Non Scientific Evidence

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by CKava, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Hope this doesn't annoy you wry but I just wanted to clarify some points in regard this issue and since the other thread has run its course and was not really about the end of the world anymore I thought a new thread would be ok if it was specifically dedicated to this topic. I know I might be kidding myself that anything productive could come of thid discussion but well there's always hope.

    To recap for anyone not on the other thread the debate has essentially gone like this:

    Poop Loops- There is no evidence for what religion teaches.
    CKava- There is no scientific evidence but scientific evidence is not the only type of evidence in the world. Witness testimony is used in courts for instance.
    Poop Loops- Scientific evidence is the only good kind. Has anyone SEEN God?

    There was alot more said than that by many more people besides me and Poop Loops but thats the gist of the debate I want to focus on. Now also to make clear from the beginning I AM AN ATHEIST and I don't find the views of God (or Gods) given in any religion Im aware of to be credible. Despite this, I can accept that others do have religious beliefs and do frequently base their beliefs on SUBJECTIVE evidence. And as long as they aren't arguing that their SUBJECTIVE evidence is valid for science or that their SUBJECTIVE evidence proves the existence of God to others then I really don't see any reason to get all worked up over it. With my position hopefully clarified on to Poop Loops last response:

    1. No evidence is not a kind of evidence. That is just silly and no-one is arguing that.
    2. I gave you the example of eye witness testimony usually holding up quite well in court, have you forgotten already?

    Silly... who said that you can accept only 1 type of evidence at a time. Religious scientists understand that scientific evidence is necessary for something to become accepted in science and yet most will still have subjective reasons for believing in God.

    This is the problem Poop Loops besides your arguments essentially being like a childs you again are missing the point: I am not arguing that someone has to BELIEVE someone else's subjective evidence.

    Thousands of people have claimed to yes. Does this mean we have to believe them? No. Just like we don't have to believe the thousands who claim to have seen flying saucers. Again to make it clear I am not suggesting subjective evidence must be accepted but just that you cannot deny its existence or its use:

    If a few of your friends told you not to walk down the street you usually walk home by because there is a dodgy looking gang hanging around would you;
    A) Take their advice and walk home a different way.
    B) Ask for verified scientific evidence to support their conclusions and then if they had none promptly dismiss their 'evidence' as useless, accuse them of being unintelligent and proceed to walk home the usual way?

    Well put Homer. However to make it clear I am 100% not arguing that people should not search for the most plausible explanation for a phenomena. I am simply arguing that subjective evidence is EVIDENCE. Many scientists believe in God while simultaneously being well aware of how scientifically no evidence exists to support the existence of any God. Wrydolphin for instance frequently argues against religious nutbars who try to dismiss scientific evidence and yet still believes in God. She believes in God and yet she respects scientific evidence and the scientific method, doesn't seem to be illogical and doesn't seem stupid. She is therefore the perfect example of why Poop Loops view is wrong... Poop Loops is trying to argue that science and religious belief are incompatible, this is the view of religious fundamentalists as well but frankly its nonsense otherwise how can people like wry exist?
  2. thepunisher

    thepunisher Banned Banned

    I think CKava, however simple this example above is, its a bad example. I think for a person the first choice would only be applicable, especially as you forget choice C) Go to the police, report the gang and then walk home a different way.

    The thing is concerning the evidence of god: If you tell ppl you have seen mars men, a UFO or some other extraordinary thing (which to be honest, can 90 % of the time explained through research and explained very easily)you get branded a nut. So how come this doesn't happen in religion then ? Like I just pointed out with the UFO example, 90 % of the time seeing a UFO can be explained very easily (a cloud, a new vehicle, optical illusion, etc.)but what makes the evidence provided by scientists not enough prove that ppl are simply having optical illusions when it concerns god ?

