April 29, 2009

From Edward Medalis:

Re: God and science not an easy mix for many (Dec. 15): As a non religious person I am definitely among those that are not able to mix gods and science.

Notice that I said gods and not god. In todays cultures the word god mostly refers to the monotheistic god of Abraham.

However, over our history humans are said to have invented at least 2500 gods. To my mind all are equally supported by facts.

At the end of the article here author Jesse Pres­ton makes the following statement.

“To be com­pat­ible, sci­ence and re­li­gion need to stick to their own ter­ri­to­ries, their own ex­planatory space.” But “re­li­gion and sci­ence have nev­er been able to do that, so to me this sug­gests that the de­bate is go­ing to go on. It’s nev­er go­ing to be set­tled.” My comments are: I do not believe there is a real debate in the hard core camps. This is because the god(s) folks think faith trumps all other thought and the science folks do not. The science people work from evidence, reason and probability. The god folks are incapable of understanding that faith is not evidence, is unreasonable, and has nothing to do with probabilistic thought. Faith on a particular issue either exists or it does not. I fail to see that faith has any “explanatory space”. All it can ultimately say is “because it is written” in one or another unsubstantiated text or it is what “I think”.

Faith is, by definition, independent of evidence, reason, and probability. Faith is an absolute belief regardless of anything that scientific method might offer when looked at in the short term. However, from a long term perspective it is obvious that faith has been forced to concede turf to science. The total turf is all of existence and the percentage that the faithful are bold enough to claim has and will continue to dwindle. The total turf contains all of us and the percentage of educated humans controlled by the delusions of faith also continues to recede. Until the faith folks all become extinct due to natural causes I hope that the human species can avoid being wiped out by their irrational deeds due to their irrational thoughts. Of course, all of those that claim to be religious are not equally afflicted by myth and superstition and whatever debate does exist is within the minds and interactions of this muddled confused group.

The issue can only be resolved by education and this only works with people who have a mind that is open enough and the courage to face probable reality. What we think is real is a moving target that can only be approached by an open mind, scientific method, and courage. I live and swim in a sea of change and probability and am as comfortable as I can possibly be.

For those that cannot be comfortable in that environment and in order to function need to bury their consciousness in the solid unchanging firmament of faith, I can only offer my sympathy for their mental condition.


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