Mudcat Café message #3522182 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #150459   Message #3522182
Posted By: Steve Shaw
03-Jun-13 - 06:10 AM
Thread Name: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
I did listen to a lot more than 120 seconds as it happened, The. Still, it was a long time ago and I'm not watching it again until the sun goes back in.

Well now, wacko. You think science is a belief system just like religion because I trust everything that's told to me without checking it first-hand for myself.
So let's demolish this false equivalence 'twixt science and religion once and for all.

Religion tells you what to believe. Science puts information in front of you.

Religion is a massive disconnect between the writings of ancient desert-dwellers, claims of witnesses, tradition and the assertions and edicts of holy men (rarely holy women). Science is an ever-accumulating body of hard-won knowledge via the verification of evidence.

Religious "knowledge" must not be questioned. You may end up being excommunicated, ostracised or having your head cut off. Science is not science unless it can be questioned at every step. In fact, science must be questioned at every step. That's the way science has progressed, and that's why religious knowledge never progresses. All we have is the further ruminations of "theologians" who operate within a tight ringfence.

Religion consists of a static and unconnected mix of myth, witness and edicts. Science consists of a huge single jigsaw of knowledge for which we are forever finding more pieces. Quite often, we realise that the jigsaw seems to be growing bigger before our eyes. I know whether I can trust the findings of Galileo or Newton or Einstein because many further pieces of their jigsaws have been discovered and are still being discovered, and you can't fit pieces of the wrong jigsaw. For any new scientific assertion, I can find the paper, study the details of the methodology and take or leave the conclusions if I want to. I don't need to imagine that the whole of science is one big fraud unless I check every detail personally. That is not faith in anything like the same sense as religious faith, which is completely blind (if it wasn't, there would be no religion). If you want to call it faith at all, it's based on sheer practicality, in the same way that I have "faith" in the fact that my wife hasn't poisoned my porridge this morning.

So try not to be so silly.