The Instigator
Freeman
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
KRFournier
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

Science and religion are incompatible ways of viewing the world.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
KRFournier
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/30/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,967 times Debate No: 9086
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (5)

 

Freeman

Pro

Let me begin by first defining my terms.

Faith- Belief without evidence

Religion- A religion is a set of beliefs and practices often organized around supernatural and moral claims, and often codified as prayer, ritual, and religious law.

Science- The collective discipline of study or learning acquired through the scientific method.

Science and religion are not only different ways of viewing the world; they are incompatible means of viewing the world. Like science religion is in the business of making specific claims about the nature of reality. These claims purport to be about facts. There is one God. There are many Gods. The creator of the universe can hear your prayers. If you do not believe the right things about god you will suffer terribly after you die etc. By necessity there is a conflict between science and religion.

Science operates on the scientific method and reason. Sound reasoning, experimentation, and empirical data back up scientific claims about the nature of reality. Religion however seems to be playing a rather different game. Religion, in the most universally recognized sense of the word, operates off of faith and revelation. In science certainty is scaled with evidence. In other words the more evidence for any given proposition the more certain you can be that it is true. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the exact opposite is true in religion. Beliefs in religion are almost universally unlinked to reason and evidence. Indeed certainty in religious claims seem to scale inversely with the evidence.

Of course there are some scientists who have taken a different view. Stephen Jay Gould along with being a brilliant biologist proposed the idea that religion and science were compatible. He postulated that religion and science were non overlapping magisteria or NOMA for short. To sum up his argument he stated that science deals with the empirical realm and religion deals with morals and value, therefore they could not be in conflict because they occupy different domains.

Sources
http://en.wikipedia.org...

No doubt Gould had good intentions when he proposed NOMA however it is genuinely an empty idea. Religions don't just talk about values or a purpose for human existence; they make claims. And the problem with NOMA is that you cannot disentangle scientific and religious truth claims. The notion that Jesus had no paternal father is a key doctrine in Christianity and it is also a claim about biology. The claim that Jesus after being raised from the dead arose bodily into heaven is another key dogma in the Christian religion that once again overtly trespasses upon the territory of science. This story involves a variety of claims about history, the human survival of death and apparently the mechanics of flight without the aid of technology. Indeed if a reconciliation between science and religion were to take place it would mean that we would have to square the laws of biology, chemistry, physics, history and a basic understanding of probabilistic reasoning with a torrent of iron age convictions.

Conclusion

Because science operates off of evidence and "religion" operates off of revelation the motion that science and religion are incompatible is affirmed.
KRFournier

Con

I thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate. I look forward to a vigorous and hopefully enlightening interchange.

I would like to remind the readers that the term incompatible, insofar as logic is concerned, means that two things cannot be simultaneously true. [1] Specific to this debate, I am burdened to show that religious claims and scientific claims can simultaneously be true.

My main objective is to refute the notion that science and religion actually make conflicting claims. For this, I will refer to my opponent's definition of science, "the collective discipline of study or learning acquired through the scientific method." The scientific method [2] is very straight forward and is meant to acquire knowledge through direct observation and experimentation. As result, I contend that science is unable to make universal claims, and any such claims made in the name of science falls instead within the domain of philosophy.

Philosophy is another academic discipline, distinct from science in that is relies on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods. [3] Philosophy is therefore not limited to that which is subject to experimentation. In fact, philosophy can readily make universal claims about the nature of reality. Philosophy is also able to use science to support or refute these universal claims. It does not, however, work the other way around.

Science cannot make direct universal claims about reality. Science only brings knowledge about the particulars based on hypotheses which may rely on certain universal claims but cannot ever--in and of itself--confirm their truth. Take for example evolution. Evolution is indeed a scientific theory. However, the claim, "evolution is true," is not scientific; it is philosophical. While one might use scientific evidence to support this claim, only the discipline of philosophy is able to affirm or negate its truth.

Religion, per my opponent's definition, is a set of beliefs. In philosophy, this is known as a worldview [4], and all people have one. All worldviews are ultimately philosophical as they are comprised entirely of universal claims. Therefore, religion falls within the domain of philosophy, even if it uses science to support its claims.

Having laid this ground work, I insist my opponent is mistaken when he says, "Like science religion is in the business of making specific claims about the nature of reality." It is here my opponent commits the fallacy of "low" redefinition. [5] Having just defined science to mean a specific academic discipline, he broadens its use as though it encompasses the discipline of philosophy as well. Science is in the business of learning about the nature of PHYSICAL reality, but it cannot make universal claims regarding the COMPLETE nature of reality. For example, whether or not there exists a metaphysical reality is something science is incapable of answering.

