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This seems like such an obvious topic that it's probably been done before, but if so I don't recall it. Anyway. I've been making my views on religion known more than my relatively restrained usual lately, and I've come across some really smart people who disagree with basic premises of what I think. While I can definitely be persuaded on matters of semantics, the overall gist of the arguments I've seen - basically that disciplines other than scientific ones (say, philosophy, theology, even literature, etc) describe reality, that there is somehow a different sort of reality for them to describe, I can't be persuaded into thinking, at least not with the arguments I've met with so far. Whatever forces organize the universe are unlikely in my view to take human considerations (hey, isn't astrology a discipline to some people) into account when acting.

Anyway, I have gone many years with the (perhaps unjustified) assumption that most people on this board are atheists; but even if this is true there are likely to be disagreements about what the implications of this are. Lovecraft (an unapologeticaly elitist atheist) thought that voting rights should require an IQ test, for example. When I see Sarah Palin, I am tempted to agree. Intelligence does not mean that people won't be crazy it just makes it statistically less likely. Anyway that's enough from me, it's been a while since there was a good/new discussion thread on here so hopefully this goes somewhere.
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Until You Can 
scientifically prove to me that stuff like Chakras work (and explain how and why they work), as a scientist, I have dismiss them. That doesn't mean that I don't believe that tuey work for you. But if there is no hard proof, I cannot recommend them.

Claiming that something clearly works because you experienced it yourself is not exactly a sign of intelligence either, you know. You can only base such claiks on hard facts. Hearsay and personal experience are not hard facts. 
For example: once you can stimulate your Chakra's there's absolutely NO denying that they exist, because you will be able to really feel it.

I should have stopped reading your post once I hit this sentence, but I continued reading against my better judgment. Shame on me. 
You people have it the other way around:

If mainstream science can't explain exactly what the origin of everything is, it doesn't have any basis to work from. 
"If mainstream science can't explain exactly what the origin of everything is, it doesn't have any basis to work from."

Dear lord I don't believe in I hope that's not a serious statement. 
Controversial To Say The Least 
I mean SCIENCE is a theory which I believe in, and i probably believe more in SCIENCE than I do in RELIGION. Let me go further;

Science is a theory in itself, or more an ethos: You make measured observations of subjective material then draw balanced and logical conclusions from that. It doesn't rely much on anything which can't be proven, unlike religion. In religion you are told what to do and things are discussed such as morals and pseudo-morals taught through proverbs and fables. I mean did it never occur to anyone that these stories could have been manipulated for reasons hypocritical to the teachings within them, throughout the years by collective bodies of people who were abusing their power or merely fighting to control nations etc?

Anyway science is a bit like maths - it has always been there, someone 'discovered' it. The first person to ever ponder 'science' or 'maths' could be described as an evolution in human thinking. Our perception of science is always evolving. It will never be more than a 'best guess' about the ways things are. But it is knowledge. Science leads to knowledge. If nothing else knowledge of science. But knowledge gives real practical tangible advantages with regards to survival and more. Religious people rely on science to survive.
If religious people wanna say that science is not true or whatever then they can stop posting on forums which rely on science to be there in the first place. And they can give up on modern transportation devices. And other communication amenities, and cooking - that's a "science". So just because "Scientists" can't explain something which they have never considered paying any regard to doesn't mean that they wont come along and attempt to analyse it one day, and draw some 'best guess' conclusions, maybe open some new doors of knowledge and prove on some level a theory of some sorts. 
I'm not religious (anymore). But I'm not atheist either.

There is something we have in common! :D 
I have done all of this to a degree and KNOW (versus believing) that there's indeed more to human beings and our existence then Darwin's theory would imply.

I mostly agree with Ricky. Our science can't explain everything. It's just because the universe is so damn complicated, not because there's some fairy in the sky waving a wand. 
You really don't have to explain to me how religion could have been manipulated. Chapters have been left out of the Bible and there are multiple versions of the bible that are NOT saying the same thing anymore. So it's obvious the book has been tampered with.

