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Old 07-08-2016, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Falls Church, Fairfax County
5,168 posts, read 3,607,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
Counter arguments are not preferable to the original opinions, they are other points of view to be considered when each reader makes up their own mind. In that case the credibility of the opinion poster has no bearing on the actual truth or falseness of the issue. Certainly not in my mind anyway.
This is a exactly why the scientific method is so valuable. It lessens opinion and, hopefully, increases understanding.
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
Well, when it comes to the Virgin Birth, until Doc Brown is willing to share his time machine, science has no way to prove or disprove that particular claim. Modern medical science can tell us, “A virgin cannot conceive a child,” but that is the entire point of the original claim, isn’t it?
Well, there's parthenogenesis but in species that use the XX-XY chromosome scheme, this can only produce females.

Quote:
When it comes to other things like bleeding statues, the Host turning to flesh, etc. … I’m certainly no expert. But I have seen a documentary or two on them and read a few articles. Some claims have indeed been proven to be frauds. Other investigations have concluded the presence of real blood and real flesh but can offer no explanation as to how it happened. Which again, is kind of the entire point of a miracle.
An Orthodox priest I know was called in to help at a church where there was a weeping icon because of the number of visitors they were having. People who saw it weeping said the "tears" would well up and roll down the icon with no intervention. My priest friend said the first thing he did was go behind the iconostasis to look for something rigged up behind it. They also examined the icon for the old medieval trick of putting pockets of oil just under the surface of the paint. Nothing. Further, a family brought an icon card in and had it blessed; the icon card started weeping at home and they had to keep it in a dish because of the large amount of oil that was supposedly "materializing".

I know people who have seen icons weep, and they're people I trust. I don't know what to make of these stories. As an Orthodox Christian, I'm not required to believe in any of them. But I do believe extraordinary things happen occasionally that are not really explainable by science - and that in at least some cases these are due to intervention by positive or negative "bodiless powers" as we say in the Orthodox Church. In other words, what we'd call "miracles".

For those interested, here's a (downloadable) paper on the evolution of John Polkinghorne's thought on Divine action:

John Polkinghorne on Divine Action: a Coherent Theological Evolution | Ignacio Silva - Academia.edu

I do have to point out that Polkinghorne's claim that God interacts with the universe solely through information is probably at odd with the Palamite doctrine of Essence and Energies, but I haven't read enough about it to fairly decide.
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Maine
19,182 posts, read 22,869,383 times
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Interesting piece:

St. Thomas Aquinas and the Sciences |Blogs | NCRegister.com
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
A good quote from that article:

Quote:
Thomas then asks a metaphysical, not scientific, question: "Why are there rules?" And he concludes "There are rules because there is something beyond Nature that is a Rulegiver. And that is what everybody means by God." It's not a question science can answer, since it is a faith statement science must assume in order to function at all.
In addition to these Chladni patterns, a couple of favorite examples of the kind of order that spontaneously appears in the universe:

Belusov-Zhabotinsky chemical oscillator:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_mGUx_vY_s

These oscillators are found in systems far from equilibrium, and it's been said life itself is such a system.

Mandelbrot set:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jGaio87u3A

The Mandelbrot set is generated by the simple step equation (the next value of z equals the previous value squared plus a constant, where the values of z are complex numbers):

z(n+1)=z(n)^2+C

These point to a profound complexity embedded in the very nature of things at the simplest level -- which is itself I would contend one of the most marvelous miracles one will ever encounter.
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Old 07-08-2016, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Rural Wisconsin
11,089 posts, read 3,306,423 times
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Of course, people are free to believe what they like, but it seems to me that if there were such things as demon spirits, Satan, etc. (or even "God") that there would be many more examples that prove their existence in a not-to-be-disputed way and to a much wider audience. I am 62, and I have never met anyone who told me that they were visited by any kind of supernatural being/spirit or felt possessed by such in any way or said that they had had or witnessed any kind of bona fide "miracle". Yes, I have read of such things, but anyone can say or write anything -- however, saying or writing something that doesn't make it true.

However, I am an agnostic, so I tend to look at things more objectively -- or at least I try to do so.
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Old 07-08-2016, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whocares811 View Post
Of course, people are free to believe what they like, but it seems to me that if there were such things as demon spirits, Satan, etc. (or even "God") that there would be many more examples that prove their existence in a not-to-be-disputed way and to a much wider audience. I am 62, and I have never met anyone who told me that they were visited by any kind of supernatural being/spirit or felt possessed by such in any way or said that they had had or witnessed any kind of bona fide "miracle". Yes, I have read of such things, but anyone can say or write anything -- however, saying or writing something that doesn't make it true.
Actually the Catholic Church in general and sanctioned exorcists in particular would be the first to tell you that true demonic possession is extremely rare.

