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What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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Old 01-23-2009, 12:33 AM   #1
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What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

I open this thread as an impartial observer. I realize that this might quickly delve into a debate on Creationism vs. Evolution, which couldn't be further from the purpose of this thread. I'll explain why:

I personally believe that no commonly heated debate is more misguided/utterly pointless than Creationism vs. Evolution. It's not the arguments that I find appalling, because I've heard great arguments in favor of each side. It's the dualism. It's the belief that if you are not a Creationist, you must believe in Evolution, and vice versa. That's, for lack of a better term, retarded, and most certainly culturally divisive.

In my opinion, the winner of a heated Creationist/Darwinist debate is the first one to point out "who cares" and respect the beliefs of those who disagree with them.

Which brings me to the main point of the thread: public discrimination against those who disagree with the scientific premise of evolution. Namely, since the current scientific worldview majority believes that Darwinian Evolution best explains how life today came into existence, does that give the majority social group the right to discriminate against other social groups who reject evolutionary theory?

On one hand, you can certainly see why people who have dedicated their whole life to a cause would be critical of those who disagree. When all of their peers and co-researchers serve to re-enforce their beliefs, you could forgive someone for having an attitude of superiority regarding the cause.

Even so, when the attitude of superiority starts to infiltrate American culture, at what point does it become direct discrimination? Is it when you start to get quotes like this from Eugenie Scott, Director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) (New York Times editorial, Feb 12 2007):

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She said such students “would require so much remedial instruction it would not be worth my time.”
That is not religious discrimination, she added, it is discrimination “on the basis of science.”
What separates discrimination "on the basis of science" from anti-religious bigotry? Is majority academic opinion enough to rule something a pseudoscience? More fundamentally, is modern science heading down a road to become the very thing it was created to destroy -- ignorance?

These are the questions on my mind tonight. I'm interested to get your guys' thoughts on this. Please, no pro/anti religious propaganda, unless part of a larger point, thanks.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:00 AM   #2
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re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

I can give you one example of religous bigotry at work in our culture. This very day, tens of thousands of people marched in Washington D.C. against the travesty that is abortion, yet it was not covered by any news outlets in this town. They wiilfully ignore this movement. Yet, if 500 homosexuals loiter near the capital in the wake of a democratic vote in California, the viewer cannot escape a sympathetic portrayal of their so called plight.

Science will not save us. They have no answers. They don't know why aspirin works. They don't understand the common cold. If you get cancer, they will bombard you with radiation. If you are comatose, they will put you to sleep permanently. If you are blind, they will give you a dog to lead you around. Yet we as a society have put them on a pedestal. We have made of them false idols. Until we realize that mankind's crisis is a crisis of the soul we will not advance one inch. As long as we negect the spiritual aspect of our nature we will continue to inflict pain on one another.

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn :

" It has made man the measure of all things on earth—imperfect man, who is never free of pride, self-interest, envy, vanity, and dozens of other defects. We are now paying for the mistakes which were not properly appraised at the beginning of the journey. On the way from the Renaissance to our days we have enriched our experience, but we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility."

If you agree with the sentiments expressed here, consider joining The Walter Sobchak Society.
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:30 AM   #3
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re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

Interesting topic. Bigotry is defined as "irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion," keyword being irrational. Science is defined as "the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena." Agreeing to disagree is not the problem. If someone wants to believe we're all spores on a giant nipple that is perfectly fine. If that same someone wants to teach their beliefs as the basis of our origin in a science class they must adhere to the scientific method to be classified as science.

Admittedly I discriminate against religious train of thought. Often I find religious arguments devoid of any rational though. It's in the Bible is simply not good enough. My point is believe whatever you want but if you enter a realm where you are expected to defend your position do so and don't expect to be treated like a delicate flower, and be prepared for an intellectual choking.

There are men of both religion and science out there and they seem to have rational basis for their beliefs. I can get on board with their arguments but I can't for the life of me get on board with moronic "hypothesis" like "man an disastrous roamed the earth at the same time."
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:09 AM   #4
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re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

It seems ironic to me that organizations of science want to claim that theres no debate about how the world came to be. There may be significant evidence to suggest that Darwinian Evolution explains this, but I'm seeing it as sort of an arbitrary cutoff since evolution doesn't exactly hold up to the Scientific Method either.

It is not observable, testable, nor falsifiable. Which in no way means that it's wrong. Just that while maintaining the scientific method is important, it's helpless to help us explain why the world was created. Thus it's suspended regarding reasoning to why things are the way they are.

But there in lies the question: if science itself is in sufficient to turn the Theory of Evolution into the Law of Evolution, doesn't it seem a bit self-righteous for academics to declare the debate to be over? What about the non-Creationists who reject Big Bang on the premise of question of insufficient evidence, such as the Red Shift movement? What keeps them from getting a platform to explain why they hold majorty opinion to be wrong?

