bornagainathiest

Something For The Dude : Limited Vs Complete Understanding

143 posts in this topic

BAA,

 

My simplest response and the simplest explanation of my point is this...

 

Science is cool, and medical science (or was it "God's" will?) has saved my life quite a few times, yet science can't show that Earth is not standing still at the center of the entire universe. 

 

Science says that the universe is expanding, but it doesn't even know where the edges of the universe are, and if it did, it can't tell me what the universe is expanding into.

 

So then, science has limitations, and should not be looked upon as a substitute for "God".  Likewise, "God" should not be used as a substitute for science. 

 

People that believe that science will one day make everything known are no different than the people that believe that someday "God" will one day make everything known.

 

Both sides need to bring proof, and neither side can.

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Catch is Dude, you don't live your life by trusting in proof - you live your by trusting in evidence.

So, in this thread you are asking for something other than the standard you live by.  Pick something.  Anything at all.  Whatever you choose, you cannot prove it to me.  Instead, you will be asking me to trust the evidence for it.

 

Neither side can bring proof because nobody can bring proof.

So, you are applying a false equivalence to science and religion.  Science proceeds by evidence and religion proceeds by faith.  You equate religion with science on the grounds of proof, when neither of them employs proof.   It's time to ditch this fallacious argument Dude.  

.

.

.

Now let me answer some of the points you've raised.

 

BAA,

 

My simplest response and the simplest explanation of my point is this...

 

Science is cool, and medical science (or was it "God's" will?) has saved my life quite a few times, yet science can't show that Earth is not standing still at the center of the entire universe. 

 

Science cannot prove this, but since nobody can, why are you still asking for proof?  Isn't the evidence good enough for you?

 

Science says that the universe is expanding, but it doesn't even know where the edges of the universe are, and if it did, it can't tell me what the universe is expanding into.

 

Science can offer evidence to answer these questions.  But not proof.  Will you accept the evidence?

 

So then, science has limitations, and should not be looked upon as a substitute for "God".  Likewise, "God" should not be used as a substitute for science. 

 

I've never substituted science for religion, Dude.  You're making a point about someone else, not me.

 

People that believe that science will one day make everything known are no different than the people that believe that someday "God" will one day make everything known.

 

Not me again.  I don't believe that someday science will make everything known.  I simply believe it's the best shot we've got at discovering what we can.  

 

Both sides need to bring proof, and neither side can.

 

Neither side can bring proof, so why not go with the side that can bring the best evidence?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dude,

 

It's becoming clear to me that your position is based upon at least two misunderstandings.

First, that science proves things and second, that I hold the belief that science will answer everything.  Please let me put you straight about the second and then offer you some evidence about the first.  I do not hold the belief that science will ultimately answer every question there is.  That is not what I believe about science.  From this time forward please do not ascribe that belief to me.  Thank you.

 

My evidence that science doesn't prove things comes from the first page of hits, when I put this question into Google, "Does science prove things?"  Please read, digest, understand and embrace the evidence that science doesn't prove things.  If, after this point, you still claim or assert that science proves things, then I'll have to conclude that you don't accept this evidence.

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200811/common-misconceptions-about-science-i-scientific-proof

http://undsci.berkeley.edu/teaching/misconceptions.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_evidence

http://oregonstate.edu/instruction/bb317/scientifictheories.html

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Proof

 

Lastly, if you do accept this evidence, can you see what this does to your argument?

You say that both science and religion should bring proof.  But proof is not within science's remit.  Therefore, you ask for that which cannot be given and when it isn't given, you take that failure to deliver as a sign of failure on science's part.  This is false.  Science can only fail on what it says it can deliver - not on what it cannot.  Your argument is therefore fallacious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 4/30/2017 at 0:14 PM, bornagainathiest said:

Catch is Dude, you don't live your life by trusting in proof - you live your by trusting in evidence.

So, in this thread you are asking for something other than the standard you live by.  Pick something.  Anything at all.  Whatever you choose, you cannot prove it to me.  Instead, you will be asking me to trust the evidence for it.

 

Neither side can bring proof because nobody can bring proof.

