The Instigator
SecularMerlin
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Nudely
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Which religion is true

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/27/2017 Category: Funny
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 369 times Debate No: 105324
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (0)

 

SecularMerlin

Con

Trick question. I can't disprove a god. This makes a statement like "Vishnu is real" a poor argument. I welcome anyone to debate so long as they can adhere to a few simple ideas.
1. You may not refer to your holy book for proof. The bible is true because the bible says so isn't a valid argument
2. Your points must be capable of being disproved. That is there must be some way of verifying the truth of your statement. I feel in my heart that Allah is the one true god is an unconvincing line of reasoning.
3. The nonexistent of god is likewise not provable I understand this I make no attempt to prove that no god exists, but I don't believe you can objectively prove that one idea of god is "more" true than others.
Nudely

Pro

Whereas most scientists likely believe it"s heresy to equate science with religion, an alleged PhD-level contributor to listverse, who brandishes the appellation Cortical Rider, very convincingly makes the case that Science is indeed a religion. I am going to quote his case at length with my clarifications or extraneous remarks in [square brackets]:

(edited for brevity, 7998 letters)

10.) Science Thinks Humans are Special

It"s understandable that religion might place man in the center of the universe " but for science to do so is inexcusable. However, a great number of astrophysicists and cosmologists talk about how the universe conforms to the "anthropic principle."

There"s absolutely no scientific reason why human understanding " above that of slugs, dolphins and monkeys " should be wide enough to encompass the universe. Anthropocentrism " the assumption that humans take center-stage in the universe " is as rife in the sciences as it is in religion.

9.) [Science] Casts Out Heretics and Persecutes all Other Religions

Science, like God in the O.T., behaves jealously against any other religion. So, science will say to its followers: "You shall have no other gods before me".

If you doubt me, ask an audience at a scientific convention to join you in a prayer. From that moment on you"ll be called a theist-scientist. A heretic. A miasma. An abomination. Just look up how Kurt G"del was viewed at Princeton after circulating his ontological proof of God.

8.) Science Reveres Its Own Saints

The ranks of science martyrdom may be thin, yet its members are revered as far greater scientists they actually were. Take Galileo Galilei, for example, the patron saint of all scientists persecuted by religious orders. He actually contributed very little to science: most of his achievements were technical, such as tampering with telescopes. Heliocentricity was known since the 4th century BC.

7.) Science Makes up Stories to Explain Our Origins

The Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Chinese, the Aztecs " all of them had creation myths, probably invented around a fire. All of them took their creation myths seriously. Now, of course, we have science to explain our origins.
You know what its latest version of this story is? In the beginning, there were giant membranes. These membranes touched each other, triggering something called the "Big Bang". Sure. [...and the membranes came from where?]

6.) Science Has Its Own Code of Ethics

There are state laws, and there are moral laws, now, according to science, there are "laws of scientific conduct". Atrocities are committed in the name of science " take a doctor who has to give placebo pills to a number of his patients in a drug trial, knowing that they will suffer or die much sooner than if they"d received proper treatment. [think animal testing; nuclear/biological/chemical weapons research; Soylent Green, etc.]

But scientific advancement almost always claims precedence over personal morality. And " unless you"re a zealot yourself " its ethics will clash with your personal code of conduct.

5.) Science Has Its Own Priesthood

Newton, Darwin and Einstein serve as the holy trinity of western science. And below these are the elders: Watson, Crick, Dawkins, Hawking, Dennet, Chomsky, Penrose and Sagan. Then you have the High Priests: the Nobel Prize winners, popular writers, and media celebrities.

Their opinions are received as sermons, and statements are quoted like sacred texts. Ordinary people are ridiculed, if they doubt the interpretations of this priesthood. Even for scientists, questioning a member of a higher tier is done only at your own risk. After all, all scientific work (from papers to grant applications) is peer reviewed, right?

4.) Science is Based on Established Dogmas

Ever wonder how for centuries, the best doctors could insist on blood-letting as a cure " without ever noticing that their patients did worse? The answer: belief in blood-letting was part of the scientific dogma at the time. [Read up on founding father Benjamin Rush, or on George Washington's cause of death.]

Anything contradicting this dogma is simply rejected and ignored, or ridiculed for as long as possible. Science thus has the trappings of a full blown religion.

