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Poll
Question: If Science Disproved A Religious/Theological Belief of Yours, Would You Continue To Hold To It?
Yes - 19 (38.8%)
Maybe - 10 (20.4%)
No - 13 (26.5%)
None of the Above - 7 (14.3%)
Total Voters: 49

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« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2010, 11:06:46 PM »

For example, some people have established two distinct worldviews in their mind; evolution/atheism and creationism/theism.

It's also a false dichotomy to assume that one must choose between Darwinism and modern "creationism", period. What both of these worldviews have in common is a crudely reductionistic view of the material world. It is because of a poor philosophical grounding that some Christians feel the need to either reconcile Darwinism with Christianity, or invent stories of Satan planting dinosaur bones.  The true falsehood of Darwinism can only be perceived by someone who understands the more general problems introduced by the dualist worldview called "modern science."

Besides perhaps Human Image: World Image by Philip Sherrard, what book(s) would you say articulate an Orthodox viewpoint on this?
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« Reply #46 on: November 01, 2010, 11:22:26 AM »

Does the Orthodox Church really teach "young earth creationism" as a *dogma* which *must* be accepted?  Like Ortho_cat, I'd like to see more proof of that.
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« Reply #47 on: November 01, 2010, 11:32:13 AM »

For example, some people have established two distinct worldviews in their mind; evolution/atheism and creationism/theism.

It's also a false dichotomy to assume that one must choose between Darwinism and modern "creationism", period. What both of these worldviews have in common is a crudely reductionistic view of the material world. It is because of a poor philosophical grounding that some Christians feel the need to either reconcile Darwinism with Christianity, or invent stories of Satan planting dinosaur bones.  The true falsehood of Darwinism can only be perceived by someone who understands the more general problems introduced by the dualist worldview called "modern science."

Besides perhaps Human Image: World Image by Philip Sherrard, what book(s) would you say articulate an Orthodox viewpoint on this?

St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain gives a good outline of the Orthodox Christian way of contemplating creation, toward the end of his Handbook of Spiritual Counsel. As further reading, he recommends St. Basil's Hexaemeron.

Recently, St. Tikhon's press reprinted St. Nikolai of Zica's essay The Universe as Signs and Symbols. I've ordered it, but haven't received it in the mail yet, so I can't personally comment on it, though from the description it also appears to include an outline of Orthodox natural philosophy.
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« Reply #48 on: November 01, 2010, 03:21:51 PM »

What here is meant by science?

What is meant by disproof?
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« Reply #49 on: November 01, 2010, 03:34:50 PM »


You can't believe in a lie. So the question is loaded.

If you limit the definition of the word 'belief' to imply a mere intellectual assent of a series of facts being correct, then no you can't (which I think, by the way, is an innacurate definition of the word used in the bible to describe belief/faith, 'pisteuo') But if you consider belief/faith to mean 'fidelity to a particular way of life based on application of it's practical reality' then facts are not necessary to form the basis of your belief.

In concept, but to believe a pepperoni pizza is a cat, doesn't change the pizza. Belief isn't just a concept, it's based on reality.

I heard a very similar argument from those who reject the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  angel
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« Reply #50 on: November 01, 2010, 03:36:02 PM »

I voted "none of the above" simply because science does not disprove religious beliefs. Science has other objectives.
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« Reply #51 on: November 02, 2010, 02:49:18 PM »

Is there any particular "belief" in Christianity that could be "disproven" by science?
I'd say so...  Given that, I'd be hard pressed to maintain my current beliefs.
Your real religion, or, perhaps, your meta-religion, is modern science then.
I wouldn't go that far. If you could go back in time and determine beyond a shadow of a doubt that the gospel story is false, would you still believe it?
In reality, for modern science to disprove our faith, it would have to somehow determine that there is no spiritual aspect to reality. I don't see that being possible, so we are right back to where we started. YAY!
Not at all.  The OP didn't ask about the sum total of our beliefs.  It asked whether science could cause us to question a belief.  And the question to which I was responding asked about any particular belief.  Those beliefs related to our physical existence are certainly falsifiable through science.  And as Heorhij mentions, science doesn't address spiritual matters.  Questions regarding Christ's humanity are reasonable questions to ask science to attempt to answer, but answers to those questions don't automatically imply falsified beliefs about his divinity.

