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      06-04-2012, 06:01 PM   #23
E90SoFlo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyleb350 View Post
Good point. I don't think I'll ever be a 7 for the exact same reason.

I wish I had more "coincidences"! Some will say they are open to interpretation I guess.
¥ou would have more coincidences if you prayed..

(if you want to say something negative about this you better post proof)
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      06-04-2012, 06:13 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by kyleb350 View Post
Good point. I don't think I'll ever be a 7 for the exact same reason.

I wish I had more "coincidences"! Some will say they are open to interpretation I guess.
They most certainly are. I wasn't forced into Christianity as a child but as an adult my interpretation of coincidences seemed to be less and less open.
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      06-04-2012, 06:22 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
¥ou would have more coincidences if you prayed..

(if you want to say something negative about this you better post proof)
Proof?

First, I will assume that you believe that researchers from esteemed institutions such as Harvard University and the Mayo clinic to be at least as reputable as the authors of a book written back during the bronze age, when most people could literally not offer a scientifically correct explanation for where the sun went at night.

http://www.healthylivingnyc.com/article/236

The belief that praying for others will impact medical outcomes can be seen weekly in religious services around the country. How many readers have lit a candle seeking divine intercession?

Researchers including the Director of Harvard’s Mind/Body Institute and the Director Mayo Clinic’s chaplain service set out to test these beliefs empirically.

...

Surprisingly, the study found no difference in the rate of serious complications from the surgery between the first two groups. Even more surprising, the six-hospital study of 1,800 patients found that the group who knew they were going to receive prayers on their behalf experienced a significantly higher rate of complications (59% compared to 52% in the other two groups).
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      06-04-2012, 06:36 PM   #26
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      06-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #27
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I am actually really pleasantly surprised with the good exchanges going on as we learn about our fellow forum members. I truly believe that intellectual exchanges like this are hugely important to our evolution. Hopefully no one here gets offended and we can keep it pertinent to the topic, which so far it has

I have a lot more to add later on once I have more time.
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      06-04-2012, 07:39 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by MiddleAgedAl View Post
Proof?

First, I will assume that you believe that researchers from esteemed institutions such as Harvard University and the Mayo clinic to be at least as reputable as the authors of a book written back during the bronze age, when most people could literally not offer a scientifically correct explanation for where the sun went at night.

http://www.healthylivingnyc.com/article/236

The belief that praying for others will impact medical outcomes can be seen weekly in religious services around the country. How many readers have lit a candle seeking divine intercession?

Researchers including the Director of Harvard’s Mind/Body Institute and the Director Mayo Clinic’s chaplain service set out to test these beliefs empirically.

...

Surprisingly, the study found no difference in the rate of serious complications from the surgery between the first two groups. Even more surprising, the six-hospital study of 1,800 patients found that the group who knew they were going to receive prayers on their behalf experienced a significantly higher rate of complications (59% compared to 52% in the other two groups).
You take it so literal, he "God" isn't going to come down and strike someone healed because you have an issue and now want help.

He is a leader, he gives you advice when you ask, and leads you if you listen to what he is saying.

He is not a fixer, well, until the "end" then he will do what he did before, if you choose to believe that.
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      06-04-2012, 08:16 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by MP0WER View Post

For me personally, there have been far to many "coincidences" in my life for me not to believe.
This.

There's no way I'd believe its luck/coincidence. It eases my mind/life to "know" that there is someone/something "guiding" my life and that Im not alone. Even more so that when this life is over, another chapter will begin.

I think about death and it scares me. It really frightens me. I think about faith and what is after this life and it calms me. I used to be afraid to die, Im not afraid anymore.
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      06-04-2012, 08:20 PM   #30
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I read this once... Its a good read.

,Professor : You are a Christian,
aren?’t you, son ?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, you believe in
GOD ?

Student : Absolutely, sir.

Professor : Is GOD good ?

Student : Sure.

Professor: Is GOD all powerful ?

Student : Yes.

Professor: My brother died of
cancer even though he prayed to
GOD to heal him. Most of us
would attempt to help others
who are ill. But GOD didn?’t. How
is this GOD good then? Hmm?

Professor: You can?’t answer,
can you ? Let?’s start again,
young fella. Is GOD good?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Is satan good ?

Student : No.

Professor: Where does satan
come from ?