Check out Matt Baglio's THE RITE, about how an average American guy became an exorcist. He has every case evaluated by medical professionals, and the overwhelming majority of people who come to him are referred for medical care, psychological or otherwise.
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whocares811 View Post
O
However, I am an agnostic, so I tend to look at things more objectively -- or at least I try to do so.
What makes you think people like John Polkinghorne, Archbishop Puhalo, Kenneth Miller (cell biologist, Roman Catholic, and defender of evolution against the creationists) don't try to look at things objectively? Or for that matter, myself or Mark S? I've been attacked many times here for being a "skeptic", a "scientist", and in general an unbeliever. Then, when I turn around and say yes, well, I do believe in God, unseen powers, and the rest, I get grief from the atheist/agnostic crowd. I get no respect from either side.

These people are scientists so they've had to ask themselves: is there any way in which it can be said that the unseen can work within the world of phenomenal things? As a person with a background in science and engineering, I had to approach belief at first through logic and reason; but there came a point where I had to look at what I'd experienced and make Kierkegaard's Leap of Faith.

I gave up on radical materialism decades ago, when Gore Vidal published two articles in The Nation; in one he savaged all believers, and in another he did the same to anyone who is foolish enough to believe relationships are anything more than chemicals banging around in our systems at the command of our genes (something Richard Dawkins has also elaborate on). I'm grateful to him and to radical materialists like Dawkins because they've shown just how silly this position can be.

That's my choice to reject radical materialism and I take it as a matter of faith that there's more to reality than that. Those who are scientists as well as believers in the unseen must find a way to reconcile their knowledge of how the world works with their belief in unseen things. This belief is sometimes based on philosophical reflection, sometimes on direct experience of a relationship with Something.

With regard to things like demons and angels, I've experienced things that can only be explained as either mutual hallucinations or the presence of a consciousness that was not human. When you go through that and you're a logical person, you have to make a choice: a leap of faith. Decide either way -- for belief or unbelief -- is a leap of faith (something I'm sure you're aware of as an agnostic).

You might personally reject all this, but don't assume people like myself and Mark S and the scientist/theologians I've mentioned haven't put decades of thought and study into understanding how the world works, and how their faith fits into that understanding. Or that we don't struggle with our doubt every day (which as I recall was a major theme in the Exorcist).

Here for those interested is an excerpt from Kenneth Miller's "Finding Darwin's God:"

http://www.findingdarwinsgod.com/excerpt/index.html

Last edited by Vasily; 07-08-2016 at 06:28 PM..
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Midwest, USA
706 posts, read 569,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whocares811 View Post
Of course, people are free to believe what they like, but it seems to me that if there were such things as demon spirits, Satan, etc. (or even "God") that there would be many more examples that prove their existence in a not-to-be-disputed way and to a much wider audience. I am 62, and I have never met anyone who told me that they were visited by any kind of supernatural being/spirit or felt possessed by such in any way or said that they had had or witnessed any kind of bona fide "miracle". Yes, I have read of such things, but anyone can say or write anything -- however, saying or writing something that doesn't make it true.

However, I am an agnostic, so I tend to look at things more objectively -- or at least I try to do so.
I don't belong to any kind of religious faith. You don't need to belong to one in order to experience "strange happenings". That's most definitely not a prerequisite. Lol.
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:53 PM
 
Location: PRC
4,528 posts, read 4,017,523 times
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In spite of how anyone argues to the contrary, (and I dont care if it the Pope himself) I jonestly believe that our current science and religion cannot exist side-by-side. Of course scientists who are religious have a conflict of interest and cannot serve two masters. Yes, I know the Vatican has scientisis investigating stuff for it, but I bet the reports are sanitised or left unpublished for inconvenient truths, but thats just my opinion and I have no evidence to back that up - before anyone asks.

When it comes down to the crunch, you have to either take your everlasting life seriously or you take your profession seriously - now, I wonder which one will win?

Those arguing that both can exist together I feel are mistaken.
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Falls Church, Fairfax County
5,168 posts, read 3,607,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
In spite of how anyone argues to the contrary, (and I dont care if it the Pope himself) I jonestly believe that our current science and religion cannot exist side-by-side. Of course scientists who are religious have a conflict of interest and cannot serve two masters. Yes, I know the Vatican has scientisis investigating stuff for it, but I bet the reports are sanitised or left unpublished for inconvenient truths, but thats just my opinion and I have no evidence to back that up - before anyone asks.

When it comes down to the crunch, you have to either take your everlasting life seriously or you take your profession seriously - now, I wonder which one will win?

Those arguing that both can exist together I feel are mistaken.
You realize that there is more than one religion in the world?
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