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ellapenella

What Science Can't Prove

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Paranoid Android

No offense, I'm just trying to get a grip on how things work here. Over the last year or so I've, at various times noticed certain individuals mocking and belittling the religious beliefs of other members, in threads I was not at the time engaged, and insulting the intelligence of believers and so on. This was allow to go on with no moderation and then you and another moderator said such incidences need to be reported to be addressed, hence my reference to self moderation. Some internet forums are quite a bit more strict and more directly moderated, Neogaf, for instance. Also, if what I perceive as violations aren't seen that way by the moderation team, what point would there be in reporting them? No, I'll just withdraw from vs debates and leave them to kinder souls.

I see your confusion. If a post breaks the forum rules and w moderator sees it, we will act. However, this website has an unusually small number of moderators for a site as large as this one (due to the controversial nature of the topics discussed here the site administrator is very selective in approaching possible moderators). Thus not every thread is able to be watched by moderators and a lot of the time we have to rely on the members to let us know that something is going on.

And you are right, if you report something we don't think warrants action we won't take any action. But if you don't report what you think is breaching the rules you certainly don't have any right to say "but what about them" when you get called on your posts by the mods.

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Hammerclaw

I see your confusion. If a post breaks the forum rules and w moderator sees it, we will act. However, this website has an unusually small number of moderators for a site as large as this one (due to the controversial nature of the topics discussed here the site administrator is very selective in approaching possible moderators). Thus not every thread is able to be watched by moderators and a lot of the time we have to rely on the members to let us know that something is going on.

And you are right, if you report something we don't think warrants action we won't take any action. But if you don't report what you think is breaching the rules you certainly don't have any right to say "but what about them" when you get called on your posts by the mods.

Thank you for your informative response. It's all a bit of a tempest in a teapot, really and I need to disengage and simply enjoy what I'm really here for; discussing mysteries. Thank you for your indulgence. Edited by Hammerclaw

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Atlantisresearch

If science can not disprove the existence of unicorns, how can it disprove the existence of God ?

http://www.str.org/a...ve#.VEFXNlfgXcw

by author : Greg Koukl

I really appreciate honest thinkers like this gentleman.

In science, 'truth' is not absolute and is relative to certain assumptions or postulates. However if you start with the latter (as science does) things/claims can be disproven or proven e.g. supernatural entities such as Gods have been disproven through naturalism.

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OverSword

The article in the OP states that science cannot disprove God, which is true. So far nobody has been able to adequately demonstrate the existence of God either, therefore faith. I would claim that faith is not by nature rational. To believe something exists without proof has to be rationally balanced by the fact that the belief may be erroneous. Therein lies the rub though as faith is anathema to such logic. One of the basic differences between religion and science, in religion there is no room for doubt, in science room is reserved specifically for doubt. Which then is the more humble approach?

I can almost agree but I believe that there is room for doubt in religion. I don't believe that doubting one thing taught by an organized religion automatically disqualifies the entire concept. As far as the question of which is the more humble approach would depend on how convinced you are that your beliefs are the absolute truth. I believe in God but that does not mean I believe that I'm right or that my perceptions about the creator and creation and possible reasons of existence don't change over time. In that way my system is a lot like science. At one point heavier than air vehicles flying was thought by scientists to be impossible. But scientific understanding grows. If you study the history of religions they have also evolved in a way. Edited by OverSword

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Paranoid Android

In science, 'truth' is not absolute and is relative to certain assumptions or postulates. However if you start with the latter (as science does) things/claims can be disproven or proven e.g. supernatural entities such as Gods have been disproven through naturalism.

How has naturalism disproved God?

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Atlantisresearch

How has naturalism disproved God?

Within science (methodological naturalism) supernaturalism has been disproven. As I stated this disproof claim is not absolute, but relative to the postulate that nothing exists beyond nature:

Science: "[T]he intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment."

Science can disprove claims relative to this e.g. supernaturalism claims. This is why most scientists then go on to become philosophical or metaphysical naturalists.

Edited by Atlantisresearch

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S2F

I can almost agree but I believe that there is room for doubt in religion. I don't believe that doubting one thing taught by an organized religion automatically disqualifies the entire concept. As far as the question of which is the more humble approach would depend on how convinced you are that your beliefs are the absolute truth. I believe in God but that does not mean I believe that I'm right or that my perceptions about the creator and creation and possible reasons of existence don't change over time. In that way my system is a lot like science. At one point heavier than air vehicles flying was thought by scientists to be impossible. But scientific understanding grows. If you study the history of religions they have also evolved in a way.