Student : From ?… GOD ?…

Professor: That?’s right. Tell me
son, is there evil in this world?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Evil is everywhere,
isn?’t it ? And GOD did make
everything. Correct?

Student :Yes

Professor: So who created evil ?

Professor: Is there sickness?
Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness?
All these terrible things exist in
the world, don?’t they?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, who created
them ?

Professor: Science says you have
5 Senses you use to identify and
observe the world around you.
Tell me, son, have you ever seen
GOD?

Student : No, sir.

Professor: Tell us if you have
ever heard your GOD?

Student : No , sir.

Professor: Have you ever felt
your GOD, tasted your GOD, smell
your GOD? Have you ever had any
sensory perception of GOD for
that matter?

Student : No, sir. I?’m afraid I
haven?’t.

Professor: Yet you still believe in
Him?

Student : Yes.

Professor : According to
Empirical, Testable,
Demonstrable Protocol, Science
says your GOD doesn?’t exist.
What do you say to that, son?

Student : Nothing. I only have
my faith.

Professor: Yes, faith. And that is
the problem Science has.

Student : Professor, is there
such a thing as heat?

Professor: Yes.

Student : And is there such a
thing as cold?

Professor: Yes.

Student : No, sir. There isn?’t.

Student : Sir, you can have lots
of heat, even more heat,
superheat, mega heat, white
heat, a little heat or no heat. But
we don?’t have anything called
cold. We can hit 458 degrees
below zero which is no heat, but
we can?’t go any further after
that. There is no such thing as
cold. Cold is only a word we use
to describe the absence of heat.
We cannot measure cold. Heat is
energy. Cold is not the opposite
of heat, sir, just the absence of
it.

Student : What about darkness,
Professor? Is there such a thing
as darkness?

Professor: Yes. What is night if
there isn?’t darkness?

Student : You?’re wrong again,
sir. Darkness is the absence of
something. You can have low
light, normal light, bright light,
flashing light. But if you have no
light constantly, you have
nothing and its called darkness,
isn?’t it? In reality, darkness
isn?’t. If it is, were you would be
able to make darkness darker,
wouldn?’t you?

Professor: So what is the point
you are making, young man ?

Student : Sir, my point is your
philosophical premise is flawed.

Professor: Flawed ? Can you
explain how?

Student : Sir, you are working on
the premise of duality. You
argue there is life and then there
is death, a good GOD and a bad
GOD. You are viewing the concept
of GOD as something finite,
something we can measure. Sir,
Science can?’t even explain a
thought. It uses electricity and
magnetism, but has never seen,
much less fully understood
either one. To view death as the
opposite of life is to be ignorant
of the fact that death cannot
exist as a substantive thing.
Death is not the opposite of life:
just the absence of it. Now tell
me, Professor, do you teach your
students that they evolved from
a monkey?

Professor: If you are referring to
the natural evolutionary process,
yes, of course, I do.

Student : Have you ever
observed evolution with your
own eyes, sir?

Student : Since no one has ever
observed the process of
evolution at work and cannot
even prove that this process is
an on-going endeavor. Are you
not teaching your opinion, sir?
Are you not a scientist but a
preacher?

Student : Is there anyone in the
class who has ever seen the
Professor?’s brain?

Student : Is there anyone here
who has ever heard the

Professor?’s brain, felt it,
touched or smelt it? No one
appears to have done so. So,
according to the established
Rules of Empirical, Stable,
Demonstrable Protocol, Science
says that you have no brain, sir.
With all due respect, sir, how do
we then trust your lectures, sir?

Professor: I guess you?’ll have
to take them on faith, son.

Student : That is it sir ?… Exactly !
The link between man & GOD is
FAITH. That is all that keeps
things alive and moving.
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      06-04-2012, 09:20 PM   #31
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Religious Identification: Mother is Catholic, Father is Jewish.

Notes: See "Religious Identification", by picking a specific religion I am basically saying one of my parents is wrong (and potentially will not be let into heaven). Here's my view... There are 7 billion people on this planet and at least hundreds of different religions. Not all of us are going to be correct in what we believe. As far as the existence of God, I find that hard to determine. Ancient civilizations chalked up the "unexplainable" such as lightning, thunder and earthquakes to various Gods because they did not have a rational explanation for them. The Church in the past has proclaimed things like the world is flat and imprisoned people who dare go against them. Not to mention all of the religious writings are not from the mouth of God himself, but rather interpretations of God's words by mere men (The Prophets, Mohammed, etc.) and considering how flawed men are, I don't know if I trust them.

