This guy thinks exactly like I do. He's an agnostic scientist in the same flavor as I am.
It's a good read if you want to understand why I also think atheism is unscientific, why scientism is bad, and why the "New Atheists" by and large do a disservice to discussions on science and religion both.
A scientist that won a prize from a Foundation that has an agenda, I would say....
From their home page...
The Foundation announces its first general research program.
The primary areas of concentration were: utilization of scientific methods in understanding the work and purpose of the creator, research on studying or stimulating progress in religion, and research on the benefits of religion.
Guess I will stick to being an atheist...no agenda...no god...
This Foundation has a pro creation bias, it’s whole purpose is to promote the idea that we were created and takes subscriptions from those who wish to prove that god exists. It is not an unbiased scientific organisation, quite the reverse...it has an agenda.
The debate about which is better, or truer, or more sound between atheism and agnosticism is as stupid and pointless as the discussions within the church as to whether communion bread should be leavened or unleavened.
That intellegent people actually waste time on this is infuriating and the height of navel gazing combined with self congratulations.
And no, I'm not getting sucked into discussing it further. Have fun.
For a scientist his reasoning is terrible. According to him, you cannot claim anyone’s imaginations are real or unreal. He thinks atheism is actively disproving an unfalsifiable claim, instead of the rejection of someone’s claim.
Here’s the thought experiment he didn’t take the time to conduct:
Boy claims a god exists in his car. Girl has no evidence there is or isn’t a god, so she cannot reject his claim and therefore being agnostic makes the most sense (according to this physicist).
Feel free to change the place, situation or the imagined entity and the logic in that argument will be equally stupid.
This argument makes logical sense but it is wrong at its core. If you assume that believing in a religion is essentially the zero state, this makes perfect sense. Atheism in this context is a rejection of an accepted normal. Then you can expect that proof is needed to overcome the norm. I fully reject that premise.
At some point, people who did not use scientific methods or any evidence came to a conclusion that if they did not understand why something happened that they could attempt to explain it by offering magical explanations and beings that control the magic.
The author of the article claims that atheism is a hypothesis but that is not true. Religion is the hypothesis. If religion cannot be proven, it is a failed hypothesis and must be discarded or at least be discredited. If you use scientific methods you must accept to some degree of atheism. We do not continue to hold on to hypothesis that cannot be proven.
Alchemy has been discarded. Greek and Roman gods have been left behind. So should be the realm of all myths. His premise is that we should believe every hypothesis that cannot be 100% proven incorrect even if there is no way to ever confirm any part of the premise. It is not scientific method he is using but he's hanging on to false information.
Before I read the article, which I will, the answers to the natural world (atheism?) are not found in science alone. But with science, art and philosophy together, some major "figuring things out" happen.
I suppose that is why religion considers all three a "danger" to their existence
Wow. His arguments are painfully stupid. I can only assume he's agnostic about a celestial teapot, the disappearing elephant in my trunk, bigfoot, unicorns, etc. And of course he'd be totally respectful of the people that successfully impose their genocidal space wizard agenda as necessary. Fuck Scientific American for not asking the simplest of questions.
His understanding of atheism is wrong.
"What I mean by that is, what is atheism? It’s a statement, a categorical statement that expresses belief in nonbelief. “I don’t believe even though I have no evidence for or against, simply I don’t believe.” Period. It’s a declaration. But in science we don’t really do declarations. We say, “Okay, you can have a hypothesis, you have to have some evidence against or for that.” And so an agnostic would say, look, I have no evidence for God or any kind of god (What god, first of all? The Maori gods, or the Jewish or Christian or Muslim God? Which god is that?) But on the other hand, an agnostic would acknowledge no right to make a final statement about something he or she doesn’t know about. “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” and all that. This positions me very much against all of the “New Atheist” guys—even though I want my message to be respectful of people’s beliefs and reasoning, which might be community-based, or dignity-based, and so on. And I think obviously the Templeton Foundation likes all of this, because this is part of an emerging conversation."
It is not a declaration. It is a presumption. Besides, if you look at all the organized religion, we have more than compelling evidence that they are man-made, and those "gods" do not exist.