So, you are applying a false equivalence to science and religion.  Science proceeds by evidence and religion proceeds by faith.  You equate religion with science on the grounds of proof, when neither of them employs proof.   It's time to ditch this fallacious argument Dude.  

.

.

.

Now let me answer some of the points you've raised.

 

BAA,

 

My simplest response and the simplest explanation of my point is this...

 

Science is cool, and medical science (or was it "God's" will?) has saved my life quite a few times, yet science can't show that Earth is not standing still at the center of the entire universe. 

 

Science cannot prove this, but since nobody can, why are you still asking for proof?  Isn't the evidence good enough for you?

 

Science says that the universe is expanding, but it doesn't even know where the edges of the universe are, and if it did, it can't tell me what the universe is expanding into.

 

Science can offer evidence to answer these questions.  But not proof.  Will you accept the evidence?

 

So then, science has limitations, and should not be looked upon as a substitute for "God".  Likewise, "God" should not be used as a substitute for science. 

 

I've never substituted science for religion, Dude.  You're making a point about someone else, not me.

 

People that believe that science will one day make everything known are no different than the people that believe that someday "God" will one day make everything known.

 

Not me again.  I don't believe that someday science will make everything known.  I simply believe it's the best shot we've got at discovering what we can.  

 

Both sides need to bring proof, and neither side can.

 

Neither side can bring proof, so why not go with the side that can bring the best evidence?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAA,

 

I was explaining my point as you asked me to do. Not everything I said relates to you personally and what you believe, but it all related to the point I was making.  

 

I never said you substituted religion for science, BAA, and I also said "people that believe..." are no different than "people that believe..." 

 

Please don't take this discussion as a me vs. you discussion BAA.  I understand that we are throwing idea at each other, but they are just ideas, not mud. I'm sorry if you think that I am putting words in your mouth, but you have to understand that perhaps (perhaps my ass!) you are doing the same to me. 

 

Oh, and now that you mention it, maybe you can tell me what the difference is between evidence and proof?  In your second response (post # 128) you say:

 

"You say that both science and religion should bring proof.  But proof is not within science's remit.  Therefore, you ask for that which cannot be given and when it isn't given, you take that failure to deliver as a sign of failure on science's part.  This is false.  Science can only fail on what it says it can deliver - not on what it cannot.  Your argument is therefore fallacious."

 

BAA, that paragraph of yours alone explains and exonerates the Christian faith, let alone a belief in a generic "God", don't you think?  

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50 minutes ago, duderonomy said:

"You say that both science and religion should bring proof.  But proof is not within science's remit.  Therefore, you ask for that which cannot be given and when it isn't given, you take that failure to deliver as a sign of failure on science's part.  This is false.  Science can only fail on what it says it can deliver - not on what it cannot.  Your argument is therefore fallacious."

 

BAA, that paragraph of yours alone explains and exonerates the Christian faith, let alone a belief in a generic "God", don't you think?  

 

It occurs to me that perhaps agreed upon definitions of what each term means collectively would help understanding?

 

For example I could think that proof means 2+2=4. And if you can't 'prove' something to me I won't believe it. This would create massive problems because not everything can be proven in an absolute mathematical sense.

 

So far I've found Aron Ra's definitions helpful. Here are a bunch that are relevant to this discussion: Source: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/reasonadvocates/2012/09/15/offerings-to-the-atheist-dictionary/

 

Science: An objective method of measurably or verifiably improving our understanding of physical nature in practical application or mathematics, through observation and experimentation with falsifiable hypotheses explaining a body of facts in a theoretical framework, to be subjected to a perpetual battery of critical analysis in peer review.