Those (along with all the killing that has been done in the name of God) are reasons I do not follow an organized religion. Rather, my belief is the following: If there is a God, there is only one God and we all just interpret him differently. Regardless, I will live my life as fully as I possibly can. I will try to help those less fortunate than myself and who cannot help themselves. Quick detour story:

One day in College I just sat down to eat outside in the student union courtyard when a man who was wheelchair bound and paralyzed drove up to me. He was one of those people who could only move his fingers and that is how he operated his motorized wheelchair. I'd seen him many times before because he would drive around with a sign saying he was selling candy bars for $1 and would have a box of candy on one side and a money bin on the other. He drove up to me and started to grunt to get my attention. When I looked at him he was attempting to say something, and I was able to make out "drink". So I said, "do you want me to get you a drink?" He was trying to gesture to between his legs and I noticed he had a cup of soda with a straw. Somebody must have bought him the drink but then walked away. So I picked up his drink and held it to his mouth so he could drink from it. Because of whatever muscle issues he had he wasn't able to completely form a seal around the straw with his lips and every time he took a sip some would dribble out and spill onto his shirt.

Keep in mind I'm in the middle of the union and tons of people are walking by while this is happening and a lot of people were staring at us. After he finished drinking he said thank you over and over, which sounded more like "hhhaaankk yuuuuuu". Then when I thought that was all he wanted he said "bathroom". To be honest I thought, "You've got to be kidding me", but he was there alone and if someone didn't help him he would end up just pissing himself.

So I have him follow me to a bathroom and I hold open the handicap stall door for him to get in. I don't know why I thought this paralyzed guy in a wheelchair could get onto the toilet himself, but I was hoping he could so I didn't have to get involved. Well I hoped wrong because he then said to me "move". I had to pick him up from under his armpits, move him over to the toilet, and remove his pants for him. Afterwards I helped him clean up and get back to his wheelchair.

Afterwords he was basically crying while thanking me and basically didn't stop saying thank you until I had walked out of earshot of him. Oh, and I never even ate the meal that I sat down to eat in the first place.


So back to the thread topic. I try to live my life as a morally solid person and do good for others. Do I have character flaws? Sure, I had sex before marriage, I've done some dumb stupid shit in my life, I drink booze, love boobies, etc. But you know what, I think when you look at my life as a body of work, the good I've done far outweighs the bad (see above). If God is truly the way everyone says he is then I think my body of work will be good enough to get me into heaven. If I don't get into heaven because I didn't follow one of the specific mainstream religions and as a result I'm damned to eternal hell then so be it. I wouldn't want to be stuck for the rest of eternity with someone who would judge me based of that anyways.



TL;DR version: I like turtles.
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      06-07-2012, 05:37 PM   #32
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i like this.


Location, Cyprus

Raised as a christian Orthodox. don't really believe in anything. read a couple of books on various religions. if i had to choose one i would go with Buddhism..
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      06-08-2012, 06:47 AM   #33
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i like this.


Location, Cyprus

Raised as a christian Orthodox. don't really believe in anything. read a couple of books on various religions. if i had to choose one i would go with Buddhism..
I studied Buddhism for a while, I almost think of it as more of a philosophy than a true religion. The Righteous Eightfold Path, Four Noble Truths and all that have a lot of fantastic (if at times depressing) insights. I still don't consider myself Buddhist by any means and don't necessarily agree with all of it but I learned a lot.
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      06-08-2012, 08:49 AM   #34
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[quote=JesterEXW;12092074]
Secondly, I believe that my morality is innate and more pure than that of one trying to enter heaven. I do not avoid bad deeds and embrace good ones for fear of repercussions from a god. Nor do I do good for hope of reward such as heaven. I do these things because my moral compass tells me to, I do good for the sake of good. This is a much less selfish route than those weighing decisions based upon what they have been told in a book or those awaiting a reward. [\QUOTE]

^ Couldn't of said it better myself.

Location: Surface of the Sun...otherwise known as Arizona

Religion: Agnostic...but if pushed "cultural Jew".