Also: I'm NOT against science in itself. But mainsteam science, again, seems to be used against us in several ways. Quantum Physics is also science, but you'd have to search for info about that. I find that very typical.

I like to look beyond mainstream and listen to people that tell things I didn't learn at school and don't see/hear on tv either. I want to hear the other side of the fence. I think it's important to do that to have a broader look on things. This includes scientists, high level military-, navy-, and government officials coming forward on the subject of UFO/Aliens and free energy. The stuff they say totally contradicts what we have been taught and it seems a lot of effort is used to try to discredit these brave people. So something fishy is going on in the world of mainstream science. 
I Also Agree With You 
On the point that there is a lot of bullshit in the world. And governments do withhold information from us. I would say that that is true. But I have some faith in the information we have been given. 
what is this i don't even 
"The stuff they say totally contradicts what we have been taught and it seems a lot of effort is used to try to discredit these brave people. So something fishy is going on in the world of mainstream science."

There is plenty that those in power conceal, block from general media discussion or outright lie about. This does not mean you can just invent any random bullshit.
What is this 'mainstream science' that is lying to us? You worried the government is secretly trying to brain wash you by ordering you to eat five pieces of fruit a day?

Worry about that instead. 
RE: Science 
"mainstream science"? this is already a flag term. science is a method for arriving at knowledge, not an institution. all the conclusions of science are tentative, and could be revised in the face of new evidence(and have a time-proven tendency TO BE, ie, the progress of scientific knowledge since the start of science). the idea that "mainstream science" is "lying to the public" to conceal "evidence" (ie strong personal experiences - which people of every sort of religious/supernatural belief DO HAVE, but they can't all be right...) of "chakra," is as ridiculous as it sounds. Strong personal experiences are not evidence, and so (sarcasm) let me repeat this like the dogmatic, narrow-minded faith-based mantra that it is: the reason scientists tend not to believe in supernatural things is that there is no evidence for these things (/sarcasm).

Deepak Chopra and his ilk are detestable con-men. 
@ Tronyn 
Evolution sorts all of this stuff out. No, evolution doesn't work completely the way that some people say it works.

It is far more comprehensive than that.

There is the cultural element as well.

The world is not simple, the universe is not simple and things are going on being the grasp of simplistic mindsets.

There are no right answers, but plenty of wrong ones ...

@Tronyn ... yes Deepak is a con-man, no doubt about it, but it doesn't mean his ideas can be summarily dismissed. In fact, I was initially turned off *because* Deepak is a con-man but yet some of his ideas are intriguing. Decartes once said a couple of hundred years ago that you cannot rely on exclusively on perception being reality. Some of Deepak's ideas are very interesting.

And that being said, I am convinced that reality is not something that can be fully understood nor explained.

Some string theories involve 11 or more dimensions and bizarre causality issues and have empirical evidence to support them (and also not).

Given a world with all the facts both in flux and in question, you just go with the best you can do knowing that either it works or it don't but no one can fault you for trying.

Since the world isn't perfect, you can find solace in the fact that you do not need to be perfect either. I know that I am not ;) 
1) Lucid dreaming is completely unlinked to spiritualism since it is merely control of hypnogogic states. Fun, but irrelevant to the argument you are trying to make.

2) Basic rules of logic dictate that the onus is on you to prove the existence of spiritual beliefs, not the other way round. If you cannot do so then the default position should be that it (probably) doesn't exist.

3) Logic is apriori knowledge and therefore far beyond any intuitionalism. You cannot dispute it (unless you wish to dispute basic cause and effect in which case bite me, that argument is trite).

Did not read the original post beyond the first two sentences or any of the replies. Until you can understand basic sources of knowledge then there is no point debating this.