It's certainly happened before.  I don't believe a global flood ever occurred as it's described in Genesis, for example.  Science has very convincingly ruled out that possibility.  The underlying theological beliefs remain intact, however.  Those whose religious beliefs rely too heavily on physical truths are bound to be disappointed.  That too has certainly happened before.
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« Reply #52 on: November 02, 2010, 02:59:42 PM »

the Church teaches a young earth in which nothing died before man sinned,
Nothing?  Nothing is pretty absolute.  Where does the Church teach this?
the fact that God did not create death is the standard teaching of the Church ... I'd be interested in seeing where the Saints or hymns teach otherwise ...
I asked first.  Where does the Church teach that nothing died?  No plants?  No bacteria?  No nothing?
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« Reply #53 on: November 02, 2010, 04:56:17 PM »

the Church teaches a young earth in which nothing died before man sinned,
Nothing?  Nothing is pretty absolute.  Where does the Church teach this?
the fact that God did not create death is the standard teaching of the Church ... I'd be interested in seeing where the Saints or hymns teach otherwise ...
I asked first.  Where does the Church teach that nothing died?  No plants?  No bacteria?  No nothing?

Moreover, where does the Church teach that the earth is ~6000 years old?
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« Reply #54 on: November 02, 2010, 05:02:53 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Science is merely the study of the economy of God operating in the vibrating material universe.  String theory is no more controversial than anything written by John of Damascus regarding the same concepts, and we should learn to live in harmony with each other.  Science should not make claims it can not itself support aside from theory, and our Faith should as is has for centuries, in fact embrace new understandings of God's economy through the Light of the Holy Spirit.  It is only since the Catholic Inquisition caused such a mess in the West that this rift began, but read the Church Fathers of Orthodoxy from the first century up until even recent times, and you will indeed find very intelligent discussions on these matters, no diatribes or superstitions or needless condemnations, but the harmony of love operating through faith.

Stay Blessed,
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« Reply #55 on: November 02, 2010, 05:25:44 PM »

There was a time, not very long ago, when "Science" absolutely believed that if something was not visible, it was not real.
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« Reply #56 on: November 02, 2010, 06:18:21 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Science is merely the study of the economy of God operating in the vibrating material universe.  String theory is no more controversial than anything written by John of Damascus regarding the same concepts, and we should learn to live in harmony with each other.  Science should not make claims it can not itself support aside from theory, and our Faith should as is has for centuries, in fact embrace new understandings of God's economy through the Light of the Holy Spirit.  It is only since the Catholic Inquisition caused such a mess in the West that this rift began, but read the Church Fathers of Orthodoxy from the first century up until even recent times, and you will indeed find very intelligent discussions on these matters, no diatribes or superstitions or needless condemnations, but the harmony of love operating through faith.

Stay Blessed,
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« Reply #57 on: November 02, 2010, 07:26:21 PM »


Nobody suspects the Spanish Inquisition!!! Wink

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« Reply #58 on: November 02, 2010, 07:34:11 PM »

There was a time, not very long ago, when "Science" absolutely believed that if something was not visible, it was not real.
It's funny how the word science has developed. It used to describe the knowledge of things in their causes (usally efficient, formal, material, and sometimes final), but now it is almost exclusively applied to sciences with empiricist presuppositions.
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« Reply #59 on: November 03, 2010, 10:25:50 AM »

the Church teaches a young earth in which nothing died before man sinned,
Nothing?  Nothing is pretty absolute.  Where does the Church teach this?
the fact that God did not create death is the standard teaching of the Church ... I'd be interested in seeing where the Saints or hymns teach otherwise ...
I asked first.  Where does the Church teach that nothing died?  No plants?  No bacteria?  No nothing?

i provided a link for this, here it is again: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/the-entire-creation-was-created-incorrupt/
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« Reply #60 on: November 03, 2010, 10:28:31 AM »

the Church teaches a young earth in which nothing died before man sinned,
Nothing?  Nothing is pretty absolute.  Where does the Church teach this?
the fact that God did not create death is the standard teaching of the Church ... I'd be interested in seeing where the Saints or hymns teach otherwise ...
I asked first.  Where does the Church teach that nothing died?  No plants?  No bacteria?  No nothing?