  • Fact: A point of data which is either not in dispute, or is indisputable in that it is objectively verifiable.
  • Evidence: Factual circumstances which are accounted for, or supported by, only one available explanation over any other.
  • Hypothesis: A potentially-falsifiable explanation one which includes predictions as to what different test results should imply about it.
  • Law [of nature]: A general statement in science which is always true under a given set of circumstances. Example: That “matter attracts matter” is a law of gravity.
  • Theory: (1) A body of knowledge including all known facts, hypotheses, and natural laws relevant to a particular field of study.  A proposed explanation of a set of related facts or a given phenomenon. Example: *How* “matter attracts matter” is the theory of gravity.
  • Proof: [legal sense, common vernacular] Something shown to be at least mostly true according to a preponderance of evidence.  [scientific sense] Inapplicable except in the negative: It is only possible to dis-prove a hypothesis or theory. It isn’t possible to prove them positively.

 

Note Aron's definition of proof - I think this lines up with BAA's thoughts on proof

 

 

I don't think BAA's statement exonerates Christian faith. If we change the opening line to "Religion and Science should both bring evidence such that it meets the common definition of proof" then we can see that Christianity fails in this. (And at times science does too?)

 

I will think more on this. You both have my brain cogs spinning widely on the implications of it all!

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, duderonomy said:

 

BAA,

 

I was explaining my point as you asked me to do. Not everything I said relates to you personally and what you believe, but it all related to the point I was making.  

I never said you substituted religion for science, BAA, and I also said "people that believe..." are no different than "people that believe..." 

Please don't take this discussion as a me vs. you discussion BAA.  I understand that we are throwing idea at each other, but they are just ideas, not mud. I'm sorry if you think that I am putting words in your mouth, but you have to understand that perhaps (perhaps my ass!) you are doing the same to me. 

 

Ok Dude,

We're cool.  No (intentional) mud and words in each others mouths. But please understand that I can't really answer for or be held responsible what others think about science and how they think it works.  I can only answer for myself and my understanding of it.  Ok?

 

5 hours ago, duderonomy said:

 

Oh, and now that you mention it, maybe you can tell me what the difference is between evidence and proof?  In your second response (post # 128) you say:

 

Imho, this (from my first cited link) answers your question better than I can, Dude.

 

Proofs exist only in mathematics and logic, not in science.  Mathematics and logic are both closed, self-contained systems of propositions, whereas science is empirical and deals with nature as it exists.  The primary criterion and standard of evaluation of scientific theory is evidence, not proof.  All else equal (such as internal logical consistency and parsimony), scientists prefer theories for which there is more and better evidence to theories for which there is less and worse evidence.  Proofs are not the currency of science.

Proofs have two features that do not exist in science:  They are final, and they are binary.  Once a theorem is proven, it will forever be true and there will be nothing in the future that will threaten its status as a proven theorem (unless a flaw is discovered in the proof).  Apart from a discovery of an error, a proven theorem will forever and always be a proven theorem.

In contrast, all scientific knowledge is tentative and provisional, and nothing is final.  There is no such thing as final proven knowledge in science.  The currently accepted theory of a phenomenon is simply the best explanation for it among all available alternatives.  Its status as the accepted theory is contingent on what other theories are available and might suddenly change tomorrow if there appears a better theory or new evidence that might challenge the accepted theory.  No knowledge or theory (which embodies scientific knowledge) is final.  That, by the way, is why science is so much fun.

 

Does this help?

I hope so.  For the longest time I muddled evidence with proof and didn't 'get' the important differences between the two.  But if you recall, for years in Ex-C, when debating with Ironhorse and End3, I've been careful to explain to them that science doesn't prove things - it only offers the best explanation, according to the available evidence.  

 

Here's an example of the best available evidence failing and being replaced from the history of astronomical science.

Before Einstein formulated his theory of General Relativity in 1916, scientists used Isaac Newton's theory of Universal Gravitation, because that was the best one they had.  But Newton's theory was incomplete and couldn't account properly for one aspect of the planet Mercury's movement around the Sun.  To account for this anomaly astronomers proposed that Mercury was being subtly deflected from it's Newtonian orbit by an undiscovered planet.  But as hard as they searched no new planet turned up.  So the mystery and the anomaly remained.  

 

Before 1916 science had failed to fully account for the deviation in Mercury's orbit.

