Atheists and science

#1

I’m a Christian. I think science is faith based. But why to atheists believe that science is rational and trustworthy?

#2

Why do you say that science is faith based? All the science I’m aware of is based in evidence and reasoning.

To answer your question, though rationalism isn’t strictly a requirement of atheism (the only requirement being a lack of belief in god(s)), you’ll find that most atheists tend to be rationalists. Of the different means of explaining the nature of reality, atheists will tend to accept science over mysticism or pseudoscience.

Another thing: science is trustworthy because of its successful track record. Because of science, things like the automobile, the airplane and the computer have been invented. We’ve landed humans on the moon and sent space probes to the outer reaches of the Solar System, thanks to science. We’ve mapped the human genome, as well as the genomes of numerous other organisms, thanks to science.

#3

Uh … whoops. How did this happen?

Let me quickly go send off a post to save myself from being banned then return to this thread.

#4

OP, do you actually know any science?

I don’t have much faith in it myself, to tell you the truth.

#5

Well done, I can’t believe nobody has ever wasted precious time ‘debating’ this question up to now. Clever.

Your proposition is goofy. Atheists who trust science because it strives for rationality have faith in a concept (sometimes in a concept and a scientist both). Christians have faith in an entity. That crucial distinction is at the very core of Christianity, as I’m sure you’ll agree (I guess we’ll see). I’m afraid it renders your proposition utterly trivial.

Science is a human endeavor, though, and as such suffers from the full gamut of human weakness. Group dynamics, faking evidence, political pressures - the ‘best guess’ of science can be deterred by it all.

Faith is probably unique to humans. Even so, the kind of arguments you seem to want to play out here (your faith is silly; no your belief in science is just misplaced faith etc-ad-nauseum) always remind me of this video.

#6

Stripe, thanks for advising me by PM that you started this thread using another account. I can remove the original post for you if you like, but it may not be necessary.

#7

Science is thinking. It is not faith. Scientists think things for reasons. And the great thing is that you don’t have to be a scientist to do it. Anyone can. You use reasoning. You no longer need to be a Christian. Imagine that --the possibilities. And you can be more alive. Atheist are more alive than faith based beings.

#8

Goodness. There’s a statement crying out for scientific verification.

1 Like
#9

Still curious as to what the OP means by “science is faith based”.

#10

Goodness. There’s a statement crying out for scientific verification.[/quote]

It’s just stands to reason. Think about it.

#11

[quote=“Chris”]Why do you say that science is faith based?[/quote]Because I think science is best described as: investigation of what is true about physical processes.[quote]All the science I’m aware of is based in evidence and reasoning.[/quote]Of course.

[quote]To answer your question, though rationalism isn’t strictly a requirement of atheism (the only requirement being a lack of belief in god(s)), you’ll find that most atheists tend to be rationalists. Of the different means of explaining the nature of reality, atheists will tend to accept science over mysticism or pseudoscience.[/quote]So will I.

[quote]Another thing: science is trustworthy because of its successful track record. Because of science, things like the automobile, the airplane and the computer have been invented. We’ve landed humans on the moon and sent space probes to the outer reaches of the Solar System, thanks to science. We’ve mapped the human genome, as well as the genomes of numerous other organisms, thanks to science.[/quote]You trust science because of results, but how do you know those results will keep coming?

#12

[quote=“urodacus”]OP, do you actually know any science?[/quote]I’ve studied a little.

[quote]I don’t have much faith in it myself, to tell you the truth.[/quote]Me either.

And to clarify that, I think there is a difference between “faith in science” and “science is faith based”. A massive difference.

#13

[quote=“flike”]
Well done, I can’t believe nobody has ever wasted precious time ‘debating’ this question up to now. Clever.[/quote]You are, right now.

[quote]Your proposition is goofy. Atheists who trust science because it strives for rationality have faith in a concept (sometimes in a concept and a scientist both). Christians have faith in an entity. That crucial distinction is at the very core of Christianity, as I’m sure you’ll agree (I guess we’ll see). I’m afraid it renders your proposition utterly trivial.[/quote]What “proposition”? I asked a question.

[quote]Science is a human endeavor, though, and as such suffers from the full gamut of human weakness. Group dynamics, faking evidence, political pressures - the ‘best guess’ of science can be deterred by it all.[/quote]So why do you believe it’s results will always be valid?

[quote]Faith is probably unique to humans. Even so, the kind of arguments you seem to want to play out here (your faith is silly; no your belief in science is just misplaced faith etc-ad-nauseum) always remind me of this video.
[/quote]Why don’t you just have the discussion instead of worrying where it might go?

#14

[quote=“Fortigurn”]Stripe, thanks for advising me by PM that you started this thread using another account. I can remove the original post for you if you like, but it may not be necessary.[/quote]Seems fairly harmless to me. Thanks.

#15

[quote=“Fox”]Science is thinking. It is not faith. Scientists think things for reasons[/quote]Having faith does not mean one cannot think. Nor does the notion thay science is faith based preclude rational empirical and theoretical analysis.