Moreover, where does the Church teach that the earth is ~6000 years old?

this link includes the teachings of the Fathers: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/orthodoxy-and-creationism/

and this link tells about the Church's calendar which puts us at the year 7518 from the creation of the world: http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/Byzantine_Creation_Era

contrary to what many ppl seem to think, the Church has a great deal to say about the proper understanding of Genesis.
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« Reply #61 on: November 03, 2010, 11:47:32 AM »

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Evolution
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« Reply #62 on: November 03, 2010, 12:13:07 PM »

Galileo said it best when he said, "The Bible teaches how to go to heaven not how the heavens go."

The church thought they had proof that the Sun circles the Earth from scripture. It took 500 years for the Catholics to admit that mistake.

Science and God can coexist just fine as long as we do not insist that we know as much as God because of the Bible.
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« Reply #63 on: November 03, 2010, 12:55:49 PM »

It's pretty much a moot point.  Anything that science is capable of disproving is not instrumental to our salvation.  Science deals with the physical world that God created.  All science does by debating the age of the world or whether or not the Earth orbits the Sun or vice versa is to expand our knowledge of things that we are capable of understanding.  Everything of theological importance deals with the soul and the world to come.  Science, being a discipline rooted in our flawed understanding of the world, cannot discuss these spiritual concepts because the scientific method is not suited to understand them.
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« Reply #64 on: November 23, 2010, 04:49:56 PM »

Quote from: Ortho_cat
so for you, seeing is believing?
Quote from: Iconodule
Your real religion, or, perhaps, your meta-religion, is modern science then.

No.  Both of you are trying to equate the statement "My beliefs would be challenged," with the statement "I would abandon all my current beliefs."

Additionally, you shouldn't consider the concepts of faith and belief to be precise synonyms.  They aren't.  As a youngster, I believed in a literal global flood.  I no longer do, science having ruled out that possibility quite convincingly. My beliefs changed.  My faith?  It was actually strengthened along the way.

I'm sorry if your faith is challenged by modern science.  But don't assume everyone else's is.
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« Reply #65 on: November 23, 2010, 04:53:51 PM »

There was a time, not very long ago, when "Science" absolutely believed that if something was not visible, it was not real.
It's funny how the word science has developed. It used to describe the knowledge of things in their causes (usally efficient, formal, material, and sometimes final), but now it is almost exclusively applied to sciences with empiricist presuppositions.

Bingo.
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« Reply #66 on: November 23, 2010, 04:57:27 PM »

Quote from: Ortho_cat
so for you, seeing is believing?
Quote from: Iconodule
Your real religion, or, perhaps, your meta-religion, is modern science then.

No.  Both of you are trying to equate the statement "My beliefs would be challenged," with the statement "I would abandon all my current beliefs."

Additionally, you shouldn't consider the concepts of faith and belief to be precise synonyms.  They aren't.  As a youngster, I believed in a literal global flood.  I no longer do, science having ruled out that possibility quite convincingly.

Which science? And what epistemological assumptions are you making to declare that this is "science"?

Quote
I'm sorry if your faith is challenged by modern science. 

No more than it is challenged by Epicureanism, Islam, Marxism, or other belief systems.
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« Reply #67 on: November 23, 2010, 05:01:47 PM »

Quote from: Ortho_cat
so for you, seeing is believing?
Quote from: Iconodule
Your real religion, or, perhaps, your meta-religion, is modern science then.

No.  Both of you are trying to equate the statement "My beliefs would be challenged," with the statement "I would abandon all my current beliefs."

Additionally, you shouldn't consider the concepts of faith and belief to be precise synonyms.  They aren't.  As a youngster, I believed in a literal global flood.  I no longer do, science having ruled out that possibility quite convincingly.

Which science? And what epistemological assumptions are you making to declare that this is "science"?

Quote
I'm sorry if your faith is challenged by modern science. 

