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Old 01-29-2006, 11:56 PM   #1
SkinWalker
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The Separation of Church and State

After looking over threads like The Pledge "Unconstitutional", I get the distinct feeling that most people simply don't know as much about the topic as they might think. Including myself.

I found this quiz to be fun but informative. I made a few assumptions that were simply wrong (I scored 15).

You can take the quiz if you like, but I thought a thread discussing the concept of Church and State Separation might be a productive one.

The Wikipedia Entry on The Separation of Church and State calls it "a principle which proposes that the institutions of the state or national government should be kept separate from those of religious institutions." But I think that it is far more than that. Much of the advancement of Church/State separation in the last few decades has been through the actions of theistic organizations who recognized that for their own faiths to have equal opportunity, the State must not favor or entangle itself with any one faith. Nor should the government be able to restrict a faith or set of faiths.

The majority faith would have others believe that the United States was founded with the idea that it would be a Christian nation, but this is complete BS. Its propaganda. The historical evidence suggests quite the opposite.


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Old 01-30-2006, 12:37 AM   #2
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Interesting. I scored a 15 as well.

On question 5, where did the separation of church and state originate, I could have sworn it was France. During the French Revolution, France became increasingly secular. At least that's what they're teaching in history class. Eh...
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Old 01-30-2006, 01:01 AM   #3
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I got 16; I'm not really surprised we did better than average after reading the threads you mention.


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Old 01-30-2006, 02:04 AM   #4
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The French Revolution took place after the American Revolution. Click.



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Old 01-30-2006, 02:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jmac7142
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The French Revolution took place after the American Revolution. Click.
I guess that's what happens when they teach the French Revolution before teaching the American Revolution. Oh well.
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Old 01-30-2006, 08:35 AM   #6
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In 1956, an Act of Congress adopted "In God We Trust" as a national motto. The original motto, "E Pluribus Unum" ("out of many, [come] one,") celebrating plurality, still appears on the Presidential Seal and on some paper currency.
That is a much cooler motto!

I got 13... but then i'm not american and sometime words confuse me...



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Old 01-30-2006, 08:54 AM   #7
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19 of 21.

Why is it that although most people agree that religious zealots do more harm than good to both religion and the state, that we still have so many religious zealots running around the world grabbing at power?


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Old 01-30-2006, 11:49 AM   #8
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Probably for the same reasons that those that flee to a new country for religious freedom don't give it to other religious beliefs once they get there.



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Old 01-31-2006, 04:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TK-8252
Interesting. I scored a 15 as well.

On question 5, where did the separation of church and state originate, I could have sworn it was France. During the French Revolution, France became increasingly secular. At least that's what they're teaching in history class. Eh...
The concept originated in French scholarly circles some time before the Colonies broke with Britain. Needless to say they were anything but popular in France at the time - in fact many of them fled to America to avoid persecution, and their ideas and writings are almost certainly the origin of many parts of the US constitution, including the establishment clause.

The wording of that question is ambiguous. Clearly the Enlightenment and the seperation of church and state originated in France. However, seperation of church and state was first implemented in the US.

I got 16/21 (seventeen if you count France as the right answer in #5). And if I'd given in to my usual prejudice against Puritans and Calvinists, I would have gotten 18 (or 19). Meh.

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Old 01-31-2006, 01:35 PM   #10
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I got 16 correct.

I had an interesting thought the other day, that I'm sure nobody around here will care for...but here it is, anyway (and it may just add a little spice to the debate):

In the US Supreme Court decision Torcaso v. Watkins, part of the opinion stated that "Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others." So, according to this decision, Secular Humanism is a recognized religion in the US. A large part of our public school system has been centered around the ideas of Secular Humanists, most notably John Dewey. Secular Humanist's beliefs on the origins of the world revolve exclusively around Darwinian evolution theory...

So, according to this, if even mentioning Creationism or Intelligent Design in a public school violates the Lemon Test (and, by extension, Amendment I), then so does the teaching of Evolution Theory, as it is a religious view held by the religion of Secular Humanism.


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Old 01-31-2006, 03:28 PM   #11
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Interesting circular logic. I think that trying to link a scientific theory like evolution to secular humanism (whatever the heck that is) as a religious belief is pretty tenuous though.
Evolution isn't something you believe in, its somethig that is. Just like we don't believe in gravity.

