Are science and religion reconciliable? -

Lemmingwise

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if God created the universe, then who created God?
This criticism is as good as "whoever smelled it dealt it". It sounds like a refutal, but only at the surface level.

Before I go into why, assume for a moment that the logic of that question is flawless. Then it will end up disproving any explanation for the universe. If you take the position that all matter comes from the expanding after the big bang, then what created the matter? If you then answer it with "the matter was always there", then how could one not make the same claim about god, that he was always there?

But the simpler dissection of the question is that there was no claim that everything had to be created and therefor it isn't a refutal. What is it called, the paradox of the stone? Can god create a stone so heavy that even he can't lift it?

It's resolved the same way as "what happens if an immovable object meets an irrestitable force?". And the answer is that any universe that has an immovable object can't have an irresistable force and vice versa. Like a scientist, we try to identify natural laws accurately and when we find something that is an irresistable force and we find something that is an immovable object, we will find that one of the two was wrongly labelled/identified when you put them together.

Similarly if you say there is such a thing as god (implied: christian omnipotent god), then you say also that there is no limit to what he is capable off, and therefor there could not be a stone that he can't lift. If you say that there could be a stone he can't lift, you can't conceptualise him as an omnipotent god.

To get back to the original question, the claim of a christian omnipotent god does not include the claim that god is created, so the demand to know who or what created him is not a refutal.

Though in practise it's probably a good question to get people to sperg out as they try to answer things that literally nobody knows.

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Besides that, I thought the fundamental questions you asked were interesting.

I think if you look at it from inside a moral framework of religion (of at least the abrahamic faiths), at least one more common question should be added: why does god allow bad things to happen to good people?

Fuck science. Fuck religion. They're both changeable dogmatic horseshit. Engineering and spirituality for the win. Their processes either work or they don't.
How does using a different word for the same thing solve the problem?
 

The best and greatest

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Its not so much that Science and religion are in conflict but rather that because what we know about our universe creates discrepancies in the liturgical record you have traditionalists who insist on doubling down rather than correcting what they "Know to be true" and in turn making it stronger and better able to withstand scrutiny. This imo is a flaw of certain sects of Christianity's over-reliance on the authority of the bible as an accurate and true testament to the history of the earth, its peoples, and the god who watches over it.
 

Fagatron

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For me to suitably answer this I think it would be better to thin down the definition of religion a little bit.

If we consider any sort of nebulous or philosophical practices such as Confucianism, Therevada (non-theistic and materialistic) Buddhism, Veganism, Animism and the like? Absolutely. I don't necessarily care for their teachings or agree with them, however, they don't make any objective claims that contradict reality. They teach moral "truths" which you can either agree with or discard. Unlike science, it doesn't make any claims on the workings of the material world and instead tends to focus on the inner self and internal emotive transformation.

Where we come to supernatural religions, especially Theism we start to run into problems. To the Pre-Cortez Aztecs, their Pantheon was real and required regular human sacrifices to sustain them. It didn't matter if you personally believed in them or not, or if the sun actually still rose without an offering of blood the majority absolutely did believe it was necessary and blasphemous to suggest otherwise despite the rotation of the planets in no way being tied to human activity.

Modern religions "may" (Islam excluded) be less destructive than ancient ones; but they still make claims on reality that science has or can contradict, but they still must be accepted as an act of faith.

Vaccines do not cause autism, you cannot raise the dead with prayer, there is no such thing as a soul, raping a lesbian does not suddenly make her heterosexual, you cannot cure aids by having intercourse with a virgin, bread and wine does not turn into the body and blood of a Jewish apocalyptic prophet when you say the right magic words, neither Eos or Khepri carry the sun across the sky, Ostara has no involvement in the annual rotation and angle of the planet in orbit triggering the environmental changes we collectively label "spring" and it's very easy to demonstrate all of the above with science. To deny one of those however to the believer of them is heretical and depraved.

I think it's possible to hold some beliefs that can be defined as religion and reconcile them with scientific reality. I don't believe it is possible to reconcile belief in the supernatural or theism with science.

The sole exception I can think of to this is Deism; but really, a God who made the world but otherwise does not interact with it? What purpose does such a belief serve beyond "Maybe there is an afterlife"?
 
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MAPK phosphatase

Cell Death Regulator
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Science seek truth about the physical world. Religion seeks a framework by which we can orient our life. If you try to use religion to seek truth about the physical world you get creationism. If you try to use the philosophy of science to seek a framework by which you can orient your life you get hedonism, degeneracy, weak communities, and aimless lives. Religion was a way to seek truth back before we had better tools to do so. Because a person's morality is inevitably colored by the nature of the world, religion took on the role of outlining that nature. It's served it's purpose and that part should be left behind, but the moral framework and the mythos that surrounds that framework are still valuable and need to be preserved.
Marx said religion was the opium of the masses. Well, religion is on the decline and we're in the middle of an opiate crisis, so I guess in a way he was right. But without religion, opium is the opium of the masses.
 

