Can belief in a higher power be combined with Evolution

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by keithzworld, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    The Jesuits in the Catholic Church are famous for succeeding to do just that. In fact, they make the best scientists and astrophysicists, pioneers at hamonizing Theology with Science without contradiction. It goes without saying that atheists do not like them. Perhaps for having their atheistic weapons neutrilized in their fight against the idea of God.
    Ben
     
  2. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Well, that may be true. For instance, look up "Michael Heller", a Catholic Priest (at PAT and will probably be the next Director of the Vatican Observatory)--who is do some very "state of the art" work in extending geometry to model quantum mechanics (in the vein of Penrose).

    Brightness knows very few theological or ethnic boundries.

    Pax et amore omnia vincunt!
     
  3. vizenos

    vizenos New Member

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    That certainly works for me! While I have perhaps more confidence than you that the preponderance of evidence for evolution--much like the preponderance of evidence for gravitation--is sufficient to ensure that the theory will be modified, elaborated, improved, but never falsified, the fact remains that in science ALL truth is tentative, never absolute. It seems to me that this is what you are saying and, if so, I tentatively agree! ;)

    I do wish to add one thing, however. Science builds upon replicable evidence, which is not quite the same as "repeatable evidence". Evidence, to be replicable, does not require that it result from an experiment which can be repeated; it can result from data which remains available to be observed repeatedly, and which will appear the same to anyone observing it, provided that the observer knows what to look for.

    Lest that last clause seem like a lame cop-out, let me give an example. In the early part of the last century, an eminent European archaeologist, the foremost European expert in paleolithic tool industries, examined the floor of Olduvai Gorge and reported that he found absolutely no evidence of fabricated tools at that site. Some years later, Louis Leakey examined that same site, found that it was virtually impossible to walk on the floor of Olduvai Gorge without stepping on fabricated tools, and he came back with the photographs to support that claim! How did this happen? The answer was horrifyingly simple. The European archaeologist was looking for tools made out of flint, because that is what European stone tools are made out of. Leakey, being a native of Kenya, was not looking for flint; it would never have occurred to him to look for flint, which was simply not available in East Africa! So the European expert saw no tools, and Leakey saw tools everywhere. So, what's my point? Anyone who goes to Olduvai Gorge and looks for stone tools there will find what Leakey found--provided he's not looking for flint! And that's what I mean by "replicable evidence". :D

    Regards,
    Jim
     
  4. vizenos

    vizenos New Member

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    That is a truly excellent explication! I very much wish that I had said that and, since I am copying it to a Word document, I undoubtedly will, in the future! :D

    My only problem: How can I construct an attribution for this, to give due credit to "Radarmark"? :confused:

    Regards,
    Jim
     
  5. vizenos

    vizenos New Member

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    By heavens, you're absolutely right! And lest anyone say, "Hah! Just another pair of Roman Catholics, patting each other on the back!", I am not a Roman Catholic, I'm Greek Orthodox. The evidence for your statement would remain both overwhelming and unchanged, were I a worshiper of the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

    Regards,
    Jim
     
  6. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I agree whole heartedly with every word. You should come here more often.
     
  7. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    The evidence of God does appear to be replicable. :D
     
  8. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Vizenos -- thanks for the compliment, I just tink oddly. Luecy 7, be very careful with that saying because most scientists take "evidence" as a physical, quantifiable something!

    Pax et amore omnia vincunt!
     
  9. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Is there a way for us to interact or communicate through something non-physical?
     
  10. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Yep, it is call thought or relexation or mental events.

    What do you consider material "evidence of G!d" and once identified, how is it replicable?

    Pax et amore omnia vincunt!
     
  11. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Mental masturbation.

    Faith, love, honesty, interaction, prayer: the same ways that you would replicate the evidence that someone who appears with a human body... actually exists. Another strong guiding point is: What we do for the least of people, we do for God. That does not mean that the least of people will behave anything like God. Inspect behavior carefully, and compare.
     
  12. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Well, you are entitled to that opinion. But your "mental masturbation" is what faith, love, honesty, interaction and prayer are. If you judge all of these as mere behavioralism (which you imply), then how do you account for the faithful, loving, honest, involved, prayerful agnostic or atheist? You would then have to consider them as "evidence of G!d". But by definition (unless one is a strict materialist) one cannot.

    But as a strict materialist are you really suddesting that G!d is strictly material? Is it only H!s behavior that makes H!r G!d? Do you see the logical flaw? One can be a strict materialist and be an atheist easily, but (unless you are using the word "god" in a way we ususally do not) it is rather inconsistent to be a materialist and a theist.

    Pax et amore omnia vincunt!
     
  13. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    From my perspective, God has the power to make God plainly obvious to a person.

    I don't see materialism as true, but I do use and interact through physical material. Don't you?

    ?!?

    Which one?

    By what aspect are you calling me a materialist? Do you believe I think God is composed of atoms? Should I similarly say that you are composed of bytes on this website?
     
