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What is the non-believers story?
Posted: 29 January 2014 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have been observing how human societies work for most of my life.  I have come to the conclusion that the main way that human’s pass knowledge along, define their social groups, is through story telling.  The stories do not have to be and often are not intended to be 100% factual or accurate.  The stories function is to create and transmit common beliefs and promote common bonds.

If this anywhere near a accurate observation, what is the story or stories we resisting religions and promoting science, need to promote?  I am looking for positive not negative stories.  i.e. The discovery of penicillin.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 29 January 2014 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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garythehuman - 29 January 2014 02:09 PM

I have been observing how human societies work for most of my life.  I have come to the conclusion that the main way that human’s pass knowledge along, define their social groups, is through story telling.  The stories do not have to be and often are not intended to be 100% factual or accurate.  The stories function is to create and transmit common beliefs and promote common bonds.

If this anywhere near a accurate observation, what is the story or stories we resisting religions and promoting science, need to promote?  I am looking for positive not negative stories.  i.e. The discovery of penicillin.

Any story of any scientific advance, especially those that also contradict the religious view. But believers will simply claim that their god was the driving force behind the scientific advance and is testing believers’ faith or is just working in mysterious ways we can’t understand.  They will always come up with some way to twist the scientific story to support their religious claims.

Lois

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Posted: 29 January 2014 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Gary, you’ve flat-out nailed the single most powerful factor contributing to the success not just of religion but of any cultural phenomenon, including politics. That’s why in my work and on my website I focus on Humanism as a vast narrative. Of course, our narrative encompasses everything humans have ever done, science, literature, art - pretty much everything. It’s one of the reasons Humanism is hard to nail down, and is so hard for some people to understand. But all we’re really saying is that it’s all part of our story. Our challenge is to put that into an accessible and appealing framework. If we ever succeed at that, Humanism will take over the field of religion. Then our challenge will become the prevention of abuse from or in the name of Humanism. But at least we’ll be closer to the truth. That’s all we can do in any field. Even the best science is only an approximation of the truth.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 03:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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So in other words you lift up Man and bring down God. 

“That’s all we can do in any field. Even the best science is only an approximation of the truth.”  Why settle for an approximation when you can have the Truth the Light and the Way of Jesus?

Just saying….don’t mean to sound preachy.  The appeal just isn’t there in comparison for many.  Finite vs in-finite.  If it were a competition then man certainly loses that game.

Some might be offended by the above reply but this forum does not have a lock on thought and belief or its promulgation.  Hence I give a fair counterpoint.

The non-believers story to quote a musician…“same as it ever was”  Talking Heads

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Posted: 30 January 2014 07:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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About science, I like hearing how something began, like the first measurement of the circumference of the earth. Those include doing something that I could do in my own backyard, like put a stick in the ground and measure the shadow. But the story continues with how the measurement was improved. This tells the story of how we respect previous generations, but we build on their knowledge.

I also like ones where someone was protected from or saved from something like the Inquisition. Voltaire did it, as well as more recent examples. These bring the sympathies to the person being protected without needing to explain the villain.

On the not-so-bright side are stories of persecution of science. Like Aristotle having to flee Athens, or Al-Gahazali changing the culture in the Muslim world.

On the more personal level, I know I was greatly influenced by contemporary stories of people who were unaware of world views outside their family’s religion until they left home. These are gut wrenching stories of dealing with cultural shock.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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rodin46 - 30 January 2014 03:22 AM

So in other words you lift up Man and bring down God. 

No, not even close. You’re the one presuming to elevate human beings to know the answers to questions we barely even know how to ask.

rodin46 - 30 January 2014 03:22 AM

“That’s all we can do in any field. Even the best science is only an approximation of the truth.”

The fact that we can only approximate the truth may not satisfy you if you’re stuck in a theistic mind-set. But it is the truth. How many times do human beings have to get things wrong, in religion, science, and everywhere else, before you accept this obvious fact?

rodin46 - 30 January 2014 03:22 AM

Why settle for an approximation when you can have the Truth the Light and the Way of Jesus?

You’re presuming two things here: (1) that Jesus and God are who and what you claim them to be and (2) that you can know that. Because there is no basis for either presumption, the steady progress of knowledge through the means and methods of science is vastly preferable to theistic wishful thinking that has not brought us any nearer to the truth in the thousands of years of its history. Your argument is like the old joke about the man who drops his wallet on Elm Street but goes looking for it on Walnut street because he likes the neighborhood better. And that’s without even addressing the gaping moral holes in your theistic narrative.