Having given it more thought I would amend my statement to faith is more or less a work in progress. However at the end of the day (metaphorically speaking) faith is he bread and butter of religion. I don't know of any religion that makes a distinction between fence sitters and non-believers. Personally I'm agnostic but my feet are dangling toward the atheist side of the fence. I would describe it as a simple statement of, I don't think God exists however if I am honest with myself I can't say with certainty either way. It is a question I have to find the answer to myself and not simply be told what to believe. If God is real then anything less would be a disservice.

Edited by Slave2Fate
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Paranoid Android

Within science (methodological naturalism) supernaturalism has been disproven. As I stated this disproof claim is not absolute, but relative to the postulate that nothing exists beyond nature:

Science: "[T]he intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment."

Science can disprove claims relative to this e.g. supernaturalism claims. This is why most scientists then go on to become philosophical or metaphysical naturalists.

You've bolded that science is the systematic study of the natural world. By definition that means that science CANNOT say anything about the supernatural world. Therefore naturalism hasn't and never can disprove God.

Simple as that.

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Lilly

...Personally I'm agnostic but my feet are dangling toward the atheist side of the fence. I would describe it as a simple statement of, I don't think God exists however if I am honest with myself I can't say with certainty either way. It is a question I have to find the answer to myself and not simply be told what to believe. If God is real then anything less would be a disservice.

I'm pretty much leaning towards Theism (of a sort) myself. Oh, I don't think it's like the God of the Bible (or any other religious text) but I seen/experienced enough in my lifetime to at least believe there's something beyond random chance going on.

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Xeno-Fish
Even Einstein, who was a pretty smart guy by all accounts believed in intelligent design and not chaotic random chance in our existence.

If there is intelligent design then perhaps it's at a level far beyond our understanding. As for chaos, I think it's organization that is so complex as to appear chaotic. Of course these are just my idea's and there in no shred of proof to them. Beyond my own random casual musings.

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Stubbly_Dooright

You've bolded that science is the systematic study of the natural world. By definition that means that science CANNOT say anything about the supernatural world. Therefore naturalism hasn't and never can disprove God.

Simple as that.

Although, I can see where AtlantisResearch is coming from, I kind of agree with you. I think to a point science can debunk with natural reasoning, that the supernatural can mostly not occur. I think the most natural situation of not believing of said supernatural, is the lack of existence of supernatural. I feel that can happen a lot of the times, not all of the time. In essence, one saying the natural cannot disprove the supernatural, because of their behaviors, where is the line drawn? But with my thoughts on your point, there is only so much natural reasoning can disprove, since supernatural can cross the line of what it can do. It all boils down to various subjective point of view here. Natural reason can prove to the masses, I believe yes, but there does seem to so many subjective experiences that natural reasoning cannot explain to that person at the moment.

To the point of this thread, what science can't prove the non-existence of like gods or unicorns, is someone telling me I then have to believe? If that is the case, do I have to believe everything that cannot be disproved? That can get kind of crowded.

Edited by Stubbly_Dooright

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Atlantisresearch

You've bolded that science is the systematic study of the natural world. By definition that means that science CANNOT say anything about the supernatural world. Therefore naturalism hasn't and never can disprove God.

Simple as that.

Science (methodological naturalism) can show the supernatural doesn't exist:

"This means that we are saying -- again, tentatively rather than categorically--that we do not live in a supernaturally governed cosmos, and every expansion of scientific understanding, especially the understanding of human existence, e.g., of consciousness and the origin of life, solidifies and confirms this denial. Science, because of its reliance upon methodological naturalism, lends no support to belief in the supernatural." - Forrest, B. (2000). "Methodological Naturalism and Philosophical Naturalism". Philo. 3(2): 7-29.

We can say tentatively (or relative to certain postulates) that science has disproven 'God', or the supernatural. Those clinging to a belief in the supernatural only define truth in absolute terms, which is fallacious considering it cannot be acquired. My disproof claim is based on the maximum extent of knowledge we can possess.

Edited by Atlantisresearch

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Atlantisresearch

To the point of this thread, what science can't prove the non-existence of like gods or unicorns, is someone telling me I then have to believe? If that is the case, do I have to believe everything that cannot be disproved? That can get kind of crowded.

