Christianity, science and faith

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nobspeople
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Christianity, science and faith

Post #1

Post by nobspeople »

In a recent thread about christianity and science, the idea of faith came up and persisted for a bit.
It made me curious how faith plays into the idea of science.

For discussion:
Do people have to have faith in science like they have to have faith in their religion?
Surely, humanity doesn't know everything about everything, so faith is needed in some fashion. But is faith in science the same type of faith in religion?
Or is 'faith faith' - there are no different types?
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Re: Christianity, science and faith

Post #2

Post by Mikronman »

Can you give an example of a religious belief and an example of a belief based on scientific evidence?

I ask because I wonder if it would be more productive to compare examples and discuss how faith stacks up.

You agree?

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Re: Christianity, science and faith

Post #3

Post by Miles »

,


In as much as there's nothing that can't be taken on faith---I can have just as much faith that a blue fairy will swoop down and leave wads of cash at my front door tomorrow morning as I can have faith that Jesus will save me from Hell---faith comes out as a pretty hollow concept. It has no more chance of being true as being false, making it utterly useless, unless, that is, one chooses to ignore its fictitious nature and uses it as a security blanket to huddle with (think Linus Van Pelt here). So when it's asked:

"Surely, humanity doesn't know everything about everything, so faith is needed in some fashion."

the answer is: No, it is not. The only need faith satisfies is hopeful expectations, and, like my blue fairy, hopeful expectations may or may not be reasonable or even possible. Keep in mind faith's weakness, and remember that "I don't know" is a far more honest and less misleading response than to hold a foolish idea as true because you have faith that it's so. Faith has never made anything true, or necessarily led to a truth no matter how fervently it's held.

As Matt Dillahunty has said, "faith is the excuse people give for believing something when they don't have evidence.” So no, people should not have faith in science, ever; particularly like the faith they in their religion. They should have trust in science predicated on its proven methodology to produce sound explanations.


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Re: Christianity, science and faith

Post #4

Post by nobspeople »

Mikronman wrote: Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:57 pm Can you give an example of a religious belief and an example of a belief based on scientific evidence?

I ask because I wonder if it would be more productive to compare examples and discuss how faith stacks up.

You agree?
Some believe the earth is a few thousand years old, while science says it's a good deal older than that, is one example. Neither is proven beyond doubt. Thus, supporters of each case need to 'have faith' in their respective views that come from other, more learned people (sometimes professionals) as no one was there when the earth was created to witness and record it, either by a supreme being a several thousand years ago or by nature billions of years ago.

Surely there are others - anyone can feel free to supply examples.
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Re: Christianity, science and faith

Post #5

Post by nobspeople »

Miles wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 12:49 am ,


In as much as there's nothing that can't be taken on faith---I can have just as much faith that a blue fairy will swoop down and leave wads of cash at my front door tomorrow morning as I can have faith that Jesus will save me from Hell---faith comes out as a pretty hollow concept. It has no more chance of being true as being false, making it utterly useless, unless, that is, one chooses to ignore its fictitious nature and uses it as a security blanket to huddle with (think Linus Van Pelt here). So when it's asked:

"Surely, humanity doesn't know everything about everything, so faith is needed in some fashion."

the answer is: No, it is not. The only need faith satisfies is hopeful expectations, and, like my blue fairy, hopeful expectations may or may not be reasonable or even possible. Keep in mind faith's weakness, and remember that "I don't know" is a far more honest and less misleading response than to hold a foolish idea as true because you have faith that it's so. Faith has never made anything true, or necessarily led to a truth no matter how fervently it's held.

As Matt Dillahunty has said, "faith is the excuse people give for believing something when they don't have evidence.” So no, people should not have faith in science, ever; particularly like the faith they in their religion. They should have trust in science predicated on its proven methodology to produce sound explanations.