As a result, my opponent is guilty of the very thing he criticizes in Gould. It's not that Gould was mistaken in thinking that religion does not make universal claims about reality. It's that my opponent is mistaken in thinking that science can. My opponent seems to be confusing science with scientism: the philosophy that only the scientific method is able acquire knowledge.

My opponent's other mistake is that of begging the question. He states, "Beliefs in religion are almost universally unlinked to reason and evidence." The fact that he doesn't actually support this claim is secondary to the circular reasoning behind it. He already assumes that religion is false, ignoring the fact that the debate is about whether or not science and religion can both be true. To simply assume that religion is always false begs the very question, or at the very least, constitutes a straw man argument.

Despite my opponent's bias against religious thinking, the fact remains that universal claims and particular claims are logically compatible. Religion makes universal claims and science makes particular claims. Therefore, it is possible for both to be simultaneously true. Of course, it depends on the religious claims and the philosophical reasoning behind them. However, proving any one religion to be true is outside the scope of our debate. I have fulfilled my burden in showing that both being simultaneously true is at least a logical possibility. Therefore, the resolution is negated.

1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
2. http://www.sciencebuddies.org...
3. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
4. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
5. http://www.fallacyfiles.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Freeman

Pro

Let me first begin by thanking my opponent for agreeing to debate with me on this very important topic. I hope that our viewers would find this debate to be intellectually stimulating and enlightening.

My opponent stated the following.

"I would like to remind the readers that the term incompatible, insofar as logic is concerned, means that two things cannot be simultaneously true. [1] Specific to this debate, I am burdened to show that religious claims and scientific claims can simultaneously be true."

Hmmm…. A noble effort but I would like to remind the viewers what the resolution actually was. "Science and religion are incompatible ways of viewing the world." We are not debating whether or not religious and scientific claims can both simultaneously be true. In fact I will fully concede that at least some of the claims made by various religions could be true but that would in no way detract from my thesis. What I am arguing is that the methodology behind science, i.e. the scientific method is fundamentally in conflict with the methodology behind religion i.e. faith and revelation. My first, second and forth paragraphs were all aimed at driving this point home. If the resolution were "scientific and religious truth claims are incompatible" then maybe you would be on the right track.

I wish to challenge my opponent and anyone reading this debate to think of a question where at first we had a scientific explanation, however inadequate, but now the best explanation is a religious one. There are dozens of questions that run the other way. At one point we had a religious explanation to a question but now the best explanation is a scientific one.

If you go back in history for example before we knew anything about the germ theory of disease you will see exactly what I'm talking about. During the middle ages when crops failed and people died of disease what did religious believers think was the cause of all of this misfortune? It was witchcraft of course. Earthquakes, tsunamis and disease were thought to be the result of sin. Ironically many people in well-developed countries seem to still be clinging to this view. The relationship between science and religion has gone one way. It has led to consistent scientific erosion of religious authority on a whole host of issues ranging from physics to biology and history.

My opponent stated the following.

"My main objective is to refute the notion that science and religion actually make conflicting claims."

Any honest reading of the book of Genesis would lead us to believe that God created all animals in their current forms in the not so distant past. This is fundamentally untrue. Here is what we now know about our world. The universe is far older, larger and more magnificent than either the Bible or Koran suggest. We know for a fact that the Universe is approximately 14 billion years old and that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. We also know that humans evolved from non-human ancestors along a continuum with all other forms of life on Earth. Many Christians will scoff at the notion of common ancestry by saying things like Evolution is only a theory and not a fact. Such sentiments are born out of a serious misunderstanding of the word theory when it is used in a scientific context. In science there are facts, which must be explained by reference to other facts. These larger explanatory models are theories. Gravity like evolution is a theory and a fact that is not likely to be overturned even if we were to witness a rock falling upwards. If you doubt that evolution is true then you may as well doubt that the Earth revolves around the Sun. The fact that there are some scientists who proclaim the failures of Darwinism does not in the slightest suggest that there is an actual debate in the scientific community on whether or not evolution is true.

My opponent stated the following.

"Philosophy is another academic discipline, distinct from science in that is relies on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods. [3] Philosophy is therefore not limited to that which is subject to experimentation. In fact, philosophy can readily make universal claims about the nature of reality. Philosophy is also able to use science to support or refute these universal claims. It does not, however, work the other way around."

