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Should We Thank God For Scientific Discoveries?

(173 Posts)
headinhands Mon 12-Aug-13 22:12:24

Hello Daftme

You say we should thank god for scientific advancements. I say what makes you think they have anything to do with god?

headinhands Tue 13-Aug-13 11:47:14

daftdame. Does god perform miracles?

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 12:08:25

austinozzy I was not indoctrinated. My father is currently pretty secular, mother has dabbled in new age beliefs, occultism as well as Catholicism (a somewhat heady mix!), needless to say neither forced any beliefs upon me. grin Church was not a big fixture in my childhood, although I believed in God from an early age.

headinhands Yes, I believe God performs miracles, I believe the Bible.

headinhands Tue 13-Aug-13 12:22:39

Yes, I believe God performs miracles

Why did he need to reveal modern medicine then. Why not just carry on with the miracle line of healing?

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 12:35:01

headinhands Because people's faith varies. Compassion requires us to do what we can to help people regardless, but without some form of faith from them it is pretty futile (think Nocebo effect).

Science tells us about the natural/physical world but not about the spiritual. Christianity tells us that the source / core of everything is spiritual, although we can often change things physically in the natural world.

headinhands Tue 13-Aug-13 13:28:10

So who has to have the faith? The person being prayed for? So how would that work if they were in a coma? Or a baby? God can't do anything because they can't believe? So if someone isn't healed it's pretty much their own fault? God wanted to but the person didn't have the required faith?

headinhands Tue 13-Aug-13 13:38:04

My post misses the obvious point that there is no evidence of miracles at all. I know you say it's about faith with you but the laws of physics being suspended would be something hard to ignore no? So if you believe in miracles thee would have to be evidence somewhere? Doesn't that suppose you. If I claimed to perform miracles would you not be less likely to believe me if there was no evidence.

headinhands Tue 13-Aug-13 13:41:05

How come we don't have to believe in the science to get better when we take antibiotics. We don't even need to be aware that we are receiving medicine, and yet it still works well for the main. Whereas god's own healing can't cope with anything but 100% belief?

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 13:42:25

Who says babies or people in comas cannot have faith?

Faith and belief is pretty much part of being human. What we have faith in, where we put our faith, is our choice, since we have free will.

The Bible says we have all been give 'the measure of faith,' in that it is the same amount. How we exercise or utilise it is different.

For a Christian, death is not the end either. If people are suffering, death can be a mercy.

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 13:45:34

Antibiotics don't always work...bacteria get 'resistant' to them, many people are allergic to (some of) them.

The Placebo and Nocebo effect have been widely observed.

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 14:22:49

Also, in the Bible, there are instances, where people's friends and relatives are healed by Christ and those friends / relatives having faith over them in terms of believing in Christ's healing.

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 14:25:14

^ that is the person being healed's faith is not mentioned but their friends or relatives is.

headinhands Tue 13-Aug-13 14:26:47

Antibiotics don't always work...bacteria get 'resistant' to them, many people are allergic to

That's why I was careful to say for the main knowing the limitations. But still, they've saved millions of lives and that's fact.

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 14:38:14

And for that I am thankful. smile

austenozzy Tue 13-Aug-13 15:03:44

Of course babies don't have faith, don't be ridiculous. They need to be sufficiently advanced to understand at least a little about the man-made construct that is god before you brainwash them and scare them with threats of fire and brimstone, or not seeing loved ones in some sort of convenient bliss state that you might call heaven.

The only 'faith' that they might have is that their parents won't hurt them and will be on hand to feed and help them.

Please don't tell me you think all of 'creation' was made in 6 days, about 10,000 years ago.

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 15:25:51

austenozzy Why are you so so sure babies don't have faith?

The Bible describes John the Baptist leaping for joy in the womb when his pregnant mother, Elisabeth heard Mary's salutation (Luke 1 v41) and she is filled with the Holy Ghost.

I don't brainwash them (children or anyone else for that matter) or scare them with threats of fire and brimstone either, it would be counter-productive, what do you know about Grace?

