Can God Ever Not Be A False Assumption In Science?

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Can God Ever Not Be A False Assumption In Science?

Post #1

Post by jgh7 »

Here's a quote I read in another thread
You obviously cannot distinguish between actual science, which is based on observations, measurements, experiments, etc., and religious-based pseudoscience which is based on false assumptions, god did this or that, etc.
It got me thinking. Is God always, unavoidably a false assumption in science? The quote suggests that actual science is based off observations, measurements, etc. So if one does observations, measurements, etc. and it leads them to a billion to one probability that something naturally occurred, then is it a false assumption to think it's God? Must we instead always think that parts are missing from the experiment or that data was incorrectly interpreted or measured or that there's a natural explanation that we just aren't realizing?

Could there hypothetically ever be a case where it's acceptable based off experimental results to assume that a higher power is involved? What is necessary for this to be acceptable?

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Re: Can God Ever Not Be A False Assumption In Science?

Post #11

Post by William »

bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:32 pm
William wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:30 pmScientific Naturalism is too unnatural in much of it's poking and prodding and is stymied by it's declaration "To presume nature is the creation of a creator is to add additional complexity where there is no reasonable justification to do so."

If it continues on its present course, it will be it's own undoing...it needs to pull it's head in and join the Human Race rather than continue attempting to control it.
Unless my understanding of scientific (methodological) naturalism is inaccurate, you seem to be mischaracterizing it here. The declaration you reference does not presume nature cannot be the creation of a creator but acknowledges where there is no reasonable justification to affirm a positive belief in such a claim at this time. If someone ever manages to demonstrate the existence of a creator for all things natural, scientific naturalism has the capacity to incorporate that new information. So, there is no justifiable reason to accuse scientific naturalism of being dogmatic or controlling. Your objections are more applicable to metaphysical naturalism than scientific naturalism.
Unless my understanding of scientific (methodological) naturalism is inaccurate, you seem to be mischaracterizing it here. The declaration you reference does not presume nature cannot be the creation of a creator but acknowledges where there is no reasonable justification to affirm a positive belief in such a claim at this time.
While I appreciate your effort at correcting what might be a mis-characterization on my part regarding Scientific Naturalism, unless you are also willing state that there is no reasonable justification to affirm a negative belief in such an idea [that we exist in a creation] I cannot agree to any fault on my part.

Perhaps you yourself are mis-characterizing the idea that we exist within a creation as being a 'claim', and this is where the confusion is sourced?

No Theist is really asking Scientific Naturalism to examine a claim that we exist within a Creation. It appears that the very idea [for that is what it is, rather than a 'claim'] is unable to be looked into using Scientific Naturalism methodology, and so - as is my main point - it has no usefulness in ascertaining whether such a theist outlook has any merit.

You appear to be arguing contrary, but if so, have yet to provide some example of the usefulness of Scientific Naturalism in that regard.
If someone ever manages to demonstrate the existence of a creator for all things natural, scientific naturalism has the capacity to incorporate that new information.
Again - that has been my point all along. The evidence should be within the creation itself. Indeed, the evidence is there, but is not seen to be evidence by scientific naturalism. I already explained why this is the case. It is due to the declaration... "To presume nature is the creation of a creator is to add additional complexity where there is no reasonable justification to do so."

So those following that premise, have to presume nature is not a creation of a creator. In doing so, they fall into the trap of presumption anyway.

If presumption has to be incorporated, one is best to do so by giving equal presumptive thought to both ideas, otherwise there is clear evidence of inconsistency.
So, there is no justifiable reason to accuse scientific naturalism of being dogmatic or controlling. Your objections are more applicable to metaphysical naturalism than scientific naturalism.
What? You seriously think we should believe that weapons of mass destruction were created by the wizards of metaphysical naturalism rather than the scientists of scientific naturalism? :-k

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Re: Can God Ever Not Be A False Assumption In Science?

Post #12

Post by elphidium55 »

@William, you seem to be asserting that some “altered” forms of human experience cannot be explained by science but can be explained by more “expansive” theories which go beyond science.

I disagree. This is a typical claim by those who wish to undermine science by making it’s definition open to the non-scientific. The fact is, neurocognitive research is starting to fill in our understanding of “altered” experiences from a scientific point of view. There are starting to be persusive natural explanations for such experiences. There seems to be no role for the supernatural in these descriptions.