3.) Science Will Bend to Accommodate Modern Trends

If you think scientists are immune to the pressure to conform to public opinion " think again. I am not even considering announcements made by scientists under totalitarian regimes (such as racist "conclusions"), as they are forced aberrations.

Instead I"ll use the scientific approach to homosexuality. It was included in the list of personality disorders of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM) up to its 1973 edition. It was then removed " only to be replaced a year later by a close variant, before being removed entirely in 1986. Upon what evidence rested the changing decisions to include or exclude homosexuality among mental disorders? Public sentiment, backed by convenient "empirical evidence", played a leading role.

2.) Most of Science is Unfounded

Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Quantum Strings and Ego " all sound like plausible stories. But who can point out the Ego locus in a dissected brain? Or use the concept of Dark Energy for anything besides helping to explain the expanding universe " another scientific theory? There"s no proof for any of these theories.

That"s right " we"ve no proof for the existence of 96% of what science thinks the universe is made of " and yet the theories explaining it (we call them theories to avoid calling them stories) we hold to be true. Why? Because we have faith " which brings me to my final point.

1.) Science Requires Faith

Even highly-specialized scientists will often pursue a certain line of thought, and explore the implications of certain theory while rejecting others, based on nothing more than intuitive preferences, and their sense of what is elegant and right.
Most people who reject the religion they once accepted will claim to have done so in favor of the reasonable, clear-cut answers provided by logic and science. When asked to explain the existence of the universe, they"ll mention the Big Bang and M Theories; when asked to explain the existence of humans, they"ll mention evolution.

When pressed to explain any of the above, however, they soon realize that they actually understand very little. They were exhibiting blind faith " accepting the theories without comprehending them. If you don"t understand something, yet accept it as the truth, then you"re simply a Believer " and like much of science, you"ll find yourself well within the territory of religion.
[end]

[Me:]
'Cortical' demonstrated that science behaves precisely as a religion does, that it is indeed its own religion, and while the writer also mocks science for extrapolating beyond its rational limits (such as the membranes/big bang stuff,) it's also true that science, as a religion claiming to THE source of truth, stacks up much better than any traditional religion. Science prophesized that one day someone would find a Neptune based on the orbital dynamics of Uranus. They further propesized a Pluto based on perturbations of Neptune's orbit. Science prophesized the bending of lightwaves around the sun during a solar eclipse; it prophesized the existence of Higgs bosons and gravity waves. And these prophesies were all proved true after a good period of time had passed. Science has prophesized cold fusion and, well, we're still sorta waiting on that one, but the initial prognosis looks optimistic.

The amount of truth inherent in the religion of science is proved in every car radio, blu ray player, and photo drone. Yet, despite its best efforts, science still occasionally stumbles, e.g. global warming hysteria, phrenology, and electromagnetic fields in cell phones linked to cancer (the claim is bogus.)

So, like all religions, science isn't perfect, but it's the best one out there.
Debate Round No. 1
SecularMerlin

Con

I reject faith as an acceptable avenue to truth. Science undergoes exhaustive peer review specifically because it excepts nothing on faith. Faith is in fact the excuse people give for believing in something without rational evidence. The other difference between science and religion is results. The sciences are built on testable repeatable results. For example this website would be impossible without science. No religion impacts our lives in this way. Religion is a product of faith and is incapable of surviving genuine inquiry, something science relishes. You just never see a licensed medical doctor who uses magic crystals. One more statement that makes it difficult to reconcile that science is a religion are the number of scientists who, although they accept global warming and evolution as scientific facts are nevertheless religious. Do these men practice two religions? They would I think vehemently deny this idea.
Nudely

Pro

With the help of Cortical Rider, I have demonstrated that science is just another religion, and I used the tangible results of this religion (our photo drones and blu-ray players, for instance) to demonstrate that results are what prove this religion to be true. I even declared an additional point that Rider missed, which was that science prophesizes things which come true.

My opponent now shifts the emphasis from whether some (any) religion is true or not (apparently we both agree that science is largely true,) to whether or not faith is an acceptable avenue to truth. He rejects that notion, I embrace it, and I accept the new debate as: IS FAITH AN ACCEPTABLE AVENUE TO TRUTH.

