of being able to say anything new, different, or conflicting with reality, well, their reality.

What this quote plainly takes out of context is what those bodies of techniques that are integral to understanding the difference between "science" and just "any other philosophy". This is the foundation where we decide what we are going to accept as truth, and what we regard as ideas and speculation. This model illustrates it well, from the web site:

The last step that is not included (because this is a guide for students doing science fair projects) is that the results must be independently verified. Further, and this is the real kicker, the independent results must match as exactly as possible. In general, any hole in a theory breaks it, when such conflict can be verified through an independent study, particularly when such studies come up with better models that more accurately relate a phenomenon. Then further there is the whole difference between causation and correlation. It takes more than seeing two things together to say that one thing causes another, but that is a bit more complicated.

So what does this mean really? I think it means that we either have to accept or reject it as a foundation for absolute truths. It doesn't mean that things that aren't proven by science are false, it just means that they aren't proven as true... by the same token, science can prove that things are NOT true, but it does not mean that things that can not be proven to be false are true.

So in every way I have ever been able to look at things, the bible is just a book. It Is like any other book, there are good books, and there are bad books. Good ones not worth reading, and bad ones worth reading too. Personally, I think there are a lot of other better books worth reading. Unless you just want to know what all the hype is about, go ahead, but i'll just say it is a pretty bad book not worth reading. I am far from saying this simply because it is old it is somehow out dated, it is out dated for many other reasons that would require a close analysis of the text, which is not what I am going to go into at this moment.

Well, to be honest, the old testement is entertaining as insight to what primitive humans undertsoof about the world. It is worth reading from that perspective. The sequel on the other hand has the taste of Uwe Bolle and Michael Moore.

Now I can reconize that I am not taking into account all the impact that "the new testement" has had on history, as many kids today can't appreciate the impact of Birth of a Nation or Citizen Kane had on film, I have lost interest as many kids today will have difficulty appreciating Star Wars in the face of so many fanatics getting in their face telling them how it is the greatest movie ever, and making it out to be so much more than it really is, the latter being more relevant in this case for me, but knowing that the former is a big issue for many people I know that have ever had to endure going to an orthodox church.

More I just don't get...

hufflepuff17 writes:
God and Evolution cannot "Co-exist" because saying God used evolution to create everything is belittling his sovereign power and it being a miracle. We will never be able to wrap our minds around God or how he does things because we cannot conceive perfection or infinite power. So don't try and put God into a box so we can think we understand how he does things because we never will. Evolution is just our way of trying to put the creation story into a box and not letting it be what it really is, which is a miracle.
My reply:
"Evolution is just our way of trying to put the creation story into a box and not letting it be what it really is, which is a miracle."

It is really interesting you would say that because I would not hesitate to say exactly the opposite, that the wonderful place that is our world with all of its things to study and observe, the bible tries to take all that greatness and put into a small box by taking out of context some ancient story of privative human understanding of the universe and trying to say that is exactly the way things must be because it has been accepted for thousands of years.

I WILL agree I put the bible into a box (more like a can to be exact) by limiting my perspective to seeing it as just another book. Why not actually look at the history of the text you revere so greatly. No Star Wars fan boy calls another any less of a "believer" just because they acknowledge that George Lucas's wife may have had a really big role in the original trilogy. The Bible is a collection of stories kept by ancient people and their understanding of the world. Good stuff, very interesting, but why are you taking it apart to be something it is not? What an insult to the PEOPLE that took the time to put and keep it together.
I just know there is something here with these people that I am NEVER going to understand. My only comfort is that this belief does something for them that makes their lives either happier, or more stable. But it still makes me sad.


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