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Thread: Discussing science from a religious standpoint...

  1. #1
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    Discussing science from a religious standpoint...

    ... why is it that so many people do it?
    There are so many demands that atheists should not discuss religious things from a scientific standpoint, yet they are CONSTANTLY discussing science from a religious standpoint.
    God of the gaps here, and my beliefs only explains what science can't there.

    I am seriously contemplating New Atheism. I am definitely seeing where the movement is coming from and how it is valid. It's clearly reactionary.
    Religion is always trying to insert itself into, or bastardize science.
    The Secret, for example is a perfect example. Let's take a scientific hypothesis, twist it all to hell and misrepresent it and then pawn it off as scientific spirituality and fact.

    If they're allowed to discuss science from a religious standpoint, why is it we're so admonished when we discuss religion from a scientific standpoint?
    It should be a valid demand, that for an action to be effective it should be able to cause measurable results. Prayer, for example, only seem to hamper people's recovery when relating to medical issues. They've tested it within several parameters. And nothing.
    There is scientific support for the claim that the hypothesis of prayer is not valid.

    So why can people discuss science from a religious point of view and expect us to allow that when we are not "allowed" to discuss religion from a scientific point of view?
    Is it because people have such insecurity in what they believe that they need special allowances? That they are more fragile?
    That hypothesis of a religious nature are untouchable? Hands off my belief? That belief rank higher than fact or actual scientific theories? What is it?
    Previously known as Njorun Alma


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    Quote Originally Posted by Njorun Alma
    If they're allowed to discuss science from a religious standpoint, why is it we're so admonished when we discuss religion from a scientific standpoint?
    Because no one likes having someone else try to redefine his worldview. It's the same reason why atheists get upset when Christians proselytize to them, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Njorun Alma
    It should be a valid demand, that for an action to be effective it should be able to cause measurable results. Prayer, for example, only seem to hamper people's recovery when relating to medical issues.
    I wonder if perhaps observation is affecting the results of the experiment?

    Faith is easy -- until the moment you actually need it.

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    Oh, we are legally allowed to discuss religion from a scientific perspective in most countries. The problem is we might have to insist because its not socially tolerated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix Blue View Post
    Because no one likes having someone else try to redefine his worldview. It's the same reason why atheists get upset when Christians proselytize to them, I think.


    I wonder if perhaps observation is affecting the results of the experiment?
    How could observation affect the result? Is it a case of "it only works when you don't look and question it?". Because if that is the case, it's obviously not going to ever stand up to scientific scrutiny, and does not operate within the laws of nature.

    And that's no excuse. No one likes having someone else redefine their worldview? But it's only off limits if the worldview cannot be scientifically verified? How does that work, that is my question.
    Previously known as Njorun Alma


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    Quote Originally Posted by Njorun Alma
    How could observation affect the result?
    You can't act upon something, not even to measure it, without affecting it. It's the same reason that observation can affect the path of an electron through a diffraction grating.

    Faith is easy -- until the moment you actually need it.

    "Since when are facts subjective?" - Athena_Nadine

    "Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all convictions, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity."

    W.B. Yeats, "The Second Coming"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix Blue View Post
    You can't act upon something, not even to measure it, without affecting it. It's the same reason that observation can affect the path of an electron through a diffraction grating.
    We're talking about something that doesn't work at all, according to years of observation. There is nothing. One person prays for another, the healing process is not sped up, and studies have shown that in a lot of cases people who know they are being prayed for do not fight as hard themselves for their recovery as the people who are not being prayed for. Which, so far, shows that prayer doesn't even have a positive placebo effect. I would agree if this was something that has given results at all in any shape or form other than negative. And if we write that effect off as being because of observation, we have nothing. Nothing, nada, zip, zilch.

    Affecting a study I can understand. But observation causing eradication of result at all?
    Previously known as Njorun Alma


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    Quote Originally Posted by Njorun Alma View Post
    We're talking about something that doesn't work at all, according to years of observation. There is nothing. One person prays for another, the healing process is not sped up, and studies have shown that in a lot of cases people who know they are being prayed for do not fight as hard themselves for their recovery as the people who are not being prayed for. Which, so far, shows that prayer doesn't even have a positive placebo effect. I would agree if this was something that has given results at all in any shape or form other than negative. And if we write that effect off as being because of observation, we have nothing. Nothing, nada, zip, zilch.