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A very good point to make! I'd have to disagree in that 'no faith is not needed' concept, as you said "The only need faith satisfies is hopeful expectations". For some, that's plenty!
But what I was meaning in this thread is as the above example:
No one was around to see the earth created, even though people know it was.
There's evidence to point to this or that, but ultimately, there's some sort of faith that's required to believe in a specific position - be it a creation from a deity, by nature itself or some other way.
Humans know (without getting into philosophical discussions of what is 'know' and what is 'reality') for sure the earth was created, but they don't know the specific means.
If that makes sense.
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Re: Christianity, science and faith

Post #6

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

Mikronman wrote: Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:57 pm Can you give an example of a religious belief and an example of a belief based on scientific evidence?

I ask because I wonder if it would be more productive to compare examples and discuss how faith stacks up.

You agree?
I think your question goes to the heart of epistemology, what exactly does it mean to "know" and to "believe".

These questions are just as applicable to science as they are to theology, there's no difference really, we're actually talking about epistemology not faith, not science.
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Re: Christianity, science and faith

Post #7

Post by Mikronman »

I think the more accurate way to look at it is that people believe the earth was created. Some people believe a god created it and others believe it was created as a byproduct of cosmic evolution.

We use the word "know" loosely. To say I know Antarctica exists is really a very strong belief, because I'm strongly convinced of the evidence, even though I haven't been there.

I believe there is life out there somewhere in the universe. That belief is significantly weaker than my belief in Antarctica, because to me we have little evidence of this other than logical conclusions based on existing patterns and how things work.

Now I don't believe any God exists, and that's a strong disbelief. Do I know? No. I don't see the evidence as strong enough. Others do however.

I also don't believe aliens exist, but that is a weaker disbelief than my disbelief in God.

I'll stop there. Catch my drift? I'm kindly giving epistemology a way out of this thread:)

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Re: Christianity, science and faith

Post #8

Post by bjs1 »

[Replying to nobspeople in post #1]

In a healthy setting faith in God and faith that science is accurate are different. In this mind frame scientific faith is more akin to inductive reasoning. Faith in God, at least within Christianity, is trust that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.

Now it is possible to for these kinds of faiths to be more similar, or even to “switch sides,” so to speak. A person could fall into a kind of scientism, declaring that scientific truth is the only kind of truth. That faith in science is more like a religious faith. On other side, a person could limit his faith in God to a more scientific form of deductive reasoning. This would probably require a form of Deism, since for this to work a person could not actually trust God but only trust what he can deduce about God from the natural world. However, these approaches seem riddled with problems and I would suggest are an unhealthy approach to both science and God.
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Re: Christianity, science and faith

Post #9

Post by Mikronman »

[Replying to bjs1 in post #8]

You use the word faith very liberally, and it doesn't resonate with me.

I understand science to be a process to better understand and investigate our natural world, by which we arrive at the best explanation until proven otherwise, based on observations, hypothesis, testing peer review, etc. Wind for example is a natural phenomena that we can detect, investigate, repeatedly test and corroborate with other people consistently. That's science in action.

Faith I understand to help people believe in some kind of supernatural phenomena that can't be investigated or commonly observed. People believe in ghosts, but there is no way to investigate their claim. The scientific process can't be exercised here. The same goes for religion. You can't investigate God or get corroborating reports from people who don't already believe our see what you see. The common phrase there is you gotta have faith.

I don't see how you can bridge science and faith. Science is a process for the natural world. Faith for the supernatural.

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Re: Christianity, science and faith

Post #10

Post by Jose Fly »

nobspeople wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:06 amSome believe the earth is a few thousand years old, while science says it's a good deal older than that, is one example. Neither is proven beyond doubt. Thus, supporters of each case need to 'have faith' in their respective views that come from other, more learned people (sometimes professionals) as no one was there when the earth was created to witness and record it, either by a supreme being a several thousand years ago or by nature billions of years ago.

Surely there are others - anyone can feel free to supply examples.
That example actually negates your attempt at creating a false equivalency. The idea of a young earth is based on one thing and one thing only, i.e., a religious belief stemming from an alleged holy book. OTOH, that the earth is billions of years old is an objective conclusion reached via multiple lines of evidence accumulated over centuries by countless people, operating independently of each other. That they all converge on the same result is powerful evidence supporting the conclusion.

You may as well be trying to equate forensic scientists' conclusions about a crime scene with end times preachers belief in Jesus' second coming.
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