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1345 comments

This just makes sense (3, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549700)

Discarding scientific knowledge because of a book written originally for a nomadic group of shepherds is ridiculous.

Discarding the moral teachings that have been handed down over thousands of years is equally ridiculous.

Re:This just makes sense (3, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549752)

It's not the "moral teachiings" that cause conflict, it's the historic mythology that science disagrees with.

Re:This just makes sense (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549812)

We have modern mythology too. Like when we blame all the failings of black people (crime, bastard children, poverty, thug worship, anti-intellectualism) on something that ended about 150 years ago. It makes us feel good to know our cherished beliefs about everybody being equal aren't threatened by contact with reality. It is called political correctness.

Re:This just makes sense (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550002)

Or when we pretend that the "something" that ended 150 years ago doesn't have lingering effects today.

Re:This just makes sense (1, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550092)

Not to feed the troll, but official government run segregation ended a lot more recently then 150 years ago.

Generational poverty is hard to escape no matter what the skin color (and personal anecdotes that prove it's possible don't mean it's easy, or not a disadvantage), and a government actively working to maintain said poverty for multiple generations (after being recognized as people rather than chattel) is apparently capable of doing so.

I will not defend the actions of individuals that act like poor white trash because that is the easy thing to do, but as a group of people, African Americans are more likely to act like white trash than white people, due to the long-term and active effort to make sure they maintained their generational poverty. It can be argued that said effort is no longer being made, but if you associate with the broad population you'd be pretty stupid to make it.

Re:This just makes sense (5, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549906)

Sure the moral teachings cause conflict.

If a voice in your head told you to kill your own child, would you do it? Let's say at the last minute, the voice says "just joking!", but you were *really* gonna do it. Am I supposed to think you did a morally righteous thing by fully intending to kill your own child to prove your loyalty to someone?

Or what if there was an angry mob outside your house, about to rape some guy? If you instead convinced the mob to rape your own daughters, and let the guy go, am I supposed to look at you like a role model?

Morality has been awfully fluid over the period of human existence...

Re:This just makes sense (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550010)

s/some guy/an angel
s/a voice in your head/the god you've seen do many wonders and miracles during all your life, he's even anticipated the destruction of cities to you (and then it happened, told you you were going to have a son with your ancient wife and then it happened) /

if you are going to criticize a text, take it within it's surrounding context. Picking Abraham's decision to take Isaac to the altar on itself is not rigurous, at all.

Re:This just makes sense (5, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550084)

Look, if an alien came down from the sky in a spaceship, performed all sorts of wonders and miracles, and predicted the future with uncanny accuracy, and even helped me and my wife conceive when we thought it was impossible, sorry, but if they ask me to kill my kid, they're evil. Not just "not good", but pure evil.

Similarly, if an alien was about to be raped at my doorstep by an angry mob, I might be willing to try to fight the mob off and risk my life, but sacrificing my daughter to be raped instead is simply not moral. Heck, I might even be able to understand it if to fend the mob off I had to offer *myself* up for a good raping, but to sacrifice my *daughters*? Not okay.

Abraham's decision to take Issac to the altar should be universally condemned - killing your own child to appease a powerful figure in your life is never justifiable.

Re:This just makes sense (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550138)

not "a powerful figure in your life" but the creator of your life, your child, etc...

what makes you say that those acts are or are not moral? What is the foundation upon which you reason morality? (Assuming you are posing it in terms of reason, and not just of emotional rejection)

I'm not saying those acts are understandable, nor that I can empathize with them. "My thoughts are higher than your thoughts" Is 40. The upside of it, is that He's the only one that can claim that. Accepting His superiority means the devaluation of all other sources of "absolute". That thought made men like Bonhoeffer and Kolbe stand against nazism.

Re:This just makes sense (1, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550070)

The difference between that "holy" book and most others is that it takes a definitive viewpoint that all men are flawed and the ONLY redemption is by faith. Science doesn't deal, ever, with how flawed man really is. Science assumes that we can "fix" whatever flaws we have with science, where that book makes the exact opposite case.

And from EMPIRICAL evidence, the book is 100% accurate on that point, while science is 0%. I guess we just need to give science more time to catch up. huh?

I'd explain the two stories to you, but I doubt you'd even care as to why they are important to the whole narrative.

Re:This just makes sense (4, Insightful)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549756)

religion != morals.

Re:This just makes sense (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549986)

Bingo. Organized religion likes to pretend they are the font of moral wisdom, but history simply doesn't bear that truth out. That stance is merely a pretense to control their flock, to get them to do what they want them to do.

Re:This just makes sense (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550034)

Bingo. Organized religion likes to pretend they are the font of moral wisdom, but history simply doesn't bear that truth out. That stance is merely a pretense to control their flock, to get them to do what they want them to do.

I think the key word there is "organized".

Re:This just makes sense (4, Insightful)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550040)

I'd say religion and science are pretty orthogonal.

Science kinda just tells you what is likely to happen when you do X. That's it.