Fagatron

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Science seek truth about the physical world. Religion seeks a framework by which we can orient our life. If you try to use religion to seek truth about the physical world you get creationism. If you try to use the philosophy of science to seek a framework by which you can orient your life you get hedonism, degeneracy, weak communities, and aimless lives. ....

Marx said religion was the opium of the masses. Well, religion is on the decline and we're in the middle of an opiate crisis, so I guess in a way he was right. But without religion, opium is the opium of the masses.
If this was the case; why is it that today people are having less sex and sex work is actively hindered by the authorities, unlike earlier centuries where brothels were commonplace and perfectly acceptable if not expected for a man to attend?

Rome itself even was famed in the middle part of the last Millenium for the sheer quantity of pleasure houses littering the streets.

Being religious does not exclude being a degenerate, as the evidence shows they're just less honest about it.
 

MAPK phosphatase

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If this was the case; why is it that today people are having less sex and sex work is actively hindered by the authorities, unlike earlier centuries where brothels were commonplace and perfectly acceptable if not expected for a man to attend?

Rome itself even was famed in the middle part of the last Millenium for the sheer quantity of pleasure houses littering the streets.

Being religious does not exclude being a degenerate, as the evidence shows they're just less honest about it.
I was trying to keep it short, but I suppose the definitions I'm using do warrant an explanation.

When I talk about hedonism I mean seeking pleasure and avoiding discomfort above other things. For example, thinking of marriage as a selfish pursuit and not as a means of providing a stable environment to raise a child or a duty. That means you marry for personal pleasure and when you no longer get any personal pleasure out of your marriage you just leave. Marrying for stability and duty, and acknowledging self sacrifice as a part of that, means you have to consider long term satisfaction. Another thing that is emblematic of this it there are millions of prime age men (25-54) that are not in the labor force (NILF) and not looking for work, and yet capable of working. They engage in leisure as if it were a job. Men not in the workforce and without much college education report spending on average two hours a day playing video games and 10% of those spend 6 hours a day. Video games are not causing this, they are merely a symptom.

When I talk about degeneracy I'm speaking broader than sexual deviancy. I mean the moralities found in many religions have been evolved over many years and hitting the reset button on all that results in something lost, we degenerate back to a more base morality. If you wanted to show the bible belt to be degenerate the rampant teen pregnancy, and high divorce rate would have been a better way than the porn. However stuff like that is better explained through poverty, lack of education, marrying too young and too quickly, no fault divorces, and the welfare state incentivising it. If anything, it shows how religion can't exert the societal pressure it once used to, which in my view is both a good and a bad thing. Good because it's less caught up in exerting control over the state (and any problems with the religion don't become problems with the government) and bad because it's worse at providing stable moral precepts on the local community level.


The crackdown in the modern day on sex work is a result of modern Christian morality still driving much of society (in North America and Europe, at least), however tolerance of casual sex has increased. The people who are in favor of looser sex work laws in the modern day tend not to be the most religious or conservative. Rome and other older cultures were more degenerate (once again, i'm talking broader than sexual promiscuity), which is why Christianity survived and all of those other cultures didn't. The natural selection of cultures put a church in every community, not a brothel.

People having less sex isn't evidence against hedonism. As I mentioned hedonism is about seeking pleasure and avoiding discomfort above other things. One pleasure is sex, but in the modern day there are many displeasures between an individual and sex. Meanwhile there are many other pleasures available with far fewer displeasures in the way. Though I'm not going to say that's the only reason, my researching the topic shows there are many contributing factors that could explain the phenomena.
 

Oglooger

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Religion says humans are important but only insofar as they are part of a higher plan.
Isn't that mostly Christianity? in the old European Pantheons and Babylonian Myth humans were seen as just lower beings to the Gods who had to win their favor through actions, Zoroastrianism had us under complete mercy of Gods who never let them leave their cities (see: terrible sand storms). Only in semetic religions do I see this concept of a chosen people or that humanity is super special and that God loves us all and has us as part of a higher plan.
 
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Positron

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My God is a God that gave me reason to understand the universe he created. And I am grateful for my mind.
Just as God allowed Adam to name the creatures in Eden, He allows us modern-day humans to use our intellect to understand the Cosmos. But the caveat is: our knowledge is doomed to be incomplete, and (as least according to certain Protestant perspectives) distorted by sin. We need the revelation of God to complete the picture.
 

Anti Pedo Action

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If you then answer it with "the matter was always there", then how could one not make the same claim about god, that he was always there?
You have it backwards: If your answer is "God was always there" then why not make the same claim about matter?
We can reasonably conclude matter exists based on evidence. There is no such evidence for a god. The claim that matter always existed requires fewer assumptions than the claim that a god always existed since you'd also have to assume a god exists at all.
 
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Lemmingwise

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You have it backwards: If your answer is "God was always there" then why not make the same claim about matter?
We can reasonably conclude matter exists based on evidence. There is no such evidence for a god. The claim that matter always existed requires fewer assumptions than the claim that a god always existed since you'd also have to assume a god exists at all.
There's nothing backwards about it. I'm stating a relationship that if it goes one way, it also goes in the other way. You then stating, but it also goes one way. Well yes, that's the assumption that I'm using to make a point. It looks like your own bias with presumed direction of the relationship.

