The Great Debate: "Has Science Refuted Religion?

by dark angle 239 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • NewChapter

    And you will not invalidate my very valid point that telling a grown woman to grow up and referring to her as a young lady is offensive----even if you would really like to fluff it all off by telling me to lighten up. Ruffled bloomers? So let me get this straight, FHN. Maturity means that you get to run around launching passive aggressive attacks with startling precision, and then when I call you on it, you get to laugh it off?

    Well I am not laughing. I am calling you out for weeks of these attacks. You can pretend to be much wiser, and that you are just some mama putting the children in their place, but you cannot do so without someone pointing it out. Don't bloom your ruffles, or whatever, over it. Just laugh it off everything that I have said.

  • FlyingHighNow

    New Chapter, you read a whole lot more into things than are meant to be there. And hey, if you keep up the histrionics, and I mean that with all sincerity, you'll get a few of your friends to come to your rescue and then you'll feel better again. I'm calling you on this one. You stir things up for attention when no one meant you any offense. Now, I am going to drop this, middleaged lady (somehow that just doesn't sound as nice, but it's accurate, right?)

  • FlyingHighNow

    Please go and read Old Generation's comments on page one and two. He's very wise.

  • NewChapter

    I need no one to defend me. I don't ask them to. You are passive agressive, and that means you stir up trouble, but when someone reacts, you blow it off and say your target is just stirring up trouble and looking for attention. Now you are certainly free to continue to invalidate my complaint with you, that has been your pattern, but if you are going to pretend that you have not been stirring this up at every chance, I will call you on it. And I need not refer to your age or your sex to do so. I am addressing FHN of any age or gender. It doesn't matter. FHN has been stirring this up for some time, and has hidden behind the shield of plausible deniability. I have seen through that shield.

    I have never said such a thing about Tec or even Sab---so I'm not prone to see this behavior in everyone that disagrees with me. I'm not sure if you are fooling yourself, but you are not fooling me.

  • tec

    I think its interesting the different things that ruffle our feathers. And we've all certainly had plenty of time over the past couple of months to observe what ruffles one anothers' feathers.

    Girl, gal, all of those wouldn't even occur to me as insults.

    Someone calling me young lady, or telling me to grow up, would have me rolling my eyes or chuckling. (unless young lady was a compliment)

    Someone stating or accusing me of something that is untrue... now that ruffles my feathers.

    Ziddina ruffles my feathers (face/palm/slap), lol... though I suspect she will be just tickled pink about that (though maybe not about that analogy).... but I also think she has a huge heart and would give the shirt off her back if someone had need of it.

    It helps if we think about the person behind the screen and behind the debate. Outside of debate, we all have friends who are a mixture of atheists, theists, and agnostics. All those different people must like us for a reason...or maybe just despite ourselves ;).



  • NewChapter

    Perhaps Tec. And I don't react every single time these senseless labels are used on me. However, when paired with the admontion that I must grow up, leaves little room to pretend it wasn't meant exactly as taken. Can you see a difference?

    You need go grow up, Young Lady---is very different than, Look here, Young Lady, I'll not have you saying mean things about yourself.

    And you are also not taking a lot of history into account. Perhaps you also don't recognize passive/aggressive behavior. This has been going on for some time now, and I'd like to deal with it directly.

  • FlyingHighNow

    Passive aggressive. A new definition: when FHN now doesn't agree with NC. Maybe we need to make up a new law. We'll call it Talesin's Law. That's when a poster doesn't agree with other posters and one of the other posters throws out the old passive aggressive term. (Talesin, who I might add is generally a very respectful person that I care about.) I will make this very clear. I don't have a problem with discussion of atheism vs believers. I do have a problem with the way believers are talked to on these threads. Nothing passive about it. You don't have to respect our views, but you can be respectful in how you talk to us or about us. Palm's joke about religion and dragons is one example of the disrespectful way some JWN atheists talk to us.

    Stirring up trouble, believe me, any time I come to one of these threads the first time there is already plenty of trouble going and NC, you are usually right smack dab in the middle of it. That's what I have a problem with. Not you, it's the trouble that could be avoided if you simply took a few minutes to phrase your comments with more respect to those who do not share your views.

    I can separate you from your comments on these threads though. And on other subjects like politics and music, I usually agree with you. I don't dislike you.

  • FlyingHighNow

    The growing comment has specifically to do with how easily you take offense. Not about your views on atheism, by the way.

    I have avoided this thread. I was asked by another poster, privately, to come comment.

    I edited this just now because I said growing, not growing up. We all grow, everyday of our lives. And we realize things that are helpful in how we get along with others. Trying to overcome being ultrasensitive is a way of growing. We are never so old or mature that we can't grow.

  • tec

    No, I see a difference.

    I just thought it was interesting, the different things that push our buttons, and it has been on my mind lately. I hoped also to point out a way for us to understand how someone else feels when offended, by comparing it to how we feel when we are offended. No matter what the different things are that set us off.

    I would also like to point out that everyone engages in passive agressivene behavior at times. I read a psychology report on it. Sometimes it is an attempt to soften an argument or admonition; rather than be a harmful attempt. Just something to keep in consideration before we leap to judgments and conclusions and labels. Not saying you are doing that NC, but there was a thread leaning in that direction a while back.



