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Can the belief of the existence of a supreme being ever be proved?
Yes 9%  9%  [ 6 ]
No 29%  29%  [ 20 ]
Of course, I am the living proof! 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Only if Invisible Pink Unicorns can also be proved 20%  20%  [ 14 ]
Look around you! the evidence of an intelligent designer 6%  6%  [ 4 ]
God is the universe and the universe is God 10%  10%  [ 7 ]
AG is a strident semi-god 6%  6%  [ 4 ]
I can't say, perhaps tomorrow we can prove it 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
I am not sure 10%  10%  [ 7 ]
All of the above 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
None of the above 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Half of the above 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
other 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
View results 6%  6%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 70

Awesomelyglorious
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24 Jun 2010, 4:40 pm

greenblue wrote:
well, anyhow Christians who reject ideas from Calvinism are generally because their ideas don't conform to their own ideas, even if some have a poor understanding of it, because it still causes conflict in the end, their basic idea is that God wants everyone to be saved and not just having selected a few before creation, and that seems to be enough for them, wether how that actually works.

And the notion that that conflicts with the Christ's sacrifice, as it would be meaningless for him to die on the cross being that the case.

The issue about the ones who are faithful and serve God are the ones who were previously selected is still unfair though, it is still undonditional election, and frankly, I personally don't see much of a purpose for a person to be born in the first place, if that person is doomed for eternal damnation, that seems to make God a seriously evil god, from my perspective.

My perspective is that none of these theologies makes any sense whatsoever.



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25 Jun 2010, 7:26 pm

Empirically, no, the existence of God is a scientifically unanswerable question. There is no way to test the claims that can prove or disprove his existence. BUT unconventionally YES.

For instance how to you quantify prayer? Some 80 year old monk in a monastery who fasts for 80 years and hasn't uttered a single word can attest that he HEARS to voice of god, or has seen apparitions of angels. Yet others cannot hear or see. For something to be proven over and over again. It must be able to be duplicated by non partial and by anyone.

There are other factors that come into play with this hypothesis that if you pray for 80 years you will see Micheal the Arch Angel. Underlying causes. For instance, did the old monk go insane from long periods of isolation and only hallucinated a General, wishful thinking? Starvation?

Is it the diet that monks or people eat, contributing to neurological encounters with the devine (ie did some country girl, boy, pick the WRONG shrooms and put it in their soup?) Did Joan of Arc really see angels give her a sword and hear the voice of God, before she became a WoW Paladin chick?

However, paradoxically, Christians or Muslims will claim that if only we opened our hardened hearts, and with all "sincerity" pray to God show humility he will slowly open our minds and our hearts. If we showed faiths, or we listened to the so called still quiet voice of God, or Just allowed the hand of God to guide us. (running the "experiment", for instance which is a scientific rule). Then the results should be the same. Ie Angels serenade to us in our dreams and we see heaven and all those beautiful stuff we see "John Hagee, or John Tilton" say (when they're actually speaking English and not some bababababa language).

For the Pentacostal, Oh boy, they have all the "Scientific proof" they need. Like you HAVE to have enough evidence and proof of God to decide to jump up and down and make funny screaming sounds. They claim that this is the "Slain in the spirit", (although I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I think it means you're filled with rapturous joy, that you start acting sounding like a child of God and make baby sounds. Or that's what it looks like to me). And doing so, of course you put your neck on the block by being denounced as a lunatic, a infantile believer of imaginary friends and other nasty things atheists say.

But you are thoroughly convinced enough to devote your life to such practices, time and money and effort to propagate it because so convinced you did the "scientific" experiment of just letting god in, and you feel that others would benifit from other inquiries into spiritual matters, you fund missionary work, or you become a missionary yourself. You become passionate and want to spread this knowledge to others so they too may feel joy. Because you are convinced that this experiment that you did worked.