What you seem to be arguing for is a kind of metaphysical dualism; that is, a world view in which there are two realities; one natural and one beyond natural. The hidden realm is where pixies and demon and gods dwell. This is the realm of souls and re-births, of minds within minds and cosmic consciousness and mystical experiences. We are told that this realm exists behind a curtain, impenetrable to empirical experimentation or rational investigation. Supposedly, It is off limits to science and immune from falsification.

This is what philosophical naturalists such as myself call “woo, woo.” There is a reason why most modern philosophers reject metaphysical dualism. It is unnecessary and unworkable.

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Re: Can God Ever Not Be A False Assumption In Science?

Post #13

Post by bluegreenearth »

William wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:47 pmWhile I appreciate your effort at correcting what might be a mis-characterization on my part regarding Scientific Naturalism, unless you are also willing state that there is no reasonable justification to affirm a negative belief in such an idea [that we exist in a creation] I cannot agree to any fault on my part.

Perhaps you yourself are mis-characterizing the idea that we exist within a creation as being a 'claim', and this is where the confusion is sourced?
If it is just an idea and not a claim, then I'm not understanding the purpose of calling it to our attention.
William wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:47 pmNo Theist is really asking Scientific Naturalism to examine a claim that we exist within a Creation. It appears that the very idea [for that is what it is, rather than a 'claim'] is unable to be looked into using Scientific Naturalism methodology, and so - as is my main point - it has no usefulness in ascertaining whether such a theist outlook has any merit.

You appear to be arguing contrary, but if so, have yet to provide some example of the usefulness of Scientific Naturalism in that regard.
I've already clarified that my understanding of scientific naturalism is that it does not intend to falsify theism or ascertain whether a theist outlook has any merit. So, I'm not arguing that scientific naturalism would be useful in that regard unless theism can produce empirical evidence to directly support its claims.
William wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:47 pmAgain - that has been my point all along. The evidence should be within the creation itself. Indeed, the evidence is there, but is not seen to be evidence by scientific naturalism. I already explained why this is the case. It is due to the declaration... "To presume nature is the creation of a creator is to add additional complexity where there is no reasonable justification to do so."

So those following that premise, have to presume nature is not a creation of a creator. In doing so, they fall into the trap of presumption anyway.
The declaration you referenced does not require the presumption that nature is not the creation of a creator but affirms the agnostic position. How is agnosticism in regards to the claim that nature is a creation of a creator equivalent to presuming nature is not a creation of a creator? Acknowledging where the presumption of a creator adds unnecessary complexity does not require the presumption that nature is not a creation. As analogy, a Rube Goldberg machine is an unnecessarily complex device designed to perform a task that could be accomplished equally well by a significantly less complex machine. Nevertheless, the Rube Goldberg machine is the one performing the task in that situation. If only the task were observable and not the machine performing the task, scientific naturalism would declare that presuming a Rube Goldberg machine is responsible for performing the task adds unnecessary complexity where there is no reasonable justification to do so. However, this declaration doesn't need to entail the presumption that the simpler machine must have been responsible for accomplishing the task. Scientific naturalism merely acknowledges that a simpler machine is all that is required to accomplish the observed task but makes no conclusions about which machine was actually responsible.
William wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:47 pmIf presumption has to be incorporated, one is best to do so by giving equal presumptive thought to both ideas, otherwise there is clear evidence of inconsistency.
What is to be done with these contradictory presumptions when neither can be demonstrated as true or false?
William wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:47 pmWhat? You seriously think we should believe that weapons of mass destruction were created by the wizards of metaphysical naturalism rather than the scientists of scientific naturalism? :-k
People with political ideologies create weapons of mass destruction. Scientific naturalism is not to blame for how people utilize the knowledge it produces. Otherwise, you will have to lay equal blame on theism for the way people misuse the knowledge claims it produces.

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Re: Can God Ever Not Be A False Assumption In Science?

Post #14

Post by William »

bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:42 pm If it is just an idea and not a claim, then I'm not understanding the purpose of calling it to our attention.
I do not know of the 'we/our/us' you are referring to bluegreenearth but have to ask you;

Why should ideas not be called to attention?

