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"Fear of Death Makes People Into Believers (of Science)"

#61rick alveradoPosted 6/12/2013 7:21:54 PM
bratt100 posted...

I believe he said home education should be secular not anti-theist. I don't see any issue with teaching children about religion. Provided its being taught as mythology on the same grounds as the Greek gods.

The main issue with the argument is that atheism still can't be called a religion. It's closer to a political party then a religion and the vast majority of atheists I've met would never say that a god can't exist, just that there is nothing to suggest that one does.


Woah, woah, woah woah. How is atheism anything like a political party? That doesn't even make sense.

And the idea of telling parents that they can't teach something they believe to be true, unless they teach it as fiction is ridiculous. How would you even enforce that? How would you even tell when someone had crossed the line? And that's without even getting into the question of giving the government that level of control over child raising. As an atheist who grew up in a Christian home, and was a Christian until the age of 20ish, I can say that I have absolutely no problem with the fact that my parents taught me what they believed to be the truth, but I would have a big problem if they got into trouble for doing that.
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#62kts123(Topic Creator)Posted 6/13/2013 6:27:38 AM(edited)
The main issue with the argument is that atheism still can't be called a religion. It's closer to a political party then a religion and the vast majority of atheists I've met would never say that a god can't exist, just that there is nothing to suggest that one does.


This is why I was very specific to clarify:

New Atheism bears the overall behavioral patterns that are associated with major world religions. It carries the underlying connotations implied by "religion," even if it fails to fulfill the definition of the word "religion." It's closer to Scientology, in that it's technically not a religion by definition, even if the overall structure and behavior of its members is "religious." For all intents and purposes though, I would say New Atheist ideology should fall within the same constraints of Separation of Church and State, in the same way Scientology ought to.


New Atheism in particular is not just like atheism in its pure, simple dictionary form. And the motivations that go behind it extend a lot further than neutral academics. They tend to still claim to do so in the name of academia, but then again YECs claim to push ID for the same reasons. "Science clearly supports a 6,000 year old Earth," "Science clearly says gays are more likely to be pedophiles," etc. So even though the New Atheist camp loves to tout themselves as harbingers of science, so does Doctor Dino.

If you want to teach your kids religion on the same footing as Greek Mythology, more power to you. If you want public curriculum to avoid showing favoritism to any particular religion, I feel ya. But if you want to force me to teach my hypothetical children in my own home in such a manner, well now we have problems.

Now just to show I'm not making up a strawman to bash:

http://www.cdi-iran.com/images/hp/5680_69681875108855.jpg

http://alwaysquestionauthority.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/559860_10151475435815155_772083567_n.jpg

http://zerobs.net/media/stop-religious-indoctrination.jpeg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/-Uix9RhuYd00/UK4xGHqvv9I/AAAAAAAAGsM/PpTA-awX11I/religious-indoctrination2.jpg?imgmax=800

http://images.sodahead.com/profiles/0/0/1/6/7/2/5/6/7/brainwash-105969065802.png

This is not just saying public school systems ought to teach neutrally, it's outright calling non-secular homes child abusing homes unless of course they teach their kids exactly how the New Atheists deem fit.
#63kts123(Topic Creator)Posted 6/13/2013 6:43:58 AM
Also I'm just going to throw this out there. I know a number of atheists "in real life," who spread this sort of garbage around. They almost universally have no understanding of science. I recently saw one arguing with one of my 'believer friends,' on how something is only declared a scientific theory "after its been essentially proven." These people don't have a solid grasp of science, yet they're making defenses of it using nonsensical uneducated arguments. They're also highly ideological and pushy about their views, which they know surprisingly very little about. For all intents and purposes, the only difference in behavior between the religious fundamentalists and the New Atheists, is one named their god science. I've already been privy to a number of disputes about Evolution, where neither side knew what the blazes they were talking about. It's strikingly similar to religious fundamentalism, so much so people have en-mass begun to call it a religion.
#64Hustle KongPosted 6/13/2013 6:48:47 AM
If you want to teach your kids religion on the same footing as Greek Mythology, more power to you. If you want public curriculum to avoid showing favoritism to any particular religion, I feel ya. But if you want to force me to teach my hypothetical children in my own home in such a manner, well now we have problems.


For all intents and purposes, the only difference in behavior between the religious fundamentalists and the New Atheists, is one named their god science. I've already been privy to a number of disputes about Evolution, where neither side knew what the blazes they were talking about. It's strikingly similar to religious fundamentalism, so much so people have en-mass begun to call it a religion.


Both of those, hard.
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#65Faust_8Posted 6/13/2013 7:37:33 AM
kts123 posted...
Also I'm just going to throw this out there. I know a number of atheists "in real life," who spread this sort of garbage around. They almost universally have no understanding of science. I recently saw one arguing with one of my 'believer friends,' on how something is only declared a scientific theory "after its been essentially proven."


That's...pretty much correct.

You can't get "more proven" than a theory in science. A theory explains many, many facts and experiments and observations. A theory even contains laws. As in, the theory of gravity explains why the law of gravity is true.

