Faith, Science, and Religion

Discussions on a ranges of philosophical issues including the nature of truth and reality, personal identity, mind-body theories, epistemology, justification of beliefs, argumentation and logic, philosophy of religion, free will and determinism, etc.
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Alien
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#31

Post by Alien » Fri Apr 22, 2005 8:46 am

Kurieuo wrote: You've admitted theories are subjective in principle as they are based on subjective experiences through our senses. You then say if something becomes objective it becomes a scientific "theory." Yet if theories are subjective then how can scientific theories be both subjective and objective? Which one is it. And how can something subjective "become" objective?
I should explain better now. A theory is always subjective, then it's up to the author to demonstrate that it is also objective.

I could state:

1) the Earth is round
2) in my garden lives a dynosaur
3) tomorrow it will either rain or not
4) Unicorns exist

Theory 1 is scientific because it can be tested or falsified. It remains subjective until anyone can experience it. Then it becomes objective. And objective means that it is verified by anyone.

Theory 2 is scientific because it can be tested or falsified. It remains subjective and can easily be falsified when you or anyone else come in my garden (we could have a barbecue). It is a scientific theory that is simply wrong.

Theory 3 is not scientific because it cannot be falsified. It can be verified, when you'll see that it rains. It becomes objective when tested, but it is useless. It is not scientific. It's a sort of tautology.

Theory 4 is not scientific because it cannot be falsified. It remains subjective for ever.

So, I think I am covering all cases:

1 and 2 are scientific,
3 and 4 are not,
1 and 3 are objective
2 is wrong, therefore cannot become objective
4 is not scientific, therefore cannot become objective

Kurieuo wrote: Well, aren't acts of faith required to trust our experiences from our senses, and then with reason science can be performed? If so, then faith is still required to perform science.
At a first instance, also, yes. But this is not fixed, static and immutable.

For example, with my ears I can feel sounds between frequencies of 50 and 20,000 Hertz. I could then be entitled to state that every sound in the universe lies between 50 and 20,000 Hertz frequency.
This would then be something subjective, because your ear may feel a range 55-22,000 rather than 50-20,000.

But if I say that there are also sounds that cannot be directly experienced by my sense because their frequency lies outside this range, then I am moving from subjectivity to objectivity. Anyone can measure the frequency of a sound with a spectrum analyser, and the subjectivity of my senses is overcome.
Kurieuo wrote: And what does your agnosticism mean to you?
Difficult to answer in a few lines.
Just to simplify, looking at my examples above, my agnosticism tells me that science is the only way of proceeding in understanding the world with some methodology.
I can't understand the use of any theory that is not scientific and cannot become objective. In the above four examples, I accept only 1.

Theories like example 4 above are acts of faith, because they remain subjective and are not scientific.
Kurieuo wrote: I'd agree that science cannot demonstrate anything to 100%, however, if it can't then can science ever truely be 100% objective?
I am talking about "science reducing uncertainties". Uncertainties are neither subjective nor objective.
Within a scientific theory there might be some uncertainties. The rest of the scientific theory, if tested, is objective.
Within theory 1 above, we could say that the Earth is not precisely spherical, but still "round" and not flat.

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#32

Post by Felgar » Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:24 am

Alien wrote:I can't understand the use of any theory that is not scientific and cannot become objective.
Are you married? Will you ever be? Because your affection for your wife is entrely subjective and can never be scientifically tested and proven objectively to everyone else. Yet you're willing (I assume) to base a major portion of your life on your own subjective feelings of affection. Why do you then reject faith in God on the very same grounds that you accept through your commitment to marriage?

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#33

Post by Prodigal Son » Fri Apr 22, 2005 1:13 pm

4 can be falsified. how is that statement subjective?
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#34

Post by Alien » Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:02 am

Felgar wrote: Are you married? Will you ever be? Because your affection for your wife is entrely subjective and can never be scientifically tested and proven objectively to everyone else. Yet you're willing (I assume) to base a major portion of your life on your own subjective feelings of affection. Why do you then reject faith in God on the very same grounds that you accept through your commitment to marriage?
I agree that my love for my wife is subjective. But I am not saying that all what is subjective is false. My love for my wife might have consequences that are not subjective, but it is not objective on its own.

For example, I like the green colour and I don't like the yellow. This is subjective and therefore simply outside the scope of science. I cannot pretend to use science to demonstrate my preference for the green.

But a feeling is not the same as faith. I would not mix love (or hate, or fear, or happiness) with faith.
Prodigal Son wrote:4 can be falsified. how is that statement subjective?
I don't think that 4 can be falsified. It's impossible to check every corner of the universe. And, even assuming we can do it, someone could eventually say that 4 is true in another universe, outside our space-time environment. Or, subjectively, someone might say to have seen a unicorn, once for ever and never again.

Statement 4 is not true and is not false. Simply because it cannot be falsified, it is not of scientific interest.

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#35

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:16 pm

Statement 4 is not true and is not false. Simply because it cannot be falsified, it is not of scientific interest.
Sadly, that's not the case...if so, evolution wouldn't be a hot topic...and would be ignored by scientists.