This is the paradox of faith. It has led people to do great things, free young people from drug addiction, crime, helped to promote social justice (When the priests decided to marry political refugees from South America, or free Gaza etc etc), and it has led people to do terrible things 9-11, crusades, invent tourcher, violence, xenophobia, because it convinced the believer that they are right. a Billion Christians and a Billion Muslims, all did the scientific method. That is TEST of faith, they turned their life to God's custody.

Scientific examinations are suppose to test a hypothesis "Does God love me? Is there a God? Will god touch my heart if I open to him". You do the activity Saying the Takibir "Allah Hu Ackbar, Mohammad is his Prophet", and obeying god's 4 other simple commands: prayer 3 times a day, a pilgrimage, 3% of your gains for the betterment of human kind, and Ramadan Fasting and being a nice person. Then you're touched by the hand of God.

for Christians: Preform the sinner's prayer (confession that you're imperfect) that you welcome God into your heart and your life. "God is the pilot you're the co-pilot", and that you're ready to cooperate with his "plan" and that you love him. Christians show their love by "if you love me follow my commandments".

For Jews: Circumcision, and evolving to adult hood (after a series of touch Rabbinical exams, where they must memorize 613 Laws) then they accept responsibility to follow these rules, in which Jews meet with at least other 10 Jews for form a Council.

For Mormons: Belief that The church of Christ has been restored (all other churches are dysfunctional because they may be missing a important component of "Jesus" church through general imperfect translations, deliberate deception etc. Belief that Joesph Smith was a prophet of the Lord who was tasked to restore the church of God (as a Demi-Messiah), and that the Fullness of the Gosple the book of Mormon, is the correct gospel.

The experiment with these Abraham faiths (I didn't take Eastern Religion yet), is to live their respective faiths, to live according to the rules then the expected scientific outcome would be communication with God. It is strange that these can't be quantified with measurable instruments of science. (Unless you're a scientologist with an "E" meter, or you can see the physical manifestations of faith, ie World Youth Day (Catholics), or videos of the Hajj (Islam), or St Joans sword slicing through your neck... Or a pastor jumping up and down twirling around and around and around, or the disasters at Waco, Jonestown, or the Aum Shinrinko.

Gullible or not, brainwashed or not, there are millions and millions of people who have preformed these tests of faith, and the result seems to be the same. Fork over money to show faith to progress the "experiment" for others (missionary work), and give god a chance. Or so says the youths on youtube to me.

Perhaps they're deluded to believe in "invisble" sky people, that the earth is 6000, when conventional science has proved their hypothesis wrong that women arn't magical rib women, and that Mary wasn't a virgin. But there are benefits to this unconventionally unscientific experiment. Just look at any university or the older ones, especially in Europe, or the hospitals still funded by churches. I'm sure that the patients of these institutions, or students of these schools in some poverty stricken country is glad for an education.

Catholics were on the forefront of scientific research as they sought to restore a shattered world and restore civilization, when the Roman Empire was nuked. (again by building universities, promoting the arts, it was slow going). The true meaning of Irony? The Catholics were the first to chart the human Geneome, discover the source of illnesses through microbiology ", St. Thomas, St. Albert the Great,

The fighters for freedom for example, anti slavery were Christian Quakers, the Mennonites fight for human dignity to this day helping immigrants, The Knights of Columbus was founded by an Irish American priest with the intention to form a social net work where the church could help their own, survive in a new and unfriendly land which has evolved into a brotherhood of service.

Muslims created a society of Egalitarianism, the first Muzzin (the guy who screams out "Allah Hu Ackbar" during prayer time), was a former Black slave that Mohammad bought and freed. As well the Muslim Ummah (a collection of nations connected through Islam, comparable to Christendom or the "Body of Christ) was able to produce wonders of technologly (giving them the well deserved stereotype of being a magical people with flying carpets and stuff: http://www.1001inventions.com/ They even had FLUSHING toilets and waste garbage disposals in their public parks (which modern parks took until the 1800s to do. All this stuff we have in the 20th century or early 20th century the Muslims discovered hundreds of years ago. Again the Flushing toilet). How scientific is THAT? Like to think where we'd be now, if these mighty empires of Christendom and the Ummah didn't either implode, or were nuked (barbarian invasion of the Huns, Mongols, Vandals, Lombards, Conan the Barbarrian, Orcs etc etc etc).