Frankly as a britisher i've never had a problem with teaching religion in schools... as long as it is kept as a general introduction to all religions, in a religious studies class. Infact that is what we do in this country. But i understand the reason why in the US they feel the need to be so strict on the seperation.. because the US is full of and controlled by evangalist nutters.

As with a lot of laws, it wouldn't need to exist if everyone just acted sensibly.



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Old 01-31-2006, 04:13 PM   #12
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But the definition of secular is non-religious, so how could something secular be religious?
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Old 02-01-2006, 03:36 AM   #13
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So, according to this, if even mentioning Creationism or Intelligent Design in a public school violates the Lemon Test (and, by extension, Amendment I), then so does the teaching of Evolution Theory, as it is a religious view held by the religion of Secular Humanism.
I have noticed that the misconception that atheism is a religion has become quite a well-used argument among certain religious people. However, religion is the belief in a spiritual being. Atheists inherently do not believe in spiritual beings, and thus are not religious.

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But the definition of secular is non-religious (...)
Yesh.

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Evolution isn't something you believe in, its somethig that is. Just like we don't believe in gravity.
I don't. Intelligent Falling for teh win!!1111

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Old 02-01-2006, 10:09 AM   #14
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Secular Humanism defined.

I remember getting into this argument with someone who insisted that atheism was a religious belief. If non-belief in religion classifies as a religious belief, then there's no way to not be religious in this country... Not even for purposes of argument.
Since that path of debate leads inevitably down to a logical dead-end, we have to assume that every point-of-view has an opposite. You can't just say that the opposite of one type of religious faith is just a different type of religious faith. The opposite of religious faith has to be no religious faith at all.

Looking at the scientific method, and saying "This is probably how it happened, to the best of the knowledge and evidence we have available to us today" is a lot different than looking to chapter in a book written thousands of years ago and saying "I know that this is exactly the way it happened because my faith leads me to believe this is absolute truth."

The first one is subject to critical inquiry, examination, and ultimately change, if new facts and evidence is presented. It doesn't require faith, just an objective acceptance of the facts that the universe presents to us as the way things work.

The second one is unchanging and unfailing, no matter if no supporting evidence is ever found, or even if contrary facts and evidence might come to light. It requires faith to stick to the belief system, especially when all the available evidence seems to contradict the official record.


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Old 02-01-2006, 11:28 AM   #15
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What rccar is going on about is the thoroughly debunked assertion of the superstitious who wish to point the finger at those that don't accept their superstitions while saying, "see, you're a believer too!"

The primary difference is that the beliefs of the supernatural are grounded in mythology and legend (UFOs, esp, telekinesis, remote viewing, ghosts, tarot, religion, etc.). Some of those myths and legends are intricate and complex as well as long-standing (religion, ghosts, divination) and some are complex but haphazard and new (UFOs, ancient astronauts). Still others are detailed and specific but still relatively recent in human history (esp, remote viewing, the-kidney-theft-after-being-drugged-by-the-unbelievably-sexy-chick-picked-up-at-the-bar-and-taken-to-a-motel-legend).

Regardless, none have any basis in fact nor have they withstood testing as hypotheses, indeed, many are simply not testable. Thus they are superstitions: beliefs that aren't grounded in fact or experience but irrational fears, desires, and/or hopes.

The move to accuse those that consider themselves "secular," or outside the influence of religion, is a complete fallacy, and one that many religious fanatics will assert. They ignore, however, that one can be secular with regard to government or public policy and still have strong religious beliefs. There are many Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. who live secular lives in their workplaces, governments, etc and prefer to have religion be separated from the public sphere. Indeed, there are those that consider it blasphemous to allow government to exploit religion for gain as is seen in recent history (regardless of political zeaolotry for right vs left).

Secular doesn't equate to atheist or even agnostic. It simply means religion is separate from something else.

But this is very similar to the nonsense propogated some time back by those that Carl Sagan to be the "prophet" of "scientism." It was bunk then, and its bunk now. Science is not a religion, nor is atheism, secularism, or even humanism, though I will concede that there are some religious-like characteristics in the latter. But the core feature a true religion is absent: the irrational belief and devotion in and to a supernatural entity or entities.