Once it becomes heresy to debate scientific theory, does science really have meaning anymore? I don't have the answer to this question, but I suspect it's 'no'. Science can only be good science as long as people are allowed to debate the facts. Once a debate is declared to be dormant, it's no longer science that is being taught, I think.

I feel like this is a bigger issue than we all realize.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:42 AM   #5
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re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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Originally Posted by GTripp0012 View Post
Once it becomes heresy to debate scientific theory, does science really have meaning anymore? I don't have the answer to this question, but I suspect it's 'no'. Science can only be good science as long as people are allowed to debate the facts. Once a debate is declared to be dormant, it's no longer science that is being taught, I think.

I feel like this is a bigger issue than we all realize.
Once a theory can no longer be debated and must be accepted as true even though it cannot be proven as fact, it becomes a matter of faith. Similarly,religions, at the core, contain an ultimate leap of faith as God's existence or non-existence cannot be proven or disproven.

Science and religion are more similar than different. Both seek answers to difficult questions, and both require discipline and study in order to work towards these answers. To me and in a very general way, the ultimate difference is that science's is a fact based inquiry. Religious inquiry is spiritual in nature and presupposes a leap of faith. IMHO, when science requires us to take a leap of faith, it can no longer be considered science but rather it takes on some of the worst aspects of religious practice.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:52 AM   #6
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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Originally Posted by GTripp0012 View Post
It seems ironic to me that organizations of science want to claim that theres no debate about how the world came to be. There may be significant evidence to suggest that Darwinian Evolution explains this, but I'm seeing it as sort of an arbitrary cutoff since evolution doesn't exactly hold up to the Scientific Method either.

It is not observable, testable, nor falsifiable. Which in no way means that it's wrong. Just that while maintaining the scientific method is important, it's helpless to help us explain why the world was created. Thus it's suspended regarding reasoning to why things are the way they are.

But there in lies the question: if science itself is in sufficient to turn the Theory of Evolution into the Law of Evolution, doesn't it seem a bit self-righteous for academics to declare the debate to be over? What about the non-Creationists who reject Big Bang on the premise of question of insufficient evidence, such as the Red Shift movement? What keeps them from getting a platform to explain why they hold majorty opinion to be wrong?

Once it becomes heresy to debate scientific theory, does science really have meaning anymore? I don't have the answer to this question, but I suspect it's 'no'. Science can only be good science as long as people are allowed to debate the facts. Once a debate is declared to be dormant, it's no longer science that is being taught, I think.

I feel like this is a bigger issue than we all realize.
Not sure why it suprises you that organization of science don't want this debated as they do this all the time. Just look at Global Warming. While most agree that the earth has warmed over the years if you don't agree with science that its man made then your nuts. Even though other scientest disagree the majority think they know it all and they won't even debate the subject. I personaly don't care how man came about.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:20 PM   #7
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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Once a theory can no longer be debated and must be accepted as true even though it cannot be proven as fact, it becomes a matter of faith. Similarly,religions, at the core, contain an ultimate leap of faith as God's existence or non-existence cannot be proven or disproven.

Science and religion are more similar than different. Both seek answers to difficult questions, and both require discipline and study in order to work towards these answers. To me and in a very general way, the ultimate difference is that science's is a fact based inquiry. Religious inquiry is spiritual in nature and presupposes a leap of faith. IMHO, when science requires us to take a leap of faith, it can no longer be considered science but rather it takes on some of the worst aspects of religious practice.
I believe true science is but it seems to me that much of science has been perverted by dogmatic faithfulness. Tripp makes good points about evolution and similar ones can be made about global warming or a bevy of other accepted scientific "truths". They are both fine theories with decent rational thought and a little indicative proof but neither is "proven" as a matter of fact with stringent procedural scientific methods. I think the dismissal of religous belief goes hand in hand with this shift away from honest skepticism in science. Skepticism isn't just about not believing it is about understanding that you simply don't know. To make a definitive statement, presented as fact, based on any level of faith is intellectually dishonest to me.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:34 PM   #8
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

Big can of worms here. I tend to only bitch about the government. I think that Evolution is still a theory but anyone who doesn't subsribe to that theory is considered an ignorant hick. That to me is anti-religious bigotry.

I'm a non-believer just for the simple reason that you can't prove most of the things that religions state. The same goes with science. They take all of the information and make an educated guess? That's what theory is. I do believe that people who say there was no Jesus or is no God are not only bigoted but arrogant. How do you they know? Were they there?

This country was founded on Christianity, classic liberal thought, and by a lot of people who didn't give a damn and just wanted to make some money. To totally scrap those concepts is stupid because you have to replace them with something. It seems to me that it has been replaced with secular, anti-Christian, socialistic, modern day liberalism to a degree. I tend to take the how do you know approach to both sides. I subscribe to neither.

