Religion and Science can Coexist.
Debate Rounds (3)
Now that we have that out of the way, tell me exactly what part of science directly contradicts religion, or vice versa.
I look forward to hearing your reasoning.
In essence, the scientific method does not allow for these two views of science and religion to be compatible. In brief the scientific method can be described by the following four steps: (1)
a) Observation and description
b) Design or formulation of a hypothesis
c) Predictions of the hypothesis
d) Testing the hypothesis to see if the predictions are accurate.
From these steps we can see that if we analyze religion then we are able to design a hypothesis and make predictions of the religions claims. For example if religion was to claim that if you did not eat McDonald's on a Wednesday afternoon at3 o'clock you would start sneezing. This claim could be easily tested by not eating a McDonald's at the appropriate time and then observing what the outcome is. If the outcome of this test is no sneezing, then by repetition of the experiment we can justifiably say the religion is wrong.
Science is the search for truth and every religious claim so far has been shown to be incorrect. Religion is not about seeking the truth but accepting supposed truths. It is for this reason that I believe science and religion are incompatible.
While I believe they can co-exist superficially. It is important to remember that almost anything can co-exist. Lions and lambs can also co-exist if the lions are kept well fed and have their claws and teeth pulled. However it does not mean it is a good idea that lambs and lions co-exist as they are fundamentally at odds with each other and looking for very different things. Religion and science are like the animals in this analogy, they can co-exist in a very stained relationship as they are searching for two very different things. Eventually the lions claws will grow back and then the lamb is dead, and this is what will happen with science and religion one will eventually die.
I appreciate that you left the Bible out of it like I had asked (most of my opponents don't listen).
However, you said that "every religious claim so far has been shown to be incorrect". Please give some examples of disproved claims.
I DO accept your other claim, though, that there is no solid scientific evidence behind the existence of God. I do not think that there ever will be scientific evidence behind God because God is immaterial and intangible. The only evidence for God there has been and ever will be is of the spiritual/metaphysical type. I personally believe in God because my own experiences have proved to me beyond a doubt that he exists.
In response to your analogy, I'm going to have to say no. I think it is BECAUSE religion and science's goals are so different that they can coexist. Seeking out the truth about how the universe works (science) has pretty much nothing to do with seeking out God (religion). Therefore, one (like me) can believe in both at the same time.
So, those are my arguments on why religion and science are not mutually exclusive.
I hope to hear from you soon.
If we look for evidence of god then whatever religious text we take then there will be certain claims that they make which have to do with the existence of god. If these claims are true then we can test them and thus indirectly test for god, as either the holy text is true and inspired by god or else it is incorrect and the holy text is wrong and not inspired by god. If this text then is not inspired by god, then surely it should not be adhered to and hence their is no basis for this belief. I will look at two claims to show Pro that there is evidence that god does not exist with respect to the Biblical and Koranic god.
If we consider the Biblical god,then we can read in Matthew 2:22 where it says "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."(1) This is a testable claim that has to do with god answering prayers. However when we actually get people to pray and ask god for whatsoever they want,then the prayers are not answered. (2,3) Additionally, in studies where theists have claimed that prayers have been shown to be effective it has been shown that the studies are scientifically flawed. (4,5) This is effectively either saying that either the Bible is incorrect which means god does not exists at least in the Biblical sense, or that the Biblical god can be tested and is found not to exist.
If we then take a look at the Koran which is also inspired by god then we see that it is also incorrect with respect to testable scientific claims. In the Koran it says that mountains stop the earth shaking i.e. stop earth quakes.(6) However, this has been shown to be false as earthquakes can occur in any region where there is tectonic plate movement and even if there are mountains these plates can move.(7)This is effectively either saying that either the Koran is incorrect which means god does not exists at least in the Koranic sense, or that the Koranic god can be tested and is found not to exist as the information given is incorrect and this is not expected from an omnipotent god.
These examples I believe show that god is testable scientifically, and not intangible and immaterial as my opponent has asserted. But even if my opponent rejects these claims we can look at it another way. If god is able to affect our material world,then that means god has to exist in some form materially. This means at some point god is material and then can be tested for. If god however does not effect our material world and remains immaterial, then god is something which is irrelevant to us. If god is irrelevant to us why even bother having a material book explaining this god when god was clearly never material to begin with.
My opponent asserts he has had experiences which prove to him that god exists, however if this is true then god is testable and I wonder why my opponent who has a scientifically inclined mind has not tried to do this himself. I do not wish to be condescending, but if my opponent has belief in the scientific method and god has affected his life in a way this is a testable claim that surely needs attention. Unfortunately I am sure that if my opponent applies the scientific method to the god hypothesis that he will find that god does not exist.
