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Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution? 
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Post Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?

These polls only allow so many characters in the poll questions so bare with me folks. You probably get the point of what I'm asking. Obviously, I'm not referring to some vaguely defined or a deistic God.

Is it rational to believe in the Christian God, which you clearly learned about through the Christian Bible (directly or indirectly), even though the Christian Bible is littered with inaccuracies, contradictions and outright evil? Is it rational to believe this deity created the universe complete with all the evidence purposely designed to trick His children into believing he doesn't exist?


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Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:18 am
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
The whole position of evolution negates the necessity of a creator being and is rather contradictory, it does not prove that there wasn't one but it does show one was not needed.

Every ancient scripture had to reconcile these facts to maintain belief in their creation myths.

This is very telling because it shows the inherent divinity (none) of their sources.

If their religious sources are in err, and not trustworthy on any level than what are they truly worshiping? My conclusion is simply a bunch of stories made up by ancient and ignorant peoples, which has no bearing on modern life.

Basically evolution punches holes in the foundation of most religions.

And in order to believe in both a person must believe in contradicting forces, this is not rational.

Like Mr. P said it could be rationalized (with effort) but the whole process shows the flaws of the mythical belief and how irrational it was from the start.

Later

Edited by: Frank 013 at: 3/26/07 12:04 pm



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Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:00 am
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
The only way it can be shown to be rational to believe in both is by totally reinterpreting the Xtian myths to fit the science. And if you have to do that...well...whats the point.

It is obvious that any old religion is an attempt to explain the world and the human condition at the time it was written. The fact that there is NO mention of discoveries made by science and more progressive thought after the writings speaks to this. Instead of constantly re-writing the scriptures to fit the modern world...maybe we should put those scriptures in a glass case and look back on them as something we created on the way to gaining knowledge about our world...and move on.

Mr. P.


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Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:34 am
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
I was giving this topic some more thought and was talking with my wife about the subject. From our discussion it seems to me that many people are ignorant of evolution, the bible or both and have never considered the overall effect that the reality of evolution would have on their religious myths.

Furthermore many people simply accept any theory in an attempt to reconcile the two beliefs that is offered by the church, no matter how far a stretch the idea might be.

Since these people are not even aware of the contradictions the two beliefs generate, they are free to believe both without the burden of contradiction and therefore do not feel as though they have made an irrational decision.

Later




Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:09 am
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
That sums up the attitude I am so against. People just want to be placated and go about thier business. This is why religious thinking is so dangerous to me: it makes people content with crap.

Even Gould pissed me off with his NOMA crap. Everything overlaps. And when one of those things are based on speculations on obviously made up things, the overlap can be quite a concern for living in the real world.

Mr. P.


I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George Carlin

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:09 am
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
I think that a belief, (especially one that a person is going to base their life off of) should be backed up with some thought and not just because someone said that is the way it is.

But far to many people simply accept the lazy way out.

Later




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Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:17 am
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
That raises an interesting point.

I spent most of the first 30 years of my life as a believing Christian. I even studied at a theological seminary for one year while preparing to enter the minstery. So I have a passing familiarity with Christian dogma, at least the Methodist version of it, and the Christian Bible.

During the last several decades I have spent time trying to learn what science has to say about evolution and a variety of other subjects.

Based on the best information I have today, I don't think one can rationally believe in the Christian "God" and also think evolutionary theory is valid. A "God" who used such a wasteful, inefficient - from a design standpoint - method as evolution would scarcely be worthy of the label "divine."

I think the most one can say is that, while it certainly doesn't say no god is possible, evolution makes the Christian version of the god hypothesis highly improbable.

The few scientists I have heard argue otherwise seem to be engaged in either a type of special pleading or simply arguing that "well, it's not impossible."

However, Frank's point is a good one. Is a belief irrational to the person who holds it if that person has no basis on which to regard it as irrational? When I was a practicing Christian I thought my beliefs, for the most part, were perfectly rational.

That's one of the difficulties we have in discussing such issues, isn't it? Most people think they are being rational most of the time. It's the person on the other side of the argument who is being an arrogant, unreasonable twit. At least, that's where we often wind up.

Lest anyone mistake my meaning, this is not an endorsement of solipsism or any sort of "anything goes" approach. I do think there are standards we must apply in any discussion, and I think there is a real world that exists outside our varied perceptions of it. But I also think we must be careful about making arbitrary assertions about what is "real" and what is not without taking a good bit of care to be sure all parties to the discussion are talking about the same thing.