    Affecting a study I can understand. But observation causing eradication of result at all?
    I actually don't see how this can be measured and observed. Do you know how they did the tests?

    I mean, there is no way to test the person with both things. Like, they were prayed for and they got worse, but then they were no longer prayed for but they got better. Or if people are praying without the patient knowing about it. There are too many other factors that would be involved.

    Even supposing you had 500 people of similar illness, prognosis, family size, religious dedication, medication, and will to live. Half the group was prayed for and the other half was not. I don't even think results of that could be considered conclusive. There would be no way to control all the variables involved in if people get better or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos Hawk View Post
    I actually don't see how this can be measured and observed. Do you know how they did the tests?

    I mean, there is no way to test the person with both things. Like, they were prayed for and they got worse, but then they were no longer prayed for but they got better. Or if people are praying without the patient knowing about it. There are too many other factors that would be involved.

    Even supposing you had 500 people of similar illness, prognosis, family size, religious dedication, medication, and will to live. Half the group was prayed for and the other half was not. I don't even think results of that could be considered conclusive. There would be no way to control all the variables involved in if people get better or not.
    What they're testing is if prayer helps a patient get better quicker. So far there is no evidence prayer works at all. People who are being prayed for do not recover quicker, but tend to be more lax in the things they can do to recover... such as physiotherapy or such. At least of the people who KNOW they are being prayed for.

    So far no-one has showed any increase in recovery time, yet religious and spiritual people of all persuasion are claiming prayer does wok, they get well quicker, had significantly decreased healing time. Studying it by observing the speed of recovery in correlation to people who are being prayed for and people who are not being prayed for is showing it is not so.
    It's important to conduct these studies when religion starts to encroaching on scientific areas, and for people to accept the results as they would accept the results if they were testing a new medication.
    If something is claimed to have healing abilities, be it supernatural or medical... why would you accept that one "cannot be tested that way" while not doing it with the other? Same double standard.
    If a medication was being tested and none of the patients on it displayed any response to it whatsoever, aside from a few negative ones, would you ask about how they can possibly control all the variables of the test subjects then?
    Previously known as Njorun Alma


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  9. #9
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    Personally I think it comes down to certain types of atheists who are filled with vitriol because there are people who have the audacity not to fall to their knees prostrate with grief over their prior blindness and don't automatically start thanking them profusely for showing them the error of their ways.

    Pretty much the same attitude one finds in a great many fundamentalist christians.

    Personally I don't care if you discuss religion from a scientific perspective, or the movies of the Marx Brothers from a Socialist perspective.

    If you are discussing it with me and your ideas seem interesting to me and have merit to me then I will listen. If they aren't those things to me then I won't. And you should get over yourself and get on with your life. Instead of obsessing about my refusal to bow to your superior wisdom and insight.

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    I didn't realise we weren't allowed to discuss religion from a scientific point of view. Personally, I don't see a conflict between science and religion - seeing a massive conflict seems quite narrow minded to me.

    As to scientific people vs. religious people, it's probably more to do with the way ideas are presented (for instance, this thread feels like something of a one-sided barrage). In my experience it's often a case of "your religion CAN'T be real because science says this, this and this, you are therefore an idiot". I don't like being spoken down to by people whether they are atheists or Christians or Buddhists. It happens the other way around too; "you can't prove the existence of such and such, because the Bible says this, this and this."

    I have no problem with people approaching religion from a scientific background; but if they're going to act in a way that attacks those religions and people's way of life, of course people are going to attack back and get funny about it. That's basic common sense.

    You speak about science and prayer. That's all well and good, people have the right to do those kinds of tests and say "well, scientifically, we can't prove this." But to some people science is not the be all and end all. It's cool that scientific people can believe whatever they read in a journal, go for it, but the line is drawn when those results are used to dig holes in someone else's beliefs.

    I wouldn't expect anyone, religious-minded or scientific-minded, to use their experiences and knowledge to rip the other apart.

    The answer's quite obvious.

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