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Sat, Jun 04, 2016 - 07:00 PM

Explaining how science makes sense without God

I have a friend who is religious and says that I can't show him a creation story that makes sense without god, and that science cant back up any of the creation stories. That there isn't proof for any of it. How do I explain the creation of the earth to him in a way that will make sense to him without god complete with scientific backing?
He says it takes more faith to be an athiest or secular humanist then it does to believe in god. He refutes and ignores everything I say.
HELP



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Chris Dunn

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Chris Dunn


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Print Mon, Jun 06, 2016 - 11:53 AM
Who's asking these questions? Science doesn't make sense--religion doesn't provide answers--neither one is a textbook, they are 'modi vivendi'--a means of approaching the question 'what's happening?' All scientific 'knowledge' is only called such until disproved. All religions have their core 'mysteries'--things believers must accept as fact without explanation. Neither approach 'makes sense'--'making sense' is something people only have to do to each other--life itself is excused from making sense. Look at life and tell me this is rational. Life is but a dream, buddy--don't try to put it in a strait-jacket of human understanding. Try to think of it as a journey, or an experience--that's what you're having right now. If it makes you happy, you're making sense.

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Amy E Hall
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Amy E Hall

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About Amy E Hall

A freethinker, a world traveler, a pilot, and an artist.
Print Fri, Jun 10, 2016 - 06:53 PM
Science doesn't disprove God. The supernatural is unfalsifiable. If your friend accepts the science and attributes them to God's processes. I am ok with that.
I am not ok with a 6000 year old earth and men who rode on dinosaurs. If, however, this is the case then your friend has more issues than just being religious.

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KO
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KO

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Print Sun, Jun 05, 2016 - 07:45 PM
Hi Audrey,

I think I would need to know what the friend is actually claiming to answer your question well. There are so many creationist arguments: St. Anselm's ontological argument, St. Aquinas' 5 Ways, William Paley's design argument, a variety of contemporary "fine tuning" and "intelligent design" arguments. Each of them is terribly flawed, though some are brilliantly complex. There are rather few (thankfully) actual young-earth creationists (people who think the earth is 6,ooo years old), but rather a great many who accept science's explanations (including our best thoughts about the age of the universe and evolution), but tack on God as the originator of scientific laws and as the starter of the Big Bang. Do you know what type your friend is?

My suspicion is that your friend is this latter type: he uses God to underwrite the findings of science. If that's the case, he has two fundamental problems:

(1) He says that God created it is an explanation for the universe's existence. But then by what powers and capacities did God do this? If your friend shrugs and says he doesn't know, he's not *really* using God to explicate science he's violating science's most fundamental requirement of empirical proof.

(2) Following Ockham's razor, the explanations that relies on the fewest unknown entities is the best explanation. This is called parsimony, or simplicity (this does not mean "simple" as in "easy to understand" but rather "relies on no untestable, unverifiable entities." If your fiend is unable to explain how God did the things he claims God did, then again he's violating science's most fundamental requirement of empirical proof.

I hope this helps. Please consider a few books: AC Grayling's The God Argument, Sam Harris' The End of Faith and Peter Boghossian's A Manual for Creating Atheists. Each of them deals with arguments like your friend's and explains the nature of faith and it's fundamentally anti-scientific nature.


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Bill Haines
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"Love well, seek the good in all things, harm no others, think for yourself, take responsibility, respect nature, do your utmost, be informed, be kind, be courageous: at least, sincerely try."
-- A. C. Grayling
Print Tue, Nov 15, 2016 - 06:18 PM
"How do I explain the creation of the earth to him in a way that will make sense to him without god complete with scientific backing?"

You may not be able to do this, since he seems unwilling to accept that he might be wrong about the existence of deity. That's the logical stopping point of any conversation on the subject -- if the other person refuses to acknowledge s/he may be mistaken, s/he's completely closeminded and it's pointless to continue. So, first, I would ask that. "Can you acknowledge you might be wrong about this?" If the answer is no, just end the conversation, "Then we have basis to even discuss it."

If the answer is yes, it's important to acknowledge that we don't know *precisely* how the earth formed, but there's a tremendous amount of observation which makes clear to anyone objectively studying it that the earth is billions of years old, its origin was not a supernatural event and a great deal of it can be reasonably explained based on those observations. Since I expect the origin and development of life is involved here as well, this may be a good place for you to start: http://nap.edu/read/6024

"He says it takes more faith to be an athiest or secular humanist then it does to believe in god."

He's wrong, very likely because he doesn't understand what those terms actually mean, and I suspect what he's really saying is that it's *easier* for *him* to believe in deity than to consider he may be mistaken about it.

Hope this helps!


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