Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Jun 2012 23:07 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Two weeks ago, my grandmother passed away - the last grandparent I had left. As those of you with experience in dealing with deceased family members know, the funeral is only the start; the next part is taking care of the deceased's affairs, which includes going through all their belongings to determine what to do with them. I took care of my grandmother's extensive book collection, and while doing so, I hit something that fascinated me to no end: a six-volume Christian Encyclopaedia from 1956. In it, I found something I just had to share with OSNews.
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Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

I liked your post, but have two comments to make:

Well all this science vs religion nonsense is a new thing.


The truth is it's all about power and depends on who's in charge at the time. The catholic church, for example, has fought science many times in the past, but has supported it many times as well. Like you said, many scientists were people of the church. Most of the problems arise when science claims that something that the church has been telling for centuries is wrong. The aftermath depends on those in power.

It even goes further than that. Saying there is no god without proving it is from a scientific point of view just as wrong as stating their is one without proving it.


Not really. The burden of proof lies with those that claim that god exists. Non believers don't really have to prove anything since, by default, god doesn't exist, just like the flying spaghetti monster.

Reply Parent Score: 2

tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22


Not really. The burden of proof lies with those that claim that god exists. Non believers don't really have to prove anything since, by default, god doesn't exist, just like the flying spaghetti monster.


I find this argument very counter-scientific.

If you say God exists but provide no supporting evidence, I am scientifically entitled to be unconvinced.

If you say God does not exist, but provide no evidence, I am scientifically entitled to ignore you.

The burden of proof lies with anyone claiming specific knowledge. The default position should be neutrality (ie. we do not know).

Think of the world before the discovery of the Americas. Were the people who said there was nothing west of Europe correct by default? No. The only sensible scientific position was that it was not something that had been demonstrated either way through direct experience. In that case, it turns out that the people that believed that nothing was out there were wrong. But neither position was "correct" scientifically speaking.

Now, many people probably "believed" something about what was out there. My own feeling is that this is fine until science has something to say about it.

The history of science is full of scientistists that strongly believed things later shown to be false. Einstein for example believed that the universe was static (not expanding) and that quantum theory was wrong (God does not play dice with the universe). These were philosophical positions which were perfectly fine, right up until science proved him wrong.

Science dictates what you should believe AFTER the evidence has been presented. It provides no real guidance before then.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rr7.num7 Member since:
2010-04-30

I find this argument very counter-scientific.

If you say God exists but provide no supporting evidence, I am scientifically entitled to be unconvinced.

If you say God does not exist, but provide no evidence, I am scientifically entitled to ignore you.


It is not. Science works that way. You may find that unconvincing, but that doesn't make it counter-scientific. Would you say that pink unicorns exist? If not, can you demonstrate that they do not exist? I doubt it, but still, the only valid (from a scientific point of view) stance would be to assume they don't exist, because there's no evidence supporting their existence. I think you would find it very, very hard to find a scientist who thinks otherwise.

Edit: typos.

Edited 2012-06-10 05:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

"
Not really. The burden of proof lies with those that claim that god exists. Non believers don't really have to prove anything since, by default, god doesn't exist, just like the flying spaghetti monster.


I find this argument very counter-scientific.

If you say God exists but provide no supporting evidence, I am scientifically entitled to be unconvinced.

If you say God does not exist, but provide no evidence, I am scientifically entitled to ignore you.

The burden of proof lies with anyone claiming specific knowledge. The default position should be neutrality (ie. we do not know).
"

While I agree with your points, they don't really contradict what Sodki wrote. "Non believer" doesn't automatically mean someone who holds a positive belief that God (or gods) doesn't exist; an active belief that something does/doesn't exist is not the same as an absence of belief that something does exist.

My impression is that Sodki was referring to the latter position - which would also be a position consistent with the null hypothesis: claims unaccompanied by evidence are assumed to be false.

Reply Parent Score: 2

frajo Member since:
2007-06-29

Not really. The burden of proof lies with those that claim that god exists. Non believers don't really have to prove anything since, by default, god doesn't exist, just like the flying spaghetti monster.

Communicable knowledge has been found to come in two flavours: One flavour is knowledge that is not falsifiable and the other one is falsifiable. The latter one is called science.

The statement "god exists" is not falsifiable.
The statement "god doesn't exist" is not falsifiable.

We call people who are aware of these facts "agnostics". It's a matter of knowing the limits of one's knowledge.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

So, are you "agnostic" on the existence of the flying spaghetti monster?

Are you "agnostic" on the invisible pink unicorn?

Are you "agnostic" on the presence or absence of a teapot orbiting between Earth and Mars, too small to be seen by the most powerful telescope?

Are you "agnostic" on the tooth fairy and Santa Claus?

Do you really believe those are open questions, and if you encountered somebody who would genuinely believe any of those thing, you would just say "yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man".

Reply Parent Score: 2

james_parker Member since:
2005-06-29


The statement "god exists" is not falsifiable.
The statement "god doesn't exist" is not falsifiable.


These statements strike me as too strong; rather I would suggest, "I do not know the statement 'god exists' to be falsifiable", and "I do not know the statement 'god doesn't exist' to be falsifiable".

Reply Parent Score: 2