No more than it is challenged by Epicureanism, Islam, Marxism, or other belief systems.
Iconodule, I am really glad that you are pursuing this line of thought. It is so often left out of the shallow "science" vs. "Faith" debate.
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« Reply #68 on: November 23, 2010, 05:11:46 PM »

... but now it is almost exclusively applied to sciences with empiricist presuppositions.
Bingo.
Presuppositions?  Have you actually worked in the sciences?  Have you actually observed how cutthroat the industry is?  Presuppositions are actually anathema in science.  Virtually every young scientist and grad student out there is itching for the chance to show why some common supposition is untrue and make a name for themselves.

What single presupposition are you referencing, if they are so widespread?
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« Reply #69 on: November 23, 2010, 05:13:27 PM »

Thanks, Papist.

And by the way, Chrevbel, the thread is titled "Science and Faith poll," so I think all the handwringing about how people misread the question is unreasonable.

You said this:

Is there any particular "belief" in Christianity that could be "disproven" by science?
I'd say so.  Suppose we perfected a technique for recording the light, originating from earth, that had reflected back from various heavenly bodies.  In looking at what's coming in from those bodies ~1000 light years from us, we could observe what went on during Christ's time.  Suppose that we could rule out all possibility, through exhaustive observation, of a simultaneous three-person crucifixion anywhere within the time frame we'd expect it.  

Given that, I'd be hard pressed to maintain my current beliefs.

I think it's clear from here that your distinction between "beliefs" and "faith" is meaningless in this context. The crucifixion is not some personal theological opinion but a central point of the faith.
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« Reply #70 on: November 23, 2010, 05:17:09 PM »

... but now it is almost exclusively applied to sciences with empiricist presuppositions.
Bingo.
Presuppositions?  Have you actually worked in the sciences?  Have you actually observed how cutthroat the industry is?  Presuppositions are actually anathema in science.  Virtually every young scientist and grad student out there is itching for the chance to show why some common supposition is untrue and make a name for themselves.

What single presupposition are you referencing, if they are so widespread?

No presuppositions, huh? Then the much-vaunted "scientific method" would be incapable of ascertaining anything. 
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« Reply #71 on: November 23, 2010, 05:27:46 PM »

I think it's clear from here that your distinction between "beliefs" and "faith" is meaningless in this context. The crucifixion is not some personal theological opinion but a central point of the faith.
Details about that faith is what I was referring to in my original reply.  Notice that I was talking about a hypothetical refutation of a simultaneous three-person crucifixion.  If science were to conclusively and convincingly rule that out, then yes, I would abandon any belief in a conversation that could not have occurred, for example.

Would realizing that this particular reference in scripture was erroneous somehow challenge your overarching faith?  That detail is not central to the faith.
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« Reply #72 on: November 23, 2010, 07:30:11 PM »

It really depends upon what it is that science "proves" in regard to God/faith. From my point of you once has to have both science and faith to be well balanced. Science can't explain everything, and neither can faith.
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« Reply #73 on: November 23, 2010, 08:16:14 PM »

  "No," Father Maximos replied emphatically.  "We need to clear certain misconceptions.  If certain statements in the Bible related to health or geology or history or whatever else came to be scientifically supported, fair enough.  But the Holy Bible is not a medical text that offers us guidelines about the health of the physical body.  It is not a biology primer or a book on geology or history for that matter.  The Holy Bible is purely a spiritual text that speaks about God's energy in the world.  If those parts of the Bible that deal with physical health, or with geology, or history are proven to scientifically false it should not have an iota of an effect on its therapeutic, spiritual significance."
  "Well-" Marina began saying in a skeptical tone.
  "My dear, as I have argued time and again, the essence of the Bible, its very meaning, is to heal us human beings from our psychic illnesses, from that which separates us from God.  Now, if three thousand years ago human wisdom knew about certain recipes for good bodily health, well and good.  But even if the opposite turned out to be true, again, well and good."
  "This is an important point to keep in mind," I suggested.  "A lot of scholars today focus exclusively on the scientific accuracy of the Bible and conclude that since it is replete with historical and scientific inaccuracies and contradictions it must be nothing more than folklore.  On the other extreme are fundamentalists who interpret everything in the Bible, such as the age of the planet, as literally true."
  "That is how both the rationalists and the fundamentalists fail to understand the spiritual meaning of sacred texts and the purpose for which they were written,"  Father Maximos responded.

