Monday, February 27, 2012

Why Do I Choose Science Over God?

I've touched upon this many times, but thought it would be a good idea to bring it all together in one post.

Religion sucks. Science doesn't.

End of post.

Just kidding! What is science?

Science is an objective study of our world based upon observation, hypothesizing, and testing. It is simply the desire to learn about our universe and how it works. Science is not out to disprove god and religion; that just happens as a natural side effect.

Religious people claim that since god never changes, and science is always changing, that science is unreliable and therefore cannot be trusted. Since god never changes, we can rely on him to be there every time. This sounds good on the surface until you actually think about it.

Let's explore the idea that god never changes. He does change. The Old Testament teaches the idea of "an eye for an eye". In other words, if someone does something bad to you, do the same thing back to him. The New Testament teaches to "turn the other cheek". If someone does something bad to you, forgive him and do nothing about it.

So which one is it? Get revenge or don't get revenge? Sure, you will all tell me that Christ fulfilled the Law of Moses so the teachings of the Old Testament don't apply anymore. But isn't that a change?

Change isn't necessarily bad. In fact, it's good.

If science never changed, then the light bulb would have never been invented. Thomas Edison made thousands of attempts to create a light bulb until he, by trial and error, discovered the right combination of chemicals that worked. If he had never changed any of his formulations, then he would have been a failure until he died.

Science builds upon its self. As we learn something new, that allows us to explore options that were not possible before. Darwin proposed the Theory of Evolution but it was long before we knew about genetics and DNA.

Mendel came along and proposed that we get part of our characteristics from each parent. He proposed that certain traits were dominant and that others were recessive. The recessive traits could only manifest themselves if there was no dominant trait to override it.

Later, James Watson and Francis Crick, discovered that the way inheritance is passed from one generation to the next is in a molecule of DNA.

Further studies showed that certain traits are found in specific places on a molecule of DNA, until now, when the entire genome has been mapped and we know exactly how it works. It is understood so well that we have the ability to play "god" in the laboratory.

All these progresses in science built upon each other. The same is true of many other branches of science. Two hundred years ago it was widely believed that there were only four elements. Now we know that there are closer to 200.

We know their structures and we know how they combine to form more complicated molecules. Step by step, we learned what an element is composed of and what its specific properties are. We learned it so well, that we can use that information to build complex machines that do tasks tirelessly.

Have you ever sat down and wondered how that flat screen HDTV works? I guarantee you that it didn't just pop into existence in a factory somewhere. It was carefully designed to carry out a specific function and it would have never been possible if we did not understand the basic laws of chemistry and physics.

Gotcha! You just admitted that something very complicated needs to be designed! Therefore god exists!

If that was your next thought, then it just shows how ignorant you are about the Theory of Evolution and natural selection. The problem with religious people trying to disprove evolution is that they don't even understand it. They have all these wrong ideas about "complete random chance" and that "we are descended from monkeys".

If you're going to disprove evolution, then you must first understand it. And in order to understand it, you have to let go of all your pre-determined conclusions. Since religious people are unwilling to do that, because they just know they're right, then they will keep using the same ignorant arguments that have been shown time and time again to be easily refuted.

I'm not going to go into that here because that is not what his post is about.

Science must be verifiable. If a geek in a lab claims to have made flubber, then his process must be repeatable. Other scientists must verify his claims by repeating the tests and ending with the same results. The scientific community doesn't just blindly accept what someone said; they verify it to make sure it is the truth.

Ok, that was a very brief overview of what science is. Now lets take a look at what religion is.

Religion is a set of beliefs based upon faith. Faith, by definition, is a belief in something without having any evidence for it. Therefore, any range of beliefs exist and they cannot be proven or disproven.

Believers make the incorrect assumption that those who don't believe have the burden of proving that god doesn't exist. And since it can never be conclusively proven that he doesn't exist, then he does exist by default.

What religious people don't understand is that although we all know Santa Claus doesn't exist, there is no way to prove that he doesn't. However, just because we can't prove that Santa Claus doesn't exist, it doesn't mean that he does. Believers will say, "Well of course Santa Claus doesn't exist. He is just made up so that kids will be good."

This argument is the very reason why you shouldn't believe in god.

The same is true of the flying spaghetti monster and the floating tea kettle. It is impossible to prove that they don't exist, but that doesn't make them real by default either. This is the concept that religious people just can't understand.

There is proof of god and it's right here in the Bible. You see, the Bible says god is real. The Bible says god is it's author. The Bible says the Bible is true. Therefore it must be true. After all, god wouldn't lie because the Bible says he wouldn't. Another concept that religious people just don't understand (and avoid like a plague whenever I bring it up) is that trying to prove god with the Bible is like trying to prove Superman with a comic book. A Marvel comic book says that Superman can "leap tall buildings in a single bound." Well guess what religious people? It says it right there so it must be true.

When I use THEIR arguments to prove Superman, they immediately say, "Well it's obvious that Superman isn't real. He's just a fictional character."