But as long as there are those that refute superstition with logic, there will always be those that try to modify the logic to suit their needs.


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Old 02-05-2006, 06:38 AM   #16
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The separation of Church and Throne was a need. This was the scheme of the stamental society, when the powerfull ones (Church and Throne) did what they wanted, they were alied to ensure theyr own power. In the pass to the class society (in witch we live) they were separed as the staments falled and the burgeoise reached to the highest of the social scale. In the industrial society the Church couldnīt be so powerfull, as the new rulers saw it as a menace and a power from the past.

This can be undestood when you realize how powerfull reached to be the Church in Europe. A change was needed here.

I donīt think how you see it, but I believe that now the Church must give his point of view, but allways respecting the popular wish (not pretending to have the truth, just his truth), after all thatīs democracy, to let your adversary talk.


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Old 02-14-2006, 11:13 PM   #17
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Scored 15 like many of you (and I skipped reading after the first few posts to try to avoid bias). Interesting...

Though I did start to assume cynicism on the part of the quiz creators so I could guess the "right" answer even if I didn't know it.

Ones I got wrong:

I put "all religions" instead of "all of the above" in question 4. I guess assuming that FFRF was upset because the Constitution was inadequate. Some social libertarians feel that the foundational documents are sacrosanct, others feel they are too limited, was my thinking.

I thought France originated Seperation of Church and State (I just assumed because France seems very non-religious and I recall the anti-clerical spirit of the Revolutionary times, etc).

In question 8 I guessed the colony in Virginia because I couldn't remember.

Question 10 I guessed Abraham Lincoln ("in no sense founded on the Christian religion") because Lincoln is so often cited by Atheists and Deists as one of their own due to his lack of connection in adult life with any denomination (he couldn't have very well been both of course). A Deist (I thought he was, but the quiz states he was actually Unitarian if we're talking about the same guy) like Adams would more likely have said such a thing though, so I should have known that one...

Question 15, my cynicism detector assumed option 1 (which was correct) but I thought for sure that I remembered this case (obviously not) as being an "atheist organization."

Question 20 my gut instinct told me was False (about swearing on the Bible) but after seeing the President do it on TV all my life, I sort of assumed it was required. After all, just because it exists doesn't mean it's "right" in the eyes of the FFRF, but oh well. Got it wrong!



Interesting quiz, though like the "world's smallest political quiz" it only tells you a little about yourself and a lot more about the agenda of the folks putting it out!

This is what happens when you stop reviewing American history after high school! *buys copy of "Don't Know Much About History"*


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Old 02-14-2006, 11:35 PM   #18
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Btw, I figured the "secular humanism/atheism/agnosticism is a religion" thing was a legal fiction. Ie: We want to give equivalent rights to these folks as extended to religious folks, so on paper we'll call it "a religion" even though it isn't. Then somebody takes that and assumes it REALLY IS. Only if we define that as a religion where we also define things like football as a religion, which gets problematic (even if it can be true for some people).

A religion need not embrace a deity (some Buddhists come to mind). And atheists may be a member of a religious organization such as some members of the Unitarian Church. Some forms of humanism might even be considered a metaphysical philosophy similar to elements of other religious philosophies.

Another reason people might be getting confused is on surveys that say something like:

----------------------------------------
What is your Religion? (Please check one):

1.Christian ___
2.Jewish ___
3.Buddhist ___
4.Taoist ____
5.Shinto ____
6.Confucian ___
7.Native or Indigenous tradition _____
8.New Age ____
9.Wiccan/Neo-Pagan ____
9.Atheist/Agnostic ____
----------------------------------------

See? It asks you what your religion is and it's listed, so IT'S A RELIGION! Get it?

(sort of like how on my voter registration form in Iowa I'm legally a member of the "NO PARTY")

Also on polling data it does a similar thing. Some list "no religion" but often "no religion" is paired up with atheism, so again people could get confused. Don't laugh, I think it's true!

Now somebody please help me, I need to find the "any" key on my keyboard....


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Old 02-15-2006, 01:29 AM   #19
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Also, the idea that "American was founded on the Christian religion" could be read in a metaphorical or symbolic sense. One could say that the European explorers and conquerers had (among other goals) the goal of "converting" the native inhabitants to Christianity, and happened to be (mostly) Christian themselves. Likewise those who started up colonies in order to practice their (Christian) religions in peace could also be said to have laid a "foundation."

