Suppose, just suppose that science finally finds the god! If this happens, then how will you recognize him to be god? Will you ask him to perform miracles? Will you ask him how he created the universe? Will you tell him that you are an atheist who did not believe in him? Will you ask him questions that Epicurus and Shelley asked?
After you have strained your imagination this way, do you really believe that science can some day truly discover god?
This is the basis of non belief. The whole point of my involvement in this discussion and site, is to find some meaning to my existence, and maybe to discover a belief that I couldn't see before. Science will not find God! Its my view that man needs a god or gods to justify his existence, and prolong our obviously limited life span. I would be crazy not to want to see my departed parents and friends again, who wouldn't, but my sceptical nature tells me that the evidence says its impossible.
If I heard tomorrow, that we could prove another life, and a greater being than us existed, I would be over the moon. It isn't going to happen, we are stuck with what we have, a short fulfilled time with our family, and hopefully, a pain free death as late as possible.
Now you're going into a "philosophical" area, as opposed to "scientific", but maybe that's what this whole discussion truly is about anyway. So along those lines, one would have to ask, "What price are you willing to pay?" Condemn gays? Treat women as second class citizens? Sacrifice your 1st born?
That being said, I still agree with with the earlier comments that this is a tad silly conversation for this site and especially this particular (scientific) sub group.
Alan, To find some meaning to your existence, look around you. Even go outside and look at the stars, with a telescope if you have one. Recognize what a HUGE universe we live in. You and I are just specks of dust, made up of atoms from exploding stars. That is all. There is no grand design, no plan for our future, no meaning in our living.
The secret is, we have to create our own design, plan and meaning. We exist as a spark in the billions of years of the universe. Very little time and no heaven and no hell and no meeting loved ones in some later after-death experiences. We build memories in our children, families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and in the things we choose to do with our time.
Some choose to spend hours in front of the TV, or watch someone else do something. If that is what you want your life to be, so do it. If you want more, then do more or something other than what you have been doing.
There is no road map. All there is is one breath at a time, one day at a time, and one life at a time. That is it.
Science won't find god; it will find a lot of other things. The science of communication is a powerful tool and so are problem solving, conflict resolution, negotiating, and compromising. Science offers good health with improved quality of your life. Science of education will facilitate critical thinking. Science of economics gives guidelines for preparing for life-long income. Science of politics provides the tools to influence legislation, or figure out what is good for you and the Earth. Science of leadership can be used to have better relationships, more successful projects, better planning tools, budgeting, scheduling, delegating, and evaluating tools.
When you breath your last breath, you will feel like a victim of life or like a person who put your whole mind and body into things that bring you pleasure and create a better Earth.
What can you ask a god? Dear god, do you use red lipstick? I'd say that I don't need self-centered losers around. And I still think that science can't discover what isn't there.
Chris, your nice, simple, clear statement, "science can't discover what isn't there." is a keeper.
Loren Miller, Rudy V Kiist, Stephen MacMohan, Joan Denoo, Alan Bughanan, Chris Brennan,
all have said that science cannot find god. Here is Richard Dawkins, Guru of us all:
Contrary to Huxley, I shall suggest that the existence of God is a purely scientific hypothesis like any other. ……..God’s existence or non-existence is a scientific fact about the universe, discoverable in principle if not in practice.
There are billions of people here in this world who believe that god exists. It does not pain me so much to hear them say so but I am greatly pained and perplexed when Dawkins says that the existence of god is purely a scientific hypothesis. I would like to know why he thinks so. In fact, I have posted this discussion to know what atheist friends here have to say about this. The story of my pain does not end here. Dawkins further says:
And even if God’s existence is never proved or disproved with certainty one way or the other, available evidence and reasoning may yield an estimate of probability far more than 50 per cent.
If we believe that gods existence is a scientific hypothesis then how can science fail to prove or disprove it? And this is coming from a scientist! I request my atheist friends here to enlighten me on this matter.
Certainly science could discover god ... If There Were Something To Discover.
All the god-botherers have is their book or books, that plus their determination that SOMETHING has to be out there. What they don't have is any form of exclusive evidence or data supporting their insistent assertions regarding the existence of their deity. It is that evidence which is essential to discovering anything, whether it's something as basic as gravity or as elusive as dark matter. And the fact is that a phenomenon which has no evidence to support an allegation of its existence bears a striking resemblance to a phenomenon which doesn't exist.
I am pretty sure I never said that science CANNOT discover god but that it WON'T ... for the same reason it won't discover mermaids, fairies, ether which allows for light transmission or phlogiston elements - ZERO EVIDENCE.
Oh, and Madhukar? Dawkins isn't my guru, any more than Harris, Dennett, Hitchens or anyone else is. He's someone worth learning from, but no one I would follow blindly or without question. Kindly don't presume otherwise.
Very much disagree with Dawkins. It's not even close to being a "scientific hypothesis".
As others have pointed out, science can't find what isn't there. To say that ANYthing exists is to state a hypothesis. Now if I were to say that there is a small green fairy living under my bed, that is a hypothesis that is easy to prove one way or another: just look under the bed. People who say that god/s exist are making a statement about the world that can be tested. So far, there has been no evidence for the existence of god/s, and after quite a long time of looking, we can safely say that there is no such thing. Science never proves anything to 100% certainty. Constant testing and refining of models about the way the world works leads us to have more or less confidence in any scientific theory.
And here I thought a hypothesis was something you could set out to prove...one way or another. You know, you come up with a hypothesis, set up up an experiment and go through all the scientific steps to prove or disprove it. Apparently I'm wrong??
Seems to me I've heard similar quotes in multiple places, but the one source I can trace is the following:
"Alec, I wish I could go along with you. It would be comforting, the world being what it is today. But I can't see proof in the dreams of long-dead prophets; you can read anything into them. Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, Job: A Comedy of Justice, Del Ray, 1984, p. 243 [bold section by me]
Matt Skaggs, yesterday you said, “hypothetically, a "miracle" could simply be an application of an area of science currently unknown, and thus be entirely natural.”
Indeed, that proves true for me. I look around me, realizing I am a privileged middle class, white woman, and there are signs all around me of the role nature plays in my joys and satisfaction. My family was so terribly dysfunctional, for generations, and by taking risks and learning how to take back control of my life, and with the moral support of friends such as you find on Atheist Nexus, I created a healthy and productive atmosphere where all who live here learned to love themselves as valuable participants in living, and contributor to our wellbeing. We learned how to communicate, express feelings we were not allowed before, to listen to others for meaning and feeling, to solve problems using a process we all understand, resolving conflicts so that everyone wins, maybe not everything each wants, but at least no one has to bow down to someone else’s whip.
We live on a patch of land 50’ x 185’ that is dedicated to each member flourishing to their own internal potential.
As long as we were bound by the mindbinding of religion, we were chained to tribal codes of 4,000 year old values. Cutting those bindings made all the difference in the world.
There is no god! There never has been a god! That which brings flourishing exists in spite of the pull by family, community, and culture to yield to and obey a tyrant and those who believe in such foolish things. The human mind has a way of wanting to give away responsibility for health and happiness for the weaker or smaller of the tribe, and for the stronger, to exploit the “god-given” mandate to control others.
Rejoice in your freedom to live your life. Morals came before religion and like so many other things in human life, religion usurped notions of morality into their realm and abused it as badly as the god of Old and New Testaments. You are free to be who you are and to create the quality of life that brings you health and happiness, and also brings those treasures to others.