These inventions like running water, the Romans invented, the Egyptians invented eons ago. We were practically Ancient Babylonians under Nimrod, sans universal language. Hell I'd be on my Autistic home world, speaking my own language with my own people.

Anyways while the BELIEF of a diety is not scientific, as a God can't be actually proven or disproves. When applying imaginative Lateral logic (such as Faith), we can see that this is sufficient enough to motivate experimenters to at least entertain the possibility of ethereal supernatural beings. To try and placate or genuinely please such a being, with either horrific acts of horror, or wonderful acts of wonder. OR.... the scary notion that perhaps that WE are the Gods, and that our imaginations, especially our powerful Autistic ones, can create these heavens or hells. Through Doctor Parraris Imaginarium. Because these alleged Gods or Godesses of antiquity seem awfully childish and petty like a human. Zeus is a Womanizer and irresponsible father, Hercules is a Jocky, Hera is a psychotic step mom, Athena is a big sister activist. etc etc etc etc.



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26 Jun 2010, 4:40 am

What experiment? There is no pass / fail. If the 'faith' doesn't yield the expected result. The faith heads will just say 'more faith' or 'that is a wrong expectation'.

It is not true that faith always lead people to do good things. Feel free to call the slave masters un-Christian and the Jihadists un-Muslim. That is just bias.



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26 Jul 2010, 6:07 am

I like to think of myself as god, A power individual as myself,


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28 Jul 2010, 5:31 am

There came a time when the deliberations that determine allocation of the greatest good to the greatest number appeared computable to me.

Run under the axioms that follow from the assumption that "god is god", and run from the assumption that "there is no god", they worked out to very similar results.

Occam's razor swung into action, and I was cast out of that cozy universe with god at its heart.



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28 Jul 2010, 5:42 am

The Lord is a shoving leopard.


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28 Jul 2010, 9:35 am

"We Reached the Mountains and Saw no Gods. We Reached the Sky and Saw no Angels. We Reached Space and Saw no Higher Power. We Will reach the End of the Universe and find only Blackness."



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28 Jul 2010, 10:57 am

Bethie wrote:
"We Reached the Mountains and Saw no Gods. We Reached the Sky and Saw no Angels. We Reached Space and Saw no Higher Power. We Will reach the End of the Universe and find only Blackness."


If the universe is folded back on itself we may indeed reach what we think is the end of the universe and find ourselves staring into our own black as*holes.



techstepgenr8tion
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28 Jul 2010, 10:57 am

Bethie wrote:
"We Reached the Mountains and Saw no Gods. We Reached the Sky and Saw no Angels. We Reached Space and Saw no Higher Power. We Will reach the End of the Universe and find only Blackness."

Interesting quote.

I think the bigger issue though, people are very closed-minded on just what it is they're looking for. We have a certain sense of the natural world and universe but a very odd and fanciful sense of the notion of spirits, angels, and deities - ie. what they'd look like, what the signs of their activities would look like. While I'm not in the business of telling people what to think my own opinion on this is just that, if the natural framework we see has any extra-dimensional underpinnings we would need to think of those underpinnings within the framework of the universe that we realistically experience and then perhaps tailor back images of winged beings playing harps on clouds or old white men on thrones staring down from the sky. Science takes having an adaptive imagination, spirituality IMO is little different in that regard.



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28 Jul 2010, 6:32 pm

In the strictest scientific sense, we can never prove anything, let alone the existence of God. We can only establish hypotheses that can be falsified by empirical evidence to the contrary. The elimination of all other options or explanations establishes the 'best possible explanation' as scientifically accepted as 'truth'--until a better Theory comes along to explain the phenomena.