  14. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    How can you be sure that the evidence of God that you think comes from God is not instead coming from your mind and your mind only? How do you know it's not just a self-fulfilling prophecy - perhaps you want to believe in God, therefore your mind fabricates God's interaction in your life?

    Back when I was Christian, my fellow church members would often pray for "direction from God" for various issues in their lives. I always wondered, how do they know this "direction" actually comes from God and isn't just a product of their mind?

    Do you ever get "direction" or "signs" from God? How do you differentiate that from an experience generated by your mind?

    Do you think the "visions" of Native Americans also came from this same God?
     
  15. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    See your first post said "Is there a way for us to interact or communicate through something non-physical?"

    I relied "Yep, it is call thought or relexation or mental events".

    And you replied "Mental masturbation."

    You have cleared that up. If one is not a materialist (hence a behavioralist in psychology), why would you call thought "mental masturbation".

    We agree. G!d makes H!rself known to each of us plain as day. G!d is non-material. I require no material proof if you are saying that thoughts exist meaningfully.

    Panta Rhei! (Everything Flows!)
     
  16. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Thought, relaxation, or mental events... are physical.

    Yes. Imagine a vehicle with two steering wheels and two drivers, like an aircraft. You can potentially get into a little game of issues over who is responsible for the driving, and over who or what is in control. In a manner of speaking, the vehicle is potentially in control, each of the obvious drivers are potentially in control, and hidden drivers (via other vehicles, weather, manufacturer, mechanic), are also in control. Something like an Ouija board. No single individual would necessarily know who, or what, was in control.

    Similarly as I read your statement: thought, relaxation, and mental events, you are describing driving solo. Sort of like using an Ouija board all by yourself, as if the brain just magically presents the answers of where to go and how to get there all by itself.

    I reject both cases as mental masturbation. People find that it feels good, and I understand why. In my view, a person will fail to know God with mental masturbation, just as drivers will fail to know each other in the two examples that I provided. Better to attempt to co-ordinate and to co-operate: also known as, FAITH. When a degree of co-ordination and co-operation is achieved, is there uncertainty over who is in control, like that of an ouija board, or a magical brain?

    I am neither a materialist, nor a behavioralist. I am an engineer.

    Not necessarily.

    Material proof of what?!
     
  17. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    God can do things that I can't.

    Is my reply, similarly just a product of your mind?

    Of course.

    Lets ask it this way: How do we differentiate a sign that is from someone who is good, from a sign that is from someone who is evil?

    They were not my "visions", so why should I spend any time thinking about them? I imagine they were potentially from God. Do you think that a vision is proof of God?
     
  18. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    If one states thoughts are physical, one cannot believe in the existence of mind. By definition and about 6000 year of philosophical thought this makes you wither a (1) material monist, (2) inconsistent, or (3) a believer in some "third option" (like spirits or souls without minds). So post #232 stands. If mental events are physical minds are physical. If minds are physical, G!d's mind is physical. So where is it located?

    The refutation is easy. I am now looking at the back of my right hand. I have now turned it over and am looking at the palm. THe responsibility is mine and mine alone. My thoughts (conscious and unconscious) control my body. Do you have someone else in your body causing you to type your reply to this?

    Yep. I can demonstrate that easily (and did above). What is the alternative? In philosophy (among those who have spent a lifetime of thinking about this sort of thing) the only real alternatives are: solipsism (the belief that one one mind, necessarily yours. exists and reality is defined as its thoughts, in your case defined as your perceptions and mysterious physicality of mind) or epiphenominalism (my perception of my mind is a mistake, a flaw in my physical make-up tricking me into believing that I am conscious, so my thoughts are really just probducts of the goat cheese I had for dinner last night). Take your pick.

    What I percieve (contraryily to you) is a mind that has access to a lot of realtime information (via my senses) and a lot of stored information (memory) which can solve the problem. If I am driving solo down the highway and have not mapped out my route and need to figure out how to get from point A to point B, I solve the problem by pulling off the road and getting a map or turning on mapquest.

    If there are two drivers or two pilots (you eamples)

    Interesting, how does one know G!d if there is no mind? One usually assumes knowing is a mental event. If mental events do not exist, what is knowledge?


     
  19. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    What if instead of a third eye someone had two eyes there?
     
  20. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    Can you give me three examples of something you can't do, and which you attribute to God's divine intervention?


    Yes, when I read your reply it becomes a product of my mind, subject to my "rose colored glasses" and all my biases and assumptions.

    When someone else reads your reply it becomes a product of their subjective mind. If you type your reply, yet I don't read it, it is not a product of my mind.


    So, all good signs are from God, and all evil signs are from your mind? That is what you are implying here. Otherwise, as I asked before, how do you differentiate between a "sign" from God and a product of your mind?


    I think all "visions" are a product of mind. Do you think some visions come from God and some not from God? How can you tell the difference?
     

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