Religion is simply your own personal reason that you do X. Maybe it's because everyone else is doing it. Or maybe you have some system of beliefs, founded in scientific observation or some other social aspect of your upbringing. But it doesn't really matter.

Religion is kinda like an operating system... it doesn't really matter which one you run. Some are more susceptible to viruses and botnets than others, some interoperate better other operating systems. But generally it's great that there's some diversity.

Re:This just makes sense (3, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549758)

Agreed.

- Women are their husband's property.
- Homosexuals should be stoned.
- Unruly children should be stoned.
- When ordered by God we should kill not just men but also women and children when invading a country.
- Eat a lobster and die.
- Divorce and be stoned.
- Etc...

I mean, discarding all of the scientific nonsense is a no-brainer. But we really need to get back to the good book as a source of moral authority.

Re:This just makes sense (2)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549898)

Lots of talking about being stoned, what is this drug-liberal religion that you are talking about? And how do I get in on it?

Re:This just makes sense (5, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549950)

>>I mean, discarding all of the scientific nonsense is a no-brainer. But we really need to get back to the good book as a source of moral authority.

You're a bit out of date.

The Old Testament which has been superseded by the New. There's basically two laws you have to follow these days:
1) Love God
2) Love Other People As Much As Yourself.

Everything else is details.

Re:This just makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549998)

>>Everything else is details.

That's where the devil is. God is in the gaps.

Re:This just makes sense (5, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550012)

I've heard this interpretation before, but an awful lot of Christians still cite Leviticus whenever it suits, often while eating a bacon cheeseburger.

I realize that hypocrisy is far from limited to Christians, but this one is a regular on the evening news:

"Hey, how about some gay marriage?"

"Nuh uh, Leviticus."

A just universe would follow that up with a serious punching.

Re:This just makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550128)

It's not being hypocritical Christian, it's being a hypocritical Jew and calling yourself a Christian.

There are many parts of the New Testament that basically say Christians shouldn't follow the Old Testament. To do so is nit picky disaster of Jewish law.

For Christians along the lines the parent post mentioned (love God, love each other), the Old Testament is a fascinating bit of historical context that helps in understanding the New Testament. The gist of which seems to be "If you act like a jerk, it'll bite you in the ass."

Re:This just makes sense (5, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550152)

>>I've heard this interpretation before, but an awful lot of Christians still cite Leviticus whenever it suits, often while eating a bacon cheeseburger.

It's called cafeteria Christianity for a reason. =)

But if you want to get technical, the RCC divides Old Testament law into culturally-bound laws and moral laws, with the former not applying (like what clothes to wear) and some (like the Ten Commandments) still applying. But Jesus made it very clear that there's only two commandments for a Christian that really matter:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+22%3A37-40 [biblegateway.com]

Re:This just makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550168)

"Hey, how about some gay marriage?"

If we must talk about gay marriage, Leviticus is too old school for me. Jesus said,

'But from the beginning of creation, `God made them male and female.'
`For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh.
What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder." Gospel of St. Mark 10:6-9

You don't see many Christians quoting this verse because it makes them look bad. Divorce, like gay marriage is wrong. Children aren't valued anymore. We talk about how horrific is is that some barbaric governor puts a man to death, yet those people fight for a woman's right to choose abortion because a child is inconvenient. It's only when children are not important that we can seriously consider the selfishness of marriage for the sake of being with "the one" instead of being for procreation.

You demonstrate the flaw in the article. (2)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550072)

The majority of SCIENTISTS do not have a problem with science and religion.

It is the RELIGIOUS people who have a problem with science. Because it contradicts their religion.

The Old Testament which has been superseded by the New. There's basically two laws you have to follow these days:
1) Love God
2) Love Other People As Much As Yourself.

Nice statement of fact there. Too bad there are millions (billions?) of people who do NOT agree with you. Their statements of fact contradict yours.

Don't confuse our personal religion as anything other than your personal religion.

Re:You demonstrate the flaw in the article. (4, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550108)

>>It is the RELIGIOUS people who have a problem with science. Because it contradicts their religion.

As I said in another post, the two groups that feel science and religion are in conflict are fundies (which you'll see all over the place on sites like The Blaze) and logical positivists (found on sites like Slashdot). Most educated people do not.

>>Their statements of fact contradict yours.

It's not my problem if they're wrong. =)

Well, I've made it something of a personal mission to correct the fundies' misapprehensions about science, and positivists misapprehensions about religion, but that's just a hobby.

Thanks for proving it. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550182)

It's not my problem if they're wrong. =)

Exactly. They're "wrong" because YOU already "know" what is "right".

And if they don't agree with you ...

As I said in another post, the two groups that feel science and religion are in conflict are fundies (which you'll see all over the place on sites like The Blaze) and logical positivists (found on sites like Slashdot). Most educated people do not.

And yet around 50% of the US population thinks that "intelligent design" should be taught in schools along with evolution.

It's not the "fundies" who are the problem.
It's anyone who believes that his personal religion is "right" and that others are "wrong".