Now I'm well aware that the so-called "Founding Fathers" are largely incorrectly thought to have all been practicing Christians, when the most famous ones we all think of were Deists (who accept the idea of a creator God, but reject revelations apart from the "miracle" of nature itself and human reason, thus disqualifying Christianity from being worthy of their devotion) and that the seperation of church and state ideas necessarily setup a secular state, despite a majority Christian population. But still, that is not to say that there is no possible way to interpret the statement. Obviously Skin worded it in such a way as for it to be necessarily incorrect, that the United States did not intend to found itself as a 'Christian' state. Obviously to me, it didn't.


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Old 02-22-2006, 05:15 AM   #20
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Kurgan, I donīt think being atheist is a religion, itīs just a choice made onece you think you have reached to the conclusion that there is no god or other form of higer power. But also you can deny being any god just because you donīt like it (there might be reasons to hate a god not belonging to other religion).

The thing is that being atheist is given as a choice because is a way to confront the idea of the existence of a god. Itīs more a choice than other thing.

About the USA as a christian state I donīt think so, the "founding fathers" took the moral from the christians, the "real" christian states are just utopias from writers of the XIXth century, and they are quite autoritarist, they arenīt like the USA at all. If you want to know more just look for christian utopia on a web brownser.


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Old 02-22-2006, 01:02 PM   #21
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I donīt think being atheist is a religion, itīs just a choice made onece you think you have reached to the conclusion that there is no god or other form of higer power. But also you can deny being any god just because you donīt like it (there might be reasons to hate a god not belonging to other religion).
Or you can simply not know that others engage in the superstitious belief of gods. My four-year old daughter is a perfect atheist. She knows nothing of religion or religious superstitions. One day she will, but if I'm any kind of decent parent, she'll learn from the point of view of critical objectivity and skepticism and will be able to make her own informed decision about whether or not to accept a god or gods.

As far as atheists "confronting the existance of god," some do. I frequently do by questioning and being skeptical. But most atheists simply don't subscribe to the superstitions of religion and give it little added thought. Most atheists aren't activist or open about their atheism (they live, after all, in a society of believers that would likely have a bigoted opinion about the "atheist").


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Old 02-23-2006, 12:07 AM   #22
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Whether atheism is a religion really depends on how you define religion. Nowhere is it written down definitively that a religious person has to believe in the supernatural - that's really just a connotation. In fact, the dictionary definition of religion includes the entry, "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith." This definition includes atheism, because atheism includes faith in the belief that there is no god.

I think the misconception of religion solely as a belief in the supernatural really stems from the prevalence of 'organized' religion - it's harder to recognize atheism as a religion when everyone else has meetings in large buildings every week...and atheists really have no reason to meet in that manner.


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Old 02-23-2006, 12:42 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by rccar328
Whether atheism is a religion really depends on how you define religion. Nowhere is it written down definitively that a religious person has to believe in the supernatural - that's really just a connotation. In fact, the dictionary definition of religion includes the entry, "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith."
That is a fairly broad definition. The problem with calling "atheism" a religion is that it would be like calling "monotheism" and "polytheism" religions. Christianity would be an example of a religion that is monotheistic. But what would be an example of a religion that is atheistic?
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:42 PM   #24
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Well it canīt be an atheist religion, because an atheist doesnīt believe in gods, so it wonīt make a religion, because the objetive of a religion is to praise a god and control some believers.

Other thing is that the atheism itīs being badly used as a religion. From my point of view, being atheist itīs very personal. You donīt belong to a known community for being atheist (the believers belong to a known community).


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Old 02-23-2006, 04:03 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by lord ignarn
Well it canīt be an atheist religion, because an atheist doesnīt believe in gods, so it wonīt make a religion, because the objetive of a religion is to praise a god and control some believers.
The point rccar made was that the definition of athiesm could fit into a more broad definition of religion. Although I don't agree, it is an interpretation some might make.
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:41 PM   #26
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In a way, Darwinism or naturalism or materialism or evolutionism, whatever you wish to call it, could be called an atheistic religion - which is basically what Secular Humanism covers.


