Atheism Is Inconsistent with the Scientific Method

Discussion in 'Science and the Universe' started by wil, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. Mrs Malaprop

    Mrs Malaprop Member

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    So what are the "non-empirical" sciences?
     
  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    All the qualitative research out there?
     
  3. Mrs Malaprop

    Mrs Malaprop Member

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    Check what "empirical" means.
     
  4. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Whew, they didn't change the meaning since last time, but you never now. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

    In the context of medicine, it can mean "quackery". There are other meanings. Which one are you interested in discussing?
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe I should have said 'physical sciences'?
     
  6. Mrs Malaprop

    Mrs Malaprop Member

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    The scientific method is based on empiricism, which involves observation.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

    So if there is nothing about God which can be observed, then the scientific method can't be applied.
     
  7. Beautiful

    Beautiful Active Member

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    When we say "the scientific method is based on empiricism, which involves observation" what do we mean by Observation? Who observes?
     
  8. Mrs Malaprop

    Mrs Malaprop Member

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    People observe, either directly or via instruments.
     
  9. Beautiful

    Beautiful Active Member

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    Indeed, the person observes the object to understand it.

    But what does the person know about him or herself? After all, the quality of the tool of observation will be a deciding factor in making a correct interpretation of the workings of a fact.
     
  10. Mrs Malaprop

    Mrs Malaprop Member

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    Sure, but science experiments results are generally not considered valid until they have been reproduced or confirmed by others.
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The God v invisible pink unicorns thing?

    It's a question of categories. We put God in a category of His own. Unicorn is in the category of animal. There are horse-like animals, there are horned animals, so the existence of a horned horse is not impossible.

    Pink? That's a matter of shade, isn't it? I'd say pale creamy-like is OK, or deep ruddy is also OK, but bubblegum pink has a limited camouflage effectiveness, for instance ...

    Invisible animals? There's a massive problem here that anything in the 'animal' category must a priori be corporeal, and the corporeal is visible.

    The evidence for unicorns comes primarily from sources whom we now appreciate were imagining what such creatures might loo like, often inventing fabulous creatures to be found in fabulous lands, or what might have been the Indian rhino...

    Again, the whole idea points to a proper understanding of the method one is using to affirm or refute something. An invisible pink unicorn is dubious in itself for very good reasons, whereas the same argument cannot be applied to God, so it renders the comparison flawed. The same rule stands when some compare God and Santa Claus, or ask whether God can make a stone so big He can't move it, or can He make a four-sided triangle, etc.
     
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  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    This reminds me of Jim Rohn telling people, "no that car (or house or diamond or yacht) is not too expensive... It is just too expensive for you!

    No, that question is not evidence...

    It is just evidence for you.

    Hokier than thou responses, or you gotta have faith, have rubbed me the wrong way for decades.

    Openly exploring options, explaining ones view without apologetics or belittling...

    These may not answer all my questions or complete my understanding...

    But I respect them and they are greatly appreciated (he says knowing no one 'needs' his respect or appreciation)
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    No, there is a logical point — the argument assumes invisible pink unicorns are analogous to God — they're not, based on a priori assumptions about the nature of God and the nature of unicorns, ergo the analogy falls down. It's a variation of the Russell's Teapot argument.

    The basis of the argument, however, assumes that because I believe in God, and you can't disprove the existence of God, then the existence of God is proven. That's an illogical argument. Conversely, if you disbelieve in God, and I cannot prove the existence of God, then the non-existence of God is proven. Again, the logical is flawed.

    The point being that one can neither prove nor disprove the existence of a supernatural entity by natural means, therefore the OP is correct, atheism is no more a logical scientific position than theism.

    That the logic, rationale and reasoning of the argument rubs you the wrong way is neither here nor there, as the statement is logically consistent.
     
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  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I suppose I should have started out with, I agree with you!

    one of the funniest typos ever.
     
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