Scale: 6

I have a Jewish father and a Catholic mother who are both Athiests, btw. I call myself a "cultural Jew", because ever since I was a kid, we would get together with my Dad's family for the holidays, as we do know with my own kids, and they were the happiest memories I have of growing-up.
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      06-08-2012, 12:17 PM   #35
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6.5

Mother is Jewish, father is Methodist. Grew up hearing from both sides of the family that they were right. See no logical reason to believe in God, I live morally and don't view death in a way that it scares me. Being buried and becoming literally a part of the Earth is just about the most beautiful outcome you could hope for, IMO. Just to stir the pot, I think it would take a bit of narcissism to believe that one would live forever, in this world or the next.
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Straight PIITB. Then eat dumplings.
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      06-08-2012, 01:06 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augenbrauezug
Location: Texas

6.5

Mother is Jewish, father is Methodist. Grew up hearing from both sides of the family that they were right. See no logical reason to believe in God, I live morally and don't view death in a way that it scares me. Being buried and becoming literally a part of the Earth is just about the most beautiful outcome you could hope for, IMO. Just to stir the pot, I think it would take a bit of narcissism to believe that one would live forever, in this world or the next.
A 6.5 in TX? I imagine that anywhere outside of Austin you are a rarity.
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      06-08-2012, 01:14 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augenbrauezug
Location: Texas

6.5

Mother is Jewish, father is Methodist. Grew up hearing from both sides of the family that they were right. See no logical reason to believe in God, I live morally and don't view death in a way that it scares me. Being buried and becoming literally a part of the Earth is just about the most beautiful outcome you could hope for, IMO. Just to stir the pot, I think it would take a bit of narcissism to believe that one would live forever, in this world or the next.
Also, based on your enjoying the idea of becoming one with the Earth you may enjoy this short video. Neil Degrasse Tyson is a renowned astrophysicist and here he speaks about how life came to be and how we are all connected.

I posted this for enjoyment, not to stir the pot. These are scientific facts hr speaks about, if it conflicts with anyone's religious views then I don't know what to tell you except maybe reconsider some things.

http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?v=9D05ej8u-gU
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      06-08-2012, 02:13 PM   #38
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Location: Boston area, originally from North Jersey

Number: 5 - I'm not sure what number is appropriate, as I have a stronger belief that a God/supreme being was instrumental in the existence of the universe, but less belief that a God is watching/controlling our existence.

Religious Identification: Minimally practicing Jew with a respect for the culture and tradition.

My wife is Jewish, my ex-wife was raised Christian, of my 2 kids from the ex (which my current wife and I raised) one took-on Judaism, the other didn't.

Of course I can't be unbiased when it comes to Judaism, but I have to say that my synagogue is the most inviting, non-judgemental, and respectful of other religions that one can imagine.

I accept that the US is a Christianity-observing country as far as holidays and traditions, but to hear the Christian majority in this country whine about putting Christ back in Christmas makes me want to puke.
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      06-08-2012, 02:27 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotchAndCigar
Location: Boston area, originally from North Jersey

Number: 5 - I'm not sure what number is appropriate, as I have a stronger belief that a God/supreme being was instrumental in the existence of the universe, but less belief that a God is watching/controlling our existence.

Religious Identification: Minimally practicing Jew with a respect for the culture and tradition.

My wife is Jewish, my ex-wife was raised Christian, of my 2 kids from the ex (which my current wife and I raised) one took-on Judaism, the other didn't.

Of course I can't be unbiased when it comes to Judaism, but I have to say that my synagogue is the most inviting, non-judgemental, and respectful of other religions that one can imagine.

I accept that the US is a Christianity-observing country as far as holidays and traditions, but to hear the Christian majority in this country whine about putting Christ back in Christmas makes me want to puke.
I don't ever want to tell anyone what they are or are not so I hope this is not taken the wrong way. That being said it sounds like you would consider yourself to be a Deist as opposed to a Theist.

The difference is this: A theist believes in an omnipotent god or gods that actively watch and care about what we do. They may interfere with this world and have plans for us after.
A deist on the other hand believes that god was/is similar to a watchmaker or scientist. They created all this or played a massive role in it but then went on their merry way to new things. They don't care about what we do or think nor do they have special plans for us, we are simply something they created either intentionally or unintentionally.