    Is religion and the believe in god already so engrained in some of us we can't anymore accept a simple explanation ? Does their have to be something 'higher than us' ? I mean scientists have explained lightning to us (in ancient times explained as the sign that god/the gods was/were angry), they have explained that the earth is round, not flat, they have explained how our body is built up (which now helps in medicine), they have explained the make up of the stars (which in turn seems to help explain how the universe is made up)but still ppl insist on looking for god as an explanation for things. Why ? Is it better accepting some extraordinary being has made our world than accept it might be just a simple explanation of biology and chemistry ? Do we have to make ourselves feel as so special a being on this planet that we need a 'higher being' to make it so ? Not simply accept we are part of the planet and evolved the way millions of creatures on it did.

    If in ancient times you told someone the earth was round not flat you could get hanged but now when someone tells you he has seen god, it simply gets accepted. Simple explanations exist but the hard ones, requiring more prove, are more readily accepted by the religious community. And that frankly doesn't make much sense.

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2006
  3. Gary

    Gary Vs The Irresistible Farce Supporter

    I can just imagine it :D

    'Hello Sgt Plod, I'd like to report a gang.'
    'OK, well what have they done?'
    'They're hanging around in a street I want to use.'
    'Anything else?'
    'They're dodgy looking...'
    'Have they actually done anything?'
    'It's a gang...'
  4. thepunisher

    thepunisher Banned Banned

    That was actually based on that gang having previously done something already.Otherwise why would said friends of yours alert you to them in the first place ? Maybe they aren't actually allowed to be in that area ?

  5. Gary

    Gary Vs The Irresistible Farce Supporter

    Even if hypothetically they had done something previously in this hypothetical situation, a hypothetical friends paranoia is not enough for the police to do anything. Hypothetically.
  6. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    The example and the absurdity of choice B was simply to point out that in daily life we respect other forms of evidence including personal testimony. The Option C you offer is really no different from A as it still revolves around the fact that you believed the personal testimony of your friends despite seeing no scientific evidence.

    These are all valid points punisher and to be honest I agree with you that a supernatural explanation for phenomena simply isn't necessary especially since previous unexplained phenomena linked with God has been repeatedly explained naturally by science. THis is the problem with the God of the Gaps in that as science progresses God has less and less places to hide. However the point is not everyone who believes in God does so because they think God offers an explanation for natural phenomena. Again I would like to highlight that wry believes in God and yet is frequently debating against those who try to argue for creationism or ID. Thus it would seem belief in God does not necessarily equate to belief in God as a legitamit explanation for all natural occurences...

    P.S. I like the improv with the hypothetical situation keep it coming :D.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2006
  7. thepunisher

    thepunisher Banned Banned

    Well, then hypothetically you should just ignore your friend as well as that friends paranoia is only hypothetical not real. lol ;) :D Now lets see if we can manage five consecutive sentences using the word hypothetically in it. :D

  8. thepunisher

    thepunisher Banned Banned

    Well, then why do ppl still believe in god ? What purpose does he serve ? If he can't serve the purpose of giving us legitimate explanations what else is the belief used for ? And does it have validity ? Why believe in something that has no real purpose ?

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2006
  9. Gary

    Gary Vs The Irresistible Farce Supporter

    A hypothesis of a situation is suppositional, if you would ignore your friend and his paranoia in this situation then that would be right. Since you already pointed out the additional option C which was an overreaction as opposed to an underreaction I had factored this into my reply.

    Your response added additional information about the street not in CKava's original situation, hence my repetition reiterating that the entire situation was hypothetical to reinforce the point.
  10. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    I said legitimate explanations for natural occurences... Let's see if any of the religious folk who respect science can offer you an explanation for why they still believe in God? I have a feeling its going to be with subjective experience however so its going to be rather difficult to comment on its validity.

    When someone is speaking about a subjective experience and not suggesting that it proves anything objectively for instance, I don't like tomato, tomato tastes bad to me I wonder how do you asses validity?
  11. thepunisher

    thepunisher Banned Banned

    Well, in the case of belief CKava, it seems validity is important. You might not like tomatoes but if you don't like god you get labelled. And as can be seen ppl label other ppl very fast. You become an atheist/agonist because you don't accept the subjective experiences as being the truth. But is that a valid label from a theist ? In a World where real facts are more important than subjective experiences shouldn't the real facts count for more ? And be more valid than the subjective experiences ? I mean, if that wasn't the case why waste 500 yrs (?)researching the truth of the bible scientifically only to be told by theists its not the truth because there is something subjective to be considered.