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There is also no such evidence for matter having always existed. We presume it in the way we presume that things fall down before the concept of gravity. It's a reasonable presumption. You can do endless experiments on earth and drop things and see it repeated. It's a presumption based on incomplete data and almost certainly incorrect. Things don't fall down, they're attracted to mass.

I'll state my point clearer in a way that it's clearer for the biased atheists: the presumption that mass has always existed is as theoretical as the concept of god.
 

SageInAllFields

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Science is a tool and should be subservient to religion, that is the only acceptable reconciliation in my eyes. Without religion to direct it what purpose does science serve and how does it know when to stop?

"The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values." [Industrial Society and it's Future - Theodore Kaczynski, 50]
 

Hongourable Madisha

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I think the conflict of science and religion is more a cultural and political one, than one about religions; the Islamic Golden Age was driven by religious people wanting to understand more about Allah's creations, and to alleviate suffering with medicines. And the Buddhist Kalamas Sutta is a pretty decent description of the scientific method, don't believe things without reason, gain wisdom and understanding by trying things for yourself and judging the results. And lots of Christians believing "the heavens declare the glory of god and the firmament showeth his handiwork" and wanting to learn about the firmament. But then within these same religions there's also religious people who are opposed to scientific progress, or to the scientific method as a way of understanding the world. Largely because of other cultural and political factors that have in turn influenced their religious practice and attitude to science.
 

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Considering the origins of science and the state of modern efforts in science(tm) I'm not sure how anyone could say the two aren't reconcilable. I'll push it one step further, at least in terms of Christianity, it's actually necessary.

We aren't talking about trial and error, or philosophy, but the actual scientific method in search of categorizing and understanding the natural world then that process and idea started with Christian monks in the medieval years trying to understand the world they believed God created. Since God is a God of reason and order it follows his creations follow reason and order and understanding his creation gets you closer to understanding Him. That was the logic behind the start of science and the scientific method officially.

I'm not sure people understand how important the Christian framework is to the basis and foundation of science. Science presumes the world operates under reason and logic which stems directly from Christian teachings(albeit assisted by greek philosophy). There is no real reason to accept that axiom without Christianity. This has been the Islamics world problem over the centuries(we cannot understand Allah his choices are based on a whim not reason), and it's also the basis for post modernism and why it still exists despite being a batshit crazy concept. Post modernism, correctly I might add, rejects the basis of reason and logic that you necessarily have to remove if you remove a creator from the start of reality. Everything then becomes subjectivity. There is no way to refute that from a secular POV and it's why science has been in a serious decline over the last 4 decades.

When you look at the reproducibility crisis going on today where 50% of all studies done in all fields cannot be reproduced, whatever these "scientists" are doing, it isn't science. That is a 80%+ rate of non-reproducible studies in the social sciences with psychology coming on top with a 90% rate. It isn't a coincidence that science has become less scientific as the people doing it have become more secular. Yes there are incentives that corrupt the process(govt Grant's in certain fields of study or for certain conclusions) but ultimately there is no moral imperative for anyone doing any study not to lie. That is directly connected to the increasing secularization of society.

This question always strikes me as odd due to science and religion serving two completely separate functions. Science is a tool to measure reality around us. That's all it does. It is not engineering, it is not useful for philosophy or teaching of morals. Religion is about how one should live ones life. They have to be compatible due to them dealing with two separate fields entirely.

TLDR: Yes, they are reconcilable. Christianity specifically is necessary for it.
 

Bumblino

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I've always said what's philosophical and what's scientific can coexist. When you talk about the abstract science cannot really apply to it though, so it's hard that they can be intermixed if that's what you're asking. I have no problem believing in something beyond the real and trusting science to understand the material. Now if it's specific religions that claim something that science already disproved, that's obviously always gonna fall flat. But you know, no hate on those religions, in their time they couldn't understand that and they came up with an explanation, even science contradicts its past findings with new information and I don't believe someone's gonna pretend like science can't be discussed because it's been proved to be wrong more than once.
 

LargeChoonger

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I'll use myself as an example; I believe that the literal hand of God has come down less times than I have fingers. What is far more reasonable (and can align with the theory of evolution and the fossil record) is that events such as the beginning of Genesis are not literal and play out as an orchestrated series of events stretching for billions of years (this is also supported by scientific findings explaining just how unlikely and long it would take for a sea of random events to create amino acids). Why would an all-powerful creator use the Roman calendar? Each "day" could've been an entire era. So the answer to your question depends on who you ask
 

DanteAlighieri

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Why would an all-powerful creator use the Roman calendar? Each "day" could've been an entire era. So the answer to your question depends on who you ask
The way I was taught this was that it's not a literal day but a metaphor. Would a day for the supreme being and creator of everything be the same as a day for us humans? Of course not. Whether or not it took a day, a thousand years, a hundred thousand years, or millions, saying six days for this and that is just a simple way of saying "it took some time for God to create everything".

Hell, what if God lives on a different planet with a longer day?
 
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