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Old 01-09-2018, 08:04 PM   #1
DanRode
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I read a fair number of science books. It makes me feel smarter than I am. I especially like the lectures produced by The Great Courses. The one thing I can't understand is why the authors so often feel the need to announce and explain that they are atheist and attempt to prove the universe is godless.

I could understand a scientist being concerned about creationism being taught in school as science. I'm equally concerned. But in an unrelated, hard-science lecture? I'm not suggesting that they should be prevented from such speech, it's just odd to me. Who are you trying to convince? You can't prove or disprove one from the other. They are unrelated realms. Easier to argue who wins a fight between a lion and a whale.

I don't believe in ghosts, faeries, gnomes, goblins, trolls and a whole host of other supernatural things. I do not routinely announce this fact and submit proof while discussing, for example, physics or pasta sauce. I also don't announce my shoe size and toothpaste preference while debating political philosophy.

This has nothing at all to do with guitar or music, so it seemed like the ideal place to post. No irony here.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:18 PM   #2
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If someone could prove to me one way or the other that the world/universe was/wasn't godless it wouldn't matter to me in the least. It changes nothing, it's not going to make me change anything about me, I won't pray more/less, I won't swear more or less and I'll play Star Star just as often.

If there is a god, great, if there isn't, oh well.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:19 PM   #3
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It's a difficult question to answer without being able to see the examples that you are referring to. The courses aren't free, it seems, so it's hard to comment. I haven't seen anything like this in any online science lectures that I've seen unless it's a scientist that also is well known for their views on religion (Dawkins, Krauss, etc).

I'm guessing however that no scientist attempted to "prove" that the universe was godless. They may have stated that there is no evidence in that direction and that all the evidence is in the other direction.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:29 PM   #4
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Here is something to help you make the decision for yourself

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Old 01-09-2018, 08:44 PM   #5
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I'm not familiar with the lectures produced by "The Great Courses," so any comments will be mere speculation.

I will say that in my meanderings throughout the world, the internet, the hallowed halls of academia in general I have had many more Christians or theists of any particular stripe point out their affiliation for no apparent reason relevant to the matters at hand than I have had atheists do the same. Most believers I've met eventually come to the conclusion that their belief is something I need to know about and should be interested in. Most of the time it isn't and I'm not.

I only tend to point out my lack of belief in deities or any supernatural metaphysical realm to existence and the universe only in so far as it is actually relevant to the topic at hand. If such disbelief does not in any way impact or influence my opinion on this brand of coffee versus the other brand*, or John Mayer's pickup preference^, or the merits of apple vs. strawberry rhubarb pie# I'm generally happy to leave my views on the great beyond out of the discussion entirely.

Just in case anyone's curious:
*The brand of coffee is less important than the method by which it is prepared.
^The low output "Big Dipper" pups in Mayer's signature Strat with their scooped mids sound pretty good to me for chord work at least.
#I eat apple more often but strawberry rhubarb would be harder to say goodbye to forever.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle View Post
It's a difficult question to answer without being able to see the examples that you are referring to. The courses aren't free, it seems, so it's hard to comment. I haven't seen anything like this in any online science lectures that I've seen unless it's a scientist that also is well known for their views on religion (Dawkins, Krauss, etc).

I'm guessing however that no scientist attempted to "prove" that the universe was godless. They may have stated that there is no evidence in that direction and that all the evidence is in the other direction.
Dawkins and Krauss are pretty vocal but it's pretty common. Sean Carrol, Indre Viskontas are some others. All very interesting authors.

I'm not taking issue with their views on the subject, it's forcing it in out of context.

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Old 01-09-2018, 08:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanRode View Post
The one thing I can't understand is why the authors so often feel the need to announce and explain that they are atheist and attempt to prove the universe is godless.
It's the same reason that authors of Christian literature feel the need to announce and explain that they are Christian and attempt to prove the existence of God.

It's because they're human and too stupid to realize that it's not a conversation worth having. They want to appear virtuous to other like-minded humans so that they can benefit from the social accolades. They want to control the beliefs of those easily influenced for their own benefit.
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:15 PM   #8
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Good post. Have you read Dan Brown's "Origin"? I got it as a Christmas present, a bit pretentious, but a good read.
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:17 PM   #9
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Some religious people are quietly faithful, while others feel a need to be in your face trying to convert you. Same with atheists, vegetarians, cat lovers, square dancers and on and on. Who can say what makes one person quietly content with their beliefs and feelings, and another with an uncontrollable need to change the world to be like them. Perhaps, if we don't agree, we're viewed as a threat?

BobF - that poster is hilarious!
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:20 PM   #10
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The enlightened scientist have stopped examining the construction of God's clothing and stepped back and looked at him wearing them. The others refuse to leave the microscopic world and examine the macroscopic world. Once a person realizes that everything relates to everything else, things become much clearer.
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