I have had discussions with many people on religion and what their beliefs are. Because I am not as religious or spiritual as some, the discussion normally turns into a debate; Science vs Religion. Now of course that was not my intention because I have no problem with people believing in whatever they want to believe in, but I often find that when speaking to a person with religious beliefs, some are quick to disregard the evidence in science (especially when it comes to how the world was created) in order to maintain their stance in regards to religion. So why does one have to be disregarded in order for the other to remain prevalent? Why can't a person have religious beliefs and still accept scientific theories as well?
Probably because they give diametrically opposed answers to some of the same questions.
Some believers change the meaning of their holy scripture to match with reality, some refuse. And the battle continues.
This is hardly true. The Vatican has operated an observatory since the 1780s. The "Big Bang Theory" was proposed by a Catholic priest. Science hardly contradicts religion, even the theory of evolution. The drive to reveal the truth about God's creation is at the root of Catholic teaching on science.
Oh? I did not realize that the theory of evolution teaches that homo sapiens sprang full grown and evolved from the dust of the earth. Or that the female of the species originated as a rib in the male.
That is a rather narrow understanding of Christian thought on science and evolution. There are 1.2 Billion Catholics in the world whose one Church teaches a very different lesson than you offer as representative of all Christianity. Perhaps a little broader scope might help, I suspect it will not, as you have decided that your own deeply held prejudices supersede facts.
I don't think it will ever be possible to understand or even know the thousands of differing ideas from hundreds of Christian sects. Add in the other religions of the world and I know it won't.
On the other hand, I've never had a Christian ever tell me that mankind evolved from an ape-like creature. Always that God made man, and without need or use of prior species. It's also the way I was taught in a Christian household. It is, in fact, the basis for the reasoning that women are lesser creatures than man, that they should follow man rather than lead. So I was taught, and so most sects seem to believe as well although that is beginning to change.
And of course, it is what God's Word, given in the holy scriptures, teaches as well.
It is sad that your education in Christianity was so narrow as to separate you from the loving glory of God's natural world and all the things that He created, things like stellar nurseries, the accretion of solar dust to form planets, the mutation of chromosomes and the rise of life. The entire Universe has a Creator whose love set it all in motion. A Creator who gave humans the intellect and curiosity to reveal the grandeur of the Natural world, full of natural laws and natural systems - including evolution.
Can Man have evolved and have been created by God? Yes. It is a poor believer who compels God to match his personally limited understand. It is the finite and mortal telling the infinite and immortal what is what. We are a fun and funny species.
Is it what the Old Testament teaches? or is it a limited understanding of what simple people were given so that they my comprehend God and creation. Your experience in your household is very different than mine in a Catholic one and in Catholic education for 16 years.
Yes, yes. I've seen the glory of nature, from stellar nurseries (through a telescope, not a photo) to the absolute majesty of the giants of the earth; the redwood trees. All I missed out on was the myth of a god creating it all and I even got my fill of that during childhood.
Absolutely man could have evolved AND been created. It just isn't told that way in His Word.
If the book was written by a god, for people of all ages, it should be readable and match the comprehension of the reader. An easy task for an omnipotent god, but one that was not done - perhaps because it wasn't written (or inspired, or overseen, or anything else) by a god at all? Perhaps it was written by man, for man's purposes and according to man's knowledge of the time? A far more reasonable and likely scenario than that a creature from another universe did it all, IMHO. Especially as that entity has now been missing for thousands of years...
But it always ends this way doesn't it? You insist there is a god that performed specific actions, and worse, actions that do not align with it's own word. You just can't provide any evidence of any of it, but still expect to be believed and that's where it always ends.
So how do you communicate omnipotence, omnicience and omnipresence, as well as, the complex nature of the universe, physics, quantum mechanics, genetics, etc...to illiterate 17th century blacksmiths let alone 8th century BC goatherds? Stories teach lessons. Men write stories. Some stories are written with the inspiration of God. The mistake is thinking that the Old Testament is a dictated science book. That, apparently, is the error of atheists, agnostics and fundamentalists.
As for the missing entity, that doesn't comport with any thing the Catholic Church teaches about God and his relationship with humanity. It hardly ends with my mind slamming shut.
You don't. You can try, mostly through stories and tales that are most definitely NOT literal. Which is what modern man seems to forget: that the stories are not literal. No Adam, no Eve, no garden and no snake. No flood, no crumbling walls from blowing a goat horn, and no angel of death killing the first-born. Only tales, including the tale of a god which was used any time "I don't know" seemed inadvisable.
But even the Catholic church teaches that god is alive, watching over us - the same "god" used in place of "I don't know" and without any relationship with humanity because it doesn't physically exist and never did. Only a philosophical existence, a tool to control the masses. Or is your mind slammed shut to that distinct possibility?
God transcends the petty agendas of humans who continue to find ways to oppress each other, including science. Humans cynically employ every conceivable method for exploiting and controlling each other, yet our own transcendent nature persists.
Thank you for conceding the point that complex concepts are frequently conveyed through analogy and story telling. This is the essential difference between the atheist and fundamentalist interpretation of the Old Testament and one that incorporates our intellectual nature. It is interesting to assert that which billions of people experience as non-existent without some proof of that assertion. I for one do not believe in atheists.
Yes, that's the tale all right. God transcends all that we are or can ever be or do. We just can't find any real reason for believing that the tale is true.
I've raised enough children to fully understand the usefulness of analogy and stories. But there always comes a time when the stork tale (to use an obsolete example) fails; the child knows better but still doesn't have the knowledge (s)he seeks. The details are missing even if they now understand that there is no stork.
And that's exactly where we are now as a species. The tales from religious training have proven insufficient. We know enough to recognize they bear only a tenuous connection to reality, if any at all, and want more, far more. Whereupon we turn to our own devices and abilities to look for real answers, answers we can know are true and not just the imaginative tales we had before. "Goddunnit" just doesn't satisfy the species any more.
Finally, just as with a god, the burden of proof lies on the one making the claim. You experience a god? Show it. Prove it to be there. Tell how your experience varies from someone else's nearly identical experience that was NOT due to a god.
(For myself, I only assert there is no god when someone asserts there absolutely IS. Indicating that my claim is just as good as theirs, not that I can actually know if there is a god or not.)
Respectfully, you may not know enough ppl. I believe they cannot exist without one another. Most Christians believe that God is the great mathematician and the creator of all things science. You should talk to those who do not separate the two.
Thank you, I appreciate your response. However, I did not say that ALL religious people that I have spoken with can't have one without the other, I said SOME. So my question was focused on that percentage of people. Also there are other religions aside from Christianity. I didn't specify a particular group because I have spoken to multiple people from various religions.
"Why can't a person have religious beliefs and still accept scientific theories as well?"
A person can.
Especially the reasonable ones.
The unreasonable ones…?
Well, each to their own.
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