Theism is the idea that we exist within a creation. The idea has been brought to 'our' attentions [to one degree or another] and as such is worthwhile investigating. Especially by agnostics, who's position enables this to more likely happen.
I've already clarified that my understanding of scientific naturalism is that it does not intend to falsify theism or ascertain whether a theist outlook has any merit. So, I'm not arguing that scientific naturalism would be useful in that regard unless theism can produce empirical evidence to directly support its claims.
Then you agree with me. What follows is that any non-theists who attempts to use scientific naturalism as a device against theistic ideas, are practicing/participating in fallacy.

The Declaration:
"To presume nature is the creation of a creator is to add additional complexity where there is no reasonable justification to do so."

The declaration you referenced does not require the presumption that nature is not the creation of a creator but affirms the agnostic position. How is agnosticism in regards to the claim that nature is a creation of a creator equivalent to presuming nature is not a creation of a creator? Acknowledging where the presumption of a creator adds unnecessary complexity does not require the presumption that nature is not a creation.
My argument is that the agnostic position enables the individual to examine both ideas with equal presumption.

That the theist position (we exist within a creation) brings with it more complexity, is not a great argument against having to do so. It is a weak argument from a weak position - the position being non-theist agnostic [aka weak atheist]

To actually participate in such argument, one assumes the position of non-theist [aka atheist] and one is intellectually honest if one drops the 'agnostic' position altogether, if one is to chose the easy over the difficult.
As analogy, a Rube Goldberg machine is an unnecessarily complex device designed to perform a task that could be accomplished equally well by a significantly less complex machine. Nevertheless, the Rube Goldberg machine is the one performing the task in that situation. If only the task were observable and not the machine performing the task, scientific naturalism would declare that presuming a Rube Goldberg machine is responsible for performing the task adds unnecessary complexity where there is no reasonable justification to do so. However, this declaration doesn't need to entail the presumption that the simpler machine must have been responsible for accomplishing the task. Scientific naturalism merely acknowledges that a simpler machine is all that is required to accomplish the observed task but makes no conclusions about which machine was actually responsible.
The "machine" is the creation. Your analogy reflects something other than what you are trying to use it as analogy.

Indeed, the less complex machine you refer to is the idea that we exist within a creation, because it actually fills the gaps nicely, right here and now.

But one will be unable to see something one is not willing to look at.
What is to be done with these contradictory presumptions when neither can be demonstrated as true or false?


Whatever the individual decides. For me, I take into consideration what the evidence shows in relation to both presumptions, and there is clear enough support for the idea we exist within a creation, to hang my hat on.
What can the other presumption show me?

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Re: Can God Ever Not Be A False Assumption In Science?

Post #15

Post by bluegreenearth »

William wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:51 pm
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:42 pm If it is just an idea and not a claim, then I'm not understanding the purpose of calling it to our attention.
I do not know of the 'we/our/us' you are referring to bluegreenearth but have to ask you;

Why should ideas not be called to attention?

Theism is the idea that we exist within a creation. The idea has been brought to 'our' attentions [to one degree or another] and as such is worthwhile investigating. Especially by agnostics, who's position enables this to more likely happen.
I've already clarified that my understanding of scientific naturalism is that it does not intend to falsify theism or ascertain whether a theist outlook has any merit. So, I'm not arguing that scientific naturalism would be useful in that regard unless theism can produce empirical evidence to directly support its claims.
Then you agree with me. What follows is that any non-theists who attempts to use scientific naturalism as a device against theistic ideas, are practicing/participating in fallacy.

The Declaration:
"To presume nature is the creation of a creator is to add additional complexity where there is no reasonable justification to do so."

The declaration you referenced does not require the presumption that nature is not the creation of a creator but affirms the agnostic position. How is agnosticism in regards to the claim that nature is a creation of a creator equivalent to presuming nature is not a creation of a creator? Acknowledging where the presumption of a creator adds unnecessary complexity does not require the presumption that nature is not a creation.
My argument is that the agnostic position enables the individual to examine both ideas with equal presumption.