You asked me an honest question and I gave you an honest answer. Please do me the same courtesy when I ask you: could you be wrong about either or both of your presumptions, as stated above?

[ Edited: 30 January 2014 08:52 AM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 30 January 2014 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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rodin46 - 30 January 2014 03:22 AM

So in other words you lift up Man and bring down God. 

“That’s all we can do in any field. Even the best science is only an approximation of the truth.”  Why settle for an approximation when you can have the Truth the Light and the Way of Jesus?

Just saying….don’t mean to sound preachy.  The appeal just isn’t there in comparison for many.  Finite vs in-finite.  If it were a competition then man certainly loses that game.

Some might be offended by the above reply but this forum does not have a lock on thought and belief or its promulgation.  Hence I give a fair counterpoint.

The non-believers story to quote a musician…“same as it ever was”  Talking Heads

This is total nonsense.  Just remember you are responsible for any and all actions any humans commit in the name of any god you create.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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PlaClair   “The fact that we can only approximate the truth may not satisfy you if you’re stuck in a theistic mind-set. But it is the truth. How many times do human beings have to get things wrong, in religion, science, and everywhere else, before you accept this obvious fact? “

Me:  Jesus said “you shall know the Truth and it will set you free.”  He never said everyone who is of the faith will get everything right that he taught so apologies are sometimes needed when struggling with discernment of spiritual vs natural vs carnal issues and the resulting use of good judgment and tact. 

I enjoy and am thankful for a being in, not stuck as you say in,  in a theistic mindset.  It’s true.  I have been given a new view and the perception/discernment to go with it.  I’m not proud of it because it wasn’t me who changed my mindset.  I enjoy having new gifts/abilities I lacked most of my life.    I once thought as child ..but when I became a man I put away childish things as the scripture says. I’ve put away the old mindset and I now have the mind of Christ which is really different to say the least especially in the realm of maturity and character.  I don’t try to win arguments for one thing.

PlaClair   “You’re presuming two things here: (1) that Jesus and God are who and what you claim them to be and (2) that you can know that. Because there is no basis for either presumption, the steady progress of knowledge through the means and methods of science is vastly preferable to theistic wishful thinking that has not brought us any nearer to the truth in the thousands of years of its history. Your argument is like the old joke about the man who drops his wallet on Elm Street but goes looking for it on Walnut street because he likes the neighborhood better. And that’s without even addressing the gaping moral holes in your theistic narrative.

Me:  I don’t make a claim of any kind.  I simply read the Bible and listened to a good pastor/teacher after being moved to investigate HIS claims.  Also I didn’t “know” jack about Christianity until I did the previous sentence.  I was ignorant and defiant like most unbelievers are until I decided to believe the Bible and Jesus.  I admitted ignorance, I read, recognized and heard the truth so I submitted to it.  I confessed to being what He said I was, a sinner in need of salvation.  Now I continue in following His instructions.  How do I “know”...because the Bible tells me so.  There’s nothing presumptuous about it.  Sounds childish but its not its child-like simplicity that baffles so many intellectuals.  I was told I was too smart for my own good and those few who had the courage to say it to me were right.  I was wrong. Bigtime.

Gaping moral holes?  I would need an example for that one.  And its not my theistic narrative. Its what we call testimony and teachings.  I’m not telling any stories except my own and only where it might aid understanding Him not me.  I care about atheists because I was one or close to it and it nearly cost me my soul.  I think its best to put that in here so you and other readers don’t get the wrong idea about why I’m in this forum.  I have no personal agenda here.  Just passing along truth as I have been freely given it and a little evangelizing.  Atheists sometimes knowingly or without realizing it do the same thing so its fair I believe. 

Godless people and morality.  F. Dostoyevsky said “without God all is permissible”  What do you think he meant?  Can there be a moral standard without God?  Onto…

Josh McDowell in “More than a Carpenter”  has in chapter4 called What about Science?  gives a clear example of the fallacious inconsistent application of the scientific method that this forum is rife with ...in my opinion.  I’ll leave it as a study for others to look up scientific method based proofs vs Josh’s legal-historical type proof.  This is the sort of proof that is used in legal proceedings.

