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Posted by Scott on August 30, 2002 09:00:55 UTC

Gosh, how did we get here?? This all started with me asking, "What would happen if a murder victim was exposed to the vacuum of space?" Now, we're debating God! (Yes, I know, the forum is titled "God and Science"--but I was just asking about the science part!--LOL!)

Oh well, since we're here...

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I said in my previous post that moral "truth" doesn't count in establishing the objective validity of religious faith, since morality is not objective.

There is no such thing as a moral truth. If I said "Egg rolls are delicious" it would be true FOR me but not OUTSIDE of me.
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You're making sweeping generalizations (very unscientific). ;-) Are there morals which are subjective? Of course. Are there moral gray areas? Yes. However, there absolutely ARE moral truths! Murdering your neighbor is bad. Stealing from your neighbor is bad. Baring false witness against your neighbor is BAD! There are certain moral truths that can't be argued! There are SOME things that really ARE black and white! There ARE moral truths in which subjectivity has no place.

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In religion there is no such safeguard against fallacy. Since it IS subjective and intuitive, it is objectively unreliable and unverifiable.
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Again, generalizations. Almost every religious text, be it the Bible, Koran, or Greek Mythology, has it's core basis in historical FACT. It was decreed by "objective" scientists that the city of Troy was a myth. We now know it was a FACT. The Bible says that Rome executed people by crucifixion. Myth? No, it's now been proven to be a FACT. The Bible talks a lot about Rome, about Egypt, about Babylon--and archeology proves that some of the stories and locales are verifiable scientific FACT. And there's a lot more that hasn't been found yet.

The Bible (as just one example) isn't a novel. It is a collection of historical documents (some of which may be subjective metaphore)--but a whole helluva lot of it which is absolute verifiable fact. Even that which has already been verified as fact, many "objective" scientists will ignore it and even suppress it, simply because it threatens their own subjective preconceptions. I could probably say (without exaggerating *too* much) that if the Coliseum didn't stand in the middle of Rome, Italy, "objective" scientists would poo-poo the Roman Empire as biblical myth. Fortunately, there's a few other sources (including their own written history and architecture) that kinda backs it up. (Of course, there are plenty of non-biblical sources of evidence to back up other stories in the Bible--but those are often ignored, too. Very objective, you see.)

And YES, it does go BOTH ways. I.E.-pure creationism vs. evolution. The pure creationists are...well, I'm sorry, they're idiots. Clearly, the Earth is more than 10,000 years old! (I still don't understand where they get that figure anyway--it's not stipulated in the Bible.) We have dinosaur bones that are measurably millions of years old. There comes a time when common sense just has to take over.

Futhermore, it's important not to make either the generalization that ALL theology is subjective and intuative (it's not) or that, on the same tolkin, ALL science is objective (it's clearly not). God only knows (no pun intended) how many conflicting scientific theories there are--completely plausible, completely workable theories that are in ABSOLUTE opposition to the other. One group of scientists stands firmly by Theory A, while another group of scientists stands just as firmly by Theory B. Are you going to tell me that that's not a subjective call? It's an *educated* subjective call, it's a *legitimate* sugjective call--but it IS a subjective call.

There are plenty of examples of scientic discovery and research being poo-pooed, laughed at, refused funding, and supressed because it fits outside the preconcieved norm of the "objective" scientific community. They'll soil a man's reputation before they'll ever allow him to prove them wrong. For the scientific community to claim that they have no preconcieved bias is just as laughable as the News Media claiming that they have no liberal bias.

On the side other side of the coin, it's important to note that "subjectivity" does not necessarily mean that it's an unreliable mode of thought. It is a subjective statement to say that "Mozart was a great composer." But trying to claim that that statement is wrong...would be pretty ridiculous. Both science and theology have their own varying degrees of subjectivity, as well as measurable fact. But one can always find reason in an *educated* subjective call--and sometimes even truth.

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If you were raised Muslim, I bet you'd be a Muslim now and claim that believing in Allah was your choice.
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Probably. So what? Actually, I can claim that Allah is my choice right now. After all, the Judeo-Christian "God" and the Muslim "Allah" (both the one God of Abraham) are one in the same. So, there's really no conflict. (If more people weren't too ignorant to understand their own religions--and their relationships to other religions, there would be less bloodshed and fanaticism.)

Basically, that holds true for theology AND science. Theologians who won't be open minded to science, and likewise scientists who won't be open minded to theology, both represent a form of fanatism. Why can't we ALL keep an open mind?

And finally--just for the record--"Moby Dick" was not-so-losely based on the real-life sinking of the Essex...by an incredible gigantic whale. Melville turned the tragic true story into a fictionalized novel. :)

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