Once, the Earth was thought to be the center of the Universe, then anomalies observed in the paths of the planets ruled this explanation out. People like Copernicus and Galileo were excommunicated and shunned for coming up with a better explanation. Their observations falsified the hypothesis that everything revolved around us, and better fit a sun-centered Universe. Better observation methods have expanded this world view to our sun being one among a multitude, and our view of what the Universe actually is can only be blunted by our inability to observe it. Still, it is always the falsification of past assumptions that has us looking for the better truth--knowing full well it may not be the full story either.

In order to come to any scientific conclusion about God, we have to build the test in such a way that the hypothesis can be falsified. In other words, to prove that God exists, we would need to falsify the assertion that God does NOT exist. Not all hypotheses are testable, establishing the existence of God is a prime example of one of those.

Even if we could manage a falsifiable position, we would also need to have a means of measuring results. Anyone know of a scale that measures souls? An image rendering device that captures angels or demons or the hand of God? An empirical means of establishing the CAUSE of the big bang? WHY evolution started in the first place?

The existence of God cannot be disproved, nor can it be proved. However, I think that is a pity. I think there are plenty of entrenched religious types who prefer to narrowly define that-which-cannot-be-comprehended, and refuse to alter or expand their world views even when evidence is presented to the contrary. It's a shame Galileo had to burn in hell for 500 years before the Catholic Church forgave him for following the scientific method.


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Last edited by pandorazmtbox on 28 Jul 2010, 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ruveyn
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28 Jul 2010, 7:57 pm

pandorazmtbox wrote:
In the strictest scientific sense, we can never prove anything, let alone the existence of God. We can only establish hypotheses that can be falsified by empirical evidence to the contrary. The elimination of all other options or explanations establishes the 'best possible explanation' as scientifically accepted as 'truth'--until a better Theory comes along to explain the phenomena.



Neither the existence nor the non-existence of God be settled empirically. Hence the issue is bogus.

ruveyn



pandorazmtbox
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28 Jul 2010, 8:23 pm

ruveyn wrote:
pandorazmtbox wrote:
In the strictest scientific sense, we can never prove anything, let alone the existence of God. We can only establish hypotheses that can be falsified by empirical evidence to the contrary. The elimination of all other options or explanations establishes the 'best possible explanation' as scientifically accepted as 'truth'--until a better Theory comes along to explain the phenomena.



Neither the existence nor the non-existence of God be settled empirically. Hence the issue is bogus.

ruveyn


Not quite clear on your point. Is that a reply to me or to the thread question? It seems like the latter, but then you started by quoting me and I noticed that you participated in the thread previously...so...please clarify.


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28 Jul 2010, 8:51 pm

pandorazmtbox wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
pandorazmtbox wrote:
In the strictest scientific sense, we can never prove anything, let alone the existence of God. We can only establish hypotheses that can be falsified by empirical evidence to the contrary. The elimination of all other options or explanations establishes the 'best possible explanation' as scientifically accepted as 'truth'--until a better Theory comes along to explain the phenomena.



Neither the existence nor the non-existence of God be settled empirically. Hence the issue is bogus.

ruveyn


Not quite clear on your point. Is that a reply to me or to the thread question? It seems like the latter, but then you started by quoting me and I noticed that you participated in the thread previously...so...please clarify.

Don't expect him to make as much sense as you would hope.



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29 Jul 2010, 6:35 am

pandorazmtbox wrote:
In the strictest scientific sense, we can never prove anything, let alone the existence of God. We can only establish hypotheses that can be falsified by empirical evidence to the contrary. The elimination of all other options or explanations establishes the 'best possible explanation' as scientifically accepted as 'truth'--until a better Theory comes along to explain the phenomena.

Once, the Earth was thought to be the center of the Universe, then anomalies observed in the paths of the planets ruled this explanation out. People like Copernicus and Galileo were excommunicated and shunned for coming up with a better explanation. Their observations falsified the hypothesis that everything revolved around us, and better fit a sun-centered Universe. Better observation methods have expanded this world view to our sun being one among a multitude, and our view of what the Universe actually is can only be blunted by our inability to observe it. Still, it is always the falsification of past assumptions that has us looking for the better truth--knowing full well it may not be the full story either.