He says “if the scientific method were the only method we had for proving facts, you couldn’t prove that you watched television last night or that you had lunch today.There’s no way you could repeat (and its only good for repeatable things) those events in a controlled situation.

The other method of proof, the legal-historical proof, is based on showing that something is a fact beyond a reasonable doubt.  We reach a verdict on the weight of the evidence (oral, written testimony and exhibits) and have no RATIONAL (logically sane) basis for doubting the decision.  With this method to determine the facts you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had lunch today. Your friends , the waiter and a receipt prove this.  SO…Jesus my friend, the Apostles-His servants and my brothers/sisters in Christ and the Bible and a boat load of history.

Get it?  It’s used every day around the world and has been for millennia and with the exception of corruption because we are dealing with people,  it is very reliable.  And that’s where you will go to the corruption and run away from all I just wrote based on the past stuff I’ve read from you and others of that scientific mindset.  That’s my presumption.  smile

  There’s my response. Not as a courtesy but as a concerned caring person.

[ Edited: 30 January 2014 11:27 AM by rodin46 ]
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Posted: 30 January 2014 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I really just find you annoying rodin, but that was amazing. I just have to make sure I’ve got it right. I’ll avoid using the term “scientific method” because it is too much to define and avoid the “if it was the only method we had” hypothetical. It’s not really helpful.

You can’t prove that you watched television last night by repeating the events in a controlled situation.
You can collect oral and written history and exhibits of fact.
We can use whatever we have that is rational and reasonable to lead to a reasonably accurate conclusion.
The Bible and all its followers are just as good as evidence as a waiter and a receipt.
Therefore Jesus.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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garythehuman, This is easy.

The story of domestication that is being written today. And it is starting to make a lot of sense in many of the old Genesis stories. Example, “God created earth”. Understand that the prehistory God was “Knowledge”.
 
The big missing piece of the history puzzle is the “Period of Domestication”. It is not in the books yet, because it is just now being written by the DNA research.

Base fact. The earth was not made for man. It was made for grassing, birds and fish. It took this “Period of Domestication” that made earth a good place for mankind. Without this period, penicillin and all the other advancements would be useless because there would be no big populations of man.

Grain took 20K years to domesticate and all this domestication was done in pre-history times.

It is hard to guess, but it is possible that there was a religious period of at least 50K years without wars and fighting that was needed for this domestication to have taken place.

It is interesting that history talks about this as being in India. Besides the animals, vegetables from Africa, cotton from Egypt, chickens from Vet Nam, fruit and nuts from China and sugar cane from the Pacific. The potato and corn are the only two major items that we use that were not domesticate in India.

As DNA writes this part of our past, I think it has to make better understanding that mankind is part of the earth and should allow man to come to grips with the past gods and religions and how they helped mankind through this period.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Gaping moral holes:

Loving parents do not kick their children out of the home they made for them because of one act of disobedience, especially when that act occurs before the child knows the difference between right and wrong.

A just god would not punish everyone for the wrong of one or two.

A just god would not have a chosen people.

A just god would not counsel violence against innocents.

A just god would not condone slavery, or the ownership of people, in any form.

An omnipotent god with even a little compassion would not make sentient creatures double as food.

A just god would not have a lake of fire to cast anyone into.

Only a sadist would continually restore people’s nerve endings so that they could suffer unremittingly in a fire for eternity.

If somehow such a state of affairs ever came to be possible and there was a God who wanted to offer salvation from such a horrid fate, he wouldn’t need a death drama to do it.

And even if he needed to send his only begotten son to offer salvation to all who believed in him, he would make certain that everyone heard the story so that they may believe. If that had happened, the missionaries who encountered primitive peoples well into the 20th century would not have found that they had never heard the story.

On the other hand, if they could be saved without ever hearing that particular story, then belief in the savior was not necessary after all.

And if there was a god who wanted to leave behind a collection of writings as his holy word, its contributions wouldn’t have come exclusively from one culture.

I once dated a woman who said that I didn’t accept Christianity because I lacked a spiritual understanding of it. But in point of fact, I reject it because I do have a spiritual understanding, which tells me to a moral certainty that these things are wrong and make no sense.

Rodin, you wrote that at one time in your life you were ignorant and did not know it. Perhaps not so much has changed as you think.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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PLaClair - 30 January 2014 06:17 PM

I once dated a woman who said that I didn’t accept Christianity because I lacked a spiritual understanding of it. But in point of fact, I reject it because I do have a spiritual understanding, which tells me to a moral certainty that these things are wrong and make no sense.