Re:This just makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550098)

You're thinking of hippies.

For Jews, the Old Testament is still pretty important, even though their version has fewer books and a different name.
For Christians, Jesus fulfills the prophecy of the Old Testament. Even the sects that only make you believe in Jesus as God to get into Heaven cannot do away with the Old Testament, else they have to throw out Jesus too.
For Muslims, too, the books are important, but in a different way.

captcha: testify

Re:This just makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549980)

Only "fundamentalists" in Christianity still believe that. And even then, they cherry pick whatever they like while ignoring what they hate. That one Jesus guy rejected all of that since he was a pretty chill dude.

For those that follow Judaism I have no idea since I know very little about Judaism. Or Islam.

As for science, it's caused its own fair share of "bad science" atrocities in the past. We still haven't stopped sciencing it up though.

Re:This just makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550064)

-Husband should love their wives as Christ loved His church (dying for her)
-All sinners deserve death for our sins, that is all human beings. Jesus took that bullet for us.
-Parent's should not exasperate their children
-If the maker of morality orders something, it is moral. "My thoughts are higher than your thoughts" Isaiah 40. We cannot apply to Him the same rules we apply to us, for He's God. Now, those orders were pretty specific, and cannot be used to support any kind of killing in the present.
-Divorce and be stoned?? where in the bible is that? The OT has provisions for divorce, and I don't recall divorce ever carrying a penalty...

Re:This just makes sense (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549770)

Apparently, you know nothing of the Bible, if you think it was "...a book written originally for a nomadic group of shepherds..."

Despite the sales pitch, ignorance isn't bliss. Find out for yourself.

Re:This just makes sense (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549778)

Moral teachings of Sumeria, Ancient Egypt, Greece all predate those of The Bible. Most of them were plagiarized by the Bible authors. How about we flush the Abrahamic Religions or move them over to the Mythical Category and then let people do they want but keep the Myths out of the Public Sphere of Influence. Makes too much sense to ever happen.

Re:This just makes sense (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549858)

Moral teachings of Sumeria, Ancient Egypt, Greece all predate those of The Bible.

Moral teachings of the Bible also predate the Bible.

Most of them were plagiarized by the Bible authors.

So? This isn't a term paper where plagiarism matters.

How about we flush the Abrahamic Religions or move them over to the Mythical Category and then let people do they want but keep the Myths out of the Public Sphere of Influence. Makes too much sense to ever happen.

You have to deal with what people believe. Religion is among other things a standard by which ideas and codes of conduct are often shoehorned for better and worse.

Re:This just makes sense (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549884)

Yes, but too many folks like to think that the Bible and Christianity in general are the only path to eternal reward. The materials being plagiarized greatly diminishes the legitimacy of that viewpoint.

Re:This just makes sense (0)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549914)

You have to deal with what people believe. Religion is among other things a standard by which ideas and codes of conduct are often shoehorned for better and worse.

It's for worse, not for better. Just because people are religious in large numbers in our country is no reason to let them rest. Have no mercy on them -- keep confronting them with the lies and vacuousness of their primitive incantations. The way to "deal with" what people believe is to call them on it. As a great man once said, "What you can believe without evidence I can dismiss without evidence." Religion poisons our public discourse with a demand for respect for "faith," which is the claimed right to publicly proclaim idiotic ideas without evidence because it's "sacred." Enough! Let's keep chipping away -- religion is more and more on the retreat. Reason is winning the debate.

Re:This just makes sense (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550028)

It's for worse, not for better.

The obvious counter is that 1) people aren't fully rational and invariably have serious problems, both from internal and external sources. They often need a mental crutch, such as religion to maintain a viable mental attitude; 2) religious people tend to be more fertile than the irreligious. Demographics is destiny and all that.

Re:This just makes sense (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549946)

So? This isn't a term paper where plagiarism matters.

No but I heard the Sumerian IIPA can sue the shorts off of a Abrahamic scholar in no time flat.

Re:This just makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549970)

People only believe that because they were taught to believe that.

If you could raise a child completely unaware of religion I'm pretty sure that they wouldn't come up with it on their own.

Re:This just makes sense (4, Informative)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549814)

> Discarding the moral teachings that have been handed down over thousands of years is equally ridiculous.

It's not ridiculous; moral philosophy has been advancing since the bronze age, just like science. There's a reason that religions founded in that era endorse slavery, regard women as property, and practice scapegoating, to name just a few items; they are only as moral, could only possibly be as moral, as the men who founded them were. We can do better today.

Re:This just makes sense (0)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549918)

We can do better today.

That's what Marx, Lenin, Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot said.

Re:This just makes sense (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549962)

And now we have those examples to add to our historical knowledge too!

Isn't this fun?

Oh, you meant that some people tried something new and ran up against (major) problems to do with abuse of power and other nasty aspects of human nature, so we should (obviously!) go back two millenia in our thinking.

Re:This just makes sense (2, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550094)

Funny, but that is exactly what that old book written by nomads basically teaches. Men are flawed. Hmmmm Funny that!

