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Prophetic Failures

AronRa

Administrator
The way science works is as an investigation, NOT a belief. We propose hypotheses which must be testable and potentially falsifiable, meaning there is some way to prove it wrong, if it is. There is no way to prove it right, because declaring anything to be the absolute truth tends to close our minds, so that we stop learning. If a hypothesis is effectively proven by an overwhelming preponderance of evidence beyond reasonable doubt, we still can't say that it is proved. Instead it is elevated to theory, which can still be disproved, at least hypothetically. If it is true, then future experiments or discoveries should show this predicted result. If it's false, then we'll get some other unexpected result instead. That will prove it wrong.

The way religion works is to just make up whatever you want to make-believe and then pronounce your prophesies with stoic confidence BUT blindly ignore absolutely every single time that every one of those predictions always only ever fail.

Most of these idiots claiming that God spoke to them cannot be honest enough to admit that either God was wrong or that they were wrong in their belief that God was talking to them. They can't admit that because religion is all about make-believe, and they have to keep believing, even when they know it's not really true.


 
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The way science works is as an investigation, NOT a belief. We propose hypotheses which must be testable and potentially falsifiable, meaning there is some way to prove it wrong, if it is. There is no way to prove it right, because declaring anything to be the absolute truth tends to close our minds, so that we stop learning. If a hypothesis is effectively proven by an overwhelming preponderance of evidence beyond reasonable doubt, we still can't say that it is proved. Instead it is elevated to theory, which can still be disproved, at least hypothetically. If it is true, then future experiments or discoveries should show this predicted result. If it's false, then we'll get some other unexpected result instead. That will prove it wrong.
Well knowing how science works is mostly only useful when you want to measure something or require a technical understanding of matter and energy. I think Atheists often try to present science as something which either is or should be a sort of magical guiding force in all our lives. The scientific method was something we created to help us determine very specific pieces of reality. It is not a be-all-end-all that can provide us an answer for everything.
 
The way religion works is to just make up whatever you want to make-believe and then pronounce your prophesies with stoic confidence BUT blindly ignore absolutely every single time that every one of those predictions always only ever fail.
You can replace the way "religion works" with just about anything. The way people work. The way Democrats work. The way Republicans work, and so on. "Religion" can mean just about anything, I think, these days.
 
Most of these idiots claiming that God spoke to them cannot be honest enough to admit that either God was wrong or that they were wrong in their belief that God was talking to them. They can't admit that because religion is all about make-believe, and they have to keep believing, even when they know it's not really true.
It is possible for Christians to be idiots and it is also possible for them to misrepresent God. The only requirement most us have in order to live forever with Him in heaven is telling Jesus that you are sorry for all the bad things you have done in your live and that you want to live with him.

I have been a Christian for 30 years I guess. God has never spoken to me nor have I ever expected him too and I generally think most people who say God speaks to them are kinda dumb. So I sorta agree with you there.

SORRY for posting all this in several different replies but I forget how the quote thing works here. I have not watched the videos yet but probably will do so now.
 

So the first 2 vids are just vids of who I would call just goofy or misguided people.

In the 3rd vid you just give a sorta amaturish critique of the Bible for the first few minutes but a lot of the rest of the video, I would say is spot on. But I think overly generalize what Christians think about what prophecy in the Bible. I am a Christian and I would say most Christians probably don't even have any idea what the hell you are talking about. On the other hand there are also Christians who know God and the Bible well enough to understand that many times God says he will do something and then does not do it and that many of the similarities Jesus's life had to the old scriptures could have been more coincidence than prophecy.

But I think Jesus thought it was cool that people in the past wrote things or spoke about things that were similar to his life.
 

Sparhafoc

Well-Known Member
Well knowing how science works is mostly only useful when you want to measure something or require a technical understanding of matter and energy. I think Atheists often try to present science as something which either is or should be a sort of magical guiding force in all our lives. The scientific method was something we created to help us determine very specific pieces of reality. It is not a be-all-end-all that can provide us an answer for everything.

Several points I'd raise here:

Firstly, I don't think it's generally useful to talk about 'what atheists do' unless the sentence goes on to contain the phrase 'don't believe in gods'. Atheists are not linked by a common doctrine like, for example, Christians nominally are. Even with Christians, you have dozens of denominations and so they do things differently, but they necessarily share common beliefs and atheism has no corollary there.