What you are talking about is hypothetical "spirituality." Is is possible that it exists, yes. But unless there is an affirmative "evidence" that it exists, it is perfectly scientific to assume it doesn't.
Believing in unsubstantiated supernatural mythology is vastly more unscientific then choosing not to believe. Personally, I came to be atheist because of logic and the overwhelming lack of evidence to support the existence of any gods. So, I'm miles closer to being scientific than any religious person.
Technically speaking here, it IS not the Atheists that are wrong since we only REFUTE the unfounded CLAIMS of the Religious since any claim made WITHOUT proven evidence is considered, logically,to be little more than a FALSE Claim at best, therefore it IS the onus of the Claimant, the Religious, to furnish the Proof and Proven Evidence that supports their claim in the first place.
my atheism has nothing to do with science, or lack of science, or anything except my belief that there is no more chance of their being a god than there is of being a tooth fairy -- somewhat less, in fact, because the tooth fairy still owes me a quarter (plus interest). i don't care whether agnostics think i am unscientific. i don't need to waste my time and energy trying to figure out whether or not there is a god; i don't CARE. it's a nonissue, a nothingburger. the only time it's half a burger is when someone tries to legislate, execute or adjudicate religion where it doesn't belong. apart from that, i just live my life quite happily without any gods (but i might take the tooth fairy to people's court).
"Belief in nonbelief"- that is a classical straw man.
For me as an atheist it is just that I do not believe in what theists claim : that there is a "God". Of course, if you play the Spinoza card (like Einstein) and claim that "God" is a synonym for "the order and beauty of the Universe" - but in this case we are not talking about the same thing. But 99% of theists do not mean the God of Spinoza when they talk about or pray to God, so this is basically a red herring.
The only claim that would be incompatible with science would be "I can prove that there is no God", because such a prove cannot be made. But to say "I do not believe in God" if you mean the God of the vast majority of believers and theologians, is certainly not unscientific.
Just replace "God" by "aliens": Do you believe that aliens from outer space visit planet earth? Suppose for the sake of argument that you do not believe it. What would you say if somebody told you that you have a "belief in nonbelief" regarding aliens?
Looks like someone found their poster boy. I could only read so much of this horseshit. Where is PT Barnum when you need him?
“This whole notion of finality and final ideas is, to me, just an attempt to turn science into a religious system, which is something I disagree with profoundly.”
Don’t like the competition?
"To me, science is one way of connecting with the mystery of existence. "
One of many. Thinking helps too.
“ I’m not talking about the science of materials, or high-temperature superconductivity, which is awesome and super important, but that’s not the kind of science I’m doing. I’m talking about science as part of a much grander and older sort of questioning about who we are in the big picture of the universe. To me, as a theoretical physicist and also someone who spends time out in the mountains, this sort of questioning offers a deeply spiritual connection with the world, through my mind and through my body. Einstein would have said the same thing, I think, with his cosmic religious feeling.”
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
“I believe we should take a much humbler approach to knowledge, in the sense that if you look carefully at the way science works, you’ll see that yes, it is wonderful — magnificent! — but it has limits. And we have to understand and respect those limits. And by doing that, by understanding how science advances, science really becomes a deeply spiritual conversation with the mysterious, about all the things we don’t know.”
A humbler approach to knowledge and ....put more faith into faith? It's what he doesn't say that gets the base all riled up
“What I mean by that is, what is atheism? It’s a statement, a categorical statement that expresses belief in nonbelief. “
Not as good as a belief in belief evidently
“There is a difference between “science” and what we can call “scientism,” which is the notion that science can solve all problems. To a large extent, it is not science but rather how humanity has used science that has put us in our present difficulties. Because most people, in general, have no awareness of what science can and cannot do. So they misuse it, and they do not think about science in a more pluralistic way. So, okay, you’re going to develop a self-driving car? Good! But how will that car handle hard choices, like whether to prioritize the lives of its occupants or the lives of pedestrian bystanders? Is it going to just be the technologist from Google who decides? Let us hope not! You have to talk to philosophers, you have to talk to ethicists.”
No Shit Sherlock. It might even be how people used many other "things" that has affected the outcome concerning where the human race is right now. "Things" such as weapons, energy, religion, wisdom, land, animal, water,..........the list does not really end.