Re:This just makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550124)

Morality is largely a social construct. Only a few extremely salient aspects of morality transcend the social context. The rest of it is just gibberish.

Re:This just makes sense (4, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549864)

Discarding scientific knowledge because of a book written originally for a nomadic group of shepherds is ridiculous.

Discarding the moral teachings that have been handed down over thousands of years is equally ridiculous.

Moral teachings that have largely been proven to work in building relatively peaceful and successful societies and individuals. So I'd include some religions and not others, perhaps, if you want to draw a fine line.

The only people that believe science and religion are fundamentally in conflict are religious fundamentalists and the militant positivists you find here on Slashdot. For *everyone else* (as the study shows) they coexist in harmony.

Science is the empirical study of how things are.
Religion is the normative study of how things should be.

There's no inherent conflict between these two things, because they discuss two very different things.

While the logical positivists on here will say the study how things should be is uninteresting, for most people, well, it's interesting. (Which is why logical positivism is a failure of a philosophy.)

Re:This just makes sense (1, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549978)

Religion is the normative study of how things should be.

Popular religion as it is practised in the west is not the study of anything. It's all about being part of the crowd and proclaiming your own righteousness above others.

And yes, I include Islam as practiced in the west in this.

Re:This just makes sense (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549944)

"Discarding the moral teachings that have been handed down over thousands of years is equally ridiculous."

Yes, society would go bust if it wouldn't have things like:

Leviticus 3:17
The eating of fat is prohibited forever

Deuteronomy 22:28-29
If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives

Exodus 21:20-21
If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property

Deuteronomy 25:11-12
If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

Leviticus 20:9
Any person who curseth his father or mother must be killed

Leviticus 21:17-18
People who have flat noses, or are blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God

etc

Re:This just makes sense (5, Insightful)

morcego (260031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550056)

Actually, I went to catholic school. Jesuits, to be more precise. Out science lab teacher was a priest (quite an old one, 70+ years old). He used to say:

"It is not the duty of religion to say HOW things happen, but WHO is behind it. Science, on the other hand, will tell you HOW, but now WHO is behind it. I see no conflict whatsoever between the Big Bang and my faith. Between evolution and my faith. When I see Darwin's evolution, I see God's hand behind it."
 

Re:This just makes sense (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550150)

Discarding scientific knowledge because of a book written originally for a nomadic group of shepherds is ridiculous.

This is correct.

Discarding the moral teachings that have been handed down over thousands of years is equally ridiculous.

This is not. Unless you kill people for eating the wrong foods, adultery, children for talking back to parents, being gay, or the wrong religion, etc. And make women subservient to men, and countless other moral absurdities contained in just *one* book of just *one* religion.

Of course, there are *some* morals in the various religions of the world that are worthy of keeping, but a lot of ancient nonsense that needs to be cast off.

really? (5, Interesting)

another_twilight (585366) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549706)

The more interesting statistic is the percentage of "religious" people who think that there is conflict.

After having read the article, I am not convinced that the questions asked showed that there was common ground at all. It may well be that scientists recognise that religion and science are orthogonal and therefore do not conflict.

Re:really? (1)

Orgasmatron (8103) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549826)

The common ground idea is between the people, not the subjects. If you expect it between the subjects, you are almost certainly akin to the 15% that sees a conflict.

Just make sure that you match layman to layman and philosopher to philosopher. Comparing serious scientists to random people off the street that feel that they are "religious" would be pretty silly. Just about as silly as comparing serious theologians to random street folks that consider themselves to be "scientific".

For a preview, find yourself just about any work by a respected serious renaissance or post-renaissance theologian, and you'll see evidence of a viewpoint very similar to that expressed by the folks in this survey.

Re:really? (3, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550180)

The article didn't say "scientists and religious people can mix" it said "Science and religion can and do mix, mostly". I find the whole idea of answering if that's true via a survey as showing the exact wooly thinking which shows the difficulty of mixing science with religion. This is a

Science and religion can mix if, for example:

  • religious people can either state their ideas clearly or recognise them as non scientific
  • religious people can demonstrate an ability to change their ideas according to evidence
  • non religious scientists can accept evidence from religious scientists

Fortunately it seems that for most religious scientists in most circumstances those things are true. Unfortunately there are some specific areas of cosmology and evolution where it seems many religious people are unable to follow scientific methods.

Re:really? (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549840)

The problem is that Religion by definition isn't in conflict with science. If Jesus showed up in the sky we could empirically and reproducibley verify his claims. And then based on his claims we could use science to measure the accuracy of this "Jesus Character". And if what he says lines up with the universe then we should probably believe him. Science and Religion in harmony!

The problem is not with a vague notion of "Religion" and "Science" the problem is that almost all of the world's religions *are* incompatible with Science. That's not a reflection on religion, that's a reflection on those *specific* religions who are no longer based on reality and are therefore most likely incorrect (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hindus etc...)

Many religions don't claim to make scientific claims, but they have implicit claims built into their narratives which form the foundation of their belief structure.