You forgot one: A just god would not rape a teenage girl and have his son tortured to death to atone for his own mistake of punishing mankind because he did not give the first man and woman the knowledge to discern right from wrong.

[ Edited: 30 January 2014 07:04 PM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 31 January 2014 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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garythehuman - 29 January 2014 02:09 PM

I have been observing how human societies work for most of my life.  I have come to the conclusion that the main way that human’s pass knowledge along, define their social groups, is through story telling.  The stories do not have to be and often are not intended to be 100% factual or accurate.  The stories function is to create and transmit common beliefs and promote common bonds.

If this anywhere near a accurate observation, what is the story or stories we resisting religions and promoting science, need to promote?  I am looking for positive not negative stories.  i.e. The discovery of penicillin.

Dont know of how our story would unfold.
But I think we are in climax considering the “secret plot” that people are generally unaware of.

Dont know of how our story would unfold.

But I think we are in climax considering the “secret plot”  of the story is about to unfold.


While some historians had always regarded the Draper-White thesis as oversimplifying and distorting a complex relationship, in the late twentieth century it underwent a more systematic reevaluation. The result is the growing recognition among historians of science that the relationship of religion and science has been much more positive than is sometimes thought. Although popular images of controversy continue to exemplify the supposed hostility of Christianity to new scientific theories

Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction
edited by Gary B. Ferngren   John Hopkins Univ Press
books.google.com


Prof Ronald Numbers even gave an interesting interview.  Some interesting things:

It’s a convention today to believe that evolution precipitated a major conflict with the religious community. But if you look at the participants at the time, it was a much murkier situation in which, in the United States at least, the leading advocates of Darwin’s theory were, themselves, active religionists.\

This Pope [Urban VIII] had once been a patron of Galileo’s and had supported his scientific efforts, so such a lack of diplomacy turned even the Pope against his one-time friend.
http://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/transcript/num-frame.html
I am waiting for the very end when all the “young earth creationists”  and likewise learn these facts and then we all live happily ever after.

[ Edited: 31 January 2014 10:08 AM by I.J. Abdul Hakeem ]
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Posted: 31 January 2014 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I.J. Abdul Hakeem - 31 January 2014 09:57 AM

I am waiting for the very end when all the “young earth creationists”  and likewise learn these facts and then we all live happily ever after.

Don’t hold your breath. These facts probably won’t do a whole lot for someone who currently holds an anti-Darwin viewpoint, but I think they are very powerful on the front end, when someone is learning about what evolution is, how it developed, the philosophy of the day, the state of the scientific method at the time, etc. When your mind is open, all these facts paint the full picture and help you choose.

For the creationists, that probably explains why they don’t mention these facts. For the scientist, they don’t discuss them partially because it’s not current science, it’s history and philosophy. Hopefully we’re starting to see the error of our ways and public schools will start including this.

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Posted: 31 January 2014 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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To some degree the problem exists with Muslims.
It is not because relgious scholars are anti-science or of the sort (as I quoted before), its more because many average Muslims are like…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3w_v0aEX38

At that point, it doesnt matter which theologian tries to talk some sense into him.
The above facts probably mean little to such lay muslims as well.

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Posted: 01 February 2014 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Lausten - 30 January 2014 12:27 PM

I really just find you annoying rodin, but that was amazing. I just have to make sure I’ve got it right. I’ll avoid using the term “scientific method” because it is too much to define and avoid the “if it was the only method we had” hypothetical. It’s not really helpful.

You can’t prove that you watched television last night by repeating the events in a controlled situation.
You can collect oral and written history and exhibits of fact.
We can use whatever we have that is rational and reasonable to lead to a reasonably accurate conclusion.
The Bible and all its followers are just as good as evidence as a waiter and a receipt.
Therefore Jesus.

The problem with that logic is that it could lead you to believe in any number of mutually contradictory things.  I don’t think anyone would argue that empirical science is the ONLY way to believe something is true.  It’s just that the human perception and memory being what it is, oral history is not completely reliable. 

Think of some spectacular magic trick you saw.  You can say, “I personally experienced this unexplainable paranormal event.”  I would accept that as a sincere report of your experience.  But I DON’T have to accept it at face value as an accurate report of what really happened because for various reasons you could simply be mistaken about what you THINK you saw.

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