A great example is the Wright brothers. If they didn't have the requisite amount of faith in their theories, design, and equipment, they certainly would have quit while they were ahead and spent their money on something else. The role of faith, therefore, isn't one of science accepting a theory without proof, but rather the driving force that says "I'm 99% sure that the Higgs' boson is out there, and I believe (have faith) that we could devise a machine powerful enough to generate one, as well as sensitive enough to detect it." One man's faith is required to influence his peers to persuade (instill with faith) investors to underwrite the project.

Of course, we exhibit faith all the time. When the traffic light turns green for us, we have faith that it's not going to suddenly malfunction and give a green to the cross traffic as well. That's a rather mundane example, but there are a bazillion things we take on faith every day.

One comment about SecularMerlin's opening statement in this round: "I reject faith as an acceptable avenue to truth," let me just clarify that even Christianity doesn't claim that "faith [is] an avenue to truth," rather, faith is an avenue to salvation. Doesn't science claim to offer us salvation from our past mistakes? Hmmm... let me think. Geez, whadaya know... It does!

Finally, one comment from his closing, i.e., that religious scientists would be reluctant to admit following two religions. First, they would need to read Corticle's list; then secondly, we would need to record the results. I think it's clear that Corticle Rider, the PhD biologist who claims that science is every bit as much a religion as any religion is, IS a man of faith... remember point 9?
---
9.) [Science] Casts Out Heretics and Persecutes all Other Religions

Science, like God in the O.T., behaves jealously against any other religion. So, science will say to its followers: "You shall have no other gods before me".

If you doubt me, ask an audience at a scientific convention to join you in a prayer. From that moment on you"ll be called a theist-scientist. A heretic. A miasma. An abomination. Just look up how Kurt Godel was viewed at Princeton after circulating his ontological proof of God.
---

eebida eebida that's all folks.
Debate Round No. 2
SecularMerlin

Con

Allow me to reiterate since you seem to have misunderstood. Science is not a religion it is a process, it doesn't require faith to test a hypnosis, but rather the opposite. It is in fact skeptical by nature (by which I mean that science refuses to regard anything as true until the proposition in question is proven). In addition science has no godhead no mythos mythology, and best of all when science is wrong it doesn't hurt my belief in it it merely changes to fit this new understanding. In regards to faith, I can believe literally anything on faith, god, Allah, Santa or the tooth fairy. I suppose you could believe scientific hypothesis on faith as well but I think if you do you've missed the point, not only that your missing out on the best thing about science. The opportunity for your beliefs to grow and evolve as our understanding of the universe does. In conclusion I ask you, if you can believe literally anything based on faith, true or not, then how is faith a good avenue to the truth.
Now this question is only important if you actually care wether or not you to hold as many true beliefs as possible and as few false beliefs as possible. So I guess now the debate becomes is it important to hold true beliefs whenever possible and to reject beliefs, even those which mighty be comforting to us if there is no evidence to support that beliefs.
Nudely

Pro

Your previous remarks, with my answers in {curly girly brackets.}

Science is not a religion it is a process, it doesn't require faith to test a hypnosis, but rather the opposite.

{Did you see what you wrote? "it doesn't require faith to test a hypnosis..." LMAO! Thank you for the laugh! Don't worry, I know what you meant.}

{When you say "just the opposite," then my grammar book says what you mean is "it requires a hypothesis to test faith," but I'm rather certain that's NOT what you mean! :-) }

{Christianity is a religion AND it is a process, to wit: as a sinner you realize that you can not escape your sinful nature, then you recognize the inspired nature of scripture, then you allow Jesus to "come into your heart," then you take a dunk in the baptismal fount to signify being 'born again,' then you live a new life until you die and go to heaven. Christianity, therefore, proves that a religion can also be a process.}

It [science] is in fact skeptical by nature (by which I mean that science refuses to regard anything as true until the proposition in question is proven).

{Here you're sort of anthropomorphising science. Science is an abstract--it isn't skeptical of anything, nor does it regard anything. The SCIENTISTS who theorize and discover things are only human and they DO fall into traps like saying, "Well, the consensus on this issue is thus-and-such," knowing full well that a consensus opinion doesn't count for anyting until thus-and-such is actually proved. For instance, quite a few scientists have claimed to have observed other moons around earth besides the big one which we all love and adore. Unfortunately their observations couldn't be duplicated and they were all eventually dismissed as cranks.}

In addition science has no godhead no mythos mythology, and best of all when science is wrong it doesn't hurt my belief in it it merely changes to fit this new understanding.

