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I'm Quite Sure.

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Posted by John Morgan Powell on February 20, 2001 18:21:38 UTC

Yasir,

You wrote:

> just tell me... r u an expert of religions???

I consider myself an expert on LDS doctrine. I served a 2-year proselytizing mission for that church, have taught religious courses at church meetings, and spent most of my life learning the doctrine and mysteries of this religion. I consider myself knowledgeable about religion in general, but I'm no expert on specific non-LDS religions.

> hav u read all those religious books with the
> same keenness as u hav treated physics

I probably read LDS religious books with about as much "keenness" as Physics books. Because I'm a very analytical person, I'm surprised and embarrassed I didn't realize sooner how my religious beliefs were without scientific support.

I have read some, but not a lot of religious texts from other religions. The LDS church discourages that.

> now just consider ur self at newtons place

I feel I can understand Newton's religious views despite his physics genius. I was also both a scientist and a theist and know many others who are still both. When you're surrounded by intelligent people who all appear to be very strong believers in God, you assume there must be a rational reason, there must be adequate support for the view. It is when you realize that the more intelligent the person is generally the more doubts they have about the truth of religious things and as you examine the evidence yourself that you might realize that religion is without firm basis.

Note that Einstein and other scientists of his day were less religious than Newton and scientists of his day. I expect this trend will continue.

> (1)so u cant simply disgrace the worth of
> ancient knowledge (wehter scientific or
> religion)

I think I can. Anything the ancients or our grandparents believed relative to science, religion, medicine, relationships, etc. that has been verified by our best scientists today should be accepted, not because the ancients believed it, but because our best science today accepts it. Anything the ancients believed that has not been verified or has been refuted by science should NOT be accepted, not because the ancients believed it, but because our best science doesn't accept it.

We are not obligated to accept what our ancient ancestors believed since science can answer the questions better than any other method. Our modern society is far advanced knowledge-wise compared to all former ages. We will only go even further beyond their old superstitions.

If you want to applaud their ancient knowledge, fine. We owe them a great debt for what they knew. Nevertheless, don't expect anyone today to accept an ancient idea simply because the ancients were sometimes right. We have something better: modern science.

The notion that there was an Atlantis or extra-terrestrial Egyptians far advanced beyond our present scientific knowledge is unreasonable. Adam, Abraham, Mohammed and other ancient mythical and real figures were not more knowledgeable about the universe than modern scientists are.

> 2)plus u actually didnt get the theme fully i
> guess(i may be wrong again)but
> chinese,greeks ,romans are not ancient and
> prosperous than christians ,muslims...etc
> these r the better lived prosperous and more
> socially stable civilizations.....so do is the
> knowledge of quran,bible vs that of c's,g's and
> r's..........

The ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Chinese, Greek, and Roman civilizations predated the more modern Christian nd Muslim civilizations. What are trying to say, that the more modern Christian and Muslim nations are better because they're more prosperous? Fine. More stable? I'm not sure about that. During the Middle ages (the age of Christians and Muslims) armies and nations were small and power changed hands more often compared with the ancient empires. Were these differences due to the coming of Jesus Christ and Mohammed or due to advances in science and technology? I think it was due to science and technology.

> once again i doubt ur credibility over
> religious books and concepts.....

I doubt any person's credibility over religious books and concepts. I don't think religious ideas are reliable. I think I'm reliable as an expert on the beliefs of one modern religion (LDS) and somewhat knowledgeable about other religions. I consider myself an expert on science (I have a Ph.D. in Physics and Astronomy).

Fortunately, science does not expect you to have blind faith in my words such as what religions expect of you. You can either perform the validating experiments yourself or read about others who publish their results in peer-reviewed journals.

> nobody knows what God is..
> even the religions.DONT ELL US THAT.......

Some religions claim they know what God is. The LDS do, for example. Some people want God to be comprehensible, others prefer a more mysterious entity. I would add that nobody knows God (the supernatural kind) at all. It's all in their minds and bodies.

> i am standing in front of two different
> paths...science and religion..
> i dont want to choose the wrong path.....

You're not alone. The whole planet is standing at that cross roads. Are we going to continue to support the outdated, superstitious, but comforting ideas of our ancestors or accept the verifiable principles of science?

How well we progress during the next few decades and centuries depends on how we decide.

A response I sometimes give to believers is: even if there is a God, if He's merciful, He wouldn't judge me too harshly for not believing in Him when He's created a universe that looks like He doesn't exist. I've just used the brain He gave me. Does He expect less of me?

Accepting science over religion is almost exclusively win-win. One of the losses is that atheism is not as comforting as theism. Atheists don't tend to be quite as happy as theists. Children who believe in Santa Claus, however, also are probably happier than their older siblings who no longer believe in the Santa myth. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

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