Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Non-Realism About God - Secton H1- Group 4

Group Members: Yusra M., Erin P., Larissa W., Keaton D., Evan L.
Author: Evan Lester

Today's discussion about this topic, which involved David Cupitt, started with the discussion about how science coexisted at first with God, but now it doesn't. Larissa brought up the good point that science has not changed. Keaton said that with more time passing, the more that we discover about God. Today, people want to separate religion from science. We discussed that there may be conflicts that are dealt with when scientists who do not believe in God works with a scientist who does believe in God. This might interfere with some decisions making between the two because one might go with the belief there is no God, while the other scientist would look at the situation as what would God want him/her to do. That might be why scientists do not like religious people working in the field. But then again, that is a good question to think about. Do scientists who do not believe in God work well with scientists who do believe in God?

We also touched on the topic of religion in schools. I believe everyone had a different opinion on whether or not it should be allowed. Therefore, I am going to give my opinion and others can comment about their views. I believe that it is fine to have religion in school. I do not agree that it should be separated. However, I do think there is an age in public schools where they should watch where they want to start teaching others about religion. Also, I think that the teacher should not force a student to learn the religion (and I mean like a forceful teaching of it). Also, I think that other religions should be looked at even though a person does not believe in it. This is a way that others can learn about what other people believe around the world. Besides, it would make a well rounded student. I am not saying they have to believe in it, but people need to know enough knowledge about other major religions around the world. Please comment on your thoughts about the idea of religion in school.

Then, we talked a little bit about how Cupitt was unclear whether or not he believed in God. He said on page 197 that people should not look to God to understand how the world works. However, he then says right after that we should look to Him as a symbol. He is very confusing about whether or not he is a person who believes in God or not. We discussed about this by saying that, with every religion, people have their own way of defining themselves as Christians or other religious people. Therefore, it is not clear on what defines that type of religious person. Cupitt then says that he thinks he can call himself a Christian. He is using his way of thinking about what a Christian is and saying that he is a Christian himself. Larissa and Keaton then brought up that we need to rearrange everything in order to have a clear cut definition of what a Christian or other religious person is.

Please comment with your thoughts because I thought it was difficult to understand where he was going during his podcast. He seemed like he was bouncing around to me and was not giving a clear-cut answer on what he was trying to say. Great discussion today group 4!

DQ: Do you think that atheism causes people to not have moral values? Do you think this changes their way of life if people are atheist?

FQ:  Q: According to _______________________________, atheism is a rejection of the idea that there are gods or supernatural agencies of any kind in the world.

        A:    A.C. Grayling

Link: http://philosophybites.com/2009/12/don-cupitt-on-jesus-as-philosopher.html

Here are two links that are two podcasts of Don Cupitt. The first one is the one that Dr. Oliver discussed in class about Don Cupitt discussing Jesus as a philosopher. Also, the second one is the podcast of today’s reading about Don Cupitt on Non-Realism about God. Recommend to listen to them!


  1. I think there are great scientific minds who are also strongly religious people. Dr Klumpe, for example. He's one of the most intelligent, scientificy people I've ever been around, and he loves Jesus, and I thought that was so cool because you really don't see that much anymore. I think having people from both backgrounds, religious and nonreligious, is important for the field. I think there needs to be different perspectives in every area of research, and if people can't get along, that's something they need to work out within themselves. I think life is all about learning to interact with all different kinds of people.

  2. I think the scientists would get along, for the most part. If they’re working on the same project, they both want to find the same answer. At that point, I’m not sure if motivation matters. I think when you get into more controversial topics, like gene manipulation, different religious beliefs cause scientists to not get along.
    In regards to separation of church and state and religion in schools, in America they will always be separate, for the mere fact that it is what the country is founded upon. It’s a mute point. However, I do believe that people should be educated about other religions. It plays in with multiculturalism, allowing you to better understand someone else’s lifestyle. It’s a way for people to learn to respect other people who have different religious beliefs.

    FQ: A ______ believes “Somebody that the universe is a realm of natural law: one where the concepts of physics and chemistry describe what there fundamentally is in this universe of ours, without need or indeed room for a supernaturalistic or magical supplement.”
    A: Naturalist

  3. The question that I started the group off with was-- do you think science and religion can coexist? Before if you recall, in the Renaissance people were well versed in religion and science and inventing and the arts. This did not present any challenges. At a certain point it switched over to—you must pick one, either science or religion. What do you think it is now? I think there are lots of scientists who are religious. (It might help that we are in the south. My cousin who is a little bit up more northern said she has had more sciency scientists than religious ones. ) I also asked the group what they thought the purpose of science was (is it in its roots that it conflicts with religion?) I believe the purpose of science is to discover and learn more about this wonderful world God has created. The more you learn about science, the interactions of molecules in water, and the perfection of our body should only increase your awe and love of God’s work!

    As for your question- do they work together. There will always be people who don’t agree. Even people within the non-religious scientists group are going to argue and disagree. There isn’t anything we can do about that.

  4. Erin Paul11:50 PM CDT

    I'm sad I missed this discussion! It seems to have been an interesting one and I enjoyed reading the summary and comments. Yusra, I love what you said about the complexity of science should only increase your awe and love of God's work. I completely agree! I always wondered why there seemed to be this wall built up between science and religion. For me, it goes hand in hand. For example last semester in Astronomy, learning just how BIG our universe is. It makes me realize how much BIGGER our God is! There are always going to be disagreements but I think it's important to have Christian and non-Christian scientists in the field. I feel like they should not have a problem getting along - a lot of the time it is irrelevant to the actual science, although it may cause different personal reactions among the two.
    As for religion in schools, I don't agree with the separation. School is supposed to prepare us for the real world. Religion is everywhere and is something everyone must deal with - even if they are not religious at all. I wish all religions were taught in school so students would not be as quick to judge religions other than their own. I sometimes think our generation is quite ignorant and I believe learning about different religions in school might lessen that level a little bit. And I don't see the problem in teachers sharing what they believe as long as it does not negatively influence their teaching. We are going to have to interact with people of different faiths and beliefs for the rest of our life - why not start that learning process when we are young and open-minded?
    DQ: Did you guys like it better in high school when teachers feared losing their job if they shared their beliefs in the classroom or professors in college who really open up and share about what they believe?