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confidence does not equal certainty 
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Post confidence does not equal certainty
There is a misconception that exists within the minds of certain evangelical atheists.
In their attempts to demean religious faith by claiming that it is foolish and baseless they attempt to argue that science inspires confidence that eventually gives birth to certainty.

This could not be farther from the truth.
As history has demonstrated, Galileo gave way to Newton, who gave way to Einstein.
Old interpretations of data are regularly replaced by new interpretations.
Science is evolutionary; an ever constant work in progress.

Evangelical atheists confidence in the certainty of science is based on faith.
A faith that promises science will arrive at Certainty.



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Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:37 am
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Post Re: confidence does not equal certainty
ant wrote:
There is a misconception that exists within the minds of certain evangelical atheists.
In their attempts to demean religious faith by claiming that it is foolish and baseless they attempt to argue that science inspires confidence that eventually gives birth to certainty.

This could not be farther from the truth.
As history has demonstrated, Galileo gave way to Newton, who gave way to Einstein.
Old interpretations of data are regularly replaced by new interpretations.
Science is evolutionary; an ever constant work in progress.

Evangelical atheists confidence in the certainty of science is based on faith.
A faith that promises science will arrive at Certainty.

The improvement here is that you've at least tried to specify the atheists criticized. My own feeling is that certainty is in most cases damaging.



Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:59 am
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Post Re: confidence does not equal certainty
DWill wrote:
The improvement here is that you've at least tried to specify the atheists criticized. My own feeling is that certainty is in most cases damaging.


I must have missed it. Who is being criticized? Sounds like another strawman position. I don't know of any "evangelical atheists" who subscribe to it.



Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:51 pm
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Post Re: confidence does not equal certainty
Scientific progress: Newton --> Einstein

Religious progress: God created people --> Oh wait, evolution happened. Well, God did that.



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Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:23 pm
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Post Re: confidence does not equal certainty
Ant wrote:
There is a misconception that exists within the minds of certain evangelical atheists.


Please name a few "evangelical atheists" and then provide some quotes with links that support your claim that they "attempt to argue that science inspires confidence that eventually gives birth to certainty."

I've been fairly involved with both atheism and popular science for a long time and I've never seen any reputable scientists claiming that science leads to certainty.



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Post Re: confidence does not equal certainty
DWill is just being kind. "Certain evangelical atheists" is about as vague as you can get. And here we go again with belief in science is an act of faith. If this helps you sleep at night, go with it. The problem with the argument is that the computer you're typing these words on is based on a scientific knowledge of circuits and electricity and a multitude of other things. You can be pretty sure it's going to work, even if you personally don't understand it. The fact that you choose to focus on speculative areas like string theory and the Big Bang shows only that you're trying to score ant points.

Actually, belief in science is nothing like religious faith. Religious faith provides a framework that is obviously meaningful to some people. But everyone can go get vaccinated for measles and be pretty damned sure that it's going to work. The certainty inspired by science is actually perfectly justified and even appropriate.

Yes, there are atheists who cut down religion as a matter of due course. And, yes, all of us tend to focus on the stupidest aspects of religious belief. Yep, it's a bit unfair. It still doesn't ever justify pitting religion against science which is always going to be an exercise in futility anyway. Science and religion address very different domains, but this fact is blurred in these hyper polarized arguments. Indeed, I would argue that pitting religion against science actually prods many down a road of ignorance because they feel they have to reject scientific knowledge to accommodate biblical-based beliefs. Belief in science is an act of faith? Give me a break. Religion should not be seen as a barrier to science and vice versa.


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