The best way to see anti-religious bigotry is to see who is funding those that are making the most noise against Christianity (You can say all religions, but no one gives Hindus, Muslems, and Hebrews as much flak as the Christians get today IMO). It's usually someone who doesn't like it IE: other religions, rabid-atheist, or people who think they're God. They all have special interest groups they fund to be their mouth pieces. Usually you can trace all of these groups back to one man or a small group of very rich people who have a beef with religion and or capitalism.
(Many people use the argument that there is seperation between church and state. This is flawed arguement because most of the colonist were Protestant or at least sided with Protestants if you drew a line in the sand. They just didn't want a Church of England in America where the King was also the head of the church.)

I'm not one of those people. So don't chew me out on this one. I've no dog in this hunt. Bray to who ever you like. If someone answers you, put in a good word for me or get a shrink. Either way, it's your deal.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:24 PM   #9
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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Not sure why it suprises you that organization of science don't want this debated as they do this all the time. Just look at Global Warming. While most agree that the earth has warmed over the years if you don't agree with science that its man made then your nuts. Even though other scientest disagree the majority think they know it all and they won't even debate the subject. I personaly don't care how man came about.
I would argue that Global Warming is something that is testable and falsifiable though the Scientific Method.

Unlike Evolutionary theory, the evidence that has been found in recent times adds futher support for Global Warming/Climate Change. Darwinian Theory remains only as strong as it was on the day he published it (scientifically, that is).

Both have strong cases, and I'm not trying to disprove either. Just trying to show where the similaries end; basically show the limits of the scientifc method.

I also think that scientific advancement organizations are lacking in credibility now. Not science itself. Don't confuse the two.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:03 PM   #10
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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I would argue that Global Warming is something that is testable and falsifiable though the Scientific Method.

Unlike Evolutionary theory, the evidence that has been found in recent times adds futher support for Global Warming/Climate Change. Darwinian Theory remains only as strong as it was on the day he published it (scientifically, that is).

Both have strong cases, and I'm not trying to disprove either. Just trying to show where the similaries end; basically show the limits of the scientifc method.

I also think that scientific advancement organizations are lacking in credibility now. Not science itself. Don't confuse the two.
Perhaps, but testable here only will give us a snap shot, based on pretty sketchy information by the way, of basically one moment in time of our planet. That may be testable but what it tells us is pretty much nothing.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:20 PM   #11
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

Again, for difficult questions, both science and religion require considerable thought and/or work to understand or improve upon. The problem is that so many people ask that both science and/or religion provide simple answers to complex questions. Thus, man's effect on global warming becomes a true/false question. Likewise, creationism v. evolution also becomes all or nothing.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:43 PM   #12
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

One point that has stuck with me (and I forget who brought it up) was that eventually, no matter how scientific you are, the study of the universe yields very little. At some point, every scientist becomes a philosopher.

We (think we) know an incredible amount of information on how the universe was formed and the transcending affects thereafter on the world as we know it today. This is all based on what we know moments after creation. What we do not know, and will never know, is how we were created. That first cause that started everything.

The Pope John Paul II allegedly met with Stephan Hawkins and brought up a similar point.

Physicist touches upon God and science - Science- msnbc.com

I think it's important to take every scientific advancement for what it is, a potentially flawed discovery. How many things known as scientific fact are going to be overturned within the next twenty years? We humans are a fallible species...

Granted, I'm not saying we should be complete skeptics on every discovery made, or even that we should not base some of our ideals on these things. I'm simply saying we should be sympathetic to causes, especially religious ones, that may reflect conflicting ideals.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:46 PM   #13
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

Solid discussion.

Probably reading too much into it, but interesting that you titled the thread anti-religious bigotry as opposed to religious bigotry.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:54 PM   #14
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

I know this is kind of random, but I was at breakfast yesterday next to Carol King in Washington, D.C.

During the breakfast, another customer (obviously a pro-lifer) engaged her in a conversation about abortion. He was probably being a bit over-zealous due to the fact that Ms. King was minding her own self trying to enjoy her breakfast.

Instead of blowing the guy off, she mad a point to engage and exchange ideas with the guy. She sat and talked to the man and his family for a good thirty minutes and even accepted some of his literature. She proceeded to make the point that it's necessary to engage in civil discourse in order to breakdown the barriers of social conflict.

I was incredibly impressed with how nice of a lady she was, and equally impressed by her tolerance and attitude towards a counterpoint.
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:45 PM   #15
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Re: What constitutes anti-religious bigotry?

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I know this is kind of random, but I was at breakfast yesterday next to Carol King in Washington, D.C.

During the breakfast, another customer (obviously a pro-lifer) engaged her in a conversation about abortion. He was probably being a bit over-zealous due to the fact that Ms. King was minding her own self trying to enjoy her breakfast.

Instead of blowing the guy off, she mad a point to engage and exchange ideas with the guy. She sat and talked to the man and his family for a good thirty minutes and even accepted some of his literature. She proceeded to make the point that it's necessary to engage in civil discourse in order to breakdown the barriers of social conflict.

I was incredibly impressed with how nice of a lady she was, and equally impressed by her tolerance and attitude towards a counterpoint.
I'd be more impressed the pro-lifer didn't yell at her and call her a baby killer.
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