1. Joined
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    08 Mar '07 23:41
    What does science know about spirituality or God?

    Or maybe I phrased the question wrong.

    The reason I'm asking is because I hear alot in this forum about how science has answers to questions related to spiritual matters. And it appears to be a kind of new religion in the popular culture.

    I am not a scientist or anything like that, so I would like to hear some comments on this subject from those of you who are.
    Or anyone else.
  2. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    08 Mar '07 23:44
    Originally posted by josephw
    What does science know about spirituality or God?

    Or maybe I phrased the question wrong.

    The reason I'm asking is because I hear alot in this forum about how science has answers to questions related to spiritual matters. And it appears to be a kind of new religion in the popular culture.

    I am not a scientist or anything like that, so I would like to hear some comments on this subject from those of you who are.
    Or anyone else.
    Whether God exists is a question that Science can't answer. Partly because it is impossible to prove a negative (you can't prove God doesn't exist) and partly because he doesn't exist.

    However, science does tell us things like;
    (1) The Earth was never flooded as told in the story of Noah. Not enough water exists on Earth.
    (2) The Earth is billions of years old and not a few thousand (a figure that isn't mentioned in the Bible by the way).
    (3) Religious people are stupid.
  3. Donationkirksey957
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    08 Mar '07 23:45
    Originally posted by josephw
    What does science know about spirituality or God?

    Or maybe I phrased the question wrong.

    The reason I'm asking is because I hear alot in this forum about how science has answers to questions related to spiritual matters. And it appears to be a kind of new religion in the popular culture.

    I am not a scientist or anything like that, so I would like to hear some comments on this subject from those of you who are.
    Or anyone else.
    Could you name a spiritual matter that science has an answer for?
  4. Donationkirksey957
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    08 Mar '07 23:46
    Originally posted by XanthosNZ
    Whether God exists is a question that Science can't answer. Partly because it is impossible to prove a negative (you can't prove God doesn't exist) and partly because he doesn't exist.

    However, science does tell us things like;
    (1) The Earth was never flooded as told in the story of Noah. Not enough water exists on Earth.
    (2) The Earth is billions of ...[text shortened]... (a figure that isn't mentioned in the Bible by the way).
    (3) Religious people are stupid.
    I wouldn't consider any of those spiritual matters.
  5. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    08 Mar '07 23:47
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    I wouldn't consider any of those spiritual matters.
    But many people do.
  6. Melbourne, Australia
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    08 Mar '07 23:49
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    Could you name a spiritual matter that science has an answer for?
    Wasn't that the point of his question? To find out if anyone could help him out ...
  7. Joined
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    08 Mar '07 23:51
    Originally posted by XanthosNZ
    Whether God exists is a question that Science can't answer. Partly because it is impossible to prove a negative (you can't prove God doesn't exist) and partly because he doesn't exist.

    However, science does tell us things like;
    (1) The Earth was never flooded as told in the story of Noah. Not enough water exists on Earth.
    (2) The Earth is billions of ...[text shortened]... (a figure that isn't mentioned in the Bible by the way).
    (3) Religious people are stupid.
    people who do not have open minds are stupid
  8. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    08 Mar '07 23:531 edit
    Originally posted by EcstremeVenom
    people who do not have open minds are stupid
    People who don't understand humour are stupid.

    Also, if A is true then I don't have to open minded about ~A, it's a factual matter not one for debate.
  9. Melbourne, Australia
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    08 Mar '07 23:55
    Originally posted by josephw
    What does science know about spirituality or God?

    Or maybe I phrased the question wrong.

    The reason I'm asking is because I hear alot in this forum about how science has answers to questions related to spiritual matters. And it appears to be a kind of new religion in the popular culture.

    I am not a scientist or anything like that, so I would like to hear some comments on this subject from those of you who are.
    Or anyone else.
    I'm not a scientist either, but I am a science teacher, so I claim some very basic background in a few areas. But other than that, I'm a person with an interest in science and I keep myself fairly well read.

    About God science knows nothing.
    About belief in gods and possible explanations for those beliefs there are a number of scientific works and popular works by scientists that offers some insight.

    About spirituality, I think science can offer some insights - depending on your view of spirituality. I think cognitive science and neuroscience can help us to understand the nature of the mental experiences we have in and about the world around us - and in such experiences I include spiritual ones. (Although I know you probably wouldn't.)
    I think science can help to explain what spiritual feelings and experiences are and why we have them.
    Of course, many people will prefer science NOT to do this, and will use their own explanatory systems (eg. religious belief) instead.
  10. Melbourne, Australia
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    08 Mar '07 23:56
    Originally posted by EcstremeVenom
    people who do not have open minds are stupid
    You could argue that goes both ways.
  11. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    09 Mar '07 00:354 edits
    Originally posted by XanthosNZ
    Partly because it is impossible to prove a negative
    What an idiotic thing to say. I really can't understand why it is said so frequently. It betrays a misunderstanding of the notion of proof (particularly in its relation to the scientific method), as well as a delusion that there is a qualitative difference between universal and existential claims regarding their possibility of proof.

    Would you like for me to construct a proof of a denial of an existential claim for you, or would you prefer to withdraw your claim and we can all pretend it never happened?
  12. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    09 Mar '07 00:47
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    What an idiotic thing to say. I really can't understand why it is said so frequently. It betrays a misunderstanding of the notion of proof (particularly in its relation to the scientific method), as well as a delusion that there is a qualitative difference between universal and existential claims regarding their possibility of proof.

    Would you l ...[text shortened]... m for you, or would you prefer to withdraw your claim and we can all pretend it never happened?
    Prove that God doesn't exist.
  13. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    09 Mar '07 00:538 edits
    Originally posted by XanthosNZ
    Prove that God doesn't exist.
    Why? Your argument is now* of the form:

    One cannot prove that God doesn't exist.
    Hence, one cannot prove any negative at all.

    To think that this argument is valid, one would be equally inclined to think that no people from New Zealand are intelligent after encountering one unintelligent person from New Zealand.

    Do you maintain your original claim -- that it is impossible to prove a negative -- or shall I produce a counterexample?



    -----------------------
    *Previously, it was:

    One cannot prove any negative at all.
    Hence, one cannot prove that God doesn't exist.

    That's a valid one, but unfortunately it has a false premise.
  14. Donationbbarr
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    09 Mar '07 01:00
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Why? Your argument is now* of the form:


    One cannot prove that God doesn't exist.
    Hence, one cannot prove any negative at all.


    To think that your argument is valid, one would be equally inclined to think that no people from New Zealand are intelligent after encountering one unintelligent person from New Zealand.

    Do you m ...[text shortened]... t God doesn't exist.
    [/quote]
    That's a valid one, but unfortunately it has a false premise.
    No, the argument is:

    One cannot prove the negation of existential claims.
    Hence, one cannot prove that it is not the case that God exists.

    As you point out, the first premise is bunk.
  15. Meddling with things
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    09 Mar '07 01:02
    Originally posted by josephw
    What does science know about spirituality or God?

    Or maybe I phrased the question wrong.

    The reason I'm asking is because I hear alot in this forum about how science has answers to questions related to spiritual matters. And it appears to be a kind of new religion in the popular culture.

    I am not a scientist or anything like that, so I would like to hear some comments on this subject from those of you who are.
    Or anyone else.
    Science has as much of value to say about the metaphysical as ancient religious text have to say about the physical world and the diversity of life
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