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Old 02-23-2006, 10:54 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rccar328
In a way, Darwinism or naturalism or materialism or evolutionism, whatever you wish to call it, could be called an atheistic religion - which is basically what Secular Humanism covers.
If said isms are religions, so is every other scientific theory that can have an "ism" suffix slapped onto it.

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Old 02-24-2006, 05:17 AM   #28
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In a way, Darwinism or naturalism or materialism or evolutionism, whatever you wish to call it, could be called an atheistic religion - which is basically what Secular Humanism covers.
There is no such thing as "atheist religion", more than there is a "living dead body" or an "meat-loving vegan".

Have a look for yourself.

Knowing that we evolved, rather than being created, is not an "ism" more than it's an "ism" to know that the Earth is round and rotates around Sol.

Atheism is the absence of religion, not religion. Spreading the knowledge of evolution, gravity, mathematics, fine arts, and science is not "preaching" but "education".

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Old 02-24-2006, 11:18 AM   #29
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I belong to the Church of Gravitism and Algebrism. We believe in the power of a weak force of nature to keep two trains on a horizontal plane, but only if train A leaves the station 20 min before train B and that the velocity of the first train will always be known as Ax and the second By.

In otherwords, the superstious always seem eager to find ways to point at the non-superstitious and say, "see, you're just as superstitious as I am!"

I think I may have posted the full text of this article elsewhere in the Senate Chambers, but the accusation of "scientism" isn't a new one. Though it is one that I've only recently encountered as I debate anti-science types on the net.


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Old 02-28-2006, 05:36 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by rccar328
In a way, Darwinism or naturalism or materialism or evolutionism, whatever you wish to call it, could be called an atheistic religion - which is basically what Secular Humanism covers.
Those arenīt a religion, but science. The evolution itīs accepted as a cientific truth, well based in the science (look for a thread on evolution in this same forum). The thing is that I believe in the theory of evolution as I believe in the principes of the thermodinamic, or in the laws of LeChatelier.

They are science, and the science itīs open to change, not to interpretation. Tell me, can you interpretate this: "The nature goes to the maximun entropy, so the situation of minimun entropy wonīt be reached, so the minimun temperature, 0 kelvin, never will be reached as means the maximun order. " 3rd principe of the termodinamic.

I ask this because the religion can be interpreted and discussed theoretically, the science must be discussed practically.


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Old 02-28-2006, 09:18 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by lord ignarn
Those arenīt a religion, but science.
He's not talking about what science has already 'proven', he's talking about the belief that it will be able to answer everything eventually.


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Old 02-28-2006, 01:51 PM   #32
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Basically what it gets down to is that you accept evolution theory as fact just as I accept creation as fact. There is a lot of evidence for evolution, just as there is a lot of evidence for the existence of God (though I know you won't agree with me on that). A truly scientific person will be willing to acknowledge the possibility of the existence of a supernatural being, whether or not they follow any particular religion or even believe in a supernatural being - pure science renders no opinion on the supernatural, but deals only with the natural.

The point that I am making is that while evolution theory is widely accepted as fact, the evidence is not complete, no matter how much you lay out in support of your argument. And the evidence for evolution will remain incomplete until we can travel through time. You believe in evolution because you have faith that evolution is the truth. The evidence that you have in support of evolution strengthens your faith in it. Spiritual people believe in creation based on faith, and they have the evidence of spiritual experiences to strengthen their faith in creation and a creator.

To say that athiesm cannot exist as a religion is just closed-mindedness rearing its ugly head in the Chambers yet again. There are polytheistic religions, there are monotheistic religions, and there are atheistic religions. Secular Humanism is an athiestic religion, just as Buddhism is an atheistic religion.

And to say that science cannot be interpreted in different ways or discussed theoretically is another example of closed-mindedness. For example: in the study of physics, you have the law of gravity. In biology, many times you have the theory of gravity. I've never understood just why that is - I've never dropped my keys and had them fall up to the ceiling. Everytime I fall, I fall down - never up. Yet there is some dissention between the sciences over whether gravity is proven or not.


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Old 02-28-2006, 03:02 PM   #33
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Nothing is EVER prove in science... thats why its always called a theory. Scientists alwasy continue to question and refine theores so that they become more and more accurate over time. Evolution is just as provable as gravity... both have numerous demostrable instances and can be replicated/predicted based on these observations.. but that doesn't PROVE that next time you drop a cup it won't fall to the ceiling... nothing can prove that.