When I say that science makes claims about the nature of reality here is what I mean. Science makes claims that purport to be about facts. Saying that Gravity causes objects to fall is a claim well supported by evidence and it is a claim about the way things behave in reality.

My opponent stated the following.

"Religion, per my opponent's definition, is a set of beliefs. In philosophy, this is known as a worldview [4], and all people have one. All worldviews are ultimately philosophical as they are comprised entirely of universal claims. Therefore, religion falls within the domain of philosophy, even if it uses science to support its claims."

To simply redefine religion as a philosophy and from there assert that philosophy and science are compatible is a maneuver I refuse to let slide by. Religion is more than just philosophical musing; it's a faith with a big promise attached to it.

My opponent said the following

"As a result, my opponent is guilty of the very thing he criticizes in Gould. It's not that Gould was mistaken in thinking that religion does not make universal claims about reality. It's that my opponent is mistaken in thinking that science can."

You're hammering away at a position that I have not committed myself to. I encourage anyone viewing this debate to reread my opening arguments and find where I stated that science could make universal claims about the nature of reality.

My opponent's other mistake is that of begging the question. He states, "Beliefs in religion are almost universally unlinked to reason and evidence." The fact that he doesn't actually support this claim is secondary to the circular reasoning behind it.

Contrary to what you say I actually do try to support this claim when I wrote "Religion, in the most universally recognized sense of the word, operates off of faith and revelation." Any belief that is supported merely by faith or revelation is by definition unlinked to evidence and reason. If we had good reasons or evidence for our beliefs then it would be preposterous to say that we believed them on faith. I need not appeal to faith or revelation when I make the claim that the Earth is round.

"He already assumes that religion is false, ignoring the fact that the debate is about whether or not science and religion can both be true. To simply assume that religion is always false begs the very question, or at the very least, constitutes a straw man argument."

It is you not I that is guilty of creating a straw man argument. I will appeal to the fairness of anyone viewing this debate. At what point have I ever assumed that religion is always false? If you find where I said that feel free to quote me and put it in the comments section.

My opponent said the following

"Despite my opponent's bias against religious thinking, the fact remains that universal claims and particular claims are logically compatible. Religion makes universal claims and science makes particular claims. Therefore, it is possible for both to be simultaneously true."

I take issue with your analysis. Religion does make particular claims about reality many of which are in direct conflict with science. Religion, at least Christianity, claims to know about how the universe began and what its ultimate destiny is. Q.E.D.

The resolution remains affirmed.

Sources

http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

http://www.scientificamerican.com...

All the best,
Freeman
KRFournier

Con

I appreciate my opponent's quick response. I will keep this round reasonably short and sweet.

First, my opponent clearly cannot keep to his own definitions. To be concise, I emphatically claim that science cannot make universal claims. Any universal claims made--even in the name of science--stray outside the domain of science into philosophy. I do not think he understands what science is despite my sticking firmly to his definition. He has not refuted this argument other than to say that it isn't relevant. Therefore, this contention stands.

Second, he does not seem to understand philosophy. Any "fact" obtained through experimentation and empirical observation is science. Any "fact" obtained through reason--be it inductive or deductive--is philosophy. It is for this reason I claim that science is unable to make philosophical claims. He does say in round 2, "I encourage anyone viewing this debate to reread my opening arguments and find where I stated that science could make universal claims about the nature of reality." Okay, how about the first sentence of his first paragraph, "Science and religion are not only different ways of viewing the world; they are incompatible means of viewing the world." How else am I to understand this? He claims that science and religion are conflicting worldviews. Worldviews are inherently philosophical. Besides, whether he said it or not, my opponent still has not refuted my contention that science CANNOT make universal claims. Therefore, this contention stands.

Third, he rejects my defining religion to be philosophical. He says, "Religion is more than just philosophical musing; it's a faith with a big promise attached to it." I gave a clear definition of philosophy, and his own definition of religion comports. If he cannot hold to his own definitions, then we cannot have a rational debate. Dismissing my contentions do not refute them, so this contention stands as well.

Fourth, he alters the resolution to be "the scientific method is fundamentally in conflict with the methodology behind religion." Given his OWN definitions and arguments, this is impossible. He already stated that science uses reason and evidence whereas religion uses faith and revelation. Therefore, he cannot possibly think the methodologies are in conflict. Does he mean that the conclusions brought about by the methodologies are in conflict? I can't keep up with the moving goal post.