 Excerpt from "Gifts of the Desert: The Forgotten Path of Christian Spirituality" by Kyriacos C. Markides Chapter 5 "A Different Hospital" pg 92

Father Maximos is actually Archbishop Athanasios of Limmasol, Cyprus who lived on Mt. Athos as a spiritual son of St. Paisios the New.  When he speaks on matters of the Orthodox Christian faith, I listen closely. 
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« Reply #74 on: November 24, 2010, 04:37:23 AM »

When he speaks on matters of the Orthodox Christian faith, I listen closely.
As will I now, based on that quote.  How incredibly well said!  Thank you for the reference.  Got any more?
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« Reply #75 on: November 24, 2010, 01:29:18 PM »

The question still stands: how is the "scientific method" capable of determining the truth of anything without making presuppositions?
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« Reply #76 on: November 24, 2010, 03:08:50 PM »

The question still stands: how is the "scientific method" capable of determining the truth of anything without making presuppositions?
Because it is subject to being replaced with a method demonstrably superior.  That's the exact antithesis of presupposition.
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« Reply #77 on: November 24, 2010, 03:09:56 PM »

The question still stands: how is the "scientific method" capable of determining the truth of anything without making presuppositions?
Because it is subject to being replaced with a method demonstrably superior.

Demonstrable how? By what criteria?
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« Reply #78 on: November 24, 2010, 03:19:09 PM »

What criteria would you propose?
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« Reply #79 on: November 24, 2010, 03:22:32 PM »

What criteria would you propose?

I'm asking you. 1. Why do you think the "scientific method" is a reliable methodology for apprehending natural phenomena? 2. What would convince you that a different method is superior? 3. How do you answer any of these questions without presuppositions?
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« Reply #80 on: November 24, 2010, 03:47:01 PM »

1.  Because it hasn't yet been supplanted by anything superior.

2.  I can't say a priori.  To do so, after all, would be a presupposition.

3.  Because I acknowledge that every one of my answers is subject to being replaced by a better one.  Why do you refuse to acknowledge that this is the precise opposite of presupposition?
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« Reply #81 on: November 24, 2010, 03:57:06 PM »

1.  Because it hasn't yet been supplanted by anything superior.

How do you know?

Quote
2.  I can't say a priori.  To do so, after all, would be a presupposition.

Then your answer to 1 is nonsensical.

Quote
3.  Because I acknowledge that every one of my answers is subject to being replaced by a better one.

How would you know if a given answer is better?

Quote
Why do you refuse to acknowledge that this is the precise opposite of presupposition?

Because your use of the words "superior" and "better" says otherwise.
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« Reply #82 on: December 03, 2010, 06:58:37 PM »

When he speaks on matters of the Orthodox Christian faith, I listen closely.
As will I now, based on that quote.  How incredibly well said!  Thank you for the reference.  Got any more?

 A million apologies; I just saw this.  Rather than risk copyright infringement yada yada yada, I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Kyriacos Markides' two books The Mountain of Silence and the follow up, Gifts of the Desert.  His earlier books are representative of the time in his life when he was agnostic, or at least hostile towards Orthodox Christianity.   
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« Reply #83 on: December 03, 2010, 08:43:45 PM »

What criteria would you propose?

I'm asking you. 1. Why do you think the "scientific method" is a reliable methodology for apprehending natural phenomena? 2. What would convince you that a different method is superior? 3. How do you answer any of these questions without presuppositions?

Because it works and bears fruit, plain and simple. We see this with our eyes, and sense it with our senses. To deny this is to deny reality. If there is another method that works better, we should use that.
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« Reply #84 on: December 04, 2010, 09:27:06 AM »

What criteria would you propose?

I'm asking you. 1. Why do you think the "scientific method" is a reliable methodology for apprehending natural phenomena? 2. What would convince you that a different method is superior? 3. How do you answer any of these questions without presuppositions?

Because it works and bears fruit, plain and simple.

Ah, "the ends justifies the means." And what kind of "fruit" does it bear? Does it sanctify? Does it enlighten? Does it give us saints? No, but who cares about that - it gives us lots of shiny stuff. Of course, there is other "fruit" which you'd rather ignore, as exemplified in Hiroshima, Bhopal, Chernobyl, etc.