You can argue that those who religiously pursue aithiesm treat it as a religion... but for those that simply don't believe in god.. surely that is the antitheisis of a religion?

There is a lot of evidence of the existance of god???? WHat? When? WHere? How did miss this??
You can never disprove the existence of a supreme being... but unless he pops up and says "hey,its me! god!" then you can't prove it either... and even then you would have to take his word for it.. he could just be a more evolved life form.



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Old 02-28-2006, 11:13 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rccar328
Basically what it gets down to is that you accept evolution theory as fact just as I accept creation as fact. There is a lot of evidence for evolution, just as there is a lot of evidence for the existence of God (though I know you won't agree with me on that). A truly scientific person will be willing to acknowledge the possibility of the existence of a supernatural being, whether or not they follow any particular religion or even believe in a supernatural being - pure science renders no opinion on the supernatural, but deals only with the natural.
Science is an axiomatic system, and one of the axioms it works off of is that everything observable has a natural cause. This works quite well for explaining any physical system. Explaining/proving the existence of any God is quite a different matter. Science simply does not take the existence of God as an axiom, and therefore any independent actions taken by him would be written off as random chance because they are not explainable by natural phenomena and are therefore absolutely useless as a way of understanding the natural world.

In your system, you see miracles because God exists. Those same events are just chance to another person, because why should miracles happen if there's nothing to cause them? Both of ways of thinking are internally self-consistent and both are 'correct' (to the person that believes them, at least). I really don't see why people should have such trouble with each other over this...

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The point that I am making is that while evolution theory is widely accepted as fact, the evidence is not complete, no matter how much you lay out in support of your argument. And the evidence for evolution will remain incomplete until we can travel through time. You believe in evolution because you have faith that evolution is the truth. The evidence that you have in support of evolution strengthens your faith in it. Spiritual people believe in creation based on faith, and they have the evidence of spiritual experiences to strengthen their faith in creation and a creator.
You're quite right - you can NEVER prove a negative in an infinite universe. Same goes for the FSM (I know you love him, heh) - you can't prove he doesn't exist.

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To say that athiesm cannot exist as a religion is just closed-mindedness rearing its ugly head in the Chambers yet again. There are polytheistic religions, there are monotheistic religions, and there are atheistic religions. Secular Humanism is an athiestic religion, just as Buddhism is an atheistic religion.
Strong Atheism requires just as much faith as believing in a religion, it's true. Weak Atheism (aka "denial of other's claim that a god(s) exist based only on lack of evidence, not bias") does not require faith. Grouping the two is a gross generalization.

Quote:
And to say that science cannot be interpreted in different ways or discussed theoretically is another example of closed-mindedness. For example: in the study of physics, you have the law of gravity. In biology, many times you have the theory of gravity. I've never understood just why that is - I've never dropped my keys and had them fall up to the ceiling. Everytime I fall, I fall down - never up. Yet there is some dissention between the sciences over whether gravity is proven or not.
Perhaps there is disagreement over the specifics of gravity, but I don't think I've ever heard of someone denying that a force exists that keeps us on the ground. What I do know is that it doesn't matter if it's the genuine hand of God or the theory of gravity holding us on the ground. The only requirement is that it behave the same way every time, and if it does that we can make assumptions based on it. It doesn't matter what it actually is, only how it behaves.

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Originally Posted by toms
There is a lot of evidence of the existance of god???? WHat? When? WHere? How did miss this??
You can never disprove the existence of a supreme being... but unless he pops up and says "hey,its me! god!" then you can't prove it either... and even then you would have to take his word for it.. he could just be a more evolved life form.
Even him popping up like that wouldn't actually prove he exists. In order for him to 'pop up' and allow us to see him, the representation of him would be less than infinite. If it's limited like that, you can't know if it is actually God or not. You can never prove (working off of scientific axioms, of course) that God exists.

That being said, I'm slightly irrational.


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Last edited by Samuel Dravis; 02-28-2006 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 03-05-2006, 12:18 AM   #35
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My belief on Seperation of Church and State is as follows: We the People should practice the religion (or lack thereof) that we choose, and the government can't regulate what we believe in. And whadd'ya know: That system has been in effect for quite some time. I know some of you are going to tell me that W is spreading Christianity (or trying to) but that can be easily refuted by pointing out that he has not attempted to pass laws that force people to believe/not believe a certain religion.