  • kepler

    Since I last checked in, there was an astounding amount of material covered on this thread. Which left a lot of reading to do. BotchTower, Ziddinia and New Chapter have given a grand tour pro and con - or con and pro.

    Walking away with some impressions: In reading B's material, there was reference to a number of other physicists and astronomers, examining their philosophical or religious points of view- and Z countered that there were many fallacies in their arguments for a patriarchal deity or a deity at all. It was also noted by Z that Judaeo-Christian ideas were of fairly recent vintage, and counter to this there were a number of very ancient cultures which had identified creation with goddesses. So you might say that there was a hybrid pitch for religion based on physics and astronomy figures with objections and a cultural anthropology based pitch for religion with a different slant on who or what God is.

    On the last, I should note that I use to hear a different variation on this. My high school friends and I used to comment on our religion teacher (an unordained brother in a religious order) and his claim that the prophets and other figures of the Bible knew more about religious truths than we did because they were closer to the Creation. Speaking of astronomy, my father once quipped we move the Sears refractor telescope from the porch stoop to the street curb, so we could get a closer look at the moon - a few years before Brother F. made his assertion. But at the very least he would have understood the line of reasoning, even though he might have raised objections over some details.

    Later in life, if it is not too much of a digression, I did get to meet a couple of the people under discussion. Enjoyed talking with F. Dyson at a conference - like getting a ball autographed - and having got through a presentation without any visible disturbance in his face. Though I don't know much about the beliefs of most astronomy physics instructors, the first one I did any work for turned out to be a Unitarian...

    But back on track. As an outsider drawn into these arguments by seeing my ex getting sucked back in, I notice or sense some other things. Perhaps it is a leap, but it seems to me, that there is or was an assumption in the "Science Refuted Religion" debate, that is:

    "If the Bible or other religious sources can be shown NOT to be inerrant, then everything about religion is crap."

    On the other hand, if a scientific theory is shown to be false in a particular instance, the scientific community goes back to the workshop and modifies it or comes up with a new concept. E.g., Newtonian theory does not explain all dynamics; general relativity and quantum mechanics prop its classical dynamics up. And the structure is imperfect. But my other correspondents say, "We're working on that." And having a great time.

    What an easy break!

    As I said elsewhere, getting drawn into this, I was confronted with Biblical quotes that said that cities were destroyed by God as punishment or else rebuilt as prophesied. And I was also told that the people who were pointing this out to me were that same God's spokespeople for any other urban renewal that was to come. I would look at the historical record and see no confirmation of these claims, and then the spokespeople would point more forcefully to the chapter and verse... And then sometimes the "effect" had to happen, because the text was "prophecy" and therefore it had to have happened.

    I had moved into The Looking Glass World.

    Unfortunately (?), many of the claims made can be demonstrated as false. Or else those making the claims can be spotted in the process of building their fraudulent evidence. Each of us can cite and trade these stories.

    So does this mean that all religious endeavor is bunk, or is this a reaction to a breach of trust?

    For me, doing the research to detect the lies of so-called Bible-based religion has been a very disturbing thing. I found more deceit and distortion than I had bargained for. At this point, I admit, that I cannot judge all the ramifications. I do not know what I should tell or share with a child.

    But does that mean that there are no lessons in faith? Does that mean that just because those who call everybody else "Satan's organizations" are shown wrong that there is nothing of worth anywhere?

    How do we even know?

    Is all that is claimed miraculous simply superstition? Is history without any plan or is there ever any intercession? Does science explain why I perceive the world as "conscious" as, I presume, so do you? Does it explain how we can pass on out of it and the world keeps going on? Or can it provide a convincing proof? Do we ever get postcards from the other side? Would science know one way or the other?

    If we limit the discussion to the Bible and its basis, even in studying to find that many things I am being led to believe or had believed already were wrong, I still do not exactly understand what had happened (E.g, what did the 6th-4th century BC Persians really have to do with all of this?). Scinces such as archeology or study of contemporary cultures might provide more information.

    Of course, the issue of inerrancy is by no means simply an issue of the Society vs. the world. Beside 2nd Adventists in the 19th century there wree numerous groups that latched onto Biblical inerrancy, but as Karen Armstrong notes, it was almost a defensive reaction to 19th century science findings. Cases such as Galileo's were exceptional since only with the printing press did Scripture go into general circulation at all. In the course of compiling a Bible, some scriptures had to be ruled of insufficient pedigree and others, owing to recorded debates, surely barely passed. If nothing else, we have record of Augustine trying to make sense of how Methuseleh could live his alotted years without drowning in Noah's flood.

    Augustine also argued in behalf of Christians to be open to ideals from beyond the pale. To give one example:

    Often a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other parts of the world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and distances, and this knowledge he holds with certainty from reason and experience. It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things, claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do all that we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, lest the unbeliever see only ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn.”

    -Augustine, “De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim”

    Some other anecdotes:

    Shortly after the invention of the telescope and Galileo's initial discoveries, the Jesuit Gassendi was observing predicted planetary transits and writing attempts to reconcile the atomist theories of Democritus and Lucretius. But if one were to read the recent best seller "Swerve" about the Roman poet, one would find no mention of this. It would conflict with the story's strict dichotomy.

    Elsewhere, the story of Lemaitre was mentioned. And it was in the 1950s that Pope Pius XII attempted to get involved in the cosmology that resulted. Lemaitre advised him to sit on the sidelines and let science and its ax let the chips fly where they may.

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