Fifth, he speaks about evolution versus an honest reading of Genesis. Again, I refer to my own round 2 example of evolution. The theory of evolution is science. The truth of evolution is philosophy. Therefore, Genesis is only in conflict with evolution insofar as evolution is purported to be objectively true, in which case we have conflicting philosophical assertions. However, Genesis is not incompatible with the science that uses the theory to predict experimental results. Again, the domains are separate according to my opponent's definition of science.

Here is my round 2 argument in a rough syllogism:

A. Science is an academic discipline using the scientific method
B. The scientific method requires direct experimentation
C. Science cannot make universal claims
D. Philosophy makes universal claims
E. Religion makes universal claims
F. Universal claims and particular claims are logically compatible
G. By substitution, philosophy and science are logically compatible
H. By substitution, religion and science are logically compatible

Even though he dislikes my approach, I think the readers will agree that I am staying true to his definitions and original resolution. Science and religion are indeed compatible so long as you avoid the fallacy of equivocating science to some kind of philosophy.
Debate Round No. 2
Freeman

Pro

I wish to thank my opponent once again for his willingness to engage with me. I read your post and then I read it again. But after a while I began to realize what was going on. What we are really arguing about is words and the definition of words like science and religion. You have taken up a strategy that I have never before encountered but more importantly one that I had not expected to encounter. The strategy you seem to have adopted is to take a carving knife to the conventional understanding of "religion," attempting to remove from its purview all of its claims about the natural world. I have to admit that I think this tactic is intellectually dishonest.

For the record I would like to set some things straight before I proceed. I will fully concede that science cannot make universal claims about the nature of reality. Despite the fact that I have never claimed that it can my opponent has repeatedly mischaracterized my position. Moreover I agree with you that equivocating science to mean some type of philosophy is intellectually dishonest.

"Any "fact" obtained through experimentation and empirical observation is science. Any "fact" obtained through reason--be it inductive or deductive--is philosophy." AGREED

My opponent wrote the following and quoted me in the process.

"Science and religion are not only different ways of viewing the world; they are incompatible means of viewing the world." How else am I to understand this?

You should understand it in the following way. The reason why science and religion are incompatible is that, in the real world they reach incompatible conclusions. Secondly I did not write that science and religion were conflicting worldviews. That claim is simply a farce designed to create the illusion that I am equivocating the definitions of science and philosophy.

Even though I don't take issue with your syllogism I would like anyone reading this debate to notice how this syllogism could be applied to any philosophical position.

If we define witchcraft as a series of beliefs then it would also fit perfectly into my opponent's syllogism. After all witchcraft does entail beliefs about the potency of magic spells.

A. Science is an academic discipline using the scientific method
B. The scientific method requires direct experimentation
C. Science cannot make universal claims
D. Philosophy makes universal claims
E. Witchcraft makes universal claims
F. Universal claims and particular claims are logically compatible
G. By substitution, philosophy and science are logically compatible
H. By substitution, witchcraft and science are logically compatible

Here's another one for you.

Scientology is a set of beliefs which makes it a worldview and therefore philosophical.

A. Science is an academic discipline using the scientific method
B. The scientific method requires direct experimentation
C. Science cannot make universal claims
D. Philosophy makes universal claims
E. Scientology makes universal claims
F. Universal claims and particular claims are logically compatible
G. By substitution, philosophy and science are logically compatible
H. By substitution, Scientology and science are logically compatible

I suspect that your patience may be waning but allow me to use just one more example.

Magical thinking involves a set of beliefs about the way the world operates therefore it is philosophical. As such it would also fit into your syllogism.

A. Science is an academic discipline using the scientific method
B. The scientific method requires direct experimentation
C. Science cannot make universal claims
D. Philosophy makes universal claims
E. Magical thinking makes universal claims
F. Universal claims and particular claims are logically compatible
G. By substitution, philosophy and science are logically compatible
H. By substitution, Magical thinking and science are logically compatible

I will now concede that there is no logical or a priori incompatibility between religion and science. Science and religion cannot be declared incompatible purely on the basis of what they are. It would be trivially easy for me to imagine a world where the best scientific techniques of evidence gathering and hypothesis testing left us with an understanding of nature which included the existence of God or other supernatural phenomena. However, I would argue that this is not the world we live in.