Let's say that Christianity isn't based on Genesis but we can instead say that God created the world by Evolution. Great! Right? We can believe in Jesus, Moses and all that but retain our scientific accuracy. No conflict... right? Wrong. Christian or not most scientists are great at their field but bad at philosophy so they have no problem with this conflict.

But let's deconstruct the assumptions in Evolution.

1) God created the universe as a deterministic system in which creatures evolve based on physical laws and rules.
2) We are as God intended.

Both of these are a huge problems for the judeo-christian religions and many others.

1) If we're deterministic physics based creatures then not only are we as God intended but he also picked a horrific and inefficient system by which billions of creatures suffer and die a cruel horrible death in order to create a mediocre creature (humans). It also means we have no free will since we're deterministic automatons so the idea of "Judgement" and sin and grace and all that is bullshit since we're just playing out his deterministic pre-designed script.
2) The idea that we in our current state are anywhere near good is rediculous. We have no backup system, we can't replace any of our parts very well. The laws of the universe are at best indifferent to us but at worst malicious to life. If God created the universe with us in mind and evolution then he created a brutal horrible universe to put his creations in.

This notion that Religion and Science are separate is absurd. If aliens landed tomorrow and never heard of Jesus before we would have to seriously reconsider Christianity. On a less obvious but just as significant scale any time you try to run the assumptions of most religions through the filter of reality you end up with either an indifferent or malicious God. Neither outcome really fits > 75% of the world's religious views.

Re:really? (2)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549940)

>>It also means we have no free will since we're deterministic automatons so the idea of "Judgement" and sin and grace and all that is bullshit since we're just playing out his deterministic pre-designed script.

Well, Calvin would certainly agree with you. He thinks the universe was all predestined to happen a certain way, so the people that became Christians and were saved he called the "elect" and damn it sucks to be you if you're not.

>>1) God created the universe as a deterministic system in which creatures evolve based on physical laws and rules.

A counterargument would be that physics could be deterministic up until the point that creatures with free will entered the picture.

>>2) We are as God intended.

I don't think any Christian would argue this is the case.

If you're talking about being "made in God's image", that's a far cry from being a perfect, 100% awesome-sauce, creation of God's.

>>If aliens landed tomorrow and never heard of Jesus before we would have to seriously reconsider Christianity.

Have you read Sawyer's "Calculating God"? It's about aliens landing, and wondering why there's so much debate over the existence of God, when it's perfectly obvious to them that some sort of God must exist.

Alien: "The parameters of this universe are finely-tuned to support life. It seems probable than a God must have set these parameters."
Human Scientist: "Well, what if there were a bunch of universes and we just happen to be in one where everything works out nicely?"
Alien: "Oh, we disproved the existence of other universes centuries ago."
Human Scientist: "Oh."

Re:really? (2)

shawn443 (882648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549874)

And there are some Christians that recognise this as well. I am an atheist attending a Catholic University run by Benedictine monks [wikipedia.org] . In my surprising experience, they place a very high value on science and reason. Of course they also value their faith, but I have never felt anything but welcome when speaking with them.

Re:really? (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550170)

They may place a high value on reason but they don't exercise it. Believing in both science *and* a magic sky god actually makes them more ridiculous.

Look at it this way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550162)

The definition of science from m-w.com includes this phrase: "...a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena."

I like to put it this way: figuring out God's work when He made the earth/world/universe.

In the words of tim minchin (2)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549708)

"Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed...
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved." -Tim Minchin

Re:In the words of tim minchin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549976)

"Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed...

Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved." -Tim Minchin

Reference:
Tim Minchin's Storm [youtube.com] , quote is at 5:45

They don't define "religion" very well in TFA. (1)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549718)

Are we talking simple faith that a higher power exists or strict dogmatics of some splinter cult?

Well, 85% of scientists are wrong, then. (1, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549736)

There is always a conflict between religion and science. It's just that it's mostly irrelevant for scientists in the USA. And even more irrelevant in Eastern Europe.

Now try to teach evolution in Muslim countries like Pakistan. Go on, try it. We'll pay for your funeral.

Re:Well, 85% of scientists are wrong, then. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549836)

Actually, there's much less of a perception that evolution and religion are in conflict in most of the Muslim world than in the US. There are even a number of Muslims who interpret certain verses of the Qur'an as describing evolution. Turkey's really the only country with a history of evolution denial, and they picked it up from the US. Similarly, there are starting to be anti-evolution movements in other Muslim countries, but it's an idea that's been spreading with the influence of American culture.

Re:Well, 85% of scientists are wrong, then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549888)

Someone please mod this up :)

Re:Well, 85% of scientists are wrong, then. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549896)

There are also a number of Christians who believe that the first few verses of Genesis open up grounds for interpretation that lead to and include concepts like evolution and the big bang but every time there is an article about religion on Slashdot at least a half dozen fucktards have to go on about "6000 years."
 
And I find it hard to believe that a religion that holds up The West and more specifically the USA as "The Great Satan" would adopt our ideas. Either cite it or you're a liar.