Once again, their own arguments are the reason why you shouldn't believe in their god! How is one fictional character so obviously false for one set of reasons, but the other fictional character is obviously true for the very same set of reasons?

So, religion has people believing that the whole world is shrouded in evil because a woman who popped out of a man's chest was fooled by a talking snake to eat a piece of fruit that god didn't want them to eat but who put it right in front of them anyway. And because this woman ate the fruit, everyone who lives after her is a sinner and deserves nothing but hell and god's wrath. But the solution to this whole mess is simple! Just kill god's only son and that makes everything alright! Everyone who believes it happened gets saved... Yes, all you have to do is believe it. It has nothing to do with how good of a person you are. It has nothing to do with anything except your belief. Basically, god is saying that you have to take this whole incredible story on complete blind faith and the more insane it is and the more blindly you believe it, the more you will be rewarded in the next life.

And millions of people literally believe this pure and utter nonsense!

Not only does religion have beliefs that have no evidence, the followers of religion are taught that believing something without evidence is noble. To question is dishonorable. God likes people who blindly submit without stopping to think. Thinking is dangerous to religion and no one, not even believers, denies it. When I refer LDS people to "anti" LDS websites, they refuse to go, stating that they will not "fan the flames of disbelief".

Need I say more? Obviously I do because without a doubt someone will come in here and comment about how I have it all wrong and they are going to pray for me to this god who's big idea was to do all of that crazy stuff I just described.

Let's compare and contrast science and religion, shall we?

  • Science is reliable; religion is not.
  • Science promotes the general well being of the human race; religion promotes hate and intolerance.
  • Science can accurately make predictions; religion tries to make predictions and is always wrong.
  • Science produces new and exciting information about our world; religion teaches the same old myths that were made up by uneducated fools in the stone age.
  • Science bases its beliefs on evidence; religion bases its beliefs on blind faith.
  • Science encourages education and open-mindedness; religion encourages ignorance.
  • Science is open to criticism; religion opposes anything that disagrees with it.
  • Science has made our world a truly better place; religion has impeded progress since the beginning of time.
  • Science is based on reality; religion gives people false hope and unrealistic promises and expectations.

In a mythical book, god can part the waters. In real life, science can fly a man to the moon. In a mythical book, god can make water come out of a rock. In real life, science can make water come out of the walls of your home.

If you appreciate being able to pick up a phone and call anyone you want, thank science. If you like to ride in a car or fly in an airplane, thank science. If you enjoy swallowing a pill to dull your pain rather than suffer, thank science. If you keep in touch with loved ones via email or texting, thank science. If you use the internet to access virtually anything you can think of, thank science.

And that's why I choose science over god.

What has religion done, other than convince smart people to believe in nonsense?


cara lou said...

As usual, great post. I don't have anything to add to the discussion -- just wanted to tell you I always look forward to reading what you've written. I'll be sharing this post with some friends. :)

Mormon411 said...

Cara Lou, thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Be careful sharing this stuff with your friends... once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

Jacana said...

thanks - enjoyed visiting your blog and your logic thoughts they have assisted me with questions that are thrown at me by my youngest child.

Mormon411 said...

Wonderful! Glad to help Jacana. A child's mind is pure and innocent. They believe anything they are told because they have no reason to doubt their parents. Teach the young one to think and be rational!

Michael Taylor said...

Excellent post. I wholeheartly agree.

erin said...

I just found your blog and and would like to say thank you! I no longer feel like I am the only person out there who doesn't have an imaginary friend to follow around. You line "trying to prove god with the Bible is like trying to prove Superman with a comic book." describes it EXACTLY.

Mormon411 said...

I wish I could take credit for that line, but I can't. I read it on a graphic somewhere. But it is very true and makes perfect sense. Erin, you are most certainly not the only person who doesn't believe in god. We are the minority, but there are many more of us than you would think.

Chris Hunt said...

Great post, but you miss out the most important thing about science: the scientific METHOD.

It's a method of finding out the things we don't know by using the things that we do. Making theories and testing them with experiment. Constantly refining and expanding our understanding of how the Universe works.

Some religious believers seem to think that if they can identify a flaw in, say, The Origin of Species, this undermining of a scientific "holy book" will bring the whole rationalist edifice down in a heap.

It ain't going to happen. Darwin, no doubt, made mistakes. We'll find (and, I'm sure, have already found) new things that refine and develop his findings to improve our understanding. Who knows, one day Darwin's model of life may look as outdated as Aristotle's model of the solar system.

But I'm willing to bet that whatever that revised evolutionary model is, it won't require some bloke on a cloud with a beard to drive it.

Mormon411 said...

Chris, thanks for that awesome comment. I did briefly describe the scientific method in the first paragraph after "just kidding" but failed to name it.

Yes, we have identified flaws with Darwin's original work. It turns out that many scientists were on the very right track but were just off on a few of the details. It doesn't disprove Darwin at all. If you find a typo in a book, (I found several in The Hunger Games) it doesn't dicredit the entire book.

As we learn more about how the universe works, it's amazing how GOD is NEVER the answer!