About proof of God: If there was a way to prove God's existance with any evidence other anecdotal, there wouldn't be such a diversity of religions across the world. Of course, the fact that there are so many religions makes it a little difficult to prove that he doesn't exist.

Do I believe He exists? You know I do. But that's why they call it a faith, right?

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That being said, I'm slightly irrational.
No, you're not. You helped make an excellent point that I basically summed up in my above paragraph.

Also, someone brought up the point about Gravity - I say that whoever made up "intelligent falling" is a little weird IMHO. It may be possible that God keeps us down, but I have yet to find Scripture that backs that up. So I'll say "no".



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Old 03-05-2006, 12:30 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by StaffSaberist
I know some of you are going to tell me that W is spreading Christianity (or trying to) but that can be easily refuted by pointing out that he has not attempted to pass laws that force people to believe/not believe a certain religion.
He hasn't tried to force people to convert to christianity, but he sure as hell has pushed aspects of the christian lifestyle on all Americans. Whether it be by discriminating against gays, restricting abortion and contraception, forcing creationism into science class, etc.

These are all subtle ways to spread christianity.
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Old 03-05-2006, 12:45 AM   #37
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I'm not going to defend George Bush. But I will say this:

1 - The Bible says nothing about abortion. Nothing! So being anti-abortion has nothing to do with being Christian. The closest passage I found to abortion was that if a man strikes a pregnant woman and she has a miscarriage, the man is responsible. True today, is it not? You can go to jail for assault for that one.

2 - It is my belief that both the idea of creationism and evolution should be brought up in science class, at least high school and above. By that age, students should be more than capable of deciding for themselves, assuming the curriculum is balanced, i.e "the theory of evolution states that yada yada, whereas the theory of creationism states that blah blah blah". I think we can agree that if teachers do not put emphasis on one or another, students should be fine in hearing two sides to the story.

As for W forcing creationism in: I haven't read of him doing this; I'd like to read a bipartisan article concerning this. Again, I'm not going to be W's puppet on this issue.



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Old 03-05-2006, 12:51 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by StaffSaberist
1 - The Bible says nothing about abortion. Nothing! So being anti-abortion has nothing to do with being Christian. The closest passage I found to abortion was that if a man strikes a pregnant woman and she has a miscarriage, the man is responsible. True today, is it not? You can go to jail for assault for that one.
I just found an interesting wiki on this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_abortion

Quote:
Originally Posted by StaffSaberist
2 - It is my belief that both the idea of creationism and evolution should be brought up in science class, at least high school and above. By that age, students should be more than capable of deciding for themselves, assuming the curriculum is balanced, i.e "the theory of evolution states that yada yada, whereas the theory of creationism states that blah blah blah". I think we can agree that if teachers do not put emphasis on one or another, students should be fine in hearing two sides to the story.
The problem is that creationism isn't even a theory. It is written in a book that also says the earth is flat and is the center of the universe. It's not a very credible book.

And for your last part... two words: "Intelligent Design."
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Old 03-05-2006, 12:56 AM   #39
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FOA, the problem with Wiki is that you can have it say anything you want. Also, I really couldn't find anything Biblical about abortion. Kinda leaves it open for debate. Especially when you consider that the Book can be interpreted many ways.

Second of all, the Bible never says the Earth is flat and the center of the universe. You're confusing that book with the theorems of Ptolemy and Aristotle.

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And for your last part... two words: "Intelligent Design."
Hmm?



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Old 03-05-2006, 01:11 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by StaffSaberist
FOA, the problem with Wiki is that you can have it say anything you want.
There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with the particular article. It's alright to be skeptical, but most wiki's are accurate.

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Originally Posted by StaffSaberist
Second of all, the Bible never says the Earth is flat and the center of the universe. You're confusing that book with the theorems of Ptolemy and Aristotle.
It does refer to a four-cornered Earth and that god stopped the sun. Then there's Galileo being persecuted by the catholic church for his heliocentric theory which at the time was blasphemy. Only in 1992 did the catholic church admit they were wrong.
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