Quote
We see this with our eyes, and sense it with our senses.

The Christian worldview is not based on sense alone, nor is it based on a concept of matter and spirit as two completely independent principles.

Quote
If there is another method that works better, we should use that.

And what would your criteria be for working "better"?

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« Reply #85 on: December 04, 2010, 01:17:49 PM »

When he speaks on matters of the Orthodox Christian faith, I listen closely.
As will I now, based on that quote.  How incredibly well said!  Thank you for the reference.  Got any more?

 A million apologies; I just saw this.  Rather than risk copyright infringement yada yada yada, I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Kyriacos Markides' two books The Mountain of Silence and the follow up, Gifts of the Desert.  His earlier books are representative of the time in his life when he was agnostic, or at least hostile towards Orthodox Christianity.   

ah the Mountain of Silence -- you mean that book where the author acknowledges that the Church has traditionally interpreted Genesis literally?!
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« Reply #86 on: December 04, 2010, 03:54:49 PM »

What criteria would you propose?

I'm asking you. 1. Why do you think the "scientific method" is a reliable methodology for apprehending natural phenomena? 2. What would convince you that a different method is superior? 3. How do you answer any of these questions without presuppositions?

Because it works and bears fruit, plain and simple.

Ah, "the ends justifies the means." And what kind of "fruit" does it bear? Does it sanctify? Does it enlighten? Does it give us saints? No, but who cares about that - it gives us lots of shiny stuff. Of course, there is other "fruit" which you'd rather ignore, as exemplified in Hiroshima, Bhopal, Chernobyl, etc.

It creates progress, objective results. It matters not if these results are 'good' or 'bad', however you decide to define those terms, but it advances knowledge and understanding. Now you might not like the kind of knowledge and understanding it advances, but you have to acknowledge that it advances it nonetheless and therefore it accomplishes its goal.

Quote
Quote
If there is another method that works better, we should use that.

And what would your criteria be for working "better"?

That progress is obtained quicker or more efficiently with similar accuracy and precision, or just as quick and efficient with more accuracy and precision. Or, ideally, an improvement in all these qualities.

The only other method I'm aware of that's currently use are mathematical methodologies in mathematical physics, it's useful for establishing firmer theoretical foundations for physics, but moves too slowly to keep up with experimentation so is not truly a replacement for the scientific method in that theoretical physics, merely a tool to give us greater confidence in the results (often decades later).
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« Reply #87 on: December 04, 2010, 04:21:01 PM »

What criteria would you propose?

I'm asking you. 1. Why do you think the "scientific method" is a reliable methodology for apprehending natural phenomena? 2. What would convince you that a different method is superior? 3. How do you answer any of these questions without presuppositions?

Because it works and bears fruit, plain and simple.

Ah, "the ends justifies the means." And what kind of "fruit" does it bear? Does it sanctify? Does it enlighten? Does it give us saints? No, but who cares about that - it gives us lots of shiny stuff. Of course, there is other "fruit" which you'd rather ignore, as exemplified in Hiroshima, Bhopal, Chernobyl, etc.

It creates progress, objective results. It matters not if these results are 'good' or 'bad', however you decide to define those terms, but it advances knowledge and understanding. Now you might not like the kind of knowledge and understanding it advances, but you have to acknowledge that it advances it nonetheless and therefore it accomplishes its goal.

Thank you Dr. Mengele. You can step out of the witness box.

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« Reply #88 on: December 04, 2010, 05:20:53 PM »

Thank you Dr. Mengele. You can step out of the witness box.
Why do you use the internet?  It pretty clearly is the result of advances in several sciences.  Off the top of my head, it relies on: computer science, mathematics, electrical engineering, optics, and chemistry.
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« Reply #89 on: December 04, 2010, 05:29:19 PM »

Thank you Dr. Mengele. You can step out of the witness box.
Why do you use the internet?  It pretty clearly is the result of advances in several sciences.  Off the top of my head, it relies on: computer science, mathematics, electrical engineering, optics, and chemistry.
That I do not take science as my master does not forbid me from taking it as my servant.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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