But as Prodigal said, statement four is not subjective (characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind). It's either true or false, it's just that you can't really prove it false...
3) tomorrow it will either rain or not
Also, just a note, that's not a tautology. A tautology is something that defines itself with itself. Example-survival of the fittest. Who are the fittest? Those who survive. Who will survive? Those who are the fittest?
You also see a lot of this when idiots do vocabulary. Delivery truck driver-one who drives delivery trucks. Silly stuff like that.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
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An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
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#36

Post by Prodigal Son » Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:23 pm

alien, my friend, i'm sorry...but you're still wrong.

but, i change my stance: 4 can be proven true or false.

very simple:

1)Proof--we can pretty much determine if unicorns were ever real by our ability to conjure up physical proof of their existence. since we have amassed physical proof of many extinct and extant species, we can be relatively safe when deducing that unicorns are myths. still, we may find proof one day (e.g. this happened with the giant squid...once believed to be a myth, it has been recently "discovered").

2)Perception--if there is no physical proof, we need not despair. we can still rely on testimonies/perception/sightings. has anyone ever seen a unicorn? have these perceptions been verified? still, realize that we need more than one testimony from more than one person. the fact that there are many recorded perceptions of unicorns in historical writings leads us to...

3)Analysis--are these reports more likely to be myth or true historical reports? something interesting...unicorns are mentioned in the bible many times. since the bible is the most historically accurate document in existence...we may someday "discover" that unicorns aren't just myth afterall. now, isn't that splendid?!

deuteronomy 33:17, psalm 22:21, isaiah 34:7 (kjv)
so, you see, proving the existence of unicorns is not so hard afterall...and definately not subjective.

there's another point you made a mistake on too. can you figure out which it is?
Last edited by Prodigal Son on Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#37

Post by Dan » Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:47 pm

I'm sorry but the KJV is not even close to being the most accurate translation of the bible. How do you make that assumption anyway? I've read both the KJV and the NIV and the NIV is much more lucid and more true to the original text than the KJV.

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#38

Post by Prodigal Son » Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:49 pm

:lol: dang, take a chill pill, dude!

i don't know where i read that the kjv was the most accurate, but i did. sorry i can't supply you with that information. maybe what i read was wrong. maybe not. i do understand that there is a huge debate over kjv proponents and other translations--everyone thinks their version is best. so i researched online and discovered that at present no version is rated higher than any other for accuracy. :( that goes for your fave (niv) as well!

so, i guess we're both wrong :P . thanks for pointing that out!

i'll modify my post to alien to exclude the kjv as "most accurate."
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#39

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:41 pm

KJV attempts to do a word for word translation. NIV takes into account all the words in a sentence, which is then carefully phrased to read more lucidly to us in English. KJV is therefore better when performing word studies within Scripture, yet NIV is good when you don't fully understand what the KJV is saying. ;) I have personally come to love the NASB for it reads easily, and in word studies I've conducted it appears to retain to more accurate terminology and tense than NIV.

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#40

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:05 pm

A toast to NASB!
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
-Anonymous

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#41

Post by Alien » Thu May 12, 2005 7:37 am

Prodigal Son wrote:alien, my friend, i'm sorry...but you're still wrong.

but, i change my stance: 4 can be proven true or false.

very simple:

1)Proof--we can pretty much determine if unicorns were ever real by our ability to conjure up physical proof of their existence. since we have amassed physical proof of many extinct and extant species, we can be relatively safe when deducing that unicorns are myths. still, we may find proof one day (e.g. this happened with the giant squid...once believed to be a myth, it has been recently "discovered").

2)Perception--if there is no physical proof, we need not despair. we can still rely on testimonies/perception/sightings. has anyone ever seen a unicorn? have these perceptions been verified? still, realize that we need more than one testimony from more than one person. the fact that there are many recorded perceptions of unicorns in historical writings leads us to...

3)Analysis--are these reports more likely to be myth or true historical reports? something interesting...unicorns are mentioned in the bible many times. since the bible is the most historically accurate document in existence...we may someday "discover" that unicorns aren't just myth afterall. now, isn't that splendid?!

deuteronomy 33:17, psalm 22:21, isaiah 34:7 (kjv)
so, you see, proving the existence of unicorns is not so hard afterall...and definately not subjective.
Yes and no.
If I make a statement like "Green cows exist", then we can easily agree that up to now nobody has ever seen a green cow. The fact that nobody saw any green cow up to now does not necessarily mean that a green cow might be seen by someone tomorrow. Potentially, and I agree with you, this statement is either true or false. But, what I'm saying is that, independent on the fact that it can (obviously) be true or false, this statement cannot be falsified. It cannot be falsified because in order to falsify it we would need to check every corner of the universe, to negate the statement. And we can never -never- be exhaustive in our research.

Therefore, if the statement cannot be falsified, it is not a scientific statement, ie it cannot be scientifically analysed.

The fact that someone in the future may find a green cow, or a unicorn, or a giant squid, does not change my considerations at all.

I am perhaps a bit extremistic here, but (and this is my agnosticism) if something cannot be scientifically analysed, then I consider it as subjective, or, better, not objective.

If I tell you that in my garden there is a giant, but I am the only human who can see him, then this is a non-objective statement.
Prodigal Son wrote: there's another point you made a mistake on too. can you figure out which it is?
No, but I am curious to know.
BTW, I don't think mine are errors. They are attempts to give some order, or some sort of epistemology to these considerations. What is outside science cannot prove anything. Or, better, what cannot be falsified is not scientific. I don't think there are many scientists who think that the statement "unicorns do exist" is scientific...

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