George

"Godlessness is not about denying the existence of nonsensical beings. It is the starting point for living life without them."

Godless in America by George A. Ricker




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Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:30 am
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
Halfway through I was thinking of the solipsism turn you were taking...but then you set me back on course.

But how DO we figure out what we are all talking about, when you have the study of natural systems using natural and accessible means on one hand, and dogma, superstition and myth on the other?

WHERE can a possible middle ground be? I understand about walking in the other persons shoes, but come on now...there are obviously positions that deserve the scrutiny of our more rational minds.

It is a belabored argument about gods and teacups...but those arguments are valid...yet they are usually swept under the rug by those who would believe in gods.

Mr. P.


I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George Carlin

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:04 am
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
Garicker,

You said.

"However, Frank's point is a good one. Is a belief irrational to the person who holds it if that person has no basis on which to regard it as irrational? When I was a practicing Christian I thought my beliefs, for the most part, were perfectly rational."

When discussing what delusion is, I think a couple of things jump out as common denominators. 1. When someone is bio-chemically delusive, as in schizophrenic, or from too much maui-wowie, or 2. a delusion is a strongly held belief, which cannot be true in the face of science, i.e., someone is beaten and suffocated to death then comes back to life. He is provably dead--for three days, then gets up and meets his gang for lunch; that would be a delusion.

Dawkins has been careful to include his ideas that he is not saying that there is NOT much mystery, which is, completely, incomprehensible, and perhaps will not in our lifetimes, or ever, be comprehensible, in our 'universe,' either way you go Macro or Micro.'

I think regarding, any, science, as Dogma is just unscientific, LOL, and he said something to that effect, too, no?

Also,...I think that it is important to remember that even a single cell orgnism which is relatively simple compared to say a human (collection of millions of cells working together on an amazing level of organization, much, of which we have yet to comprehend) does not mean that, that, small 'creature' is not also highly organized and complex on a chemical level.

So, figuring out what makes my heart continue to beat, and, trying to be a good person in a stressed out often 'crazy world are two different things--well, at least two!

But, I do, believe, that I do not have to be part of a (both organized and congregating) group of people to inherently understand what being good entails.

I think unless you are retarded or mentally ill, you can pretty easily understand that treating yourself and others well is not just a worthy (although difficult for some) goal, but that (what should be the anachronisitic behaviors) harming and controlling, war like actions belonging more to beasts than thinking humans, have no place in the healthy (therefore productive, efficient) evolution of our species, which would include not destroying our planet,..duh.

And it is not just in the churchs that people follow blindly and often are, not at all, informed on the real nature of their held beliefs! LOL!






Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:25 am
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
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Mr. P
It is a belabored argument about gods and teacups...but those arguments are valid...yet they are usually swept under the rug by those who would believe in gods.


There lies the problem, because even though we address the religious arguments they refuse to address ours, crying fowl anytime we have a point and claiming that science does not have authority over the realm of god.

In short they never even consider our side of the argument, because they can hide behind their veil of mythical thought.

With this mindset nothing is impossible or irrational.

Later





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Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:25 am
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
Mr. P: But how DO we figure out what we are all talking about, when you have the study of natural systems using natural and accessible means on one hand, and dogma, superstition and myth on the ot

There's the rub isn't it? I think the first requirement has to be an agreement to be guided by reason. I know I just said that most people think they are being rational most of the time. However, we know that's often not the case, in spite of our personal opinions to the contrary. The effort to demonstrate what is true (note the small "t" please, all my truths are conditional and contingent) requires that all sides be willing to try to apply reason to the questions at issue.

It is often argued there are questions beyond reason's ability to answer. But when that's the case (and it may be these are simply questions for which there is no answer), then I submit there's no point in taking up our time with them. Assertions about the nature of reality must be testable, else they serve no useful purpose. Of course, our understanding of reality, as individuals, is never quite the same. But one of the neat things about the rational approach is that we can compare notes. We can duplicate experiments. We have a methodology that allows us to seek a common ground of understanding. We call that methodology "science," but I'm inclined to think, in its broader application, it's just good thinking.

WHERE can a possible middle ground be? I understand about walking in the other persons shoes, but come on now...there are obviously positions that deserve the scrutiny of our more rational minds.