If you look back at the cited text above, it says that a proof is final.  Therefore, prior to 1916, had astronomical science proved how mercury orbits the Sun?  The answer is, of course, No.  Has it done so after 1916, using Einstein's work?  Again, No.  Einstein's calculations are very, very, good indeed - but they are still not a proof.  We know this because General Relativity (GR) cannot currently be reconciled with Quantum Mechanics (QM).  So, it's expected that just as Newton was replaced by Einstein (as the best current explanation) so Einstein will one day be replaced by a better theory that successfully unites GR and QM.  

 

Does this example help explain how science is always evolving and never final?  Unlike a proof, which MUST BE final.

 

5 hours ago, duderonomy said:

 

"You say that both science and religion should bring proof.  But proof is not within science's remit.  Therefore, you ask for that which cannot be given and when it isn't given, you take that failure to deliver as a sign of failure on science's part.  This is false.  Science can only fail on what it says it can deliver - not on what it cannot.  Your argument is therefore fallacious."

 

BAA, that paragraph of yours alone explains and exonerates the Christian faith, let alone a belief in a generic "God", don't you think?  

 

Uhhh... no.  Sorry, I don't think that, Dude.

 

Why?  Because you set a condition (proof) for both science and religion that they had to satisfy.

But since science doesn't do proofs, you're proceeding from a faulty understanding of science and therefore drawing a false comparison between science and religion. If you realize that proofs aren't in science's remit, then you can no longer make that comparison.  So your point about science's limitations vanishes.  You see that what you thought were it's limitations, depended on a misunderstanding of what science can do.  In the same way, if you misunderstand the remit of religion (that it can deliver proofs) then you will make the same kind of mistake.

 

Ok, the Christian faith cannot deliver proof and science cannot deliver proof, but the reasons why they cannot do this are NOT the same.

It's not in the remit of Christianity to deliver proof, because it operates on faith and not evidence.  It's not in the remit of science to deliver proof, because it operates on evidence and not proof.  Can you see how you're comparing apples and oranges and using an impossible-to-satisfy standard in doing so?

 

Proofs only exist in math and in logic, not in science and not in religion.

If you understand that, can you see how your comparative argument and your request for proof form both of them... fails?

 

Thanks,

 

BAA.

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BAA, are you sure that proofs exist in logic? 

 

It seems to me that logic is a human construct, based on what we know so far.   Not to thicken the soup at all, but still...

 

 

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Also this...

 

"Ok, the Christian faith cannot deliver proof and science cannot deliver proof, but the reasons why they cannot do this are NOT the same.

"It's not in the remit of Christianity to deliver proof, because it operates on faith and not evidence.  It's not in the remit of science to deliver proof, because it operates on evidence and not proof.  Can you see how you're comparing apples and oranges and using an impossible-to-satisfy standard in doing so?"

 

BAA, it's not apples to apples if neither can provide proof? Really?

 

It sounds like you are putting your (non-religious, of course) faith in science, although it provides no proof at all by your own admission, and it seems that whichever or whatever standard we apply to finding truth is unable to supply a definitive answer, so both are an impossible standard.

 

EDIT:  BAA, I do believe we are going in circles. Should we sum up and move on?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dude,

 

We can't move, because we're stuck on... proof.  

You set it as the condition that both science and religion need to satisfy - but I've pointed out that neither deal in proofs and I've cited evidence (those five links) to support this.  Interestingly enough, in this thread... http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/76715-multiverse-one-universe-or-many/?page=1 ...Pantheory claimed that scientific theories could be proven wrong.  Please check out posts # 18, 19, 20, 22, 24 and 25.  I  pointed out that this was not so and showed him the same five links that I showed you, in this thread.  The ones that explain how science doesn't deal in proofs.  In post # 25 he wrote this...

 

Yes, I see and agree with you. I did qualify my wordings by using the word "somehow," but agree with you that the words "proof,""disproved," "unproven," or "not proved" should not be used concerning theory or even hypothesis. Even the wordings "true," "valid" or "invalid" concerning discussions of theory should not be used IMO. More accurate wordings can be found.

 

Now, I'm highlighting this for two reasons, Dude.

