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View Diary: "God's Not Dead": A Glimpse Into the Mind of a Believer (34 comments)

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  •  Belief is belief (0+ / 0-)

    Science is science.  Don't try to confuse the two.  For something like God I don't have to support it.  There is no burden because I don't have to get you to believe it.  If there were need to prove his existence you would be correct, but their isn't.  I believe in God therefore He exists for me.  If you don't believe then He does not exist for you.  Those are not mutually exclusive.

    •  You believe in God, and so... (0+ / 0-)

      You think that he exists. I say it again: existence is not conditional. I can believe that you are just a figment of my imagination all I want. That doesn't make it true.

    •  The issue here, I suspect, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Username4242

      lies in the definition you're using of the word "exists."

      Because I strongly suspect that your definition is not Username4242's.

      Care to elaborate?

      •  I suspect you're right... (0+ / 0-)

        ...but it's a little difficult to define in my case.  I'm sure Username is using a very objective provable definition where you can hold something in your hand and say, "See this apple?  Obviously it exists since you can detect it using at least one of your five senses."  God is more of an abstract concept, something you feel and for many is a source of comfort and strength.  Those who look for it see God at work in their lives.  Is there literally a man in the sky who watches the whole planet at once?  Of course not - I have been above the clouds in an airplane after all.

        •  Sorta. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vadem165

          This is one of the aspects of scientific inquiry that for many people is difficult to understand. The success of science's ability to allow us to comprehend the nature of reality lies in firstly knowing that our subjective notions are subject to a great deal of bias.

          To counteract this, we use methods of empirical inquiry. Instead of requiring absolute proof (generally a difficult measure), science works with tentative hypotheses with various degrees of confidence, ideally matched to the quality of data in support for an idea. The more evidence that supports an idea, the more rigidly the idea is accepted. However, all conclusions are tentative, pending data to the contrary.

          This process allows us to predict aspects of nature, and then test them to hone our understanding. Subjective notions ("I feel God") aren't useful when it comes to understanding reality because they are inherently untestable. All ideas that are untestable have equal value, and should almost always play second fiddle to those ideas that can be tested, and further still to those ideas that have been tested and have been found to have evidentiary support.

          Richard Feynman once described this process by noting:

          "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.
          There are in fact many aspects of the world that we understand that extend well beyond our senses. However, these aspects of the world (e.g. dark matter and dark energy) have very specific predictions, and these predictions were borne out when scientists examined whether those predictions hold true. Therefore, physicists tentatively accept the existence of dark matter and dark energy, while noting that future investigation can greatly alter our understanding of their effects and nature, or possibly cause their rejection in favor of a hypothesis whose predictions closer match that of reality.

          Science is hard partly because it doesn't allow for appeals to emotion. However, it is amazing in its own right. I'd much rather something be true than give false comfort.

          •  That comment... (0+ / 0-)

            ...is actually probably the best explanation I've seen as to why science and faith should not mix or try to intrude upon each other's turf.

            •  Fair enough. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vadem165, Username4242

              Faith involves believing things despite the fact that there is absolutely no good reason to believe them.

              And science (and, one might argue, an accurate understanding of reality) should stay as far away from that kind of thinking as humanly possible.

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