I'm not sure there is a middle ground between the rational and the irrational, unless maybe it's insanity. I don't think rational perception is equivalent to things like superstition, myth and dogma. I think those represent earlier attempts to rationalize the universe that were themselves inherently irrational because they were based on very little solid information. Only a fool would claim we know it all, but it's no less foolish to claim we have learned nothing since the modern scientific revolution began about 500 years ago.

It is a belabored argument about gods and teacups...but those arguments are valid...yet they are usually swept under the rug by those who would believe in gods.

That's certainly true. Of course, the first question one has to ask in any discussion of gods is "what god?" Folks bandy that word around as if everyone knows what it means, but until you have spent time getting a believer to tell you exactly what he or she means by the term, any attempt at understanding is defeated at the outset.

It has always puzzled me that so many people who claim to place such great importance on the god idea have given so little thought to it. I guess what a person does in his or her own mind can wander off into all sorts of dimensions that may or may not have anything to do with what exists outside that terrain. But when one wants to bring the concept out for examination by others, there needs to be more there than just wishful thinking.

Nothing becomes true (again, note the small "t") just because someone really, really, really wants it to be so.

George

"Godlessness is not about denying the existence of nonsensical beings. It is the starting point for living life without them."

Godless in America by George A. Ricker




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Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:09 pm
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
Frank 013 wrote:
The whole position of evolution negates the necessity of a creator being and is rather contradictory, it does not prove that there wasn't one but it does show one was not needed.



How has this hypothesis been proven?
I'm familiar with the theoretical aspect of a "god" not being needed to create something from nothing. But what evidence are you basing this on?


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Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:40 pm
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
You're pulling these posts up from the archives ant. Induction is what it is based on. We know inductively that every time someone has claimed the area beyond the frontiers of science as the domain of god, they have been wrong. Inductively, we can conclude that this extends into the next frontier, and the frontier after that, because it always has, dozens of times. To say that only god can be at the origins of the universe is to proclaim a barrier that science can't overcome. The same thing has been proclaimed many times with previous barriers, and has been false every single time.

Induction is enough. The onus is on the theist.



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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
Interbane wrote:
You're pulling these posts up from the archives ant. Induction is what it is based on. We know inductively that every time someone has claimed the area beyond the frontiers of science as the domain of god, they have been wrong. Inductively, we can conclude that this extends into the next frontier, and the frontier after that, because it always has, dozens of times. To say that only god can be at the origins of the universe is to proclaim a barrier that science can't overcome. The same thing has been proclaimed many times with previous barriers, and has been false every single time.

Induction is enough. The onus is on the theist.



Hi! Thanks for your response.
I honestly do not know what you mean by "pulling these posts up from the archives." I am a new member and these were honest questions from my mind - the little I have, anyway :blush:

I understand what you mean by induction.

The sun has risen every day since man has been aware of the sun, but it does not mean that it will rise tomorrow. Ultimately, inductive reasoning is based strictly on generalizations. Is that not true?

I think Dawkins essentially admited in The God Delusion, that from a pure biological perspective, evolution can explain the progression of life as we know it, but it is not a satisfactory explanation for matters of cosmology. The two ultimately go hand-in-hand.


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Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:30 pm
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Post Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?
Quote:
Ant
How has this hypothesis been proven?
I'm familiar with the theoretical aspect of a "god" not being needed to create something from nothing. But what evidence are you basing this on?


First of all let me clarify, I never said that anything was “proven”.

What I mean is that our current grasp of natural laws and the workings of our universe show that no god is necessary for anything that we have already learned. Theories like evolution and the age and creation of this planet, our sun and moon can be explained naturally… without the use of a god theory… our place in the universe has been mapped… although only partly… but it took us looking away from gods and myth to do it.

Even questions like… Where did we come from? Who are we? And Where are we going? Can all be answered without resorting to mythical entities.

Human behavior, our needs, wants, desires, lusts... these things are explained through science and the study of other social animals, even evolution is useful here... we no longer look to the idea of original sin to explain our behavior. Even mental illness is better understood through science... it is no longer demons in your head.

Science does not have all the answers, however we need not look to the god of the gaps to fill these voids anymore… the reason I say that we do not need to, is because we currently are not… and knowledge is forthcoming better now than when we did.

As interbane said induction shows us an unmistakable pattern here... no god needed so far...

Later


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