Dear average reader of Synthetic Remarks, I am dying to know



If you feel the need to get into details or ask me something, the comments are open.

Is God for real?


20 Responses to Yes or no?

  1. I’m curious about why you’re curious.

    I voted no – there may be interesting reasons to believe in a deity, but I don’t think they lead inexorably to the Christian god you’re presumably referring to, and I’m not convinced by them.

    That said, I’d like to speak to anyone who has a refutation of Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalism to hand…

  2. N Tesla says:

    I am curious as to why your curious – I voted, though, so you’d better provide us with a good story later.

  3. milkshake says:

    whatever happened to the 3,4-difluorothiophene award? You know that I won’t let you talk yourself out of your promise/

    • drfreddy says:

      NOT forgotten!! A winner will be announced and a prize sent off! Rock solid promise. Let’s say before end of March?

  4. drfreddy says:

    I’m very fascinated by religion. Especially its connections with science. I cannot for my life understand how some people manage to practice science and religion side by side. Remember Nanoputians? Their creator James Tour is a synthetic chemist — and a believer. I would love to hear him explain that.

    Me, then? I’m an atheist, for good and for bad.

  5. Dmitry B says:

    Thank God I’m Atheist

  6. Matt says:

    As someone who believes in God and works in science, I think about this issue quite a bit. So, my question: from where does the confusion over practicing science and religion side by side arise?

    • drfreddy says:

      My personal problem is primarily the “belief without proof” part; see an excellent write-up here. Science requires you to be very skeptical, while religion demands the opposite. Something like that.

      If you truly believe that scientific laws govern the Universe, as a scientist should, then then leave very little room for divine intervention. And, if there is no divine intervention, does God exist? How almighty is a force that cannot interfere?

      I have no intention of being condescending. Not at all. I am most curious how some of you manage to practice both science and religion, and specifically how you see no conflicts of interest in doing so.

      Finally, I wouldn’t recommend atheism to anybody. It sure makes you feel lonely at times. For me personally though, I see no other option.

  7. Dr. Mel says:

    I think if you are really interested in chemical faith statements you should ask if we believe in 2-center 2-electron bonds. Show of hands?

    • drfreddy says:

      Or why not 2-center-3-electron bonds, such as this one, proposed by Linus Pauling.

      One thousand positive experiments does not prove a theory, but one negative experiment may be enough to falsify it.

      Religion seems entirely different in this respect; one thousand negative experiments are worth nothing in comparison to faith.

  8. Extremophile says:

    “The reasons, each are only veils”

    All the philosophists come to the conclusion that you need to look everywhere in order to prove the nonexistance of something. Now, i think it is meaningless to say that there is no god. As a result, atheism is another kind of belief.

    Supporting the opposite argument is a lot easier. If you look around, you can see the shadows of the absolute power, that is, like the movies in a cinema screen; you know if there is something on the screen, there should be the Source of it. And that “something” is very well in the order so that it is ridiculous to say that it happened by itself. Like, when you see an art work, you know there is an artist who created it. And, that source is only veiled by the reasons.

    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
    ― Rumi

  9. milkshaken says:

    From Czech police records: ‘This domestic disturbance started when the bride was introduced to the family and grandmother observed “God is punishing you for not praying enough”

  10. pcelsus says:

    I am atheist and voted no. I don’t think words like “very well in the order” and “an artist” are even helpful for believers. When I look around, I don’t see an “order.” I see diseases and chaos. Our body cells have millions of mutations in a day. We have cancer, millions of people still fight against HIV. Almost more than two thirds of the earth is water, but only one third of the people can find water to drink. I don’t know. May be I am a pessimist, but that’s what I think.

  11. Matt says:

    I’ll take a look at that article sometime soon, drfreddy–it’s a bit long for me to read while I’m at work. 😉

    There are a number of ways I’ve heard people argue the case for religion in the science/religion debate: the origin of morality; the idea that our belief in the ability of the scientific method to provide us with proof about nature is itself another form of faith; the question of why we’re alive and toward what we should strive. I’m sure there are many other examples, but I’ll admit that I’m not the most well-versed on them.

    In the end, I guess I can practice science and believe in God at the same time, because I don’t see them interfering with one another. My faith doesn’t hinder my ability to do chemistry in the slightest–in some ways, I see it as an opportunity to grow closer to God as I seek to understand creation. At the same time, I’ve found a great deal of joy and personal growth when it comes to moral issues, humility, how am I called to live out my life, etc. Science and religion just stimulate different parts of the whole person, in my opinion.

    To answer your other question, we all get to exercise free will. We’re not called to be mindless slaves that obey everything we’re told (although some religious folk might disagree with me). I can cultivate a healthy dose of skepticism within myself while still being faithful to the church, or at least recognizing that I don’t fully understand some of the teachings yet. Furthermore, free will wouldn’t mean much if God were to interfere with everyday life on a regular basis. There have been tons of documented reports of miracles throughout history (and I’ll admit, I have trouble believing in them), but if you’re closed off to the idea of God in the first place, I don’t know that they would do much to convince you.

    Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’m interested in this debate, though, so I’m happy to keep going with it.

  12. pcelsus says:

    Now that we have a Pope with a master’s degree in chemistry, I think we should ask his explanation too.

  13. Youssef says:

    so… what do you think now that the new pope is a chesmist.

    • drfreddy says:

      Let’s find his email and ask him to explain himself!

      • milkshake says:

        This pope only went to an chemical-manufacturing oriented highchool (something like “Realschule” as opposed to “Gymnasium”), he has no chemistry masters.

        Also, on unrelated subject:

        drfreddy says:
        March 9th, 2013 at 10:28 PM
        NOT forgotten!! A winner will be announced and a prize sent off! Rock solid promise. Let’s say before end of March?

  14. PGMChem says:

    I see no more paradox in being scientist/believer and scientist/atheist.

    Here the confusion between atheist and agnostic has to be avoided. IMHO atheism is just another (albeit masked) faith. I think that giving a definitive truth about something that cannot be proved (existence or non-existence) requires faith on both cases.

    I guess the most skeptical attitude here would be agnosticism: no one can prove it, therefore we cannot know. And every one is free to believe that there is a God or not, or anything else.

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