Re:Well, 85% of scientists are wrong, then. (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549924)

Similarly, there are starting to be anti-evolution movements in other Muslim countries, but it's an idea that's been spreading with the influence of American culture.

How does that work? I think it more likely that scientific thought and ideas are starting to threaten the more dogmatic in the midst of their culture and they're just repeating the same defensive behaviors that characterize the Western creationist movement for the past couple of centuries. It's one thing when a remote culture has beliefs that compete with your own, it's another thing when those beliefs are growing in strength in your own culture.

The only aspect that I think could be due to US cultural influence is the variety of counter arguments available for the taking. Why do the work of thinking up your own counterarguments when you can reuse some old ones from the creationists?

Re:Well, 85% of scientists are wrong, then. (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549932)

LOL.

Dude, some fuckwit Muslim 'astronomers' claim that the Earth is flat. Because certain verses in Quaran say so. The question of evolution denial doesn't even arise somewhere like Pakistan because it's universal.

Re:Well, 85% of scientists are wrong, then. (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549912)

Let's just remember that the word "scientist" is a title only, like the word "firefighter" this does not mean anything in particular about the person in general.

Most people develop compartmentalization skills because most people in america were raised by religious parents or grandparents at some point in the past. It's easier to just paper over logical fallacies and inaccuracies for the sake of social convenience. Since most people belief (even if falsely) that 'social harmony' comes before rational acceptance of truth.

Re:Well, 85% of scientists are wrong, then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550082)

We'll pay for your funeral.

Socialist!

Re:Well, 85% of scientists are wrong, then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550172)

scientist have very little motivation to fight religion. Even if they arn't a little spiritual they don't care what some one else belives they just don't like being told what to belive themselves or what's allowed to be taught.

Dogmatic Atheists in 3, 2, 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549742)

ARGH UHHH!
Must deny this evidence!
WAHH WAH!

Re:Dogmatic Atheists in 3, 2, 1... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549904)

What evidence? You should provide it, otherwise people will think you're just trolling.

Absolutist statements = No-No (4, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549744)

ALWAYS in conflict? ALWAYS? To anyone who has ever been part of the educational system, and has gotten used to taking multiple choice tests, the word "ALWAYS" when applied to something like science/religion is a big red flag.

Finding that 15% agree with an "always" statement in that context is rather an amazing find.

Ask the question in terms of "overwhelming frequency" or some other next-to-absolutist statement, and you'll get more honest answers. But this report on the study, at least, only presented the "ALWAYS(15)/SOMETIMES(70)/NEVER(15)" range, which doesn't seem useful at all.

With the statement presented, and the specific granularity of statements allowed, this seems more like quote-mining to minimize the perception of conflict than an honest study.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Absolutist statements = No-No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549792)

Finding that 15% agree with an "always" statement in that context is rather an amazing find.

Fortunately for the work of science, what you believe doesn't matter, just what you observe.

Re:Absolutist statements = No-No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549838)

Only the Sith speak in absolutes.

(Does this mean Obi-Wan was a Sith?)

Re:Absolutist statements = No-No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549902)

Is that what the study actually asked or is that just yet another journalist bumbling through a science article?

Re:Absolutist statements = No-No (1)

janek78 (861508) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549974)

Exactly. If the possible answers really were ALWAYS, SOMETIMES, NEVER, I would expect all scientists to answer SOMETIMES, regardless of their own belief/lack thereof.

There was a study done to quantify what people understand under terms such as "sometimes", "usually", "frequently" and so on. It turns out "sometimes" ranges from 1 % to some 80 % (I don't have the exact numbers now, I saw the study in a workshop given by people from the National Board of Medical Examiners).

Without reading the original study though, I am inclined to think that it may be the journalists interpretation of what they think the researchers said.

Superintendant Chalmers (1)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549760)

"God has no place within these walls, just like facts have no place within organized religion."

Re:Superintendant Chalmers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549822)

Unfortunalty for you, the very book that is the basis for Christian faith SPECIFICALLY states "Fuck faith alone, find the facts" and "Faith without facts is a clanging gong". So that very book tells you to NOT RELY ON BLIND FAITH

So yes, if you have the nutsack, go look for the facts. And the facts are that atheists are every bit as dogmatic and blind about their faith, hypoctical in demanding tolerance while giving none in return and Science itself turned into a religion with it's own order of preists and holy scriptures that rely on faith to accept. Oh and the body pile by atheists last century was a God awful load bigger than any religious warfare.

13th Century Thomas Aquinas on the "conflict." (5, Interesting)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549766)

Thomas Aquinas, SUMMA THEOLOGICA, 1265 AD: “Among the philosophical sciences one is speculative the other practical [natural philosophy], nevertheless sacred doctrine [Roman Catholicism] includes both; as God, by one and the same science, knows both Himself and His works.”

This basically states that if you are understanding science properly, you are understanding God's works properly. And conversely, if you understand God's works, you will let science progress to understand God's works, as God and science are one in the same.

