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  1. Standard member Darfius
    The Apologist
    02 Apr '05 01:04
    "Human DNA contains more organized information than the Encyclopedia Britannica. If the full text of the encyclopedia were to arrive in computer code from outer space, most people would regard this as proofof the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. But when seen in nature, it is explained as the workings of random forces."

    -George Sim Johnson

    "Einstein said, "God does not play dice." He was right. God plays Scrabble.

    - Philip Gold

    "Why should a bunch of atoms have thinking ability? Why should I, even as I write now, be able to reflect on what I am doing and why should you, even as you read now, be able to ponder my points, agreeing or disagreeing, with pleasure or pain, deciding to refuit me or deciding that I am just not worth the effort? No one, certainly not the Darwinian as such, seems to have any answer to this....The point is that there is no scientific answer."

    -Darwinist philosopher Michael Ruse
  2. Standard member Darfius
    The Apologist
    02 Apr '05 03:18
    "All I am doing is to ask people to face the facts--to understand the questions which Christianity claims to answer. And they are terrifying facts. I wish it was possible to say something more agreeable. But I must say what I think true. Of course, I quite agree that the Christian religion is, in the long run, a thing of unspeakable comfort. But it does not begin in comfort; it begins in the dismay I have been describing, and it is no use at all trying to go on to that comfort without first going through that dismay. In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end:if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth--only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair."

    - C.S. Lewis

    "Science and religion ... are friends, not foes, in the common quest for knowledge. Some people may find this surprising, for there's a feeling throughout our society that religious belief is outmoded, or downright impossible, in a scientific age. I don't agree. In fact, I'd go as far to say that if people in this so-called "scientific age" knew a bit more about science than many of them actualy do, they'd find it easier to share my view."

    - Physicist and theologian John Polkinghorne

    "Perhaps the best argument ... that the Big Bang supports theism is the obvious unease with which it is greeted by some atheist physicists. At times thos has led to scientific ideas ... being advanced with a tenacity which so exceeds their intrinsic worth that one can only suspect the operation of psychological forces lying very much deeper than the usual academic desire of a theorist to support his or her theory."

    - Astrophysicist C. J. Isham

    "Would it not be strange if a universe without purpose accidentally created humans who are so obsessed with purpose?"

    - Sir John Templeton

    "As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency--or, rather, Agency-- must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbledupon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?"

    -Astronomer George Greenstein
  3. Standard member Darfius
    The Apologist
    02 Apr '05 07:32
    "Many have found the awesome sight of the star-studded heavens evoke a sense of wonder, an awareness of transcendence, that is charged with spiritual significance. Yet the distant shimmering of stars does not itself create this sense of longing; it merely exposes what is already there. They are catalysts for our spiritual insights, revealing our emptiness and compelling us to ask whether and how this void might be filled.

    Might our true origins and destiny somehow lie beyond those stars? Might there not be a homeland, from which we are presently exiled and to which we secretly long to return? Might not our accumulation of discontentment and disillusionment with our present existence be a pointer to another land where our true destiny lies and which is able to make its presence felt now in this haunting way?

    Suppose that this is not where we are meant to be but that a better land is at hand? We don't belong here. We have somehow lost our way. Would not this make our present existence both strange and splendid? Strange, because it is not where our true destiny lies; splendid, because it points ahead to where that true hope might be found. The beauty of the night skies or a glorious sunset are important pointers to the origins and the ultimate fulfillment of our heart's deepest desires. But if we mistake the signpost for what is signposted, we will attach our hopes and longings to lesser goals, which cannot quench our thirst for meaning."

    - Alister McGrath
  4. Standard member Wulebgr
    02 Apr '05 07:38
    As the first way out there was religion, which is implanted into every child by way of the traditional education-machine. Thus I came - though the child of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents - to a deep religiousness, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of twelve. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic orgy of freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression. Mistrust of every kind of authority grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude toward the convictions that were alive in any specific social environment-an attitude that has never again left me, even though, later on, it has been tempered by a better insight into the causal connections. It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which was thus lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the "merely personal," from an existence dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings. Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned as a liberation, and I soon noticed that many a man whom I had learned to esteem and to admire had found inner freedom and security in its pursuit. The mental grasp of this extra-personal world within the frame of our capabilities presented itself to my mind, half consciously, half unconsciously, as a supreme goal. Similarly motivated men of the present and of the past, as well as the insights they had achieved, were the friends who could not be lost. The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has shown itself reliable, and I have never regretted having chosen it.