This again shows that science and religion are incompatible, as science deals with reality and religion deals with illusion. We live in reality and not in an illusion. If anything illusion is dangerous as can be seen in the field of psychiatry when we look at disorders like schizophrenia. (8) My opponent is correct is asserting that science has pretty much nothing to do with seeking out god. The reason for this is that god does not exist and is incompatible with the scientific method.
Over to my opponent.
Here's the problem with taking the Bible (and Koran) too seriously. Half of the Bible (the Old Testament) is composed of stories that were written by several different unrelated authors and were passed down mostly orally for hundreds of years. Obviously such stories would have changed a lot from their original states. The other half of the Bible (the New Testament) is composed of stories about Jesus written by 4 authors who were trying to promote Christianity to the general public. Obviously they might stretch the truth a bit to impress a wider audience. Most Christians do NOT take the Bible literally; they view the Bible's stories as metaphors, parables, and allegories that portray Christian morals. All of this applies to the Koran and Muslims too, since the Koran was written in a similar fashion.
My "experiences" do include some unexplained coincidences that were so overly convenient that I couldn't believe them to be a result of dumb luck. They also include metaphysical experiences in which I felt God's presence. However, neither of these is really quantifiable. An atheist might argue that all of the coincidences could have really been coincidences, and that the metaphysical experiences were hallucinations and I should visit a psychiatrist. This is why I have stopped trying to prove the existence of God via the scientific method. The only "evidence" I have is not quantifiable and can only be witnessed firsthand, resulting in anyone who has NOT experienced it first hand to consider the evidence to be invalid. Thus it is impossible for anyone to prove the existence of God except God himself, and God only does so when he himself chooses to. In this sense, God's existence doesn't contradict the scientific method, but the evidence supporting God isn't being accepted by the scientific community because it is not quantifiable.
Religion is NOT illusion. That is your own opinion, which is fine by me; I am not going to try and convert you (for the reasons stated above).
The whole point of me opening this debate was that I was tired of atheists calling religious people primitive, anti-science idiots, and I wanted to make it clear that religion does NOT contradict science. I wanted to prove that religion and science are to totally different pursuits with two totally different goals which are NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.
I heard a quote once that "Science is the study of God's creation", which I completely agree with. It implies that it IS possible to reach God while knowing about how the universe (God's creation) works at the same time.
Back to you, Con :)
Firstly my opponent has said that the evidence I provided showing that God does not exist is irrelevant as my opponent stated that "Most Christians do NOT take the Bible literally; they view the Bible's stories as metaphors, parables, and allegories that portray Christian morals. All of this applies to the Koran and Muslims too, since the Koran was written in a similar fashion." However, this is not true as Christian doctrine and the bible is behind the movement to stop same sex marriage in the USA, and Sharia law commanded by Koran is still enforced in Saudi Arabia. (1,2) As an example of this, homophobic stances by churches against same sex marriage come directly from the bibles laws in Leviticus 18:22. (3)
I would think that this means then that my opponent is agreeing with me that any holy text is pointless and not divinely inspired. Surely this then leads to the natural conclusion that there is no point to adhere to any rules which are given in these holy texts. So I have to wonder what god my opponent believes in and on what basis he is making the conclusion that the god he believe in is actually true when all holy texts are "not to be taken literally".
My opponent has additionally admitted that his experiences "include some unexplained coincidences that were so overly convenient that I couldn't believe them to be a result of dumb luck. They also include metaphysical experiences in which I felt God's presence. However, neither of these is really quantifiable." and "This is why I have stopped trying to prove the existence of God via the scientific method." In effect by saying this he has shown that science cannot be applied to his experiences and this surely shows that science and religion are unable to coexist. It requires the observer to be there and have a first hand experience which cannot be quantified. Importantly, it requires a discarding of the scientific method even though my opponent says that gods existence does not contradict the scientific method.
My opponent says that religion is not an illusion. However there was no evidence put forward by my opponent to support this point, so I am not sure how I can accept this. I do agree with my opponent however that this is my opinion, but this opinion is based on the non-existence of god which I gave two examples of in the debate. Of course my opponent could argue that this does not include all the gods, and if I call my table god then he is right. However,we are clearly talking about the so called supernatural god in this debate and not the material table god.
My opponent said that he "wanted to make it clear that religion does NOT contradict science. I wanted to prove that religion and science are to totally different pursuits with two totally different goals which are NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE." However, as I have pointed out multiple times in my closing statement, religion contradicts the scientific method and so religion is in effect contradicting science. My opponent is correct however to say science and religion have different goals, science has the goal of following the evidence and religion has the goal of not following the evidence.
In conclusion my opponent gave a quote which said "Science is the study of God's creation", but there is no positive evidence for the existence of god so am not sure how science can be studying gods creation. I would rather say "science is the study of the physical world". In summary, I would have to say that science cannot co-exist with religion as applying the scientific method to beliefs will lead to the disintegration of religion.
I would like to thank my opponent for a stimulating debate.
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