  12. Moony

    Moony Angry Womble

    Going with the hypothetical here's a further extention of it assuming the Police took note and passed it on....

    Police Control Room- 'Hey it's us again, we've got a report to pass on to you for some obs'
    CCTV - 'Sure, fire away'
    PCR- 'Yeah we had som guy come in to one of the stations and said that there's a gang that might be around street X and might be being dodgy'
    CCTV - 'riiiight, so you want us to keeps obs out for a possible 'dodgy' gang then?'
    PCR - 'thanks, call us back if you spot anything'
    CCTV (to colleage) - 'we'll have about as much chance of finding a needle in a hey stack, i'm off for my dinner break'

  13. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    There are any myriad of answers to this question - some more obvious than others... but here's a sampling:

    1) They feel a need to leave matters in the hands of a higher power - whether that 'higher power' is real, backed up by evidence or whatever is generally irrelevant to them.

    2) They find a faith based belief system comforting.

    3) They've grown up with the religious traditions. They find comfort in it's familiarity and it's constancy.

    That's just the surface scratched - there could be literally hundreds of others. I find it kind of incredible that one even has to ask as it's so painfully obvious. There are just as many reasons that people believe in 'God' or a higher power as there are for those who don't believe in 'God' or a higher power.

    For many people the notion of a God or higher power is quite comforting - in many cases it gives them the serenity to accept the things they cannot change. I think if you were really interested to find out what purpose he serves you might want to spend some time around religious people that are not of your culture.

    This is non sequiter at it's finest. Someone elses belief system is not in place to satisfy your questions. It makes zero sense. That's like saying why does someones car not do very good at washing my laundry. Go figure. :D

    Validity for who? For the person who has faith it has a great validity. For someone who doesn't have faith - then what do you think?
    Probably not. :rolleyes:

    It appears you have a decidedly hard time understanding that another person belief system is not neccessarily there to entertain your skepticism. While it may appear to you to have no real purpose to those who believe it has a very real purpose.

    If you want to understand the purpose that people hold religious beliefs then it helps if you keep an open mind. Any subject approached with a closed mind will yield very little.

    Good luck.
  14. wrydolphin

    wrydolphin Pirates... yaarrrr Supporter

    No worries CKava- I'll not shut this down. The other thread had just degenerated far beyond saving. So long as we keep on topic and are civil, I forsee no problems.

    You are correct in saying that the reason people like myself believe in God is subjective. Many liberal Christians do not base their belief in God on the Bible. Having spent almost the entirety of my adult life studying biology, I have no problem stating that God is not to be found in the mechanisms of science. Science tells us how things work, no more and no less. It does not explain why things work nor does it give us a base of ethics (not to imply that ethics come only from religion as clearly they do not. So for many of the theistic scientists out there that I have had contact with, we tend to ascribe to the distant God theory- God set up the rules and that's pretty much that. While I believe that God cares for us, I don't really believe much in the whole God as intensive care taker approach that I have seen in more literal believers. Maybe its closer to the analagy of the watchmaker, who makes the watch lets it run and does the occasional tinkering to keep it working.
  15. thepunisher

    thepunisher Banned Banned

    Well, thank you for providing me with some reasons slipthejab. And I have spent some time with religious ppl of other cultures (friends of my dad are Marrocans and an uncle of mine is Jewish)but I want to understand the Christians belief as its one of the biggest religions around and also the one with the biggest power in the World. Also, what perplexes me is that logic, a factor very much applied by atheists/agonists is something theists don't use alot. Hence there is always clashes between the both of them.

    It all goes down to belief and faith. You can provide someone with us much prove as you want, if they don't want to believe something different they won't.

    If I hadn't an open mind I wouldn't be asking these questions above slipthejab, which the answers seem so obvious to you. I'm being naive in order to get the right questions answered. I have always tried understanding ppls beliefs slip. I wouldn't be asking questions if I wouldn't want to understand more. Hope that makes sense to you.

    Also, having your own oppinion and not wanting to change them regardless of what you hear is different to not being 'open-minded'. I'm open to finding out things about Christianity, hence I ask these questions, but I'm not open to change myself and become religious because of what I hear.

