The Great Debate: "Has Science Refuted Religion?

by dark angle 239 Replies latest watchtower beliefs


    Terry “Emotion trumps reason when our own ass is on the line. ”

    So very true.The power of emotion must never be underestimated. What we consciously think, can be overridden by our subconscious if we feel we are in danger. The fear of death is a major reason religion survives.

    I was in Italy last year and stayed in Apulia. This is the poor part of Italy, very flat and at the heel end of the shoe shape. The older buildings included the faded glory of the Baroque period. Most of the recent buildings were made of breeze-blocks and cement with laundry hanging from their windows.

    It seems that all available money in these poor areas had been spent on the Roman Catholic churches. They are so religious that even their wine has a denomination. Anyone who opposed the power of the church was tortured to death. We were told of one unfortunate fellow who was hung by his thumbs and skinned alive. It reminded me that my tax bill was due.

    One church had a stone floor and carpeted ceiling. I stood on my head in an attempt to understand their religion better. On Sunday everyone was out in their Sunday best to celebrate Easter. I listened to an Easter service in Italian just for the hell of it, and I wondered why they used unleavened bread to represent Christ’s body when ‘Christ is risen?’

    Apparently if I agree to leave all my money to the church when I die, the men in black skirts can square things for me and save me from hell. It seems that cash is king in this world and the next. As parting with money IS my idea of hell, I will cut out the middle man and do my own negotiating.

  • designs

    T-Duality kinda trumps Adam and Eve and the talking snake.

  • tec

    Science refutes some things in 'religions'... but science does not refute God.

    I don't have time to watch the debate until later tonight, but I will. I enjoy listening to the different viewpoints.



  • OldGenerationDude

    While I am generally on the side of science regarding its findings, I don’t think that either science or religion can negate the other.

    To do so would require that religion was the equivalent of science and vice versa. The two would also have to be interchangeable and supply the same needs of the other. I also think science and religion would have to make claim to same goal.

    While I have met a few people who think that science and religion are destined by their nature to be in this type of conflict, I don’t see how accepting the finding of one negates the other.

    Also, except for the horrid religion of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and few others, I don’t know any religions that take issue with the following questions or give any hinging importance to these:

    Why there is something rather than nothing?

    Where did the universe come from?

    How did life arise?

    What was the origin of morality?

    While these are the arguments of some religious folks who like to debate the subject of the validity of religion, these same religious folk are shunned by the religious community as a whole. Judaism itself has no problem with the findings of modern science. What about the Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Holy See? If science can do without religion and religious people, why did science eventually embrace the “big bang theory” which was discovered and formulated by a Catholic priest? And one has to be quite ignorant of history if we are to ignore the great advances and connections between science and the Islamic faith!

    Some religions don’t even claim to be fonts of or concerned with morality or giving an answer as to how life arose, why matter exists, etc. What about the many Eastern religious faiths? How do any of these subjects raised and discussed disprove Buddhism?

    Again I am on the side of science and its findings, but not on the side of the belief that one negates the other. The two are not equivalents. There are also different forms of religion that do not concern themselves with answering any of the questions of science and vice versa.

    And while it can never be said that all people who like to consider these issues are this way, type of debate is a favorite of those with ambiguity intolerant personality traits. They serve the needs of those who find religions like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Fundamentalism appealing (as well as some aggressive anti-religious movements). The ambiguity intolerant has a drive to compartmentalize all aspects of life, to have definite answers even for the most complex questions. For this type of personality all issues are settled, and anything that suggests otherwise is attacked, hated, even demonized regardless if the person is religious or not.

    There is no “science vs. religion” debate on the larger scale of things. It’s as big a money-making racket as those who make a buck off of religion. It tickles the ego of those who like to feel that they have all the answers and that the views that they have selected for themselves are right. It endorses their beliefs because it teaches that those with the opposite view are wrong, thereby elevating the individual. And this individual is pandered to, some from a religious side that claims it has conquered science, and some from a scientific side who feeds the ego of the person who needs to hear that religion has been conquered.

    It’s just Watchtowerism—the perception that one has found an objective set of principles which supplies the answers to everything and disproves all others that we put aside—Watchtowerism under another brand name, feeding it’s “panacea philosophy” to those who, like the Watchtower, like to find fault with everyone else except themselves, feeding the ego of those who want to make science it’s Truth just like they did religion.

    And again, it only fuels those who will now follow my post with demonizing of me and what I claimed, because whether religious or secular, the person with ambiguity intolerance traits has a need to “make war” on anyone and anything that tells them life, whether viewed through religion or science, life gives no complete and definite answers on these issues raised at the beginning:

    Why there is something rather than nothing?

    Where did the universe come from?

    How did life arise?

    What was the origin of morality?

    Sure these may have been "selling points" that may have made the Watchtower sound attractive to some us who got duped by its twisted bag of tricks, but these aren't questions people have that become the driving force for them to seek religion.

    And anyone who thinks they have found such panacea, religious, scientific or otherwise, that gives us all these answers in such a way that the final bell has been sounded is only making a mockery of both science and religion.


    OldGenerationDude Very profound and even handed.

    Science has proved many things presented as gospel, to be wrong; the book of Genesis for example. But science will never absolutely disprove religion, because religion is based on a world of invisible beings with god at the top. If he/it does exist, the bible informs us that god is unapproachable, and unreachably high. How does one disprove the unproven? If people say they feel that god exists, how does one refute that, and why would one want to?

    Scientists simply say that they can find no proof that a god exists. Science is not against belief in god and continues to search. The very fact that we still have to discuss whether or not a god exists is rather disappointing. Some scientists talk of god being found in undiscovered dimensions, black holes and anti-matter. Maybe a hundred years from now they will discover something about the universe and its mysterious composition that people will be able to claim is god.

    I can't wait another hundred years so I am hoping that if there is a god, instead of science trying to find him, he will find us. God could learn to use the internet and post a few up to date comments, perhaps on Jehovah' Now that would impress me.

  • soft+gentle

    oldgenerationdude - great post - welcome to jwn

  • tec

    Great post, OGD. Well reasoned and expressed!



  • glenster

    Has science refuted religion?"

    Not at the base of religion--the basic concept of God. See Mortimer Adler:
    How to Think about God.

    God is possible beyond the known proven things. Keep up to speed about the
    known proven things God is possible beyond to avoid the problem of misinforma-

    Understand faith as such, which is a hope for a possible God. Ideas of God's
    name and interventions are matters of faith, too. That also means hurting or
    killing for it is arbitrary hurting or killing, short of proof of God, and
    shouldn't be done. People shouldn't be punished for somebody's idea of an
    apostate or due to state atheism purges of believers.

    Sending broadside swings for all believers or non-believers over a wall of
    alienation is neither fully informed nor respectful of not creating unnecessary
    harm. Some believers and non-believers know better but pander like JWs leaders
    in that regard. Propaganda is misinformation and bigotry is harm.

    Otherwise, science hasn't refuted religion but only modified it.

    Abrahamic religion may be orthodox, conservative, liberal, or progressive/
    reform. The latter end of that scale is more concerned to use these points,
    possibly see something in an old text as representing the culture of the time
    and not God. It's a growing concern which makes a difference in how old texts
    are viewed, which category one prefers, but not to the point of refuting
    the sharing of faith, religion, altogether.

  • designs

    You think god is a 5'6" Jewish man flying around heaven, have I got a political party for you.

  • VM44

    God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion

    by Victor J. Stenger

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