#16

Stripe, would you mind not multi-posting? You can quote other people’s posts in one response. Thanks.

#17

Goodness. There’s a statement crying out for scientific verification.[/quote]

Not quite sure how you’d measure ‘aliveness’.

[quote=“Sociology Compass 3/6 (2009): 949–971”]Furthering the link between education ⁄intellectualism and secularity, recent studies have found that secular people score markedly higher on tests of verbal ability and verbal sophistication when compared religious people (Sherkat 2006), and secular people also score markedly higher on indicators of scientific proficiency than religious people (Sherkat 2009). And Larson and Witham (1997, 1998) found that among the members of the United States National Academy of Sciences, only 7 percent claimed to believe in a personal God and only 8 percent believed in immortality, and Ecklund and Scheitle (2007) report that professors at America’s top universities are far more likely to be atheists than the general American population.

. . .

In the most empirically sound study on sex ever conducted in the United States, Michael et al. (1995) found that, for the most part, people who claimed ‘‘None’’ as their religion had similar sexual behaviors as religious people, with the following exceptions: 16 percent of ‘‘Nones’’ and 17 percent Jews (highly secularized) had over 20 sex partners in their lifetime, compared with 7 percent of Conservative Protestants, 8 percent of mainline Protestants, and 9 percent of Catholics (see also Barkan 2006; Laumann et al. 1994). Also, Nones have sex for longer periods of time, are more likely to have engaged in anal sex than religious people, and non-religious women are more likely to have received oral sex than religious women

Additional research reveals that, compared with the religious, secular adults are more likely to have had premarital sex, to have had an extra-marital affair, and to approve of oral sex (Janus and Janus 1993). Also, secular adults are less condemning of pre-marital and extra-marital sex (Cochran and Beeglhey 1991), are more likely to engage in a wider variety of sexual behaviors (Mahoney 1980), and have less guilt about their own sexual activities than their religious peers (Vernon 1968). Davidson et al. (1995) found that non-church attending women were less likely to view masturbation as a sin, to view masturbation as un-healthy, or to feel ashamed about masturbating than regular churchattending women.

. . .

While acknowledging the many disagreements and discrepancies above, the fact still remains that a preponderance of studies do indicate that secular people don’t seem to fare as well as their religious peers when it comes to selected aspects of psychological wellbeing (Hackney and Sanders 2003; Pargament 2002; Schnittker 2001; Hood et al. 1996; Idler and Stanislav 1992; Petersen and Roy 1985). For instance, Ellison (1991), Jones (1993), and Pollner (1989) found that religious beliefs correlate with a sense of life satisfaction and well-being, and Myers (1992) found that religious faith is correlated with hope and optimism. McIntosh et al. (1993) report that religious people have a better time adjusting to and coping with sad or difficult life events than secular people; Mattlin et al. (1990) and Palmer and Noble (1986) report that religion is beneficial for people dealing with chronic illness or the death of a loved one. Based on a systematic examination of over 100 studies – and drawing heavily from the work of Koenig et al. (2001) – McCullough and Smith (2003, 191–192) conclude that ‘‘people who are religious devout, but not extremists, tend to report greater subjective well-being and life satisfaction…more ability to cope with stress and crises…and fewer symptoms of depression’’ than secular people. However, it should be pointed out that some have vigorously refuted such sweeping conclusions, arguing that the link between religiosity and positive health outcomes is grossly exaggerated (Sloan and Bagiella 2002). Finally, there is certainly the possibility that because being non-religious in the United States makes one a member of a widely un-liked, distrusted, and stigmatize minority, this could take a psychological toll on the mental health and sense of well-being of atheists and secular people, who may suffer from a sense of isolation, alienation, or rejection from family, colleagues, or peers (Downey 2004).[/quote]

I’m just shocked to learn that some people don’t approve of oral sex. :astonished:

#18

Why is the discussion important? Why not just cut to the chase and tell us what you think about faith and science?

I can’t begin to tell you how many online discussions I’ve seen in the past five years or so re:‘atheists don’t realize they have faith in science/your faith is silly/no you’re silly for misplacing your faith - etc’. Of those that begin the way you’ve begun here, they never end well.* I can’t help but wonder, how will this one be any different?

*-They go on for pages and pages, generate lots of smoke and gigawatts of heat yet very little light.

#19

???

How does that make it faith based?

Given the long-time record of the success of science in unveiling the nature of the universe, I see no reason to think that the scientific process will stop yielding results.

#20

I can have faith in the mailman delivering my letters every day. That is the type of faith one has in science. However, religious faith is a completely different thing. It is irrational. You have to have faith for religion to work. I don’t have to have faith for the mailman to deliver my letters. He’ll do that anyway, but I can have faith in him doing it and that is reasonable.

Scientists think things for reasons. I hope you don’t think you are going to prove that you are right and then try to suck us in to some discussion of the bible. Just because you hate being wrong.