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Tags atheism , feuds , god , science , theism , theology

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Old 9th June 2012, 06:28 PM   #1
kowalskil
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My article in American Atheist Magazine

My article about futile confrontations between theists and atheists*appeared in the April 2012 Issue of*American Atheist Magazine. The link is:

http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/theo/atheist.html

Please share this link with other potential readers. Thank you in advance,

Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)*
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Old 9th June 2012, 07:24 PM   #2
GeeMack
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Originally Posted by kowalskil View Post
My article about futile confrontations between theists and atheists*appeared in the April 2012 Issue of*American Atheist Magazine. The link is:

http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/theo/atheist.html

Please share this link with other potential readers. Thank you in advance,

Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)*

Starting with this...
Quote:
The methods of validation and refutation used by scientists and theologians are sufficiently different to justify separation rather than cooperation. Separation will allow theists and atheists to rethink and reformulate the basic ideas and methodologies.
The scientific method is a demonstrably effective way to validate objective reality. Theology, not so much. It sounds like you're suggesting theists should be allowed to avoid the scrutiny of the scientific method, skepticism, and objective analysis. That's special pleading, and although religions have used that rather dishonest strategy for centuries, it's a cop out.
Quote:
Until this happens, scientists should not participate in debates about the spiritual world, unless they happen to also be theologians. Likewise, theologians should not participate in debates about the material world, unless they happen to also be scientists. Debates about ways to eliminate existing conflicts might last decades, if not centuries. They are likely to be more productive if conducted separately.
As long as god-believers want their god considered part of objective reality, they have a responsibility to demonstrate, objectively, that their gods and the associated magical stuff exists. So far theists haven't been able to get their beliefs past the rigorous scrutiny of the scientific method. Hiding behind the "theology" skirt is a pretty cowardly way to avoid that scrutiny. Now if theists would have the honesty to acknowledge that their beliefs are definitively a delusion, that they cannot be objectively demonstrated to be real, then yes, science should leave it alone. But really, we've had thousands of years of religious people demanding that their delusions are real, and further demanding that the non-religious accept them as part of their reality, too.

So really, it's not the atheists' or scientists' responsibility to stop asking the fantasy believers to support their fantasy as long as the fantasy believers are claiming it's real. It's the religious people's responsibility to objectively support their fantasy. Or have the honesty and courage to admit that it is just a fantasy. Or keep it to themselves.

Last edited by GeeMack; 9th June 2012 at 07:35 PM. Reason: Grammar.
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Old 9th June 2012, 08:42 PM   #3
I Ratant
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From what Gee wrote, it sounds a lot like Gould's NOMA...
If investigations into the spectral world ruffle some feathers, ruffle 'em up.
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Old 9th June 2012, 08:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by I Ratant View Post
From what Gee wrote, it sounds a lot like Gould's NOMA...
That's exactly what it is.
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Old 10th June 2012, 07:31 AM   #5
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From the article:

Quote:
Methods of validation of claims made by theologians specializing in spiritual doctrines are very different from those used by scientists exploring our physical world. God is not a material entity, and attempts to refute God's existence by performing scientific experiments are not appropriate
Following that route, what one would end up with is a god-of-the-gaps, as each attribute is slowly whittled away. Not all theists are happy with that, for the reason below (also quoted from the article)

Quote:
Theology is like mathematics, not science. Mathematicians start with axioms (initially accepted truths) and use logical derivation to justify consecutive claims, called theorems. Once proven, a theorem cannot be rejected, unless a logical error is found in the derivation
If nothing is invested in the axioms, no problem. We can posit that Batman and Superman have certain powers, and then spend days arguing who would win in a fight, without worrying a bit whether Batman and Superman are actually real.

The difficulty comes when the scientific method disproves an axiom which theists insist is actually real. This is the point at which science and theism overlap. Most theists are not happy to erase a whole branch of logical derivations, just because evidence shows the underlying assumption is not true. If they were, the two could coexist, but the only theists left would be the worshipers of the god of the gaps.
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Old 10th June 2012, 09:47 AM   #6
Beelzebuddy
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
If nothing is invested in the axioms, no problem. We can posit that Batman and Superman have certain powers, and then spend days arguing who would win in a fight, without worrying a bit whether Batman and Superman are actually real.
We don't need days. Supes has no chance.

Now, you wanna real pissing contest, we can argue what Batman's alignment would be in DnD 3.5e.
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Old 10th June 2012, 11:55 AM   #7
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I'd also like to comment on,
Quote:
Methods of validation of claims made by theologians specializing in spiritual doctrines are very different from those used by scientists exploring our physical world. God is not a material entity, and attempts to refute God's existence by performing scientific experiments are not appropriate

Not only are theologians' methods of validation different, they're downright non-existent. Theology is the study of the unknowable.
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Old 10th June 2012, 01:06 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum, Ludwik. My view of NOMa is that it is science apologetics. Do you find yourself being unable to verbalize how NOMa is different from any other woo belief rationale?
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Old 10th June 2012, 01:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by hgc View Post
....
Not only are theologians' methods of validation different, they're downright non-existent. Theology is the study of the unknowable.
Theology is the study of myth with the idea myth is somehow real. Myth is better understood with the scientific process. It's a human endeavor and one should look to the human brain, not mystical gods or extra-universe sourced explanations for its meaning.
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