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 Post subject: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:33 pm 
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As an for instance, I picked up at random out of my shelf of atheist materials a book by Vic Stenger I haven’t read in quite a while, God and the Folly of Faith, a most powerfully reasoned text. Dan Barker, the former Christian minister turned atheist due to utter lack of any kind of viable evidence for God, wrote this in the forward.

The definition of faith in Hebrews concerns “the actual confident possession of something that you don’t have or see. The Bible simply assumes ‘things not seen’ as existing eternal entities, as opposed to merely mundane physical observations. ‘The things that are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (p. 19)

But like Barker says, that is a shaky assumption at best. Paul never saw the billions of galaxies we have thanks to our space telescope, but those are certainly not eternal entities by any stretch, but rather more physical things processing through their perfectly natural cycles. There is nothing supernatural that has been discovered anywhere in our universe yet. Barker continues with a sage observation I have never grasped when I was doing apologetics, and the vast majority of apologists give the appearance in their writings of still failing to grasp this.

“Of course, if faith were simply the ‘evidence of things not seen,’ it would be like a scientific hypothesis under testing. The highly probable but still postulated existence of quarks, for example, is based on ‘evidence of things not seen.’ (the evidence is indeed seen, but the quarks are not.) However, no scientist says that quarks exist ‘by faith.’ A probability, even if very high, is neither a substance nor a certainty [as Hebrews in the Bible imagines]. The only substance or certainty is observation. [And even this is not necessarily a certainty, but its vastly more than what faith can ever be].

But looking at the Bible itself, in its entirety and in context, it is clear to see that the biblical ‘evidence of things not seen’ is not merely a tentative hypothesis in the scientific sense, falsifiable and subject to disconfirmation. It is a ‘substance of things hoped for,’ a ‘certainty.’ It can perform miracles, after all, a claim never made by any scientific postulation.

Notice that the Bible does not say faith is equal to knowledge. Just five verses after defining faith, the author of the Book of Hebrews tells us that we can’t really know God exists before we decide to believe in Him: ‘And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.’ (Heb 11:6).
How’s that for circular reasoning? You can’t know by observation or evidence if God exists, you have to believe it. That is like saying: ‘Why should you believe in God? Because if you believe, then you will believe.’ (and if you don’t believe, you won’t be pleasing to God, and you don’t want to risk that, do you?) In fact, yo can’t have a God unless you first believe, according to that verse.” (pp. 19-20)

The way science approaches truth and knowledge is simply not the same way religion does, John Widtsoe, James Talmage, Steven Peck, Hugh Nibley, and Dan Peterson all to the contrary. As Stenger has so succinctly noted – “The parallel between science and religion, that both are based on data (experience) and theory (interpretation), is strained. Science takes its data and forms theories (that is, models) that can be tested against other data. When religion does that at all, it always fails the test.” (p. 20).

And we know that there has never been a data of scientific knowledge that religion has demonstrated to be false and acknowledged as such through observation and experiment. But religion has continually changed in light of the actual knowledge science brings out through its testings and observations.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:19 pm 
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Philo Sofee wrote:

The definition of faith in Hebrews concerns “the actual confident possession of something that you don’t have or see. The Bible simply assumes ‘things not seen’ as existing eternal entities, as opposed to merely mundane physical observations. ‘The things that are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (p. 19)



In Hebrews faith is the first fruit of what is created by the Holy spirit and will lead to the fulfillment of the promise , the things not yet seen.

Sorry I see no Platonic eternal forms or other eternal entities being discussed in Hebrews (or the rest of the Bible for that matter).

The entire sermon of Hebrews is an exhortation to be faithful to the faith which was given to you.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:36 pm 
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huckelberry wrote:
Philo Sofee wrote:

The definition of faith in Hebrews concerns “the actual confident possession of something that you don’t have or see. The Bible simply assumes ‘things not seen’ as existing eternal entities, as opposed to merely mundane physical observations. ‘The things that are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (p. 19)



In Hebrews faith is the first fruit of what is created by the Holy spirit and will lead to the fulfillment of the promise , the things not yet seen.

Sorry I see no Platonic eternal forms or other eternal entities being discussed in Hebrews (or the rest of the Bible for that matter).

The entire sermon of Hebrews is an exhortation to be faithful to the faith which was given to you.


Yes but if everyone actually followed that in practice then there is no point to be missionaries is there...... WHY simply be faithful to a faith you inherit instead of actually discover through evidence whether it is right or not? Just believe because everyone else does? That is nothing similar to how science handles things, which again, makes my point, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:22 pm 
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Philo Sofee wrote:
huckelberry wrote:

In Hebrews faith is the first fruit of what is created by the Holy spirit and will lead to the fulfillment of the promise , the things not yet seen.

Sorry I see no Platonic eternal forms or other eternal entities being discussed in Hebrews (or the rest of the Bible for that matter).

The entire sermon of Hebrews is an exhortation to be faithful to the faith which was given to you.


Yes but if everyone actually followed that in practice then there is no point to be missionaries is there...... WHY simply be faithful to a faith you inherit instead of actually discover through evidence whether it is right or not? Just believe because everyone else does? That is nothing similar to how science handles things, which again, makes my point, I think.