Well, 'prove'/'disprove' within science are often mistaken to be absolute, but we can prove or disprove things provisionally or relative to the postulates science or the scientific method is based. Science has disproven the supernatural relative to naturalism.

Its a lot easier to support a claim by providing evidence. None exists for the supernaturalism or a God, which is why religious people cling to defining truth in absolute terms (which is unattainable) because they have no evidence. So instead of presenting evidence for God, all they can say is: "you cannot disprove God exists!".

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Paranoid Android

Science (methodological naturalism) can show the supernatural doesn't exist:

"This means that we are saying -- again, tentatively rather than categorically--that we do not live in a supernaturally governed cosmos, and every expansion of scientific understanding, especially the understanding of human existence, e.g., of consciousness and the origin of life, solidifies and confirms this denial. Science, because of its reliance upon methodological naturalism, lends no support to belief in the supernatural." - Forrest, B. (2000). "Methodological Naturalism and Philosophical Naturalism". Philo. 3(2): 7-29.

We can say tentatively (or relative to certain postulates) that science has disproven 'God', or the supernatural. Those clinging to a belief in the supernatural only define truth in absolute terms, which is fallacious considering it cannot be acquired. My disproof claim is based on the maximum extent of knowledge we can possess.

Tentatively rather than categorically... pretty much what I've just said, right? Neither science nor naturalism has disproved God. Any claim otherwise is taking science beyond its mandate.
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Paranoid Android

So instead of presenting evidence for God, all they can say is: "you cannot disprove God exists!".

And that's absolutely true.
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ChloeB

Science and religion are different aspects of life. Science hasn't really proven the existence of ethics, or morality or lack thereof, or any sort of thing, beyond the same sort of questions people ask about the existence of God. Is it possible to scientifically prove I am a good person? You can look at my record of trustworthiness, reliability, generosity, probably even throw a brain scan in there, but what does that prove?. "Why did you help that guy out of the tree?" "Because it was the right thing to do." "No, give me a scientific and provable reason for helping him down." I agree that science can't and won't disprove God, but it really doesn't have any business trying to do so. Likewise, you can't philosophize your way to (M1 x M2) / r2.

We believe in lots of things like that, but the are subjective opinions and God is an opinion. Religions are groups of opinions on God. All subjective opinions. Science is about facts, not opinions. Like Neil deGrasse Tyson says, "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." The focus about God, as emphasized by religions, is at the very foundation about what you believe about God. I always think it's silly when people talk about "proving" God exists. God is supernatural,, beyond the scope of science, and if you prove God, then you've eliminated what God is and moved it from the supernatural to natural column and it becomes just something of the world and then it's changed the very nature of what people have come to term God to be. The only proof of God will always be personal, subjective experiences that lead a person to have the opinion there is a God. However, it's always events, experiences and feelings that are those personal proofs, not a proof of "God" because unlike a unicorn that has clear physical features and if a horse with a horn came up one day, there you would have your proof. God isn't clear like that, it's about the experiences and events that lead a person to believe God is behind them, but the thing with God, God is always behind them, not out in the open to be proven for any type of existence. It's not what we have come to even say God is, God is the feelings, the beliefs about experiences, and those are as you've illustrated above, not within the realm of science, however people believe in such things as well without demanding scientific proof, as it should be expected with God.

Edited by ChloeB
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Frank Merton

Another quirky thought here. Although science can't disprove the existence of God, it may one day prove the existence of God somehow. That would be a trip eh?

OK -- how? Let us say Jesus appeared in the skies surrounded by the heavenly choir. What would that "prove?" If it were to happen I would assume some sort of big fraud going on -- more likely than it really being Jesus given what I know about Christianity and its beginnings.

There are so many ways we could "know" about God, and God does none of them (except things only the credulous believe). The rationalization of this goes something like "God is not to be tested." Why not? What possible logic can be behind that beyond an excuse for God not being open with us?

Anyway Jesus has not appeared in the skies.

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OverSword

We can say tentatively (or relative to certain postulates) that science has disproven 'God', or the supernatural. Those clinging to a belief in the supernatural only define truth in absolute terms, which is fallacious considering it cannot be acquired. My disproof claim is based on the maximum extent of knowledge we can possess.

Science has not disproven the existence of God. Please post a link to that data. Are there even any scientists doing research towards this specific ends? Doubtful. If you believe I'm incorrect please explain exactly how science has disproven the existence of God beyond just stating that it has.