{BULLSHORTS!!! No godhead? Certainly you jest! The Holy Trinity of Science is Math, the father; Physics, the son; and Biology the Holy Ghost. Math is the Revealed Word of being that describes the relationship between all things. This Word is our only source of absolute truth. With the introduction of particles and objects into an otherwise devoid cosmos, mathematical relationships of number, size, length, speed, etc. all concurrently came into being. But without biology, without some sentient witness to all that occurred, the matter would be of little significance.}

{As to 'mythos,' well, this is where Corticle Rider was talking about dark matter, and the 'locus of the id, or superego,' or a host of other conjectural 'gods' or 'spirits' or mysterious forces. We describe them, we have faith that they exist, but there is no way to prove them (currently.)}

In regards to faith, I can believe literally anything on faith, god, Allah, Santa or the tooth fairy.

{See previous point.}

I suppose you could believe scientific hypothesis on faith as well but I think if you do you've missed the point, not only that your missing out on the best thing about science.

{As I've mentioned before, the faith in one's hypothesis is the only thing that keeps that hypothesis alive. When we brought back bags of moon rocks and there was no cheese in the bag, thousands of kids lost their faith in that notion!}

The opportunity for your beliefs to grow and evolve as our understanding of the universe does. In conclusion I ask you, if you can believe literally anything based on faith, true or not, then how is faith a good avenue to the truth.

{Also as mentioned before, NO ONE THAT I'M AWARE OF is saying that faith is an avenue to truth. You're the only person I've seen who expresses such a red herring! Faith leads to salvation, allegedly, in the Christian New Testament. If you're Islamic you probably adhere to the arkan al-iman which is the six articles of faith. Iman is that you believe in God and His Angels and His Books and His Messengers and the Hereafter and the good and evil fate [ordained by your God]. Faith again leading to salvation. Since the Hindus largely believe that they receive blessings in this life by praying to their personal god, faith is the avenue to happiness, to safe keeping, to increased wealth, etc., not necessarily to truth.}

Now this question is only important if you actually care wether or not you to hold as many true beliefs as possible and as few false beliefs as possible.

{Well, if you and I are one day both surprised to find out that there really is some great and terrible God who demands our faith, then I suppose we'll be quick to change our minds, but in general this a satement that I think I can agree with. Besides, if I ever feel my soul is being subsumed by demonic spirits, at least I know they can be cast into a heard of swine ;-) }

So I guess now the debate becomes is it important to hold true beliefs whenever possible and to reject beliefs, even those which mighty be comforting to us if there is no evidence to support that beliefs.

{Well, now you have to define evidence. You and I say that we see no evidence of God, and the person nexts to us points to the ground and says, "You're standing on it." It boils down to the ever popular argument of which is more likely, that something just ka-bopped itself into being, or that a beneficent God did that for us. Physics is trying to find reasons why nothingness might be unstable. Good luck with that Mr. Krauss. Good luck communicating with your God Pope Franny.}
Debate Round No. 3
SecularMerlin

Con

Thank you for a rousing debate. You really commit to a position. I still disagree on principle, though it is true that you do need to take a few things on faith (I am not just a brain in a jar for example) to accomplish any process. I'd just like to point out that dark matter and the other hypothesis you mentioned are just that, hypothesis. Until they are proven they are only conjecture. In contrast a scientific theory, say the theory of gravity, is proven through a preponderance of facts. I only believe in dark matter as a possibility, but gravity I know is a fact. Even theory changes and evolves as our understanding of the phenomenon in question matures.
In closing if science is a religion, which I still fervently disagree with, it is the only one whose book changes anytime it is undone by logic. Religion is forced to fight against the natural flow of logic when it begins to become inconvenient. No religion I know of encourages its devotees "please prove that the beliefs presented here are wrong". Religion is destroyed by the words "how do you know" science thrives on these words.
Thank you
Nudely

Pro

When I type the word RELIGION into Google, here is the header before the results (the Debate.org interface mangles the results, but you can reliably duplicate the experiment!):

re"li"gion
rəG2;lijən/

noun

1. the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
"ideas about the relationship between science and religion"

synonyms:faith, belief, worship, creed;

2. a particular system of faith and worship.

plural noun: religions
"the world's great religions"

3. a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.
"consumerism is the new religion"

Under definition three, it is simply undeniable that science conforms to the definition of religion. Forget consumerism, science is the new religion!... now if we could only get rid of all the old myth-based ones!