So I'm thinking it's you that has some misunderstandings about science...granted, one could argue semantics since the most correct thing to say in science is that nothing is EVER truly proven, just proven "beyond reasonable doubt" and that's what a theory is in science. Once something has graduated to a theory in science it explains so much phenomena so well and with such predictive power that it's unreasonable to doubt it based on current information.

Maybe these friends are scientifically illiterate but on this particular point they're right.
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#66JonWood007Posted 6/13/2013 8:15:42 AM(edited)
There is no "normal sense". To have a "should" you need some source of "betterness". What is your source?


You see, this is the problem with Christian morality. You claim moral superiority, but you need your morality handed to you on a silver platter. Critically thinking about such things is hard for you....it has to come from somewhere. This, IMO, is the mark of a morally immature person.

Anyway, my source is what helps people and what hurts them. Plain and simple. A morality not based on such things is arbitrary and imposed.

As for teaching kids religion. It's a tricky question. I don't think it should be illegal because that sounds like a blatant violation of rights and all, but I will agree with the atheists here who consider it harmful. To push an idea on children who know no better doesnt sound like something that is good or noble to me. It sounds exploitative....and people end up growing up believing this crap, making life decisions based on this crap, see the entire world through the lens of this crap, and if you are wrong (and let's face it, there is no valid generalizable reason to believe you are right, trust me, I looked), you're causing harm to the kid.

All the while social progress is held back because we're teaching our new generation that the man in the sky doesn't like homosexuality, so you MUST be against it. We have lawmakers trying to enforce ridiculous abortion and sex ed laws. We have people trying to teach kids in the classroom the world is 6000 years old, despite there not being a shred of legitimate evidence to back that up. To a degree, this stuff holds people back, and by teaching it to your kids before they're old enough to make a rational decision for themselves, it comes off as brainwashing.

Again, that's not to say that it should be illegal. TO make this illegal would be a cure worse than the disease, but that's not to say teaching your kids religion is a good thing. I see nothing good in teaching kids to believe falsehoods and myth.

Also, please shut up about this "hurr durr your god is science" bullcrap. No it's not. Science is merely a method. We use it because it demonstrably works. It's a horrible horrible strawman argument christians like to use to try to paint atheism as an equivalent religion to put them on equal footing...there is no equal footing here. Until you can show your method to be equally viable, it's not, period. To call science a god clearly shows you have no clue what new atheism is really about.
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#67kts123(Topic Creator)Posted 6/13/2013 9:10:28 AM(edited)
Faust_8 posted...
kts123 posted...
Also I'm just going to throw this out there. I know a number of atheists "in real life," who spread this sort of garbage around. They almost universally have no understanding of science. I recently saw one arguing with one of my 'believer friends,' on how something is only declared a scientific theory "after its been essentially proven."


That's...pretty much correct.

You can't get "more proven" than a theory in science. A theory explains many, many facts and experiments and observations. A theory even contains laws. As in, the theory of gravity explains why the law of gravity is true.

So I'm thinking it's you that has some misunderstandings about science...granted, one could argue semantics since the most correct thing to say in science is that nothing is EVER truly proven, just proven "beyond reasonable doubt" and that's what a theory is in science. Once something has graduated to a theory in science it explains so much phenomena so well and with such predictive power that it's unreasonable to doubt it based on current information.

Maybe these friends are scientifically illiterate but on this particular point they're right.


A scientific theory only links together a series of hypothesis into a single framework which creates empirically testable predictions. This has nothing to do with actually having been verified. For example, String Theory (essentially) has no empirical evidence, whereas Atomic Theory is basically proven beyond the shadow of a doubt. String Theory links hypothesis together into a single framework which makes testable predictions, therefore it is in fact a scientific theory. The experiments have yet to be carried out for technical reasons, though, so it's a far cry from "basically proven." In fact current readings from the LhC are actually lining up with the standard model so far, so the boat is definitely still out. It's still a scientific theory though.

But according to you...

"Once something has graduated to a theory in science it explains so much phenomena so well and with such predictive power that it's unreasonable to doubt it based on current information."
#68JonWood007Posted 6/13/2013 9:15:57 AM
Tbqh string theory sounds like a hypothesis, technically speaking. Not sure why it's called a theory.
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#69kts123(Topic Creator)Posted 6/13/2013 9:18:08 AM
Have you considered maybe you are wrong, and the Holy Spirit is trying to move in you? Can you comfortably realize you have such a fundamental misunderstanding of the methodology you claim to adhere to, and not question your atheistic convictions as well?

I can't make you doubt yourself. The Holy Spirit can, though. Don't push out the doubts you have about atheism. If you have even the slightest inkling the Holy Spirit is moving, "I was ignorant" is an excuse you can never tell yourself again. It's your own desicion to quench the Spirit once you feel it.
#70kts123(Topic Creator)Posted 6/13/2013 9:21:18 AM
JonWood007 posted...
Tbqh string theory sounds like a hypothesis, technically speaking. Not sure why it's called a theory.


It unifies General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics for one.

Remember that "links hypothesis together" bit? Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity both do such, and String Theory stands in place of both at once. I don't think it's possible to get better example of scientific theory than String Theory.