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OverSword

OK -- how? Let us say Jesus appeared in the skies surrounded by the heavenly choir. What would that "prove?" If it were to happen I would assume some sort of big fraud going on -- more likely than it really being Jesus given what I know about Christianity and its beginnings.

There are so many ways we could "know" about God, and God does none of them (except things only the credulous believe). The rationalization of this goes something like "God is not to be tested." Why not? What possible logic can be behind that beyond an excuse for God not being open with us?

Anyway Jesus has not appeared in the skies.

You're mixing up dogmatic religious belief with the God I was talking about, intelligent force of the universe, creator of everything, not some specific set of beliefs. I can't tell you 'how' science might eventually prove the existence because I imagine science would have to increase our knowledge and understanding to the point where we were practically god's ourselves so I was meaning that in the far, far future perhaps science could prove the existence of God.

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seeder

We can look at it from two different perspective (I'm using the unicorn for this). As a living breathing animal there is no proof that unicorns exist. As an idea they do. We create images of them, statuettes, etc. You can prove one but not so much the other. You can think something exist (like bigfoot) but without objective proof it doesn't.

There are horned animals, who can lose a horn in fighting or are just born that way, we even have the narwhal, a whale with a tusk. Any and all; could have given rise to myths..

one_horned_gazelle_by_nightrose0087-d4fgu4i.jpg

'Unicorn' found in Tuscany wildlife park

http://www.theguardi...8/jun/11/italy1

460unicorn.jpg

Narwhal

narwhal_1.jpg

Myths!!! Just like people with horns are no longer people, but devils. Another myth

Real_2d956c_361894.jpg

Edited by seeder

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Frank Merton

You're mixing up dogmatic religious belief with the God I was talking about, intelligent force of the universe, creator of everything, not some specific set of beliefs. I can't tell you 'how' science might eventually prove the existence because I imagine science would have to increase our knowledge and understanding to the point where we were practically god's ourselves so I was meaning that in the far, far future perhaps science could prove the existence of God.

So the "God" you are talking about is not a personality. That renders it non-God in my thinking. It is easy to dream about some Tao or universal mind -- such a thing is unknowable and just speculation.

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Imaginarynumber1

That wasn't my point. I was responding to Ryu saying that things like fairys and unicorns were believed in by uneducated, superstitious people and I was pointing out that those "Local brown people" (as you put it) that knew of the existence of silver backs were also backward primitive superstitious people. Again, I'm not arguing that science is wrong and spiritualism is right or however you want to tr to label my statements, just pointing out the fallacies in some of the things being presented.

The whole gorilla being unknown thing is a myth. Gorillas have been known about for a very, very long time. They were even included in Lennaeus' Systema Naturae in 1735.

The oft quoted "discovery" of gorillas in the early 20th century as being evidenced of living animals that natives know about is in reference to the mountain gorilla, a sub species of the eastern lowland gorilla. A gorilla already known to exist, just never "properly" captured and cataloged for the time.

Also, native populations are by no means backward and primitive. Such cultures have been marginalized and exploited, but they are no more backward nor primitive than you or I, and, you will find, that they often are not nearly as superstitious, either.

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Atlantisresearch

Science has not disproven the existence of God. Please post a link to that data. Are there even any scientists doing research towards this specific ends? Doubtful. If you believe I'm incorrect please explain exactly how science has disproven the existence of God beyond just stating that it has.

Science (methodological naturalism) only works with the fundamental assumption or postulate there is nothing beyond nature:

"The naturalistic view is that the particular universe we observe came into existence and has operated through all time and in all its parts without the impetus or guidance of any supernatural agency. The naturalistic view is espoused by science as its fundamental assumption." - Arthur N. Strahler, Understanding Science: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1992), 3.

Science is not (epistemologically) reliable unless naturalism is assumed to be true. God is disproven relative to this assumption which is a necessity for science to operate.

Edited by Atlantisresearch

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taniwha

Here is a challenge for everyone. Ask yourself honestly these questions and seek an honest answer:

Do you doubt your own existence? Did science confirm you exist?

Must anyone prove the sun exists before they're able to feel its warmth?

I think we will all know instinctively a higher power when it arrives, it will leave little room for doubt and it will not require us to think scientifically about it.

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Frank Merton

What we know "instinctively" comes from our biological evolution, and is not to be trusted, since it has passing on our genes as its driving force, not any devotion to truth.

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