Philo, yes, but,

Hebrews was addressed to first generation Christians virtually none of whom would be following an inherited faith.

It is true and for us later readers a disappointment that he does not spell out much of anything about where that faith came from. It would be historically very interesting to hear more of that story but its not there.

Well it may not have been much different than later experience. People hear the story and respond starting a maybe so faith. Or perhaps they do not.

Hebrews recommends sticking to what was begun. I might wonder why the author does not introduce the cosmological argument or some other variant of ambiguous arm twisting. Perhaps he never saw an unbeliever change to believer with those arguments.

Just an added observation, I think it is natural that people learn more about the stars by making actual observations of stars. I also think we may learn more about loving others by engaging in that very thing. That is what I hear in Hebrews. Looking back over the centuries I notice that not every strategy people have for that works well. We have at least the potential of learning something from past effort.

(possible reply) But atheist may try to love others and their success and experience is valuable for us all. Christians have no monopoly on this.

Huckelberry reply, Thank God that is true.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:25 pm 
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Perhaps this will ring a bell: Does Science Argue for or Against God?
https://www.prageru.com/courses/religionphilosophy/does-science-argue-or-against-god

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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:03 pm 
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God is irrelevant to science. Science is about discovering what is real, not whether someone's fantasy exists. It is largely white Protestant Angloman who insists science proves God. Science does not need nor need to even acknowledge anything religion claims as far as that goes. Religion has no traction when it comes to the scientific method because religion doesn't use it.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:02 am 
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You can make any hypothesis you want, but the scientific method can only "work" on it if it is a falsifiable hypothesis. Most faith claims reside in the realm of the un-falsifiable, so the scientific method can have nothing to say about them.

What I find much more interesting than that is when a faith claim is made that is falsifiable and is proven false. It is very interesting to watch believers morph the claim into something un-falsifiable. Happens all the time, unfortunately. Makes me sad for humanity that it is so hard for us to say that we were wrong and didn't really know.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:18 am 
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Fetch has it. Without falsifiability a hypothesis is not scientific.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:21 am 
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Falsifiability
Statements, hypotheses, or theories have falsifiability or refutability if there is the inherent possibility that they can be proven false. They are falsifiable if it is possible to conceive of an observation or an argument which could negate them. In this sense, falsify is synonymous with nullify, meaning to invalidate or "show to be false".

For example, the universal generalization that All swans are white is falsifiable since it is logically possible to falsify it by observing a single black swan. Thus, the term falsifiability is sometimes synonymous to testability. Some statements, such as It will be raining here in one million years, are falsifiable in principle, but not in practice.[1]

The concern with falsifiability gained attention by way of philosopher of science Karl Popper's scientific epistemology "falsificationism". Popper stresses the problem of demarcation—distinguishing the scientific from the unscientific—and makes falsifiability the demarcation criterion, such that what is unfalsifiable is classified as unscientific, and the practice of declaring an unfalsifiable theory to be scientifically true is pseudoscience.


Heck, I've been in the falsifying of lots of bogus religion all my adult life.
You guys are politically motivated to misuse this axiom of science against religion.

The commandments of Jesus Christ that establishes his gospel is pure science because it declares a most dramatic testable prediction.

Quote:
If you repent and take upon you the name of Jesus Christ with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy you will RECEIVE the promise of the Father which is the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.


And from that science you add to it from grace to grace until a perfect day.

So just shut up already about religion NOT being pure science. Done right it is perfect science. Done wrong it is nothing. Who cares?

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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:43 am 
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Nightlion wrote:
You guys are politically motivated to misuse this axiom of science against religion.

Well, I guess when you can't mount an argument you can just hurl insults, assume your conclusion to be true without support, and declare victory!

It might be amusing to see NL lay this all out, 4th grade science project style, and I could follow his procedure and try to replicate his results.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:38 pm 
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Nightlion,

Please describe a test that could falsify the following:


"If you repent and take upon you the name of Jesus Christ with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy you will RECEIVE the promise of the Father which is the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost."


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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:58 pm 
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Gadianton wrote:
Nightlion,

Please describe a test that could falsify the following:


"If you repent and take upon you the name of Jesus Christ with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy you will RECEIVE the promise of the Father which is the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost."

If you repented with all your heart, might mind and strength, forsook the world, subjected yourself to Christ at all hazard and risk in this world, took the appropriate time of NOT partaking of the condemnation put upon all hypocrisy that do partake of the sacrament unworthily, considered yourself utterly unworthy, refuse all priesthood and callings knowing you are not worthy of it and were in all things repentant and contrite and meek and lowly of heart.......and nothing happens.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:59 pm 
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Hey, I have won this argument and let's not forget it.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:51 pm 
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Nightlion wrote:
Hey, I have won this argument and let's not forget it.

The pigeon wins this round of chess. I believe congratulations are in order, Nightlion. I hope you have a fantastic day.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Faith Really a Valid Scientific Hypothesis?!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:53 pm 
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I'll admit I was 60-40 in disbelief that you would admit the bare possibility that the promise of the Father could be falsified. So you definitely get on the scoreboard for that.


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