First, to demonstrate that I'm on the level here and dealing honestly with you.  I held the same position on proofs with Pantheory as I'm holding here, with you, here in this thread.  The second reason is that when presented with evidence that science doesn't deal in proofs, Pantheory accepted that evidence.   He accepted it and we moved on.

 

But in your last post you are still trying to apply the use of proofs to science.

'BAA, it's not apples to apples if neither can provide proof?'  This tells me that, unlike Pantheory, you haven't accepted my evidence that science doesn't do proofs.  If you had accepted that evidence, then you still wouldn't be talking about science providing proof.   In the light of this, I will have to ask you a question and politely request that you answer it directly.  If your answer is NO, then this thread can go no further - we will remain stuck on proof.  We'll be stuck here because you and I couldn't agree that science doesn't deal in proofs.  If we can't agree on a common definition of proof , then no further dialog is possible.  

 

Dude, do you accept that science doesn't deal in proofs, as per the evidence I posted in the links in post # 128?

 

(Please answer,  because this is pivotal.)

 

Thanks,

 

BAA.

 

 

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BAA and Dude,

 

I think both of you need to agree on some basic definitions of some of the words you are using, such as "proof", "evidence", "prove", etc., at least for purposes of your discussion here.  That should be an easy task.

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BAA and Dude,

 

I think both of you need to agree on some basic definitions of some of the words you are using, such as "proof", "evidence", "prove", etc., at least for purposes of your discussion here.  That should be an easy task.

 

If the Dude is willing, so am I sdelsolray.

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BAA,

 

If I ever said that science or religion or faith "proves" anything, I must have done it inadvertently. I don't recall claiming that either provides proof of anything.

 

It seems to me that you are saying over and over that science doesn't "prove" anything, and that has been my point from the start of this. I really don't know what the big deal is about "proof", when we both agree that nothing can be proven (leaving math and maybe logic out of it).

 

 With respect to sdelsolray, who once called me an "alt-right wannabe" and never got back to me when I asked him to define what the hell "alt-right" means, and who now calls for us to define what the common meaning of real, universally used words mean, I'm happy with the common definition of the word proof. 

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BAA,

 

If I ever said that science or religion or faith "proves" anything, I must have done it inadvertently. I don't recall claiming that either provides proof of anything.

 

It seems to me that you are saying over and over that science doesn't "prove" anything, and that has been my point from the start of this. I really don't know what the big deal is about "proof", when we both agree that nothing can be proven (leaving math and maybe logic out of it).

 

 With respect to sdelsolray, who once called me an "alt-right wannabe" and never got back to me when I asked him to define what the hell "alt-right" means, and who now calls for us to define what the common meaning of real, universally used words mean, I'm happy with the common definition of the word proof. 

 

Ok Dude,

 

The big deal about proof, now we agree that nothing can be be proven, is this.

Since nothing can be proven, setting proof as the condition that science and religion have to achieve, is knowingly setting them a condition that neither can achieve.  This is an argument where the conclusion (the failure of both parties to achieve the desired condition) is assumed beforehand by the person making the argument.  

 

But this is a logical fallacy.

 

https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/53/Begging-the-Question

 

Therefore, any argument built upon a logical fallacy must be an invalid one.

 

 

Thanks,

 

BAA.

 

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BAA,

 

I wonder if you pointing to the logical fallacy of 'begging the question' is itself a bit of a logical fallacy known as the 'red herring'.   I don't believe that I have set proof as a condition that religion or science must achieve (for whatever reason), but rather I have pointed out that neither one can achieve proof, the same as you have.

 

ETA: Not accusing you of throwing out a red herring on purpose (if that's the correct fallacy to cite). 

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BAA,

 

I wonder if you pointing to the logical fallacy of 'begging the question' is itself a bit of a logical fallacy known as the 'red herring'.   I don't believe that I have set proof as a condition that religion or science must achieve (for whatever reason), but rather I have pointed out that neither one can achieve proof, the same as you have.

 

ETA: Not accusing you of throwing out a red herring on purpose (if that's the correct fallacy to cite). 

 

Ok Dude,

 

That being so and if we're agreed that neither religion nor science deal in proofs, does your argument come down to this?