It is strongly believed that many of the founders of this country were deists: Jefferson, Franklin and Washington among them. There is much supporting evidence for this. Countless other historic figures fall into this category, Paine being one of my favorites.
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      06-08-2012, 03:03 PM   #40
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Quote:
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I don't ever want to tell anyone what they are or are not so I hope this is not taken the wrong way. That being said it sounds like you would consider yourself to be a Deist as opposed to a Theist.

The difference is this: A theist believes in an omnipotent god or gods that actively watch and care about what we do. They may interfere with this world and have plans for us after.
A deist on the other hand believes that god was/is similar to a watchmaker or scientist. They created all this or played a massive role in it but then went on their merry way to new things. They don't care about what we do or think nor do they have special plans for us, we are simply something they created either intentionally or unintentionally.

It is strongly believed that many of the founders of this country were deists: Jefferson, Franklin and Washington among them. There is much supporting evidence for this. Countless other historic figures fall into this category, Paine being one of my favorites.
Sure, I'll take the one with the D. I always say, if it's good enough for Stephen Hawking, it's good enough for me.
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      06-08-2012, 09:15 PM   #41
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Supreme Being

Location: Decatur, IL

Number: 1.5

Religious Identification: Nazarene

Notes: Existence of GOD..? No matter what you call him/her when you look around you see his/her hand everywhere.

BTW: Even through Stephen Hawking is the greatest Theoretical physics alive today. I find his theory of the "Big Bang" hard to get my arms around. I have listened to him discussing his theory in the past. However when it gets right down to the bang itself, that's where I ask "Who set this fire cracker off", a supreme being..? Yes
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      06-09-2012, 08:09 AM   #42
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Quote:
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A 6.5 in TX? I imagine that anywhere outside of Austin you are a rarity.
Definitely, I keep my views to myself when it comes up in discussion. I ALWAYS become the odd man out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JesterEXW View Post
Also, based on your enjoying the idea of becoming one with the Earth you may enjoy this short video. Neil Degrasse Tyson is a renowned astrophysicist and here he speaks about how life came to be and how we are all connected.

I posted this for enjoyment, not to stir the pot. These are scientific facts hr speaks about, if it conflicts with anyone's religious views then I don't know what to tell you except maybe reconsider some things.

http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_u...?v=9D05ej8u-gU
I love Neil!
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Straight PIITB. Then eat dumplings.
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      06-09-2012, 10:23 PM   #43
litt
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In my view, true science and true religion are really the same thing. They are both concerned with finding and understanding truth or rather things as they really are. I think it is nieve, however, to believe that we understand the universe and to think that the small understanding that we have now won't change 200 years from now. History has shown this time and time again. But, at some point, if God does exist, then science and religion must converge in my opinion.
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      06-10-2012, 12:20 PM   #44
yakev724
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Originally Posted by litt View Post
In my view, true science and true religion are really the same thing. They are both concerned with finding and understanding truth or rather things as they really are. I think it is nieve, however, to believe that we understand the universe and to think that the small understanding that we have now won't change 200 years from now. History has shown this time and time again. But, at some point, if God does exist, then science and religion must converge in my opinion.
The amount of misinterpretation and miscategorization "science" receives is astounding. Experimental research builds on observations and empirical evidence to develop a logical understanding of the things around us. This is what makes it into widely read scientific journals, drives new technological development, and eventually ends up being taught to students. There are also theoretical scientists, which push the boundaries by making predictions which may or may not be tested and proven/disproven in the future. It is because of the ambiguity between theoretical and experimental science that the common view of science may be seen as parallel to religion, something which I would argue is structured completely differently.

The models used in physics, astrophysics, etc. are built on centuries of observation, modeling, and understanding. Galileo's 400 year work in modeling our solar system as heliocentric was criticized for years by the Catholic church before it was accepted. If various religions' models of our universe must change each time a contradictory scientific discovery is made, how much merit do they have in their other aspects?



As a side note, I've personally observed that in some cases, religion (esp. catholicism in the US) may instill a sense of economic and knowledge complacency. Those that use religion as their 'moral compass' may overlook drastic social and economic problems on which they can have a direct impact, but choose not to because of a lack of religious reward/acknowledgment. Finally, the US' education system's attitude towards religious teaching, evolution, and education about education and scientific research needs to be reformed if the U.S. is to remain strong economically a few decades down the line.

Last edited by yakev724; 06-10-2012 at 01:06 PM.
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