If Science Revealed God

Creationism, Evolution, and other science issues

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Purple Knight
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If Science Revealed God

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Post by Purple Knight »

Question for Debate: If science actually proved God, would you change the way you lived your life?

And if so, why? Also, what would it be based upon? If it just so happens that the person in front of the computer posting as Purple Knight created the universe, do I gain any special moral credibility from that action? The way I see it, no, I don't. If I created the universe, so what? Your parents created you, and if they're bad people who want you to do bad things, you can still (and should, to my mind) say no.

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Re: If Science Revealed God

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Post by JamesH »

I belong to the kind of anti-leftist fools who are convinced without scientific proof that God exists, acts, and has something to say to us. I base my conviction on the arguments outlined in the book Jesus More Than a Carpenter. Non-scientific arguments, but logical and compelling arguments based on legal analysis of the evidence we have available to us in the chapter of human activity called history.

I highly encourage you to read this book, it is not long but has serious implications. For some serious and good, for others serious and tragic. Well, because if God exists it has its consequences, God in the Bible told what consequences. Terrifying for those who reject Him and interesting, amazing for those who bow their knees to Him. If there were no God, then those who bow their knees before Him would risk nothing, because the same fate awaits everyone - rotting in the grave.

Whoever prefers the world of pleasant illusion should not reach for this book. There is no point, after reading it you will be unpleasantly uncomfortable, you will have to think over the consequences of the unscientific arguments given there. So I encourage you, I encourage you after all.

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Re: If Science Revealed God

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Post by Difflugia »

JamesH wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:11 amNon-scientific arguments, but logical and compelling arguments based on legal analysis of the evidence we have available to us in the chapter of human activity called history.
McDowell's arguments are definitely non-scientific, but unfortunately, they aren't logical, either. The core of his argument ("lord, liar, or lunatic") is based on a series of false dichotomies (or trichotomies, as it were).

"Lord, liar, lunatic" is a false trichotomy. It leaves out other reasonable conclusions, like that the words of Jesus as presented in the Gospels weren't actually spoken by Jesus and don't represent his actual statements or teachings. If many or most of the words of Jesus weren't his is the first place, then McDowell's argument fails. To be complete, his list of possibilities must also include "at least partly invented."

McDowell's "lunatic" argument is itself a false dichotomy. McDowell frames his argument such that there is no possible way for Jesus to be mistaken without also being "deranged" (McDowell's word). He bases this on the assertion that Jesus claims to be God. This is perhaps the case for the Gospel of John, but that's not a necessary conclusion from any of the Synoptics. The words of Jesus as recorded in the Synoptics, even if taken at face value as historical, are no more "deranged" than those of any modern, but zealous Christian.

Even if he could rephrase his arguments in a way that would cure his logical fallacies, McDowell's arguments presuppose an inerrantist, harmonized reading of the Gospels as a unified and historical story. If one believes that this is a valid way to read the Gospels, though, one is very likely already a Christian. At its fundament, McDowell's argument is circular. The evidence as he presents it may lead to a conclusion that Christianity is true, but the Bible only has that kind of evidentiary power when treated in the special way that requires Christianity to be true in the first place.
My preferred pronouns are he, him, and his.

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Re: If Science Revealed God

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JamesH wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:11 am I belong to the kind of anti-leftist fools who are convinced without scientific proof that God exists, acts, and has something to say to us. I base my conviction on the arguments outlined in the book Jesus More Than a Carpenter. Non-scientific arguments, but logical and compelling arguments based on legal analysis of the evidence we have available to us in the chapter of human activity called history.

I highly encourage you to read this book, it is not long but has serious implications. For some serious and good, for others serious and tragic. Well, because if God exists it has its consequences, God in the Bible told what consequences. Terrifying for those who reject Him and interesting, amazing for those who bow their knees to Him. If there were no God, then those who bow their knees before Him would risk nothing, because the same fate awaits everyone - rotting in the grave.