The reason why science and religion are incompatible is that, in the real world they reach incompatible conclusions. This would be perfectly logical for me to argue and it would not necessitate me reworking any of my original definitions or the resolution. I have written at some length to delineate these incompatibilities but allow me to illustrate a few more. The claim that God created the universe in six days is fundamentally incompatible with what we now know about physics. Christianity also claims that parthenogenesis is really a possibility in human primates and science says that this is nonsense. When religions are not contemplating a purpose for human existence they make dozens of specific claims about the natural world. Jesus died and was resurrected, etc. Seriously, there are billions of people who actually believe things like this; I'm not making it up. So there you go, incompatibility.

In order to show that Christianity and science were compatible then you would have to demonstrate, under controlled circumstances, how levitation into the sky is actually compatible with what we know about physics. After all this is one of the claims of Christianity. Jesus himself was claimed to have done this. It is of course true to say that levitation cannot be disproved. But as it happens nothing in the human experience can reasonably lead us to conclude that levitation is likely to be true.

In all honesty I would settle for you producing any miracle. To further increase my vulnerability to this line of attack I have just written down a 50-digit number and hidden it in my room. If you or any of your fellow Christians is able to produce this number I will consider it to be powerful evidence for your point of view. Of course your success would be open to a wide variety of interpretations. Perhaps such a miracle would not vindicate the Christian worldview. Such an event may demonstrate that telepathy is an actual power of the human mind and that you possess it in spades. My point is, of course, that it would not be hard to conceive of evidence that would render Christianity entirely compatible with our modern scientific understanding of the world.

You may wish to claim that much of my essay amounts to little more than me moving the goal posts back and this may be true. But I would claim that the line of reasoning you have taken, while perfectly sound, obfuscates what is really at issue here namely whether or not scientific and religious claims about specific phenomena can both simultaneously be true. For example, there is no way in all honesty that you could say that Evolution and creationism could both simultaneously be true. And despite what you may believe the truth of evolution is not philosophical and it is objectively true. Speciation can be observed in fruit flies and evolution can also make predictions.

It's been an absolute pleasure debating with you. Indeed it is reassuring for me to see that the legacy left by Aquinas is still alive and well. However, I must respectfully disagree with you. The resolution that science and religion are incompatible remains affirmed.

Definitions

Creationism- Creationism is the belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe were created in their original form by a deity (often the Abrahamic God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam) or deities.

Sources

http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

http://archives.cnn.com...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

All th
KRFournier

Con

I appreciate my opponent's challenge. I'm thankful for an opponent that shows up for every round.

I want to make it clear to both my opponent and the readers that I am not simply playing word games. My goal is to reveal a logical disconnect between what science is as an academic discipline and what it is able to confirm about reality.

My opponent asserts that my tactic is to "take a carving knife to the conventional understanding of 'religion.'"This is the very thing I meant when I said he assumes religion to be nonsense from the outset. When I try to define it as a philosophy, he dismisses it. My friends, I have offered step-by-step logical reasons to accept religion as a type of worldview, and he has offered nothing but dismissal in return. Is it really I who am intellectually dishonest?

His game with my syllogism is fun, but only serves to prove my point. There are all manner of worldviews, all of which are philosophical. They may not be correct, but they need not be correct in order to negate the resolution. The precise point is that worldviews are incompatible with each other because they inevitably make conflicting universals claims. However, they need not conflict with science unless they make conflicting particular claims.

----

I will illustrate this principle using my opponent's examples:

1. "The claim that God created the universe in six days is fundamentally incompatible with what we now know about physics."

Whether or not God made the universe is a philosophical issue, as it is something to which the scientific method has no access. Consider the conflict between the worldviews of Naturalism and Christianity. They are incompatible because they make conflicting claims about the origin of our world. However, science itself is neutral on this point. It CANNOT make a claim either way. Science can reveal similarities between fossils, but the conclusion that evolution is true is philosophical. Science can reveal that DNA adapts to changing environments, but the conclusion that evolution is true is philosophical. Creationists might look at the same evidence and conclude that DNA adaptation is limited within animal "kinds" and fossils show similarities between "kinds" but not transitioning between "kinds." Whether or not you agree with Creationists is besides the points. I am showing how philosophical worldviews shape the conclusions without conflicting with the science.

My opponent says, "The reason why science and religion are incompatible is that, in the real world they reach incompatible conclusions." This is patently false. Science does not reach conclusions on anything beyond that which is accessible to the scientific method. Only philosophical reasoning guided by one's worldview reaches conclusions. Conclusions about unobservable matters are solely the domain of philosophy.

2. "But as it happens nothing in the human experience can reasonably lead us to conclude that levitation is likely to be true."

