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The Problem with Religious Moderation From Sam Harris

#21 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2013-August-20, 12:25

View Postkenberg, on 2013-August-20, 11:59, said:


My guess is that this view will not catch on except, perhaps, as an entertainment. But who knows? I gather that testing this explanation presents problems.


What confuses me is how any of this is at all related to religion?

In what way, shape, or form is the big bang theory consistent / inconsistent with any kind of enlightened religious beliefs?
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#22 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2013-August-20, 12:31

This occurred to me also, but I figured it was just one of those things I don't need to understand.
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#23 User is online   PassedOut 

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Posted 2013-August-20, 13:02

View Postkenberg, on 2013-August-20, 11:59, said:

No, probably not satire. I found

http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.6878/

and especially

http://www.nature.co...panding-1.13379

My guess is that this view will not catch on except, perhaps, as an entertainment. But who knows? I gather that testing this explanation presents problems.

I was reminded of the old observation "There is no such thing as gravity, the earth just sucks".

Thanks for the Nature link. Pretty interesting idea...

Not sure what this has to do with religion though.

This post has been edited by PassedOut: 2013-August-20, 14:34

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#24 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2013-August-20, 15:02

View Posthrothgar, on 2013-August-20, 12:25, said:

What confuses me is how any of this is at all related to religion?

In what way, shape, or form is the big bang theory consistent / inconsistent with any kind of enlightened religious beliefs?

Because many people think that disproving the big bang (or evolution, modern geology, etc) is the same as proving biblical creationism.
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#25 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2013-August-20, 15:20

The Big Bang theory was originally proposed by a Catholic priest as a method to validate religion via a scientific explanation - showing that there was a start to the universe instead of the universe being eternal. This idea was furthered by the explanation behind the redshift. If redshift does not mean expansion, there is no reason to accept a starting point to the universe - no start, no need for a starting god figure.
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#26 User is online   PassedOut 

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Posted 2013-August-20, 19:06

View PostWinstonm, on 2013-August-20, 15:20, said:

The Big Bang theory was originally proposed by a Catholic priest as a method to validate religion via a scientific explanation - showing that there was a start to the universe instead of the universe being eternal. This idea was furthered by the explanation behind the redshift. If redshift does not mean expansion, there is no reason to accept a starting point to the universe - no start, no need for a starting god figure.

But we both doubt that the believers are going to become atheists because of a new scientific idea...
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#27 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2013-August-21, 06:24

View Postbillw55, on 2013-August-20, 15:02, said:

Because many people think that disproving the big bang (or evolution, modern geology, etc) is the same as proving biblical creationism.


Quite, and adding another entity goes nowhere toward solving the problem of existence.
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#28 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2013-August-21, 06:24

duplicate post
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#29 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2013-August-21, 06:36

View PostWinstonm, on 2013-August-20, 15:20, said:

The Big Bang theory was originally proposed by a Catholic priest as a method to validate religion via a scientific explanation - showing that there was a start to the universe instead of the universe being eternal. This idea was furthered by the explanation behind the redshift. If redshift does not mean expansion, there is no reason to accept a starting point to the universe - no start, no need for a starting god figure.

You mean Lemaitre. Yes he was the first to publish these ideas, but I have not read that he did it for theological reasons. Citation? I know you have one.
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#30 User is offline   jdeegan 

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Posted 2013-August-24, 00:31

:P The dude is totally bogus. I AM JESUS CHRIST. What a pitiful poseur you present! Please, in the future, do not trouble us with your sorry examples.
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#31 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2013-August-24, 06:20

About Lemaitre: Looking up Hubble's Law on the Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia....Hubble%27s_law:

Quote

Although widely attributed to Edwin Hubble, the law was first derived from the General Relativity equations by Georges Lemaître in a 1927 article where he proposed that the Universe is expanding and suggested an estimated value of the rate of expansion, now called the Hubble constant.[3][4][5][6][7] Two years later Edwin Hubble confirmed the existence of that law and determined a more accurate value for the constant that now bears his name.[8] The recession velocity of the objects was inferred from their redshifts, many measured earlier by Vesto Slipher (1917) and related to velocity by him.



Now the Wik is not unchallengeable of course, but it's probably a place to start. Consider "first derived from the General Relativity equations by Georges Lemaître in a 1927 article". This suggests that whatever religious significance he might or might not have seen in Hubble's Law, the paper is based on scientific analysis, not on dictates from faith. Also "The recession velocity of the objects was inferred from their redshifts, many measured earlier by Vesto Slipher (1917) and related to velocity by him." is of interest. Comparing tis with the statement about Lemaitre, I gather that the movement of the galaxies away from each other was observed prior to Lemaitre, and Lemaitre's contribution was to show how tihs motion could be described, or perhaps explained, within the context of General Relativity. A very substantial; contribution.

While this refers to Hubble's Law rather than the Big Bang, obviously they are related.