(And this is coming from someone who will happily admit there are things beyond the realm of human comprehension. Just using that to 'prove' (ha. ha. HA!) some wishy washy spiritualistic belief is no better than 'there is a giant, invisible version of my dad in the sky'. 
Oooh, just saw bits of Baker's post.

a) Cogito reference. Technically Descartes was wrong, it's not 'I think therefore I am', but rather 'there is perception therefore there is existence' since you cannot prove it is you/me (yay solipsism) doing the thinking/perceiving.

He then went on to fail to prove god in an attempt to argue that empirical evidence is valid (the man was always a better mathematician that philosopher).

However, this is merely an argument in favour of apriori knowledge (that'd be mathematics and philosophy, ie, logic). Which merely means that one must have reasoned arguments for any viewpoint. Still discounts spiritualistic garbage (sorry, bias).

b) And that being said, I am convinced that reality is not something that can be fully understood nor explained. Correct. At least within the confines of our inherently flawed human comprehension.

c) Some string theories involve 11 or more dimensions and bizarre causality issues and have empirical evidence to support them (and also not). 5, 7 or 11 given the varied values that result from the equations (plus time). Although M theory has unified these into 11+time. And it's not in any way based on empirical evidence. That's the point. It's based on mathematical calculations (logic again, damn stuff pops up everywhere). It is completely unproven by empirical testing (and given the limitations of current technology cannot be proven, we have yet to create anything more refined than an electron microscope). You seem to be merging quantum theory and string/m theory here.

(yeh, I figured using numbered points twice would be gauche ;) 
than dammit. than.

(good mapper tho)

((not descartes))

(((that's a joke, see cartesian geometry)))

((((not, I'll admit, a good joke)))) 
There Are More Things, Horatio... 
I'm happy to admit that high level physics is extremely weird, and very fascinating, and it seems a reasonable interpretation of it to say that we will never figure things out fully (at least there is apparently a credible school of thought in physics that thinks that physics will never end, not even just for limited minds like the human mind but even in principle). Those who understand and respect science are free to admit that there is much about reality that we do not understand and will likely never understand; to me it seems like it is those with supernatural beliefs who are saying they _do_ understand the nature of reality, and it turns out that all of this amazing shit is here just so some primates like us can have psychic powers and attend to our middle-class interests - and these claims are made without the sort of evidence that scientists use. Please. 
The key to understand physics theories and their relation to "reality" is to accept the fact that they are not laws, they are theories. They describe observable phenomena in a way that allows us to predict their outcome. As technology advances, our ability to observe reality advances as well. This often leads to contradictions to existing theories that forces us to dismiss or refine them in order to integrate those new observations.

The other motivation for refining or dismissing existing theories is unification of existing theories into a grander theory. This is what string theory is. It allows us to explain phenomena in the very large as well as phenomena in the very small. It's a nice thought experiment, and as long as it explains reality precisely, you can argue that it is "correct", since there is no way to observe its primary subject, strings. It doesn't really matter if there really are "strings" as long as the theory explains our observable reality precisely.

Apart from that, what nonentity says! 
String Is Silly 
So, string theory was developed by the crew at Monty Python? Theories are also based on non-observed forces and phenomena. String is an extension of past theories that build up more confusion. 
If mainstream science can't explain exactly what the origin of everything is, it doesn't have any basis to work from.

I don't think you "get" science. I think Sleepy and nonentity covered everything else. 
how can science be mainstream anyway? it's not like music or film, ffs. it's a way of thinking and a method to employ to arrive at conclusions. 
I Get Science! 
I was just speaking specifically about string theory, not science in general. We built televisions without knowing "everything", and had a basis to get one working. Life is not an equation, but we have science to help keep the truth in check. If I punch someone in the face, it's gonna hurt. If I choose not to punch someone cause I don't wanna hurt anybody, it holds my actions in check. That's science!

Non_Sleep didn't expain anything with string theory, though. String theory is based mostly on non observed (made-up) ideas. It's really dumb... There are a lot of people who contributed to creating many things in our civilization. I doubt string was a factor in getting to their goals. 
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