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2006
  16. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    My take on it would be if you really want to understand Christianity - note I mean understand - not believe or accept it as your own - then a good place to start is to not attempt to make it conform to your standards of belief. If you view it that way you will never gain insight into it. Thus the comment on not expecting Christianity to spend all it's time proving itself to you. Realize that it is a religion based primarily on faith - as most are. It carries with it many of the central threads that most other religions as carry.

    Trying to look at it from a viewpoint of it's similarity with other religions might open up new avenues of thought.

    Fair enough.
  17. iamraisen

    iamraisen Valued Member

    this thread is weird. we have slip and punisher talking (i.e not arguing!) and a civil conversation about religion :eek: its like a parallel universe.

    i seem to be in the same boat as wry, for me religion is about guidance rather than dogma. part of my religious experience was reading, interpretting and, in some places, criticising the what the bible says. the comparison with an ethical code was a good one. in my mind the fact that the teachings of jesus can still be applied to life 2000 years later highlight this.

    what confuses me is that by accepting God in todays society you somehow sacrifice academic credibility. i have never, to the best of my knowledge, used God to justify actions of myself or others but they guide most things i do.
  18. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned Banned

    I promise I'll read the rest later, but I just don't feel like it now.

    Ok, one part of science is using Occam's Razor, although it's not "official".

    With God:

    I saw God!

    What you really could have seen: Car's headlights, image in your head, LSD trip, someone playing a prank, etc.

    With Gang:

    I saw a gang! Stay away.

    What you really could have seen: Oh snap, what else could it be? A baseball team?

    Second, you have to factor in that this have nothing to do with what we were talking about. This isn't "You saw a gang? Oh yeah? Prove it.", because gangs exist and we know it. I've seen a few. This is "You saw a magical being that nobody ever saw before, just claimed to have?" Yet God never says "yeah, he saw me", etiher.

    Third is relevance. If I take a different road that day, will it effect me in the long run? Probably not. Beliving in God in theory dictates your life. That is a lot more important.
  19. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned Banned

    A lot of the time it's something like "oh no! I was stuck in a cave, underwater, and poisoned by radioactive scorpions! I said "God, if you let me live, I will believe in you!", suddenly rescue workers came, drug me out, and gave me medicine! THANK GOD!!"

    People feel they should have died, so they need to find a reason for not dying. God is perfect. Dumb luck? Other people? No, it was God. Because by saving them, God also gave them a purpose to be alive. They now feel they are alive for a reason, else they would have died, so there is no need to stay up at night thinking "why am I here?" anymore.

    Of course, that's not all of them. Some people were raised that way, so they never questioned it. I am sure that there are other reasons that I can laugh at, too, but I can't think of any others at the top of my head.

    Except that we're not asking "are tomatoes real?" and asking people if they'd ever tasted them. You analogy would be more like asking people whether God has been good or bad to them, assuming that God is real.

    Taste can be subjective. Existance cannot.
  20. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    I'm shocked Poop Loops they are all valid counter arguments! You must have had a good sleep or something...

    Anyhow ok, so the analogy was flawed as an argument to defend belief in God your right. However most of your points are only relevant if it was meant as an analogy to defend (or promote) belief in God but that wasn't actually the point of it... it was an analogy to point out that in everyday life you do accept personal testimony as a valid kind of evidence. I seem to recall you previously arguing against there being any valid type of evidence beyond scientific? or have you abandoned that argument now? I accept your argument that one would weigh up things like personal testimony with what is scientifically feasible but thats were subjective experience comes into it, religious scientists usually know what is scientifically feasible and yet still believe. Call them stupid or irrational if it makes you feel better but the fact is that many have known a hell of a lot more about science than you and yet don't see the huge contradiction you seem to assume must exist between accepting science and valuing any subjective experience.

    And pooper please bear in mind I DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD so I'm hardly likely to be arguing that the evidence for his/her existence is incredibly compelling am I? I'm simply suggesting that regardless of whether YOU see validity to non scientific evidence or not has no bearing on its existence.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2006

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