    Albert Einstein
  5. Standard member Wulebgr
    02 Apr '05 07:42
    Faith, being belief that isn't based on evidence, is the principal vice of any religion. And who, looking at Northern Ireland or the Middle East, can be confident that the brain virus of faith is not exceedingly dangerous? One of the stories told to the young Muslim suicide bombers is that martyrdom is the quickest way to heaven — and not just heaven but a special part of heaven where they will receive their special reward of 72 virgin brides. It occurs to me that our best hope may be to provide a kind of "spiritual arms control": send in specially trained theologians to deescalate the going rate in virgins.
    Given the dangers of faith — and considering the accomplishments of reason and observation in the activity called science — I find it ironic that, whenever I lecture publicly, there always seems to be someone who comes forward and says, "Of course, your science is just a religion like ours. Fundamentally, science just comes down to faith, doesn't it?"
    Well, science is not religion and it doesn't just come down to faith. Although it has many of religion's virtues, it has none of its vices. Science is based upon verifiable evidence. Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops. Why else would Christians wax critical of doubting Thomas? The other apostles are held up to us as exemplars of virtue because faith was enough for them. Doubting Thomas, on the other hand, required evidence. Perhaps he should be the patron saint of scientists.
    One reason I receive the comment about science being a religion is because I believe in the fact of evolution. I even believe in it with passionate conviction. To some, this may superficially look like faith. But the evidence that makes me believe in evolution is not only overwhelmingly strong; it is freely available to anyone who takes the trouble to read up on it. Anyone can study the same evidence that I have and presumably come to the same conclusion. But if you have a belief that is based solely on faith, I can't examine your reasons. You can retreat behind the private wall of faith where I can't reach you.

    Richard Dawkins
  6. Standard member Wulebgr
    02 Apr '05 07:46
    "Nothing that is worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love"

    Reinhold Neibuhr, The Irony of American History
  7. 02 Apr '05 08:24
    The Bible contains legendary, historical and ethical contents. It is quite possible to consider them separately, and one doesn’t have to accept the legends in order to get the ethics. Fundamentalists make a grave mistake to insist on the letter of the writings, because they drive away many who can’t swallow the Adam-and-Eve bit.

    -Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov: A Memoir
  8. Standard member Wulebgr
    02 Apr '05 20:20
    Today, ... new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.

    Pope John Paul II
  9. 03 Apr '05 17:59
    “I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.”

    – John Dunphy, A Religion for a New Age, The Humanist, January–February 1983, p. 26.
  10. 03 Apr '05 18:29
    "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil-that takes religion."

    Steven Weinberg, Nobel laureate in physics
  11. Standard member Darfius
    The Apologist
    03 Apr '05 18:49
    "[The cosmological costant is] remarkably well adjusted in our favor. From first principles one would guess that this constant should be very large. If large and positive, the cosmological constant would act as a repulsive force that increases with distance, a force that would prevent matter from clumping together in the early universe, the process that was the first stp in forming galaxies and stars and planets and people. If large and negative, the cosmological constant would act as an attractive force increasing with distance, a force that would almost immediately reverse the expansion of the universe and cause it to recollapse. In fact, astronomical observations show that the cosmological constant is quite small, very much smaller than would have been guessed from first principles."

    - Nobel-winning physicist Steven Weinberg
  12. 03 Apr '05 20:26
    Originally posted by Paul Dirac
    "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil-that takes religion."

    Steven Weinberg, Nobel laureate in physics
    17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" 18 So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.

    Jesus, Mathew 10:18
  13. Standard member Darfius
    The Apologist
    04 Apr '05 04:44 / 1 edit
    "Now Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reasons takes. I know that by experience. Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Chirstianity looked terribly probable. This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That is why Faith is such a necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods 'where they get off', you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion."

    -C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity
  14. Standard member frogstomp
    Bruno's Ghost
    06 Apr '05 07:47
    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity and I'm not sure about the former.
    Albert Einstein
    The important thing is not to stop questioning.
    Albert Einsten

    All spiritual disciplines are done with a view to still the mind. The perfectly still mind is universal spirit.
    Swami Ramdas