Science, in experimenting with nature, cannot experiment upon or observe supernatural levitation as science can only operated in the realm of nature. However, the conclusion that supernatural levitation is impossible is only made philosophically. If God exists, then supernatural levitation is not impossible. If God doesn't exist, then it's highly improbable to the point that it can be considered impossible. The point is, science will never conclude whether or supernatural levitation is possible. It can't even access such a notion.

3. "Earthquakes, tsunamis and disease were thought to be the result of sin." (From his Round 2)

Indeed, even if meteorological science irrefutably shows that these events are part of the earth's weather patterns, various forces, etc., how can science truly conclude that the forces behind these things are not supernaturally induced? Even if you disagree with the conclusions, it is irrational to claim that science has any sort of access to answer the question either way. Only our philosophical reasoning leads us to conclude whether these events are random or teleological.

-----

For kicks, here's a random 50 digit number

07107737463810109246946299771188040674849943592397

-----

Consider Carl Sagan when he said, "The cosmos is all there is, ever was, or ever will be." Carl Sagan was a scientist. His statement opened a very scientific miniseries full of scientific data. But is his statement scientific? Not at all. How can Carl Sagan, or anyone for that matter, possibly know what may or may not exist outside the cosmos. His statement is purely philosophical.

Religious people can believe in God (universal) and still be scientific (particular). There is no direct conflict. A conflict only arises when one dismisses the notion of worldviews and fallaciously assumes to be philosophically neutral. I am not playing a game of semantics. I am making a very honest attempt to show that philosophy can be religious or irreligious in nature, independent of the science to which it appeals. This should be sufficient in negating the resolution. Religion and science are compatible.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by studentathletechristian8 7 years ago
studentathletechristian8
RFD:

Conduct- Tied. Both players displayed kindness towards one another.

S/G- Tied. Nothing really slowed me down.

CA- Con. I believe he successfully negated the resolution.

Sources- Tied. Supple amount of sources on both sides.
Posted by AnnaR 7 years ago
AnnaR
Pro also is attempting to enter into a fourth round of the debate, thus not abiding by the rules of the debate- keep this in mind as well when you cast your vote.

The claim that all that exists in reality is that which is physical and able to be observed and measured by physical means is a claim about the nature of reality, which is a philosophical claim belonging to the genre of epistemology (the study of what is knowable). The presupposition of Pro is that nothing can exist outside of the physical universe, and therefore nothing can act in a way counter to the normal workings of the universe. This is part of Pro's philosophical framework. Religion (more specifically Christianity) operates within the epistemological framework that the physical world is NOT all that exists in reality and therefore natural laws can be acted upon by a force outside of them. This is known in religious terms as "supernatural", or 'above' nature, meaning that it is not denying the laws of physics but that the laws of physics are subject to a higher law. This does not contradict science, it is saying that the physical world is not everything that exists or is knowable.

As an aside, I think Pro is changing his argument to one claiming that science and a literal 6 day creation are incompatible, which is an entirely different debate and is not a necessary claim of "religion" as there are several views on this point within the Christian community, not to say anything of the views of the general religious community (more than 99% of the current global population). Pro should have started with a more precise definition of religion and should have given examples of specific claims of religion contradicting science in Pro's view. This would have made for a more successful debate as it seems that much of the disagreement was a failure to agree on specific definitions of the main terms used.
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
The claim that the entire universe was created in "SIX DAYS", despite whatever caused it, is a claim about physics not philosophy. Science does have a say on how old the universe is and its physical development over time. Therefore my opponent's contention is only valid if he redefines philosophy to include science.

My opponent would have you believe that the physical development of the universe is a philosophical question. This is demonstrably untrue. Please keep this in mind when you cast your vote.
Posted by KRFournier 7 years ago
KRFournier
Freeman, thank you for the challenge. I would like to accept, but would you be willing to make some adjustments to the debate? First, make it a 3 round debate instead of a 4 round debate. Having been a part of this site for sometime, I've learned that 4 round debates get a bit repetitive and discourage potential voters from reading thoroughly and thoughtfully.

Also, please consider changing the resolution to "Science and Christianity are incompatible ways of viewing the world." The second request is optional, as I plan to argue from the Christian worldview anyway. As it is worded, a tactic would be to force Con into a corner, demanding he defend all different manners of religion, not just one of them.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by tmhustler 7 years ago
tmhustler
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Vote Placed by studentathletechristian8 7 years ago
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