In order to come to any scientific conclusion about God, we have to build the test in such a way that the hypothesis can be falsified. In other words, to prove that God exists, we would need to falsify the assertion that God does NOT exist. Not all hypotheses are testable, establishing the existence of God is a prime example of one of those.

Even if we could manage a falsifiable position, we would also need to have a means of measuring results. Anyone know of a scale that measures souls? An image rendering device that captures angels or demons or the hand of God? An empirical means of establishing the CAUSE of the big bang? WHY evolution started in the first place?

The existence of God cannot be disproved, nor can it be proved. However, I think that is a pity. I think there are plenty of entrenched religious types who prefer to narrowly define that-which-cannot-be-comprehended, and refuse to alter or expand their world views even when evidence is presented to the contrary. It's a shame Galileo had to burn in hell for 500 years before the Catholic Church forgave him for following the scientific method.


OK, I'm not Catholic, so I don't know about all that Galileo burning in Hell for 500 years before they forgave him or anything, but here's what I DO know.

First off, Galileo WAS correct in believing Copernicus. This much we know is true. HOWEVER, Galileo's PROOFS were wrong, wrong, WRONG. Even the Jesuits, the leading Catholic "scientists" (before there was really a word for it) at the time had enough information to show that Galileo was wrong. Galileo attempted to show that it was the Earth's movement around the sun that caused tides, NOT gravitational forces of the moon. People of Galileo's time were sure of this, and we even accept this as fact today. Forgive me if I'm oversimplifying it, but there's no such thing as being "a little bit wrong" in science. Something that outright contradicts observed phenomena, something that is "known," cannot be true.

Galileo was a devout Catholic his whole life. But he was NOT a theologian. Galileo attempted to force the Church to reconcile what was taught regarding the Biblical description of celestial bodies with HIS description of them, e.g. one of the psalms which describes the Earth as not moving. We accept this today as being the poetic device it is. To the Earth-bound observer, the sun DOES rise and set, the Earth APPEARS to be motionless. And for the time in which those passages of the Bible were written, those passages would have been easily understandable by the people of that time. They also have a timeless quality to them such that they can even be understood today. Galileo's disregard and insensitivity towards interpretation of the scripture put him in the place of a theologian, something for which he had know real knowledge or qualification (or authority). And this was, in part, responsible for Church authorities setting him up for the Inquisition. If he wanted to leave it an astronomical (scientific) matter, fine. But he crossed a line by forcing the issue rather than leaving religion out of the discussion.

Galileo was typical for scientists of the time in that he came across as being aggressive and maybe even obnoxious in presenting his views. The manner in which he put forth his hypotheses did not win him any friends. Even those within the church who WERE his friends, the ones he needed the most, were put off by his brash, argumentative nature.

Given his rough manner, his poor handling of combined science and theology, and presenting "proofs" that were KNOWN to be wrong, Galileo probably should have stopped while he was behind. But he also couldn't accept that the evidence that he DID have (which WAS correct), telescopic observations, were not sufficient at the time for a complete and total acceptance of the Copernican hypothesis. Church leaders DID tell Galileo, appropriately, that his ideas should not be presented as anything more than an alternative hypothesis in need of more study. In present day scientific study, this is common practice--you can't just dream up a theory one day and then expect the whole world to blindly accept it. Galileo subsequently published a book that not only presented the Copernican hypothesis as fact, there were hints of personal attacks on key figures within the church leadership! What would you EXPECT them to do?

And it was THIS that put Galileo in front of the Inquisitors. We tend to think of the Inquisition as a bunch of Jew-hating, witch-burning zealots, and rightfully so. But in other cases they were THOROUGH in their investigations, and such was the case with Galileo. But they did NOT excommunicate him. That much is false. What they DID do was the equivalent of house arrest. He was treated remarkably well, quite the opposite of what you'd expect from the Inquisition. As a matter of fact, you could say it was the Inquisition that actually saved Galileo.