That compromise in thinking eventually led to the Renaissance.

Re:13th Century Thomas Aquinas on the "conflict." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549910)

This statement is highly ironic. Roughly speaking, the "Renaissance" was mainly the rediscovery of the Roman and Greek works - encompassing various areas. These same "pagan" works were destroyed by christians, centuries earlier. Good thing Alexander took the Greek knowledge East, at least they respected (and preserved) that wealth of knowledge.

Re:13th Century Thomas Aquinas on the "conflict." (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550036)

> That compromise in thinking eventually led to the Renaissance.

You know, I don't really see it as a compromise. It's a fundamental truth. Compromise assumes that there had to be some give-and-take. I submit that rather it was a shedding of misconceptions.

Re:13th Century Thomas Aquinas on the "conflict." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550074)

Most people don't see that evolution and creationism have much more in common than their differences. Same general events, same sequence. It's a wonder the extremists on both sides don't pick up on this, because it could lead to a better understanding of both views just as you pointed out, and potentially helps validate both sides to the detriment of all the other religions. But oh no, we have to go to culture war over the differences...

Re:13th Century Thomas Aquinas on the "conflict." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550118)

St. Augustine of Hippo had Thomas Aquinas beat a full millennium before him:

"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]"

--St. Augustine, De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim

Sounds like something a 21st-century Christian defending Evolution would say, except for being written a full 1500 years before Darwin was even born. :)

Re:13th Century Thomas Aquinas on the "conflict." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550190)

That's a nice story, but you forgot the end... and then we regressed into ridiculous, blind adherence and denying our observations of the world around us.

Not always (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549772)

Everyone knows science and religion are only in conflict 364 days out of the year.

Re:Not always (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549872)

I suspect the stereotype is based on the familiar situation where a small but very vocal minority gets all the headlines, leaving the impression that it's "almost everyone".

They mostly have (2)

werepants (1912634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549776)

The idea that science and religion don't mix is largely an invention of fundamentalist Christianity, starting around 1900 or so. Individuals on both sides of the fence have talked about the compatibility and value of both disciplines - Augustine said hundreds of years ago that we shouldn't discard a truth about the world because of a metaphorical bible story, and Einstein defended the value of religion in a very well articulated paper, although he was quick to point out potential dangers there.

Most scientists I've talked to appreciate just how much we don't know about the world, and aren't the kind of people to push beliefs on others. They have an attitude of live and let live, more or less, which is a fairly reasonable way to go about your life.

Re:They mostly have (5, Insightful)

cje (33931) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550032)

The example that I always like to use is the Big Bang, which was first formulated by Monsignor Georges Lemaitre, a Belgian priest. At the time that it was proposed, it received significant disdain from the astronomical community, since most astronomers at that time believed that the Universe was eternal and static (the so-called "steady state") -- they felt that a beginning of space and time at some point in the finite past crossed over into the realm of religion and philosophy. On the other hand, the religious community (by and large) welcomed the Big Bang with open arms, since it was in accordance with the creation accounts of their particular belief systems.

But in the 80 years or so since the advent of the Big Bang theory, a funny (and depending on your point of view, sad) thing has happened: The two camps have almost completely switched sides. As the evidence came in, most astronomers and cosmologists came to accept the Big Bang. They saw the confirmation of Hubble's observations regarding the redshift of distant galaxies, the discovery of the CMBR, the evidence that the distribution of baryonic matter in the Universe is consistent with what is predicted by Big Bang nucleosynthesis, etc.

Unfortunately, for those segments of the religious community that have been hijacked by the rise of fundamentalism / fanaticism in the last 50 years or so, the Big Bang was no longer "good enough". The idea that the Universe came about in a dramatic cataclysm ("in the beginning...") became unacceptable since the timescale called for billions of years, rather than the six thousand or so that are dictated by a rigid literalist interpretation of the appropriate holy writ. It's not good enough that the prevailing scientific theory on the origin of the Universe calls for a beginning -- it's not fundamentalist enough.

The idea that science and religion are incompatible is poisonous and civilization-threatening. Getting back to the example, the idea that religious folks, of all people, should be opposed to the Big Bang theory is completely baffling. If I live to be a thousand years old, I'll never understand it. There's no shortage of beauty in modern science or ancient teachings; the conflicts (such as they are) are largely manufactured. And as you mention, the rising fundamentalist movement is a major player in this enterprise.

Cognitive dissonance (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549782)

People have an amazing capacity to believe all sorts of mutually exclusive things. They believe that government programs for the poor and elderly are good, but taxes to pay for them are bad. They believe in a right to life, but support the death penalty. They believe in evolution, but want to preserve endangered species. They believe in climate change, but they don't want it to change any more. They believe absence makes the heart grow fonder, but familiarity breeds contempt.

A more surprising finding would have been to see people actually hold onto a *consistent* set of beliefs.

"Always" (3, Informative)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549784)

The keyword is "always". When you use an absolute, it will change peoples' answers. If you were to ask the same question in the form of "are science and religion sometimes/usually at conflict?", you will see a much different result. That being said, there is really nothing to be seen here.