Whoever prefers the world of pleasant illusion should not reach for this book. There is no point, after reading it you will be unpleasantly uncomfortable, you will have to think over the consequences of the unscientific arguments given there. So I encourage you, I encourage you after all.
Not having any wish to purchase the book, I went on-line to look at the reviews. Here is the most thoughtful and reasoned I could find:


Jesus More Than a Carpenter
by Josh D. McDowell

A Customer Review
JVib

[one star out of five] Not a god, More like a Legend
Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2020


C1: This chapter starts with Josh giving some background info about himself. He speaks of having 3 basic question: “Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?” I look at these questions and my reply is that you determine the answers to these questions. Who I am is partially a product of my environment and partially who I decide to be. I’m here because my parents had sex & I must simply accept that I am here. I’m going in the direction of my choices which are influenced by my environment from birth to now. We need to simply accept that we are here, we make choices that impact our lives and we go in the direction of what we desire, consciously and/or subconsciously (with cultural influences and opportunities available in our current location). It seems Josh is seeking emotional comfort more than just accepting reality as it is. This is not the rational way to seek truth. I’m going to sum up Josh’s back story: He describes himself as a strawman “jerk, angry atheist” who meets a group of wonderful Christians who dare him to do the research on Jesus. He then goes to Europe to do a bunch of research and *shocker* he becomes a devout Christian (halleluiah and amen).

C2: In this chapter Josh covers, “What makes Jesus so different?” First, does a claim, which is different than other similar claims, make it factually accurate? Of course it doesn’t. Each claim must be demonstrated to be true on its own. Josh claims that the idea of Jesus bothers people (embarrasses them, makes them angry, or wants to make them change the subject). What world does Josh live in? 75+% of Americans identify as Christians. Christianity is the dominant religion in the world. Then the rest of this chapter is Josh claiming that Jesus claimed to be god, and he exclusively uses the new testament to do so (because he doesn’t have much else). This is text book circular reasoning. He is using the claims made in the bible to prove those claims are, in fact, true. The gospels were written by unknown authors who do not claim to have been eyewitnesses to any events they wrote down. It is highly probable that they were just writing down oral stories about Jesus around 20 to 40 years (for Mark later for the others) after the supposed events. Matthew, Luke and John include most of the information from Mark so they cannot be considered independent sources. Then we have the claims of Paul, who only claimed to see Jesus as a revelation not as a material human being; nor was he a witness to any of the events which are described in the gospels. I am willing to tentatively accept that the character of Jesus described in the bible may have been based loosely on one or more itinerant apocalyptic preachers roaming around Israel in the first century. However all of the extraordinary claims MUST be demonstrated to be factually accurate.

C3: Josh then moves on to C.S. Lewis’ trilemma argument. The argument is fairly simple: Based on the claims made by Jesus in the bible he is either a lunatic, a liar or the Lord (god). Yet, Josh still has not demonstrated that the character of Jesus described in the bible actually existed. Josh is simply assuming that he did exist. So, Josh can go about speculating what the character of Jesus thought, said, and did based on unverified stories written by unknow authors who never claimed to be eyewitnesses to anything they wrote. However, this gets us nowhere. I can speculate about all the reasons that aliens abduct humans and do experiments on them, but that doesn’t prove that aliens exist, they are visiting our planet with advanced technology, and they are in fact abducting and experimenting on humans. So, you can say is that the character of Jesus must be either a liar, a lunatic or the lord…but it is far more probable that the character of Jesus described in the bible is merely a legend. The 3 elements (liar, lunatic, or lord) Josh proposed are clearly NOT an exhaustive list of possibilities as he is more likely just a character in stories written by humans. Josh mentions some writing from the second century about Christians who believed Jesus was divine. Yet again, this demonstrates nothing about the factual accuracy of this claim. People believe a lot of things which cannot be demonstrated to be true, like my alien abduction example. Josh ends by asking us to decide which of the alternatives is “most probable.” The answer is legend is the most probable, as we have MANY examples of people writing down stories which include extraordinary claims and we do not have a single demonstrable example of any gods actually existing. But we do have MANY examples of humans recording stories of gods, miracles, magic, and other supernatural things.