Does the church owe Galileo an apology? Sure! Prior to the Inquisition, he was treated horribly. But the thing that they did was uphold rigorous scientific standards. Galileo did not have anything more than a hypothesis, albeit a very strong one. The mistakes he made called his evidence into question, not to mention his character. We may not agree with many of the horrors of the Inquisition, but their handling of Galileo was one of those things they got RIGHT.



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29 Jul 2010, 8:14 am

I stand corrected, the Church didn't excommunicate him--although many believe he was. He was place under house arrest in his old age and forced to publicly recant his 1632 book: Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems – Ptolemaic and Copernican. He did so, and the official stance of the work was that it had been heretical (which simply means a false teaching which could mislead followers in their faith). His work was not incorrect, in fact what I was referencing was the fact that the Church publicly reversed its position and apologized to Galileo in 1992--my understanding that they actually reversed an excommunication was incorrect.

"In 1971, the Apollo 15 astronauts dropped a hammer and a feather in the near-vacuum of the Moon. The two objects plummeted to the lunar surface, untroubled by air resistance, and landed at precisely the same moment, proving Galileo correct 328 years after his death.

The Catholic Church took a little longer. In 1979, Pope John Paul II set up a committee to study the Galileo case, and five years later, its findings were made public. But it wasn't until 1992 that the Vatican finally admitted that Galileo had been right."
http://www.channel4.com/history/microsi ... lileo.html


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29 Jul 2010, 10:44 am

pandorazmtbox wrote:
I stand corrected, the Church didn't excommunicate him--although many believe he was. He was place under house arrest in his old age and forced to publicly recant his 1632 book: Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems – Ptolemaic and Copernican. He did so, and the official stance of the work was that it had been heretical (which simply means a false teaching which could mislead followers in their faith). His work was not incorrect, in fact what I was referencing was the fact that the Church publicly reversed its position and apologized to Galileo in 1992--my understanding that they actually reversed an excommunication was incorrect.

"In 1971, the Apollo 15 astronauts dropped a hammer and a feather in the near-vacuum of the Moon. The two objects plummeted to the lunar surface, untroubled by air resistance, and landed at precisely the same moment, proving Galileo correct 328 years after his death.

The Catholic Church took a little longer. In 1979, Pope John Paul II set up a committee to study the Galileo case, and five years later, its findings were made public. But it wasn't until 1992 that the Vatican finally admitted that Galileo had been right."
http://www.channel4.com/history/microsi ... lileo.html


Right. But what about the tides? What about the lack of data gathering or the ability to reproduce his findings? Those are things that take time, even in our current, much better-equipped scientific climate. The only thing Galileo had was the telescope. Galileo had a certain way with people, particularly with Church authorities, that it didn't matter if they looked through the telescope or not. That's just psychology, unfortunately. If someone rubs you the wrong way, you don't want to listen to them. A kinder, gentler, more compassionate approach together with actually following their advice and presenting his ideas as being in support of the Copernican hypothesis would have won him more support.

The Church in this case was operating based on the resources that were available at the time. There was a Dutch (I forget the name) theory of geocentrism that basically said that the solar system revolves around the earth but everything else revolves around the sun. Obviously it's very difficult to explain this multifaceted idea when helio-centrism is much simpler and easier. Today we're better equipped and more capable of gathering more reliable information. Galileo was right about several things, but wrong about several more.

I've already mentioned the tides. Galileo, as I recall, was also adamant about circular orbits, something we also know is false.

Further, the Church never officially decried his helio-centric ideas as wrong, only his insistence that the Church blindly change doctrine without any immediate investigation. They did recognize that more study was needed, and by doing so maintained the integrity of scientific inquiry. Any modern scientific institution would respect that. Demonizing the church for something as silly as the Ptolemaic/Copernican debate is unnecessary, and the idea that it is indicative of the evils of the Catholic church is unjustified.