That the theist position (we exist within a creation) brings with it more complexity, is not a great argument against having to do so. It is a weak argument from a weak position - the position being non-theist agnostic [aka weak atheist]

To actually participate in such argument, one assumes the position of non-theist [aka atheist] and one is intellectually honest if one drops the 'agnostic' position altogether, if one is to chose the easy over the difficult.
As analogy, a Rube Goldberg machine is an unnecessarily complex device designed to perform a task that could be accomplished equally well by a significantly less complex machine. Nevertheless, the Rube Goldberg machine is the one performing the task in that situation. If only the task were observable and not the machine performing the task, scientific naturalism would declare that presuming a Rube Goldberg machine is responsible for performing the task adds unnecessary complexity where there is no reasonable justification to do so. However, this declaration doesn't need to entail the presumption that the simpler machine must have been responsible for accomplishing the task. Scientific naturalism merely acknowledges that a simpler machine is all that is required to accomplish the observed task but makes no conclusions about which machine was actually responsible.
The "machine" is the creation. Your analogy reflects something other than what you are trying to use it as analogy.

Indeed, the less complex machine you refer to is the idea that we exist within a creation, because it actually fills the gaps nicely, right here and now.

But one will be unable to see something one is not willing to look at.
What is to be done with these contradictory presumptions when neither can be demonstrated as true or false?


Whatever the individual decides. For me, I take into consideration what the evidence shows in relation to both presumptions, and there is clear enough support for the idea we exist within a creation, to hang my hat on.
What can the other presumption show me?
Your personal opinion and perspective is noted.

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Re: Can God Ever Not Be A False Assumption In Science?

Post #16

Post by William »

bluegreenearth wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:09 pm
William wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:51 pm
bluegreenearth wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:42 pm If it is just an idea and not a claim, then I'm not understanding the purpose of calling it to our attention.
I do not know of the 'we/our/us' you are referring to bluegreenearth but have to ask you;

Why should ideas not be called to attention?

Theism is the idea that we exist within a creation. The idea has been brought to 'our' attentions [to one degree or another] and as such is worthwhile investigating. Especially by agnostics, who's position enables this to more likely happen.
I've already clarified that my understanding of scientific naturalism is that it does not intend to falsify theism or ascertain whether a theist outlook has any merit. So, I'm not arguing that scientific naturalism would be useful in that regard unless theism can produce empirical evidence to directly support its claims.
Then you agree with me. What follows is that any non-theists who attempts to use scientific naturalism as a device against theistic ideas, are practicing/participating in fallacy.

The Declaration:
"To presume nature is the creation of a creator is to add additional complexity where there is no reasonable justification to do so."

The declaration you referenced does not require the presumption that nature is not the creation of a creator but affirms the agnostic position. How is agnosticism in regards to the claim that nature is a creation of a creator equivalent to presuming nature is not a creation of a creator? Acknowledging where the presumption of a creator adds unnecessary complexity does not require the presumption that nature is not a creation.
My argument is that the agnostic position enables the individual to examine both ideas with equal presumption.

That the theist position (we exist within a creation) brings with it more complexity, is not a great argument against having to do so. It is a weak argument from a weak position - the position being non-theist agnostic [aka weak atheist]

To actually participate in such argument, one assumes the position of non-theist [aka atheist] and one is intellectually honest if one drops the 'agnostic' position altogether, if one is to chose the easy over the difficult.
As analogy, a Rube Goldberg machine is an unnecessarily complex device designed to perform a task that could be accomplished equally well by a significantly less complex machine. Nevertheless, the Rube Goldberg machine is the one performing the task in that situation. If only the task were observable and not the machine performing the task, scientific naturalism would declare that presuming a Rube Goldberg machine is responsible for performing the task adds unnecessary complexity where there is no reasonable justification to do so. However, this declaration doesn't need to entail the presumption that the simpler machine must have been responsible for accomplishing the task. Scientific naturalism merely acknowledges that a simpler machine is all that is required to accomplish the observed task but makes no conclusions about which machine was actually responsible.
The "machine" is the creation. Your analogy reflects something other than what you are trying to use it as analogy.

Indeed, the less complex machine you refer to is the idea that we exist within a creation, because it actually fills the gaps nicely, right here and now.

But one will be unable to see something one is not willing to look at.
What is to be done with these contradictory presumptions when neither can be demonstrated as true or false?


Whatever the individual decides. For me, I take into consideration what the evidence shows in relation to both presumptions, and there is clear enough support for the idea we exist within a creation, to hang my hat on.
What can the other presumption show me?
Your personal opinion and perspective is noted.
I trust then that you are not saying so sarcastically, but are genuinely noting/noticing what it is I am saying.

Go well until next time...

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Re: Can God Ever Not Be A False Assumption In Science?