Secondly, I have talked to a lot of atheists in my life, and I've never once seen any suggestion from any of them that science is anything like a 'magical guiding force'. I've seen atheists, non-theists, theists, and people whose beliefs I do not know show a blind trust in the produce of science, but I think there's some justification for that given that the produce of science is so manifestly bounteous and has dramatically changed everyone's lives, regardless of their belief system.

Thirdly, by definition, science is not 'magical' - quite the contrary - and anyone who thinks so is very much wrong, regardless of their position on the existence of the divine.

Fourthly, the 'very specific pieces of reality' that science can help us determine is 'physical reality' - anything that empirically, observably exists in the universe. This naturally causes conflict between traditional belief systems that have, in pre-scientific times, produced doctrinal dogma which is now at odds with the way the world provably works. A subset of Christians, for example, refuse to accept all manner of specific findings of science because they a) consider the Bible to be the last word of knowledge in the universe and b) they are arrogant that their interpretation of the words in the Bible is the only possible interpretation.

Finally, I firmly agree with you on one point: science cannot answer everything. Science cannot tell you whether you should keep that secret or not, science cannot tell you whether you should marry young or wait until you're older, science cannot tell you why you find the works of Bellini beautiful while another person is inspired by the works of Botticelli... science cannot help people navigate internal value based dilemmas, it can't help you make difficult decisions, it can't solve your internal crises - it cannot operate in a space where there is no empirical evidence or 'how does it work' question. Anyone who believes so is wrong. But honestly, I've never met anyone who does actually believe this - I have, however, met religious people hostile to science who portray acceptance of scientific knowledge as if it amounted to the above. If there is scientism, I've never really seen it in practice, but I've seen a lot of religious people talk about its existence which is, if you think about it, kinda funny.
 
Several points I'd raise here:

Firstly, I don't think it's generally useful to talk about 'what atheists do' unless the sentence goes on to contain the phrase 'don't believe in gods'. Atheists are not linked by a common doctrine like, for example, Christians nominally are. Even with Christians, you have dozens of denominations and so they do things differently, but they necessarily share common beliefs and atheism has no corollary there.

Secondly, I have talked to a lot of atheists in my life, and I've never once seen any suggestion from any of them that science is anything like a 'magical guiding force'. I've seen atheists, non-theists, theists, and people whose beliefs I do not know show a blind trust in the produce of science, but I think there's some justification for that given that the produce of science is so manifestly bounteous and has dramatically changed everyone's lives, regardless of their belief system.
Yeah. As much as I hate it when I think people are over-generalizing Christians, I know I often do the same thing when talking about Atheists. I will try not to do it in the future.
 
Fourthly, the 'very specific pieces of reality' that science can help us determine is 'physical reality' - anything that empirically, observably exists in the universe. This naturally causes conflict between traditional belief systems that have, in pre-scientific times, produced doctrinal dogma which is now at odds with the way the world provably works. A subset of Christians, for example, refuse to accept all manner of specific findings of science because they a) consider the Bible to be the last word of knowledge in the universe and b) they are arrogant that their interpretation of the words in the Bible is the only possible interpretation.

I agree with most of this here but I would point out that reality is not always empirical or observable. Parts of reality can only be known by being experienced. I guess this is what you would call "non-physical reality"

Also I dont think the meaning of the Bible is dependent "on possible interpretations". Most of it is just a record, which is not that hard to figure out. But i get your point
 
Finally, I firmly agree with you on one point: science cannot answer everything. Science cannot tell you whether you should keep that secret or not, science cannot tell you whether you should marry young or wait until you're older, science cannot tell you why you find the works of Bellini beautiful while another person is inspired by the works of Botticelli... science cannot help people navigate internal value based dilemmas, it can't help you make difficult decisions, it can't solve your internal crises - it cannot operate in a space where there is no empirical evidence or 'how does it work' question. Anyone who believes so is wrong. But honestly, I've never met anyone who does actually believe this - I have, however, met religious people hostile to science who portray acceptance of scientific knowledge as if it amounted to the above. If there is scientism, I've never really seen it in practice, but I've seen a lot of religious people talk about its existence which is, if you think about it, kinda funny.
I think we have 2 groups of people. One group undervalues science and another overvalues it. Both groups I think can be equally dangerous. I suspect the group that overvalues it to be the larger one. I can't prove it but it just seems to me that in my life, when I have asked people why they do not believe in God the most common answer I get is something like "Because science has it all figured out."