 

Because both systems are trusted and believed, they can be considered as the same.

 

Thanks,

 

BAA.

 

 

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BAA,

 

My simplest response and the simplest explanation of my point is this...

 

Science is cool, and medical science (or was it "God's" will?) has saved my life quite a few times, yet science can't show that Earth is not standing still at the center of the entire universe. 

 

Science says that the universe is expanding, but it doesn't even know where the edges of the universe are, and if it did, it can't tell me what the universe is expanding into.

 

So then, science has limitations, and should not be looked upon as a substitute for "God".  Likewise, "God" should not be used as a substitute for science. 

 

People that believe that science will one day make everything known are no different than the people that believe that someday "God" will one day make everything known.

 

Both sides need to bring proof, and neither side can.

 

This is a general point, for perhaps new exchristians wondering what's what, and how things break down. 

 

Don't try replacing belief and faith in religion for belief and faith in science. Good point. 

 

The only real problem here that BAA has been able to hone in on is the idea that both sides need to bring "proof." The semantic issues of using the word "proof" as technically a reference to the maths, and also what the Dude means by his usage of the word "proof", which is credible evidence, finality, something of that nature. What other context can his usage of "proof" can be taken? 

 

To correct the point being made by the Dude, I'd say only one side needs to "prove" themselves and that's religion. The person making positive claims of absolute truth bears what we call, all the time, "the burden of proof." Let's not get too side tracked here on semantics and taking issue with the word "proof" as a type or red herring to the points being made. What we're talking about is the "burden of proof" requirement, so shall we call it as such? 

 

Religion carries this "burden of proof" requirement. 

 

Science, however, not so much. Claims are made based on available evidence, and also subject to change. It's fluid, not rigid like religion. The "burden of proof," is squarely a theistic burden. And perhaps that's simply another reason not to approach science as if it were a replacement for religion. 

 

Science doesn't carry the sort of "burden of proof" for the BBT, that religion carries for claims of supernatural "creation." BAA's point holds in terms of science and religion not being on equal footing, and also, that any attempt at putting science and religion on equal footing will have holes in it. 

 

Where they're similar is simply that each claims to explain reality. 

 

And the reality explained by religion has been failed for centuries. It's not even in the ball park. It's acting as if it's still a contender when it isn't. 

 

That leaves the only contender as science. It's literally the only contender when it comes to describing reality. The idea that religion is even in the game, is completely false. And it doesn't matter how many people are fooled by religions false claims at being a contender in the game of describing reality. It just isn't anymore. And this is what I just explained to my father the other weekend when he expressed doubt about evolution. I set him straight on the fact of there being only one option on the table to try and describe origins. He was a little taken back, and deer in the headlights, but understood that I was right. Myths which are demonstrably not literal, automatically drop off the contender list. They're something else, not literal reality. And this is a very important point for exchristians to sink their minds into. 

 

One option, not two. 

 

From here, at only one real option for describing reality, I can concede that the Dudes point would lead to acknowledging that our one and only option has limitations that keep us in mystery, possibly perpetually. The best thing that we do have is a frame work of pretty certain things, with good evidence to go on, and many not so certain things. That's why when it comes to origins I always refer to it as an ongoing mystery. My truth seeking has led me to acknowledge mystery and uncertainty as the final absolute truth. Because of the apparently perpetual issue of ultimate truth eluding our ability to conceive. That's unsatisfactory for some people, who have not made friends with uncertainty. But the truth is the truth, you can not like it but what you can not do is change it. And so the challenge to go ahead and try to change that fact ought to be made as often as people doubt the absolute truth of uncertainty. 

 

So this whole thing has been a good exercise. And since BAA concedes to uncertainty at absolute levels, it would appear that this is a firm, firm point. All else thereafter is beating a dead horse. 

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Ok Dude,

 

That being so and if we're agreed that neither religion nor science deal in proofs, does your argument come down to this?

 

Because both systems are trusted and believed, they can be considered as the same.

 

Thanks,

 

BAA.

 

 

 

No.

