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Re: [Provocateurs] Fw: Science & God Belief

From: Fred
Sent on: Friday, March 29, 2013 11:49 AM
Good points, Caleob.

For me, when looking for scientific explanations, faith (or for that matter, God) doesn't enter the picture.  And not just for me; this is standard operating procedure for responsible people of all religions or no religion when they're doing science.  Otherwise we'd have Hindu science, Muslim science, Christian science (oops, we do have that, don't we? - there's the denomination "Christian Science" - But the point is we know that's religion and not science).  Instead, responsible scientists of whatever view drop their philosophical or metaphysical proclivities when they all get on the same page that is science.

Similarly, when I hold back my desire to take revenge or decide to help someone out who's in financial trouble or to apologize when I've hurt someone, I don't look to science for help with that decision.  Neither do any of you.  You might look to humanism or something else, as I look to Jesus and his teachings.


On Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 8:31 AM, Caleob King <[address removed]> wrote:
"Belief in god" is a big umbrella. Big enough, I'd say, to fit a few dedicated scientists under it. After all there are plenty of ways   to believe in a deity - and some of them are compatible with the universe as we observe it. I can even respect their willingness to put aside their beliefs in order to progress the state of human knowledge. As usual, I'd argue that god isn't the problem - faith is.

I propose that science is completely incompatible with faith as a pathway to knowledge. As long as it is taken seriously, faith will always be a substitute for good evidence and a way to discount evidence already gathered. To the extent scientists do not apply faith to their specialized area of expertise (and researchers are very specialized so this is often possible) than its effect can be minimized, but that is a best case scenario. 

Although a person's professional life might be dedicated to the observation and improvement of winter wheat pesticide resistance, and in this narrow field apply science without the interference of their faith, in their wider lives they take on a variety of roles. This researcher may also be a citizen, a mother, a teacher, a lover, a philanthropist, and an artist. To fulfill these varied roles well this scientist must have a coherent view of the universe - which in my opinion precludes applying reason and evidence in a patchwork way.

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