Post #17

Post by bluegreenearth »

William wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:02 pmI trust then that you are not saying so sarcastically, but are genuinely noting/noticing what it is I am saying.

Go well until next time...
No sarcasm intended. I understand what you are saying, even if I hold a different opinion/perspective. Since these differences appear to be a consequence of us not sharing the same epistemology, there probably isn't anything more to discuss on this issue.

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Re: Can God Ever Not Be A False Assumption In Science?

Post #18

Post by William »

bluegreenearth wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:09 pm
William wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:02 pmI trust then that you are not saying so sarcastically, but are genuinely noting/noticing what it is I am saying.

Go well until next time...
No sarcasm intended. I understand what you are saying, even if I hold a different opinion/perspective. Since these differences appear to be a consequence of us not sharing the same epistemology, there probably isn't anything more to discuss on this issue.
I appreciate you coming back to say so. That is a good thing.

I see therein, a Brother.

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Re: Can God Ever Not Be A False Assumption In Science?

Post #19

Post by William »

elphidium55 wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:54 pm @William, you seem to be asserting that some “altered” forms of human experience cannot be explained by science but can be explained by more “expansive” theories which go beyond science.

I disagree. This is a typical claim by those who wish to undermine science by making it’s definition open to the non-scientific. The fact is, neurocognitive research is starting to fill in our understanding of “altered” experiences from a scientific point of view. There are starting to be persusive natural explanations for such experiences. There seems to be no role for the supernatural in these descriptions.

What you seem to be arguing for is a kind of metaphysical dualism; that is, a world view in which there are two realities; one natural and one beyond natural. The hidden realm is where pixies and demon and gods dwell. This is the realm of souls and re-births, of minds within minds and cosmic consciousness and mystical experiences. We are told that this realm exists behind a curtain, impenetrable to empirical experimentation or rational investigation. Supposedly, It is off limits to science and immune from falsification.

This is what philosophical naturalists such as myself call “woo, woo.” There is a reason why most modern philosophers reject metaphysical dualism. It is unnecessary and unworkable.
No. I understand that scientists have their theories and many of those theories are based solely on the assumption that we do not exist within a creation.

I myself do not think in terms of natural/supernatural as I understand such thinking to create barriers to better understanding.

Simulation Theory [we exist within a simulated reality] allows one to understand that what anyone experiences is simulated (even down to how one understands ones 'self') and is the 'glue' which unites all theories into one.

That science cannot easily be used to penetrate the 'curtain' which hides possible alternate reality simulations is not the fault of science or theism. Science clearly cannot be used to argue against such things.

That scientists come to conclusions regarding alternate experience which are based solely in naturalism, is to be expected, since they can only use science within the current simulation they are experiencing, and this particular simulation does not easily give those secrets away, so how one should expect science to be useful in relation to understanding alternate experiences is perhaps largely a matter of faith.

Scientists, or anyone else who use information which science uncovers for the purpose of arguing against theist ideas to do with alternate reality simulations to simply call 'woo woo' are not among those I find it necessary to take seriously, even if I thought for a moment they actually even wanted to be taken seriously. :-k

Unfortunately science has yet to actually prove we do not exist within a creation, therefore whatever theories scientists have about the mind, are not necessarily true/fact.

If one wishes to define the idea of us existing in a simulation as 'woo-woo', one of course is entitled to that opinion. Having such opinion doesn't - of itself - make it so.

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Re: Can God Ever Not Be A False Assumption In Science?

Post #20

Post by Aetixintro »

.
God self is a hypothesis and is as such undecided scientifically, at least in terms of common knowledge.

You can't build further on undecided hypotheses, but must work tediously with each and every hypothesis or theory as they present problems to be decided scientifically.

See for example scientific programs by Imre Lakatos of the work being carried out with competing hypotheses and theories and so on.

Some names:
Imre Lakatos, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imre_Lakatos and SEP: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/lakatos/
Carl Hempel, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Gustav_Hempel and SEP: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hempel/
Karl Popper, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper and SEP: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/popper/
Scientific realism (as opposed to scientific naturalism), Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_realism and SEP: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-realism/
Scientific method, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method and SEP: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-method/
Scientific method, Hypothetico-Deductive Method, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypotheti ... tive_model and Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/hypothetico-deductive-method
I'm cool! :) - Stronger Religion every day! Also by "mathematical Religion", the eternal forms, God closing the door on corrupt humanity, possibly!

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