 

BAA,

The thing is this...when we speak of religion, are we talking about the Bible/Talmud/Koran, etc, or a generic view of "God" whatever that loaded term may include, such as ultimate being, creator, something out there, New Age baloney, or something else?

 

When we speak of science, are we talking about science as the scientific method or "The All Knowing Ultimate Arbiter Of All Human Knowledge Of What Is Whether Now Known Or In The Future" or science with a capital S that has it's own priesthood known as Scientists (from their many denominations), or "scientific studies that suggest", or humans that make their living from grant money and know they will be damned and ostracized if they dare to offer an alternative view backed by just as much 'science' as the mainstream has to offer to 'prove' their point?  


BAA, other than the scientific method, how is science a system?  

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This is a general point, for perhaps new exchristians wondering what's what, and how things break down. 

 

Don't try replacing belief and faith in religion for belief and faith in science. Good point. 

 

The only real problem here that BAA has been able to hone in on is the idea that both sides need to bring "proof." The semantic issues of using the word "proof" as technically a reference to the maths, and also what the Dude means by his usage of the word "proof", which is credible evidence, finality, something of that nature. What other context can his usage of "proof" can be taken? 

 

To correct the point being made by the Dude, I'd say only one side needs to "prove" themselves and that's religion. The person making positive claims of absolute truth bears what we call, all the time, "the burden of proof." Let's not get too side tracked here on semantics and taking issue with the word "proof" as a type or red herring to the points being made. What we're talking about is the "burden of proof" requirement, so shall we call it as such? 

 

Religion carries this "burden of proof" requirement. 

 

Science, however, not so much. Claims are made based on available evidence, and also subject to change. It's fluid, not rigid like religion. The "burden of proof," is squarely a theistic burden. And perhaps that's simply another reason not to approach science as if it were a replacement for religion. 

 

Science doesn't carry the sort of "burden of proof" for the BBT, that religion carries for claims of supernatural "creation." BAA's point holds in terms of science and religion not being on equal footing, and also, that any attempt at putting science and religion on equal footing will have holes in it. 

 

Where they're similar is simply that each claims to explain reality. 

 

And the reality explained by religion has been failed for centuries. It's not even in the ball park. It's acting as if it's still a contender when it isn't. 

 

That leaves the only contender as science. It's literally the only contender when it comes to describing reality. The idea that religion is even in the game, is completely false. And it doesn't matter how many people are fooled by religions false claims at being a contender in the game of describing reality. It just isn't anymore. And this is what I just explained to my father the other weekend when he expressed doubt about evolution. I set him straight on the fact of there being only one option on the table to try and describe origins. He was a little taken back, and deer in the headlights, but understood that I was right. Myths which are demonstrably not literal, automatically drop off the contender list. They're something else, not literal reality. And this is a very important point for exchristians to sink their minds into. 

 

One option, not two. 

 

From here, at only one real option for describing reality, I can concede that the Dudes point would lead to acknowledging that our one and only option has limitations that keep us in mystery, possibly perpetually. The best thing that we do have is a frame work of pretty certain things, with good evidence to go on, and many not so certain things. That's why when it comes to origins I always refer to it as an ongoing mystery. My truth seeking has led me to acknowledge mystery and uncertainty as the final absolute truth. Because of the apparently perpetual issue of ultimate truth eluding our ability to conceive. That's unsatisfactory for some people, who have not made friends with uncertainty. But the truth is the truth, you can not like it but what you can not do is change it. And so the challenge to go ahead and try to change that fact ought to be made as often as people doubt the absolute truth of uncertainty. 

 

So this whole thing has been a good exercise. And since BAA concedes to uncertainty at absolute levels, it would appear that this is a firm, firm point. All else thereafter is beating a dead horse. 

 

Josh,

 

Just saying that I'm not ignoring your points or ideas, and I agree with most (but not all) of your points.  I welcome and appreciate your input always. 

 

One thing though, I know BAA calls me "the Dude", and I don't really like that. Call me Duderonomy, Duder, Asshat, Sweet Cheeks, Dumb Shit, or anything else, but please don't refer to me as "the Dude" if you don't mind. 

 

Thanks!

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