85% believe that they are in conflict (1)

davidannis (939047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549810)

The real point is that 85% of scientist believe that science and religion are in conflict. Most scientists realize that even the most fundamentalist zealots concede gravity and maybe even heliocentrism.

What type of engineer was god. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549868)

Program Engineer and lazy one at that. Don't want to bother designing people, plants, animals, etc?? And then redesigning for small chances in environment?? Simple just design a self-evolving system, something with a helical in shape.

And some God fearing people fear evolution for what reason??? If I were all knowing and all powerful wouldn't I design a system that could develop it self and adapt to different and changing environments.

Pseudo-science cloaked as a religion = perfect mix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549916)

Just ask adherents to the book "Dianetics: the modern science of mental health"

Meanwhile, on Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37549960)

It seems the statistics are reversed, and 85% of the comments on any topic mentioning religion are met with hostility, sarcasm, and intolerance. Well, at least the comments modded "Interesting" or "Insightful".

For those of you who bring up critical, intelligent discussion on these issues, my hat is off to you. Here's to better science through understanding, not cynicism.

God is the ultimate scientist (0)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549990)

Knowledge grows century after century and man gets more and more arrogant. He who discards religion in favor of science fails to see who invented science. The same person is also ignorant of history. Yes, many stories in the bible aren't meant to be taken literally. God spoke to prophets of old in a language they could understand. They weren't exactly ready for things like quantum physics.

Of course science and religion can mix... (3, Interesting)

Tord (5801) | more than 2 years ago | (#37549992)

Of course science and religion can mix and they should!

Let me quote Abdulbaha, son of the founder of the Bahai religion, a growing religious and social movement with more than six million followers:

If religious beliefs and opinions are found contrary to the standards of science, they are mere superstitions and imaginations; for the antithesis of knowledge is ignorance, and the child of ignorance is superstition. Unquestionably there must be agreement between true religion and science. If a question be found contrary to reason, faith and belief in it are impossible, and there is no outcome but wavering and vacillation.

Quite a strong statement for being from a major religious leader a hundred years ago. Also:

This gift [intelligence and reasoning] giveth man the power to discern the truth in all things, leadeth him to that which is right, and helpeth him to discover the secrets of creation

Finally:

Religion and science are the two wings upon which man's intelligence can soar into the heights, with which the human soul can progress. It is not possible to fly with one wing alone! Should a man try to fly with the wing of religion alone he would quickly fall into the quagmire of superstition, whilst on the other hand, with the wing of science alone he would also make no progress, but fall into the despairing slough of materialism.

The only reason that science and religion doesn't seem to mix is that too many religious leaders stick to their dogmas and traditions even in face of human and scientific progress. Religions role in this world is to develop and foster spirituality, morality and selflessness so we can create a fair and just society and it can only do so if it keeps evolving and improving with new knowledge and understandings. Christianity developed and changed a lot in the first few hundred years after Jesus with doctrines and writings being added and removed at a high pace. Why are so many churches of today so hellbent on sticking exactly to the way things earlier were? It's simply not healthy.

Ps. I'm not officially a Bahai, but I consider myself a "friend of the faith".

Never (1)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550050)

Science and Faith never conflict.

Science answers the question How?

Faith answers the question Why?

Religion on the other hand just says "Because I said so"

Re:Never (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37550188)

Yes, but when we ask the question; why? It implies that there has to be a why. We cannot discount a possibility, especially one that the evidence leans towards. Doubt before all conclusions. Religion is merely a pre-packaged philosophy that helps people stop asking questions and keep on workin'.

I can talk candid on this as a man of God. (0)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37550096)

Hello,

You guys see me post frequently. I don't normally get to talk about God often, but you can see in my signature that is the core of my life. If I was to talk about God in posts that are not related, my speech would be as the scripture says,"Like a clanging gong." If you do not understand Jesus, he teaches,"Love everyone and forgive everyone anything they do to you."

There are a few things I want to address which I hope you find interesting.

First, Evolution and Creation can coexist if you have the proper theology. You can take my word on it, or read my article on it. [goodnewsjim.com]

Next, God says not to put him to the test. Science likes to test and analyze things. Then the engineers come and make devices. God is not trying to "elude detection", but think about the implications of science and engineering. God does protect people's children that are prayed for. But let us say God never let babies get injured by any weapon known to man 100% of the time when they're prayed for. The scientist would quickly find out babies can't be injured in any way when prayer is used. Then the engineer would then fashion armor for tanks by strapping prayer imbued babies to the outside of it :P You see: It is simply better for God to not be tested, than for him to be scientifically determined what 'god in the box' would do. This also is a good explanation of why God doesn't do tons of showy miracles. If people could see when God acted, they'd try and force his hand.

Finally, Christianity is the religion of truth. Isn't truth what a scientist is ultimately seeking?

Thank you for reading. I don't often get to talk on Slashdot about the thing I care about most: Jesus Christ, Lord of all.
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