As I have said before I believe the Bible, as for the 10,000 years bit I have not attempted to date anything. What I don't understand I take on faith.

Added to this, on what authority do you say, or what evidence do you have, for God being a 'human construct'?

austenozzy Tue 13-Aug-13 15:37:15

Babies aren't capable of suspending what intellect they have in order to force themselves to believe in something that has never shown itself in anything other than slices of burnt toast or funny shaped vegetables. Some adults seem to manage it though.

The story you outlined, about john the baptist leaping for joy in the womb - sounds like indigestion to me. (I have GORD, so I know).

Re the man made construct - plenty of evidence, as outlined in this interesting piece that I remember reading a while back. It sort of alludes to the nascent requirement for parental protection and caring I mentioned earlier:

Like our physiological DNA, the psychological mechanisms behind faith evolved over the eons through natural selection. They helped our ancestors work effectively in small groups and survive and reproduce, traits developed long before recorded history, from foundations deep in our mammalian, primate and African hunter-gatherer past.

For example, we are born with a powerful need for attachment, identified as long ago as the 1940s by psychiatrist John Bowlby and expanded on by psychologist Mary Ainsworth. Individual survival was enhanced by protectors, beginning with our mothers. Attachment is reinforced physiologically through brain chemistry, and we evolved and retain neural networks completely dedicated to it. We easily expand that inborn need for protectors to authority figures of any sort, including religious leaders and, more saliently, gods. God becomes a super parent, able to protect us and care for us even when our more corporeal support systems disappear, through death or distance.

Scientists have so far identified about 20 hard-wired, evolved "adaptations" as the building blocks of religion. Like attachment, they are mechanisms that underlie human interactions: Brain-imaging studies at the National Institutes of Health showed that when test subjects were read statements about religion and asked to agree or disagree, the same brain networks that process human social behavior — our ability to negotiate relationships with others — were engaged.

curlew Tue 13-Aug-13 15:43:50

Daftdame- you say that God performs miracles- could you give me an example of one, please?

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 15:50:03

Curlew Raising Lazarus from death. smile

curlew Tue 13-Aug-13 15:51:19


Anything that we have any possibility of having a closer look at?

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 15:56:31

austenozzy What you have cited is theory not fact.

Psychologists also argue amongst themselves, many dispute free will. Many scientists don't recognise psychology as a science...

Just because the spiritual manifests into the physical, effects physiology, does not mean the causal agent is not spiritual that is the phenomena is due to physiology. Rather I would say the physiology is due to the spiritual element.

austenozzy Tue 13-Aug-13 15:56:40

Don't be daft, curlew. God did it, that's all you need to know. Nothing to see here, move along now. ;-)

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 16:05:15

curlew I have not pursued this scientifically, as I have said I am content with my faith.

Miracles are, by definition, supernatural. However all that means is that they do not conform to the 'laws of nature' which we don't fully understand yet.

How can we prove or disprove something we don't understand? We can only believe or deny it has happened.

austenozzy Tue 13-Aug-13 16:05:50

Actually, no (or yes, depending upon your use of the word 'theory'!). They are demonstrable and reproducible and backed up with solid statistical work and peer review. That probably doesn't ring any bells for you.

Of course psychologists - and others who subscribe to sound scientific method - argue among themselves. That's in the nature of science; asking questions and probing deeper. I doubt that rings bells either.

Your third statement doesn't even make sense. I think you're suggesting a circular path of 'spiritual' -> physiological -> back to spiritual. I think it's your turn to provide any sort of factual basis for such a claim. (Bible doesn't count!)

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 16:16:06

Oh and we all know how how reliable statistics are:

Do scientists even use Bayesian analysis, factoring in and declaring, all the priors before they make their conclusions? Not usually...A single anomaly could be part of a larger pattern and not even detected within the scope of the research.

In my third statement I was alluding to the difficulty we have in detecting cause and causality.

daftdame Tue 13-Aug-13 16:19:32

When we are talking about the 'supernatural' there is no proof of disproof, since we don't know enough about what is natural to say whether it is super or not. If not a physical manifestation (state) still can caused by the spiritual, within the definition of spiritual.

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