Thanks for hanging in there!

~ Nudely ~
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JJ_2017 1 month ago
JJ_2017
The argument that science is a religion is so unfounded in truth. If it was a religion it is by far the best of them all. Einsteins theory of relativity is single handedly responsible for so many of our technological advancements such as "GPS" for example. So to say scientific theories are just stories is asanine. I don't think the creation stories of religions have contributed any importance as scientific theories. Science is not taking on faith because it's based on actual evidence. The big bang theory is a fact. The evidence is there for anyone to see if they care to look. Science does not need faith, it is true if you believe it or not. Now believing people rise from the dead or walk on water definitely takes faith because it goes against physics. It's science you need to think for our advancements, even the internet we are using now to have these conversations.
Posted by missmedic 1 month ago
missmedic
I think it is more important to try and encourage skepticism and critical thinking in people rather than to try and simply "convert" them to atheism.
Posted by SecularMerlin 1 month ago
SecularMerlin
Missmedic you are making me look bad. You should have been debating this guy, maybe I should have just copy pasted your last post for my final argument.
Posted by SecularMerlin 1 month ago
SecularMerlin
Missmedic you are making me look bad. You should have been debating this guy, maybe I should have just copy pasted your last post for my final argument.
Posted by missmedic 1 month ago
missmedic
We know science is not a religion because science works whether you believe in it or not. Humans have invented thousands of gods over thousands of years and all have become myths, where as the scientific method has been used since the dawn of man, no god needed. Faith is a bad way of knowing, because the more we know the less we believe.
Posted by missmedic 1 month ago
missmedic
Religion will denounce science when it disagrees with its superstitious claims, but then uses science to prove its superstitious claims, you cant have it both ways. Science never uses religion to prove anything. Religious faith is both arrogant and ignorant. Because of it's certenty
Far from being arrogant the scientific method is one of humility. It acknowledges the limits of our current knowledge. It doesn"t provide explanations or answers from a position of ignorance, but investigates the unknown in an attempt to reach understanding based on empirical evidence. Surely it is the superstitious or religious approach which claims to know the answers without any evidence except "faith" that is the arrogant approach.
Instead of emphasizing faith which often produces an immature and outdated certainty, we should focus on hope. We hope our religious choices will prove to be good choices but we aren't certain. After all it's a complex and pluralistic society we reside in. No particular religion has the evidence to support certainty of their faith to the exclusion of others.
Certainty stops inquiry: Those who are too soon certain their religion is right and true, have no incentive to look beyond their current rigid religious stance. Then, too, certainty often breeds arrogance and bigotry while downgrading humility and fairness.
Posted by missmedic 1 month ago
missmedic
There's a lot of confusion about what exactly faith is. Many people confuse belief with faith. It's said that if you believe something, you must be taking it on faith. This is a denial of the fundamental distinction between reason and faith. It pretends that evidence for or against an idea is irrelevant. Faith is a bad way of knowing.
Posted by SecularMerlin 1 month ago
SecularMerlin
Thank you missmedic may I add you as a friend on this site you will only be my second
Posted by missmedic 1 month ago
missmedic
Faith doesn"t bring us beyond reason, as amply shown by the fact that not a single problem " be it scientific, philosophical or socio-political " has ever been solved or even mildly ameliorated by faith. On the contrary, faith has a nasty tendency to make bumbling simpletons of us, to waste our energies, time and resources on pursuit that do not improve the human condition, and at its worst it convinces people to drive planes into skyscrapers, or to mount "holy" crusades to slaughter the "infidel." Faith is not a virtue, it is a repudiation of one the few good things human beings have going for them: a little bit of reason.
We know that contradictions do not exist in our shared reality, so we know that a god with contradictory characteristics can not exist.
Posted by SecularMerlin 1 month ago
SecularMerlin
Apathy might be the true religion but I don't care. It could be procrastinating, maybe I'll figure it out tomorrow
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