C4: In this chapter Josh speaks of proving things using the scientific method, and he is going to help us understand the difference between scientific proof and what he calls legal-historical proof. (Scientific Method: a method of procedure… consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.) I will say that the scientific method is, currently, the best method we have for discovering facts about our shared reality. However, science does not come to a final conclusion as a scientific theory (which is the highest level which can be reached) is always open for review, revision, and being completely overturned. Science provides the best current explanation for observed phenomena in our shared reality. I’m not arguing that we require actual science to be able to accept things as being most likely true as we don’t need to conduct full scientific research to demonstrate and verify things in reality. Gravity is a good example. I can demonstrate gravity exists by dropping a coin. I can verify this finding by giving you the coin and have you drop it with the same results. I can predict that if I drop the coin 1000 times we will get the same result every time. I accept many things about our shared reality as long as they comport with our understanding of reality. My confidence in the truth of a claim depends on how much it comports with my understanding of reality. If someone claims they found $10 bill in a parking lot, I will would be willing to accept that relatively mundane claim as being true because I know $10 bills exist, they are relatively common, they sometimes get lost, and people sometimes find them. If someone claimed they flew to the moon and back like Superman, I would not be able to simply accept that claim as being factually accurate without enough evidence to convince me it is true because it does not comport with my understanding of reality. Josh says his legal-historical proof is based on showing that something is a fact beyond a reasonable doubt. This proof consists of oral testimony, written testimony, and exhibits (physical evidence). He then claims that there are things outside of the scientific method such as did George Washington live, or was Jesus raised from the dead. For these examples I would say that how much do each of these claims comport with our shared understanding of reality? For George Washington we have plenty of evidence (just do a google search), which all comport with our understanding of reality, that he was a real person. For Jesus rising from the dead, we have far less evidence that the character of Jesus described in the bible was a real person as we have no verified evidence for people performing actual miracles including resurrecting after reaching the point of biological death. So, while I can’t rule out that he did resurrect I can say with a high degree of confidence that it is far more probable that the story of his resurrection is factually inaccurate.

See HERE for a review of that remaining nine chapters.


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Re: If Science Revealed God

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JamesH wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:11 am Terrifying for those who reject Him and interesting, amazing for those who bow their knees to Him.
Not sure about those who reject god/gods, but I lack belief in god/gods and I'm not terrified in the least. Scare tactics only work on those who believe there is something to be scared of.
If there were no God, then those who bow their knees before Him would risk nothing, because the same fate awaits everyone - rotting in the grave.
Actually they will have wasted a great deal of time on their knees accomplishing nothing when they could have been doing something productive. Rotting in the grave isn't likely to be too bad given we won't be aware of it happening.

Whoever prefers the world of pleasant illusion should not reach for this book.
Nothing like an insult to generate good will amongst those you hope to proselytize. Do you find this approach effective?


Tcg
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I must assume that knowing is better than not knowing, venturing than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit.

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Re: If Science Revealed God

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Science reveals God it is just ignored.

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Re: If Science Revealed God

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Grunt0311 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:04 pm Science reveals God it is just ignored.
We await your data and methodology so we can peer review it.

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Re: If Science Revealed God

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Post by Miles »

Grunt0311 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:04 pm Science reveals God it is just ignored.
So where has science revealed this? A link to the article would be nice, but a formal citation will also suffice.


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Re: If Science Revealed God

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Post by Grunt0311 »

You do know there are Christian scientist who are blatantly ignored right.

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Re: If Science Revealed God

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Post by Tcg »

Grunt0311 wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:14 am You do know there are Christian scientist who are blatantly ignored right.
The question, pretending that is true, is why are they ignored?


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To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

- American Atheists


Not believing isn't the same as believing not.

- wiploc


I must assume that knowing is better than not knowing, venturing than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit.

- Irvin D. Yalom

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Re: If Science Revealed God

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Post by Miles »

Grunt0311 wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:14 am You do know there are Christian scientist who are blatantly ignored right.
Everyone is ignored from time to time, even scientists who happen to be Christians, but what I'm looking for is evidence for your claim that "Science reveals God it is just ignored." Or, in other words, people are ignoring the scientific evidence that reveals god, AND all I'm asking for is this evidence your talking about. What is it and where can we find it?


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