I grew up at a time when Fred Hoyle and the Steady State Theory still had a substantial, although I think minority, following. To the best of my knowledge, no one I ever knew, theist, agnostic, or atheist, was holding his breath and planning on changing his religious views when the issue was settled. PassedOut made a similar observation above, as did brothgar.




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#32 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2013-August-24, 16:26

Why would you disbelieve what Alan John Miller says seeing as he is still alive, there are photographs and videos taken of him, but believe sayings attributed to Jesus of Nazareth decades or centuries after his death (/ascension)?
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#33 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2013-August-24, 16:42

View Postgwnn, on 2013-August-24, 16:26, said:

Why would you disbelieve what Alan John Miller says seeing as he is still alive, there are photographs and videos taken of him, but believe sayings attributed to Jesus of Nazareth decades or centuries after his death (/ascension)?


Probably most participants in this thread, with the exception of the OP, believe neither.

In any case, newer religions' claims are no more outlandish than those of religions that have been around awhile; but the latter acquire a certain patina over the years, and in some ways it is easier to believe claims of miracles and the like if they occurred long before living memory. We can see it happening today -- Mormonism is just on the edge of becoming mainstream.
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#34 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2013-August-24, 16:54

View Postkenberg, on 2013-August-24, 06:20, said:

I grew up at a time when Fred Hoyle and the Steady State Theory still had a substantial, although I think minority, following. To the best of my knowledge, no one I ever knew, theist, agnostic, or atheist, was holding his breath and planning on changing his religious views when the issue was settled. PassedOut made a similar observation above, as did brothgar.
IMO Ken is right. Belief in the flying spaghetti monster, God, religion, human rights, or indeed moral and ethical principles isn't scientific. Can you imagine experiments and observations to decide their veracity? If you value any of these as part of your philosophy, then Occam's razor is a constant castration threat.
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#35 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2013-August-24, 18:26

View Postnige1, on 2013-August-24, 16:54, said:

IMO Ken is right. Belief in the flying spaghetti monster, God, religion, human rights, or indeed moral and ethical principles isn't scientific. Can you imagine experiments and observations to decide their veracity? If you value any of these as part of your philosophy, then Occam's razor is a constant castration threat.


Nige I hope you are not saying you cannot both live your life in the scientific method as a very important part of your philosophy and a belief in a higher supernatural power.
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#36 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2013-August-24, 19:04

View Postmike777, on 2013-August-24, 18:26, said:

Nige I hope you are not saying you cannot both live your life in the scientific method as a very important part of your philosophy and a belief in a higher supernatural power.
Moral/ethical/religious beliefs are hard to explore scientifically. With appropriate hypotheses, however, you can argue deontologically. Paradoxically, William of Ockham would approve! :)
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#37 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2013-August-24, 20:57

View Postjdeegan, on 2013-August-24, 00:31, said:

:P The dude is totally bogus. I AM JESUS CHRIST. What a pitiful poseur you present! Please, in the future, do not trouble us with your sorry examples.


Relax! The man says he is Jesus Christ and you don't agree -- there is no need to get upset about it.
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#38 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2013-August-25, 07:34

View PostVampyr, on 2013-August-24, 16:42, said:

Probably most participants in this thread, with the exception of the OP, believe neither.

In any case, newer religions' claims are no more outlandish than those of religions that have been around awhile; but the latter acquire a certain patina over the years, and in some ways it is easier to believe claims of miracles and the like if they occurred long before living memory. We can see it happening today -- Mormonism is just on the edge of becoming mainstream.

That much is quite clear but allowing for this patina seems quite irrational. I was hoping 32519 would give other, better reasons for this distinction. Indeed, he even labelled everyone who believes this Australian couple to be (very) gullible.

I've been listening to some Youtube videos about apologetics these days and in one of them there is a whole chapter devoted to the question 'Did Jesus of Nazareth really declare himself to be the son of God?' and using a mix of circumstatial evidence and abstract reasoning eventually arriving to an affirmative conclusion. Well, at least for Alan John Miller we know this for a fact. Sure, Jesus is said to have performed miracles but the main argument for these accounts is something like 'but the Gospels don't read as embellished stories since they refer to real historical cities, rivers and Luke even recorded wind directions!' Not very convincing. For people who think otherwise I can offer: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1611224/
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#39 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2013-August-25, 12:52

View Postgwnn, on 2013-August-25, 07:34, said:

That much is quite clear but allowing for this patina seems quite irrational.


Yes, it is for sure. But the practice is very prevalent. For example, American presidents have always been, or professed to be, Christians, and they are not generally considered loony (at least not for that reason). Now if a Scientologist ran, well...
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#40 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2013-August-25, 23:31

Many Presidents had no formal religious affiliation. Jefferson, who is widely regarded as having been a Deist (a popular view in his time) said "To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; & believing he never claimed any other."
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