It could be that because I'm obviously biased, that I just notice the Atheists that I think are nutcases more than I notice the religious ones. Believe it or not, I have never really consider this before until now and I am almost certain that my bias probably effects my thinking more than I have previously realized. But at this same instant I am also certain that Atheists are also affected by a bias.

I think it's good that I am able to realize something from this discussion which I think will help me have a clearer understanding of things.
 

Sparhafoc

Well-Known Member
I agree with most of this here but I would point out that reality is not always empirical or observable.

That is a statement that has no bottom.

How can you know that there is reality that is not empirical or observable?

For you to 'know' that reality would mean it would be empirical and observable.


Parts of reality can only be known by being experienced.

Experienced via...?

For clarity, the term 'empirical' necessarily includes 'experience'.


I guess this is what you would call "non-physical reality"

Can you provide a specific example?


Also I dont think the meaning of the Bible is dependent "on possible interpretations". Most of it is just a record, which is not that hard to figure out. But i get your point

I am not contending it is or isn't dependent on interpretations as I don't personally have believe in its infallibility, I am saying that there are many Christian groups who have specific exegesis or interpretations which are not shared by other Christians, in fact, in some cases are outright rejected by other Christians. Previously, the group I was alluding to were basically the fundamentalist evangelicals typically found in the USA who are usually Creationists, and often Young-Earth Creationists. These groups are literalist fundamentalists, yet they possess various interpretations showing, necessarily, that they are not all right despite their confidence/hubris. There is ample record of the doctrinal assumptions and contentions made by these groups for me to feel confident in having fairly and accurately portrayed that.
 

Sparhafoc

Well-Known Member
I think we have 2 groups of people. One group undervalues science and another overvalues it. Both groups I think can be equally dangerous.

I don't personally either recognize this as a valid distinction, nor do I think that under or over-valuing science generally results in any dangerous behavior for anyone. I think most people just live their lives and don't think too much about it, so they probably 'undervalue' science when the products of science are all round them and affect every aspect of their lives. I don't think such people are dangerous in the abstract.


I suspect the group that overvalues it to be the larger one.

I would very much doubt that whether within any nation, or globally. When you put the kettle on, do you think about the physics involved in the simple process you set in motion? Do you think many people acknowledge that the world around them has been tamed for their benefit by previous generations of experimenters? In my experience, most people don't really give any of it much thought. I would suggest that they are the majority, and they probably slightly undervalue science.


I can't prove it but it just seems to me that in my life, when I have asked people why they do not believe in God the most common answer I get is something like "Because science has it all figured out."

Can I ask you frankly: are you really sure that's the answer you've been given? Or is it perhaps the answer you wanted to hear?

I say this for many reasons, one simple one being that if you look at the division of belief in the human population, the chances are that when you ask a random person why they don't believe in your god is because they believe in some other god instead.

Aside from this, there's no reason whatsoever that a person can't believe in your God and also fully accept scientific knowledge. Science offers no barrier to belief in gods - I expect the majority of scientists on this planet believe in one god or another. Physicists and Biologists not so much, and for very good reasons.


It could be that because I'm obviously biased, that I just notice the Atheists that I think are nutcases more than I notice the religious ones.

Yes, that is exactly how my mind would work when I considered such an idea. I've met many crackpot religionists, but I've fortunately never allowed myself to believe that they thereby represent all the members of their specific religion. No doubt that's because I know plenty of religionists (of all creeds) who are perfectly reasonable people in every respect.

It's a selection bias: the fledgling who squarks the loudest gets the most grubs.


Believe it or not, I have never really consider this before until now and I am almost certain that my bias probably effects my thinking more than I have previously realized. But at this same instant I am also certain that Atheists are also affected by a bias.

If you've never considered it before, then welcome to a world of self-knowledge that could lead you down many paths you'd never otherwise have even known existed.

For example, you might want to question why you suddenly needed to deflect to talking about 'atheists' sharing the same bias. I mean, of course they do - they're humans too. That's no startling insight.


I think it's good that I am able to realize something from this discussion which I think will help me have a clearer understanding of things.

So do I - that's why I do this, and it's why I've been doing it for so many years. The more minds one encounters, the more broadly one can hope to see the world and the self within it. So many vital personal discoveries have been made thanks to discussions I've had with other people, so many unquestioned assumptions have been exposed and assessed, change, growth, evolution. This is what I live for. To learn, to know thyself.
 
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